General Opinions

100 years of Child, Welfare

In 2017 Child Welfare Grahamstown will be celebrating one hundred years of service to the children and families of Grahamstown.

The Management Committee is planning to produce a booklet / brochure covering the history of Child Welfare in Grahamstown and
would like to appeal to anyone  who has been associated with Child Welfare in the past to talk to us and let us have information or personal reminiscences which may be of interest.

Please contact Woineshet Bischoff on 046 636 1355 or call at the Child Welfare office at 1 Coles Lane. We would love to hear from
you.

Woineshet Bischoff, Director: Child Welfare

Worries as Bates leaves

It’s sad to see Kevin Bates go (‘Bates Leaves a Green Legacy’ GM 24 October 2014). We were fortunate to have him as our Director of Parks & Recreation... for the past 30 years and he achieved a lot... Therewas also a time when our city centre, particularly High
Street, was a showpiece thanks to Kevin and other citizens. 

But, as was hinted in the article, because of the growing malaise in the municipality he was able to achieve less and less.

His frustration grew and his retirement couldn't come soon enough.

The same goes for others in similar positions of responsibility in our municipality. Such a waste. 

The question now is, will the person who replaces Kevin be someone as qualified and competent?

Jock McConnachie

Muni is violating our rights as Makana citizens

Regarding the two letters published in the Grocott’s Mail, dated 10th October 2014, by Julie Wells and the DA, we call upon all the
residents to ignore both. They are almost the same. These people are only concerned about 2016 votes and do not have any interest to
solve community problems. We must refuse to be used as voting cows.

The people are not fools, we know the state of this municipality and for them to tell us that they are fixing our municipality is just a pack of lies.

Riebeeck East thanks

It seems the NG Kerk Bazaar at Riebeeck East has become a favourite for many people. We were blessed by hordes of tors last Saturday and some good eating and spending.

Thank you for all your support and spending some time with us. See you all again next year! Our thanks to God for some good rain showers in the week before and a perfect day on Saturday.

Baie dankie ook aan al ons entoesiastiese sameroepers en werkers wat
dit moontlik gemaak het.

Strauss de Jager

Fundraiser Success

Our fundraiser, the Swing King, held on 5 October, was a great success, both socially and financially and many thanks go to the businesses  and people who generously sponsored tickets or gave donations, thus enabling pensioners to attend.

Finally a very big thank you to all the Grahamstown and Port Alfred folk who supported our show.

Proceeds from this show go to Brookshaw Home and the Grahamstown Feral Cat Project.

Lorraine Richardson, Di Sonneman and Mary Bowker

Join us for worship in the historic Salem Church

Your readers might be interested in a special service being held in the historic church at Salem on Sunday 26 October.

Founded by Methodists, the village of Salem was named by Rev William Shaw, chaplain to Hezekiah Sephton’s party of 1820 Settlers that settled in Salem.

He recorded his arrival in the Valley of the Assagaay Bosch River on 18 July 1820.

The ship's new captain knows what she's doing

Sanitisation of administration requires political will and honesty. I welcome the government's intervention in my beloved place
of birth, Makana Municipality, and I hope that the situation will normalize as a matter of speed. 

I must say that I was very happy to hear the news of Pamela Yako’s appointment like a captain who is brought in to steer the
capsizing ship to a point of stability and predictability. She hails from this area and her track records speaks for itself.

She has been at the helm of Amathole District Municipality,the National Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism and lastly, the Department of Water Affairs (DWA).

Her experience with running tumarounds of the Marine Living Resources Fund and moving the DWA to unqualified audits are useful reference points.

She has to be judged on the basis of the content of her character and achievements as a public servant and erstwhile local government practitioner.

I was also happy to learn that she has successfully challenged her expulsion through an independent arbitrator-appointed public service bargaining council.

The sitting leadership of Makana - both politically and administratively - must have a strategic appreciation of the depth and magnitude of the problem that the municipality is facing. There must be some form of moral recognition by the individuals who are responsible that they are in the process of plunging a great city into chaos and their careless actions are the antithesis to what the ANC is all about: clean, ethical and accountable governance.

I trust that the Administrator will be given authority and administrative muscle to operate independent of toxic and obnoxious agendas, administrative or otherwise. The Administrator has to act swiftly without fear or favour and bring about predictability in the financial and supply chain management regime. The Administrator must be given sharp teeth to reverse all transactions that are found to be outside municipal legislative  and policy framework.The Administrator must be empowered to implement administrative mechanisms that will inculcate a culture of service delivery, restore institutional integrity and infuse a sense of accountability in how both politicians and officials carry themselves and relate to the resources of the municipality.  The Administrator must engage with communities and employees who are afiected by the situation. The Administrator must engage in a process that will create structures of critical substance for progressive civil society to input and contribute to service delivery; economic development; infrastructure asset creation and development trajectories on which the City must travel on.

I grab this moment with a great sense of excitement to welcome this tried and tested daughter of Makana to her challenging responsibility as the Administrator. I wish her well in her efforts and I think the below are an indicative summary of the strategic steps she must take:

1) Stabilization of finances and governance
2) Stabilization of people’s emotions - both within the community and workforce
3)Focussed engagement with civil society
4) Sharing with communities on how the city is tackling the water crisis and perceived sluggishness associated with service delivery
5) Crowding-in and packaging of projects that are aimed a creating both short term and decent work opportunities in Makana

I urge all the activists and communities of Makana to provide the Administrator with all the support she may require in her quest to stabilize your city.

- Likhaya Ngqezana is a former mayor of Grahamstown and is currently the strateigc political adviser of the Mayor of Nelson
Mandel Bay Metropolitan Municpality. He writes this letter in his personal capacity. 

Who is the referee? This looks like a cover-up

Keeping the Kabuso Forensic Report into our woeful municipal finances a secret is a scandal. Not even councillors knew the Report had come until Grocott’s Mail revealed that it had a leaked copy. The DA demanded that the Report be tabled at a council
meeting, so it was tabled but the council meeting was made confidential.

Clean up your act: letter from the cattle egrets

I am writing to complain about being blasted from my nest with cold water from a fire truck! First you cut down the trees where we built our homes and now you humans come at night to wet and scare us! (Grocotfs Mail 10 October page 17.) 

Facebook for citizen’s complaints

I intend on garnering support to take Makana Municipality to task for neglecting our beautiful city. To this end I have created the Facebook page Holey-City-Grahamstown.

Our city is broken. I realized this with a shock very suddenly one day. What brought this to my attention was when a water leak in Hill Street tumed into a pothole right in front of me.

Suddenly I saw all the potholes arormd me that had been tugging at my subconscious for some time. It is not only the potholes.

Everywhere there are signs of slackness and neglect. Just look at the state of building that houses the Engineering Department of Makana for instance. Overgrown sidewalks and the list then starts becoming daunting!

Then there is the attitude of certain municipal employees that think they are doing us citizens a favor by just doing what is expected of them.

I would like to quickly add that in my experience these employees are the minority. Where we receive good service it should be acknowledged. Bad service should however be ruthlessly exposed.

The water leak that turned into a pothole cannot be excused. It has been “repaired” twice already within six weeks. The second time it was “repaired” seven employees did a job that three could have managed.

All of this is a waste of resources and money and someone should be held accountable for a job that should have been fixed properly in the first place.

What is very upsetting is that we see this phenomenon all over town and the potholes are increasing by the day. 

So what to do? Instead of sitting down quietly; I think all the problems should be put out there in the public domain and the person in charge of the department responsible for fixing the problem should be held accountable.

Let us highlight the problems in the public domain and let us call the responsible people to account. Therefore this page.

But let us draw some lines in the sand on which posts won't be tolerated. No insults. Draw attention to the problem with photos, video and / or written record. If there is a guilty party that needs to be pointed out, stick to the facts. No racism. Bad service has got nothing to do with race, but is an issue of an individual’s attitude. No politics. There are public servants as well as public leeches of all political persuations. Hold the responsible individual accountable.

Let us stand up together. Give the poor and voiceless a voice as well. Our citizens in the townships are experiencing worse
service levels than the citizens of Grahamstown west. It is up to us to stand together and say no more! 

Thomas Stone

Grahamstown Rainfall - 17 October 2014

We've had a lot of rain this month, making up for our September shortage.

Maybe October's been a bit miserable this year, and we've yet to even hit our spring peak.

Our brave pluvios, Robin Stobbs and Nick James, have reported rainfall of 2mm and 5mm respectively this week.

Hopefully the rain won't come down in "one great, devastating cloudburst", especially as Nick's getting married on Monday.
Congratulations, Nick!

Grahamstown Rainfall - 29 August 2014

Looks like we're headed for a cold, wet and windy weekend.

Hopefully it'll be enough to replace all that valuable rain water you had to use for domestic purposes, if you are lucky enough to have a rainwater tank.

Grahamstown Rainfall - 25 July 2014

It's been drier than British wit in Grahamstown this week.

All our pluvios are tied for first/last with a grand total of no rainfall at all. 

Nikki Kohly returned from KZN to a "dry and dusty" garden and low rainwater tanks.

Jim Cambray over at Park Road reported that there wasn't even recordable dew for this week.

However, take heart, for stats-whizz Robin Stobbs reports that total June/July rainfall (11.7mm) is nearly double levels in 2000 (6.75mm). 

All is not lost

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