Ward Feedback Bulletin October 2022 – Budget – Fynbos Threat – Baboons - Services
Empty Erven Plot Clearing Policy
The Overstrand Municipality has passed a Policy that requires all empty erven to be maintained at 50cm – which means cutting all the fybos even lower. Can you imagine the destruction of all our proteas, guarri bushes, bitou and to the pollinators and animals that rely on it? See details of the objections made by many experts and our neighbouring villages. This is a serious indictment of lack of care for the environment that underpins the economy of the Overstrand and for our legacy and the importance of biodiversity globally.
IDP and the Budget
The joint and separate meetings for Wards 9 and 10 have revolved specifically around the IDP and in particular around the Budget. The most recent meeting was a public meeting held in the Crassula Hall on October 25th which was attended by your Ward representative and several Rooiels ratepayers.
Overhills, Betty’s Bay, Pringle Bay and Rooiels have all grown considerably since the last IDP and there is not enough equipment or staff to cope with this growth. Furthermore the equipment is old and constantly needing to go for repair. It was, therefore, agreed that improving the ability of Kleinmond Overstrand Municpality to service ratepayers is going to be the main priority for the IDP.
The meeting was asked to name their top 5 priorities and they selected:
Then in addition there were other aspects that were considered important by different villages – including: Recreational facilities in Overhills and Mooiutsig, Taxi Rank/shelters, new Bettys Bay Fire depot, and various others.
For Rooiels we requested the process be put in place for the Rooiels Nature Reserve Protection and for the Rooiels Conservation Overlay to help conserve our biodiversity and the character of the village for the future.
We have not yet received from the Councillor the final priority list that will be put forward.
On 18th October a public meeting was held by the Mayor in Kleinmond to discuss baboon management in the forthcoming IDP. The meeting was attended by ratepayers from Kleinmond, Betty’s Bay, Pringle Bay and Rooiels. There was a mix of people attending who were at polar extremes of people who enjoyed living with the baboons in the area and others who wanted them removed. It was agreed that the present monitoring system has not worked. Baboons were not kept out of the CBDs and incidents have increased. There was a strong preference expressed for community managed systems to avoid a system that is very bad for the baboons and for community relationships and cohesion.
It was suggested that individual meetings would be held in the different villages to assess the best way forward. Indication was given that there might be budget allocated to some communities to support their own efforts at management. At the public Ward meeting on 25th October, Councillor Els indicated that this budget would not be sourced out of the Ward budget but would be from a separate account and was to be discussed separately. The notice of meetings for each of the villages was placed on the Rooiels Communications WhatsApp on 29 October. The meeting for Rooiels will be held on 17th November at the Pringle Bay Community Hall. The Notice is available on the Rooiels relevant OM documents blog on the website.
The experiment with monitors trying to keep baboons out of the villages has been a disaster for the baboon troops, as it separates them from the coastal fynbos and shoreline foraging that is important to their diets. This means that when they do escape the monitors they go for the quickest rewards which is usually the houses, that in turn means that despite, or perhaps because of, the monitors there have been far more incursions and baboon incidents in these villages since monitoring began. Baboons are important to biodiversity and to the ecosystem in this area. People have now taken up most of the coastal lowlands that baboons in this area need to access, and the fynbos needs the baboons. We must find a way to continue to co-exist or accept that our villages become just seaside holiday towns and not villages living with nature as part of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve. The Mayor agreed that it would be possible to ensure that when ratepayers sign up to register for municipal servicers, they are given a form that acknowledges the special regulations applying in this Biosphere. She referred to a similar form she had been required to sign in Prince Albert.
The roads have been graded but unfortunately there are still problems accessing the storm water drainage equipment. Betty’s Bay still have streets that are a quagmire and the equipment keeps breaking down. We have been assured that the Budget held over specifically for Rooiels is still being kept for Rooiels.
To assist our security people, please can we ask each Rooielser to keep the road signs in the area around them clear of grass so they can be seen better – we are scheduled to have the roadsigns repainted in green when they have completed Betty’s Bay.
Nature all around us
A few fortunate people have seen the otters, our birds are all busy nesting and raising their young and while visits have been fewer – please see the video of the latest visit from “Diego” the leopard male that comes around from time to time. Leopard Camera Blog
These are the Feedback from the Ward Committee Meetings and other related matters. They are lodged in Date order going backwards.