Notice from Leisure Isle Residents' Association
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12 December 2020

Dear <<First Name>>,


After deciding on 17 December for our AGM, we have made the call that it would be irresponsible to proceed with a public meeting under the current Covid circumstances. 

Your health and safety is most important as we enter the holiday season, and with group gatherings limited it makes sense to reschedule in the new year. (We are mindful of our obligation to hold an AGM within the prescribed time-frame as defined by our constitution). We hope you will understand.

We will soon be providing all members with a detailed summary of the year, signed financials, seawall updates and more about the Committee's plans for 2021. 

We would also like to advise you that annual accounts will be sent out shortly - we have changed our billing system and trust we can count on your ongoing support in the coming year.

The Committee thanks all Islanders who have been supportive during a very tricky, uncertain year - we are most grateful!

If you have any queries, please feel free to contact me privately. 

Mary-Anne Beviss Challinor

Email me here or call C: 082 651 3767


LIRA would like to extend our sincere condolences to all families who have lost loved ones during the past year –  we have learnt of the passing of several long-standing Islanders with great sadness, and their families are in our thoughts.

New sculpture for LI entrance park

A big thank you to the Carter family who have donated a beautiful sculptured bird, similar to the blue crane (left) at the entrance, created by their talented mother, the late Christine Carter.
  Her widower, Colin, so dear to many, passed away a few months ago and we are honoured they have gifted the island with another of their mother's striking creations.
  We shall install it in due course, at the entry area again, with a memory plaque.

Remaining Food Project funds

LIRA has closed down its food parcels/food kitchen funding project, initiated in response to March's hard lockdown. The residual funds from this wonderfully-supported projected were donated to the Knysna Educational Trust that does such valuable work in our surrounding townships and rural communities. LIRA was thanked by islander Gina Nel, a stalwart of KET.

ANNUAL LEVY FOR 2021 - no change & please pay!

We thank all those members who, through payment of their levy for 2020, enabled LIRA to once again maintain an excellent level of security on the Island. As in the past, we experienced only a few isolated and opportunistic incidents during the year.

Thanks to our ongoing efforts to collect all levies from members savings in various areas, we have ended our financial year (Nov-Oct) with an encouraging surplus some of which we have put to good use in several projects this year, notably the seawall repairs and the extension of the post-and-rail fence at Thornely Park.

The success of our security operation not only upholds the value of our properties on Leisure Isle, but provides an exceptionally secure and peaceful way of life for all who live here. The LIRA levy cost is small - and the value priceless. And a thought for all to consider: imagine Leisure Isle without LIRA?

In recognition of the financial and other turmoil that has characterised this crazy year, we have decided to keep the levy at the 2020 figure:

Annual Levy: R4 830

Monthly Levy: R430 pm

We have shifted our invoicing system to a new platform, a complex transfer, which has delayed issuing of invoices, but these will be despatched soonest. In the meantime, we would appreciate payment of your levy:

FNB Knysna
Registered name: LEISUREISL
Branch Code: 210214 
Account: 62012612009
Ref: Your name

On payment, you will receive an updated statement along with original invoice. THANK YOU!

LIRA as a Public Benefit Organisation!

After many years non-progress on this issue, we're happy to report that our application to be a PBO has been approved by SARS, and verification is a matter of formality. Once this Section 18 (a) status is obtained, it means that levies and donations made to LIRA will be tax deductible. This is good news indeed!

How wonderful to see the seawall in decent shape! The repair and reconstruction project got underway about five weeks ago and has been completed well before the start of the intense holiday season in mid December.

The improvement is remarkable - what a long, convoluted journey it has been to implement these relatively basic and soundly functional constructions! 

We intend to finish off this project with an extended budget, funded by your kind donations and partly by some LIRA reserve funds, for the addition of stair hand rails, landscaping and fill where necessary; as well as fixing a few other sections badly in need of repair on Woodbourne Drive and in Steenbok Reserve. We hope this will be done in the coming days prior to builders' shutdown, or asap in the new year.

Hope you appreciate these "Post and Pre" pics.

THIS IS AN ONGOING PROJECT! Until KM and SANParks resolve their impasse on seawall responsibility, we have no option but to take matters into our own hands, or live unhappily with failing infrastructure. Our expert team has identified several other areas that we would like to repair in the new year and beyond - but we need additional funding to add to the R414k or so already raised and expended. Please help us achieve this, and more!


BIG or SMALL, please assist this initiative!

Imagine if every holiday maker on Leisure donated a small amount? We could do a lot more work on the wall for everyone's pleasure and benefit. Please donate to the LIRA account, and reference with your surname and ‘Seawall’. The funds are ring-fenced and will only be used for this work.

FNB Knysna
Registered name: LEISUREISL
Branch Code: 210214 
Account: 62012612009

! Thousands of people cherish Leisure Isle as a prime recreational destination, and so we intend to broaden this appeal to the greater Knysna public and to all those who venture onto the island.

We will publicise this project via various means, including a funding barometer sign at the entrance, ads in Action Ads, flyers in our coffee/food emporiums and via social media etc. Please support this cause to preserve and enhance our island, in the wake of a parlous dodging of duty and responsibility by KM and SANParks!


LIRA committee members have had several meetings with heads of KM depts to discuss security, cleansing, public safety issues etc over the high Season. KM has committed to the following:
  • A permanent fulltime cleansing team from 15 December to 15 January - with two members based at Green Hole, and two roving to Thornely Park, Bollard and elsewhere. (This is the same good team, lead by Greg Pompi, that LIRA has been paying to do Monday-morning clean-ups this year.)
  • A mobile Law Enforcement unit will be in place at Green Hole, with additional manpower provided by SAPS.
  • Four random road blocks at Wilson Drive/George Rex.
  • Life guards on duty at Green Hole.
  • Additional public order and parking/traffic monitors.
  • Placing of temporary toilets at Bollard and Thornely Park.
Additionally, LIRA will:
  • Place some prominent signage on the by-laws regarding public drinking.
  • Has contracted Allsound to have a second vehicle and extra guards on duty for the three important weeks.


While every possible effort has been made to ensure that the Season runs smoothly we strongly urge our members to be mindful of the difficulties we encounter in facilitating a successful Festive Season. 

This year the added challenge of Covid has made the task even more difficult, fluid and uncertain. Currently, Steenbok Nature Reserve, Green Hole and Thornely Park are closed – policing of these measures could present challenges and we ask all members to assist in maintaining law and order. 

Allsound is tasked with our island security and patrols – but is not able to act on public disturbance and crowd control matters as this rests squarely on the shoulders of Law Enforcement (LE) and SAPS. 

With this in mind we ask that you make use of the LE contact number - 044-302-6551 - for all such incidents. 

We can confirm that we have been successful in securing the mobile policing unit for the Island and it is due to be placed at Green Hole permanently for the season – manned during daytime. We urge you to know and understand the by-laws and not accept unlawful behaviour – LE is there to serve the community and we urge you to make use of them when required. 

The same applies to other departments offering a service for which we pay – they need to be accountable.

Seasonal trading tenders: We are aware that the tender for the seasonal vendors has been awarded but have not received any notification as to what to expect despite numerous requests. We shall advise via the Leisure Isle Whatsapp group when informed.

While we do our best to act in the best interests of our members on the Island, we are limited by the goodwill of the Municipality and its ability to perform.


Security advice


There has been some changing of the guard at Steenbok Reserve, with four committee members retiring and two newcomers arriving.

It's farewell and big thanks to Letti Bensely, Ingrid Meter, Diana Stromberg and Dennis Boyd, and hello to Fran de Jager and Tony Richards
  • Letti was the resident horticulturist, and she was instrumental in updating flora species on the wonderful Steenbok website.
  • Ingrid was constantly inventing ways to recruit new members. She was always on hand to give advice and to help with brainstorming new projects.
  • Diana was recruited by Roger Voysey six years ago. She has been involved in all aspects of the Reserve – as Roger’s Deputy, arranging the LI Festival stall, authoring and editing the Friends Recipe Book and Look Deep into Nature children's activity book.  She was responsible for encouraging many children’s nature appreciation. Diana stays on as a Trustee of the Steenbok Nature Reserve Trust.
  • Dennis was in charge of the infrastructure maintenance portfolio. He is still active on the greater seawall project.
  • After having holidayed in Knysna for many years, Fran and Deon de Jager have moved permanently to Leisure Isle from Gauteng.  She brings 15 years of committee experience with the Westcliff Residents' Association and a wealth of project input as commercial and domestic interior décor consultant on many topnotch hotels and resorts. She will be taking on the Membership and Fundraising portfolios.
  • On the horticulture side, chair, Kerry Evans will now be assisted by Tony Richards, owner of Highveld Horticulture. Highveld Horticulture has run the gardens at OR Tambo for 17 years.
Past/present chairmen of the Steenbok Nature Reserve Trust, Keith Hollis and Brian Steele!

Along with the changes in the committee, the Steenbok Reserve Trust has an old/new chairman.

It's farewell and big thanks to Keith Hollis who has been at the helm since 2007 when he took over from Brian Steele! And it's welcome back to Brian Steele who has accepted the appointment of chairman of the Trust again! 

Brian, a chartered accountant by background and with a long and distinguished corporate career, was the first chairman of the Northern Shores Development Foundation (renamed Steenbok Nature Reserve Trust).

His association with Knysna and Leisure Island goes back many years as both his grandparents and his parents owned holiday homes on the Island. Brian and his wife, Judy, moved here permanently at the end of 2004.

Goodbye, welcome and THANK YOU to all these immensely talented, generous and hard-working volunteers caretaking this precious corner of our island, Knysna and South Africa.


Watercraft on Bollard Beach - January D-day!

LIRA's Craig Carter has painstakingly gone through a year-long process to identify and find the owners of multiple disused, abandoned and broken watercraft parked on Bollard. 

He has detailed several hobies and canoe/kayaks - and these will be removed early next year if they are not claimed and removed by owners.

Bollard Beach is a environmentally sensitive, aesthetically important part of LI, and it's untenable that it should be a long-term parking lot/dumping ground. There are many other legitimate options to park or store watercraft. Contact Craig here....


If anyone requires additional wheelie bins, here is the contact: 
Felicia Makhetha, Knysna Municipality – or 044 302-6282


A repeat appeal! LICC another wonderful thing that makes life on Leisure Isle such a pleasure and a privilege. This great facility is open to all who wish to join. 

The LICC is popular for both tennis and bowls - both also offer access to visitors for a nominal fee. LICC is keenly looking for new members and welcomes all who may wish to make use of this facility. 

Here is a  message from Graeme Levin, LICC competitions secretary:

Leisure Isle Country Club welcomes you. Join this friendly community and enjoy playing bowls in a picturesque setting!
  • Free coaching
  • Loan bowls available
  • Free practice while you decide on membership
  • All ages welcome
  • Experience not necessary
  • Meet other friendly Leisure Isle residents and visitors
  • Magnificent bowling greens and tennis courts, as well as table tennis and various functions at Cearn Hall
New members are the club’s lifeblood. If the club fails, there is a possibility of alternative usage of the land on our beautiful island by the owners, the Knysna Municipality.

Just go to the club any morning or phone 044 384 1158 or 083 233 5701. The club manager, Fergie, will tell you about the club and help you to get started with bowls.
We look forward to welcoming you!

KM AppKnysna Municipal Services


Report potholes, broken water mains etc here!

The Knynsa Municipality App (left) is now the go-to place to report these sorts of infrastructure issues - with top KM officials advising us so. You can download the app from iTunes or Google Playstore.

Report illegal baiting here!

The all-hours SANParks Rangers' Estuary Duty number is
082 269-5007
. Use this to report illegal activities.

The SANParks Knysna general enquiries number is
044 382-2095.
* 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

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.

Brenda Neall, website & newsletter

To contact LIRA chairperson, Mary-Anne Beviss-Challinor: 
Email her here, or call 082 651 3767.

LIRA website:
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