The 2nd public participation meeting was held at the Church Hall in Paradise Beach on Monday night. Local Ds SAS Swart opened the meeting with scripture reading and a prayer and requested the public to participate in good spirit to also show respect to the Hall that serves as a Church. This introduction proved very effective as the meeting was conducted in good spirit with the necessary respect.
Municipal Manager Charl du Plessis welcomed all and introduced specialists from the Institute for Coastal and Marine Research (CMR) at Nelson Mandela University.
Management plans for both the Seekoei Estuary and the mouth was tabled in summary form. Both plans are still in draft format and was presented to stakeholders for their comments and inputs. The plans will then be finalised and tabled to Council for adoption.
Restore the Seekoei Estuary as a functional estuary that is ecologically resilient, clean and safe for all users. Resources must be managed in a responsible manner that encourages tourism and recreation. Users of the estuary must acknowledge that they are custodians of and are accountable for the estuary and, through the development of partnerships and integrated management of the estuary, ensure its longevity and sustainability.
1. Provide reasonable and safe crossing between Paradise Beach and Aston Bay when using the causeway.
2. Upgrade the exsisting loop road between Paradise beach ad the jeffreys Bay- Humansdorp link road to a tarred surface.
3. Provide a new and alternative route for residents in Aston Bay and environs should the causeway across the Seekoei be flood-damaged or removed at some time in future. The potetial also exist that the current road from Aston/Marina to Jeffreys bay may become impassible on occasons.
4. Implement a mouth and maintenance management plan
5. Remove (or modify) the exsisting carpark and building on the eastern side of the current mouth area of the estuary.
6. Possible removal of the causeway to be considered after 2023
7. Establish the Estuary and Wetland Management Committee for the Seekoei Estuary and wetlands.
8. Restore best attainable level of ecological functioning and improve the health of the Seekoei Estuary.
9. Conserve and protect the remaining estuarine habitat within the Estuarine Funcitonal Zone.
10. Develop monitoring programmes within the Seekoei Estuary
11. Promote local economic development through eco-tourism and recreation activities.
12. Promote education and awareness of the Seekoei Estuary.
13. Develop partnerships between residents and municipal management authorities for the integrated management of the Seekoei Estuary.
The Way Forward
1. The Kouga Municipality tables the documents at a council meeting for consideration. If Accepted, the documents go out for public comment before final acceptance.
2. Documents are submitted to the DEDEAT for approval and then to the MEC for signing off.
3. Once approved, the Management Plans become legal and reaching plans are implemented.
4. Council applies for a Maintenance Management Plan.