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4 December 2019

Published every Wednesday by CXpress 2006 (Pty) Ltd - PO Box 1449, Plettenberg Bay 6600 - 6 Park Lane, Plettenberg Bay - Tel: 044 533 1004 - Fax: 044 533 0852 Email: editor@cxpress.co.za / advertising@cxpress.co.za Web page: www.cxpress.co.za Printed by Group Editors

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School leavers and students have been swarming all over Plett’s beaches, night clubs, and various Rage hotspots since last Thursday, and seem to have a grand old time with incredible artists, DJs, and other entertainment on offer as part of the festival’s 20-year anniversary. Turn to page 9 for more images of this annual event that concludes on Friday. Photo: @AidanTobias / Plett Rage

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CXPRESS

NEWS & VIEWS

4 December 2019

Plett loses a beloved local: iconic aerobatic pilot Stewart Lithgow EWS of a light aircraft crash in the business park adjacent to Plett Airport hit social media platforms shortly after 6pm on Monday. Initially, the good news was that both pilot and passenger survived the crash, but subsequent reports told of a double tragedy. Plett residents and aviators across the country and the globe are now reeling after confirmation that the pilot, who succumbed to his injuries after being taken to hospital, was long-time local Stewart Lithgow. In a recent interview with Dreamlink Studios, he said: “I have been visiting Plettenberg Bay for well over 30 years and very early in my career decided that this is where I will retire. In January 2012 that dream became a reality. “Plettenberg Bay is ‘a feeling’ and it is the jewel on the Garden Route. You can keep all the other places, there is no place that feels quite like Plett.�

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Nutshell CV Born in Germiston in 1952, Stewart Lithgow matriculated in 1969 and joined the Air Force for pilot training in 1970. He flew as an instructor in Harvard aircraft for six years. He joined SA Airways in 1976, flying Boeing 727s, 737s, and 747s, as well as Airbus A300s

and A340s, retiring in 2017 after 36 years of service. Having amassed close to 25,000 hours, he still actively flew gliders and did aerobatic flips in Plett. Apart from aviation pursuits, outside interests included woodwork and long-distance running, with 10 Two Oceans and nine Comrades medals. He was married to Kathy for the last 43 years, with three children who live abroad. Our condolences go out to all his loved ones. The police report On Monday, the Western Cape Government Health’s Emergency Medical Services responded to a light aircraft crash near Plettenberg Bay Airport. Two elderly male patients were trapped in the aircraft. Sadly one was fatally injured on the scene and the other passed away in hospital. Circumstances around the crash is being investigated by the SAPS. Said Knysna SAPS spokesman sergeant Chris Spies on Tuesday morning: “A culpable homicide case docket was opened following the incident. We are still guarding the crime scene, but it will be handed over to the SA Civil Aviation Authority, who would be able to provide more information regarding this matter.�

TOP GUNS: Stewart Lithgow is pictured second from right with fellow flyers Arnie Meneghelli, Ellis Levin, and Scully Levin - all members of the Flying Lions formation aerobatic team that has been in operation since 1999, when Meneghelli acquired Harvard aircraft that the South African Air Force had decommissioned

FAMILIAR SITE: Stewart in his glider at Plett Airport Photo: Dreamlink Studios

MASTER FLYER: Stewart in his RV flying upside down over Robberg

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NEWS & VIEWS

4 December 2019

CXPRESS

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Mud slung with gusto as Bitou continues tooth and nail battle to keep municipal manager in office Bitou’s municipal manager, Lonwabo Ngoqo, will remain in his post for now after a court application to have him expelled from office failed last week - YOLANDÉ STANDER reports HE Labour Court earlier this year found that Bitou municipal manager Lonwabo Ngoqo’s appointment in February was unlawful after he was dismissed from the Municipality in 2012 over financial misconduct. The municipality has since appealed the Labour Court decision. MEC for local government Anton Bredell, along with the Plettenberg Bay Ratepayers Association, in the meantime turned to the court once more to have Ngoqo expelled from office until the appeal is finalised. This application, however, failed on November 26. About the recent court proceedings, the Ratepayers Association intervened in the case in order to represent the interests of ratepayers and residents “on the ground”. “The decision to intervene proved to be a very sound one. In her judgment, the judge stressed that a court order is rarely enforced pending an appeal,” says chairman Neville Petersen. “In her view, this was not the sort of exceptional case in which so drastic an order should be made. We respectfully beg to differ, but our attention must

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turn to the main issue of the appeal, for which we are now preparing.” Bitou mayor Peter Lobese, after the recent court application, said he noted “with grave concern the wild, unsubstantiated, false, and reckless allegations made by the ratepayers directly and through their lawyers”. He said on November 20, the Cape Town Labour Court heard the interlocutory application and that the issue in question sought the immediate removal of the municipal manager from his position. “This despite his levels of competence, experience, commitment, and proven record of diligence and service delivery,” Lobese said. He added that he believed the sole objective of this exercise was to destabilise the municipality, especially during the “critical time of summer holidays”. “In this case, Bitou Municipality made use of its right, in line with the judicial system, to contest the application which has the effect of destabilising the municipality and to create irreparable harm to its citizens.” The ratepayers have however hit back and said Lobese’s statement was an “irrational and abusive at-

tack” on the Association. “His statement is divisive, racist, contains irrelevancies and inaccuracies, and attempts to divert attention from the issue at hand,” Petersen said. “We reiterate that Ngoqo was dismissed by Bitou Municipality in 2012 for serious financial and related misconduct. The findings against him were made by an eminent judge of appeal in the course of a comprehensive disciplinary enquiry during which Ngoqo’s evidence was dismissed as manifestly dishonest. “Plettenberg Bay Ratepayers Association has every reason to believe he is not a fit and proper person to hold responsible office and his record in the employ of the municipality proves he is not to be trusted. “We are more concerned than ever at the way municipal business is being handled,” Petersen said. He explained in proceedings launched early this year by the MEC, the appointment of Ngoqo was condemned as unlawful. “The municipality, which fights tooth and nail to retain him, has launched an appeal which won’t be finalised any time soon. Meanwhile the municipality

refuses to lay him off even though his employment contract is unlawful and has been declared to be so by a court of law. “Given that a court has already found that Ngoqo’s appointment is illegal and he is thus, in terms of a court order in office illegal-

ly, the council’s proper approach would be to remove Ngoqo immediately. “The failure to act, besides leading to wasteful expenditure and placing the municipality and the residents of Bitou at risk, is grossly irresponsible and a dereliction of their sworn duty to

act in the best interests of the residents of Bitou.” Garden Route Media • Plettenberg Bay Ratepayers Association holds its AGM on Thursday December 19 from 5:30pm onwards at Piesang Valley Community Hall.

BITOU THREE: From left, municipal manager Lonwabo Ngoqo, Bitou mayor Peter Lobese, and IDP manager Thembinkosi Henge are pictured during a Garden Route District forum earlier this year - Photo: GRDM

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CXPRESS

NEWS & VIEWS

4 December 2019

New ‘colours’ and clean records should make for seamless parking in Plett this summer

Home for Knysna’s elderly again embroiled in financial woes Ludumo Tede

OE is Vermont Old Age Home, as its financial crisis seems to continue unabated. Late last month, the centre publicised its financial predicament after Knysna Municipality switched off the home’s electricity owing to failure of management to fully pay their municipal account. Situated in Hornlee, Vermont accommodates more than 50 senior citizens. Their due to the municipality was an amount of R44,000 of which they could only pay R36,000 they had apparently offered this amount in two instalments: R20,000 (which the municipality had allegedly turned down) to be paid on top of the R16,000 they had already deposited. Centre staff described the municipality’s actions as “unsympathetic”, as they have asthma and cancer patients who “need electricity to survive”. Fortunately, the centre

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On Thursday November 28, a group of locals dedicated to the cause of a problem-free festive season gathered at LM in Plett restaurant to hand over their brand new uniforms to 50 ladies and gents who are now the town’s only accredited car attendants. Explains Gerrie van der Walt of the Plettenberg Bay Crime Prevention Association (PBCPA): “Potential attendants apply at MLE (Municipal Law Enforcement) to become a car attendant. The next step is that they undergo a screening process, which includes police clearance and a few other procedures. All the attendants for 2019/20 have been cleared, and the public will spot them easily in their new blue bibs [pictured above].” He adds that the bib colours were changed to ensure that it is much more difficult for illegal elements to get hold of the official-looking bibs, as was the case with the previous yellow/orange reflective jackets readily available at shops, building sites or emergency service. If you have a problem with a parking attendant in Plett this season, please contact Gerrie van der Walt on 079 264 4349 or at info@mescab.co.za or call Lisa Nagel on 072 373 9698. Most importantly, Van der Walt reiterates that payment is not compulsory, especially in light of recent scams when visitors were told to pay attendants and then robbed at the ATM. “Remember that the attendants work for voluntary tips - we do not have the system where you have to pay for parking in Plett, but if they are of service to you, please feel free to give your attendant some cash.” Call the PBCPA on 082 251 8134 if you want to report any suspicious persons or activities in Plett.

managed to scrape together funds to pay the account in full on the same day, and the electricity was switched back on. The facility is no stranger to such situations. During Hendrik Blaau’s tenure as centre manager back in 2015, Vermont owed the municipality more than R100,000 - an amount which they struggled to pay and could only accumulate by making the elderly residents dig deeper into their pockets. The majority of residents only survive on government pension fund grants, so really struggled when the rent was raised to R1,000 per month. By February this year, the centre’s board of trustees suspended and ultimately fired its former centre manager, on the grounds of not following protocol, dishonesty and misconduct, among other charges. Blaau was replaced by Mieta Tieties, who is currently serving as acting centre

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manager. In July the centre was at the centre of another scandal with its residents attempting a hunger strike in sympathy with the home’s caregivers, who were said to be the epitome of “overworked and underpaid”. Some of the workers told the media at the time that they had not received an increase or annual bonuses for three years. Despite these financial crises, the home continues to provide a roof over the heads of its residents. Responding to the question as to what brought the centre into this dire situation, newly-elected Vermont chairman Warrick Langisa said he could not at this stage comment as to what might have brought about the current crisis. “New board members were elected on November 28 during the centre’s AGM. It’s only now we are going to sit in meetings to find out what went wrong and try to bring about solutions to the problem,” said Langisa.

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NEWS & VIEWS

4 December 2019

CXPRESS

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Men in the mirror as district addresses issues around gender violence BOB HOPKIN attended the latest Gender-based Violence and Femicide Summit hosted by Garden Route District Municipality in George

ANGRY: Adriana Petersen from the Department of Social Development calls out abusive men - Photo: Bob Hopkin

IS the season to be merry, tra-la-la. Or the time when (to quote a famous adage) we all buy things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t like. It also happens to be the time of year when the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), SAPS and the Western Cape government host their annual conference to address and tackle the unsavoury topic of domestic violence. Coinciding with countrywide ‘16 Days of Activism’ campaigns, the spotlight in George was on genderbased violence and femicide. While it is important to keep the issue front and centre in the public mind, providing solutions during a two-day conference involving senior police and local government officers proved

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a major challenge. Past statistics have indicated that the causes and accelerator effects are constant. Unemployment, consequent poverty, despair for a stable future and, sometimes, extra-marital affairs are frequent triggers. Alcohol and drugs are often the reason a small domestic dispute escalates into full-on, angry, life threatening violence. In the words of Martin Luther King: “The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral; returning violence with violence only multiplies violence; adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.” Sadly, at least during the first day of the summit, the consensus feelings were ‘We must find a way to stop it’, ‘Why is violence the first option in a conflict situation

instead of rational discussion?’ and other similar platitudes without any practical suggestions on how to reverse an escalating problem. The presentation by SAPS major General Oswald Reddy, head of the Eden policing cluster, including most of the Garden Route, provided the most telling and depressing information. Reddy said domestic abuse has been declared a national crisis and in spite of the Garden Route being perceived as a ‘paradise’, the facts are that we have the worst assault and grievous bodily harm incidences in the Western Cape. Similarly, we have the second-highest reports of sexual assault. Bearing in mind that most assaults are either within a family or committed by someone known to the victim, it is estimated that 90% of cases go unreported, and of those reported to police, 45% are withdrawn shortly after due to concerns that, if the breadwinner of the family goes to jail, the family will go hungry. According to Reddy, in 2018/19 there were 1,074 cases of domestic violence reported in the Eden cluster, of which 925 went to court resulting in just 86 perpetrators (or 9.3%) being found guilty. While reluctant to release figures for 2019/20, he said: “Things are not looking good.” This implied to those present that the year will be even worse than before.

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CXPRESS

NEWS & VIEWS

4 December 2019

Combo of Plett Choir, Kirkland, Brouckaert, and Hall-Green promises “The profound words match St Thomas Methodist Church can be bought from The Market incredible entertainment the beauty of the music. I’ve on December 8 at 6pm (doors Square Info Centre (call Barnie Read CXPRESS online @ www.cxpress.co.za

IGHT of the Father’s Love - also known as ‘The Awe and Mystery of God within Us’ - composed by Pepper Choplin, is being performed by the Plett Choir at St Thomas Methodist Church on Sunday. Under the baton of Robyn Brouckaert, the Plett Choir comprises 29 local singers who have been practising for this particular occasion, which also serves as fundraiser for Hospice Plett, since the beginning of the year. Says PlettAid/Hospice Plett vice-chair Annabelle Conyngham: “This concert will inaugurate the Christmas celebrations with a modern interpretation of the classic Christmas story, and traditional carols interwoven into the fabric of this contemporary composition.

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been attending some of the choir practices and has found the music delightful to the ear and the dedication of the choir, Robyn, and accompanist Jill Kirkland most uplifting.” She adds that Jill Kirkland has also inserted into the programme, the song Mary did you Know?, which was co-written by Mark Lowry and Buddy Green - “a most expressive song which the Plett Choir so enjoys singing!” Hospice Plett extends grateful thanks to the reverend Tim Rist of St Thomas Methodist Church, Jill Kirkland, Robyn Brouckaert and narrator David Hall-Green, and all the members of the choir for their dedication and support of this fundraising concert. The performance takes place at

open 5:30pm). Tickets at R200 (R100 for students and children)

Barnard on 082 744 1884) or at the door on the night.

Not Chopin - Choplin! Pepper Choplin is a fulltime composer, conductor and humourist who has gained a reputation as one of the most creative writers in church music today. With a diverse musical background, Choplin incorporates varied styles such as folk, gospel, classical, and jazz. His published works include over 300 anthems for church and school choirs, with 20 church cantatas and two books of piano arrangements. Experience his ‘Night of a Father’s Love’ at St Thomas Methodist Church in Plett this Sunday.

Notice Board • Acclaimed artist Barbara Rolfe does a magnificent, magnanimous gesture every few years: she creates art that is affordable, provides snacks and drinks - all off her own bat and then generously gives all the proceeds to Plett Animal Welfare Service. On Saturday December 7 from 5pm, pop in at Bea Eli in Florina Place (cnr Main Street

and Gibb) and all your Christmas presents will be taken care of. Taking into account her labour of love, the cost of framing, the provision of snacks and drinks, the set up… she has dedicated all this to the cause, for her love of animals. Apart from the miniatures, there are works in many mediums, many sizes and all for a maximum of R500. See the ad-

vert on this page and overleaf for additional information. • The team at Plett Animal Welfare Service (PAWS) continues to be thrilled with the popularity of their car boot sales. Sunday December 8 will see a pre-Christmas sale offering some excellent gift ideas at bargain prices. Soft toys, likenew books, décor items, bric a brac, kitchen ware, linen,

clothing… and much more! Join them from 9am to 1pm in The Market Square parking lot to browse at the many interesting stalls - and then, enjoy a delicious PAWS pancake. You can make some extra income by selling all your unwanted items for a donation of R150 to PAWS. Call Margie Hollely on 082 551 6301if you would like to take a stall.


PROMOTION

4 December 2019

CXPRESS

AT LAST... THE WAIT IS OVER! Great excitement is building with the news of “Another Million Brushstrokes”, an art exhibition for PAWS, by Barbara Rolfe.

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Florina Place Cnr Main & Gibb St 079 129 8046

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All Original Work All Mediums All Subjects Credit Card Facilities Available

People still talk of her previous exhibitions with the wonderful range of art in all mediums, subjects and sizes. 1,000,000 brushstrokes resulting in 100 paintings, all beautifully framed by Milkwood Framers - adding up to one fantastic evening! Prices from R100 to R500. Enjoy complimentary wine, spirits, soft drinks and wonderful snacks whilst you soak in the relaxing atmosphere and stand a chance to win great prizes in the raffle. Starting from 5 o’clock on Saturday 7th December at ‘Cafe Bea Eli’ Restaurant on the corner of Main & Gibb Street, Florina Place. Security all round. Believe there is good in the world. Be the good and support PAWS. All proceeds go to PAWS.

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CXPRESS

INTERVAL

4 December 2019

Saying it my way The king of one-liners

TIM VINE

• I’d like to start with the chimney jokes - I’ve got a stack of them. The first one is on the house. • I did a gig in a fertility clinic. I got a standing ovulation. • I rang up British Telecom and said: “I want to report a nuisance caller.” He said: “Not you again.” • I saw this bloke chatting-up a cheetah and I thought, ‘he’s trying to pull a fast one’. • The advantages of easy origami are two-fold. • I rang up my local swimming baths. I asked: “Is that the local swimming baths?” He said: “It depends where you’re calling from.” • I met this bloke with a didgeridoo and he was playing Dancing Queen on it. I thought, ‘that’s Abbariginal.’ • I’ve decided to sell my Hoover - it was just collecting dust. • I was getting into my car, and this bloke says to me: “Can you give me a lift?” I said: “Sure, you look great; the world’s your oyster, go for it.”

• I went down to the local supermarket. I said: “I want to make a complaint - this vinegar’s got lumps in it.” He said: “Those are pickled onions.” • I’ll tell you what I love doing more than anything - trying to pack myself in a small suitcase. I can hardly contain myself. • I’m so lazy I’ve got a smoke alarm with a snooze button. • I’ve spent the afternoon re-arranging the furniture in Dracula’s house. I was doing a bit of Fang-Shui. • I saw this advert in a window that said, ‘Television for sale, £1, volume stuck on full.’ I thought, ‘I can’t turn that down.’ • I’ve just been on a oncein-a-lifetime holiday. I’ll tell you what, never again. • Conjunctivitis.com that’s a site for sore eyes. • Black Beauty - now there’s a dark horse. • I was reading a book The History of Glue - I couldn’t put it down. • I got home, and the phone was ringing. I picked it up, and said: “Who’s speaking,

please?” And a voice said: “You are.” • Velcro? What a rip-off! • I met the bloke who invented crosswords today. I can’t remember his name, it’s P-something Tsomething R... • I was having dinner with my boss, and his wife asked: “How many potatoes would you like, Tim?” I said: “Ooh, I’ll just have one please.” She said: “It’s ok, you don’t have to be polite.” “Alright,” I said, “I’ll just have one then, you stupid cow.” • I saw Arnold Schwarzenegger eating a chocolate egg. I said: “I bet I know what your favourite

Christian festival is.” He said: “You have to love Easter, baby.” • Crime in multi-storey car parks. That is wrong on so many different levels. • I went in to a pet shop. I said: “Can I buy a goldfish?” The guy said: “Do you want an aquarium?” I said: “I don’t care what star sign it is.” • I bought some Armageddon cheese today, and it said on the packet ‘Best Before End...’ • So this bloke says to me: “Can I come in your house and talk about your carpets?” I thought, ‘That’s all I need, a Jehoover’s Witness.’


SOCIAL SCENE

4 December 2019

CXPRESS

9

Photo: @AidanTobias / Plett Rage

People, places & events

WHAT A BLAST: These Ragers were spotted in and around Plett during the weekend, Central Beach with its Bikini Beach venue and surrounding eateries and clubs being the daytime hub, and Coco Village cooking nightly with top SA musos and DJs. The two pretty crowd shots here are included courtesy of official Plett Rage photographer Aidan Tobias.

PASSE-PARTOUT: At a talk given by Mandy Latimore entitled ‘Accessibility for All’ at the clubhouse of Plettenberg Bay Bowling Club on Friday November 29 were Julie Deferville of Plettenberg Bay and Desirée Levin of Johannesburg, at right, who represented South Africa at the 2015 International Bowls for the Disabled World Championships in New Zealand, at which she won two bronze medals. (See the letter on page 11 for more information.) Timothy Twidle

LOOK MA, LESS HANDS… During last Saturday’s Day 4 Disability event at Plettenberg Bay Bowling Club, able-bodied players joined differently-abled bowlers on the greens with ‘handicaps’ of an eye, arm or leg not in use. Showing off their eye patches with Mandy Latimore at the top are Per Villen and Jean Nilen; at right above, PBBC committee member Steve Serfontein gave up his legs for the day; and Mossie Mostert plays ‘arm-use deprived’, at top right. Pictured above left are seven of the 11 differently-abled bowlers that took part in the Day 4 Disability games. From left are Mandy Latimore, Desiree Levin, Versha Rowjee and Ina la Roux, with Chris Patton and Julie Deferville at back.

STREETSMART REWARDS KNYSNA AND PLETT COLLABORATORS: At a function held at Nguni restaurant in Plett last Monday, StreetSmart South Africa chair Melanie Burke presented cheques and certificates to organisations that carry out charitable work in and around the town. Certificates of Contribution were presented to Amber Ollewagen and Alretha van Rooyen, at right, both of Barrington’s Boutique Hotel and here flanking a beaming Mz Burke. A cheque to the value of R15,000 was handed to Elisabeth Wenz of Home from Home while Brenda Wall of Masizame received R45,000 to further this local shelter’s good work. StreetSmart SA oversees and facilitates the rehabilitation of ‘street children’ through the endeavours of caring establishments staffed by volunteers, and is funded by way of voluntary contributions from patrons of hospitality outlets like restaurants, eateries, hotels, guest lodges and wine-tasting tours. Businesses in Plett that provide contributions to StreetSmart are Grand Africa, Ice Palazzo, Nguni, The Fat Fish, Plett Wine Tours, The Med Seafood Bistro, and The Pie Shop. StreetSmart ensures that donations from commercial entities in a particular area are used to help street children within the same district. The Plett function was preceded by a similar affair in Knysna, where R95,000 was handed over to Sinethemba Projects during a do at Featherbed Cruise Café. Participating Knysna eateries are Caroline’s @ Belvidere Manor, Chatters Bistro, Cruise Café, earth & fire @ Blackwaters Lodge, Featherbed Nature Reserve, Headlands House Guest Lodge, John Benn, Social Eatery @ Knysna Hollow Hotel, The Bell Tavern and Totties Farm Kitchen. - Photo: Timothy Twidle

La Luna


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CXPRESS

4 December 2019

CLASSIFIEDS


ON THE SOAPBOX

4 December 2019

Letters to the Editor

Email: editor@cxpress.co.za - Fax: 044 533 0852 - PO Box 1449, Plett 6600

Seeing the light on the value of ‘swallows’ It was gratifying to read Paul Deans’ latest letter in your November 20 newspaper [turn to page 11 of that edition at www. cxpress.co.za and check ‘Nothing productive about one-night status of tourist industry’]. The letter rightly highlights that successful tourism in Plett needs not only one-night stayovers but long-term visitors to create a vibrant industry. It does raise the question whether this is the same author of a letter to the editor in your March 13 edition [headlined ‘One swallow does not make a summer, so off to Clacton with you’] in which he launched an unwarranted attack on UK visitors and

the country as a whole. He called England, and we quote, “a gutless nanny state”, prompting the editor to put a subtext to the letter which included the comment: “We apologise to our esteemed swallow community for the ravings of this rude reader…” We have also worked extensively in the tourism industry and know that to fully develop a product you need to nurture the market for all types of visitors (single night, weekly, monthly, or longterm) with mantras such as ‘the customer is not always right but he is always the customer’ and ‘the customer is king’. More than anything, you need to be welcom-

Disability Awareness Month culminates in birth of annual bowling event We did it! And we did it together to make the inaugural ‘Day 4 Disability’ bowling event a great success. First and foremost, we achieved awareness of the simple fact that differently-abled people can be included in everyday activities and be active bowlers. So 48 bowlers, one being differently-abled Dave Coutts, went onto the greens in the morning to take part in bowling tasks designed to even the playing field. Everyone had to bowl either ‘sight-challenged’, ‘arm-challenged’ or ‘legsto-stand on-challenged’! The resulting scores for the morning’s play proved Hugh Stacey the best at adapting to being disabled and still being able to bowl. Throughout November, the target 400 tickets were sold for the 50/50 Lottery and the draw done at the close of Day 4 Disability play. The winning ticket was drawn by Taahir Mall, local lady Connie Peet being the lucky winner of R10,000. Great fun was had by all and efforts were rewarded with simple camaraderie and prizes do-

nated by local businesses. We are most grateful to Knysna Elephant Park, The Hen House, Harkerville, Dr Bryce Taverner, The Village Bookshop, Plett Skiboat Club, Plett Optical, Stormsriver Adventures, Nineteen89 Restaurant, Helen Melon Properties, and Biltong Boutique for making this fundraiser possible and enjoyable. We are particularly indebted to Taahir Mall of Sahar Kilim & Rug on Thesen Islands in Knysna for donating a Persian rug as raffle prize, to Alet Ollemans of Seeff Properties who sponsored shirts for the 11 differently-abled players, to Sky Villa who sponsored the caps, and to Mike Tighe of Cornuti who donated 10 delicious pizzas for lunch. We thank every single person who supported us in any and every way - it is really true that together we not only can do it, but we can do it better. Julie Deferville, Plett (Hats off to Julie and crew for sterling work to raise the general awareness of all matters differently-abled. See photos of the events on page 9 of this edition. - Eds.)

PEET LUCK! Lucky 50/50 Lottery winner Connie Peet is pictured at right, receiving her loot from Rita, left, and Mike Hardaker of the Differently-abled Awareness Campaign and a joyous yours truly!

ing, courteous and give people value for money. Tourists have plenty of choice on destinations and Plett cannot rely on its natural beauty alone to attract visitors. We are glad, Paul, that you have seen the light on the value of ‘swallows’ and maybe you will be more restrained in expressing your views on the United Kingdom, for the good of local tourism, considering that it was of the one main points of departure for tourist visitors. We actually know A&S from Suffolk to whom your letter was directed, who for your information are not swallows but annual or bi-annual visitors for two or three weeks,

and will advise them of your latest letter, as we’re sure they will be pleased to hear your most recent comments. Claire and Laurence, Keurbooms (We wouldn’t hold our collective breath in anticipation of Mr Deans changing his views on any number of subjects, but we’re glad you could find common ground in some instances. It is the sole purpose of this page to afford venting space for our readers from a multitude of backgrounds, so thanks as always for taking the time to write, C&L. Who knows, perhaps your letter moves Paul Deans to put pen to paper yet again… - Eds.)

Remembering the car time forgot

Gordon Button of Plett shared a newspaper clipping from some decades ago and wrote: “Move over Volkswagen! Hanomag people’s car beat you to it in 1924 with its lowcost ‘rope car’. In four years 16,000 of these little rope cars were built by the giant German railway locomotives company in Hanover, Germany.” (The Natal Witness article claims, inter alia: “…the pre-war German car manufacturer Hanomag probably produced the only wicker-bodied car ever to go into production. Hanomag was an oldestablished maker of railway locomotives in Hanover when, in 1924, it took a branch line into the car world. Unlike its mainstay products, Hanomag cars were tiny. With a singlecylinder, water-cooled 500cc engine at the rear, narrow track, a single front headlight and seating only for two, the Hanomag was evidently one for the common people. It was an ideal vehicle for steep, narrow country roads and earned the nickname Kommissbrot - meaning ‘army loaf’ - because of its perpendicular shape and rounded ends. The opentopped basket-weave version was aimed at the motorist hampered by an even smaller bank balance, and did without such niceties as a windscreen. A few hundred were reputedly sold, but Hanomag had now reached the limit to which people would descend in the name of economy. The rear engine already made handling a Hanomag tricky; the feather-light raffia body made it so light that a gentle breeze would blow if off course.”

Join Honorary Rangers for walks and talks in Wilderness On behalf of the SANParks Honorary Rangers, Wilderness Region, I invites CXPRESS readers to join us for three days of nature facts and fun for the whole family. From December 18 to 20, you’ll be able to learn the art of bird watching from experts and practise your birding skills on guided walks through birding paradise. Children can join our special activity-filled birding events. For those who would also like to venture a bit further, there will be an outing to explore the fascinating geology of the area. Or join our guided nature photography walk, where you’ll get to focus on

the intricacies of nature. The venue is Garden Route National Park’s Ebb & Flow Camp in Wilderness and events will start at the Loerie’s Nest Conference Room. Some talks are free while others have a charge of R50 per person. Advance bookings are required, except for the kids’ events, so book early to secure your place. SANParks conservation fees will apply. Bring binoculars, cameras, bird books, water bottles, hats and sunscreen for the walks. Retha Davel, by email (Interested readers can call Retha on 083 576 4064 or email shrwilderness@ gmail.com for programme details. - Eds.)

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CXPRESS

SPORT & ADVENTURE

4 December 2019

Saturday’s bouts mark momentous return of professional boxing to Plett SIZWE Boxing Promotion in conjunction with Bitou Municipality and Bitou Boxing Academy will be hosting a professional boxing tournament on December 7 to pay tribute to former president and amateur boxer Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, who passed on during the month of December six years ago. Says Bitou Boxing Academy chairman Sifundo Kenneth Magaga: “As a boxing community we decided to honour Madiba and commemorate his life by hosting a professional boxing tournament. “Our Bitou boxers will be leading the pack of Garden Route pros in this national contest that will include 26 professional boxers. That means we will present 13 professional bouts right here in Plett, all sponsored by Bitou Municipality.” The main fight (bantam, six rounds) will pit Bitou star Unathi Mndwana against Mziwenkosi Ndwandwe from KwaZulu-Natal, while the main support fight (junior flyweight, six rounds) will

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Storms River

TIN HOUSE Self-catering accommodation

see local hero Nwabisile Cholani up against Mbulelo Nxazonke from Mdantsane (East London). Magaga says it has been many years since the last professional boxing tournament has been hosted in Plettenberg Bay. “The last time we had this kind of event was in 2010, and for all the years in-between we have been fighting outside of Plett and the Western Cape, which had a negative effect on our fighters, as every boxer enjoys fighting in front of his home crowd. “For all these years, our academy has enjoyed the full support of Plett Tourism under the leadership of former CEO Peter Wallington. A “As boxing-loving people, we are grateful for the support they gave us, even when we were fighting outside of our region. “We thank Bitou Municipality for supporting this weekend’s event. Not only are they making our dreams come true, but they are also giving a boost to economic growth. Local entrepreneurs in the catering,

GOLDEN BOY: Unathi Mndwana is one of the few developing professional boxers that owns a boxing academy which focuses on balancing sport with education - see him in action against Mziwenkosi Ndwandwe from KwaZulu-Natal

SLOW POISON: Nwabisile Cholani is a top Plett boxer who will fight Mbulelo Nxazonke from Mdantsane in the evening’s main support bout

transport and accommodation sector will benefit, as boxing pulls big crowds from outside of town who travel to support their boxers fighting in Plett.” Magaga adds that a press conference on Friday December 6, when the boxers will be weighed and introduced, will precede the main event at Piesang Valley community hall on Saturday the 7th from 1pm to 7:30pm (doors will open at 12 noon). Tickets (children R40, adults R80, VIPs R150) are available at Computicket, or visit Plett Tourism in Mellville’s Corner and stand a chance to score a Bitou Boxing Academy t-shirt when buying two or more tickets. “If fans from one community can fill up one taxi, we will provide free return transport from the event back to your home, all in the name of boxing development right here in Plett,” concludes Magaga. Email kenneth@bitou boxingacademy.co.za or call Phindiwe Nkopo on 073 286 2033 or Unathi Mndwana on 064 086 4795 for additional information.

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4 December 2019  

4 December 2019

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