Summer is now coming to an end, the nights are again cooler, and the sun sets a little later, but still very little rain. Last year we thought 25mm was a reasonable rainfall measurement, now we are getting excited at 5mm, and accepting 2mm as reasonable and a norm. On the night of the 23rd we finally had rain all night, with 20mm recorded, great excitement!
Life in Bushmans has again settled down to its normal, quiet state, we are now looking forward to Easter and the influx of our visitors
RIVERSBEND – Dalien
It is hard to believe that the first three months of 2017 are virtually history and before we know its Easter, and then…………….Christmas again.
Welcome to Kevin Bates, River’s Bend own horticulturist who has joined the BRRAG Committee. There are now two permanent members of the BRRAG Committee representing Riversbend.
It was very obvious during the festive season that some residents showed very little respect for the efforts that get put in to our village, the sabotaging of three of the seven sets of Christmas lights, the removing of street signs, unhappiness expressed with regard to the infrastructure efforts, and the dumping of builder’s rubble. We all know the closing of the dumping site has presented a huge problem, but that doesn’t give the individual the green light to dump any and all kinds of refuse such as garden, household or builders rubble on any vacant property, whether it belongs to the property owner or not. For those who have forgotten, two black bags of garden refuse per house hold per week is collected by Community Protection Services, and branches can be taken past Build It on Industria Road, where it will be fed through a chipper for free providing you take your own labour to offload.
Although time isn’t waiting for us, certain projects just seem to get going very slowly. Excuses regarding our infrastructure, the removal of debris and builders rubble are a huge problem in River’s Bend and we are afraid the responsible officials are lacking interest in our problems. Anyway we will keep trying, otherwise either we live with it, or take action and get up and do it ourselves. BUT after many consultations, we finally won the battle to have a speed hump erected in 3rd Avenue.
A fair number of our residents and their dog(s) are going for their daily walk about. What are the chances of you taking a plastic bag and picking up a piece of paper or bottle or two and deposit in your refuse bag at home? Or, when we mow our pavements, an extra ten minutes to tidy up the pavement next to ours? It will surely make a difference to our own property which we all take pride in, or suppose too, not to mention our village.
Thank you for the support of those residents who joined BRRAG as well as the “old” members who have been paying their membership fees. We really call on those who have not joined or paid as yet, to please come forward and help us. Thank you very much for the donations received from Riversbend home owners, this will be of great assistance and are used solely for the cost of the village maintenance. Rest assured the revenue generated from membership fees and donations from Riversbend are ring fenced, and always get ploughed back into our area. Membership details are at the bottom of this letter.
FUNDRAISING – Jack
A friendly reminder and invite to the month end “community braai” at the tennis courts. Come and join us with your basket filled with your choice of eats and drinks and our own Africa smell of thorn wood fires, supplied by BRRAG, filling the air from 18h00h.
As is usual we will be looking for volunteers on the 15th April at our Craft Market, please let Jack know if you or anyone else can lend a hand, it will be much appreciated.
ESTUARY CARE, RIVER, SAN-PARKS AND BEACHES – Bill
Containers for stray fishing lines and hooks have been put up at the slipway and will be cleared regularly by the Estuary Care helper.
The details of the new extended regulations pertaining to mooring boats on the river is to be drawn up by Willem Nel with the help of a boating committee, yet to be established. Estuary Care has declared their willingness to draw up a boat owner’s database so that boat owners can be informed directly of the necessary regulations. But, to date, no information has been forthcoming and BRRAG has already received enquiries from boat owners asking for the new rules and regulations.
The tow path still appears to still be in a dangerous condition for the sewage lorry to negotiate, although makeshift repairs have been undertaken. The situation needs to be addressed by the relevant authorities, i.e. Community Protection Services and has been placed on the Integrated Development Plan for attention and action.
Clean-ups of trash in Rivers Bend, below the West drainage line into the estuary, are in progress with the help of the Estuary Care workman, on a bi weekly basis, when the Estuary Care staff is available. The refuse is then transported to the IWARS waste recycling center. The litter problem seems to be escalating around the Sandbar and will hopefully be tabled for discussion at the Community Police Forum or the War Room Forum, and it is felt that education is the key to solving the problem The long grass on the tow path and river path is being cut by a weed eater loaned by Estuary Care.
The missing channel markers with the round NO WAKE signs will be replaced as soon as staff becomes available for the pumping team later on in the year.
FIRE FIGHTING – Bill
The clearing of vegetation threatening the fence on the Southern boundary will be brought to the attention of Addo Park by Mervyn Saul, the Ndlambe Fire Chief, who has been sent pictures and locations of problem areas. This is becoming urgent in view of the exceedingly dry weather we are experiencing. These localities are difficult to reach in the event of bush fires and hence it is urgent to upgrade the fire break. The fire trailer’s hoses have been augmented by 50 meters of green 32 mm hosing with “quick” clip-on joiners and is located on top of the trailer tank. Volunteers accessing the trailer have been asked to remove the pipe and carry it in their vehicle when travelling to the site of the fire. Approximately 100 meters of heavy duty garden hose are also available for accessing bush fires in thick bush. Appropriate protective clothing has again been requested from Ndlambe Fire Department for use by Bushmans volunteer fire fighting team.
There have been some severe thunderstorms recently, and during the evening of the 23rd an Eskom pole in Kenton was struck by lightning, resulting in a live wire hitting a house nearby, setting off a fire. Our volunteer firefighting team was called out, but fortunately the home owner had a large fire extinguisher on the property, and they were able to stop the electric fire before it could spread. We would strongly advise all home owners to have fire extinguishers on their premises, and to ensure that they are refilled on a regular basis. BRRAG can be contacted should you need to know any information in this regard.
SECURITY – John
The Committee unanimously agreed that security of the village is the number one priority. A competent staff member of Hi-Tec has been engaged, on a part time basis, to maintain those sections of the perimeter electric fence under the control of BRRAG and which protect the extremities of our village. Hi-Tec supported this suggestion and will help with the oversight of the maintenance practices. The final contract with the person and BRRAG is currently being drawn up. We believe that this money will be well spent as the protection of our village is of paramount importance and portions of the original fences are badly in need of repair/replacement. All donations to support this security iniative will be very well received as this expenditure places an additional burden on our already stretched funds.
Residents are again requested to ensure that their properties as secure as possible. The type of break-ins that occasionally occur appear to be opportunistic and of a minor nature. There is however, a concern that organised criminals are starting to target smaller communities and residents are requested to keep a discreet look-out for suspicious vehicles and persons moving about the area. And above all, look after your personal safety!
REPORT BACK ON SEASONAL PLANNING – Sheila, Bill
There was a report back session, called by the Municipality, at which affected parties were able to table their experiences of the 2016 season and suggest further items for planning for the 2017 Festive season. For example items discussed included ensuring a regular water supply to all areas in the Municipality, functioning sewage trucks, portable toilets, collection of refuse in public places, on beaches and in car parks. Drinking in public was a huge challenge. The severe challenges over the holiday season were mainly confined to Port Alfred and Kenton, particularly the Blue Flag Beach areas. The number of visitors to these areas far outweighed the ability of the municipal services to effectively cope with the mountains of refuse and they often worked through the night to ensure the opening of the Blue Flag beaches the following day. BRRAG thanked the municipality for providing life guards for the high season week on the river swimming beach. BRRAG also reported that an attendant had been employed, at their cost, for the holiday season to ensure the slipway and dune ablutions were maintained in a clean manner. Another person had been employed to clean the beach every morning before the visitors began arriving and there was a permanent person collecting refuse on the slipway beach and the slipway car park areas between 8.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. The honey sucker had been ordered once a week during season to empty the ablution tanks and mostly adhered to the arrangements. No formal complaints had been lodged in Bushmans River Mouth and many compliments regarding the condition of the ablutions and the cleanliness of the beach were received from both visitors and local residents.
TENNIS COURT MAINTENANCE APPEAL
The wire at the bottom of the tennis courts is starting to lift up, and we are appealing for donations to go towards getting the fencing repaired, as it is very frustrating for tennis players to have to keep going out of the courts to retrieve their errant tennis balls. Any donations can be deposited in our account, (see below), with the reference Your Name/Tennis. It is unfortunate that the Honesty Box method of obtaining payment for the use of the courts is proving to be not particularly effective.
A telephone call was received informing us that the jetty was about to float away resulting from the strong current caused by the spring tide. Bill immediately went and did a quick repair job that same evening. Subsequently, he and the Estuary Care worker have undertaken a repair job on the jetty. Bill reported the matter to Estuary Care, who originally built the jetty, but the person who initially offered to undertake the repair was too busy to do anything and, as always, Bill stepped in and saved the day. Bill feels that the jetty should hold for maybe another year or so and will then need to be replaced. Our thanks to Bill for saving the day and the jetty! Can we ask everyone to be respectful of the jetty, it is not built as an entertainment area, and cannot take people deliberately rocking it or otherwise playing on and abusing it – neither was it made for permanent mooring. We believe that the formation of the Boating Committee is of paramount importance and would strongly encourage interested boat owners to contact the Director, Community Protection Services, Acting Director, F. Fouche, email email@example.com or Willem Nel at firstname.lastname@example.org who is ultimately responsible for coordinating this initiative.
To those that still are owing their 2017 subs of R300.00, can we please ask you to pay them now, the details are BRRAG, Standard Bank, Branch Code: 051117 Account: 281116393 with Reference: Mem/Your Name/address . e.g. Mem/AN Other/24 Main. You can also email the details of deposits to the email address in the letterhead – email@example.com . Please be assured that all donations and subscriptions received from home owners and visitors to Bushmans are used exclusively for the maintenance and upgrade of the village.
MTN have been in contact with BRRAG, replying to the letters and emails written to them to complain about the unbearable noise emanating from the generators which were placed on Amatola Water Board land adjoining the tanks on the top of the dunes during the Christmas season. We have been informed by MTN that they are proposing a different and quieter type of generator to be placed in that area for signal boosting for the Easter holiday. In the future they are proposing the erection of a permanent mast in that area to serve MTN clients. BRRAG is in the process of setting up a meeting between them and a representative from MTN to resolve the matter. Comments from anyone regarding this proposal are sought from affected parties as a matter of urgency. Please email them directly to Sheila at – firstname.lastname@example.org.
We received very good news that the Municipality had extended our lease of the Tennis Club for a further four years. The lease has been signed and the terms and conditions under which it was originally leased remain the same except that when this term expires, BRRAG will have to formally apply for a new lease. We would not be able to continue with the car boot sales and craft markets without the use of this building so we were all thrilled when our lease was granted, signed and sealed!
The trailer can be hired at R50 a load or R150 per day, for green refuse to be taken to the chipping area only. Those without a suitable vehicle can, by prior arrangement, have a BRRAG member assist with the towing for an additional R20.00. For hire you can contact Annabelle on 082 552-3750.
We hope you find this interesting. If you have any comments or wish to contact us please do so through our email site, email@example.com.
Regards – The BRRAG Team