Keep the Baby in the Bath – By Deon Viljoen, DOCRRA Chairman

We can all agree that there are a multitude of things that need to improve here on the Dolphin Coast. Unfortunately, cynicism, negativity and conspiracy theories abound, and understandably, they always get a lot of traction. In the modern “keyboard warrior” world, a cacophony of voices cry out, each with their own specific grievance, and each looking for instant gratification on that particular issue.  But now and then, one must balance the books with some good news and not throw the baby out with the bath water. I choose to highlight these points, not because I wear rose-tinted glasses, but because they are facts that bear remembering and acknowledging, along with their not-so-rosy counterparts. 

The extended dam wall of Hazelmere Dam is nearing completion. With the recent rains, the level of the dam has doubled, and with Siza Water as our supplier and a full dam, this is a box we can tick.  One need only glance just south of Durban for a glimpse of what real water woes can look like. 

On the Dolphin Coast we are also blessed with a full range of civil society structures and three active Councillors. We have a resilient and strong business community, business leadership, churches and charitable organisations and environmental concern groups too. There is an organisation for nearly every issue and approach, and we have become the envy of many communities for this. Our survival through the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, the insurrection, floods and many other challenges, are very ably addressed by these groups. We all make a difference, and like with compounded interest in the bank, our influence grows.

However, the manner in which we choose to engage with our colleagues, each other, and our municipality, will determine the level of success we will achieve. I’m reminded of the wise words of Madiba, who said, “It is so easy to break down and destroy…the heroes are those who make peace and build.” 

It’s understandable that there is a lot of anger that is brewing over the many problems that we face.  Our task is to channel that anger into a dignified, constructive and trust-building discourse, rather than into fiery, reactive vitriol. It has become abundantly clear that our process of quiet research, and solutions-based dialogue can repair, mend and build trust in our relationships with our municipality and with other communities outside the Dolphin Coast. The compounded influence brought to bear upon decision-makers is bearing fruit. For all its faults, and we know what they are and call them out on them, our municipality is financially sustainable, has reserves, and a bucket full of plans. Our Council is more balanced, and the squeeze is on from every quarter to improve performance, service delivery and consequence management. It takes time, but it has started. This is a marathon, not a sprint.

I don’t know about you but I’m very pleased I have chosen to live on the Dolphin Coast, grateful for what we have, and pleased we are collectively addressing the issues that need to be improved. 

Deon Viljoen

DOCRRA Chairman

If you would like more information about DOCRRA and what we do, please reach out to us on


One Response

  1. The good old tortoise versus the hare. I agree. Our objective is to provide guidance and assistance where we can for KDM to do their job better, and with distinction .

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