Notice from Leisure Isle Residents' Association
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LIRA NEWSLETTER:
12 August 2019

Content: Approval of MEMP for seawall repairs * Update on fibre optic rollout
* New water meters for Leisure Isle * KM data cleansing project
* Peter Godsell on Steenbok's recipe for success * An unusual visitor
BEST NEWS OF THE YEAR!
 
LIRA has just received, this morning, approval from the Dept of Environmental Affairs of our MEMP (Maintenance Management Plan) application to repair the seawall.

We have now overcome a major stumbling block in our attempts to get the seawall repaired. Our deputy chairman, Dave Stromberg, will be meeting with our consultant, Jonathan Kingwell, later this week to discuss the way forward.

LIRA thanks Dave for the hours of graft he has put into this, and all our residents for their patience. Watch this space!
LEISURE ISLAND CONTINUES TO GO HI-TECH!

No 1: Fibre optics roll-out
Eight months or so down the line, we can at last see the light at the end of the fibre optic tunnel. We’re close to the end - in our case, Land's End, and all should be finalised by the end of this month.

Increasing numbers of homeowners on the eastern side of the Island are connecting through a range of ISPs, with packages to match their needs, while work is progressing apace on Kensington Gardens, Bayswater Rd, Island Cove and Thornely Rd.

And for those who are eager to connect, there's no need to wait till the coverage map on the Openserve website turns purple, indicating that your block is connected. You can initiate discussions with your chosen ISP who will then be ready to install without any delay once your block is active.

Thanks to all Islanders for their cooperation and patience during this intrusive project; and we remain impressed with the Nokia contractor's work in doing their best to amicably solve each and every problem and their mostly excellent remediation of any disturbed landscape. The LIRA Committee again thanks Dave Stromberg for his tireless patience and work in smoothing the FO path.

No 2: Installation of new water management devices (AMDs)
Knysna Municipality has advised that Leisure Isle will now be included in the project to install new Automated Meter Devices (AMDs) - and this should be commencing soon.

This project looks to resolve the historic reasons that many communities in Knysna have had no meters while others have had to contend with faulty meters or leaks which have in some instances resulted in tens of thousands of Rands in water charges and unacceptable levels of debt being incurred.

The WMDs will be installed, free, on a free flow basis – essentially as digital rather than analogue water meters, and will allow KM to automate meter reading for billing purposes. There will be no restriction regarding usage and consumption will be monitored and charged for in the normal way. Once the program has been completed, or significantly completed, Council can take decisions about restricting use for those who are not paying etc.

The KM Council will at some point be able to take the decision to turn on the AMD's pre-paid function, with a User Interface Unit ie to operate in exactly the same way as the pre-paid electricity meters do at present. Those who qualify for a free water allocation – at present 3 Kl/m applies to everyone and 6kl/m to indigents, will have this allocation automatically loaded onto the device – however, should consumption be over this free allocation then additional water can be purchased at anytime in the way that electricity is currently purchased.

KM lists the benefits of the AMDs as follows:

  • users now being able to manage the amount of water they receive
  • users being able to budget appropriately and only receive what they can afford
  • vital protection against huge water bills that can result from undetected leaks
  • eliminating the unfairness of the situation where some communities pay for water usage and some do not.
  • enabling all residents to contribute to the responsible management of our precious water situation to the benefit of all
NOTE! The installation contractor will need the homeowner's permission and sign-off before commencing the installation. The mains will be turned off during installation which takes 60-90 mins. The AMD will likely be sited at the same location as current meters.

Pre-paid electricity meters project on LI
As far as LIRA is aware this project is still ongoing - ie the process of converting old electricity meters to pre-paid ones throughout the town.

B-Spark Electrical teams have been contracted by KM to do the work to do the conversions where required. Where homeowners are on the property, the technicians will hand over the new keypads and explain the new procedures. Homeowners will then need to go to the Municipal Customer Care Centre in Main Street to make their first pre-paid purchase.

KM assures us that no change-overs will be done without the homeowner being present.

Importantly - for those homeowners who are not resident, please contact Lulekwa at KM: lsongqengqe@knysna.gov.za, on 044 302 6456 or 060 998 6885, to arrange for a date and time that suits you, when there will be someone at home.

She understands that some properties are only occupied over holiday periods etc. She will then make appointments for the technicians to visit when there is someone to receive them.

Of course, the many homeowners who already have pre-paid meters can ignore this!

Data cleansing project
This year, the KM announced its 'data-cleansing' project and this began in Ward 9 last month. This is aimed at improving the reliability of the municipality's revenue data and thus improving revenue collection.

The following information will be verified:
  • Property information: Erf no, physical address, property usage
  • Owner/Occupant information: Name, ID, contact details
  • Electricity meter details, reading, faults
  • Water meter details, reading, faults
  • Refuse bins
  • Access to property
KM has appointed Ntiyiso Consulting to conduct the surveys. Each field worker has an Identification card and a green bib. The ID card contains their name and picture as well as the logo of both the municipality and the service provider.

If you are in any way uncomfortable to provide access to your property, please contact KM's Revenue Department on 044 302 6597/6550 to confirm the identity of the official. In the event where access is not possible, a notice will be left.
LESSONS FROM STEENBOK by Peter Godsell
 
Well known Islander, Peter Godsell, was a guiding mind that gave Knysna one of its most popular venues, Steenbok Nature Reserve. He recently decided to call it a day as part of the Steenbok committee - and here has penned how it all came about.

Bravo Peter! Your vision, commitment and hard work will live long, to be ever appreciated for generations of Knynsa residents and visitors - and their beloved dogs.


The story of Steenbok is, of course, a story of nature, beauty and conservation. However, it is also a story with lessons that seem to apply to life in general.

What we today know as Steenbok Nature Reserve (the combination of Kingfisher Creek and Steenbok Park) started with a threat – the threat of the development of these green areas on the Northern Shore of Leisure Isle. Under Roger Voysey’s leadership a group was formed to respond. This group was wise enough to base their efforts on three key principles.

Firstly it was decided to focus on being FOR something rather than against something. Often in situations like this, activist groups move in to “anti-mode”, presenting all the arguments as to why development is bad, hiring lawyers to fight the authorities, and stoking public anger.  

Rather than going that route, the group focused on what could be done to make this small natural area so good and so valued, that no one would dare do anything that would harm it. The focus was for nature, rather than against development. 

A second principal was to be a CO-OPERATIVE initiative. Partnerships were forged with the Municipality, SANParks, various nature-oriented organisations, knowledgeable individuals and the people of Leisure isle.

From the outset it was an inclusive project devoid of a virtuoso focus. It was a community project designed to be implemented through team effort, and focused on benefiting all residents of Knysna as well its many visitors.

Finally it was about DOING rather than talking. The way to safeguard the natural beauty of the Northern Shore of the Island was to work hard to make it better, make it accessible and make it valuable.

As one of many individuals who have been privileged to be a part of this magnificent project, I delight in what has been achieved so far. I also delight in the power of those three principles – be for something, be cooperative and work rather than preach.

I delight, too, in the fact that the project continues strongly. As new, fresh and innovative individuals join the team driving the Steenbok project we can be sure improvements will continue, and an area of natural beauty will be preserved not only for us but also for future generations.

For the latest Steenbok news -
click here!

  • Waterbird count in Steenbok
  • Winter pruning in Steenbok
  • A field of yellow in Steenbok
  • Trimming at Roger’s Way
  • Sign relocation at Kingfisher Creek
This wonderful and unusual visitor was spotted off Cearn Drive recently -
a Cape clawless otter (Aonyx capensis), one of two otter species found in SA. You can learn more about these elusive creatures here....
LIRA's Paul Kotze was the lucky islander to see and film it.
WHAT LIRA DOES FOR YOU!
* Provides 24/7 proactive security
* Sponsors Steenbok Nature Reserve
* Champions peak season law enforcement
* Liaison/lobbying Knysna Municipality
* Liaison Nature Conservation/SANParks
* Beautification of LI
* Employment of gardeners
* Hosts Leisure Isle Festival
* Maintains property values and unequalled lifestyle
* Professional and dedicated volunteer committee serving your interests

SPREAD THE LIRA NEWS!
 
LIRA would like as many Islanders as possible to receive these newsletters.

If you have family members, tenants or friends who would be interested in getting our news, we'd like to add them to our mailing database. Please send email details to Brenda Neall.
 
We welcome your comments and feedback on this newsletter. And your input, too! Your news, ideas, stories, happenings are welcome.

Correspondence: 
Brenda Neall, website & newsletter

To contact our LIRA chairman, Keith Hollis: 
chairman@leisureisleknysna.co.za 

LIRA website: www.leisureisleknysna.co.za
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