SOUTHBROOM NEWS - 2009 AGM REPORT

A SOUTHBROOM RATEPAYERS, CONSERVANCY & COMMUNITY POLICING INITIATIVE.

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SOUTHBROOM RATEPAYERS ASSOCIATION

CHAIRPERSON's REPORT TO THE AGM - 19 DECEMBER 2009

Ward 1

I attended the committee meetings of Ward 1 this past year as an observer and we could probably devote this entire meeting to discussing Ward 1 - in short, as was the case in previous years, Ward 1, at best, operated for the past year with a dysfunctional or non functioning Councillor.

Finally, after a lot of prodding by many participants, the DA finally managed to get their ducks in a row and organized to remove Councillor Bezuidenhout. My personal take on this appalling situation is that any functioning of this body was only possible by the extraordinary efforts of Joy Crutchfield who, as you know is the secretary of Ward 1 . The demise of Councillor Bezuidenhout finally resulted in a bye-election which was held on the 9th of December – the result was that the DA candidate, Dave Watson was elected. We congratulate him on his election and wish him every success in his task of serving the residents in Ward 1. He has asked for an opportunity to briefly address you during today’s meeting and this will take place at the end of the formal meeting.


KZN South Coast Ratepayers and Residents Association

Over the past year there were a number of meetings both in Durban and here on the Coast originally under the umbrella of the KZN Ratepayer and Residents Association – this finally led to the formation of the KZN South Coast Ratepayers and Residents Association. What does this association of ratepayer associations on the lower South Coast seek to achieve?

The aim is to provide meaningful legal, administrative and problem solving support to its members and affiliates with the main objective of the Association being to protect the Constitutional Rights of all ratepayers and residents within municipalities, and at the same time ensure that they receive the quality of service delivery that is due to them. What does this mean in reality? The body has recognition from the HCM and a delegation, including myself, had an excellent meeting with the Municipal Manager some weeks ago, in which we highlighted the myriad difficulties that ratepayer entities experience with many of the departments within the HCM and the impact this is having on our relationship.

The entire scope of the meeting is too broad to be covered here today but the most important element that stemmed from it was the suggestion from the municipal manager that a service and delivery charter be drawn up between ratepayer bodies and the HCM the content of which charter will be agreed by both sides. We welcome this initiative and look forward to putting some flesh on this concept in early 2010
 

Municipal Services

I note from the Minutes of the 2008 meeting that Joy opened this section with a comment that "2008 had not been an easy year". Tell me about it !
 

Roads

The one subject that comes up again and again and again and quite rightly so !

The maintenance of the roads on the Coast and specifically in Southbroom, leaves a lot to be desired and the ongoing battle to get basic repair intervention prior to complete meltdown fails again and again. To cap all of this we have experienced the wettest October / November apparently since 1964, which contributed nothing to the ability to fix the roads and actually caused more destructive pressure to existing roads. In short, all I can tell you is that I am assured that there is sufficient funding to repair the roads, providing there is a break in the rain that will enable them to do so ! Only time will tell us whether this promise will be carried out !


Verges

Are being cut and maintained by Kew Maintenance, maybe not to the total satisfaction of ratepayers and residents, but a whole lot better than many towns on the South Coast .The encroachment of coastal bush continues to narrow some of our already narrow roads - getting it attended to is proving time consuming.

Main Beach Pool

As you will recall a overwhelming decision was made at last years AGM to recommend to the Municipality to remove the tidal pool on the main beach – as a committee we therefore moved in to 2009 with the intention of resolving this during the year with the objective of having the pool removed by the end of 2009. Meetings were held with the entity charged with performing the Environmental Impact Study, that was required, and now let me try and summarise where this is and why it has taken so long.

It seems for whatever reason SSI Environmental Sector also known as Bohlweki Environmental were only appointed in mid September !

There is no purpose served in dwelling on how and why this delay arose and let me try and outline the future:

a) Specialist Studies such as the Marine Specialist Report (Dr Louis Celliers) are due by mid January 2010
b) Further public participation will commence also mid January where interested and affected parties such as the Southbroom Ratepayers Association can offer further comment.
c) The compilation of the Basic Assessment report will commence beginning February 2010
d) The review of this BA Report is allowed a time frame of 40 days from the end of Feb
e) Finalisation of Issues Trial is put down for March 2010

f) The submission of the Basic Assessment Report is due to be submitted to the Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Development by end of March 2010

Granny’s Pool and New Ablution Facilities

A singular success – we have a facility which we can be proud of ! A warm thank you to all who contributed to this effort especially Pam Quarmby for her work on the garden.

Water Affairs

For newcomers to the Coast, although as you know, we fall under Hibiscus Municipality but the delivery of potable water and all water and sewerage related matters fall under the control of UGU – at times this leads to confusion in establishing exactly who is responsible – a simple example – some many weeks ago a work team arrived in Southbroom dug up the side of the road leaving a dangerous open hole – then dug a trench across the tarred road which was filled in with soil and then disappeared – lots of phone calls and I mean a lot of phone calls – no progress in establishing who was behind the work HCM or UGU or whoever – then the workers turned up again – found out it was an UGU sub contractor putting in a fire hydrant – hydrant finally is in, four weeks later the road still has a unrepaired trench across it, which deteriorates as each day goes by, especially with the rain, the result - a lot of unhappy residents and visitors!


Water Quality and Sewerage

We have in the past year allocated our resources to tracing contaminants back to their source. This has been a very tedious and time consuming operation and here I wish to pay tribute to Jim Davey and his team for all the time and effort they have put into this. We have successfully identified at least three sources and are on the track of a few more that we hope to clear up in the run up to the year end or early next year. The latest samples and analysis clearly show an improvement in the quality of our run –off water. There is an obvious improvement in the water quality of the Golf Course ponds (but please don’t bathe or drink it just yet !)

The continued re-education of all Southbroom residents into the operation of their septic tanks is critical, as is the regular treatment of individual systems on a bi-annual basis at the very least. We will continue to put pressure on both UGU and HCM to maintain and enforce the Town Planning Scheme with regard to densification and new Septic tank applications. One of our ultimate desires is to have the Council adopt the separation of black and grey water into the Town Planning Regulations – this is a while off, I am afraid.

Vital : Please read the labels and understand what is good for and what is not good for your septic tank condition.

Transfer Station

Functioning with some hiccups but, by all reports a lot better than it has been in previous years.

Household Refuse Collection

You have all had the new schedule for Refuse Removal in Southbroom . There is a new contractor, Krish Reddy and simply put, it is Monday for Domestic Refuse removal.  For those who live on a route that is travelled by the contractor on his additional commercial pick up, please note that the contractor may pick up your refuse as he passes by but he is not obligated to do so and the ensuing mess and the concomitant fine will be for your account.  For the vast majority, it is Monday – please consider your neighbours and Southbroom, do not place your refuse out before Monday morning – the frequent mess caused by monkeys and roaming dogs rooting around in the refuse is bluntly unacceptable.

 

Wheelie Bins

The proposal for Ward 1 to be the pilot scheme for Wheelie Bins is still on the agenda but at this stage I have no concrete information as to how and when it will be implemented

Signage

The new attractive Directional Signage was erected in July and these signs bring in a source of income to Southbroom of R500 a sign pa.

The Cluster Signage at the North Entrance is fully utilized and works well and also brings income to Southbroom of R500 per sign.

Perhaps the greatest thanks concerning signage in Southbroom can go to the local Estate Agents who agreed over 18 months ago not to display any property sale signs. This was a gentleman’s agreement and they have kept to their promise – thus Southbroom continues to look neat and tidy with a minimum amount of signage clutter which contributes to make Southbroom unique and adds value both to investment and lifestyle. May I here add my, and the committee’s thanks to Kate Clarence for all her hard work this last year.

Byelaws

As someone commented to me this year, these are the laws that we believe apply to other people and not necessarily to ourselves !

Same old points to be borne in mind :
a) Dogs on main beach and other beaches where they are not welcome or allowed – the municipality will be fining transgressors in the future !
b) The beach to the right of Granny's Pool i.e. Shad Rock Beach from the entrance off Woodland Rd to Sea Village is the only beach where walking your dog is condoned, please use it for that purpose and clean up after your dog - we are currently working on putting up some dog litter dispersal facilities to serve this beach

c) Stop streets: please don’t just drive through them – we are trying to have the town surveyed to have some of them converted to yield signs or other, but for the present obey them !

d) Golf carts –Am holding my breath, but with the much appreciated help of the golf club this problem seems to be diminishing – but holidays are when we have the outbreak and this is goes for quad bikes as well.

e) No fireworks please !!

f)  Build within the law.

CBD Development

The development of the business core of Southbroom continues and we warmly welcomed a number of new businesses to Southbroom in 2009 – Unfortunately there was not sufficient trade to support two mini supermarkets, but in a positive light we now have a pharmacy and petrol station, a new restaurant and a coffee bar / restaurant – however with development comes the realization and responsibility that the commercial area abuts on the residential zone and therefore excessive noise etc will exacerbate relations with your neighbours

Riptide

The Municipal Manager advises that the head lease between the Dept of Public Works is being re-negotiated and when in place that the HCM will call for expressions of interest which will inter alia include redevelopment of this valuable site. The desire of the Ratepayers Association is that we would all like to see a building that adds to the keeping of this magnificent site and a restaurant / food operation also in keeping with that philosophy. We look forward to resolution in early 2010.

Planning and Building Control

A busy year with Committee involvement in issues like:
a) Illegal activity on the Marina Beach bank of the Kaba river
b) iIlegal breaching of the Imbezane River Mouth by the owners of the Lagoon Cabanas in Ramsgate. I am still seeking an unequivocal statement from Ezemvelo that this will not happen again and if it does they that will prosecute.
c) Medium density development in Ramsgate (Erf 2116) over the Imbezane River which was felt may have an impact on properties on the Southbroom side of the river and if not properly done may also have a adverse impact on water quality in the Imbezane.
d) As a probable side effect of the economic situation we have also seen a number of properties in Southbroom become derelict and vacant sites been neglected by owners, thus becoming not only an eyesore but a health and safety issue – I ask everyone here to please keep their eyes open to properties that are being neglected and bring them to the committees attention – there is quite a lengthy procedure to resolving these issues and procedures differ between vacant land and those with a structure thereon. The sooner we hear about potential problems the better position we are in to do something about them

Library

Thanks to Annette and her team, the Southbroom Library has completed its first full trading year since responsibility for its operation was moved from the Hibiscus Coast Municipality to the Southbroom Ratepayers Association on 1 October 2008. A devoted group of 20 Volunteers from the Community of Southbroom have enthusiastically seen to its wellbeing, and some exciting improvements have been made to the facility. The number of books available to readers has increased substantially with 30 brand new books having been purchased with Library generated funds and many more popular books having been donated by generous patrons. In order to maintain its rightful place in the Community, it is regarded as important that new books are acquired on a regular basis - to this end the Library engages in its own fund-raising efforts, support of which is required from our village and its visitors.

The Pam Quarmby beautified garden and the friendliness and helpfulness of the volunteers, makes a visit to the Library a gratifying experience. This news moved rapidly through the Lower South Coast and a good number of the customers are now from our neighbouring communities. In order to cater for this increase in demand, the working hours have been extended to include Saturdays.

Of interest, the following statistics confirm the popularity of the facility:-
1. Annually 2650 readers visit the Library, or 220 per month, and
2. Annually 6360 books are taken out, or 530 books per month


Thank you.

Bruce Mackenzie