Thursday, October 31, 2019

the 4U2FISH campaign is slowly gaining momentum

The 4U2FISH campaign is in place to ensure that the domestic tourism market associated with fishing, hunting and collecting of natural renewable resources is taken seriously by the tourism bodies and businesses within Umkhanyakude District Municipality.

Fishermen and their crews have a bad rap here in St. Lucia and they are not really welcome at most tourism establishments within the village of St. Lucia. This change of attitude by the local tourism businesses did not happen in 24 hours, but was a slow process that was managed and driven, through elegant high level PUBLLIC PERCEPTION MANAGEMENT by the IWPA (iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority) in their very devious and sneaky efforts to ensure that the waters of lake St. Lucia change from a salt water estuary system to a fresh water lake system, so that dune mining may be seen as an ecologically and economically  viable option when the mining companies step into the picture.

Before our area, the old Maputuland Coast, was declared as a world heritage site in  December 1999, as an apparent ploy to prevent mining of lake St. Lucia and the St. Lucia Estuary System, fisher folks were the core base of the St. Lucia tourism industry, and were most welcome as paying guests in St. Lucia.  The St. Lucia tourism industry sustained  three caravan parks that were fully functional and full every week end.  If one wanted to visit Cape Vidal over the week end, one would need to be in the line at the gate before 1 AM in the morning, to ensure that you were one of the few allowed into the park, as the numbers were limited, and many people wanted to visit the park.

We need to remember that the area was declared as a park long before the idea of a world heritage site was thought of, and the old NPB (Natal Parks Board ) ran the park as a farm, which supplied fish, prawns and many other natural renewable resources for the folks living within Umkhanyakude district municipality.

in 1998 our beaches were busy, businesses were flourishing and tourism within Umkhanyakude was a truly big thing. The government and big business within South Africa were all excited and looking for ways to expand this impact and increase the economic impact of tourism associated with recreational beach  use.   Unfortunately there were also some folks who had other ideas, like mining.........

Domestic tourism within Umkhanyakude was a truly huge thing, and there was an awful lot of interest in the economics associated with an expanding tourism base connected  with recreational activities and the eco tourism base of our beaches and the St. Lucia estuary system.

CONSUMPTIVE TOURISM was flourishing and everybody was making money.  The home stay style tourism businesses within the coastal belt between Mbaswane and Manguzi was awash with visitors from Joburg, Pretoria, Bloemfontein, Pietersburg and other areas of the Transvaal, the Freestate and the rest of KZN.  Domestic tourism within Umkhanyakude was a big thing.

Unfortunately for us, the big mining companies wanted to, and still want to, mine the lake and surrounding sand dunes for titanium and other minerals.  For them (the mining industry ) to succeed they needed to ensure that the domestic tourism industry collapsed, and would thus be unable to challenge the mining of our non renewable resources within the rich mineral sands that have been deposited over the years within the flood plains and surrounding sand dunes of the greater St. Lucia Wetlands Park. hence the 4x4 ban which did its job and hurt domestic tourism industry, causing some 20 000 job losses

Mining is a short term financial income strategy, but tourism is a long term business model that will employ many more folks than the mining industry, and have a much wider tax  base, that will also be around for many years.  Those who want to mine our sand dunes and water ways within the Greater St. Lucia Wetlands park have understood this for a long time, but have always been looking at ways to get in, mine and leave without spending large volumes of cash on REHABILITATION like they are currently doing  in the areas just South Of Mapelane.   We need to remember that they started mining our sand dunes in 1974, just North of Richards Bay, and that this mining has ensured the growth of Richards bay into the thriving industrial port that exists in Richards Bay today.

So they have been mining our sand dunes along the east coast of KZN South of Richards bay for more than 45 years.  In this time these mining houses have made huge unthinkable volumes of cash, and their options are now running out.  We need to remember that the Greater St. Lucia Wetlands Park was declared as a WORLD HERITAGE SITE in December 1999, from within the well managed smoke screen of  public intent to prevent the mining of our beautiful tourism destinations along the then MAPUTULAND COAST.  The first thing that the new authority did was to ensure that the mouth to the St. Lucia Estuary was closed, and stayed closed.  The IWPA did not exist at that time, but ........

The Greater St. Lucia wetlands Park Authority was renamed to the iSimangaliso Wetland park in 2007, but this organisation has been pushing hard to keep the St. Lucia Estuary Mouth closed and ensure that the ocean does not connect to the lake and estuary system.  The so called REHABILITATION which the IWPA undertook in early 2017, where they connected the Umfolozi River to the St. Lucia Lake System, by passing the natural filter system of the Umfolozi Flood Plains, has ensured that the lake has silted up, and that there is no way that the estuary will be able to have a natural breach ever again.  The tremendous amount of FRESH CLAY that was compacted by the bulldozers that pushed the dredger spoil into the Indian Ocean  during this so called rehabilitation process is a real problem, as this introduced clay layer forms a PLUG that will not easily be eroded away, as sea sand would have been.


The residents of St. Lucia tried to talk about this during the public participation process but were closed down very quickly by the scientific component of the IWPA  estuary management team.  I have been saying that the IWPA is preparing the St. Lucia Estuary and lake systems for mining for some time now, as the mining technology does not allow for mining in a saline (salt water ) system, and thus the new fresh look of the lake and estuary system is good for the mining industry.

Then there are the many cases where the IWPA closed down the informal home stay / back yard camp sites within the Umhlabuyalingana and BIG 5 / Hlabisa municipalities. This happened in a very sneaky and devious manner around the same time that the 4x4 ban was introduced. This process coincided with the very big drive by the national government to close down coastal tourism businesses that did not conform to unrealistically high criteria that  they demanded. The Transkie coastal belt suffered extensive losses within their rather active tourism industry which collapsed as a result of these rather nasty closures of informal and semi formal tourism businesses.

With some hind sight and lots of digging around to try and discover where our business within Umkhanyakude disappeared to when our beaches were closed to reasonable motor vehicle traffic way back in 2001 / 2002, one can very easily join the dots and come to some rather disturbing conclusions.  The Occasional Paper 20  by KZN Tourism which discusses the losses associated with the #4x4ban, alledges that more than 20 000 folks within Umkhanyakude district municipality  lost their economic opportunities as a knock on impact of the 4x4ban, and goes on to say that more research is needed as there appear to be other mitigating circumstances which they were unable to pinpoint with the limited budget and resources at their disposal.

The fact that international tourism boomed and flourished after the area was declared a world heritage site, was expected, and if this did not materialise, then something would be very wrong.  The collapse of the domestic tourism market within Umkhanyakude district municipality on the other hand, was caused by the mismanagement of the physical environment  and related renewable resources through the actions, activities, policies and management style of the IWPA.

These  guys  (The IWPA ) have no intention of ever fixing the ecological problems  and economic impacts associated with a dysfunctional estuary 

Please comment here and leave your views and opinions

#Frankie2Socks #4u2fish

Friday, October 18, 2019

St. Lucia Estuary Management Plan and the iSimangaliso wetland Park Authority

The iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority ( IWPA ) is the  government appointed legal entity put in place in terms of the World Heritage convention Act.

The original appointee was the Greater St. Lucia Wetlands Park Authority, and the name change ( for marketing purposes) has confused many folks, allowing the IWPA to usurp a whole range of powers and functions which they should not have in the first place.

The IWPA as the legal custodians of the iSimangaliso Wetland park World Heritage Site inherited all the below listed items and many others when the Authority was renamed

  • Duties 
  • Obligations
  • Functions
  •  Rights 
  •  Legal  responsibilities

 These above mentioned issues are not to be confused with normal working issues or conditions of any legal entity, and the IWPA is not a special body which is above the law as they would have you believe. The IWPA is currently acting and behaving in a very unacceptable manner, bullying the Umkhanyakude District municipality and it's Local municipalities in many strange and devious ways, making it extremely difficult to get things done within the Umkhanyakude District Municipality tourism industry and related economic spaces

The main issue for me personally is the current ( October 2019 ) situation surrounding the management of the St. Lucia estuary and surrounding waterways. The IWPA have adopted a " Let nature take its course attitude" and this is causing many true economic hardships to unravel within Umkhanyakude District Municipality.

EDIT : 2 November 2019 ----  I discovered this link to a plan which appears to be an Estuary Management Plan for the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority here.  there are no dates, or addresses so not sure about this, but .....   They do not respond to my emails from the email addy admin@info4u.co.za   so   perhaps you can contact them and ask if this is an official plan or what is the story....


The folks on the ground who were dependent on the fish, prawns and other renewable resources supplied by the lake and surrounding waterways are in real serious economic distress. The Domestic tourism industry is about to have a total melt down, as the tourism connected to the biological functioning of the St. Lucia lake systems and associated waterways is missing from the Umkhanyakude District Municipality economic opportunity base.

The 4u2fish campaign has thus taken a legal view on these issues, and is in the process of taking legal actions against the IWPA.   It al starts with an #openLetter to the IWPA requesting elementary and basic information through the mandated public participation process meetings, as dictated in the national environmental management act , and subsurvient legislations such as the  integrated coastal management act.

What are your views .... ????

Please use the comments below to air your views.

Please share this further so that we may expand the conversation to include the relevant folks, and find a workable solution.

#Frankie2Socks for the #4u2fish Campaign


Thursday, September 12, 2019

My first garric caught at Mapelane

On Teusday  10 September 2019 I took a small walk ( about 3 Km ) from St. Lucia to Mapelane and fished the bay at Mapelane itself. There were a few shad coming out, so I decided to swim one. This has a common name among fishermen called walking the dog. I was quite lucky and had a good pick up in less than five minutes, but this fish was lucky and escaped during the pick up stage.

Feeling depressed, I caught a second shad and swam that too.  Once again my bait was in the water less than five minutes before I had a second pick up.  This fish was also lucky and after about ten minutes of serious arguing it just spat my hooks out. I was now really depressed, but as I got back a holiday maker, fishing in the bay at Mapelane came up and gave me a fresh shad, and said better luck on the third attempt.  This fish was rather lively, and swam a bit deeper than the first two, but in less than five minutes I was on with the third pick up.

This fish felt a bit smaller than the second fish, but really gave me gears. This fish ran quite hard and stretched my line quite well.  This fish really gave me a good work out and had two more  good runs before it started to tire out. We argued for about ten minutes, then she started coming in little by little. I walked up the beach to give me the advantage of the stretch in the nylon, and slowly forced the fish into the wash zone of the long beaches that we currently have along the shore line here in the St. Lucia area. I loosened the drag just a small touch, coz this is the zone where most anglers snap up, as the fish gives a serious spurt of energy when the wash is receding, so one needs to be very careful.

This fish held true to all past experiences, and tried to use the wash against me, but I was ready, and the fish lost. This wash zone is always a problem for inexperienced fishermen, and many do not keep enough pressure on the line,  simply try to reel up the slack  as the waves push in.  This is a serious error, and one must simply walk or if the waves are a bit fast,  run backwards, keeping the pressure on the line, ensuring that there is no chance of slack line, as this can allow your hook to dislodge, and your fish to escape. At this stage one needs to be real careful not to put too much pressure on the fish, coz your line may snap, or the hook pull loose.

The guys fishing with braid need to be more careful  here, due to the fact that braid has zero stretch, and a snap off can occur as the fish uses the power of the receding water very efficiently. I personally do not fish with braid simply because it has no stretch.  Others enjoy the fact that there is no stretch, and that is their personal preference. The stretch of your line is the key to keeping pressure on the fish as each new wave pushes the fish closer to the beach, and you as the angler need to use the power of the wave to bring the fish up the wash zone, and understand the the fish will use this same power to get back over the lip and into deeper water.  By ensuring that you keep pressure on the fish and hold it in the wash zone as it gets shallower, robbing the fish of the advantage of deeper water as its belly touches the sand.

Do not ever let this fool you as a fish swimming on its side still has immense power, but the sand will stop the fish once the water recedes enough.  A fish on the sand is not in the bag, and very often the next wave will have your fish swimming again, and this time with much more vigour, as it understands that this is a life and death situation, so be prepared, and do not take tension off the line until somebody has got hold of your fish and is running up the beach with fish in hand.

This garric weighed in  at just over seven kilograms ( 7.4 ) and when gutted proved to be a female with eggs. I do not do the tag and release thing, as I catch fish for the pot, if not mine, then some body else will enjoy cooking and eating what I catch.

Any way enough bragging about the fish I caught, and now for a request of help to get the 4u2fish campaign some social media coverage and some positive public perception  management points. The #4u2fish campaign is all about returning consumptive tourism to the South African coast line. Our initial focus at the 4u2fish campaign will be on the Elephant Coast region, which was previously called the Maputuland Coast. Since the IWPA ( ISIMANGALISO WETLAND PARK AUTHORITY ) took over the management of the Greater St. Lucia Wetlands Park way back in December 1999 things have slowly changed for the worse with the IWPA being anti domestic tourism, and promoting international tourism at the expense of us as South Africans, causing many serious issues including the loss of more than 20 000 jobs, as a consequence of bad management decisions and related community anger.

This anger is slowly building up and the management of the IWPA just simply brush it off and carry on regardless.  The 4u2fish campaign aims to stop the IWPA in their tracks, and reverse the anti domestic tourism drive that they have been running since they stepped into the picture.  The local population of Umkhanyakude District Municipality is reliant on the passing trade associated with domestic tourism,  so bringing back consumptive tourism is a big issue, as this is basically the domestic tourism market.

Your help in talking about this and getting the topic of consumptive tourism out there in the social media will be appreciated.

Thanx for reading my blog. Please subscribe and should you have any questions contact me directly at frankie2socks@info4u.co.za or leave a comment here.

Sorry guys, but my old tablet wont publish the pic, I will get the pic published from another device just as soon as I can.   

Monday, September 9, 2019

The 4u2fish campaign is active and needs your views

Yesterday, 29 August 2019 I attended a public meeting called by the IWPA or iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority to discuss issues around concessions and concession holders problems. At first glance most of the attendees at the meeting were impressed by the IWPA delegates and the new approach of inclusivity  by the management team of the park.

That being said, the team from the IWPA were either ill informed, or they were trying to pull the wool over the publics eyes.

This public  meeting was .held in the old NPB Auditorium in the village of St. Lucia and there were many folks from Sodwana bay and other outlaying areas of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. The thing that stuck in my throat, and caused me to have a sleepless night was the fact that we, as local residents were told that the casuarina trees surrounding the ablution facilities at the St. Lucia estuary mouth were dying, and that this was the reason for their removal.

This in my humble opinion is a blatant lie, and I am not sure if this was dis-information or mis-information. Any body that knows casuarina trees  will tell you that these trees are extremely hardy, and that there are no known  diseases which kill them off here in Zululand.  Think clearly and remember which trees the dune mining companies use within their rehabilitation process after mining.

Casuarina trees were planted by the South African government ( way back in the late 1950's early 1960's ) to change wind flow patterns and protect our sand dunes after a rather tedious and lengthy study. They did their job very well, but the new science folks deem this to be problematic, and there was a great effort from the early 2010's to remove these, as the new scientific opinion was that these trees are now causing unwanted problems.  This debate needs to be held at a future public participation process meeting, where all sides should be allowed to question the scientific data available,  personally I believe that  the removal of the casurina trees along our shoreline was an error, as this was the only mechanism that protected our beaches  and dunes from wind erosion and the influence of coastal currents at the bases of our primary dunes along the coastline between Mapelane and Kozi Bay.

These casurina trees in question were keeping the estuary open and prevented the migration of the beach into the St. Luçia  estuary mouth. The road between Ingwe beach and estuary beach is already a few meters under sand and not accessible in any shape manner or form. This is the same area that is part of the St. Lucia precinct plan, where the current board walk ( from the Ski Boat club to the beach) is about to be extended.  The fact that this sand migration is not discussed and included in the EIA ( Environmental Impact Assessment ) needs some serious attention, as the ablution blocks were apparently removed due to their perceived problem location, which is the same location that the board walk extension is supposed to be, whiçh strangely has no problems at all.

This does not make sense at all, and somebody some where is about to be in a very uncomfortable position. The space is approved for new development, but the old development has been removed due to environmental stability problems.  So is there a problem or not? Were these trees really ill? Trees do not die without cause, casurina trees are truly hardy, and can grow in rather hostile environments.

The question is thus which information is correct ?  They are mutually exclusive issues, so some explanation is needed.

We thus need an explanation of what disease or problems these trees had, and what was the issue which warranted their removal and the removal of the ablution block that they were protecting?

What do you think that we, as the 4u2fish management team, should do?

Should we ask for the EIA ( Environmental Impact Assessment ) for the so-called St. Lucia Precinct plan to be revisited, and the Environmental Practitioner who approved this development to be investigated because the SAND FLOW ISSUES for the boardwalk extension appear to be some how ignored ?  Or is there some other explanation which is being withheld from the publiç domain?

Please leave a comment and share if you think that others should get involved.

#FRANKIE2SOCKS
#4U2FISH

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Biodiversity problems in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park

The current situation within the Greater St. Lucia Wetlands Park is not one that folks want to hear about,  as it is both  depressing and infuriating at the same time.  The main  issue is that the IWPA or iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority have been mandated to manage the iSimangaliso Wetland Park  World Heritage Site, in terms of the WHCA  ( World Heritage Convention Act ) and associated legislations, but have failed to take local communities into consideration, causing many strange problems, with the largest impact being the dramatic collapse of the biodiversity within Lake St. Lucia and the St. Lucia Estuary system.

The knock on impacts of this collapsed biodiversity are quite substantial, and the negative impact on the Umkhanyakude district municipality is growing at an alarming rate as communities no longer have access to the vast renewable resources that sustained them in the past. Expanding Poaching,  excessive harvesting of wild fruits, and generally living off the land in a non sustainable manner are also part  of the impacts associated with the collapse of the biodiversity within the St. Lucia Estuary System and associated waterways within the Umkhanyakude.

The tourism losses that are directly connected to the loss of biodiversity within the St. Lucia Estuary system and surrounding rural areas is substantial, as the boating public along with their friends, family and associates are no longer visiting our region.  The passing trade associated with the boating fraternity is quite substantial, and this really needs to be addressed at 1) National level, 2) Provincial level, 3) district and local municipally level.

The 4U2FISH campaign is in place to address these issues and help government connect the dots between poor biodiversity management within the iSimangaliso Wetland park and poverty on the ground in the Umkhanyakude district municipality.  The fact that local communities are excluded from the many mandated planning procedures within the IWP is of grave concern.  Our collective rights in terms of section 24 of the   South African Constitution are quite extensive and include but are not restricted to :

1) economic rights
2) social rights
3) land access rights
4) access rights to renewable natural resources

These are very important rights that communities have lost due to the manner in which the IWPA administer their mandate to manage the first world heritage site in South Africa. There are many acts and a host of related legislations which mandate how the park should be managed, but the IWPA has acted as if their decisions are outside of the South African laws, and they are not responsible to the South African public for the economic and social devastation  that follows their actions, policies, activities and decisions.

The 4U2FISH campaign has been established to mobilise the public into taking actions to remedy the situation.  This public mobilisation has become essential because the IWPA management policies some how seem to exclude public participation processes that are mandated in terms of various acts and associated legislations with the NEMA or National Environmental Management Act being the true tool that we need to use, in conjunction with SECTION 24 of the South African Constitution as quoted below.

Quote
Environment

Everyone has the right

a. to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and

b. to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that

i. prevent pollution and ecological degradation;

ii. promote conservation; and

iii. secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.

End quote....

So effectively section 24 \  b \ iii states     

Everyone has the right to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development. 

Now the rights in the bill of rights are not exclusive to natural persons,  and JURISTIC PERSONS also have recourse in terms of these rights.  This implies that the various impacted communities which have lost economic, social and environmental rights as a consequence of the management strategies implemented by the IWPA have recourse in terms of section 24 of the South African constitution.

Please join us in the debate around this issue on our FACE BOOK PAGE

#Frankie2Socks
#4U2FISH
#RestoreStLucia
#HerstelStLucia

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Product of the week at SFI

I just recently joined the SFI - TRIPPLE CLICKS NETWORK, AND AM VERY SUPPRISED  about the quality  and number of products for sale.

SFI  Product of the week
Week 2 Jan 2018


 tripleclicks.com
Nomu S10 Waterproof Android Quad Core 4G Smartphone— ZAR1,740.38 (Save 8%!)
Tougher, stronger, smarter: rethink what a rugged phone can offer with the Nomu S10 Waterproof Android Quad Core 4G Smartphone ! A 5-inch IPS screen with 1280x720 resolution covered by Corning Gorilla Glass 4 provides sharp, crisp images and added protection when you're on the go; while the quad core processor and 2GB RAM handles all your media...


Tougher, stronger, smarter: rethink what a rugged phone can offer with the Nomu S10 Waterproof Android Quad Core 4G Smartphone! A 5-inch IPS screen with 1280x720 resolution covered by Corning Gorilla Glass 4 provides sharp, crisp images and added protection when you're on the go; while the quad core processor and 2GB RAM handles all your media and gaming needs. The Nomu S10 also features a large 5000mAh battery for hours of uninterrupted usage and Quick Charge technology to get your phone back up and running quickly when it does need recharging. PRODUCT DETAILS: * Color: Black and orange * Screen size: 5.0 inches * Screen: Capacitive touch screen, multi-touch * Resolution: 720*1280 pixels * OS: Android 6.0 * CPU: MTK6737T Quad core * RAM: 2GB * Memory: 16GB * Extended memory: 32GB * Support functions: gravity sensor, light and distance sensor, geomagnetic sensor, quick charging * Display Resolution: 1280x720 * Talk time: 2-4 hours * GPS: Yes * Bluetooth: Yes * WIFI: Yes * Camera: 5MP front camera; 13MP rear camera * Network standard: 3G:WCDMA/2G:GSM/4G:LTE * SIM Card: Dual Nano SIM Card(SIM1 default 4G)or Nano SIM+MicroSD * Battery: 5000mAh battery (MAX) * Language: Multi Language support * Other functions: Calculators, alarm, clock, calendar, recorder, waterproof, OTG, etc. * Weight: 0.6kg * Dimensions: 146.6×75.9×13.95mm In the box: * Nomu S10 phone * Battery * USB cable * Charger * USB cable * User Manual
140.24 USD InStock

RECOMMENDED BY #FRANKIE2SOCKS  

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Commun.it is a twitter management tool of note.


Social media management  tools come in all shapes and sizes,  some are free, some are paid for tools ( PREMIUM )  and some are a COMBINATION of free and premium  ( FREEMIUM ) 


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