The Christmas season is fast approaching, and we, the BRRAG committee members, are starting the preparations that enable our holiday makers to have a great time. River and street signs are being refurbished, due to the double whammy of storms and vandalism there are unfortunately a lot of repairs to be undertaken. The holiday security staff and cleaner have been sourced, the Christmas lights are being checked, (sadly the ropes do not have a long life, so have to be replaced on a regular basis), and it is all hands on deck.

Some potholes have been repaired and a little patching has been undertaken by the Municipality, but the sooner the holes are filled, it rains, then the filling pops out again so we are back to square one!

FUNDRAISING – Jack’s Portfolio

We ended the month with our Craft Market & Car Boot sale which was held on Saturday the 30th September at the Tennis courts in Bushman’s Village. The weather forecast was quite gloomy in the lead up to that Saturday, so it was a big relief at 6.30am to see the sun rising, and the wind lessening.

The event was well attended by Crafters & Car boot seller’s alike making a total of 26 stalls in all, which, for this time of the year, was very good. Attendance on the ground was reasonably good and people were enjoying our hot food and drinks, which were being served at the clubhouse throughout the morning.

We, the ratepayer’s committee members and volunteers alike, give up our time freely in order that we can raise funds for the upkeep of Bushman’s and Rivers bend. All of the funds raised from these events throughout the year get ploughed back into both of these areas. So we would like to say thank you to all of the residents, past and present, who kindly gave us items to sell at our own White Elephant stall, which, together with those volunteers who donate the food stuffs for the pancakes, as well as cook them, raise valuable funds, on a continuing basis, that help maintain our beautiful village. Special thanks must go to Theresa Schmidt, Janet Dell, Michelle Loubscher, Irena and Felicity (for making and flipping pancakes as well as serving beverages), Margaret Wesley (who runs the White Elephant stall), Gerald Schmidt, Mike White and John Wesley (who are the braai masters and produce a constant flow of boerwoers rolls from the braai), Annabelle Northrop and Shelia Swanepoel (for selling tickets for food and drinks and collecting money from, and assisting, the stall holders).

If any persons wish to donate items for our forthcoming Christmas Craft Market, which will be held on the 16th December, then please contact us, we will be only too willing to collect from you. You can contact via our website or call Jack directly on 079 829 2698.

Community Interaction On Friday the 27th October we are having our Halloween Braai at the tennis club house in Bushman’s. So dress up, come along, and have a fun evening with the local residents. Prizes for the worst dressed male and female. (This evening will also including the 100 club prize draw).

RIVERSBEND - Dalien and Kevin’s Portfolio

A quote from their September and October reports:

“Frustrations are not only part of our lives, meaning the Riversbend residents, but some of the Ndlambe officials are feeling the same. We must understand the ordering and supplying of materials is going through the Port Alfred office. Continuous attempts are ongoing; the unfinished water connections in Coetzer Crescent are typical examples. Official correspondence regarding the complaint was physically handed in at the relevant Deputy Director’s office in P A. This is the procedure for all correspondence.

We can look forward to some road repairs and painting of centre lines and speed humps in the near future. An attempt at filling pot holes throughout the village took place, although some need to be re-done as soon as the weather permits. The painting of the centre lines and speed breakers also depends on the weather conditions; I have been told by the responsible official that the materials have arrived.

As soon as the BRRAG trailer is available, Kevin will remove the debris after tiding up some more trees in 2nd Avenue.

On this subject, isn’t there a resident with a fairly big strong trailer or truck and who’s got the labour to help with the carting away of debris to Alexandria? A quote will be required. Our suburb has really become so unsightly because of residents who just dump their garden refuse illegally on vacant plots. Unfortunately the BRRAG trailer is not suitable for the purpose of carting builders’ rubble.

Promises were made to clean up the ‘vlei land’ in Industrial Road. A visit to the sorters on site was not the best experience. The conditions under which the sorting of the recycled items is done, is to say the least, shocking.

Thanks and appreciation to the resident, who was responsible for the cleaning up (not by the Municipality) of a blocked storm water drain in 5th Avenue. A big thanks to Hi-Tec Security and SAPS for their ongoing hard work. Their success in arresting some of the intruders is much appreciated. The last few weeks have been very quiet. From Riversbend side, congrats to Jack Dell and his team for the very successful craft market held at the end of September.

With the silly season upon us, and those who prefer the quiet time, make good use of it while it still lasts.”

ESTUARY CARE, RIVER, SAN-PARKS AND BEACHES – Bill’s Portfolio

New channel marker boards have been made for the Bushmans funded by Estuary care. Thanks must be recorded to Leon Schmidt for the green reflective material and to Jack for cutting the boards. These will be installed closer to Christmas, as the recent weather could still change the sandbanks etc. Johan Smuts has again kindly volunteered his boat or a replacement to install the markers on the Bushmans, many thanks Johan.

.The receptacle for placing old fishing tackle has been re-erected at the beach car park, as has the Seal Pup notice. The notices which accompany the Jetty are also ready for installation. The ablution block near the sea is being undermined and it is thought that temporary repairs by the Municipality, could keep it going for another year.

We have had only one large buoy donated – thanks to Koos Kooi, please keep an eye out for any, there is no budget to purchase them, and they are really needed. Please contact Annabelle or Bill if you can help.

FIRE FIGHTING – Bill’s Portfolio

Probably due to the reasonable rainfall we have had no bush fires in the vicinity for a while. Ndlambe Fire Department recently came and ran a basic firefighting course for seven Bushmans’ volunteer firefighters, four of them being Hi-Tec employees, with another training session to be arranged with more of the Hi-Tec staff attending, this will be a great benefit for our area.

SECURITY – John’s Portfolio

  1. Community Policing Reporting Period 12 September to 12 October 2017 The Chair of the Sub-Committee for Security continues to attend the meetings held at the SAPS station Kenton-On-Sea every Thursday morning. Of particular concern has been the rising number of house crimes; namely burglaries and armed robberies; in the area. After a lull in September there was a spike in early October in 3 house burglaries, 1 theft of property and one business burglary. The common trait with house robberies or theft was that either no alarm systems were present or, if present, were not set. Community members are again reminded that it is of the utmost importance that the SAPS be alerted as soon as possible. If members are connected to Hi Tec then the alarm or panic button will activate Hi Tec, who in turn will notify the SAPS. However, by additionally using the Link channel BRM Security, members of the SAPS who are already connected to Link will instantly be notified and will ensure the quickest possible response from the SAPS. It needs to be emphasised that the SAPS are serious in tackling the crime in the area and in safeguarding the members of the community. However, they need the correct support from community members if we are jointly going to succeed in this. All crimes, no matter how small, must be reported to the Police Station, as it will then give the correct statistics, which are necessary to provide the funding required for our area.

  2. BRM Security Channel Membership of the BRM Security channel is slowly growing and the total membership is now at 75 members. Although this remains a relatively poor response considering the number of BRRAG members, let alone the entire population of the community, recent events have led to more sign ups. With the SAPS buy-in, the Link channel will be far superior means of reporting crime to the current WhatsApp channel. BRRAG will continue with its drive to get BRRAG members and non-members in the community to join the channel.

  3. Security Fences The upkeep of the security fences is progressing well. All areas under the BRRAG responsibility have been cleared and some additional areas like parts of the R72 have also been cleared.

  4. Appeal to Members Members are reminded of the voluntary contributions for the additional guards to be deployed during the December/January holiday season. Letters have been sent to all members giving details of the deployment of guards. Please support this initiative. All community members are again sincerely requested to assist with the security drive. What the SAPS needs is “eyes in the community” that can report suspicious activity or provide additional information when actual crime incidents take place. The BRM Security Channel on the Link app provides this. So the appeal remains: - PLEASE HELP THOSE WHO CAN HELP YOU WHEN YOU NEED THEIR HELP. Please sign up to Link and join the BRM Security Channel. If all goes well, you will never need it. However, the time may come when it can save a life.

VILLAGE MAINTENANCE - Corrie’s portfolio with Peggy the Guide Dog.

The majority of the speed humps have been repainted, the side drains cleared and most of the center lines have had a coat of paint. The overhanging trees have been cut and trimmed and then carted away by Bill and the assistants. Thank you Bill, you are always very willing to help keep the village neat and tidy. The rain and dampness has hampered the grass cutting program as well as the painting schedule, but the village is still looking cared for and beautiful. And we desperately need the rain so we must not complain! A big thank you must go to Mike White who repaired the damage at the slipway caused by the equinox tides. The Skinner Boom paving, the sea beach wall and the disabled access to the beach were all damaged but have now been reinstated.

BEACH CAR PARK

In 2015 a project was initiated to pave the car park at the sea-beach. Once progressing into the project, we found out that the beach car park actually falls within the SANParks boundaries, and we therefore had to obtain their permission before we could start the work. We immediately contacted SANParks Head Office and were advised that the permission had to come from the Addo Manager, under whose jurisdiction this area falls. After many letters and telephone calls, steadily working up the chain of command, which included the legal department of SANParks, we have had no response. However, since 2015 there have been geological changes in that area, The sand dune west of the car park is accelerating at an unusually fast rate and in addition, during the last couple of severe storms and equinox tides, the sea has flowed through the parking area which has resulted in the area continually being covered in a thick layer of sand. And the dune still marches on at an alarming rate! Due to the above natural challenges, apart from the lack of permission, we are now, unfortunately, forced to abandon this project.

The donors of the ring fenced monies have been advised and we have received a very positive response. So far, all of the very generous people who have responded have stated that their donation can go into funds for Security or other pressing outstanding projects. Thank you very much for your support, it is really appreciated.

SNIPPETS

We have received several letters from stall holders complimenting Jack on how well these events are organised and indicating their pleasure when attending the Boot Sales. Well done Jack and thank you on a job well done!

A local resident started a campaign to raise money for cancer by wrapping trees in the village with pink cloth, ( http://pinktrees.co.za/ ) and the money raised by donations from the community was given to Sunshine Coast Hospice for palliative care. The trees in Aloe Street (the main entrance) are wrapped in pink material – it looks so pretty and is for such a worthwhile cause. Well done to all who were involved in this iniative.

A meeting has been held with several local interested and affected parties, representatives from Atlas Towers, the N.G. Kerk and the Environmental Engineer regarding the siting of the cell tower proposed for Bushman’s. To our knowledge Atlas Towers have not reverted to those people at the meeting with any decisions or further information.

BRRAG did not formally get involved with this project because it was felt by the committee that the circumstances could prove to be very divisive within this small community.

The Municipality has recently had the beach car park partially graded, ensuring that, until the next storm at least, cars can park there without being bogged down, many thanks to Ndlambe Municipality.

We would advise all home owners that are planning to come for the Christmas holidays to arrange now for their septic tanks to be emptied, as the honey suckers are in great demand, and also often out of commission for a few days.

The AGM is also coming up; it will be held on the 27th December at 09.00. Of the twelve current committee members serving, six still have another year to go, and six have completed their two year election period. Five of these serving members are available for re-election and one is not. Anyone interested in serving on the committee is most welcome to put their name forward for election prior to the AGM, if possible. Please bear in mind committee members must be fully committed, and prepared to give up several hours a week, when the need arises, towards working on the committee for the benefit of the community.

We welcome two new businesses in our area, Diner on the Square, a restaurant near Nicoll’s Supermarket in the centre of Bushman’s, and Deb’s Mini Market and Takeaway, situated next to Ultra Liquors at the Red Apple Centre, Riversbend. We wish them both every success.

It is already the time now that you could pay your 2018 subs, it is still R300.00 per house for the year, 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 - bushmansratepayers@gmail.com.

The trailer can be hired by members 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 use their own vehicle to 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 at our email address.

Regards – Annabelle, Sheila and all the BRRAG Team