Blog 03 December 2012

News Updates today in St Francis Bay

1.  ST FRANCIS CONNECT ARTICLE -
St Francis Business Forum – Eskom gives us their side of the story
St Francis Business Forum Ė Eskom gives us their side of the story.

3rd St Francis Business forum meeting – Feedback from Eskom.

Last night the St Francis Bay Business Forum got together at Barrons Restaurant to get a new, fresh take on the proposed Eskom Thyspunt development. Instead of focusing on the negatives (of which there clearly are) the aim of the meeting was to look at the development pragmatically to gauge what the impact would be on the area in reality.

The representatives of Eskom relished the opportunity to paint a positive picture of the energy giant (THE biggest electricity utility in the world) as Eskom have generally had a hostile reception at St Francis meetings.

Starting off they described the supply and demand side of the actual Megawatt hours, pointing out that domestic demand is only 25% of supply – the rest goes to industry. We are running close to the limit of supply and to avoid load-shedding (and damage to industry) a whole host of new power stations are coming on-line within the next 3 years. Most of these are coal fired with only Thyspunt and the Koekenaap wind powered stations the exceptions.

They then gave a layman’s outline of how a pressured water reactor (the possible technology to be used) worked, the containment (in case of an accident) the safety features (earthquake etc) and how the waste is managed.

Then we got into the nitty gritty…..how would this affect St Francis Bay?
A parallel was drawn with Medupi (coal) power station in Limpopo province. A small town with large unemployment figures which was struggling economically.

Figures where mentioned pre-power-station and post-power-station. Unfortunately one could draw no insight from these figures as percentages where used to describe unemployment and income figures pre-power-station and then actual numbers where used to describe employment and income figures post-power-station.
As we can be sure, thousands of unemployed will relocate to St Francis Bay for a better future and not all of them will get jobs….. post-power-station unemployment percentage figures may well still be at pre-power-station levels…but these little bits were glossed over.

The speakers cleverly touched on all the aspects which are banes in our lives….improved roads, municipal assistance, infrastructure, education, property values. It was sugar coated.

Little glimpses of the true picture came out when it was revealed that the extra heavy traffic will travel the current road between Humansdorp and St Francis Bay.
A huge mall in Medupi was described to us…so, we could have our own mall.
Double highways into town….Low cost housing estates will spring up…. This whole peninsula will be hustling and bustling – You can be sure – St Francis Bay will GROW like we cannot believe (that is NOT a cliche)….. the representatives were at pains to point this out to us a couple of times.

A couple of questions were fielded regarding the bridge, education, the actual timeline of events and what technology would be used but they were all glossed over.

To point out to you what I mean by glossed over:
When asked about the time-line of events it was made clear to us that the holdup lay with the locals not accepting the original EIA….the speaker said that Eskom was exasperated by the length the EIA process was taking, it normally only takes 6 months. Those that have seen and read the original EIA will know that it contained incorrect information and ignored certain critical issues – it was a poor EIA that held no water, but the blame was laid at our door.

Keith Donaldson asked if Chinese technology would be used and we were assured it would be a consortium of companies and may contain a Chinese element. Here is the real answer, and let me quote from the website http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf88.html – “Eskom has said that it would be looking for lower-cost options than the earlier AP1000 or EPR proposals, and would consider Generation II designs from China (perhaps CPR-1000) or South Korea (perhaps OPR)”

Another example – Tim Christy asked what the impact on the squid and other ocean related industries would be. The answer was:”…no significant impact”. How about some facts and figures?

This was not the place to shoot the Eskom presentation full of holes (any tree hugger could do that)…it was a place to find out what the impact on St Francis Bay would be for us, the business people and those who make a living here.

I think the original village together with Santareme will retain its charm. It will become THE property to own around here. The village will change, that’s for sure but most of it is developed already.
What will change drastically will be the surroundings – this will explode. I foresee highways & off-ramps, housing estates, malls, new suburbs, new industry.

For those owning a business or property it would be good, in monetary terms.
We should also have better roads, bridges, schools, sewage treatment plants, electricity supply, emergency services, shops and any thing else that comes with big development.
I think those who attended the meeting all have a better understanding of what we are facing/embracing

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Houses For Sale in St Francis Bay Canals - click to view
Houses For Sale in St Francis Bay Marina Village - click to view
Houses For Sale in St Francis Bay Village - click to view
Houses For Sale in St Francis Bay Santareme - click to view
Houses For Sale in St Francis Bay Santareme Phase I - click to view
Houses For Sale in St Francis Bay Santareme Phase II - click to view
Houses For Sale in St Francis Bay Air Field - click to view
Houses For Sale in St Francis Bay Links Golf Estate - click to view
Apartments For Sale in St Francis Bay Port St Francis - click to view

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Holiday houses to rent in St Francis Bay Santareme - click to view
Holiday houses to rent in St Francis Bay Links Golf Estate - click to view
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Holiday apartments to rent in St Francis Bay Port St Francis - click to view

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