Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of Bushman’s River Mouth Ratepayers’ Organisation Meeting held on Monday, 28 December 2020 at 09:00 at The Tennis Court, Boesmansriviermond

1. Welcome

The chair, Lӧtter Wepener, welcomed the members present. He also welcomed, Captain Tommy Parkinson who joined the meeting for a short address.
Ds Mike Smuts opened the meeting with prayer.

2. Attendance register and apologies

In attendance: as per attendance register. Apologies were received from Charles Sprong, Jack Dell, and Jacques Malan.

3. Confirmation of previous minutes

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of 28 December 2020 be approved and the chairperson be authorised to sign them.

4. Motion of Condolence

The chairperson proposed a motion of condolence on behalf of the members of BRRAG for those members and residents who had passed away during the year: Dr Dennis Laubscher, Roy Somers, Udi Kannegieser, Zonkie Krogscheepers, Piet Steenkamp.

5 Chairman’s report

The chairman reported as follows:
We welcome all members, residents, and holiday makers as well as Captain Tommie Parkinson, SAPS station commander.

This past year saw your committee members, few as they are, continuing with limited projects in the interests of residents, homeowners, and all holidaymakers. We are aware that there is a school of thought that many of the matters attended to by BRRAG fall within the domain of the Municipality, but as we should now all be aware, if we had to wait for that institution for full service delivery, much of the maintenance will not be attended to at all. We do, however, often liaise with municipal officials to secure as much service delivery as we can, but the remainder of the general attention to our Village falls squarely on the BRRAG shoulders. We do so because we believe that our investments are worthy of protection and the upkeep of the area is a therefore of primary concern to us all.

Our annual December security guard project commenced rather shakily, but with some encouragement, members once again ensured that could we implement the project. The local Nightwatch team was kept busy throughout the year, and I am pleased to report that since our guards commenced duties earlier this month, we have not had very limited incidents. I will ask Ferenc Toth, our security subcommittee member, to give a short overview of the security situation as far as BRRAG, our and other Nightwatch teams, SAPS, and liaison with HiTec are concerned. It was interesting to observe that most of the incidents that occurred earlier, were at homes without any armed responses systems. I suggest that you consider installing a security system if you have not done so. But our sincere thanks must go the Ferenc and the Nightwatch team for the dedication and vigilance throughout the year. Contributions towards the Nightwatch team are ringfenced and utilised for those purposes only for items such as torches, radios, bullet proof vests, cell phones and petrol. There is also the camera fund, chaired by Ferenc. Cameras are installed in strategic places and assist with monitoring the security situation. Whilst on monitoring, we seek the assistance of as many residents as possible to assist with monitoring the cameras, especially during night-time hours. If you are available, please drop us an email.

Our holiday River beach service is in full swing, and you will have noticed our employees at work. The River beach and ablution facilities are maintained and kept in a sanitary state. Our assistants are employed throughout the year to attend to many issues, including the inspection and service of the security fence surrounding the old Village, which on its own is a mammoth task, and many other maintenance jobs. We have a hat to pass around to collect a bonus for our employees. But you can also pay a small amount into our bank account with the usual reference but changed to Staff.xxxStreet.Name. BRRAG owns its own machinery and equipment, and we maintain most of the open areas: this includes the entrance road, the tennis court area, the cemetery, and several other open spaces. The general maintenance and painting of road signs are all attended to and this year, overseen by Patrick Miller. We are indebted to him for his fantastic dedication and the time spent in our Village. Thank you to Frank Ferreira for the donation of a kudu mower which helps our staff cut down on time spent on mowing.
As for Riversbend, we have a very dedicated member there: Dalien Pachonick. Dalien works tirelessly to engage the municipal officials for assistance and then, as a last resort, get on with the job herself. The general appearance of Riversbend has much improved over the last years because of the efforts of Dalien. Thank you for your dedication. Thanks, are also due to Kevin Bates who assisted Dalien with tasks.

If I mention the funding of BRRAG too often, please be patient with me as, besides the time, work and efforts of committee members, money is after all the oil of our wheels. We have a few members who generously support us during the year, and we thank you for your assistance, which makes it possible for us to actively do what is required in our area. We supplement the membership fees in all sorts of ways: special braais and outings, craft markets and raffles and the 100 club, although COVID put a brake on these activities for the past two years. Please join our 100 club – particulars are available on our website.

But being a committee member does not mean that we mow the grassed areas. There are meetings to attend: not only do we have monthly committee meetings although less so this past year, but we are also represented on the Municipal Ward Committee where the basic input into municipal affairs is given. We also attend meetings of the Ndlambe Ratepayer’s Forum, which consists of all the ratepayers’ associations in Ndlambe, and we liaise with the municipal manager and other officials to promote our interests.

Our liaison with the municipal officials and other officials has had mixed successes. Some issues we raised were attended to, with some we do get some assistance, but many are not responded to. We, nevertheless, do have a relatively good working relationship with the officials. We again received a notice about the non-renewal of river buoy permits and the removal thereof, but unlike the previous years, we did not experience the removal of any buoys.

A support group, referred to as the SDSG Service Delivery Support Group has been formed in our area. They concentrate on water and sanitation, but this may be widened to safety and security. The SDSG is supported by a Technical Task Team, TTT, headed by Chester Wilmot and where Jacques De Wit is playing an important role. Without the sterling work performed by these organisations, our water situation would be in far more precarious situation. We must thank them for their efforts of the persons involved in the many meetings with the authorities for the work done. Without your assistance, we would be in a far more problematic position regarding water supply in our area. Water remains a scarce commodity but after some breakdowns during the year, things are on track and the water supply has been more regular. Nevertheless, we urge all residents to use water sparingly as our plant is the source of water for many areas in Ndlambe.

Please support Estuary Care, the organisation that ensures that our estuary is being looked after. The link to their website is on our own website.

Thank you all for your interest and assistance to run this ratepayers’ organisation successfully this past year. Save for donors, who assisted financially, we say thanks to: Peter Campbell and Walter Biggs (for special financial assistance), Barbara Meiring (translations), Gerald Schmidt (general and camera fund), Mike White (general assistance RB), Andrew Murray (trailer insurance), Jurgen Potgieter (website hosting), Mike Wells (security fence), Des Alcock (trailer parking), Patrick Miller (maintenance & tennis courts), Tessa MacTaggart and her team (webmaster), Frans Wessels (general assistance), Vossie Vosloo, George Simpson and Pete Andrew for assistance with general matters and refuse removal, Errol Nightingale storage area, Andrew Wessels bookkeeper, Frans Wessels general assistance and staff record keeper, – if I missed your name, I do apologise.

This is also the end of an era. After Corrie Swanepoel left the committee last year, Sheila also resigned when they moved to Johannesburg. We owe Sheila a huge debt for her wonderful support of BRRAG and its interests over a long period of time.

I wish you all a happy festive season and a wonderful 2022.
If you need to know more about BRRAG – just Google BRRAG, it comes up first.
We hope to keep our service to our community up and in line with our motto: “we make the difference”.
I thank you attending our AGM.
Lӧtter Wepener
(Chairman)
28 December 2021

Issues raised:
The question of the receding Riverbank was mentioned, and the committee undertook to prioritise the silting of the River at the appropriate forum.
The chair explained that we are now receiving remuneration from Ndlambe for the green refuse removal service.

6. Financial report

The financial report was tabled. The meeting approved the financial statements. Members were urged to support the Organisation by way of voluntary contributions and for specific projects and to join the 100 Club.

7. Election of office bearers

Jacques set out the various portfolios on the committee and explained the involvement of committee members in local affairs. The following committee members were nominated and elected: Lötter Wepener, Dalien Pachonick, Ference Toth, Jacques de Wit, Sarel Marais, Gibbon Schickerling, Robert Schroeder and Willie Enright. There being no further nominations, members were invited to make themselves available for co-option onto the committee.

8. Security

Ferenc Toth, the security sub-committee chair and head of the night watch group gave an overview of the work done by the night watch team in conjunction with the night watch teams of other towns, HiTec, and the SAPS. Ferenc urged members to support the night watch initiative which is utilising and extensive camera system as well as the monitoring service that will be introduced.
Ferenc stressed that there was a very good working relationship between the local night watch team, the neighbouring Nightwatch teams, the South African Police Service and HiTec. It is of utmost importance that we all work together on this project.

9. General

It was proposed that the constitution be amended by the rewording of article 18 to reflect a quorum at a general meeting to be 10 paid up members.
The motion was unanimously adopted.

Several members expressed thanks to all committee members as well as the Nightwatch group for the work performed in our towns. Members also offered assistance to the committee on an ad hoc basis. Donations for a Christmas gift to our staff members were received.

The chairman thanked all members for attending and wished all a good and prosperous new year.

The meeting closed at 11h15

Dated 28 December 2021

Chairperson

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