From the Editor’s Desk

Where do I start, should I talk about the weather, the good weather as well as the bad weather, or should I talk about the crazy; crazy; buzz that descends on Bushman’s in December.

Bushman’s village is transformed from a sleepy village to a vibrant holiday resort in a matter of days. Boats, holiday makers, home owners descend from far and wide to reach their little piece of paradise here in the Eastern Cape. I can remember when we first arrived in 2001, after a horrendous flight from London, we eventually arrived in Durban, and with just six hours sleep we started our drive down to Bushman’s. We hadn’t driven in SA since 1994 and then it was only in Cape Town, so it came as a bit of a shock some 11 hours later when we finally arrived at Hertzog Street in the heart of Bushman’s.

We were due to meet my future son in law’s parents for the first time, so I had brought along a bottle of 20-year old single malt whisky as we knew that he and his wife enjoyed a drop or two. Needless to say, by the end of the holiday we were hooked on Bushman’s, and some seventeen years later we are permanent residents in this beautiful piece of paradise.

The Bushman’s River Mouth Ratepayers Organisation, aka BRRAG, continues to play a big part by trying to maintain this village in a condition that befits its history. A history now enjoyed by my own grandchildren, and, hopefully will be for many more years to come.

Despite its best efforts the weather did not deter revellers from enjoying one or two events that took place over the holidays. The Big Float as it is known attracted numbers into the high hundreds, and has become a great event for certain age groups. The destination as the floaters set off from the mouth of the Kareiga River is the Horns Up. This event attracts people from both Bushman’s and Kenton.

The second event, although not popular with everyone, is welcoming in the New Year at the Bushman’s slipway and beach. Over the years we have seen many firework battles with those on the opposite beach in Kenton, and this year was no different. To some this event has become a traditional joyous friendly event with no trouble. This year I believe Kenton came second best in the firework display, but of course I am from Bushman’s.

Notes from the Chair

John Wesley

I had the pleasure of standing in for our past-Chairperson Sheila Swanepoel at the 2017 AGM not knowing this was a portend of things to come.  One of our stalwarts, Annabelle Northrop had indicated that, after many years of dedicated service, she had decided not to make herself available for re-election. Annabelle shouldered a big load the executive committee holding multiple portfolios at the same time, not least being minutes secretary and chief editor of the newsletter. We all, as members of BRRAG, owe Annabelle a great debt and thank her for her selfless service over the many years she served as a member of the Executive Committee.

Try as we might we were unable to get any new nominations to the committee and all the members who stood for re-elections were unanimously voted in.  This left us with one vacancy on the Committee.  Fortunately, the BRRAG Constitution allows for a person to be co-opted onto the Committee should a vacancy exist and Lötter Wepener was willing to step into the breech.  Lötter brings with him a vast experience of serving BRRAG as a past Chairperson and Committee member as well as having an expansive knowledge of all that make Bushman’s what it is. We are indeed grateful that Lötter is willing to travel down from Johannesburg to attend most of the Executive Committee meetings.

At the first Executive Committee meeting, Sheila announced her desire to not be nominated as Chairperson, a position in had generally been accepted as one she would continue in.  As members of BRRAG, we all understand the almost overwhelming load Sheila has borne in serving BRRAG, and the wider community for that matter.  We thank Sheila for her investment of time and effort in making Bushman’s the lovable place it is to all of us. Sheila, we all salute you!

However, Sheila is not totally lost to us. She will hold the portfolio of Municipal Liaison on the Executive Committee and guide the Chairperson through the many pitfalls of dealing with the municipal bureaucracy. So, thanks also to Sheila for still bearing a big load.

Thus, after the first meeting of the new Executive Committee, its membership is as follows:

  • Chairperson: John Wesley.
  • Vice Chairperson: Bill Northrop.
  • Treasurer: Gerald Schmidt
  • Members: Shelia Swanepoel, Corrie Swanepoel, Mike White, Jack Dell, Dalien Pachonick, Kevin Bates, Boet Minnaar, Neville Loader.
  • Co-opted committee member: LӧtterWepener.

The Committee’s broad goals for the year are to continue to invest in making Bushman’s a great place to, holiday and invest in.  To do this we are already making sure we hold the municipality to account to fulfil its legal obligations in maintaining and improving service delivery to all in our members and the wider community.

Finally, we wish to thank Jack Dell for undertaking the role as editor of the newsletter.  Jack is introducing some fresh ideas and we sincerely trust our readers will like them.  Please give Jack all your support and let him know how you experience the newsletter.

Community Fundraising Report

Jack Dell

Local residents had an early Christmas dinner held at the Tennis Clubhouse, an annual fundraising event, where the ladies provided a selection of individually made fresh salads and desserts and a glass (or two) of wine, there was a present from secret Santa, lots of Christmassy music and lots of laughter.

The BRRAG fundraising team set off the Festive season with their Christmas Craft Market which was held at the Tennis Courts on the 16th December. There were 35 stall holders in attendance selling a wide variety of items. Hot food was available and the pancakes, as usual, were in high demand, as were the Boerewors rolls, Curried mince filled Vetkoek, plus hot and cool drinks.

The local Fire Brigade and Father Christmas arrived (albeit late due to a real emergency on the Bushman’s bridge) but we did appreciate their effort, and those people that stayed behind got a big hug from Santa and were also allowed to get inside the fire engine, so a big thank you to Fire Chief Mervyn Sauls, members of Ndlambe fire department, and of course Santa.

Holiday makers may have noticed our drive to raise funds with the Bushman’s Community Christmas Raffle which was drawn at the BRRAG – AGM held on 27th December at the old Bushman’s Town Hall.  For those of you that took tickets, we thank you. There were three main prize winners who were as follows:

First Prize
Which was kindly donated by Sibuya Game Reserve.

Winner – Ticket No HH3 – Erna Van Staden (Cape Town)  

Second Prize
Which was kindly donated by BRRAG members

Winner – Ticket LL11 – Candis Swanepoel (Jo’burg)

Third PrizeWhich was kindly donated by a BRRAG member

Winner – Ticket No EE4 – Annabelle Northrop (Bushman’s)

Bushman’s River Mouth Ratepayers Organisation hope that you have enjoyed your holiday stay here in Bushman’s and we look forward to welcoming you back again.

Thank you for your support.

Best wishes from the fundraising team.

BRRAG is a non- profit organisation, and as so, all of the monies raised are used in the upkeep of Bushman’s River Mouth and Rivers Bend.

Seasonal Security Report

John Wesley Gerald Schmidt and Shelia Swanepoel Portfolio

There were only five reported incidents over the holiday period, of which four were prior to the 16th of December 2017 and the fifth incident resulted in the apprehension of the perpetrators and recovery of the stolen items. There were no serious incidents. We would stress the point that voluntary contributions from BRRAG members have again done the trick this Festive season.

Community Camera Fund

Gerald Schmidt

Four more cameras were installed in Riversbend and three in Boesmans at the end of 2017. Some people were not happy where the cameras were installed in Riversbend, as they wanted them near their property, but the sites were selected by Hi-Tec after consideration of factors such as the availability of electrical power and ambient light at night..

If residents want a camera at or near their property, they can get a few neighbours to share the cost of a camera and, if necessary, a power supply. Hi-Tec will install the camera in the street. The Camera Fund will, via Hi-Tec, monitor the camera as long as those residents contribute the current monthly charge of R30-00 to the Camera Fund.

Hi-Tec collects the funds for the Camera Fund by monthly debit order or annual invoice.

The Camera Fund Committee consists of a representative from Merryhill, Kenton, Boesmans, Riversbend, Chamber of Business and Hi-Tec. The fund has its own set of accounts and the committee meets monthly.

Please support this cause as the more funds received, means the more cameras and surveillance can be provided.

If you are not already contributing and want to, please contact Shelly at Hi-Tec (046 636 1660) or Gerald Schmidt (083 625 3764)

Membership

Membership is now due for the 2018 financial year. Membership is R300 per property. BRRAG is a Non-Profit Organisation, so we spend what we receive in the two areas.

Membership collected from Riversbend residents will be utilised in Riversbend and the likes for Boesmans.

The funds received are utilised for grass cutting, clearing litter dropped by individuals, road markings and signs and any maintenance that is necessary to keep the village in a clean state.

This is your village and your investment, so please help us to keep it clean by supporting us in our membership drive.

Funds can be banked at Standard Bank, A/c 281 116 393 with reference:  Mem/ your street name and number. Eg. Mem/21 Main

Refuse Removal

Bill Northrop

Please note that steps are being taken to get the municipality to remove the green refuse left by residents as the task is just too big for BRRAG.

Estuary Care, River, San Parks, and Beaches

Bill Northrop

For member’s information, Amatola management have supported our concern of the upwelling from the deep-down pipe on the desalination suction beach and are now, to my knowledge, fixing it. They will also realign the small water pipe which goes to the ablution block, so it is not an eye sore on the kiddies’ beach. An interesting bit of info that I have now picked up from Amatola, if true, is that due to the reshuffling of responsible authorities of late, the Estuary and the sea is no longer the responsibility of Dept Environmental Affairs and Tourism or Dept Fisheries and Agriculture and Forests, but now comes under Water affairs ! EVEN THE SEA!!  Is this a world -wide logic, I wonder? Amatola report to Water affairs now, to my knowledge. Addo National Park report to Amatola in that area according to the Manager of the desalination plant.

Community General Information

Bee aware!

Permanent residents and residents should be aware that there is a Bee’s nest in the tree at the garden of the junction of Main Street and Marais Street. Left alone the bees shouldn’t be a problem.

In The Doghouse

We all love our animals being with us for the Festive holidays, and they love being here with us. But this past festive season had seen an increase in anti- social canine behaviour which had become a problem for local residents, holiday- homeowners, and holidaymakers alike.

For the most part dogs don’t know any better. They will continue to bark and howl at everything and everyone that comes within two metres of their property.

But holiday makers, residents, joggers, visitors who just like to walk around the village shouldn’t have to put up with this behaviour, which is happening at all hour’s day or night. Dog owners should be made aware of this, and show more consideration for others and implement some control over their dog’s behaviour.

Dogs don’t wear watches or care what time it is, and when nature calls then needs must, and dogs do what they normally do, go for a walk with their beloved owners. But dogs don’t carry poo bags, but their owners can and should carry them when out with their dogs.

Scraping poo of your own and your children’s feet is neither, pleasant, or necessary, it is in fact unhygienic as well as unnecessary. If dog owners do the right thing and take responsibility for their animal’s anti–social behaviour, and take the poo home with them, then we wouldn’t have a problem and wouldn’t receive complaints. So be a good doggie owner and carry a poo bag.

Bushman’s Snippets

Cool Idea

Wasn’t it nice to see that a local family’s mother and daughter team had taken the initiative to supply Bushman’s residents and holiday makers with fresh ice creams during the holiday, at what was once the old Marais bottle store, well done long may it continue.

Availability of Committee members

Committee members are unpaid volunteers and as such cannot be available 24 hours a day. If you need to contact a committee member then please do it between 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday, unless it is a genuine emergency.

Newsletter Distribution

Please note that the January 2018 News Letter will be sent to all BRRAG members and that only paid up BRRAG members will receive further monthly Newsletters.