From the Editor’s Desk
Welcome to the third Newsletter of the year.
So what’s been happening in Bushman’s since the beginning of April to the end of May. That was the question that I had put to me by my friends and family in Durban North and Ballito (all of whom love holidaying in Bushman’s). Well, I replied, let me gather my thoughts and I will tell you. No sooner had we recovered from the Easter break, when we found ourselves in an extended weekend break, starting on Freedom Day, and ending on Workers Day, so it appeared that a lot of people had taken an extra day and succeeded in making it a full five day break, so our little village was still quite busy. The Bushman’s river once again came to life with boats being launched and canoes being paddled up and down the river, and beach-walking to Kwaaihoek which is always part of a holiday in Bushman’s amongst other things.
We have a new resident in Bushman’s River Mouth, she’s been here for just five weeks, you may have seen her walking the streets, she’s also very cute, lovely face, full of fun, and she likes to be called Honey. Okay fellas, don’t get carried away, it’s Corrie Swanepoel’s new guide dog. Honeyh So please drive carefully around the roads next time you’re in town, and watch out for speed signs, and for Honey.
On the left is Guide dog Honey on the right is Corrie with Honey’s trainer. Senior Guide Dog Mobility Instructor Permit Mncube and Honey.
Community Month – end Braai
Our month end Community braais have always been worthwhile, whether they attract 15- 20- 30 people or more, it doesn’t matter one iota. From the outset, it was intended to make residents and holiday home owners, feel welcome and to join in with the community here in Bushman’s Old Village and Riversbend. It’s a great way to meet people and all you need to do is bring along your meat and your drink and leave the rest to us. We also have special month end braai fundraising events, such as Father’s Day on a Sunday, Soup and Sherry nights, and more. Every alternate month we have the 100 club draw which is a fund raiser with prizes, and the winners of the 100 Club draw which was drawn on Friday the 27th of April were: 1st prize- Mark JP’s friend; 2nd prize John Wesley; 3rd prize Andrew Murray; 4th Prize Roy Somers and attendance prize Theresa Schmidt. If you aren’t in the 100 club but would like to be, you will need to contact Gerald Schmidt at cell number 083 625 3764.
But we weren’t ready to throw in the towel. We carried on, and to our utter amazement, we could see our foolhardy; but wonderful residents; battling the elements to reach the clubhouse. They came with their food and drink, they brought lanterns, and we even managed to have music, in what turned out to be an exceptional night under very trying conditions. We even managed to carry out the 100 Club draw of which 1st Prize went to Mike White, 2nd to Marietjie Marais, 3rd to Andrew Murry, 4th to Anton Mclean, 5th (attendance) Corrie Swanepoel. So, thank you, to those who braved the elements and made it such a fun evening. Our next month end braai night will be on Friday April 27th, 2018 at 6pm.
Notes from the Chair
Since the latter part of March much of our time has been taken up with the Ndlambe budgeting process. At a personal level it was both challenging and insightful. Thankfully, BRRAG is a member of the Ndlambe Ratepayers’ Form (NRF). The NRF lead the process of reviewing the proposed budget and provide inputs into the budgetary process on behalf of all member ratepayer-organisations like BRRAG in Ndlambe. Our sincere thanks to the “old hands” on the NRF leadership, who are very familiar with the process, for taking us through the budget and bringing pressure to bear on the municipality to keep rising costs in check. As with all such processes, the NRF could not get everything the residents would have wished for. On the other hand, without their extremely hard work and persistent engagement with the municipal officials, we as ordinary ratepayers would have been faced with unaffordably high increases.
Not being familiar with the annual Integrated Development Plan and Budget cycle, forced me as Chair to do some “home study” as to how this is supposed to work. What surprised me was how well thought out the actual process stipulated by treasury, is. Also, the role we as ordinary citizens can play to ensure local government works for us, is well set out. Without going into detail, the role of an organisation like BRRAG should entail determining the “need and wants” of its members for inclusion into the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) which is a 5-year rolling strategy. The IDP must reflect all the “needs and wants” of the community, whether these have been financed or not. The next step is to ensure that our community gets its fair share of the Budget which has a 3-year rolling cycle. Next, the municipality produces an annual Service Delivery and Budget Implementation Plan (SDIB) based on the approved budget. BRRAG should then, via Ward Committee, be able monitor progress on service delivery and planned projects for the community. BRRAG will be engaging the municipality to ensure that the SDBIP becomes readily available as a public document and we will be holding the municipality accountable for service delivery and community projects due to our community.
The 2018/19 Budget served before the Ndlambe Town Council on 28 June 2018 and the following was approved:
- The Draft IDP and Tabled Budget.
- An increase of 9% for rates and water
- An increase of 5.5% for sanitation and sewerage
- An increase of 5.5% for miscellaneous tariffs as set out in the budget.
- An increase of 6,84% for electricity at as per NERSA guideline (Note: Bushman’s residents pay directly to Eskom and we can expect a similar increase there)
While the above is not good news, and the NRF strongly objected to the 9% rates and water increase, we need to start gearing ourselves for the next IDP and budget cycle which already starts in August. The first task of BRRAG is to start preparing for the IDP inputs. The following projects were identified for this 2018 edition of the IDP, however, most of them did not appear in the current IDP and will again be submitted for the next planning cycle:
- Replacement of gabion erosion protection wall below Ocean View Drive
- Repair and resurfacing of the streets
- Reconstruction of the gravel access road / tow path below the River St homes
- Storm water drainage improvements
- Replacement of old road signs
- Beach ablution block conservancy tank upgrade
- A sewage pumping station, a large conservancy tank and a sewer pipeline from the houses along the Bushmans River below River Road
- Additional fire hydrants
- Additional streets lights
Please advise of any further issues that need to be addressed in the IDP at your earliest convenience by emailing us at email@example.com.
Till next time, please be assured that BRRAG is doing its utmost to ensure that we keep our members hopes and wishes for a better Bushman’s Old Village and Riversbend alive.
Community Fundraising Report
At this time in the year, fundraising is all about preparation. Our next Craft Market is still quite a while away yet, but we are always happy for people to donate items to the Ratepayer’s white Elephant stall, which is a great help with fundraising. So, just give us a call if you have anything that you no longer want or need and we will be happy to come and collect from you. Cell 079 829 2698.
If you are in town on Friday 27 July, we are having our Soup & Sherry evening. You can enjoy a variety of homemade soups, artisan breads, and drink as much sherry as you want. All proceeds go to Bushman’s Ratepayers for use in the upkeep of the village. Cost is R45/person.
Seasonal Security Report
After a quiet start to the year, there was a flare up of criminal activities from the end of April and ran through to June. Some increase in criminal activity had been anticipated as several jailed offenders had been granted parole and were known to be back in the area. One very serious crime of aggravated robbery occurred where the home owner was attacked with a hammer and knocked unconscious. A cell phone and firearms were stolen. For the rest 8 cases of theft of copper pipes and brass fittings were reported. However, on 15 June three suspects were spotted by community members and apprehended by Hi-Tec. The suspects had a large amount of copper pipes and fittings in their possession. Unfortunately, one suspect managed to escape before the SAPS took them into custody. The SAPS have identified the escapee and he will be arrested in due course. The apprehended suspects also pointed out who the dealer was who was buying the stolen goods from them. As the SAPS could not find any proof of stolen goods in the person’s possession, they could not charge the suspected dealer. The outcome, however, was that the copper theft has seemingly stopped.
Other incidents include house vandalism, where a door was broken but nothing stolen; a burglary where intruder entered a house while the occupants were inside and stole jewelry and cell phones; 2 cases of theft from yards at night when in one case braai equipment and garden boots were stolen and in the other case 2 bicycles were stolen.
Lastly a Bushman’s resident had his car’s remote central locking system jammed while exiting his parked car outside the Spar in Kenton and an iPad was stolen from the car. Fortunately, the transgressor was caught, and the iPad returned to its owner.
The crime is again expected to decrease as the SAPS have made numerous arrests thus removed these known criminals from the area and all resident will again be secure in their homes.
CPF Executive Meeting
The Community Policing Forum (CPF) Executive Meeting took place on Tuesday the 8th June and was well attended. Bill Northrop chaired the meeting in the absence of the Chairman.
Captain Canon, the previous station commander has been promoted, and transferred to Nemato in Port Alfred. WO Parkinson took as acting Station Commander in conjunction with WO Laubscher as the Crime Intelligence Commander.
The lack of good lighting in the streets is thought to be a contributor to the mugging incidents, that in turn are suspected to be drug related. The SAPS will prepare a list of affected areas for communication to the Municipality.
The police have been put in charge of the stray cattle problem with back up from the Ndlambe Fire Brigade in the event of an accident. Please phone the relevant Police Station in which the incident occurred, and they will contact the Fire Brigade if necessary. A compound is needed to secure the cattle until the owner is found.
The next CPF meeting will plan an open meeting for the Wards to follow soon afterwards.
COMMUNITY SECURITY CAMERA FUND (REMINDER)
In 2010, after the very sad attempted robbery and murder of a citizen of Kenton on Sea, a proposal was put forward to erect and monitor security cameras within the Village. A committee was formed, chaired by Jeremy Turner, and comprising Hi-Tec Coastal Security and members representing residents and homeowners.
The aim of the committee is to supply, erect, monitor and maintain security cameras throughout the residential and business areas. The fund was specifically designed to offer security benefits to all residents and businesses and is to be privately financed.
In 2010, an amount of R15.00 per month per home owner (or house lessee) was initially decided upon. However, as from 1 January 2018 this contribution, which has been in effect for 8 years, has been increased to R30.00/month. All residents and homeowners are encouraged to contribute to the fund. Invoices and debit orders are controlled by Hi-Tec on behalf of the Fund and the proceeds banked separately into the Camera Fund bank account. Financials are kept and are reviewed by an auditor. The cameras are monitored continuously round the clock and this, together with all footage being recorded, has become invaluable in combatting and preventing crime. It is further noted that the mere presence of the cameras is a deterrent to would be criminals. Statistics are available showing the effectiveness of the cameras.
The camera fund committee meets on a monthly basis and makes decisions as to where cameras are needed, the type of cameras dependent on the financial availability/requirements. Currently there are 76 security cameras installed throughout the Kenton, Boesmans, Riversbend and Merry Hill areas which are being monitored and maintained by Hi-Tec. With this substantial number of cameras to monitor, it became abundantly clear that, to be effective, a full time dedicated team was required to monitor the cameras. This came into effect as from 1 November 2017. This comes at a cost which, together with the increase of costs to supply and maintain the cameras, requires additional funding. Please note that cameras are erected in areas that benefit all private individuals as well as businesses and are funded by the Camera Fund. The fund will, however, install and monitor cameras in specific areas for individuals and businesses on request. In these cases, the cost of supply and erection is to be borne by the specific individual/s or business. To meet the increased costs, we have been forced to increase the private individuals’ monthly amount to R30.00/month (as stated above). Further we are currently negotiating with the Chamber of Business to enable us to come to an agreement on costs liable by their members.
Once again, we wish to reiterate that, it has been proven that this project is invaluable in assisting the combating of crime and we thus urge all community members to support this project. You might not need the information camera now, but what about in the future?
Camera Fund Committee
The Camera Fund Committee is currently as follows:
|Mike Peter||Chairman||082 550 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Esté Franz||Secretary/Rivers Bend||084 507 email@example.com|
|Gerald Schmidt||Treasurer/BRRAG||083 625 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Andrew Warren||Chamber of Business||082 398 email@example.com|
|Andrew de Jager||KOSRA||071 136 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Mike Sparg||Merry Hill Estate||084 586 email@example.com|
|Andrew Butters||Hi Tec||082 652 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|André Wille||Hi Tec||083 277 email@example.com|
|Chris Barnard||Hi Tec||071 897 firstname.lastname@example.org|
If you are not already contributing and want to, please contact Sherry at Hi-Tec (046 636 1660) or Gerald Schmidt (083 625 3764)
Please note that membership fees of R300 can be deposited at Standard Bank, A/c 281 116 393 with reference: Mem/ your street number and street name; e.g. Mem/21 Main.
Estuary Care, River, San Parks, and Beaches
First important notice is that one of the boat businesses has volunteered to take over the responsibility for the floating Rock warning sign up the Bushman’s River which has drifted away from the rocks just downstream of the Marina chalet. Estuary Care has agreed to fund the restoration work upon receiving a quote.
The plastic refuse situation seems to be a bit better, but under-water surveys are needed to ascertain the state of the Estuary bottom.
At the Estuary Care meeting on 8th Feb it was proposed that Estuary Care should promote the use of separate public bins for collection of recyclable material. The proposer of the idea reported that he now considered this idea premature since the whole recycling system needed to be running well and the public educated before such a scheme had a hope of success. Recycling would remain a top priority for Estuary Care especially in discussions with Ndlambe officials. This approach is ongoing.
It was reported that the management of rubbish disposal and recycling remained a major concern in the control of pollution in the area. The member involved with waste disposal advised that he would be forwarding the latest response from Ndlambe to the case regarding pollution and waste disposal brought against them by KOSRA, Estuary Care and Nature’s Landing to all Estuary Care members. He asked that additional members become familiar with the issues involved.
Actions outstanding but not discussed at the meeting are:
- A follow up to Dennis Laubscher’s article on the Marselle sewage works concerning its efficacy and reduction in the number of sewage ponds.
- A campaign to bring pressure on householders situated on the banks of the estuaries to install grey water systems to lessen the load on septic tanks and so lessen the ooze in the estuaries especially over the holiday periods.
- The waste collection iron basket has been very nicely repaired by the Sandbar Restaurant who have secured the lid with locks. This appears to have solved the problem of litter being scattered by people looking for food.
Gabion Basket Wall and Amatola Water Board
The gabion wall future appears to relate to the long-term water delivery planning.
A plan was being formulated to extend the reverse osmosis plant from a capacity of 1.2 megalitres to 5 megalitres in order to assist with water scarcity problems in areas such as Boknes, Cannon Rocks and Alexandria. This would require that brine formed during the purification process, be pumped out to sea.
Estuary Care will continue to monitor developments.
It was noted that if no maintenance is done on the Gabion basket wall, it would collapse with boulders being strewn on the estuary bed. The loss of the wall would lead to the destruction of the Boesmans community swimming beach on the banks of the estuary. This would have a significant down side effect on the community.
An Estuary Care member confirmed that he had examined the structure and agreed that to repair or reconstruct the wall would be a major undertaking.
News from Riversbend
Dalien & Kevin
The amount of recycled waste outside of the recycling yard of Iwars in the Industrial area of Riversbend needs urgent attention. Mike Price, the owner of Iwars is to be contacted.
There are still outstanding issues regarding potholes, and storm water drains, which the Municipality has yet to attend to. A quote is being sought for the removal of the illegally dumped garden refuses in 2nd Avenue.
Recent communication between BRRAG and Ndlambe municipality, regarding various problems, may at last be bearing fruit, as some of the verges have been cut by the municipality, and what a difference this has made.
Kevin has commenced with the spraying of the invasive vegetation.
The vandalized road signs for both 1st Avenue & Industrial Rd have been renewed and are back in place at the entrance to Riversbend. If you see an act of vandalism, please contact the police. These senseless acts are not only destructive, but are also costly to replace.
We all know crime has been on the increase everywhere, and we are no exception.
Please be careful and vigilant. Secure your doors 24/7/365.
Community General Information
Suburban Wild Life
Yipes! Did one Bushman’s resident get a shock when he came home to find a Monitor Lizard and his Jack Russell each holding onto each other’s leg. Dog owner Mike Bowen arrived home to find a squatter in his garden, which his Jack Russell took exception too. The two were finally separated, but the Monitor Lizard decided to stay and reside in Mike’s garden pond. Eventually the Rock Monitor was evicted from its new home and relocated to a safer area.
The Rock Monitor (Varantus albigularis) is a species of monitor lizard found in Central, East and Southern Africa, it is the second longest lizard found on the continent and is the heaviest bodied.
Four Star Service
Congratulations are in order for Bushman’s very own Fat Fish B&B, which is run by Linda and Neville Loader. Their B&B has been awarded a four star rating by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa. This puts their B&B and Bushman’s River Mouth firmly on the tourist map.
On the Roads – Motoring
New road signs have been painted onto the road surfaces in certain areas of Bushman’s giving clear indication to motorists to be aware of their speed whilst driving.
Bushman’s Tennis Courts
The Bushman’s River Ratepayers Organisation would like to make it known that the Tennis Courts, and Clubhouse, are leased to them from the Ndlambe Municipality, and this lease has to be paid for, and it is paid for by BRRAG. The responsibility for the up-keep of both tennis courts and the surrounding grass areas also has to be paid for.
As such the use of the tennis courts are not payment free. They are pay to play courts. To play on either of the courts a minimum payment of R20 per court per hour is required. Children must be accompanied by an adult to play on the courts. Payments should be made via the honesty box attached to the clubhouse wall, and herein lays the problem. Over the last two years, most users of the tennis courts have abused the honesty box system, and the amount received by those who do pay; (and we thank those people for their honesty) barely covered the net repairs, and maintenance that were carried out last year. The accumulative fundraising for the upkeep of the tennis courts to date amounts to R6,000 most of which has been raised by events held at the tennis club and not from payments for the use of the tennis courts.
In the near future new notices will be erected so as to inform players of the conditions of use, and payment procedures. In the meantime, please continue using the honesty box for payment when playing on the courts.