30 October 2012

Hallo Napier

The Soapbox
Although it has always been my intention to keep the Napier Natter local - to only include articles, stories and information that directly affect our day to day lives, I am going to make an exception this week. I would like to include the article below written Kate Sexwale, daughter of well known politician, Tokyo Sexwale, and addressed to the last surviving members of the Rivonia trial. This open letter was sent to and printed in the City Press newspaper and in my view, expresses sentiments felt by many a South African about the current state of politics and leadership in our country.

Although politics at this level often feels distant and far removed from our day to day lives here in Napier, they do have an influence, and they ultimately set the parameters by which we define our quality of life, our freedoms and our social norms:

"Dear Ahmed Kathrada, Andrew Mlangeni, Dennis Goldberg and Nelson Mandela, I greet you all in the name of the continuing economic freedom struggle of our people.

Your courage in fighting for the emancipation of our country is greatly appreciated. I was fed ANC propaganda with my Purity baby food, but I believe the time has come to consciously choose South Africa over the ANC. The governing party, for many, is like a religion, followed by many without question or doubt. Surely comrades, your sacrifices were not for a one-party, one-trade union state?

The time for a younger, patriotic and selfless leadership, like yours in 1964, is here.

The thinking public laments our bumpy transition from liberation movement to political party, with some pointing out that a liberation movement has to be centralised and secretive while a modern party in government must be influenced by its members and society, and so be more transparent. The loss of public trust through daily media exposure of the plague of government corruption, which appears to be condoned by the ANC, is deeply seated. The public perception is that the Mangaung leadership debate will boil down to who will continue to allow rampant looting of state resources, the dangerous slippery slope of tribalism, or who might make a difference.

Truth be told, the names being bandied about as top contenders are all synonymous with the rot that plagues the movement.

The masses so loved by political party leaders at election time have taken to the streets to voice their dissatisfaction. Earlier this year, even middle-class armchair critics put on their designer sneakers and marched against e-tolling, also reportedly shrouded in corruption and an added burden on our ridiculously taxed wallets.

In March, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa informed Parliament that between 2007 and 2010, the most common reason for police crowd management of gatherings was labour-related demands for increases in wages, and that unrest requiring police intervention was related to service delivery issues. Later in June, City Press reported that 372 protests related to service delivery had been recorded between January and the end of May this year alone.

In 18 years of democracy, we can still blame apartheid for many social ills, but we must also blame our leaders.

The disgraceful and shocking non-delivery of textbooks in Limpopo left me cold. But the worst thing that broke the soul of South Africa during this fateful year of the ANC’s centenary was the shameful Marikana massacre, reminiscent of the Sharpeville slaughter. It highlighted aspects of every ill plaguing black society under an ANC-led government: police brutality, wage strikes, corporate greed, failure of natural mineral resource redistribution, flawed implementation of black economic empowerment, violent crime, service-delivery failure – including inhumane slum settlements – unemployment concerns and much more. The man who shoved his way to the front, taking the reins of leadership in this sorry mess, was Julius Malema, a spat-out child of the movement. In the space of a few days, he single-handedly nullified what little trust I had left in the aging ANC leadership.

I was raised by courageous men and women, people like you, the Rivonia Trialists, who now need me to tell them it’s time to let go. The ANC has never been as self-destructive as it is today.

Cosatu, the ANC-aligned trade union federation, has driven the economy into free fall as the failure of their collective bargaining strategy, designed to perpetuate the racist status quo, is blowing up in our faces with one strike after another. I’m waiting for them to stop blaming “third-force right wing elements” and take some responsibility.

And let me not get started on the recent madness of more than R200 million-worth of Nkandla renovations, SAA’s R5 billion bailout and the relentless e-toll attitude of government.

In 2009, I took longer than usual to vote in the booth, agonising over putting an X next to the face of a man I instinctively knew was bad news. My love for the ANC won over my reservations.

In last year’s local government elections, I rebelled, voting for the ANC in my neighbourhood and for another party in the city. I am sure Joburg Mayor Parks Tau is capable, but my rebellion against a President Jacob Zuma-led ANC began with that ballot paper.

To not vote at all in 2014, as many are threatening, will be to dishonour the memory of my uncle, Lesetja Sexwale, and his many fallen comrades who died in combat for my right to vote. It will be to disrespect the struggle for which men and woman such as him, men like yourselves, sacrificed their youth. Personally, it will be a betrayal of little Kay who was badly injured in a cross-border raid in Lesotho in 1982 when the apartheid forces were hunting down Umkhonto we Sizwe combatants like my father and Chris Hani.

I don’t know who I will vote for.
All I know is that Zuma will never again hold office with my consent.

I choose South Africa."

Sexwale is a media and communication strategist with an interest in current affairs and post-apartheid experiences.

Oh to live in the country .... by Kathy Hardy

We humans have got to be one of the craziest species. We long for something, and once we get it, we soon want to change it.
For instance, say we dream of moving to the country, where we can live the simple life, in harmony with nature. Once we’re blessed enough to be actually living out our dream, it doesn’t take long before we begin to move the goal posts.

Firstly, the “living in harmony with nature” palls after a while, and Roundup (yay, say Monsanto, who produce the stuff) is liberally spread in our gardens; ditto snail bait and synthetic fertilisers.
Then we get really upset about the natives, who have lived here long before we even started dreaming about it. We talk of shooting them, getting rid them once and for all!

Yes, Baboons are a threat to our fruit trees and rubbish bags. Maybe we should just box our rubbish bags, and scare them away from our fruit? We’re pretty lucky to have wild animals around, and just have to discourage them from getting too up close and personal. They are doomed if they move into the village, but they haven’t done that yet. So maybe if we adopt an attitude of kindly stewardship towards them, they might survive.

Kindly behaviour to our baboons means giving them the message that they are not welcome on your property. Period. If they do approach your living space, get yourself a paintball gun, and sting one or two of them with serious intent. They’re unlikely to become frequent visitors.

Apart from our eventual disenchantment with harmonious natural living, it seems that it doesn’t take very long before the village we longed for becomes too small.

Hence a bunch of us dream up the idea of “Putting our Village on the Map” by attracting more people here, for more events. Somewhat contradictory, surely? First find yourself a quiet little country village and then do your damndest to make it a bustling destination for tourists.
No logic there.

What a complicated bunch we are.

This has been written to promote thought around the idea of keeping our village a village, as well as avoiding the severe baboon problems that have developed in Pringle Bay, Hermanus, Simonstown, etc etc ...

I received the following letter from a local resident who questions the concept of buying local (Napier Natter 20/12 - see www.napier.co.za for back issue) if the service provided is 'un-satisfactory. Just because we live in a small town and have less choice, should we have to accept sub-standard service?


Ek bly 'n jaar op Napier en hou daar van om die plaaslike besighede te ondersteun (soos 90% van besighede op Napier weet). Ek het onlangs meer as R5000 by n plaaslike besigheid gespandeer (naam sal onbekend bly) maar die produk wat ek ontvang het is glad nie wat ek bestel het nie. Ek het die eienaar/bestuurder laat weet dat die produk nie reg was nie, en 4 ure later het ek 'n e-pos gekry waarin my lewe gedreig met die woorde
"as jy weer jou voete in die winkel sit sal ek jou keel af sny........."
Dan word daar gesê "support the locals!!!"
Ek mag wel 'n bietjie eksentriek wees, maar is dit nodig dat ek beskinder word elke keer as ek in 'n winkel of eetplek instap?

Ek moet eerlik wees - ek spandeur eerder R 500 op petrol geld om in Hermanus te gaan 'shop' voor ek weer enige van die plaaslike besighede ondersteun.
Willem - Napier inwoner

What's happening in Napier this week?

Halloween Party at Gunners Mess - Wed 31 October from 7.00pm till late
R170 pp includes a 3-course meal. Bookings 083 739 6045

'Goodness Gracious' at Pascal's of Napier - Fri 2 November at 7.00pm
Ben Pheiffer (piano & vocals) & Miso Markovina (saxophone & flute) will take you on a romp through the Jazz Houses of yester-year, down Broadway, across The West End, and into the music halls of Paris and Berlin. Their ability to engage the audience with their reparté and quiz-style interaction guarantees a night of music, fun and laughter. Don't miss it!
Tickets are R145 and include a 2-course meal. Booking essential.

Local Health #1 - an open letter to the Natter
After spending many years living and working in London, my wife Susan (originally from California) and myself Brett (Cape Town) decided to fulfil one of our life long ambitions to establish a health food shop in a community environment. We have had our full of cramped city life, and after a few visits through Napier and Bredasdorp, fell in love with the slow paced nature and incredible friendliness displayed on all fronts. We are currently living in Napier and look forward to our shop, Nature’s Voice, opening on 1st November in Bredasdorp.

Susan grew up on a natural diet with no additives, preservatives, artificial ingredients etc which at the time was a revolutionary diet implemented in her household to help treat her brother who suffered from ADHD (attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder) It worked wonders and in keeping with the practice we feel it is really important to have local access to supplements and super-foods that have not been processed, refined or treated in any way. Susan went on to attain a double degree in holistic health and psychology at the California State University of San Francisco.

I have always been interested in a healthy way of life and spent many years as a pool and beach lifeguard in South Africa as well as 6 years at the Hurlingham health club in London where I learnt a great deal about nutrition and physical health.

Our shop focuses on natural foods to include in any diet as well as vitamins, organic supplements, skincare, tinctures and oils to increase health, energy and vitality.
We are happy to source products that you need or have been unable to find elsewhere and are open to selling local natural products.
We are more than happy to demonstrate how easy it is to make healthy additions to your existing diet such as sprouting, wheatgrass juicing etc and look forward to meeting more of our fellow Napieriens in the coming months.

Brett and Susan Van Niekerk - brettvan1@hotmail.com

Local Health #2
There is also the possibility of a health shop opening up right here in Napier early in 2013. Should you be interested in more info or if you would like to participate in the survey regarding this, please log on to the following: http://adropofwellness.blogspot.com/

The Natter Q&A (Answers at bottom of page)

  1. The birthstone for January is the Garnet. What color is the January garnet?
  2. What was the name of the panda in the movie Kung Fu Panda?
  3. Which British King is believed to have killed his nephews in the tower of London?
  4. Where would you go to see a three toed sloth in the wild?
  5. The Gulf of Aden connects which two bodies of water?
  6. What is the capital of Chile?
  7. Who created the paintings entitled, The Night Watch and The Three Crosses?

Sue Hartuv is responsible for the 'funnies' this week
STUDENT WHO OBTAINED 0% ON AN EXAM - This is clearly someone who is thinking outside the square !!!

Q1. In which battle did Napoleon die?
* his last battle

Q2. Where was the Declaration of Independence signed?
* at the bottom of the page

Q3. River Ravi flows in which state?
* liquid

Q4. What is the main reason for divorce?
* marriage

Q5. What is the main reason for failure?
* exams

Q6. What can you never eat for breakfast?
* Lunch & dinner

Q7. What looks like half an apple?
* The other half

Q8. If you throw a red stone into the blue sea what it will become?
* It will simply become wet

Q9. How can a man go eight days without sleeping ?
* No problem, he sleeps at night.

Q10. How can you lift an elephant with one hand?
* You will never find an elephant that has only one hand..

Q11. If you had three apples and four oranges in one hand and four apples and three oranges in other hand, what would you have ?
* Very large hands

Q12. If it took eight men ten hours to build a wall, how long would it take four men to build it?
* No time at all, the wall is already built.

Q13. How can u drop a raw egg onto a concrete floor without cracking it?
*Any way you want, concrete floors are very hard to crack.

Answers to the Natter Q&A

  1. Red
  2. Po
  3. Richard III - Often depicted as a hunchback
  4. Brazil - there are 4 species of 3-toe'd sloths
  5. The Red Sea and the Arabian Sea
  6. Santiago - the largest city in the country
  7. Rembrandt

Thought for the day
Life sucks, I lent a guy ten grand to get plastic surgery, and now I don’t know what he looks like. – Anonymous

Have a great week everyone!


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