5th February 2021
Who would ever have thought that we would find ourselves in this situation?
On 14 December 2020, in the face of a huge surge in the number of Covid-19 infections, President Ramaphosa announced increased measures to limit the spread of the virus, including the declaration that the Garden Route was to be declared a “hotspot”. All public areas, including parks and beaches were to be closed.
There followed a couple of weeks of confusion, but it seemed that we would still be able to go boating on the lagoon and enjoy some sort of holiday. Then, on 30 December, as the situation worsened, everything changed and all access to the lagoon was prohibited. The result was that the holiday season in the Garden Route came to an abrupt end, many visitors packed up and returned home and Knysna turned into a ghost town. Nothing like this has ever happened before.
Personally, I do not agree with the manner in which the authorities have tried to deal with the situation and not only have some people been inconvenienced, but many have lost their livelihoods as a result of the loss of tourists and visitors to Knysna. Far worse than that, so many people have been very ill and have passed away, and our health services have been stretched to the limit and beyond.
At the same time, we have to acknowledge that this pandemic is unprecedented and it has affected everyone throughout the world. Many mistakes have been made and will continue to be made, and instead of complaining about what has happened, my hope is that the world will learn from these mistakes and do what is necessary to prevent them from happening again. Never before has the old motto of “be prepared” had such meaning as now.
One way each and every one of us can make a difference is simply to adjust our behaviour to do whatever we can to reduce the risk of spreading the infection. It is so simple to do this by following the guidelines of wearing a mask, social distancing and sanitising, and in that way we can all play our part in making life much easier for everybody.
LIBC ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2020
The LIBC Committee, at its meeting on 28 January 2021, decided that the 2020 Annual General meeting scheduled to take place in December and postponed due to Covid-19, would be cancelled altogether in view of the exceptional circumstances we are in. We do not want to risk the close contact which would result from a meeting of this nature, members who are not resident in Knysna would be unable to attend a meeting held outside the holiday season, and a detailed Committee Report had been circulated to all members in December.
The Committee Report essentially dealt with all matters that would have been presented at the AGM. Accordingly, the Committee took the following decisions:
The LIBC Committee for 2021 will comprise the following persons:
Chairman Craig Clarke
Vice-Chairman John Metelerkamp
Secretary and Treasurer (Vacant)
Ex Officio Clive Garth-Davis
In December we reported the very tragic passing away of the LIBC Treasurer, Basil Michaelides due to Covid. We are devastated by this loss and it will be difficult to find someone able to fill the gap he has left behind. In addition to losing Basil, Andrew Aveley is no longer resident in Knysna. Andrew intends remaining on the Committee but clearly we need new volunteers to make themselves available to serve on the Committee.
As an interim measure, until we have decided how to restructure the Financial Management setup, LIBC’s Auditors, MPK Accounting are assisting on a temporary basis by providing management accounting services. We are also fortunate that Basil had virtually completed the restructuring of the Club’s accounting systems and we are able to move forward in a positive manner, although there will be some delay while we catch up.
The 2020 Financial Statements will shortly be available and will be circulated to all members. The long-overdue matter of resolving all the outstanding Debtors and Creditors is being addressed as a matter of urgency. This has been an ongoing saga dating back to 2019 and even earlier and was on the verge of being finalised by Basil just before he fell ill in December.
We apologise to any members who may have been or will be inconvenienced by this matter but we assure you that the only reason it has taken so long is because the Committee has taken a lot of trouble to unravel everything and to make sure we have the correct figures before we proceed.
The Committee has approved the LIBC budget for 2020/2021.
The Committee has confirmed that LIBC will make the following donations:
NSRI R30 000.00
Knysna Sports Academy R50 000.00
Knysna Basin Project R25 000.00
The above amounts are as described in the December 2020 Committee Report and any member who wishes to raise an objection, should please do so, in writing to email@example.com before 28 February 2021. If there are no objections, the donations will be processed in March.
The Committee resolved that MPK Accounting will be appointed as the Club’s auditors for the ensuing financial year.
Although the Committee decided to cancel the December 2020 AGM, you are reminded that in terms of the Constitution any Member who wishes to do so may call for a Special General Meeting if there is any business or matters to be raised. Such a meeting must be requested by a minimum of 10 Members and the Committee will support such a meeting request.
|At 20h00 on 1 February 2021, President Ramaphosa announced that, due to reduced infection levels, the Covid-19 regulations were to be relaxed.
First boat to go back into the water at 07h00 on 2 February was KNP 74 belonging to Dr Gordon Bonellie. He could not wait a minute longer to get out on the water.
On 2 February we received the following important and very welcome notification from SANParks:Following the announcement made by President Ramaphosa last night and the Adjusted Level 3 Lockdown Amended Regulations issued in terms of Section 27(2), Government Notice R.69, published on 1 st of February 2021, the Knysna Estuary is now open for all permitted activities.
Regulation 36 determines that beaches, dams, lakes and rivers inclusive of all recreational facilities at these places are open to the public provided that all health protocols and social distancing measures are adhered to. Accordingly, it is expected that all recreational users wear masks, ensure social distancing and use sanitising measures. Failure to do so could result in a fine being issued or the user being asked to leave the water.
Please note that Regulation 33(3) determines that closing time is 22h00, therefore all activities must cease by 22h00 at the latest.Regulation 36
We also asked for clarification regarding the wearing of masks and it was explained that the use of masks is not required during vigorous exercise like swimming or surfing (and when fighting a big fish!) but estuary users should arrive at the departure points wearing masks. A boat should be regarded in the same light as a motor vehicle so members of the same household are not required to wear a mask while on a boat but if you have non-family passengers, everyone should have masks.
Obviously all the other rules related to sanitising and social distancing apply as described above.
Guys and girls it is now up to every one of you and me. If you want to be able to continue to walk on the beach or go swimming or boating, then let us all do our best to comply with the regulations even though they may sometimes seem crazy and unreasonable. If you want to behave like some people did over the early holiday period, then do not be surprised when things go wrong, the infection rate rises and government once again clamps down on us.
REFUND OF BERTH HIRE PAYMENTS
The Committee discussed this difficult matter at length. It is a well-established principle that LIBC Members who own berth rights, let their berths out over the holiday period. The arrangement is strictly a private matter between the berth owner and the lessee but over the years the LIBC Harbour Management has facilitated and managed to process by undertaking all the administrative processes related to the letting and hiring of berths, for which LIBC charges an administration fee of 20% of the hiring cost. And believe me, the administration involves a considerable amount of work!
The terms and conditions applicable to the letting and hiring of Berth and Trailer Parking includes the following statement:
No refund unless agreed to by the owner of the berth.
The circumstances which led to the closure of the lagoon on 30 December were extraordinary and unprecedented and some persons who had hired berths were unable to use the berth for part or all of the hire period. This resulted in significant loss to the lessee. The LIBC Committee is also sensitive to the fact that some Members rely on the income generated from the letting of berths to cover the cost of club subscriptions and berth levies. The Committee decided the following:
Any decision to refund the 80% of the total berth hire fee paid to the berth owner is entirely at the discretion of the berth owner, although under these extraordinary circumstances the
Committee feels that some re-compensation would not be unreasonable. The berth owner should refund the lessee only for the period that the lessee was unable to use the hired berth, ie from 31 December to 1 February. The berth owner may wish to offer a partial refund, for example, say 50% of the loss incurred by the lessee.
Any refund will only be paid upon written request by the lessee which must be received by LIBC before 28 February 2021.
LIBC will refund the full 20% administration fee, also only upon written request, and regardless of any decision by the berth owner whether to refund or not.
Any temporary membership fee paid by a non-member will not be refunded, unless that fee was in respect of a booking from 31 January onwards and the Temporary Member did not receive any benefit whatsoever from the temporary membership.
We repeat and stress that the decision as to whether or not to refund the 80% portion of the berth hire fee paid to the berth owner is entirely at the discretion of the berth owner, and there is no pressure on the berth owner to do so.
HOLIDAY SEASON REMINDERS
During the past holiday season there were a few queries from Members and Visitors and a few incidents that once again highlighted the fact that some Members are not aware of the LIBC Constitution and Bylaws and for this reason, despite the fact that these issues have been explained many times before, they are once again brought to your attention:
1. Use of Berth Rights Agreement
Just a reminder to everyone who has a berth at LIBC to check your Jetty Berth Users Agreement and if the expiry date of the agreement is 2022, then please visit the Club and sign an Addendum which will extend the period of your right of use to 2042.
While there is no reason to expect any problems, it is clearly in the Members’ interests to ensure that your agreement is correctly worded, so please make the effort. We will not remind you again!
2. Boat Size Limits
Every year there is a problem with oversized boats in the harbour and time after time this is highlighted in the newsletter. The harbour simply cannot accommodate oversize boats and even boats which conform but are close to the size limits cause serious problems.
The Committee has decided that in future, boats which are moored in the harbour and which exceed the prescribed size limits may be removed from the harbour by the Committee if the boat owner does not do so themselves when so requested.
3. Membership and Guests
This matter was explained in detail in the November Newsletter and because some Members still seem to be unaware of the requirements, it is repeated below:
In terms of the LIBC Constitution, membership is limited to natural persons only and therefore a close corporation, company, or trust cannot be a member of LIBC.
It follows that a Jetty Right of Use Agreement must be in the name of a member who must be a natural person. The spouse, children and grandchildren of members are allowed the use of the LIBC facilities. In effect, membership of LIBC is a type of informal “family membership”. Clearly, therefore, membership has to be by a natural person. This further means that in the event of the death or resignation of the member, membership has to be transferred to another natural person, who has to become a member of LIBC. In the case of sibling children of the deceased member, each sibling has to become a member in his/her own name. LIBC will normally waive the entrance fee when the spouse or children of a deceased or resigned member applies for membership. It is also clear from the above that “automatic” transfer of membership and the entrance fee will only take place between legally married spouses and to children. In all other cases the person wishing to take over the membership must apply and pay the application fee as well as the normal membership.
Please remember that use of the LIBC facilities is limited to the Member, his/her spouse, children and grandchildren. Any other person wishing to use the LIBC facilities as a guest MUST, AT ALL TIMES, be accompanied by a Member, or such person must become a Temporary Member or Member themselves. You may not, under any circumstances, allow friends, staff or visitors to use the LIBC facilities based on your membership.
When you make an electronic payment, please make sure that you use either your membership number, or your name as the Beneficiary Reference.
Do not respond to any electronic communication advising you of a change in the LIBC banking details, nor will we accept any email notifications advising LIBC of a change to any Member’s banking details. The LIBC banking details will not change without a formal notification which will NOT be communicated to Members via email.
WEBSITE AND CONTACT DETAILS
Physical address: Erf No 2060, 0 Links Drive, Leisure Isle, Knysna, 6571
Phone 079 378 8252
Note that the phone is manned during LIBC office hours only,
06h00-18h00 every day of the year, except Xmas day
LIBC GATE NUMBER:
065 509 3553 (Your phone must be registered on the access control system before you can use the facility to open the gate)
Thats is all for now !