Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of Bushman’s River Mouth Ratepayers’ Organisation Meeting held on Tuesday, 27 December 2022 at 09:00 at The Tennis Court, Boesmansriviermond

1. Welcome

The chair, Lӧtter Wepener, welcomed the members present. He also welcomed, Captain Tommie Parkinson who joined the meeting for a short address. Also present were: KOSRA chair: Kevin Van Huyssteen, Chamber of Business and Tourism chair: Justin Wilmot and Estuary Care vice chair: Dave Curran. Sarel Maris opened the meeting with a prayer.

2. Attendance register and apologies

In attendance: as per attendance register. Apologies were received from Kevin Bates, Wenda Redfern, Wanda Nezar, Lex Mitchell, Robert Schroeder, Gail Sturgess, Pete and Lin Andrews, Mike and Cherie White.

3. Confirmation of previous minutes

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of 28 December 2021 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: Corrie and Sheila Swanepoel, Nollie de Ridder.

5. Chairman’s report

The chairman reported as follows:
We welcome all members, residents, and holiday makers as well Kevin van Huyssteen (Chair: KOSRA); Justin Wilmot (Chair Kenton /Boesmans Chamber of Business and Tourism), Dave Curran (Vice chair Estuary Care) and 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, and members once again ensured that we could implement the additional security measures. Since the project commenced, we have not had a single crime related incident. The local Nightwatch team was kept busy throughout the year. Our sincere thanks must go the dedication of Ferenc Toth and the Nightwatch team for their vigilance throughout the year. Their continued endeavours have contributed to our area having the lowest crime rate in the Eastern Cape. Contributions towards the Nightwatch team are ringfenced and utilised for those purposes only for items such as torches, radios, bulletproof 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 help with monitoring the cameras, especially during night-time hours. If you are available, please drop us an email. The Nightwatch team works closely with the SAPS and HiTec, both who deliver an outstanding service to our community.

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. I think that the kiosk at the slipway is a wonderful addition. The new Daily Shop has also proven to be a great addition. Please support our local entrepreneurs. 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 any 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: these include the entrance road, the tennis court area, the cemetery, beaches, and several other open spaces. The general maintenance and painting of road markings and signs are all attended to and this year, overseen by Robert Schroeder and his brother Daryl. We are indebted to them for their fantastic dedication and the time spent in our Village.

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.

Our tennis court lease was renewed until 2027. We have applied to use the old town hall building and all indications are positive. Earlier during the year, the municipality also made a storage area available for our equipment such as our brush cutters, lawnmowers, and other equipment.

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. We thank the 100 club members for their continued support. A special word of thanks goes to Peter Campbell and Walter Biggs for special financial assistance.

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, but we are also represented on the Municipal Ward Committee where the basic input into municipal affairs is given. Our thanks to Sue Muirhead for attending to this and her tireless work for our craft markets. 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. Much of this is done by our vice Jacques de Wit. This year saw the formation of a service delivery support group (SDSG) for wards 2 and 4. It was constituted by BRRAG, KOSRA, EC and Chamber of Business and Tourism.

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. The SDSG Service Delivery Support Group concentrates on water and sanitation, 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 groups, our water situation would be in far more precarious position. We must thank them for their efforts of the persons involved in the many meetings with the authorities for the work done. Water remains a scarce commodity but after some breakdowns during the year, things are on track and the water supply has been more regular. Our thanks go to Willie Enright for all his expert input into both the water and sanitation issues that are dealt with. We urge all residents to use water sparingly as our plant is the source of water for many areas in Ndlambe.

The Kenton dune issues are now well known: steps are required to prevent the dune that is developing east of the river mouth to cause the houses in that area to be swamped by sand. The practical and sensible answer is to remove the vegetation that allows the dune to accumulate and to allow it to follow its age-old established path through the Dry Bones valley. But you may have heard of the crazy idea of an association called the Kenton Sand Dune and Nature Association, that is calling for the sand to be carted by truck through the Kenton town to elsewhere. This certainly displays the utmost illogical reasoning. The SDSG is at the forefront of taking this matter further and to promote the correct solution.

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: Barbara Meiring (translations), Gerald Schmidt (general and camera fund), Andrew Murray (trailer insurance), Jurgen Potgieter (website hosting), Mike Wells (security fence), Patrick Miller (maintenance & tennis courts), Tessa MacTaggart and her team (webmaster), Vossie Vosloo, George Simpson and Pete Andrew for assistance with general matters and refuse removal, Andrew Wessels our bookkeeper, Robert and Daryl Schroeder rendering general assistance and staff record keeping. Gibbon Schickerling has developed our Facebook page which now has close to 500 followers. Sarel Marais is our treasurer and in charge of the 100 club. Thank you to Veronique Jones who did a tremendous job by contacting members and securing membership renewal and the gift of the BRRAG decals which we shall hand out to members – if I missed your name, I do apologise.

This is also the end of an era. After Corrie and Sheila Swanepoel left the committee in 2020, they both, sadly passed away earlier this year. We owe them a huge debt for their wonderful support of BRRAG and its interests over a long period of time.

I wish you all a happy festive season and a wonderful 2023.

If you need to know more about BRRAG – just Google BRRAG, it comes up first. We have a WhatsApp group for members: if you want to join, please send an email with heading WhatsApp and your cell number. 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
27 December 2022

Jacques proposed a motion of thanks to the chair for his special efforts and involvement with BRRAG and other organisations in the area.

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

The following committee members were nominated and re-elected: Lötter Wepener, Dalien Pachonick, Ference Toth, Jacques de Wit, Sarel Marais, Gibbon Schickerling, Robert Schroeder, Sue Muirhead, and Willie Enright. In addition, the following two persons were elected to the committee: Duard Scholtz and Lucy du Plessis. 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 an extensive camera system as well as a monitoring service.

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

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 11h00

Dated 27 December 2022


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