Throughout the devastating fires of the past few days we have seen and heard of many members of the public, emergency personnel, firefighters and environmental personnel who have found injured animals and taken them to a vet or have assisted by removing animals from areas before the flames of the fire engulf them.  These are our unsung heroes and we would like to thank each and every person that has taken the time to help our animals in need and for caring for our environment.

It will take time for the veld to restore and seeds to regenerate again and this means that the natural food source, shelter and habitat for the animals will have to be provided in another way.  The lack of vegetation in vast areas also impacts on the availability of water and moisture for a myriad of species.

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A big thank you to the Gill St Street Watch, part of Table View Neighbourhood Watch, who collected donations of clothing and cosmetics for those affected by the fires in the Overstrand area.

Graham Grobbelaar delivered the contribution and handed it over to Overstrand Municipality’s Disaster Management Team on Friday morning.

Pictured here are Cecil Abrahams (left), Graham Grobbelaar, Justin Brussel and Councillor Kari Brice. In front are Sarolyn Coert, Earl Galant and Verdia Johnson.

During a Council meeting held on Tuesday 22 January 2019 in Hermanus’ banqueting hall, Executive Mayor Ald Dudley Coetzee delivered the following address regarding approval of unforeseen and unavoidable expenditure due to fires experienced across the Overstrand.

The Mayor’s speech, is published below:

The fire season for the period to date proved to be extreme, posing a serious financial challenge for the municipality, for our own staff for overtime payment, for vehicle fuel costs as well as for external resources obtained to ensure that the municipality had the necessary capacity to deal with these abnormal circumstances.

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In celebration of World Wetlands Day, Overstrand Municipality’s Environmental Department and partners will be hosting various wetland education programmes to raise awareness of wetland values and benefits.

World Wetlands Day is held every year on 2 February and marks the signing of the International Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (the Ramsar Convention) on 2 February 1971.

Wetlands are areas where surface water surrounded by land plays a central part in controlling the local habitat of the plant and animal life living there. Wetlands occur mostly around catchment areas – and include estuaries, lagoons, marshes, rivers and ponds.

No matter the shape or size, wetlands provide numerous important services for people, fish and wildlife such as protecting and improving water quality, providing habitats for fish and wildlife, storing floodwaters, maintaining surface water flow during dry periods, and reducing soil erosion.

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The Overstrand Municipality’ s Executive Mayor, Dudley Coetzee, has offered a reward of R5 000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) who started the fire in Masakhane on 9 and 10 January 2019 which spread to Franskraal.

Residents of Franskraal were ordered to evacuate around lunchtime on Friday 11 January 2019 after the fire, driven by strong winds, spread from Masakhane over the R43. Aerial resources were deployed but stood down due to unsafe conditions and low cloud cover.

“The best hope of solving this case is for someone to provide information that can assist with locating and leads to the arrest of the person(s) responsible for starting the fire,” Mayor Coetzee said.

Should you have any information in this regard, please contact the Fire Services 24-hour emergency control room at 028 312 2400. Alternatively, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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Hermanus 028 313 8000
Kleinmond 028 271 8400
Gansbaai 028 384 8300
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