St Francis Bay Canals - The Environment and Ecology
A look at the Canals
A brief look at the St Francis Bay Canal system, its development, its management and upkeep to ensure its pristine environment.
The St Francis Bay Canals are administered by St Francis Bay Riparian Homeowners Association of which all homeowners with homes on the calals are members.The association sees to the upkeep of the canal system on the behalf of its memberswho all contribute to the maintenance.
St Francis Bay Riparian HOA
Improvement and maintenance of the Canal environment is a priority for the Association and encompasses a variety of responsibilities including:
- Preservation of natural areas such as Bird Island in main canal and the Spit between the canals and the sea.
- Monitoring of the canal water quality.
- Health and Safety and training of its employees.
- Monitoring of planning approval for canal walls and jetties
- Maintenance of public open space bordering the canals including canal walls and jetties
- Monitoring of privately owned canal walls and jetties to ensure compliance with regulations
- Revenue collection and administration
- Other tasks described more fully below
Dredging of Canals
Dredging of the canals is a crucial part of the Association’s responsibility to ensure access around the network and to the Kromme River and the sea.
The Association has two dredgers which it built for purpose and operate all year round except for the holiday season in December.
The Association is constantly reviewing the dredging needs and allocating resources accordingly and will act to increase these dredging resources if and when required.
Moorings and Harbours
As mooring rentals are an important part of the Association’s revenue both boat harbours at La Digue Place and Shore Road have been replaced and extended creating 26% more mooring facilities. Both projects were designed and built by the Association using the local workforce and facilities. We are now able to provide 100 moorings for rent to residents of St Francis Bay and visitors who do not have waterfront properties.
Other mooring facilities and walkways have been installed in Ski canal to allow direct access to the beach from the canals.
Bookings can be made at the Canal Harbour Office
Landscaping of the Public Open Spaces within the Canals
To complement the harbour renovations extensive landscaping and other improvements have been made to the grounds, gardens, toilets and other public facilities making up the public open space bordering the Canals. The establishment of more gardens and landscaped areas on public open space, using indigenous plants wherever possible, remains a priority for the Association.
Canal Harbour Office
The Canal Harbour office is the administrative centre for the canals and has been extended to accommodate this function which includes:
- Selling of canal and river licences on behalf of Kouga Municipality
- Management of mooring allocation and bookings
- Communication with Riparian owners
- Health and Safety administration
- Planning and administration of tasks to fulfill the Associations responsibilities
- Weekly Association Directors meetings
- Information dissemination
After the fire in November 2012 a boat was donated to the Association to assist with the future fighting of any fire which may occur around the canal network. The Association has upgraded and modified the boat to be fitted with a fire pump and hoses so that it can quickly get to any trouble spot on the canals. The Fire boat is operated and maintained by the St Francis Disaster Volunteer Group
. The Association maintains and operates four other boats which are used in support of the two dredging operations, general canal maintenance and law enforcement.