The meeting was very well attended with 130 members and visitors present.
The Chairman Ted Gilfillan opened the meeting by extending a warm welcome to all members and visitors.
Audrey Barnard, Tom Lawless, James Trubshaw, Verity Hawarden, Peter O’Connor, Ari and Sandy van Esch, Bill Northrop, Doug and Edith Galpin
Confirmation of the Minutes of the AGM December 2017
The minutes of the 2017 Annual General Meeting had been published on the web site after approval by the committee at their meeting held in January 2018.
There were two matters arising from the meeting:
- A request from Mary Hodkinson for a plan for treatment of the polluted sewage ooze from septic tanks overflowing the Kariega towpath and entering the Kariega estuary. The Chairman reported that he had dealt with this matter in his report and had also notified Simon Oliver of KOSRA with a request that the information be published on the KOSRA website.
- Changing of the lower ski zone limit at Whisky Bend on the Kariega. This was a request from Noel Ross. Dr Bill Northrop of Estuary Care had researched the matter and had recommended that the zone be shifted up stream to “Cob Hole” which offered enough space and depth. This move was sanctioned by Mr Willem Nel the Environment Officer for Ndlambe. However, it provoked such a negative reaction from many land owners upriver that the Chairman had requested that the zone limit be returned to its previous position. He therefore was inviting any interested parties to submit arguments for or against the move to himself in writing before the end of January 2019 so that a final decision could be reached.
Chairman’s report for the AGM on 23rd December 2018
It is a great pleasure to welcome you all to our Annual General Meeting.
Estuary Care via its committee has continued to be active on both the Kariega and the Boesmans Estuaries and the paths and banks serving both Estuaries. We have also been involved in the monitoring of pollution, recycling and rubbish disposal, and of property development, all of which affect the health of the river systems.
I wish to thank all members of the committee and other members of Estuary Care who have contributed to our efforts this past year. The committee is drawn from local people including the ward councillors from Wards 3 and 4, from representatives of the Ndlambe Municipality, and from SA National Parks. Our thanks also go to Dr Angus Paterson who has continued to act as a consultant to Estuary Care on Environmental issues.
The committee met six times during the year. I shall introduce them separately and ask them to stand.
- Chester Wilmot serves as our link to the Chamber of Business and represents Estuary Care on the Ward 4 committee. He also completed the rebuilding of the jetty on the Boesmans.
- Nicholas Albrightson has taken his portfolio by storm. His work has included the maintenance of towpaths along the banks of the Estuaries, beach front walls, slipways and jetties and paths leading down to the Estuaries.
- Dr Bill Northrop looks after river signage, channel markers and Boesmans Estuary paths.
- Trish Milliken (who is also our vice-chair) fulfils the role of Communication, which carries with it the maintenance of the web site, and the production of News Letters. Trish Milliken has put her considerable energy and talent into the production of four newsletters. She has managed the website estuarycare.co.za which has become a mine of useful information. We continue to post items of interest to our Facebook page: Bushmans Kariega Estuary Care.
- Daphne McNeil performs a vital interlinking role with Sustainable Seas Trust (SST) and its associated Education groups. She also checks on the cleanliness of our towpaths.
- Dr Dirk Meiring acts as a watchdog looking after the interests of his community in Boesmansriviermond.
- My wife Rem acts as secretary for committee.
- Dot Cohead keeps us in touch with the local Police forum.
- Johan Grobler keeps a watch on property developments.
- Dr Tony Ribbink heads up the Sustainable Seas Trust (SST) and is an associate on our committee.
- Peter Reed has taken on the monitoring of pollution in the rivers and also assists Nicholas Albrightson.
- David Curran runs Fishing and Boating which includes the setting up and maintenance of our co-operation with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries through our Honoraries programme.
Here is a brief overview of our activities:
Boat mooring in Boesmans Estuary
We sent an email to our members in early September advising of Ndlambe Municipality’s boat mooring regulations in the Boesmans Estuary. This issue is out of our hands and all queries should be addressed to the Ndlambe Municipality’s Environmental Liaison Officer, Mr Willem Nel. His contact details are firstname.lastname@example.org , 046 604 5500 or 082 388 4600.
The Big Floats on the Kariega and the Water Slide.
This is not within our ambit. Two floats have been planned.
- Float to Horns up. Sunday 23rd December from Kariega mouth with the tide.
- Anything that floats. Thursday 27th December from Bells Cove to the Kariega mouth.
- The Water Slide is a new feature this year.
These activities and events are under the control of Ndlambe municipality and were well managed in 2017.
Construction, Repair and Maintenance
We continue to maintain the towpaths along the banks of the Kariega and Boesmans estuaries. This involves repairs to the edging and surface of the paths as well as attention to the drains. We engage a local contractor who, on a regular basis, trims the bush along both towpaths and keeps the grass under control. We also cut back the reeds and remove the cut sections from portions of the Boesmans towpath since we believe that the dense growth of reeds on both sides of the path constitutes a security hazard.
We have undertaken repairs to the Boesmans East Bank towpath at Dassie Rocks and attended to the drainage on the towpath.
Nick Albrightson and Human (his assistant) have undertaken a major rebuild of the path leading from Kariega View down to the R72 and across is down the Kariega towpath.
Our thanks go to Audrey Barnard for the loan of her bakkie for much of Nick’s work and to the contractors who have provided us with free loads of sand and rubble whenever we require it.
River Signage and Channel markers
Bill Northrop has recently upgraded channel markers and boating signs at the slipways and up the estuaries. These signs are invaluable guides to boaters using the estuaries. We consult with regular users of the rivers as to the placement and content of the signs. Our thanks go to Sibuya for the use of their boats and expertise in the placing of river signs.
Recycling and plastic waste
Here is a picture taken at Shelly Bay after the September equinox tide. This collection of plastic waste was done in one day only.
Estuary Care has been a vigorous supporter of the recycling programme which, although poorly publicised, arranged for the collection of clear bags loaded with recyclable plastics (of the correct type) , cardboard and paper to be taken to the special depot set up to collect, bale and dispose of it in the Boesmans industrial area. Without the proper collection and disposal of this material much of the plastic (in particular) ends up washing down into our estuaries and eventually into the ocean to become part of the ever increasing plastic waste polluting the world and killing our marine life.
Sadly this programme has fallen apart. The manager of the IWARS programme informs that substantial government funding has not been forthcoming and electric cables stolen, preventing the proper working of compacting machinery. Meanwhile residents committed to the programme continue to deliver recyclable material to the site in the industrial area in Boesmans.
Apart from this we are becoming increasingly concerned by the amount of plastic waste being lost/dumped into the sea.
Clearing of rubbish along the banks of the Boesmans and Kariega Estuaries
Estuary Care continues to support the efforts of concerned Boesmans residents who undertake a regular clean up along the banks of the Estuary.
The levels of e coli along the Kariega towpath are unacceptably high. Our recommendation remains to home owners along the banks of the estuaries to either install a bio digester or a conservancy tank or at least to install a grey water system to take a considerable liquid load off your septic tank.
In the case of overflowing conservancy tanks the obvious solution is to make more frequent use of the Ndlambe vacuum tank facility.
In the case of homes with old fashioned septic tanks and French drains, a workable solution is available for both Kenton and Boesmans. Kenton Estate and Financial and General Agencies offers to install a digester system which takes care of all sewage output. The system will be tailored to the size of the house.
For homes where a full digester is too expensive, they offer a “Grey Water” system, which takes the grey water from laundry, shower, baths and basins, collects these separately into a small stand-alone tank which can be coupled to a separate pump, and then irrigated on to lawn or garden. This additional system, whilst not eliminating the septic tank, takes a considerable liquid load off the septic tank and prevents, or reduces, the ooze.
We urge home owners to make use of this service. This information is available on our website and in our December newsletter.
Boating and Fishing
David Curran has reinstated a revised Honoraries programme in conjunction with the Dep of Agric and Fisheries. Volunteers now take officials from the Department on weekly inspection trips up one or other of the estuaries. This enables the officials to check on taking of bait, fishing and on fishing licences.
Our volunteers are organized on a schedule maintained by David. Sadly inspection trips are often aborted because of non-availability of staff from the Dept of Agriculture and Fisheries in Port Alfred.
David has recently prepared a document entitled “One need to know the rules”. This has been published on our web site and is a valuable guide to boaters and fishermen.
Sustainable Seas Trust (SST)
Unfortunately, SST has moved their offices from Kenton to Port Elizabeth.
The Sustainable Seas Trust book about the Boesmans and Kariega Estuaries is making steady progress under the guidance of an editorial committee chaired by Tony Ribbink and members: Anthea Ribbink, Lynne Trollope, Rem Gilfillan, Trish Milliken, Barbara Meiring, Daphne McNeil and Dawn Garfath.
The purpose of the book is to develop caring communities who know, understand and promote the estuaries.
We continue to supply and erect benches on the tow paths and the beach fronts. These benches are given in memory of loved ones. We have erected five benches this past year. It is important to note that permission to erect a bench is required from the Director of Community Affairs, Ndlambe Municipality.
The siltation of the Boesmans Estuary and the Dune advancing up Dry Bones Valley.
Mr Robert Rose, a resident of Lands End, has spearheaded and funded a substantial investigation into these matters. I wrote to him for an update on progress and he replies as follows:
“We know we have two wonderful rivers that are rapidly silting up. We know most of this is coming from the sea side. We know dredging will be the only solution and if this cost can be spread amongst a reasonable number of land owners and residents with a special rates areas method over a ten year period, that the problem can be solved and the whole area will not start to change its great character.
The engineers and the dredgers know what they have to do although they will have to re-check some of the information as time goes on.
The message is that we must encourage the community and the council to keep at it and make sure that it happens sooner than later.”
Financial report for the year ending Oct 2018.
The Chairman tabled the financial report for the year ending Oct 2018. He highlighted the salient points. The report was approved on the proposal of Lotter Wepner seconded by Chester Wilmot.
Election of office bearers for the 2018/2019 year
The committee has no more than 14 elected members. Four are to stand down in 2018 of whom four are available for re-election for the 2019 year
|To stand down||Availability for 2018|
|Mr||Ted Gilfillan||Resident Kenton on Sea||2016||No|
|Mr||Johan Grobler||Resident Kenton on Sea||2014||Yes||Yes|
|Mr||Chester Wilmot||Resident Kenton on Sea||
|Mrs||Daphne McNeill||Resident Kenton on Sea||2017||No|
|Dr||Bill Northrop||Resident Boesmans||
|Mrs||Trish Milliken||Resident Kenton on Sea||2016||No|
|Dr||Dirk Meiring||Resident Boesmans||
|Mrs||Rem Gilfillan||Resident Kenton on Sea||
|Mrs||Dot Cohead||Resident Kenton on Sea||
|Mr||Peter Reed||Resident Kenton on Sea||2015||Yes||Yes|
|Mr||Nicholas Albrightson||Resident Kenton on Sea||2017||No|
|Mr||David Curran||Resident Kenton on Sea||Co-opted during 2018||Yes|
The Chairman tabled the above schedule. He proposed the re-election of the four members who were up for re-election and proposed the election in addition of Mr David Curran. This proposal was seconded by Johan Grobler.
Amendment to the Constitution
Boesmansriviermond and Boesmans are the official names for the village and the estuary. The committee feels that it would be appropriate to rename our organization to reflect the correct name.
At present clause 1 of the constitution reads:
The name of the Association referred to as a Forum, shall be the Bushmans-Kariega Estuary Management Forum and it shall generally be known as Estuary Care.
It is proposed to read:
The name of the Association referred to as a Forum, shall be the Boesmans-Kariega Estuary Management Forum and it shall generally be known as Estuary Care.
A change to the constitution needs to receive the approval of an AGM. May I have a seconder to this proposal?
The proposal was seconded by Mr Robert Rose and was carried.
- Mr Jacko Maree asked for better parking arrangements on the Kariega slipway. A yellow line was required prohibiting parking on the bank side from the toilet block back to the entrance road. Any vehicle parking there restricted boat owners from reversing on to the slipway. An attendant would be required to enforce this no parking rule during the season.
- Bruce Steel-Gray thanked Estuary Care for all the attention paid to the tow-paths.
- Peter Bam voiced his concern about the old mooring buoys on the Boesmans east bank. Could these please be removed.
- Peter Bam also voiced his concern about the Deacon Sand bag wall which is fast deteriorating. The Chairman responded that this subject has been raised repeatedly with the authorities but with no response. It would remain as an action item.
- Noel Ross reiterated his concern about bank erosion at Whisky Bend and the moving of the Ski Zone. The Chairman invited him, and any other interested people, to make written response before the end of January.
Address by Mr Chris Nair of Amatola Water.
The meeting concluded with a talk by Mr Nair in which he highlighted the function of Amatola Water in providing bulk water supplies to the Kenton and Boesmansriviermond communities.
This was followed by vigorous discussion.
The chairman then declared the meeting closed.