St Francis Bay residents hope for fresh start

Piet Liebenberg
AFTER they met with and discussed a host of issues, the St Francis Bay Residents Association (SFBRA) is hopeful that their relationship with the new municipal manager Sydni Fadi, will be constructive and harmonious.
Vice-chairman Nigel Aitken said: “Fadi committed to addressing all of the issues raised and promised to get back to us within two weeks”.
During the meeting, SFBRA chairman Tony Moore expressed his concern that municipal legislation was not being adhered to, and in many cases abused. Fadi was requested to follow up as to why, despite repeated requests for copies of the Gobodo and KPMG reports, they have not been made available.
SFBRA listed the following issues:
They requested to be allowed to participate in the budgeting to ensure that proper maintenance could take place, and that all issues would be covered in the budget.
It appears that there is little overall management of the day-to-day running of St Francis Bay. To assist this situation they have offered help in any form, financial or otherwise. They requested the appointment of a person from St Francis Bay whose function would be to coordinate and prioritise the running of the town in conjunction with council.
Due to lack of preventive maintenance of capital equipment, vehicles, trailers, tractors, etc are in a very poor state of repair. Some vehicles and equipment will have to be replaced as it is no longer practical to repair them. This again will have to be provided for in the next budget. The municipal yard is in a shocking state filled with broken and rusting equipment; this is an eyesore and needs to be tidied up.
Repeated requests have been made to replace missing streets signs as well as traffic control signage. To visitors this gives the impression of shoddy maintenance, and needs to be addressed urgently.
Lack of storm water management is a major problem throughout the town including Sea Vista. This leads to flooding in the rainy season and further damage to the roads and other infrastructure. Provision for drainage needs to be provided for in the budget. This is a major exercise and will have to be budgeted for over a number of years.
They also raised the issue of potential loss of life in the informal settlement behind Sea Vista due to fires.
The re-valuations of properties should be done as soon as possible and not extended by a further year as indicated. They would also like to be involved in selecting the company doing the re-valuations.
Concern was raised over municipal services billing. The billing period often exceeds 33 days. This has resulted in ratepayers having to pay significantly more money for electricity and water because their readings move into a higher tariff bracket.

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