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4 April 2018

4 April 2018Published every Wednesday by CXpress 2006 (Pty) Ltd - PO Box 1449, Plettenberg Bay 6600 - 6 Park Lane, Plettenberg Bay - Tel: 044 533 1004 - Fax: 044 533…
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4 April 2018Published every Wednesday by CXpress 2006 (Pty) Ltd - PO Box 1449, Plettenberg Bay 6600 - 6 Park Lane, Plettenberg Bay - Tel: 044 533 1004 - Fax: 044 533 0852 Email: editor@cxpress.co.za / advertising@cxpress.co.za Web page: www.cxpress.co.za Printed by Group EditorsEaster sees another Robberg rescue - p3 On the power of rating agencies - p7 How polo supports Plett - p16FREEOf fish and men This photograph of fishermen on Plett’s Central Beach must have been taken circa 1960, according to Derek Frielinghaus, who kindly shared it with CXPRESS. Alas, these professional ‘ghillies’ are no longer seen on or off our beaches. Turn to page 2 for Mike Kantey’s musings along these lines. Happy holidays!10 000 FREE COPIES OF CXPRESS DISTRIBUTED ALONG THE GARDEN ROUTE EVERY WEDNESDAY2CXPRESSNEWS & VIEWS4 April 2018On fishermen and funds never seen, and angling fun in Kasouga MIKE KANTEY reckons there’s always something fishy in Plettenberg Bay NCE upon a time, maybe 70,000 years ago, the local inhabitants used to eat from the rocks and low-lying waters of Plettenberg Bay. As the centuries flew by, the level of sophistication and technology expanded until the rise of the whaling industry and the development of long-shore fishermen, who braved the wild seas in search of a living. It was these stout-hearted men who appear on the cover of this issue. As a former merchant skipper told me: “These guys were the best sailors anyone could wish for, worldwide.” In time, and with the advent of the tourism industry, recreational fishermen appeared on our shores from the big cities and leant heavily on the finer knowledge of such local experts, known by the Scottish name as “ghillies”. Many of their pictures can be seen in the present-day Angling Club on Keurbooms River and in Jack Mudd’s book, Jack of All Trades - published some time ago by the Watermark Press, but still in print and available from local bookstores. According to former Plett mayor Paul Scheepers and local kenner Cornelius Krigga, however, the old Plett Housing Trust was instrumental inOTHOSE WERE THE DAYS: Our Eden’s earliest inhabitants subsisted on the abundant delicacies offered by a pristine and untainted oceandefending the rights of these fishermen when in “about 2002”, the Plettenberg Bay Fishermen’s Trust was formed to create a fund that could assist poor fishermen in times of need in the future. The Trust was supposed to represent ordinary fishermen, but included two sitting councillors at the time. Subsequently, the Trust formed a company called Versatex Trading 294 in 2004, and they both applied for and were granted a 51-ton hake-fishingquota. The shareholders were then The Plettenberg Bay Fishermen’s Trust (55%) and a certain Piet Marais (45%). According to the Trust Deed, “beneficiaries” were listed as: “The members of the Plettenberg Bay Community… and such other disadvantaged and poor communities in Bitou, as the Trustees in their discretion may identify from time to time”. Marais soon came under pressure from the chokka industry in St Francis Bay when they bought out his 45% share in theBOOKING ESSENTIALname of Plett Fishing Development Company (Pty) Ltd. The directors of this new entity included two brothers of St Francis Bay, Lawrence Luiters and councillor Xipula of Plettenberg Bay, and one Wolmerans Kruger. Apart from the lucrative quota, another asset in the form of a seagoing vessel was acquired under the agreement and promptly sold, but from that day to this, not one member of the then 100-strong Plettenberg Bay fishermen’s community has ever seen a penny from the company partly owned by… let’s just call them ‘the brothers from St Francis Bay’. Now it seems that they would like to acquire the rights to whale-watching, too, at the expense of our own Plett-based operators who, it is rumoured, will be going to court to defend their rights. On a lighter note, however, all praise to local building contractor Torquil McNicol, who - along with his brother - has been picked to fish for England on very friendly terms at my former holiday haunt of Kasouga, this side of Port Alfred. The triangular event among Namibia, South Africa, and England has been organised by the Rock and Surf Super Pro League (RASSPL) and takes place from April 26 to 30. Just don’t tell the brothers from St Francis Bay, please.NEWS & VIEWS4 April 2018CXPRESS3Hikers warned to take safety seriously on Robberg after yet another injury The breath-taking, but challenging Robberg hiking trail has claimed yet another victim when a man had to be rescued off the route after injuring his ankle over the Easter weekend -YOLANDÉ STANDER reports ATIONAL Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Plettenberg Bay deputy station commander Robbie Gibson said just before 9am on Monday, the crew responded to reports of a 37-year-old from Johannesburg unable to continue his hike along the route after injuring his ankle walking on the southern side of the trail near The Point. “NSRI crew responded by road and hiked to the man while the sea rescue craft Leonard Smith and Free Runner were launched. Our sea rescue vehicle also took additional crew to the car park and they hiked to the location with extra medical gear and extrication gear,” Gibson said. The AMS/EMS Skymed rescue helicopter was placed on alert and a Western Cape government health EMS ambulance also responded to the Robberg car park. “NSRI provided medical care on the scene and the patient, in a stable condition and suffering suspected tornNligaments of the ankle, was assisted to reach our sea rescue craft. Using a floating stretcher, the patient was transferred from the beach to our sea rescue craft and brought to our station.” NSRI crew then transported the man to a local hospital where he received treatment. The man’s wife, who was hiking with him, was escorted out of the reserve by fellow hikers. This is not the first time large-scale rescue efforts were needed to help injured hikers along Robberg. About a month ago a 29-year-old Brazilian woman suffered a fractured leg after a tumble near The Point. This saw rescue efforts by several groups including the local NSRI, the Mountain Club of South Africa Garden Route division, Medlife ambulance services, and the Western Cape Government Health emergency services. Over the past year there have been several incidents- which resulted in minor and major injuries - which led to authorities warning hikers to take note of safety precautions before taking on the route. CapeNature issued a statement saying that most of the incidents were largely as a result of hikers overestimating their own physical abilities. They further said that hikers often ignored the route markers and maps, took shortcuts, did activities with a high risk factor despite not having medical assistance nearby, did not wear the appropriate clothing and shoes and did not provide for water or food. Hikers have been urged to familiarise themselves with the terrain and the safety protocol before taking on the trail. A link to this information can be found on http:// www.capenature.co.za/wpcontent/uploads/2014/03/ There-and-back-Safely-Hiking-Protocol.pdf. In case of an emergency Plett NSRI can be contacted on 082 990 5975.ENJOY, BUT BE CAREFUL: This map shows the trail along Robberg Peninsula towards The Point4CXPRESSKwaNokuthula youth reminded of the dire impact of road deaths Words and photo: Khaya MbesiLETT’S Youth Movement in Christ (YMC), comprising members of 13 interdenominational churches, hosted a huge event at KwaNokuthula Methodist Church last week to empower residents and raise awareness of road accidents during this busy time of year. Said YMC vice president Mkhuthazi Mhlana: “We are meeting here today to share with each other the many different challenges faced by our young people. One issue that seriously affects us all is the prevalence of road accidents. If parents are hurt or killed on our roads, it has a severe impact on their children’s lives. “Another crisis in this community is the fact that our young people are swimming in an ocean of drugs. No one does anything about it, and the way this drug syndrome rips our community apart is unspeakable.” Mhlana added that representatives from the SA Police Services, traffic and health departments, and the mayor of Bitou had been invited to engage with youngsters on these matters. “If things continue at this pace, we will lose many of our young people. They roam the streets with no direction, searching for money to buy drugs and engaging in criminality.” Rev Mdumiseni Gqeba of the host church said: “We hope to have many more events in future,NEWS & VIEWS4 April 2018PGUARDIANS OF THE YOUNG AND RECKLESS: From left are Sindile Mdlalani, Dannielle Petersen, Rev Mdumiseni Gqeba, and Zukiswa Pita during the gathering at KwaNokuthula Methodist Churchsuch as a youth conference, outreach workshops, and concerts. We want these events to attract the youth so that we can work together to build our community and our country.” Said Sindile Mdlalani in his capacity as taxi industry representative: “We talk with our members about the dangers of speeding on the road. “We also caution that their taxis must have trailers to prevent luggage taking up space on passenger seats, and always encourage our drivers to rest before travelling long distances,” he said.Bitou Traffic official Zukiswa Pita concluded: “We warn road users to check their vehicles before departure and encourage drivers to service their cars when planning to travel. Always check if your tyres and spare wheel are in good condition. “We advise them not to pack too much clothes and other luggage when travelling with their families. Overloading is the cause of many accidents and passengers will not arrive safely at their destinations. “We want to reduce the high rate of deaths on the road every year. Don’t drink and drive,” urged Pita.0795738656 ĂĚŵŝŶΛƉůĞƩƐƚŽƌĂŐĞ͘ĐŽ͘njĂ ǁǁǁ͘ƉůĞƩƐƚŽƌĂŐĞ͘ĐŽ͘njĂNews Brief Saturday March 31: Missing fisherman NSRI Wilderness duty controller Mike Vonk reports that at 18h18 on Saturday March 31, NSRI Wilderness, George Fire and Rescue Services, Western Cape Government Health EMS, and the SA Police Services responded to a remote location east of the Gwaing River Mouth [south of George] following reports of an angler in the water and last seen drifting in a westerly direction. Fellow anglers suspect that the local 49-year-old man fishing off rocks on the shoreline was washed off by waves in the Spring High tide. Although no-one actually saw the man being swept off the rocks; he was seen in the water and drifting. “On arrival on the scene, access to the remote area was hampered by darkness, steep inclines and a remote, barely accessible location, and a search revealed no sign of the missing man. “A search resumed from first light on Sunday, including shore patrols, and our sea rescue craft, Spirit of Rotary, engaged in a sea search. A Police Dive Unit is continuing in an ongoing search and recovery operation for the missing man,” Vonk reports. Sunday April 1: Lagoon drowning in Wilderness Yet another report from Mike Vonk states that, at 15h49 on Sunday April 1, NSRI Wilderness duty crew were activatedfollowing reports of a drowning in progress in the Touw River Lagoon, Wilderness. SA National Parks rangers, the SA Police Services, and Western Cape Government Health EMS were also activated. “Our NSRI rescue swimmers responded to the scene, and on arrival it was confirmed that a local man aged in his late 40’s, at a picnic with friends, had entered the water to swim when he got into difficulty. “A friend had entered the water to try to help him but also got into difficulties. The friend was able to get out of the water unassisted and uninjured but the casualty had, at that stage, disappeared under water. “Two NSRI rescue swimmers entered the water and immediately started free dive sweeping line search efforts. “They were joined by a further four NSRI rescue swimmers and all six conducted a coordinated sweeping line search, and during the search the man was located and recovered from the water. “The NSRI medical crew initiated Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) efforts, but sadly after all efforts were exhausted, the man was declared deceased by EMS paramedics on the scene.” The body of the victim has been taken into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services and Police have opened an inquest docket. Condolences are conveyed to family and friends of the deceased man.NEWS & VIEWS4 April 2018The world’s a mess - but ‘Woolies’ is okay! A talk by Woolworths Food Security manager Kobus Pienaar left correspondent BOB HOPKIN confused whether to be elated or distraught HE 13th professional talk to members of the Wilderness Residents Association last week came from soil scientist Kobus Pienaar, currently employed by the Woolworths store chain as their national Food Security manager. Although, unsurprisingly, he painted a glowing picture of the efforts his chain is making to ensure its food offerings are nutritious, safe and attractive, the context that he presented of the global farming situation was anything but reassuring. A firm believer in anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) climate change, he showed an array of research results indicating that the doubling of the Earth’s population in the last three generations and the widening gap between rich and poor have created an unsustainable situation, where natural resources for food production are rapidly being overtaken by demand. In his view, short-term thinking and profit-driven motives by major suppliers have resulted in global agricultural methods producing both arable and pastoral products that are generally less nutritious and inefficient than ever before. “For instance,” he said, “farming as we know it onlyTFARMER’S MAN: Soil specialist Kobus Pienaar addresses the issues of agriculture and nutritionstarted some 10,000 years ago and flour was invented 200 years ago, but mankind has harnessed its creativity by using chemicals to increase output, additives to improve perceived flavour, and sophisticated transport systems to move exotic produce all around the world.” Pienaar’s research showed that in the last 50 years, vitamins, minerals, and protein in fruit and vegetables had reduced by up to 35%, antioxidants by 30%, and iron in meat - vital for the oxygen carrying in our blood supply - by up to 80%. Likewise, on average, it takes eight calories of energy to produce one calorie of food energy. According to Pienaar, the food industry is opaque and complex, with the many “middlemen” obscuring origins, processesand contents, and making possible “food fraud” such as the recent scandal where horsemeat was being presented as beef steak. In addition, he claimed research showed that, on average, soil is being over-farmed to such an extent that most topsoil would cease to be productive within 50 years. Pienaar said that Woolworths was trying, within its own scale, to buck the trend by sourcing its products direct from farms, using its own resources to train and advise chosen farmers on the most efficient and nutritious ways of production, and providing its own packaging. “Indeed, packaging is one of the most difficult issues to resolve, because there is a natural conflict between packaging waste and food waste. Our customers have a clear preference for packaged products as they like the ability to keep food fresher for longer. “Unfortunately this results in a plastics disposal problem. On the other hand, if we don’t wrap the foodstuffs, they become inedible faster and create a food wastage issue. It is a problem we haven’t solved yet, but it is an issue we are addressing in our ‘Farming for the Future’ programme.”Entries now open for Skål Sustainable Awards KÅL International - an affiliate member of the UNWTO, whose mission is to promote responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism - last week announced the call for entries to its 2018 Sustainable Awards. When the United Nations declared 2002 as the Year of Ecotourism and the Mountains, Skål International launched these awards in the same year to highlight andSacknowledge best practices around the globe. During the 2017 International Congress, Skål South Africa walked away with three of the nine awards. Public and private sector company, NGOs, government agencies and individuals worldwide are welcome to submit entries in one of the following available categories: Community and Government Projects; Countryside andBiodiversity; Educational Institutions/Programmes and Media; Major Tourist Attractions; Marine and Coastal; Rural Accommodation; Tour OperatorsTravel Agents; Tourism Transport; or Urban Accommodation. Submit entries and promotional videos online at www.skal.org before June 30; entry is free. Call Lara Mostert on 082 979 5683 for more info.CXPRESS5Read CXPRESS online at www.cxpress.co.za6CXPRESSNEWS & VIEWS4 April 2018Security plans redefined to ensure safe traverse of glorious Garden Route National Park trails ANPARKS teams met recently in Knysna to revisit risks, threats and vulnerabilities of Garden Route National Park (GRNP) and its visitors. Dubbed ‘Operation Reboot’, input from the meeting is now being fed into a national safety and security strategy led by Special Projects head major general (retired) Johan Jooste. Speaking to media during a site visit, Jooste said equipping rangers with fresher skills and strengthening alliances with other law enforcement authorities formed part of the short-to-medium term interventions. “There are other planned operational interventions, but we are making wildlife crime our core focus and we take it very seriously,”She said. Although suspects in a recent incident were apprehended by the South African Police Service (SAPS), SANParks continues to roll out security plans for its Wilderness, Knysna, and Tsitsikamma sections of the GRNP. The Park spans across more than 155,000 hectares and includes water bodies, forests, and fynbos areas. Says GRNP manager Paddy Gordon: “The openaccess nature of the Park, fragmented with pockets of private land in between, could make us vulnerable. But we’re moving ahead with operational systems internally as well as externally.” In addition, SANParks continues to form part of local policing forums in each town and worksclosely with the SAPS as well as mountain and sea rescue teams. GRNP boasts 14 Greenflag status hiking trails, 12 in the Tsitsikamma and two in Knysna. It continues to implement the certification programme for the rest of its trails. At least four multiple-day hiking trails include the Harkerville Coastal Trail (rerouted after the June fires), the Outeniqua Trail, the Otter Trail, and the Dolphin Trail. A conservation fee is payable at reception areas prior to traversing these trails - call 044 877 1196 (Wilderness), 044 302 5600 (Knysna), and 042 281 1607 (Tsitsikamma) or email nandi.mgwadlamba@san parks.org for details, and see the notice on this page for additional information.NATURE WITHOUT DANGER: ‘Operation Reboot’ saw security experts and SANParks officials putting heads together to ensure that a plethora of spectacular Garden Route National Park trails can be tackled risk-free - Photo: Abraham MoutonBUSINESS4 April 2018CXPRESS7Moody’s lifts our economic blues - but should ratings agencies wield so much power? Stuart MurrayOODY’S had South African business, and government, breathing sighs of relief last weekend after waiting for the world’s second-biggest credit rating agency to deliver judgment on the country’s reform path. Late on Friday night it revised the country’s outlook from negative to stable and confirmed South Africa’s rating at investment Grade Baa3. In a statement, Moody’s said it recognises that there is a chance of real improvement in the economy, accepting that the change in political leadership has enabled government institutions such as the Treasury, SARS, and state-owned enterprises
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