Estuary Care December 2020 Annual General Meeting

Mar 23, 2021

In view of the Covid crisis this past year the committee has decided to cancel the AGM and in lieu of this the following will take place

Boesmans-Kariega Estuary Care Management Forum, Chairman’s Report

March 2021

Given that the Boesmans and Kariega Estuaries and surrounding coastal areas are the heart of our community and that responsible and sustainable preservation of their fragile ecosystems and natural beauty is vital to the residents and visitors to the area, the mission of the Boesmans-Kariega Estuary Care Management Forum (Estuary Care) is to ensure the responsible and sustainable preservation and use of the Boesmans and Kariega Estuaries and their tributaries and environs from their source to their mouths and the adjacent coastal area.

The Boesmans and Kariega Estuaries are what sets both Kenton on Sea and Boesmansriviermond apart from other seaside towns and they are the primary reason why many thousands of holidaymakers and tourists turn our quiet villages into their thriving holiday destination every year.

The Estuaries are also the breadbasket of the many local subsistence fisherman who rely solely on the existing healthy marine life in our Estuaries to support themselves and their families.

Our Estuaries, our nature reserves and our beaches are already severely compromised due to man’s interventions over many years, and they must be preserved and protected in order to sustain the natural beauty and heritage of the region.

Estuary Care no longer receives any funding from the Ndlambe Municipality and relies solely on membership fees and generous donations from the Community and our visitors to fulfil its commitments. This despite the fact that all of our activities, whether they be repairs, maintenance, modifications or new installations focus on infrastructure that is 100% the responsibility and domain of Ndlambe Municipality.

We have no funds to hire specialist engineering teams or consultants and rely solely on the input of long serving members with countless years of experience and the advice of other  interested parties and learned folk.

Like the vast majority of business and other enterprises worldwide, Estuary Care activities over the past year have been significantly restricted by the Coronavirus pandemic. While meetings and other forums were impossible for some time, social media platforms did make it possible for us to meet in some form or another to discuss and address the various challenges that arose in and around our Estuaries over this period.

I highlighted the importance of our Estuaries and our beaches right at the beginning of my report as much energy and time has been spent by Estuary Care engaging with the local Municipality and the Provincial authorities on proposals to address the ongoing accumulation of sand from the eastern end of Westbourne Road and the impact of these proposals on our delicate environment.

In particular, we are very concerned about the intentions of one Lands End Road homeowner who, under the guise of the Kenton Sand Dune and Nature Association (KSDNA), is aggressively pushing a handpicked proposal to address the problem of sand accumulation despite the very real concerns and advice of Estuary Care, Kenton Ratepayers Association (KOSRA) and a great number of local residents. The KSDNA proposal, formulated under the guidelines of the Kenton Dune Maintenance Management Plan will see the sand dune bulldozed back against the prevailing westerly wind and to within 70 meters of the Boesmans Estuary. This 5 meter high artificially created sand dune will then be secured with vegetation and irrigated with water to be sourced from a borehole drilled in the Joan Muirhead Nature Reserve. In addition, a road onto the beach will be built alongside the sand dune to allow vehicle access for ongoing maintenance purposes.

The proposed plan of action will effectively seal off Dry Bones Valley which has been an effective headland bypass system for centuries and facilitates the natural movement of sand through Dry Bones Valley and on to Middle Beach. Not only will the proposed plan of action stop the movement of sand through the valley, it will also secure the homeowner an unspoiled view of the Boesmans Estuary mouth.

It will also mean that the estimated 3000 cubic meters of wind-blown sand that accumulates at the Westbourne Road turning circle annually will now accumulate next to the Estuary instead and will need to be collected and transported by road to Middle Beach. This is an estimated 4,6 metric tonnes of sand.

I was invited to participate in a discussion at the Kenton Ratepayers Association virtual AGM in December to hear from the KSDNA and discuss the Estuary Care concerns in this regard.

What was clear from the comments drawn from those that attended the meeting is that the KSDNA proposal was a complete surprise to most residents and that the majority of residents vehemently oppose the proposal. This has, however, not deterred the KSDNA and the homeowner continues to drive his proposal most aggressively. All efforts to reason with him and get him to consider alternatives and the concerns of other residents have so far been fruitless.

The fact of the matter is that the proposed intervention will change the look and feel of Kenton on Sea forever and if not maintained and managed at great cost to the Kenton ratepayer will inevitably result in the accumulation of sand into the Boesmans Estuary and the rapid degradation of our road infrastructure which is already in need of repair

I urge all Estuary Care members and all other interested parties to acquaint themselves with the details of the proposal and to contact us with your suggestions and comments.

Estuary Care remains committed to finding a suitable solution to the ongoing accumulation of sand at Westbourne Road and continues to work with the local Municipality to achieve this.

Over the past year Estuary Care has taken over the clearing and cutting of vegetation along the Estuary tow paths and we have maintained, repaired and cleared those tow paths along both banks of the Boesmans Estuary as well as the tow path on the western bank of the Kariega Estuary.

We continue to maintain the public path through Dry Bones Valley as well as the beach along Westbourne Road with the ongoing removal of alien vegetation, particularly the Port Jackson (Rooi Krans) shrub.

I would like to thank Audrey Barnard for the ongoing use of the family vehicle during Estuary Care maintenance.

A major project this past year was the repair and refurbishment of the public jetty at the Kariega River slipway. High winds and strong currents at the peak of spring tides late in August 2020 ripped the jetty off its mounting brackets and deposited it high up on the east bank of the estuary and inland of the R72 bridge. This meant that the jetty had to be completely dismantled and floated back, piece by piece, to the Kariega slipway. From there it was loaded up and transported to Chester Wilmot’s workshop where it was stripped, refurbished and repainted before being transported in pieces back to the slipway where it was floated back into position, reassembled and fastened to new brackets. We apologise to those boat users who were inconvenienced over this period but are pleased to have been able to get the jetty repaired and back into position before the December holiday period. This turned out to be a far larger and more complicated project than originally envisaged and my thanks go to all of those Committee members and members of our Community who contributed to getting the jetty back onto the river and unselfishly volunteered considerable time.

Some remedial work was also carried out on the Marina slipway in November and while this is a work in progress there has been definite improvement to the slipway and the launching and recovery of boats is a little easier than it was earlier.

Unfortunately, this coincided with a some of our members being laid low by the Coronavirus and this halted the Marina project and brought an end to a very frustrating year. It also put paid to our AGM in December last year and the Committee reluctantly decided to cancel the AGM due to the resultant impact.

As a result the present Committee will be re-elected for the forthcoming year and those members who were due to stand down according to the Estuary Care constitution will be replaced through co-option.

Estuary Care has also worked closely with the Kenton Ratepayers Association (KOSRA) this past year which has allowed us to align our portfolios and concentrate our efforts on core activities. My thanks go to Kevin van Huysteen and his KOSRA team, I look forward to continuing the good work in the future.

The possible leakage of sewage into the Estuaries and other pollution issues around our Estuaries have been highlighted over the past few months and together with KOSRA this will be a major focus in the future. Our engagement with the local Municipality in this regard has been extremely constructive and we will be working hard with all stakeholders to ensure a healthy and pollution free environment for all.

We were pleased to welcome Dennis Dallas and Ken Rogers to the Estuary Care team over the past year and their contributions have already been keenly felt. Dot Cohead has resigned from the committee and we thank her most sincerely for her contributions to Estuary Care over many years.

I would like to thank my Committee who have all contributed immensely under very difficult conditions last year as well as all of our Estuary Care members and who continue to support Estuary Care and who make it possible for us to continue caring for our Estuaries and our environment.

 

 

 

Estuary Care Financial statement for the year end October 2020
Income items
Interest from Savings account R 136,37
Int from Money Market R 6 655,65
Subs R 48 039,81
Contrib from BRRAG  for jetty repairs R 1 500,00
Donation from Rotary Kenton on Sea R 10 000,00
Donation for Benches R 1 239,66
R 67 571,49
 
Expenditure
Bank charges R 1 108,60
Path clearing & mowing R 26 503,51
Web site costs R 3 859,00
Wages R 19 326,66
Stationery R 416,03
Signage R 6 278,95
Slipway & jetty repairs R 2 096,00
Tea and Biscuits R 158,00
Accounting charges BVSA R 948,75
Bench purchases R 1 064,69
AGM expenses R 71,00
Donation to SST towards the book R 3 000,00
Travel costs for AGM speaker R 1 000,00
R 65 831,19
 
Opening balance as at 1st Nov 2019
Cash on hand R 200,00
Bank account R 47 462,08
Money Market R 104 748,20
Surplus/(deficit ) for the period R 1 740,30 R 154 150,58
Closing balance as at  31st Oct 2020
Cash on hand R 109,10
Bank account R 42 637,63
Money Market account R 111 403,85 R 154 150,58

The present committee will be re-elected for 2021:

Stuart Clarkson Chairman
David Curran Vice Chair
Ken Rogers Secretary
Ted Gilfillan Treasurer
Nicholas Albrightson  
Dennis Dallas  
Daphne McNeill  
Dirk Meiring  
Trish Milliken  
Chester Wilmot  

Ex officio members:

Boniswa James Ward 3 Councillor, Ndlambe Municipality
Ayanda Nqosha Ward 4 Councillor, Ndlambe Municipality
Zelna Breytenbach South African National Parks
Dr Tony Ribbink Sustainable Seas Trust

Any member of the committee who needs to stand down will be open to re-election or replaced by co-option from among members.

We invite questions to be e-mailed to info@estuarycare.co.za

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