THE festive lights are up, schools are closed and the beaches are crowded with locals and visitors.
It is difficult to believe that 2015 is drawing to a close. In a few days this year will just be a thought. Looking back at the past twelve months one realises there have been various highs and lows - some that will leave a permanent mark on the face of the town for years to come.
The year started on a dismal note with scores of holidaymakers, who traditionally pump millions of Rands into the Jeffreys Bay community, deserted the town after three days of power outages when the main power line collapsed.
Not only did many local businesses suffer major losses as they were forced to close their doors while the power was out, but a few pump stations also failed, resulting in raw sewage flooding the streets. Water could not be pumped from boreholes, threatening the water supply. The situation was made even worse when beaches were closed due to rip currents, leaving holidaymakers with nowhere to go and nothing to do.
On a more positive note, in March Jeffreys Bay based swimmer Brenton Williams, together with six swimmers from Port Elizabeth, became the first people to ever swim around Cape Recife - the most South Eastern tip of the African continent.
This was followed by a successful Kouga Express Cansa Shavathon during which R6 650 was raised for the local Cansa branch.
Other highlights for the year include the appointment of councillor Daphne Kettledas as the new Executive Mayor of Kouga - becoming the first female mayor in Kouga - the filming of the movie Die Pro in Jeffreys Bay and Humansdorp, the highly successful JBay Winterfest, the Global Leadership Academy’s annual Trolley Pro and Trashy Fashion Show, as well as the town being a finalist in Kwêla’s Dorp van die Jaar Competition.
In May, residents mourned the death of a rhino cow and her calf at the hands of poachers at Lombardini just outside Jeffreys Bay.
Ongoing problems include potholes, overgrown erven and insufficient municipal services. Another much debated topic was the sudden resignation of former Victory Christian School principal Fanie Vermaak, who is now opening his own school Pharos in January next year.
This year also saw the launch of the Kouga Express Matric Dance competition and the Kouga Express Christmas project.
The Kouga Express, with the support of our advertisers and readers, goes from strength to strength - and 2016 will see it bigger and better than ever.
As the end of the year approaches and we get ready for a well-deserved break, we’d like to take this time to wish all our readers and advertisers a happy holiday season. May the joy of this season fill your home with love and remain with you throughout 2016.
This is the last Kouga Express for the year 2015. The Kouga Expressteam will be taking a break from today and will be back at work on Monday, January 11, with our first edition out on January 14, covering the ups and downs, highs and lows that are sure to follow in 2016.