Minutes of a meeting of the executive committee of BRRAG held on 1 April 2022 at 14 Krogscheepers Street Boesmansriviermond and via zoom

1. Welcome

Lӧtter Wepener welcomed those present, in particular our two new committee members.

2. Attendance register and apologies

In attendance: Lӧtter Wepener, Jacques de Wit, Sarel Marais, Dalien Pachonick, Gibbon Schickerling (Via Zoom), Willie Enright, Ferenc Toth, Robbie Schroeder, Sue Muirhead, and Elvira Ramraj.
Apologies: Wanda Nezar.

Sue Muirhead and Elvira Ramraj joined the meeting for the first time. Both members have experience in municipal matters and offered to assist the committee, in particular with the IDP and Ward matters. Both were co-opted as members of the committee.

3. Confirmation of previous minutes

The minutes of the meeting of 11 February 2022 were approved, and the chairman authorized to sign them.

4. Correspondence

Jacques has taken up the refuse issue in Salie Street and received an undertaking that the collection point will be moved to Alexandria Road. Although it has not been moved, no refuse is being left at the end of Salie Street. There is also a fallen tree near no 16 Salie and Jacques will take this up with deputy director Maluleke.

A follow-up letter regarding the illegal structure at the entrance to RB, the washing machines in Scheepers Street and the illegal signs was sent. Ferenc reported that the washing machines were removed. Most of the unsightly signs were removed but the vendor structure was still in place. RESOLVED that all committee members forward photographs of illegal signage to the chair in order to follow up their removal. The dangers caused by the kiosk must again be pointed out to the municipality.

Noted that estate agents agreed that no signage may be erected in BRM and Kenton, however RB was excluded from the agreement. All show house boards put up on Fridays are to be removed on Mondays.

A letter requesting a storage area was to be sent to Ndlambe. Jacques forwarded a follow-up letter to the municipal manager, but no response was forthcoming yet.

A letter requesting Ndlambe to consider BRRAG as service provider for the maintenance of Bushman’s was sent. The response was vague and that BRRAG should watch out for tenders published by Ndlambe. The result was that the municipality declined to consider BRRAG as a service delivery partner for purpose of performing maintenance tasks in Boesmans.

A letter requesting Ndlambe to improve the parking area at the River was sent. Discussions between Jacques and officials may result in suitable covering being placed there.

KSDNA (Kenton Sand Dune and Nature Association). The chair gave an overview of the issue regarding the dune and the silting of the Bushman’s River. BRRAG, KOSRA, Estuary Care, Natures; Landing, Merryhill Property Owners’ Association, and Kenton/Boesmans Chamber of Business formed a broad association (the Action Group) to oppose the implementation of the KSDNA plan to move the dune towards the river, fencing off the area, placing shade netting to catch the sand and then carting it away along the streets of Kenton. RESOLVED that a financial contribution be made to the Group in the sum of R 10 000 from BRM and R 2 500 from RB together with any donations received from members.

Jacques will further deal with the dune matter in liaison with the Action Group.

A request was received from a member, Lucy Andrews Koropchuk, to erect signs that encourage people to pick up dog mess. RESOLVED that the signs be obtained, and the member be thanked for the funding thereof. It was once again stressed that uncaring dog owners are leaving masses of dog mess in our town and on our beaches. A bylaw officer should be able to better control this issue.

A member proposed that an additional speed hump be constructed along Ocean View Drive as a traffic calming measure. Jacques sent a letter to the deputy director: infrastructure and will follow up.
Many of the issues in our town arise because of inadequate or no enforcement of bylaws. RESOLVED that the issue of a full-time bylaw officer, again, be pursued. A letter to be sent to the municipal manager.

RESOLVED that Sarel, assisted by Sue are to be the committee members in charge of our building portfolio and to oversee compliance and deal with objections and the like. Photographs of park like homes going in up in RB were produced. This is a matter that needs urgent investigation by checking if this was officially sanctioned. Sarel will liaise with Pollos to find out the procedure and then to liaise with the Ndlambe building department, if required.

The Chamber of Business advised that the district municipality has made R 60 000 available to erect a structure at entrance to Boesmans like the structure at the entrance to Kenton. Jacques is liaising with Pollos Purdon for the design and will circulate the proposal in due course. A request for funds for a structure at RB was not successful.

Noted that the information signs that are to be erected at strategic points in our area are in the final stages of completion.

5. Legal matters

The tennis court lease renewal is being awaited. Rent has been paid until June 2022.

Robert dealt with the trailer licence and Sarel will deal with the new proxy and the duplicate registration certificate.

Lötter and Jacques are assisting the caravan park association in their quest to tender for the upcoming lease.

Jacques suggested that the various associations should get together to meet with the municipal manager and directors to secure improved service delivery. New models are required as the current levels of service leaves much to be desired. RESOLVED that such a project be embarked upon in conjunction with other willing associations.

Staff: Sarel, assisted by Elvira will register BRRAG for UIF so that the staff contributions can be paid directly by BRRAG to SARS.

6. Finance

The Financials as at the end of February were noted and approved.
Veronique Jones (Park St) has again been active with the recruiting of members, and all is going well with additional renewals during February. BRM has 178 members and RB 35. Both are new records.
Noted that Lötter and Sarel will visit the Bank in due course to arrange for the hand-over of control of the bank accounts.

7. Village Maintenance

Robbie reported that all is going well, and the staff members are attending the usual matters. Equipment has been repaired and assistance by residents was also forthcoming. Green refuse removal is being undertaken on a weekly basis. RESOLVED that the pay for staff when they are unable to report for work such as rainy days, is within the discretion of Robbie.

Since the acquisition of the chainsaw, low hanging branches and the like are being attended to. RESOLVED that the acquisition of varnish products for the maintenance of the boardwalk be approved.
Noted that the committee has in the past approved the cost of equipment hire and cleaning products for Pete Andrews to clean the tennis court.

The committee expressed its sincere gratitude to Robbie for doing an excellent job in the Village. Robbie advised that generous assistance was received from Pete Andrews, Cassie Castelyn and Cas Vorster.

8. Riversbend matters

Riversbend is ticking along and Dalien should attempt to enlist the contractor who previously removed green refuse to again assist. Robbie will attend to a few items such as green refuse removal and tree cutting as well as illegal signage.

9. Village Infrastructure

Ablution blocks: The municipal cleaners requested that the dune ablutions be locked to prevent damage caused by unknown persons.

RESOLVED that Robbie should lock the ablutions and that our staff check them from time to time.

Water Management: Jacques reported on the continued water management issues dealt with by the SDSG Water (Service Delivery Support Group).

Challenges include: inadequate water supply, inferior water quality, breakdowns, lack of long-term water provision strategy, management information not provided, social and environmental impact, inadequate maintenance, ineffective project implementation, procurement problems, cable theft, sand and algae ingress into Sea well 5 leading to secondary problems in the plant and Amatola absolving itself from advice provided by the TTT (technical task team).

Updated SER (Social Environmental Report) was provided to the Municipal Manager, regarding the impact of Amatola, and with Ndlambe as Water Authority.

The Minister of Water and Sanitation removed the Amatola board. Doug Swanson representing SDSG also had an opportunity to provide relevant information to the minister.

Ministerial, DWS and Ndlambe intervention is required to resolve the challenges facing Amatola Water.

Recommendation made to Ndlambe, as water authority to investigate the appointment of additional water service providers to mitigate the risk to the communities.

Storm water drainage: Storm water drainage problem areas was pointed out to Ndlambe, as an ongoing issue. Ndlambe does not have a Civil Engineer to make designs to improve the situation. Willie will assist where possible to make recommendations to Ndlambe to improve the identified problem areas.

Bushman’s Riverbank: The Riverbank along the towpath was cleared of concrete, rubble and litter. Our thanks to the BRRAG team and Noks for the valuable assistance.
Noted that existing jetties may be maintained but no new jetties may be erected in terms of estuary management legislation.

Road infrastructure: Road maintenance and improvement was discussed with Ndlambe Deputy Director Infrastructure (Thulani Maluleke). BRRAG will provide a list of most urgent to him. He undertook to deal with it on a case-by-case basis and stated that it cannot be budgeted for a specific road to be fixed, since all road repairs come from the same budget.

Some funding may be available from the small town revival budget.

Sanitation: Sanitation system for Ward 3&4 is dysfunctional and inadequate.

Unofficial audit by members of BRRAG, Estuary Care, KOSRA revealed the extent:

  • The sewerage plant at Bushman’s/Marselle is neglected and dysfunctional
  • Pumps are not working at Klipfontein, Riversbend, Marcelle
  • Kenton sewage plant too small, untreated sewage end up in the Kariega River
  • Development to add 500 houses in Marselle. Sewage development is limited to new pipelines, new pumping station and limited work on the sewage delivery bay at the Bushman’s/Marcelle sewage plant. Function of the plant and capacity was not addressed or budgeted for. If not addressed untreated sewage will end up in the Bushman’s River with dire consequences to the community and tourism.

Estuary Care is taking a collaborative lead with the support of its representative constituencies inclusive of BRRAG. Discussions took place with the Ndlambe Deputy Director Infrastructure. A letter was drafted and will be send to the Municipal Manager pointing out the critical nature of the inadequate sanitation system and the dire consequences to the community and environment. The municipal manager will be requested to appoint a joint committee to audit the sanitation system and to determine corrective action and supportive budget.

Refuse removal: It was noted that Bushman’s Creek no longer leave refuse in Salie Street. A skip or similar is planned to be placed in Alexandria Road. A skip for Boesmansriviermond and Riversbend is required where refuse can be placed to prevent refuse from being dumped.

RESOLVED that a skip be requested for from Ndlambe Municipality and that it be placed alongside the Natures Landing skip in the industrial area.

10. Security

Ferenc gave an overview of the latest security incidents. Crime is Bushman’s is much lower than elsewhere and lower in our area than elsewhere in the Eastern Cape, although Kenton is seeing an increase.
Camaras need to be replaced.

The community camera monitoring group is up and running.
The CPF has problems as there is a group of persons causing ructions.
There is a close working relationship with Kenton and Boknes.

11. Firefighting

Jacques is waiting for a price on a galvanised fire tender.

12. Website

Gibbon reported that the Facebook page is doing well and has had many visitors. Gibbon undertook to establish a cloud-based filing system on Google Drive for use and access by the committee.

13. Newsletter

A newsletter will go out after our next meeting. Articles to be sent to the chair.

14. Estuary Care

An Action Group was established in collaboration with EC. It comprises of EC, KOSRA, BRRAG, Chamber of Business, Nature’s Landing and Merryhill Residents Association. Others may join. The committee fully supports EC in this matter.

15. Ndlambe Ratepayers’ Forum

The NRF is working on the high rates paid to Ndlambe while everything else such as roads, water and sewer infrastructure are deteriorating. Noted that Ndlambe again received a qualified audit report. Rates are to increase by 6%. Ndlambe is attempting to become an electricity supplier, and this must be resisted at all costs.

16. Ward Committee

See above.

17. Chamber

nothing to report

18. IDP

We must establish the dates for submissions as well as dates for meetings for the current IDP so that our input can be given in time. Jacques will ask Fanie.

19. General

The chair reported that the annual NPO repost had been submitted successfully.

Development at Kenton entrance – Includes a petrol station and supermarket. A visual development plan was requested and will be distributed to members when received.

20. Closure

The next meeting will be held on 29 April 2022.



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