It’s time for one last round for receiving feedback and comments from the public before Overstrand Municipality implements trial dog zones on Kleinmond Main Beach, Grotto Beach in Hermanus and Pearly Beach near Gansbaai.

Each of these beaches will have a GREEN (off-leash), ORANGE (on-leash) and RED (no dogs) zone.

It is true that not everyone likes dogs or wants to deal with them on a day out at the beach, especially when they have small children with them. Other than a fear of dogs, there is also the possibility of an overly-excited dog jumping on kids or urinating on sandcastles, which do not make for very happy children. Moreover, beach runners may prefer a beach without dogs, as those with a high prey/chase drive may chase or even attack a runner.

But others enjoy seeing dogs running free in nature. With the new dog zones, the needs of our companion animals, wildlife and beachgoers are all taken into account. The Nature’s Valley Trust, which is facilitating this proposal, states that “Zoning will help people, dogs and our shorebirds live their best lives”.

The proposal is available for perusal during office hours at the offices of the Area Managers in Gansbaai, Stanford, Hermanus and Kleinmond, in all the public libraries in the Overstrand and the Corporate Head Office of the municipality in Hermanus, as well as the official website at www.overstrand.gov.za. Click on Documents, then click on Strategic Documents and Dog Zoning.

Kindly note that comments regarding trial dog zones must be specific to the proposed trial areas as specified on the maps.
Once the proposed zones allowing dogs to be walked on/off leash have been established, the existing Bylaw for the Keeping of Dogs and Cats will have to be amended accordingly. Proposed amendments to the bylaw will follow a public participation process for comment before being presented to Council for consideration and possible adoption.

Send your feedback or comments on or before Friday, 6 March 2020 to:
KLEINMOND 33 5th Avenue
Desmond Lakey: dlakey@overstrand.gov.za
HERMANUS Magnolia Street
Anver Wyngaard: awyngaard@overstrand.gov.za
STANFORD 17 Queen Victoria Street
Francois Myburgh: fmyburgh@overstrand.gov.za
GANSBAAI Main Street
Francois Myburgh: fmyburgh@overstrand.gov.za

What is this issue of dogs and birds on beaches all about?
“My dogs have never chased, caught or killed any bird on the beach.” This statement is probably true for most of us. But the reality is that it’s not about the direct physical harm your dog can do to a bird.

Your dog is a predator
Or at least that is how a bird would perceive it, given that your pup has all the physical characteristics of the type of predator – a four-legged furry mammal – that birds have evolved to fear.

Breeding success
In Plettenberg Bay the breeding success of unmanaged local White-fonted Plover populations is less than 10%. Off-leash dogs were identified as the main cause of disturbance.

Shore-breeding birds breed in summer
Our warmest season of the year is the time when tourists flock to our beaches. In the summer heat, shorebirds incubate to cool their eggs. So, the more frequently a bird is disturbed off its eggs by people or dogs, the slimmer the chances that those eggs will survive the hatch. That is because the thermal capacity of an egg is 42˚C – above this temperature eggs die. In peak summer it can take an exposed egg only five minutes to reach its thermal capacity.

Intervention
With the intervention of extensive public awareness, zoning, signage and rope enclosures, beaches have experienced an increase in breeding success of up to 30%.


New interactive website provides residents easy access to maps

The Overstrand Municipality has recently made basic map data available online through a user-friendly viewer which runs on your own computer, tablet or smart phone. 

The map viewer contains aerial photography taken in December 2018 as well as the current property data with erf numbers, street names and addresses. The property data is updated on a quarterly basis. 

You can also look at the zoning of properties and whether a building falls into a heritage category. 

The viewer can be found on www.overstrand.gov.za by clicking on the map icon. Instructions on how to use the viewer can be found by clicking on the ‘I’ button.

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