By Bev Mortimer
Plans are afoot to have a manned tollgate erected at the new bridge over the Sand River.
A concerned group of local and influential businessmen have pooled together an undisclosed amount to pay for the construction of the tollgate.
“All non-residents will have to pay a toll fee before they can enter St Francis,” said a member of the consortium, who did not wish to be named until the tollgate plan has been approved by necessary authorities, such as the Kouga Municipality and the Eastern Province government.
Local residents will be given a St Francis Bay passport that they will need to have stamped every time they enter and leave St Francis Bay in order for them to be exempt from paying the toll fee,” the spokesman said.
The money raised from the tollgate will go towards promoting tourism to St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis online,” he said. “Money accrued from the toll will also go towards special promotions of the area, such as enhanced stands at exhibitions countrywide and paying for groups of foreigners to visit St Francis when they are in the country.
“Some of the to South African tourism companies will be paid to add St Francis to their list of places for foreigners to go to,” he said.
The same business consortium is also considering and investigating ways to make St Francis Bay a Republic – in roughly the same fashion that Hout Bay in the Western Cape became a ‘Republic’ with its own passport 30 years ago,” he said.
He also revealed that once approval has been given – expected by end of April 2017 – then construction will start. “The tollgate is expected to be fully operational on April Fool’s Day, 1 April 2018,” he added.