14 August 2019
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Hats off to you! We share W h our admiration d i ti for the female firefighters at Garden Route District Municipality - pictured here are, in front from left, Odri-Anne Booysen and Michelle Smalberger, with Elana Basson, Kuthala Maki, Devonia Cupido and Bonita Conrad at back find out more on page 5.
By-election looms p3
Rescuing Eskom? p4
Congrats to Thora! p9
Plettenberg Bay to Sedgefield
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NEWS & VIEWS
14 August 2019
National magazine pays tribute to legendary NSRI station commanders Plett history monger DEREK FRIELINGHAUS remembers two sea-rescue rock stars of yore N the latest NSRI quarterly magazine, I stumbled upon a story featuring my father, Geoff Frielinghaus, and Dick Harris, both of whom served as station commanders - in Plettenberg Bay and Mossel Bay respectively - during the 1970s. The photo accompanying Cherelle Leong’s article pictures the two men leaning against the stern of Mossel Bay’s large rescue craft Spirit of Rotary, and was taken during a joint training exercise off the Plett coastline. Dad and I first met Dick through our Monks Supermarket business, as he was the sales manager for Simba Chips at the time.
On the second occasion we crossed paths with Dick, he had only one leg - and seemed perfectly at ease with this state of affairs. We learnt later that he also had other bits and pieces missing… It was then that the story (below) came out: these two “old tops” forgot all about business and chatted away about their POW days. Although Dick had only one lung as a result of his ‘parachuteless’ fall from an Allied bomber, he loved smoking cigars! Dad and Dick also shared a passion for NSRI and the young volunteers who manned the boats in all weather.
SPINNING YARNS: Dick Harris, left, and Geoff Frielinghaus exchange war stories during a trip on Mossel Bay’s largest rescue craft
An abridged version of the Dick and Dad tale N the day they met as two fellow volunteers, they had no idea they shared a history that connected them far away from the shores of the Garden Route. This commonality took them back to their youth spent on the battlefields of Europe and in prisoner of war camps. During WWII, Dick had been stationed with the Allied Airforce and routinely flew on bombing raids over Germany. It was during one of these raids that his aircraft was shot down. How he survived is nothing short of a miracle. He hadn’t been wearing a parachute and hadn’t time to don one either before being ejected from the bullet-riddled, falling aircraft. Fortunately, they had been flying over steep and heavily forested terrain when they were hit, and this proved to be Dick’s saving grace. The tall trees lining the steep slope broke his fall and although he was severely
HISTORIC: The page featuring the extraordinary story of two World War II prisoners of war and NSRI stalwarts visit www. nsri.org.za to find out how you can make a contribution to our current day sea warriors
injured, he survived. Following the accident, Dick woke up in a German hospital with no recollection of how he got there. His leg had been amputated as a result of his
injuries, and he suffered many broken bones. He may not have survived the war if it weren’t for the kindness of a German soldier in the same hospital, who slipped
him extra food and convinced medical staff to give him proper care. Geoff, too, spent time behind enemy lines as a POW. A young officer with four anti-aircraft guns under his command in the SA artillery, he was captured at the infamous battle of Sidi Rezegh in North Africa. General Rommel promptly handed over all the POWs to the Italians and as a result, young Geoff got to celebrate his 21st birthday in Italy with a bottle of chianti - a kindness extended to him by the Italian camp commander. Later on, Geoff was moved to another POW camp in Germany, where he survived the remainder of the war. His camp was liberated by none other than general George Patton, who entered the facility standing up in the turret of a tank, smoking a cigar, with two Colt pistols on his hips.
NEWS & VIEWS
14 August 2019
Meet the contenders: Debate scheduled for Rheenendal tonight in run-up to Knysna by-election Knysna’s Ward 5, which includes Rheenendal, will be contested in a by-election scheduled for August 21 in order to replace former councillor and mayor Eleanore Bouw-Spies, who recently took up a position in parliament - YOLANDÉ STANDER reports HE Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has announced that five parties will be vying for BouwSpies’s spot on the council, including four familiar parties and newcomer, the Knysna Independent Movement (KIM). Most parties have revealed their intentions, which they have said would be focused on, among others, service delivery for the people in the area. KIM will be represented by local activist and legal expert Susan Campbell who vowed to fight corruption, nepotism, inequality, injustice and poor service delivery, as well as address waste and inefficiency in municipal government. Campbell also intends to focus on affordable public transport and opportunities for Rheenendal entrepreneurs, create jobs, focus on fire safety, protect the area’s natural and built en-
vironment, and create economic opportunities for rural communities. She said KIM was established after residents identified a need for an independent political party not aligned or beholden to any political parties at national or provincial level. Other parties in the running include the Plaaslike Besorgde Inwoners (PBI) who will be represented by Knysna-born family man Alberto Marbi. Marbi said the PBI was a political party for all whom would not be intimidated by any other political party. He too hoped to alleviate poverty through economic growth and job creation as well as, among others, housing for the poor and access to affordable land. The ANC will also be weighing in for this byelection and will be represented by Knysna-born
Carol Marshal Williams who has been a resident of Rheenendal (Keurhoek) for the past 17 years. She hopes to focus on issues including housing, phasing out outdoor toilets, tarring and/or paving of roads, improving residential areas, upgrading of sports facilities and electrification of informal areas, while promoting youth and social development. The face of the DA in the by-election be will that of Hilton Stroebel, whose aims include, among many others, growing tourism and creating jobs. As part of his election campaign, he is promising to fight for the upgrading of informal settlements, providing residents with access to basic services, and providing access roads for emergency vehicles. The EFF will be represented by Anthony Norman Freeman. According
Petition to prevent bail for Cremer murder suspects gains momentum Y going to print, more than 30,000 women had signed a petition to prevent the men accused of murdering former Knysna resident and Oakhill scholar Meghan Cremer being granted bail in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court. The body of Cremer, 30, was found at a sand mine in Philippi at 1am on August 8, after she had gone missing early the previous Saturday evening. The suspects - Jeremy Sias, 27, Charles Daniels, 39, and Shiraaz Jaftha, 34 appeared in court last week on charges of murder, theft of a vehicle, and the possession of stolen property. They are due to appear in court again tomorrow for
bail information. The Facebook group SA Women Fight Back, which started the petition, was launched last week and has had an overwhelming response. It states: “Please sign this No Bail Application if you agree that the men being accused of Meghan Cremer’s murder should NOT be granted bail. Let us ensure these men never walk our streets again. Let us make South Africa a safer place for everyone. Let us be the change.” In another development late last week, it was discovered that murder suspect Jeremy Sias was a labourer on the farm of Cremer’s friend, Linda Mohr. Ques-
tions arose about the family’s relationship with Sias after it was discovered that he was Facebook friends with Mohr’s son. “Jeremy was born and grew up on a family member’s farm alongside ours. As a family, we are not only reeling about losing our dearest Meghan, but now the knowledge that Jeremy was involved has come as a huge shock to us all,” Mohr said in a Facebook post on Thursday. Cremer’s body was found with her hands tied up and a restraint around her neck at a sand mine in Philippi. To sign the petition, visit the facebook group or www. change.org and type Meghan Cremer in the search bar.
to the party’s manifesto, among its priorities are free quality education, healthcare, houses, and sanitation. It also aims to create an open, accountable, corrupt-free government and society without fear of victimisation by state agencies. The party says it is com-
mitted to massive protected industrial development to create sustainable jobs, including the introduction of minimum wages to close the vast gap between the rich and the poor. Residents have the opportunity to hear what the candidates have to say during
a public debate at Rheenendal Civic Centre between 6pm and 8pm today (August 14). The debate is due to be broadcast live on Eden FM. A similar debate was held at the Brenton Community Hall on Tuesday. Garden Route Media
14 August 2019
NEWS & VIEWS
Eskom rescue plan: is government taking the easy route once again? Pumping in funds while dodging tough measures may not be the way to go, writes STUART MURRAY OUTH Africa’s government looks set to challenge, in court, decisions and recommendations by Nersa, the national energy regulator. If the ruling is in the government’s favour, it opens the door for Pretoria to further pump billions of rands into Eskom’s bottomless pit. This, according to the Energy Expert Coalition Group, will increase electricity tariffs substantially, possibly rising by 80%. The effect on the economy, and on consumers, will be catastrophic. The clamour for realistic measures be taken - to clean out the robbers and the incompetent and to massively cull the hugely costly Eskom workforce (top and bottom) - has been quietly pushed aside. The electricity supplier has more than 30,000 employees - a daunting, and politically dangerous number to cull.
Meanwhile, Eskom groans under a shortfall of R21.6-billion. Add to this the billions owed to the power supplier by rogue municipalities and other debtor entities. And let us not ignore the R66-billion “lost” from 2014-2017 as stated in the Public Protector’s state capture report. ‘More than 30% of South Africa’s households are now enjoying grants’
The nightmare continues this year as Nersa seeks permission to grant a further tariff increase. However, by law it must obtain public support, and it has until November 30 to garner this. Members of the public who wish to have their objection recorded should contact the Energy Expert Coalition Group (https:// eeco.co.za/) for advice.
Desperately looking elsewhere for revenue, the government has been steadily priming the petrol pump. For example, income from the fuel levy (why should there even be such an item?) has tripled over the past three years, and now brings in a punitive R75-billion a year. This year we had the new Carbon Tax added. Tax, as a percentage of the total fuel price, is now 40.6% - diesel slightly higher at 41.8% (although, as diesel is not regulated one can shop around a little). In the light of Eskom’s haphazard services, many South Africans have opted for solar power mainly as a backup for light and, especially, heating water. It makes sense, considering that the majority of the country’s regions enjoy an average 2,500 hours of sunshine a year, and average solar-radiation levels range be-
tween 4.5 and 6.5kWh/m2 a day. Moreover, the Department of Energy states that the annual global solar radiation average is about 220Wh/m2 for South Africa and about 100Wh/m2 for Europe and the UK. Tax incentives have been introduced for renewable energy, especially solar. There are, however, different dispensations for individuals and commercial endeavours. Fundamentally, in respect of photovoltaic solar energy of more than one megawatt, a taxpayer is allowed a deduction of the costs of the asset producing the power as follows: 50% in the first year, 30% in the second, and the balance in the third year of use. Where the photovoltaic system produces less than one megawatt of power, the taxpayer is allowed 100% deduction in the first year of use. These costs are regulated as: • Installation planning • Panels delivery • Installation • Installation safety officer Capital costs, however, have risen substantially over the past five or six years. Eskom’s power outages, and the accompanying mayhem throughout the country, pushed up demand - and costs. Solar has become not just a matter of power saving but peace of mind! Meanwhile, the government battles to make ends not simply meet, but to remain vaguely in sight. The bulk of its revenue (34%) is swallowed by government employees, while the primly labelled ‘transfers and subsidies’, which include the ever burgeoning social grants, snaffle 29%. Next at the trough comes goods and services (14%) followed by capital spending and transfers (9%). In all, government expenses have grown by a third since 2005/6 to R1.83-trillion, of which 34.4% is for government wages and compensation. Education has grown fourfold since 2005/6 (R85-billion to R375-billion). Spending on social grants has rocketed growing annually by 7.9%. It is expected to further increase by almost 8% annually to R223-billion by 2020/21. There are serious doubts as to whether the Social Grants programme is sustainable. Since 1994 the number of individuals benefitting has increased from 4-million to 17-million, expected to reach 18-million by year-end. More than 30% of South Africa’s households are now enjoying grants… • Stuart Murray (stuartmurray758@ gmail.com) is a former senior assistant editor of Financial Mail and co-founder, editor, and CEO of Finance Week. He is retired and lives in Plettenberg Bay.
NEWS & VIEWS
14 August 2019
Mom saves her one-month-old baby from blaze in early morning hours A mother and her infant son narrowly escaped the fire that set their home alight and burnt it to ashes in Qolweni’s Bangalore section last Tuesday - LUDUMO TEDE reports T around 2am on Tuesday August 6, Qolweni residents were forced out of their beds to roll up their sleeves and assist in extinguishing a fire that threatened to demolish their neighbourhood before authorities and the fire brigade
could arrive on the scene. Working side by side, the fire fighters and residents managed to prevent further spread of the flames, but not before it had demolished two shacks and slightly damaged another two abodes in this informal settlement.
One of the shacks engulfed by the flames was home to Neliswa Sigwayi, mother of the month-old Lubanzi. Both mother and son managed to escape before their home was demolished by the blaze. To date, no confirmation
NOTHING LEFT: The Bangalore burn site where Neliswa Sigwayi’s shack used to stand - Photo: Ludumo Tede
District municipality’s female firefighters are trailblazers, one and all ARDEN Route District Municipality (GRDM) is home to seven women who form part of a group of 40 firefighters, including station officers and fire chief. Although underrepresented in a male-dominated environment, they are a force to be reckoned with. The disproportionately low representation of women in firefighting can be attributed to structural and cultural factors that often play an important role in women eliminating this field as a career choice. However, a conscious and continuous attempt by educators, firefighters, and parents can help expose youngsters, especially girls, to the profession. During a recent interview with six of the seven women firefighters at GRDM - Bonita Conrad, Kuthala Maki, Odri-Anne Booysen, Devonia Cupido, Elana
Basson, and Michelle Smalberger - a few assumptions were discussed. Assumption 1: Women have to first showcase their knowledge and experience in firefighting before being accepted by their male counterparts. All the women felt that this was true. Assumption 2: There is a sense of pressure on women to do the same or even better than their male counterparts. Although feeling that this assumption was correct, all six women acknowledged that they were treated equally to their counterparts. When asked what the most important parts of their firefighting jobs are, they agreed that “protecting lives, infrastructure, and the environment” are at the top of their list of reasons. Senior firefighter Bonita Conrad has twice over the past few years reached the
The only pharmacy in Main Street
top of her age group at the South African Toughest Firefighter Alive competition, and GRDM was the first in the W-Cape to appoint a female fire chief, having been dedicated to gender transformation in firefighting for more than a decade. In 2006, Annelise Lamprecht-Virtue - truly a trailblazer in the field of firefighting - was the first female Fire Chief to be appointed in the Western Cape. During the October 2018 Garden Route fires, she was tasked by the Western Cape Government to assist the district and local municipalities in providing strategic leadership. Her tenure at Western Cape Government as Fire and Rescue Services assistant director started in January 2012. She recently confirmed that she would take up the position as Fire Chief of Witzenberg Municipality on September 1.
has been received from authorities as to whether the fire was the result of criminal activity. Southern Cape SAPS spokesperson captain Malcolm Pojie on Monday said he had not received a report of arson charges against anyone in Bitou. However, according to witnesses, the fire ensued after an altercation between an adult male and his mother. It is alleged by the witnesses that the man burnt his mother’s shack intentionally.
Because the shacks are so close-knit, the fire spread quickly to the house next door and left a mother and her son destitute. “Although I knew I was only left with my pyjamas as I was watching all my belongings turning into ashes, I was happy that my baby and I were still alive. Life is much more important than any of the belongings I had lost,” said Sigwayi after their narrow escape. Now to have a roof over her
head again… She is clinging to the hope that Bitou Municipality would deliver on its promise, as she and her neighbour were allegedly promised building material to erect shacks again. Even though there are no charges against the man accused of being responsible for starting the fire, he is now being labelled as a public enemy. He has no place in that neighbourhood any longer, as the residents don’t want him to set foot there again.
NEWS & VIEWS
14 August 2019
Now you can be a link in this lovely chain reaction of local support HEN the adult members of our society break out in violent acts of protest, little children experience the trauma up close and personal. One of Lunchbox Theatre’s After Schools Activities Programmes (ASAP) caters for children with special needs. When these little children heard that Erasmus Panel Beaters had been trashed during the riots in June, they created and delivered handmade goodwill cards to this business based in Plett Industria, and performed their hip-hop dance to entertain the staff. Then they were off to Mungo Mill with ASAP manager Amanda Valela, Visual Arts facilitator Donnè Rundle, Formosa Primary teachers, Charmain Hechter and Suraja Lourens, and local benefactor Carel Hechter. There they witnessed the weaving process - one of the skills they are taught by the ASAP facilitators - in action. They also saw the gigantic art piece created to draw attention to their plight, beautifully displayed
COLOURFUL CREATIONS HIGHLIGHT PLIGHT: ASAP facilitator Ntombizodwa Ntoni stands proudly in front of one of the artworks created by the differently-abled kids who benefit from the after-school programmes presented by Plett’s caring Lunchbox Theatre crew - Photo: Shanette Elliott
at Mungo Mill thanks to the good graces of owner Janet Harding and manager Monique Dokter. “What is their ‘plight’?” you may wonder. Well, there is a very real possibility that these kids’ beloved
after-school classes will soon grind to a halt due to lack of funding. Visit https://lunchbox.org. za/workshops/ to find out how R100 per kid per month can save the programme from being terminated.
Notice Board • The Knysna Plett Concert Series presents Yi-Jia Susanne Hou on violin, accompanied by pianist Annalien Ball, on Monday August 19. After a winter break, Knysna Music Society (KMS) is ready to bring on the melodies once more - “and you should be there to be part of the magic!” says KMS chair Penny Smythe-Rathbone. “We welcome to Knysna for the first time internationally successful violinist from China, Yi-Jia Susanne Hou, and South African pianist Annalien Ball.” Yi-Jia performed the most challenging works ever written for violin when she was just 17 years old. At three separate international violin competitions the judges, unanimous in each case, awarded her first prize. This truly established her reputation as an international musician of note. Annalien is a professional pianist and accompanist who regularly performs with international visiting artists. Featured composers on Monday night at their performance in Knysna DRC hall will include Schubert, Beethoven and De Falla. Tickets are sold at the door from 6:45pm (at R150 and R50 for scholars) and the show starts at 7:30pm. • The ‘What the Bag?’ campaign against single-use plastic bags, started by Knysna local Sahara Thagunna, 17, is branching out to launch
some exciting new ventures to tackle plastic waste in a broader perspective. Want to hear all about her new projects and be a proactive part of the movement for planetary regeneration? Then join Sahara on Saturday August 31 at 2pm at The Node, Oaks on Main, Knysna. Your RSVP is essential, so visit www.source sahara.wixiste.com/what thebag for this purpose. • Diarise September 7 for the next Fun Quiz Night, when this popular biannual event will raise funds for Leolin Peterson, 13, from New Horizons, who has been selected to travel to Tokyo to represent SA in Trampolin-
ing at an international gymnastics competition. It is hoped that the Quiz will help Leolin’s mom Helen to raise the bulk of the R30,000 she needs to raise for her travel and kit costs. You can help by entering a team in to this Fun Quiz, or you may wish to make a donation. The action starts at Plett Bowls Club in Challenge Drive at 6pm for 6:30pm on Saturday September 7. The cost of R600 per team (max of six members) includes a light supper and there are great prizes to be won. To book or donate, contact Barry Ricketts at barryricketts48@hotmail. com or on 072 890 6238.
LIVE IN KNYSNA: Yi-Jia Susanne Hou is a Canadian violinist born in Shanghai and raised in Mississauga; at the age of nine, she studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music and went on to attend Juilliard, where she studied with Dorothy DeLay, Naoko Tanaka, and Cho-Liang Lin
14 August 2019
Buying or renting? Know who pays for what, says Seeff UYERS are often shocked to find just how much they have to pay in transaction costs and just how involved the process of buying a property can be, says Dinis Martins of the Seeff Property Group. It is a fantastic time to buy and with the interest rate drop, property is more affordable than what it has been in years. People will always buy houses regardless of the economy. “Don’t waste a good crisis - get into the market now! The banks are keen to lend but know what you are in for cost-wise,” says Martins. But when buying property, how much do you need, and who pays for what? Seller pays for... The seller pays the agent’s commission, usually around 5%-6% of the selling price. If you have a bond, you may not be aware, but typically need to give three months’ notice before cancelling otherwise you will be charged penalty interest, which is effectively a month’s bond interest on top of the instalment. Your rates and levies will also need to be up to date. Various compliance certificates are required which will involve inspections to the cost of about R2,500 if no repairs are needed. Use a reputable company and get a second quote if repairs are necessary. Sellers need to ensure the property is in a good state
DO YOUR HOMEWORK: Before committing to renting or buying property, make sure you know who pays for what Photo: Seeff
as new legislation means they can no longer hide behind the “voetstoots” clause and full disclosure of defects is required. Buyer pays for... The full purchase price either in cash, or part cash deposit and the balance funded with a mortgage loan. Transfer duty is payable on all transactions above R900,000. In the case of a development, there is usually no transfer duty as the developer will pay VAT. On top of that are the various attorneys and deeds office fees and costs, pro-rata services and levies, and so on. On a R1.1-million sale, the transfer costs are around R39,700. If you are taking a home loan, there will be additional costs to register the mortgage bond, estimated at around R24,500 (approx. R64,200 in total). On a R5-million sale you will pay an additional R450,000 for transfer
costs, including transfer duty and about R60,000 for the bond costs. Renting property - who pays for what? If you are renting, you also need to budget for costs. You can get better value and can rent a house for around R15,000 which would cost you about R20,000 per month to buy, but while it leaves more money in your pocket in the short-term, you don’t own the asset which can accumulate substantial value in the long-term. Landlord pays for... If you are merely sourcing a tenant, you will pay an agency fee of around 8%-10% of the value of the lease, but if you include a management portion, there will be an additional cost. Landlords also need to factor in the cost of maintenance and rates on the value of the property or levies in the case of sectional title.
Tenant pays for... Deposits of one to two times the monthly rental is common. On a R15,000 per month rental, this means you need up to R30,000 to put down as a deposit and will also have to pay the credit verification and lease fees which could amount to around R1,150 once-off. The landlord (or agent) must invest the full deposit in an interest-bearing account for the benefit of the tenant. It may not be used for anything whatsoever. At the end of the lease, the capital sum plus interest must be refunded to the tenant subject to the landlord being able to deduct reasonable cost of repairs or unpaid rent from it. The landlord must provide a property in a fit and habitable state and the tenant must keep it in a good condition including maintaining the garden and pool as provided for in the lease. A watertight lease and an incoming inspection are essential to agree on the state of the property upfront. At the end of the lease, an outgoing inspection must be undertaken to determine whether any funds can be deducted from the deposit. The tenant may not make any alterations without the express written permission of the landlord either. • See the advert on page 3 for current listings and contact details.
Property area focus: Keurboomstrand HE Keurbooms area has always been a place of dreams for its residents and visitors alike. Property values have therefore risen steadily over the years as more people appreciate what it has to offer - Blue Flag Beaches dotted along long stretches of pristine coastline, wild high dunes, spectacular views across the bay from elevated positions, access to a myriad of nature walks, a dynamic river mouth, the estuary/lagoon offering a plethora of activities, surf and rock angling… Traditionally, from a property sales point of view, Keurbooms is divided into Keurbooms River and Keurboomstrand. Prices along the Keurboomstrand beachfront have grown over the past few years. The following are some landmark examples: a four-bedroom home in the upmarket Whales Haven beachfront estate sold for R10.5-million; a stand in the same development sold for R6.5-million. Three properties in
Keurbooms village have sold for R9-milliom, R9.7-million, and R8.3million respectively. A luxury seven-bedroomed home in The Waves sold for R12.5-million, and a spacious four-bedroom house in Keursands fetched R12.3-million. All these sales were concluded by Sotheby’s International Realty, the bulk by the author. Looking at registered sales over the past year for the entire Keurbooms area, the following is of interest. There were under 10 sales in the village ranging from R3.5-R9.4million; three sales in Keurview estate, with R6-million the top price; around 10 sales took place on estates on the Keurbooms River, including a number of affordable units in San Marino and The Dunes, and two sales in two of the upmarket beachfront security estates for above R5-milliom. Currently, a wide variety of property is available for sale in the Keur-
LOOKING UP! Elbie Pama is responsible for the bulk of properties sold in Keurbooms Village over the past few years
boomstrand area varying from vacant stands for R690,000 to luxury homes above the R15million mark, and lots of affordable quality holiday cottages in between, all within easy walking distance to the beach. Perched above the village is Keurview, which commands mesmerising views over the bay. The estate offers good value and has a vacant stand and a lovely home for sale, both offering very good value. Keurbooms River re-
mains popular and in demand, particularly because of the access it offers to the lagoon and, at low tide from certain of the estates, it’s an easy walk across the sandspit to Keurbooms Beach. Sotheby’s has been the foremost seller in the Strandmeer resort for years already and still has good value properties to offer to the nature orientated buyer. Sotheby’s International Realty currently has 25 properties to offer along the Keurbooms River, some being holiday resort type properties at affordable prices around the R2-million mark, while others are in upmarket gated estates and priced from R6-R10-million. There truly is something for everyone! • Elbie Pama is an estate agent at Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty Plettenberg Bay and a Keurbooms area specialist. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 082 569 2588, and see the cover advert for additional information.
14 August 2019
Talia on Toast
The tale of the sale Garden Route local TALIA DAY is a mom with two kids, a Viking, and three jobs (online teacher, reporter, and novelist). Her dream is to brighten someone’s day and to make people aware of the fact that their tribulations are not singular, since we all share in the craziness that is life and parenthood. “Let’s buy a new car,” I say. “Ok,” the Viking says. Two years later… “We really need to buy a new car; Goldilocks is becoming a rusty donkey.” The Viking mumbles as he wrenches second spawn into her backwards facing baby seat, while folding himself over into a malformed pretzel to lean into said car, a few droplets of sweat falling off his bald head. First spawn is munching away on a packet of chips, of indeterminate age, that she has fished out from underneath the pile of post she collects every day. The pile of traffic fines, which are not ours, that she gleefully rips open and turns into treasure maps. Sorry neighbours, she is doing you a favour! We are all packed and ready to go. The pram is squashed into the tiny old boot, and I am loaded with bags in the passenger seat. Oh my darling old car, how will I ever let you go? Six months later… “Seriously, this car is a lump now. Let’s get a new one!” I say to the Viking while prying ice-cream covered first spawn out of her seat. She has happily made milky sugar drawings on the windows - remember the ones that don’t open? We find a new silver bullet, a shiny pretty mom-wagon, and finance is approved. All is good! My jobs are stable, we are settled in our home, and life is just jolly. Hahaha! said the Universe, just you wait. Ad in for the golden goose, lots of replies en-
sue, and the vultures descend upon our little tank of safety, the lump of gold that has driven my children, that has healed my broken heart, and where I got my first kiss from the Viking… Well it was actually in my friend’s driveway, but Goldilocks was there to witness the seal of love. She is my trusted steed, the car that I adore. “Too much rust.” “Too old.” “High mileage.” “The motor needs to be overhauled.” How can they not see her for who she is? Don’t say that! You are hurting her feelings… The hyenas come with their inspections and pick at her like a carcass in the sun. The offers are low; we are desperate to sell her so we can get our silver bullet, with space and a big boot! Have you ever tried to pack a pram and two children and the containersize load of baggage that goes with those mewling things called children, plus shopping, and a 6-footsomething Viking into a tiny little Conquest? Ha! But I am the Tetris master... Finally, we get an offer that is almost half of what we wanted, but it is ok. I have said my goodbyes to my trusted golden steed, she is sold. Goodbye my love! Thank you for your faithful service, you never let me down. Ever. I love you. Now the walking began, because our new car had to come from Joburg. So for two weeks, I was meandering like a crazy-haired
blonde witch about the streets of Sedgefield, trying to wrangle my two spawns into an order of walking that didn’t involve being a pancake on the road. It’s all good, the new car is coming soon. Life is good! We are settled and stable. First job - Official letter: “We are sorry to inform you that due to financial constraints you are being retrenched.” Say whaaaaat? Home - SMS: “I have sold the house, this is your one month’s notice. Please vacate the premises.” Are you kidding me? Ten months into a fouryear lease! Do you know how hard it is to find a pet and child friendly house in Sedgefield? Ok, fine, my children are more like beastly dragons, but I keep them in a cage most of the time, so they won’t be too much hassle for a new landlord, if we ever find a house. Second job - Email: “Due to upgrades on our system, we are no longer able to pay you your salary. Will you be willing to work for a third of your current rate?” Ok, hang on, reverse here for a second! WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON? I’ve just bought a new sec-
ond-hand car! And the frantic hunt for a job and a house begins, and in all of this craziness my new beautiful, shiny silver bullet arrives. The one that costs us more than school fees in repayments. One week before we are supposed to be out of our house, that we had signed a four-year lease on, we are still homeless. The stress makes me a bit crazy, and I want to crawl into a ball in a dark room with a case of wine and growl at anyone that comes near me. Instead I mom away and, calmly, raise my spawns the ones descended from the pits of hell. “We are moving in six days. Pack,” the Majestic Bearded Viking says to me. Unladylike cussing spews forth from my mouth, and a frantic hunt for boxes ensues. I trawl the backyards of shops like a drug dealer, looking for treasures. “That was actually my bed, Ma’am,” the local hobo says to me as I hoard boxes into my spacious boot. Sorry buddy! • Talia on Toast is a monthly column - watch this space for the next instalment in CXPRESS of September 11.
My wife is mad at me; says I have no sense of direction. So I packed all my bags and right!
SOCIAL SCENE VROUEDAG GENOTLIK GEVIER! Dames van die Christelike Griekwa Vroue Vereniging en vriendinne van elders langs die Tuinroete het ‘n uiters geseënde en genotvolle Vrouedag te New Horizons gehad op 9 Augustus. Die twee gasheertakke, Crags en New Horizons, het gesorg dat die dames hulself in styl en Griekwa tradisie kon uitleef. Vertel organiseerder Hazel Uithaler: “Van die oudste steunpilare en rolmodelle in ons Griekwa gemeenskap, soos moeders Johanna Steenbok, Janet Smith, Valerie Botha, Magrieta Willemse, Johanna Majavie en vele ander grootmoeders, het die geleentheid saam met jonger vroue kom vier. Raadslid Jessica Kam-Kam en vroue voorsitter Emily Neels het almal begeester met hul sielvolle boodskap. Magriet van Green Hearts het ‘n beroep op vroue gedoen om goeie moeder-kind verhoudings te handhaaf. Unity Bernardo het die dames aangemoedig om deel te word van die buurtwag programme om sodoende veiligheid in ons buurte te bevorder. Die vroue is vermaak deur rieldansers van die Griekwa Nasionale Konferensie se danspassies, begelei met jolige musiek deur hul musikant, Andre Jacobs.” Almal wat die geleentheid bygewoon het bedank vir Hazel en haar span vir ‘n uiters inspirerende Vrouedag: “Julle het die geleentheid uiters spesiaal vir ons gemaak en die samesyn was wonderlik!”
14 August 2019
People, places & events
ABRIDGED BARD CHUCKLES FOR KNYSNA: The Sedgefield Players - Nita Allsopp, Gareth Pretorius, and Bomber Webb - will present their rip-roaringly funny take on Shakespeare to christen the newly-opened Knysna Theatre. Following the runaway success of its recent, capacity-filled runs in Sedgefield, the popular return of ‘The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)’ is cause for unbridled celebration. The production enjoys a reputation as one of the world’s most popular shows and this version of the three-hander, directed by Melanie Burmeister, guarantees an evening of genial, goofy, hilarious entertainment. The play holds the world record for shortest-ever performance of ‘Hamlet’ - at less than 30 seconds - as well as the fastest performance of it backwards - at 42 seconds. All 37 of Shakespeare’s plays are contained in one riotous romp that is nothing short of an engaging, entertaining manifestation of controlled chaos. Audiences who know the works of Shakespeare have loved it. Those who have never dabbled in anything by The Bard have leaped to their feet and cheered, from high school children to octogenarians. “We knew we were having fun, but certainly didn’t expect our audiences to join us with such enthusiasm,” says Melanie. “The fact that we can do it again and again for other audiences is just the cherry on the top!” Call 082 696 3507 or 082 335 6088 to book for one of two performances on September 5 and 6, starting at 7:30pm. The production runs for two hours with a 10-minute interval. Tickets cost R150 per person and include a glass of wine. Knysna Theatre is situated on Main Road in Melville Centre, one of the town’s most iconic landmark buildings. - Photos: El Rorke Photography
BATS OPENING NIGHT A BLAST: At the August 6 opening night of the Bitou Amateur Theatrical Society’s production of ‘The Mousetrap’, Tayler Morris, at centre right above - who took the part of Mollie Ralston - was joined by her aunt, Leigh Myles from Port Elizabeth. They are flanked by friends Tarryn and Richard Saunders of Plettenberg Bay. Enjoying the entertaining affair in the photo at the top from left are Martin Brassey, June Sinclair, Judi Brassey, Lynn and Don Searle and Duncan Sinclair, all of whom are Plettenberg Bay residents. At centre at right Leigh Dunn, who took the part of Christopher Wren, is pictured with, from left, his mother Joey Dunn, Ruby Chetty, Val Hellman and his aunt, Magda Rensburg. - Timothy Twidle
A FULL LIFE FOR MRS FARISH: Thora née Bailey was born on August 19 a century ago, and a special centenary celebration was held on Women’s Day at Crescent Retirement Home in Plett, where she has been residing for the past two years. Thora was born in Kimberley in 1919, and her family moved to Krugersdorp when she was 11. She married her beloved pharmacist husband John Farish in the 1940s and was widowed after 52 years. Renowned for her baking talent, Thora also captained the ladies golf team until age 80, and practised Tai Chi until age 85. Six years ago she relocated to Plett, where her daughter Anne Battle resides. She has another daughter, Pam, and her eldest daughter Jaki has passed on. Anne was on hand to join in the celebrations for her mom, backed by Zeelas Charity Shop. In the photo, mom and daughter Anne delight in the scrumptious-looking birthday cake. - LM Dunn
14 August 2019
Local registered counsellor for REAL debt counselling and COMPLETE peace of mind. Phone today for a FREE consultation with no obligations.
Gerhard van Huyssteen is your LOCAL registered Debt Counsellor (NCRDC#778) Cell: 071 332 2341 Tel: 044 533 2805 Email: email@example.com
Plett Animal Welfare Service
ON THE SOAPBOX
14 August 2019
Letters to the Editor
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org - Fax: 044 533 0852 - PO Box 1449, Plett 6600
Best new digs for boerboel Bizmark! A miracle! Despite the unrest and instability over the past weeks, the people of Plettenberg Bay still pull together. I received a call from John Elliot and Michelle Chant to say they would love to meet our boerboel, Bizmark, who was in such desperate need of a good foster home [read the initial appeal on page
9 of the July 31 edition at www.cxpress.co.za]. I was relieved to hear from them and took him for a ‘play date’ to meet the rest of their family. We walked around the 15 acres of beautiful property and the dogs settled down after sussing out the scene. Two days later Bizmark moved in. He follows
John around all day, just as he did with my beloved Peter. Michelle reports he has settled and is eating well. They have welcomed us to visit him whenever we want to. Alexander and I are so grateful to Carol and her assistant from the kennels who looked after Bizmark, and to Heather and Tracey from PAWS, who
have both gone the extra mile in assisting us to find a foster home. Our precious old lady, Princess, has also found a home at Moss and Maple. Thank you CXPRESS for your lovely article. I’m heartbroken but thankful that Bizmark has found a wonderful animal-loving home. We are blessed! Louise Auersperg, Plett
LAP OF LUXURY: After an appeal by Heather Pieterse of Plettenberg Bay in CXPRESS a fortnight ago, Bizmark has been taken in by John and Michelle and their friendly pooches at Piesang Valley Lodge
Bitou not responsible for traffic fee hikes This response from Bitou Municipality was received after a reader’s query regarding licencing fees in the previous issue - read ‘Rates and fees increases most uncalled for…’ on page 11 of the August 7 edition at www.cxpress.co.za Bitou Municipality does not set the tariffs for vehicle registration and licensing, of which the competency and mandate reside under provincial government, specifi-
cally the Department of Roads and Transport. This includes the setting of applicable fees, rates, and tariffs. All municipalities are authorised to act as
Thank you to our gracious benefactor
Sibanye Rugby Football Club would like to say a huge thank you to Abraham Carolus for being a part of the family and for his support during difficult times, when he was always there for them. The reason for our gratitude is that when we lost one of our coaches, Abraham was there to back us up - he even paid for transport when we went to play in the Eastern Cape. Since last year, he has also given us financial support. The club has been in existence for two years and the team is based in Plett’s Qolweni township. Some of the players pictured above are Ayabonga Tetani, Siyamcela Cokova, Zwelandile Zathu, captain Melumzi Mema, Mzuvukile Qatela, Nceba Mamata, Xolie Smith, Mzothando Sonkosi, Mihlali Jali, Xolisa Ntsamba, Zukisa Nkolongo, Sinethemba Basboi, and Mandla Jali. All the members of Sibanye Rugby Football Club thank you and look forward to a prosperous future together.
agents on behalf of the provincial traffic authority to administer applications for vehicle registration, learner’s and driver’s licences and testing, and to collect the applicable fees. As the agent of the province, Bitou merely implements what is de-
termined by the relevant authority. It is therefore best that the customer direct the complaint/query on the vehicle registration and licensing tariffs/rates to provincial traffic authorities. Manfred van Rooyen Bitou Communications department, Plett
U3A Plett sets the Wednesday record straight There seems to have been some confusion regarding the programmes for Wednesday August 14 and next Wednesday, the 21st. This letter serves to confirm that on the 14th, we will show two films about the white Lipizzaner stallions of Vienna. They belong to the Spanish Riding School there and are world-famous for their exceptionally high standard of training, strength, and beauty. One of the films also describes their history, breeding, and some of the adventures of the school during the war. The two films together
run a little over an hour, but we should be finished before 11.30am. On the 21st, we present an Armchair Travel programme. Our speaker is Hilana Steyn, who will give us an illustrated talk on her exciting travels, including a trip to Antarctica. I hope this clarifies any confusion - we look forward to seeing members and friends for both these meetings. Lynette Timme, Plett (Lynette is the programme planner for Plett’s University of the 3rd Age branch. Email her at u3aplett@ gmail.com for additional information. - Eds.)
082 251 8134
Read CXPRESS online at www.cxpress.co.za
SPORT & ADVENTURE
14 August 2019
These gals from far and wide can tee off and trump, too! OR the third year running, the ladies golf and bridge event ‘Tee to Trump’ was help on August 5 and 6 at Plett Country Club and Goose Valley. This year’s competition saw an increase in participants from Johannesburg and East London. The seven tables played 18 holes of Betterball golf in the morning, followed by an afternoon of bridge with each pair playing two boards against each other. Says event organiser Erica
SOUTH MEETS NORTH: Penny Basset from Knysna, left, spends time off the course with Joburger Barbara Mills
Millican: “We had a really exciting finish, with reigning local champions Christine Barker and Trish Leach from Knysna clutching first prize by just two points.” Second place was secured by Gill Norgarb and Michelle van Straten, with Lynne Searle and Carol Ross finishing third. “Once again, Helen Melon sponsored the goodie bags, and we thank Val Kidd who gave up her time to be tournament director,” she says.
THE GLORIOUS GOOSE: Di Klette and organiser Erica ‘Milli’ Millican, right, representing Plett and Ballito respectively, give a thumbs up to the beautiful Goose Valley Golf Estate
Rough terrain tests riders in Trans Baviaans OMPETITORS in Saturday’s Trans Baviaans - the first of two events - had to brave the roughest conditions in years on their traverse through the Baviaanskloof. Floods in the build-up to the race left the usually smoother roads covering the first 100km of the 230km route - in a rutted condition. Those ruts would be felt later rather than when they were assaulted on fresh legs, because a steady tail wind blew from the northwest as riders left Willowmore for Jeffery’s Bay. A frenetic pace was set from the off by the Hausberger team of Werner Roux and Jono Cloete. Roux revealed at the finish that it had not been part of their race plan. “Jono attacked in the first kilometre,” he said shaking his head. “We hadn’t even left Willowmore yet. I didn’t want to follow but I didn’t really have a choice.” Cloete’s brave move echoed the acceleration by Gert Heyns and Arno du Toit in 2018, when the pair set the current course record. It also played into the hands of the race favourites, Mike Posthumus and Derrin Smith, of dormakaba. “It suited us, them making it so hard,” Posthumus recounted. “It forced quite a select group to form with them, us and the guys from ProTouch. We got away and then at 90 kilometres we saw them hesitating at a check point and we pushed on from there.” “It was a solo ride from 90 kilometres” he continued with a grimace. “It was awful. It was so rough. I had between 10 and 15 chain-drops off my chainring and had to keep stopping to put that back on and then chase back. So that burnt a few matches. “Dez [Smith] started cramping with about 120 kilometres to go. It was a rough second half for him and I started cramping too, but luckily not as bad as him.” Posthumus explained their 20-minute time penalty: “We made an error at check point 7 by not taking our lights. The plan had been to beat the setting sun.
And though we didn’t manage it technically, at least we didn’t need our lights.” Having crossed the line 28 minutes and 53 seconds ahead of Roux and Cloete, but 19 minutes after their targeted time of 8 hours, the penalty did not deny them the win or a personal best. Posthumus, Smith, Roux and Cloete were joined on the podium by Jaco Davel and Ignus Oosthuizen. Davel and Oosthuizen had suffered their own cramps earlier in the race but stormed through the final 50km to overhaul the ProTouch team of Pieter Seyffert and Myles van Musschenbroek. Seyffert and Van Musschenbroek had been among the race’s main protagonists, so slipping from the podium was exceptionally cruel but that is the nature of the Trans Baviaans, which often provides a vicious sting in the closing kays as the accumulated effects of eight hours’ racing start to tell. Two riders who know exactly how to pace their efforts in the Trans Baviaans, are Galileo Risk’s Theresa Ralph and Sarah Hill. Having won the previous two editions together they use the race as a benchmark for
their development as a team. Ralph and Hill were joined on the women’s podium by former Olympian and 2009 Ironman SA champ Lucie Zelenková and partner Laura-Beth Eicker-Harris. Third placed was the Kekkel en Kloek team of Nickey Botes and Esmari de Wet. In the mixed category there was a proposal on the finish line after Tanya Kirstein and Christo Roos had raced to victory. Fortunately for Roos the endorphins of the win were clearly running high, as Kirstein accepted instantaneously. The newly-engaged couple were joined on the podium by ECC-Bestmed’s Anriëtte Schoeman and Kevin Taljaard, with Urcycling’s Mariske Smith and Wayne van der Walt third. Biking fans can follow @ EcoBoundEvents on Twitter or @transbaviaans on Instagram, and liking the Trans Baviaans Facebook will provide access to race photos and videos. The action commences again on Saturday August 17 with the Repeat, which sees a more social ride from Willowmore to Jeffery’s Bay take place through the magnificent Baviaanskloof.
TWO WHEELS OR FOUR LEGS? Part of the kloof’s appeal as a mountain biking and tourist destination is its rural charm
DICING THE DONKEY: Theresa Ralph follows Deon Kruger along a section of relatively smooth district road Photos: Jacques Marais
14 August 2019