15 January 2013

Hello Napier

The Soapbox
Wishing all readers a prosperous and happy 2013!

What an interesting history our village has – it abounds with stories and facts most of us are not even familiar with. It would be truly sad if many of these stories become lost in the mists of time because no-one bothered to record them. Just recently I ‘gatecrashed’ a conversation between Ora Laubscher and Peter Bergstrom regarding the history of Napier’s water system, specifically the old ‘leivoort’ From what I understand, it dates back to around 1838 (yes – the same year as the Great Trek, when Dutch settlers loaded up their wagons and trekked inland, out of the Cape Colony, to avoid paying high taxes imposed by the British Colonial government of the day. Where the Agri stands today, a large dam was built and the ‘leivoort’ was installed to feed water from the slopes of the hills to the dam. According to Ora, growing up in the area, she remembers the date inscribed on the dam wall from when she was a small child. Farmers from outlying farms used to bring their animals to drink water from the dam during the dry season. Unfortunately the ‘leivoort’ is now blocked and parts of it are in disrepair – but many residents still still have their turn at the ‘leiwater’ and recent attempts have and are being made to repair it. It is wonderful that we have something of such historic value in our town and this is an asset that belongs to all of us who are lucky enough to live here – let’s not forget that.

Water (or lack of it) can be hugely divisive - bloody wars have been fought over water, neighboring farmers have not spoken for decades because of water, and recently the issue of water – specifically the ‘leivoort’ water has threatened to divide those in Napier who benefit from it. Allegations have been made and articles published about some residents’ right (or non-right) to leiwater.
I was asked to publish the following letter by a resident as well as a press release by the Municipality regarding the issue.

Lorna Young says: ‘I feel compelled to issue this statement as I am aware that there have been many rumours circulating over the last few months which are damaging to me personally and many people will not be aware of my side of the story. I really do hope that this will finally end the matter and as I have said hope that we can move forward in peace’

‘THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY’
Some of you may have already seen and read the article published in Suidernuus 12 October 2012 and written by Patrick Seeton which was entitled JUST A THOUGHT? If so then you will already know that 10 members of the Napier Leiwater Users Association declared a DISPUTE - I quote - ‘On behalf of two committee members and eight ‘legal’ leivoor water rights holders and users, I the undersigned, Neil Plumstead, hereby declare a dispute regarding ERF341 taking and abusing leivoor water. We urgently demand that your organizations set up a board or committee of enquiry to finally determine the leivoor water rights, if any, of ERF341” Further in the article allegations were made that ‘the owner of ERF341 refusing to close the valve to her erf without any consideration for users down stream of the erf’. This letter was sent to the Municipality for their consideration.

The results of the Municipal Manager’s investigation have already been circulated to all members of the NLUA In addition an article by the Municipality was published in Suidernuus 14 December 2012 which states ‘The Municipality can confirm that 2 Wouter Street is entitled to leiwater. The leiwater rights are enshrined in the municipal by-law’

Furthermore I would point out that the sluice gate on my property was opened whilst I was waiting for confirmation from the Municipality of a re-direction of the leiwater onto ERF341. It has now been established that there is an ‘operational agreement between the Municipality and the owner of ERF341’ to divert the leiwater onto ERF341 which has been used during the rainy season as a measure to prevent flooding to downstream properties. Flooding has happened to several properties on several occasions in previous years and most recently in August 2012 – (photographic evidence exists). This information was confirmed by the Municipality in emails dated 27 November 2012. The Municipality installed a lockable sluice gate several years ago to allow the leiwater to come onto ERF341/2 Wouter Street and with restricted access to the municipality and the owner of ERF341.

It is very sad that prior to publication in October there was no attempt made to obtain the ‘other side of the story’ or indeed to establish the veracity of the claims being made – an examination of the relevant by-laws would have provided the necessary information needed to verify the legal position of ERF341 - even though confirmation had been provided by me to the Chairperson of NLUA but this was disregarded.

Allegations regarding the water rights on ERF341/2 Wouter Street were being circulated prior to my arrival in Napier in November 2005 and have continued at various intervals over the ensuing period. I sincerely hope that this investigation which has categorically confirmed the legality of water rights on ERF341 will now be recognized and accepted by the various members of the NLUA who chose to make public information that was totally and factually incorrect.
Throughout most of this year I have been subjected to various accusations and allegations which have been completely unfounded, extremely unpleasant, and very stressful for me. Moreover the Municipal sluice gate to my property was dismantled and a part removed on 2 occasions and there were several instances when the leiwater was deliberately prevented from coming onto my property.

We are now in a New Year and I really do wish for this matter to be completely closed once and for all so that we can all move on in peace.
Lorna Young

From: Anneleen Vorster [mailto:AnneleenV@capeagulhas.com]
Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 11:47 AM
To: 'Lorna Young'
Subject: Persverklaring / Press release
Raad vra verantwoordelike watergebruik
Daar is die afgelope paar maande in die publieke forum kragte gemeet oor water leibeurte in Napier. Die situasie het die Munisipaliteit genoop om ‘n ondersoek te doen om te kyk of die gebruik ge-orden kan word en die konflik wat soms van tyd tot tyd kop uitsteek, opgelos kan word. Kaap Agulhas Munisipaliteit het groot waardering vir die bydrae wat die Napier Leiwatervereniging speel in die opgradering en die ordening van leiwaterbeurte. Die Vereniging en gebruikers het heelwat fondse beskikbaar gestel om die leiwatervore wat oor die jare aansienlik agteruit gegaan het, te herstel. Die konflik wat tussen gebruikers ontstaan het oor leiwaterbeurte word ernstig betreur, maar kom sporadies voor sedert die begin van die stelsel dekades gelede. Die leiwatergebruikers in Napier is tans 28, met ses lede wat die reg tot leiwater het, maar dit nie gebruik nie. Die owerheid kan bevestig dat Wouterstraat 2 wel geregtig is tot leiwater en word die regte van alle gebruikers omvat in ‘n munisipale verordening.
Tydens die Raad se vergadering van 6 Desember is daar besluit dat die Napier Leiwatervereniging die owerheid sal adviseer oor die effektiewe gebruik en skedulering van leiwater en sal ‘n Memorandum van Verstandhouding in die verband deur die Munisipale Bestuurder opgestel word, terwyl die Raad in die toekoms moet begroot vir die opgradering en instandhouding van die leiwatervoor. Daar word ook ‘n beroep gedoen op alle inwoners om seker te maak dat water as kosbare hulpbron, beskerm en verantwoordelik gebruik moet word.

Council asks for responsible water usage
The past few months saw public skirmishes on the use of leiwater in Napier. The situation led to a Municipal investigation to see if we can regulate the use of the leiwater and find solutions for the conflict. Cape Agulhas Municipality appreciate the role that the Napier Leiwater Association played in the upgrading of the channels and the compilation of leiwater schedules. The Association and users invested a significant amount of money for the upgrading of the leiwater channels that deteriorated over the past years. The conflict that arose on the scheduling of the leiwater is regrettable, but unfortunately a historic characteristic of the leiwater. The leiwater users are currently at 28, with 6 users that do not use their allocated turn. The Municipality can confirm that 2 Wouter Street is entitled to leiwater. The leiwater rights are enshrined in the municipal by-law.
At the Council meeting of December, 6 Council resolved that the Napier Leiwater Association will advise Council on the effective use and scheduling of the leiwater. A Memorandum of Understanding will be drafted by the Municipality in this respect. Council will budget for the future upgrading and maintenance of the leiwater channels. Council called on all residents to make sure that water, which is one of our most precious resources, be used responsibly and are protected.

Napier says goodbye.
Twenty odd years ago, Alan Raubenheimer opened his toy museum in Napier and since then, it has grown into one the favorite attractions in our village. So often when people stop off in our restaurant and ask the question “So – what is there to do in this town?” the Toy Museum has always been at the top of my list. Alan’s dedication to his craft, his obvious love and passion for what he does and his inimitable wit has ensured the many hundreds of visitors over the years, both big and small, have always left happy and satisfied.
Your museum will be sorely missed.

The Toy Museum will be moving to Hilton in Natal where it will be run by Alan’s daughter and son. Alan will, however, continue building boats here in Napier.

Patatfees 2013
A Patatfees 2013 planning meeting is to be held at Pascal’s of Napier at 6.00pm on Thursday 24 January. All stakeholders most welcome to attend.

Want to sell your car?
Looking for a cheap second-hand car. Should you have one that you would like to sell to a good home, please call Athar on 076 178 4568

Showtime!
In “Broadway.com”, an online website devoted to international theatre, David Fick wrote an article published 31 Dec 2012 entitled “2012 South African Theatre Retrospective: Cabaret and Comedy”
This is what he had to say about “Johnson and Minnie” a show that can be seen at Pascal’s of Napier on 16 February 2013. (See: www.pascals.co.za for details)

“….(Godfrey) Johnson (has) teamed up with Emile Minnie to create MINNIE AND JOHNSON, a 90-minute show that featured each of the two artists in solo spots before teaming up to perform a series of songs in a plethora of different styles. Insofar as cabaret was concerned, this was my personal highlight of the year thanks to the intimate presentational style and the sheer authenticity brought to the table by the performers. The show was immensely moving and uplifting. The piece was also enriched by original material from both performers, notably "Finally Young" from Minnie and "My Shattered Illusions" from Johnson….”

http://cabaret.broadwayworld.com/article/2012-South-African-Theatre-Retrospective-Comedy-and-Cabaret-20121231

PC problems? David from Boot Up says:
Every now and again, I get a PC in that is riddled with virus'.
Mostly, in these cases:
1. There is no virus protection
2. Virus protection is installed, yet hopelessly out of date.
3. Multiple virus protection is installed.
Believe it or not, the third scenario is the worst, even if up to date.
What happens?
All the active AV programs fight each other and the virus simply sails through the middle.
Should you PAY for an anti-virus program?
My experience indicates that Avast Free is very reliable.
Microsoft offers an anti-virus product. Should I use it?
Quite frankly, NO? You may as well slice yourself with a razor and dive into a fetid cesspool.

Printer ink, more expensive than Chanel No 5 perfume, but so necessary in our new life style. Ah! The days of Croxley paper, Parker fountain pens, blotting paper and Stephens ink. Gone! Now we have email, sms and IM. The personal touch is missing. Yet people still want a hard copy. This means buying a printer and keeping those ink cartridges full.

Many users approach us, in a flat panic, at the absolute last minute, needing a cartridge or a refill. The intelligent user buys two cartridges up front. When one is used up and the second one inserted into the printer, they should replace the first one within a reasonable amount of time before the second one is used up.

Marah Project Update
The 22nd December was a happy day because 12 volunteers got together and delivered 71 Christmas gift boxes to folk over the age of 75 years living in Napier and Nuwerus. Thank you to all in the community who generously supported and donated towards the project throughout the year. Without your help we could not have done this. Many thanks.

We have survived the Mayan Prophecy BUT here’s a few more
by Patrick Seeton
Since we have survived the 21/22 December Doomsday Prophecy of the Mayans, we need to worry about something else! I bring you four issues that bear watching as we prepare for 2013. Three of the four are of local government import. The fourth is of broader significance involving proposed oil and gas exploration off the south coast. I will be brief as I can. Here we go then …

Firstly, did you know the Cape Agulhas Municipality – CAM – plans to upgrade its Bredasdorp office accommodation to the tune of R40-Million? Already R3.7-million has been paid out in respect of fees for just, “the adaptation of existing plans”.

The Bredasdorp Ratepayers Association – BRA (huh!) – during a whole year of futilely trying to extract acceptable answers from CAM has finally said they are taking the matter to Province. BRA feels this spending is unwarranted and existing facilities are not utilized effectively.

Napier needs to acquaint itself with the situation and – if considered prudent – lend support to BRA as we will also have to contribute to this spending. Do we want to? Is it necessary?

Secondly, CAM’s Draft Annual Report for the Financial Year, 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012 is out. It is said to be available for public comment at all municipal offices, libraries and the website [www.capeagulhas.gov.za]. Closing date for comment addressed to the municipal manager is 15 January, 2013 of course. Mmmmh, interesting.

Thirdly, CAM has adopted a Draft Communication Strategy and a Draft Language Policy. These documents are said also to be available at the same centres indicated in the previous paragraph. Closing date for comment is also set for 15 January 2013.

Fourthly, listen up … [abbreviated] “Notice is hereby given in terms of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (No. 28 of 2002) (MPRDA) and Regulations thereto of the intent to carry out oil and gas exploration activities [in the] West Bredasdorp Area off the South Coast of South Africa, located roughly between Mossel Bay and Cape Agulhas.

“In terms of the MPRDA, a requirement for obtaining an Exploration Right is that an Environmental Management Programme (EMPr) must be compiled and submitted to PASA for consideration and for approval by the Minister of Mineral Resources. Environmental Resources Management Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd (ERM) has been appointed to compile the EMPr to meet the relevant requirements of the MPRDA and the Regulations thereto. A Background Information Document, providing initial project information, is available online: www.erm.com/westbredasdorp_EMPR. If you or your organization would like to register as an Interested and Affected Party (I&AP) or receive more information, please contact Claire Alborough of ERM on or before 21 January 2013.

Please note that the EMPr will be released for a 30-day comment period once completed.”
As far as I can ascertain the “exploration” takes place in five phases commencing in 2014. The area covers 15000 square kilometres and will be conducted to a depth of 200 metres.”
Experience has taught me that if those that rule over us want to slip something through unnoticed thay select this time of year to advertise their intentions. Who reads the small print? Say no more …

For the birds…
A flurry of e-mails has heralded the arrival of a Greenspotted (or Emerald Spotted) Dove in Napier. “So….?” I hear you mouth ignorantly.
Well – the Greenspotted Dove should not be here – it is a bird of broad-leafed woodland and dense acacia!

Cameron McMaster says “we have had a single vagrant Greenspotted Dove in Napier for the last month.-calling incessantly - the unmistakable liquid descending notes. It joined the other doves at our bird table on occasions but was much shyer than the others. We had some good views of it but constantly the pleasure of its call in various parts of the town.
… emerald-spotted (or Green-spotted) Wood-Dove is not a species known to move large distances and the possibility exists that this bird was kept in an aviary or somewhere and has escaped. People do sometimes keep them in collections, often illegally because you have to have a permit to do this.”

Anton Odendal replied: “Thanx for this and all the best for the New Year. This is just too sensational a sighting for the guys from SA Rare Bird News to believe it. It is way out of range. Is there a way that you could try to get a photograph of it? I forward to them anyway.”

Cameron again: “So far as the habitat is concerned I think it has remained in the town because of the many trees and bush-like environment around the village and nothing but bare wheat and canola stubble further afield. My garden has many trees a great cover for a wood dove. It lived here for about two weeks before moving to another part of the village. I heard it again yesterday in the distance. It seems to be very lonely - calling incessantly for a mate or a companion.”

If anyone is lucky enough to get a photograph of this rare (for this area) bird, please forward to the Natter!!

Good for a laugh!
What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork to my lunch? - W.C. Fields

Who discovered we could get milk from cows, and what did he THINK he was doing at the time? - Billy Connolly

Retirement at sixty-five is ridiculous. When I was sixty five I still had pimples. - George Burns

When I was a boy the Dead Sea was only sick. - George Burns

Don't worry about what people think, they don't do it very often. - ?

Food for the mind
Surely the day will come when color means nothing more than the skin tone, when religion is seen uniquely as a way to speak one's soul; when birth places have the weight of a throw of the dice and all men are born free, when understanding breeds love and brotherhood. - Josephine Baker

Adapt yourself to the things among which your lot has been cast and love sincerely the fellow creatures with whom destiny has ordained that you shall live. - Marcus Aurelius

Remember - love those around you, there is no guarantee they will still be there tomorrow!
Mark

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