FISH HOEK VALLEY RATEPAYERS AND RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION
MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
HELD ON 25 FEBRUARY 2015 AT 19H30
IN THE CIVIC CENTRE MAIN HALL, FISH HOEK
- ATTENDANCE AND WELCOME
Present: As per the attendance register.
Apologies: As noted on the register.
Janet Holwill welcomed everyone, including the guest speaker, Alison Kock.
Janet thanked Terry Rothwell and Nic Marais for the sound equipment.
Janet thanked the EXCO Members for their endeavours during the year and also for their assistance for tonight.
- GUEST SPEAKER: ALISON KOCK – “Sharing the ocean with an Apex Predator.”
Alison addressed all with an illustrated presentation on the sharks in False Bay and how they affect us. She pointed out that over the past ten years they have learnt a lot with regards to the behaviour of sharks in our direct waters. The following points were discussed and explained:
- The Great White sharks are present all year round but they have different habitat use depending on the season. During autumn and winter months the males and females are found around Seal Island.
- During the spring and summer months the juveniles, young adults and females are found inshore along the coast line.
- It’s mostly juveniles, young adults and females that we are encountering at this time along our beaches. A Great White has to be around 20 years old and 4.5m before it is a mature shark and can start to reproduce.
- If the water temperature is 18°C or higher the sharks become more active.
- Over the last 10 years more than 330 Great White sharks have been identified to be living or passing through False Bay.
- Seal Island is the second largest aggregation site for Great White sharks in the world, the first one being Gansbaai.
- There is limited impact on the Great White sharks with regards to cage diving and chumming around Seal Island.
- Around spring the males leave False Bay and the females stay along our coast line. Almost as if it is a sexual segregation.
Alison also spoke about the Shark Spotters and the Shark Exclusion Net and how they have helped since being implemented in the bay. Going forward, Alison reported that they are aiming at implementing more training, cameras, research and to create more awareness to the public.
Orcas have been seen in the bay more and more regularly. There have been eight different pods visiting False Bay during one season. They seem to be hunting the common dolphin. It was noticed that when the pod of 22 orcas was seen in the bay during a particular time, there was a huge increase of Great White sightings inshore along the coast line. They are not sure if it had to do with the orcas being in the bay but orcas have been known to kill Great White sharks.
Janet thanked Alison for her talk and presented her with a gift.
- MINUTES OF THE QUARTERLY GENERAL MEETING HELD ON 27 NOVEMBER 2014
Approved and signed.
- COUNCILLORS REPORT
Janet thanked Alderman Felicity Purchase for attending the meeting. Felicity presented and discussed various issues:
- Sun Valley Centre – Felicity reported that Checkers is going full speed ahead with this development. They are within their planning permissions so they did not require any additional departures. A Virgin Active Gym will be built on the southern outskirts of the building.
- Intersection Noordhoek Main Road and Ou Kaapse Weg – This is going to be upgraded and signalised. This should be completed before the Sun Valley Centre opens.
- Ou Kaapse Weg, Four Way Stop Traffic Lights, Kommetjie Road Upgrade – The 1st phase will be Four Way Stop Traffic Lights to Capri. The 2nd phase will be Four Way Stop Traffic Lights to Buller Louw Drive. This should take up to two years before completion. The 3rd phase will be Capri to Houmoed Road Extension/Fish Eagle Park.
- Sewers – Council have discovered that there are some businesses whose grease traps are not working but we have also been very badly affected by the power outages. Glencairn and Fish Hoek have both been badly affected and these outages have put a strain on our water systems.
Question: Does the City have plans in place to deal with the power outages and the sewage problems. What if the power is shut off for two weeks as has been mentioned? What will happen to the sewage systems then?
Felicity said that the load shedding is being done to prevent the collapsing of the grid. The load shedding will be coming at more frequent times and for longer periods, but this will be to keep the grid stable so that it does not collapse. Felicity said that we must all be aware that at this stage anything can still happen and this will not be a City problem but rather a National problem. So please make sure that you have an extra water supply should this perhaps happen. The plan is the same plan that you have internationally. The default position for sewer pumps not working, or for sewer problems, is that sewage is diverted to the rivers and the sea. It is impossible to have generators installed at all the pump stations. The problems at Fish Hoek beach or the Vlei are not as serious as those in Mitchells Plain and the Cape Flats where the sewage will pool and not be able to flow out to anywhere and that is a priority for the City. The City does have plans, but they will be focused on these main problem areas.
The Provincial government is working very hard at making the Western Cape self sufficient power wise over the next 10 years. It will be expensive and hard work will be required.
Question: After the fires in 2000 there was a problem with sand in the sewers and storm water drains. Has a solution for this been thought of so that it does not happen again with the fires that we have been experiencing as of late?
Felicity said that an assessment has been done but anything could still happen. Unless we have a certain intensity of rain, we should not have any serious mud slides. Felicity has asked the officials to do a walk through to re-assess the situation and make sure that they are right.
Question: Have residents, who live on the mountainside been warned with regards to mud slides?
Felicity said that residents have not been warned but they should take their own precautions andbe proactive having experienced this disaster once before. It should not be an issue as it isalready greening over.
Question: Why can we not harness wind in the valley and use wind generators?
Felicity said that it is an expensive system that is very noisy. There are some places that have wind generators but they are out in the rural parts up the West Coast where they can’t disturb people. You cannot have wind generators in residential areas. The blades alone are around 60m long. You can get smaller ones, but they are not as efficient as the bigger ones.
Question: Why is the area between the Civic Centre and the Moth Hall not being cleared of litter? Letters have been sent. References have been given. But nothing is being done about it.
Felicity said that she had asked the responsible official to sort it out. So it should be done within the next few days.
- Dogs on Beaches – Felicity reported that the meetings will start in March 2015.
- Fire Station – The CSIR has done a report on the whole city and identified where there are gaps in terms of service delivery. They have identified that the majority of fires in our area are west of the Four Way Stop Traffic Lights and have recommended that the Fish Hoek Fire Station be moved to the western side of the valley. This will reduce the response time to 3 minutes which is very important in the City’s eyes. Sololé is being looked at as the best location for the fire facility.
- TREASURERS REPORT – JANET HOLWILL
In the absence of Allen Rose-Innes, the treasurer, who is away on holiday, Janet went briefly through the Financial Report for the calendar year 2014 as contained in the newsletter for February.
Janet spoke about how we are looking at extending our membership and how we are trying to save on expenditure. She appealed to members who presently receive FHVRRA information by post but who have an email address to advise their email addresses so as to reduce the costs of printing and postage.
Also could everyone please try to encourage friends and neighbours to sign up as members.
Janet thanked Allen in his absence, for all his hard work which included Planning and administrative organisation.
- CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
Janet informed the meeting that she will be standing down as Chairperson.
- Outstanding issues
Janet mentioned that there are still issues that have not been dealt with by the City since the year 2000. We need changes to happen. An example is that it was requested to have a traffic pedestrian crossing put up at the top of 13th Avenue, but fifteen years later, we are still waiting. Janet has written to Sean Glass with regards to this and is now waiting for his response. Fish Hoek High School has increased to over one thousand children. Pupils are constantly trying to dodge cars along Kommetjie Road.
- Beach matters
Janet extended thanks to Lorraine Lemmon-Warde for being the representative for the beach issues and for keeping things moving.
- Planning issues
It seems that more and more people are extending the building footprints on their properties as much as they can to cater inter alia for extended family living. In certain cases this impacts negatively on the street scene. The review of the many planning applications received takes up a fair amount of time.
- Teen projects
Chantal Breytenbach has been very busy looking at what teenagers would like to do in the valley with regards to entertainment. We have a lot of young people and they do need something to do. Chantal is organising an under eighteen party in April and most of the money made from this will go towards the skate park planned to be built in a section of the parking area at the beach.
Please will all be careful when walking in the region of the Silvermine River Wetlands area. Vagrants hang around this area and have been known to attack people and rob them.
- FACE BOOK
We have started a Face Book page and if you are on Face Book please will you consider liking our page. We try to keep everyone updated as to what is going on via this page. It is also a great source of information. The link to get onto the page is:
- ELECTION OF EXCO MEMBERS FOR 2015.
Felicity thanked Janet for the last six years that she has dedicated to the FHVRRA as chairman.
Felicity called for nominations and the following members were voted onto the 2015 FHVRRA Exco Committee:
Portfolios will be designated to each member at the next Exco Meeting. Allen has agreed to take over the chairmanship for a limited period.
Felicity closed the meeting at 21h15 with thanks to everyone for attending and Janet invited all to stay for refreshments.