St Francis Bay: the Positives and the Negatives

The Pam Golding St Francis team took the opportunity at our AGM/Bosberaad in March at the wonderful Dune Ridge estate, behind the Links, to reflect on our town, St Francis Bay, and brainstormed the positives and negatives. Our positives outnumbered the negatives by a large margin!


  1. Wonderful river, canals and sea
  2. Supportive community
  3. Young families moving into town, school full
  4. Good quality of life … and good quality sea water & air
  5. Relatively good municipality, energetic new councilor
  6. Sporting mecca, many sports clubs
  7. Nature areas around town
  8. Strong civil society (eg Prop Owners, Kromme Trust)
  9. Good retail & hospitality facilities
  10. Nice size. Plett is too big, Oyster Bay is too small
  11. Low crime rate, safe
  12. Peaceful quiet town
  13. Good doctors & alternative healing (yoga etc etc)
  14. Port and fishing industry
  15. Opportunities for new businesses
  16. Strong property demand, and prices way lower than Plett


  1. Beach erosion … but solid plan in place
  2. Infrastructure lags population growth .. but sewerage works upgraded, roads re-surfaced
  3. Drought .. but PE should get Orange River water soon, might take pressure off “our” dams
  4. No fully fledged retirement village … but two are planned
  5. Medical facilities not sufficient for all, but JBay hospital underway
  6. Insufficient diversification of businesses … leads to opportunities
  7. Growing informal housing
  8. Threat of nuclear power plant… but seems to be shelved, and surely we can’t afford it anyway
  9. Threat of floods and fires … but now new Sand River Bridge, and “Thatch Farm” drain, and fire station
  10. Shortage of saleable property stock!

In summary, we are very positive about our town!

To add to our list of Positives, here are some supporting arguments:

1.Wonderful river, canals and sea: the 14km long Kromme river is very peaceful for most of the year, the water quality is good, and it is host to paddling and swimming races. In addition, the Geelhout tributary is navigable for a further 4km, winding and narrow, a very special place. The canals are the best in the country, and the sea boasts great surfing, fishing, boating, diving and much more.

  1. Supportive community: this is difficult to measure, but by way of example, the support at the start of lockdown for food parcels to Sea Vista was impressive, with R2m being donated in short time.
  2. Young families moving into town, school full: the private junior school is full to the brim!
  3. Good quality of life … and good quality sea water & air: no traffic jams, no robots, no air or sea pollution.
  4. Relatively good municipality, energetic new councilor: Kouga is ranked the best municipality in the East Cape, and in the top ten in South Africa.
  5. Sporting mecca, many sports clubs: running, paddling, cycling, swimming, squash, bowls, golf x2, gyms, indoor pools, fishing, surfing, windsurfing, kiteboarding, soccer, tennis, walking trails, beach walks …
  6. Nature areas around town: Foster have created wonderful sacrosanct walks in wonderful nature, plus beach walks, wildside walks, coastal walks to Oyster Bay and JBay, and the amazing dunefields
  7. Strong civil society: excellent volunteers at Rotary, Property Owners Association, Ward Council, Kromme Enviro Trust, Animal Rescue, NSRI,
  8. Good retail & hospitality facilities: many new excellent restaurants, where you can enjoy views while you sip. And a very fine SuperSpar for almost all your shopping needs
  9. Nice size. Plett is too big, Oyster Bay is too small: St Francis is big enough in our opinion for a vibrant community, whereas Oyster Bay is really too small to support much activity, besides one shop!
  10. Low crime rate, safe: as reported elsewhere, we are fortunate to have low crime, with almost all non-violent.
  11. Peaceful quiet town: apart from the three week silly season, it is a peaceful town. Even Easter is only busy for a few days. Many events (sporting and other) are on offer every few weeks, but the town remains peaceful unless you seek out the action.
  12. Good doctors & alternative healing: we now have a few doctors to choose from, two dentists, two physios, many alternative healing practitioners, optometrist, biokineticists  … and many more options in Humansdorp and JBay.
  13. Port and fishing industry: the centre of South Africa’s calamari industry is right here at our Port, creating employment, and tasty delights at a few of our restaurants.
  14. Opportunities for new businesses: strong boat/yacht and home building and allied trades, but opportunities to establish new growth sectors.
  15. Strong property demand, and prices way lower than Plett:  as explained elsewhere, the demand for property in St Francis has been through the roof over the last two years, but nowhere near the high prices we see at Plettenberg Bay. We have had very few sales over R20m, but plenty at Plett.

Posted by The Know - Pam Golding Properties