MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE ST FRANCIS KROMME TRUST (T/A KROMME ENVIRO-TRUST St Francis) HELD AT THE HERITAGE CENTRE AT 3:30 P.M. 30 JANUARY 2019
WELCOME: The Chairman, Warren Manser, welcomed all members present, as well as guests.
ATTENDANCE & APOLOGIES: 47 people were present. An attendance register was tabled. Apologies were received from Kath Bowren, Pam Durrant, Norman Dyer, Karen Humby, Charles Jonsson, Geoff Knight, Diana Serrurier and Santa Zeiss.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: The Chairman apologised that the minutes of the Annual General Meeting held the previous year were not available, due to an administrative error, and asked for the Chairman’s Report to be accepted in lieu of minutes. The meeting concurred.
MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES: There were no matters arising from the previous AGM raised for discussion.
FINANCIAL REPORT: Warren Manser presented a summary of the financial statements prepared by the auditors and undertook to post them on the website as soon as they were available. No questions were raised and the financial statements were approved as presented. Approval was proposed by Lyn Aitken, seconded by Greg Miller and carried unanimously. No-one outside of the committee wished to have full financials sent to them.
Warren apologised if any duplicate invoicing had been experienced by members: a move to digital invoicing is expected to be ultimately more efficient but has encountered a few teething problems in the introductory stage.
CHAIRMAN’S REPORT: The full text of the Chairman’s report is available on the website www.stfranciskrommetrust.co.za. The Chairman reminded the meeting of the Kromme Enviro-Trust’s objectives: to Preserve what is valuable in the environment; to Protect what is vulnerable in the environment and to Promote understanding and teach others how to Preserve and Protect.
He reviewed the past year, describing it as a difficult, sometimes frustrating, but ultimately successful year.
Much time was spent in discussions with the Kouga Municipality around various projects, in particular the Heritage Centre, where a lease agreement is being negotiated. The medium term vision is for the Centre to incorporate a permanent café and modern museum with digital displays, in collaboration with Bayworld. The target date for this is December 2019, in time for the season. Warren expressed gratitude that so many members of the community were prepared to share their expertise so generously to protect St Francis Bay and its surroundings. He thanked the committee and members for their support during the year.
Kromme Enviro-Trust is Bayworld’s St Francis Bay contact body for sea creatures washed up or generally in distress. During the course of the year, four arctic seal pups were rescued, three of which survived; a turtle with a buoyancy problem was rescued, its air bubble was released, and it was safely transported to Port Elizabeth; and a penguin was rescued and taken to Port Elizabeth.
A regular event on the Kromme Enviro-Trust calendar is Coastal Clean-up Day, but there are also other clean up days organised from time to time.
The season water fight in the canals has historically been problematic because of the use of balloons: Warren highlighted the village-wide co-operation which resulted in the Stationery Butler not selling balloons and the Kromme Enviro-Trust, in association with the St Francis Bay Riparian Home Owners Association, ensuring that balloons were banned on the canals. As a result, very few balloons were seen. The Chairman then handed over the floor for reporting on specific portfolios to the committee member responsible for them. The slides accompanying their presentations can be found on the Kromme Enviro-Trust website.
Geanné Darke gave feedback on the Eco-Kids programme, which she has been running for just under ten years. Regular outings, meetings and expeditions occur during the year and the children, mainly from St Francis College, are exposed to a wide range of topics and experiences. These have included litter consciousness (straws, balloons, etc); recycling; ecobrick production; whale watching, Sand River adventure walks; Coastal Cleaning; Rock pool adventures at Granny’s Pool and Cape St Francis; a visit to the taxidermist (!) and the Par 3 Quiz. Specialists from the area are generous with their time, and Geanné took the opportunity to thank them for their service in this area. Plans for 2019 include expanding the programme to the Sea Vista community, with the help of Rotary and Talhado.
Maggie Langlands gave an overview of the various wind farms, existing and planned, in the area and of Kromme Enviro-Trust’s tireless work over the last eight years to evaluate and minimise their impact on the environment, in particular that of the bird and plant life of the region. This project has involved active and persistent engagement with developers, EAP’s, Birdlife SA and the DEA in a campaign to protect the valuable biodiversity in the Kouga/KouKamma area. The Greater Kromme Stewardship Association was formed in December 2014. Conservation Outcomes was appointed as a partner in 2015 and in 2018 Krommensee and Sand River Nature Reserves were declared as priority land conservation areas. However, the appetite for wind farms has not yet been satisfied, and the monitoring and submission work will thus continue.
Maggie Langlands also reported on the St Francis Par 3 Amazing Race golf day, which was a day of Par 3 golf, golf challenges, an environmental quiz and children’s treasure hunt. Sponsorships, donated prizes and a lively field of over 84 players resulted in R80,000 being raised. Funds are earmarked for the Heritage Centre and the proposed walkway between Granny’s Pool and Main Beach.
Ken McGregor and Alex Gotte gave an overview of the design and progress of the proposed walkway between Granny’s Pool and Main Beach.
The design of the walkway was done inhouse by KET committee members. Mr Trevor Wright assisted in the surveying of the proposed route. The Coastal Engineering review was undertaken by Laurie Barwell and Associates. This was required for the EIA submission to DEDEAT which was undertaken by Eco-Route Environmental Consulting. A response from DEDEAT is not expected before the end of April.
The walkway will be under 350m in length with 2 widened sections for viewing and fishing. It will be made up of 4,2m units; of the 80 odd units required 25 have already been assembled. Some were used at the recent SA Canoe Marathon Championships and are all currently in storage.
The estimated final cost of the walkway is approximately R750 000. Currently the main fund raiser is the Par 3/ Amazing Race event arranged by Maggie Langlands in conjunction with the SFB Links Golf Estate. The intention is to raise further funds by asking for donations for metre sections of the walkway.
A question from the floor centred around benches for photographers, and the request was noted.
Ken McGregor and Alex Gotte also have responsibility for the development and maintenance of the existing Two Harbours Walk, a 5 km walk which has an entry on Trip Advisor and is enjoyed by 30 to 40 people per day in season. The work entails repairs after storm damage, emptying of fishing line bins, maintenance and replacement of stairways, monitoring of drainage from an environmental perspective, and so on. There are many committed volunteers who assist in this work and special thanks were extended to Tessa Suckling, Micky Sadler and Steve Keightly-Smith in this regard. The meeting discussed the problem of dog poop on the route, but no conclusion on action was reached.
Warren Manser reported on the various coastal clean-ups, on behalf of Marryette Bakkes. The Annual Coastal Clean-up, a national initiative supported by SA Plastics, was enthusiastically supported by young and old in the community. It yielded 200 bags of rubbish, including fishing line, fan belts, crab crates, plastic bottles and caps, etc. There were also more modest clean-ups conducted during the year.
Warren also reported on Kromme Enviro-Trust’s support of the Owl House Project, which makes owl houses out of recycled plastics. The programme has encountered plastics collection problems and will be reviewed in the current year.
The Community Garden established by the Kromme Enviro-Trust continues to be kept beautiful by Ed Elton and his son Dusty, who were thanked for their dedication to the project.
The Kromme Enviro-Trust, in collaboration with Kouga Municipality, is responsible for the siting of recycled plastic benches with commemorative plaques in the area. Three were placed at Main Beach during the year.
Friends of the Environment talks have been well attended during the year.
The monthly Morning Market is an opportunity to showcase the work of the Kromme Enviro-Trust, to recruit new members and to collect plastics for Eco-Bricks and Owl Houses. Thanks were extended to the convenors of the market, who sponsor the Kromme EnviroTrust stand.
ELECTION OF COMMITTEE FOR 2019: All committee members were prepared to continue serving on the committee and they were re-elected en bloc. Warren Manser remains as Chairman and a new committee member, Truus Hedding, has been recruited for 2019. Warren thanked all committee members for their service and general members for their continued support.
APPOINTMENT OF AUDITORS: The Chairman requested the approval of the meeting to reappoint Moore Stephens as auditors and this was proposed by Kathy Fuchter and seconded by Yvonne Bosman.
- Sandra Hardie brought up the issues of snares and offered to be involved as appropriate if snare hunts were organised. She also brought the issue of helicopters and their impact on the environment to the attention of the meeting and asked if a letter of complaint could be sent to the authorities.
- Sandra also brought up the issue of roadside litter.
- Chris Barratt asked about the continued maintenance of Romazini Valley.
- Nigel Aitken gave feedback on the current state of St Francis Recycling.
All issues covered above will be addressed by the new committee.
The meeting closed at 4.45 p.m, whereafter refreshments were enjoyed at the Heritage Centre Coffee Shop at Granny’s Pool.
Minutes approved on the………………….day of…………………………………………………………20…
As proposed by……………………………………and seconded by………………………………………