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Millions for coastal upgrades in St Francis and Oyster Bay

The rehabilitation of the coastline at St Francis Bay and Oyster Bay has received a boost following the approval of another funding application by Kouga Municipality.

Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks announced at a meeting of the Kouga Council on Tuesday that the municipality had secured R 20 million through the national Department of Environmental Affairs’ (DEA) Environmental Protection and Infrastructure Programme (EPIP) for dune rehabilitation and coastal upgrades at St Francis Bay and Oyster Bay.

“In addition to this, a further R 12,3 million has been made available to Kouga and Kou-kamma, also by DEA, for Working for the Coast Mass Employment projects,” he said.

He said the latter amount was for a two-year period and would be used to help keep the coastline clean and free of invasive alien vegetation, as well as for environmental education and awareness programmes.

“It is, in essence, a continuation of the projects that were implemented during the previous funding cycle. The focus is on job creation and maintaining the coastline from Van Stadens to the Grootbos River,” he explained.

Hendricks said the details of the work to be done with the R20-million EPIP allocation at St Francis Bay and Oyster Bay would be finalised by the Project Advisory Committee.

According to a letter from Environmental Affairs Director-General Nosipho Ngcaba, her department will be procuring the services of “professional companies and CIBD-graded contractors for the planning and implementation of the projects,” to be phased in from the 2018/2019 financial year to 2022/23.

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“R10-million of this allocation is specifically for Oyster Bay,” the Mayor said.

“In terms of the municipality’s application and preliminary discussions with DEA and other stakeholders, we expect the work to include the creation of vegetated berms and a protection wall to mitigate the risk of shifting dunes burying nearby houses and infrastructure.

“It will also be used for new ablution facilities and a mobile lifeguard tower at the beach, as well as to construct a playground nearby.”

He said the remaining R10-million would be used specifically for St Francis Bay.

Work to be done includes dune stabilisation and rehabilitation. The funding will also be used for the construction and upgrade of beach facilities, including a coastal boardwalk and ablution facilities.

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