Christmas 2013 lies ahead of us – less than a month away.
It has been an eventful year in Betty’s Bay: neither good nor bad all the time. But with fair doses of each.
Most recently the elements demonstrated their unfathomable force by wreaking extensive havoc in our village and the surrounding areas. Out-of-season, heavy rains during the weekend of 15 to 17 November sent torrents of destructive water rushing down mountain slopes and ripping up roads, leaving a path of devastation after bursting through the Harold Porter Botanical garden and flooding numerous houses in its course.
Yes, the bridge at Otter Close washed away yet again. Sigh. Now, for once and for all, its replacement will have to be a lasting solution. The municipality knows that and agrees.
Due to the heavy and persistent rain, roads that had been in a shocking condition after the winter’s exceptionally abundant rainfall worsened considerably: in some cases they became altogether impassable. These conditions have throughout the year posed a huge challenge to the Overstrand municipality. As committed as it is to service delivery, the solutions come slowly, as they have to be introduced in adherence to a municipal-wide plan and schedule. This is in line with the five year Integrated Development Plan (IDP), which although revised annually, lays down the guidelines for operational and other activities. Many residents are understandably frustrated in the process. Repairs have however commenced and will continue as planned.
(At this point I may just mention that the repair work done recently by an independent contractor on the stretch of Disa Road where I live, commenced and proceeded without my having any prior knowledge or information – contrary to the belief of some.)
BABOONS, PENGUINS AND CRIMINALS
The baboons still continue to cause their share of havoc – especially in cases where residents and/or visitors fail to comply with the stipulations of the relevant bylaw that only baboon proof bins are allowed to be used. In the wake of applicable fines having been determined and approved by the court, law enforcement can be expected to be stepped up.
Our penguin and cormorant colonies (at Stony Point) are growing whilst most others around the sub-continent are shrinking at an alarming rate. While this is an encouraging trend, it also creates headaches for the residents in the immediate vicinity. In an endeavour to manage and preserve the delicate ecosystem successfully, CapeNature and Sanccob have taken hands with the municipality. Meanwhile the upgrading of tourist facilities at Stony Point are nearing completion.
I appeal to residents in the proximity of Stony Point and visitors alike, to exercise patience and understanding during this imminent holiday season. If and where practical problems arise, all efforts will be made to alleviate and eliminate them in due course.
Criminals at work in our area appear to be appallingly audacious. Many a burglary takes place in broad daylight. In some cases the victims themselves are partially to blame – for maybe forgetting to lock a sliding door, shut a window or remove expensive items out of sight. Our well organised neighbourhood watch system adds much value to the efforts that are aimed at reducing crime levels. I herewith extend my sincere thanks and congratulations to each and every person who is willing and available to perform this thankless but absolutely indispensable duty. At the same time I would like to encourage many more residents to volunteer and join this essential and worthy cause.
In conclusion: granted, there are many faults and glaring defects all around us for which we readily and maybe logically hold council and the municipality responsible and accountable. They cannot be denied and must certainly be addressed. But as we enter another Christmas season during which many of us will hopefully share time and enjoyment with family and friends, I want to appeal to you to lift your eyes and look beyond the immediate: let the fynbos-scattered mountain slopes, the breathtaking clouds, the ever-changing ocean and the far horizons beyond it add unexpected and rewarding value to your holiday season…
I wish each and everyone all the best and brightest for Christmas and the New Year.
May God bless you all richly.
Lisel Krige (ward councillor).