My cousin John Volsteedt was in Kathmandu just two months ago …
Thuli calls on expats to come home
Pretoria – Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela has called on expatriates in Europe and other parts of the world to come back to South Africa and play a part in transforming the country in pursuit of an inclusive society rooted in human rights, including social justice.
She was addressing the Homecoming Revolution-Speed Meet Africa event in London, UK, at the weekend.
The two-day event sought to encourage Africans living outside the continent to return to their native lands with skills and knowledge gained abroad to contribute to the development of their countries.
“Please come back to South Africa to lay your brick in this great transformation project in pursuit of our constitutional dream of the South Africa that belongs to all who live in it, black and white… where every person’s potential is freed and their lives improved.”
She told expats that they would have opportunities to play a significant role in the world as global citizens while based in South Africa, the land of their birth or ancestry.
There were, she said, hundreds of scarce skills jobs back home, waiting for South Africans in the diaspora just as there were business opportunities in all areas of life.
She added that the problems the country faced were opportunities for South Africans to bring in an international perspective, combined with knowledge of the local complexities and peculiarities.
The Public Protector argued that the rejection of corruption and accountability lapses among those entrusted with public power was, in fact, an example of the good that was happening: “The fact that we talk about these lapses is because wrongdoing is rejected and reported by people and a free and vigilant media…”
The following two beneficiaries are recommended by local MND and other neurological illness patients:
1) Your local Hospice branch.
In PE go to http://www.hospice-pe.co.za/donate/ for various donation options.
Phone Melanie Manson @ 041 360 7070
2) The Motor Neurone Disease Association of South Africa – their website is http://www.mnda.org.za/
and their banking details from the site are:
To make a donation, please send a cheque to the Secretary, or better still by electronic transfer to:
MNDA of SA, Account Number: 270629130 at Standard Bank of SA Ltd, Rondebosch Branch Code: 025009.
Swift Code (essential for International Transfers):
Please make sure to notify our Secretary:
Fax: +27 21 531 6131 or
email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or
Phone Rina Myburgh in Cape Town @ Motor Neurone Disease / ALS Association of South Africa – @ 021 5316130
Of course, if you are concerned that you would like the donation to go as close to the patients as possible, why not be creative and do just that – give something directly to each patient in your area: a food parcel, pay the electricity account, give them product, an aeroplane ticket, pay the chemist or physiotherapist account, car service, petrol voucher, clothes, movie tickets, show tickets etc etc. Many haven’t had a holiday in years …
I was reading an article today that in many cases up to 80% of donations given are used in admin costs and never get to the patient. By using a creative method in kind, you are ensuring that your donation goes directly to the patient!
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
This is probably Maya Angelou’s best-known poem, and for good reason. It is a wonderfully defiant, human, uplifting cry from the deep heart of America, which tells a story that I’m sure speaks to us all.
The poem roots itself in the history of the African-American people, with it’s talk of slavery, and that gorgeous image of the “black ocean, leaping and wide” — such a powerful metaphor for overcoming oppression. But the poem’s scope is not limited to one people; it speaks of the universal notion of the defiance of the downtrodden. Angelou’s voice is resounding and sensually rhythmic, and carries so beautifully her message of strength and positivity.
Still I rise contains so many images that I love. In the first stanza, Angelou writes that although she may be trod into the very dirt, she will still rise like dust (“like dust, I’ll rise”). This idea, coupled with the soulful rhythm, creates a palpable atmosphere of unstoppable defiance. The dust rising, for me, delivers the image of a ghost — perhaps even the ghosts of slaves — that no oppressor or murderer can escape.
The recurring questions in the piece are brilliantly provocative: “Does my sassiness upset you?” “Does my haughtiness offend you?” and “Does my sexiness offend you?” she asks. I love this. It seems to overcome sexism and the oppression of women in particular. This is something that Maya Angelou overcame in her own life, and she speaks with such inspiring strength here. Another phrase that gives a great symbol bash to all of that is “Does it come as a surprise/ That I dance/ Like I’ve got diamonds/ At the meeting of my thighs?” This gives me goosebumps every time I read it. By specifically talking about the “meeting of [her] thighs” Angelou gives the ultimate defiance of a woman; she owns and loves every part of herself, and rises up, dazzling and sexy.
Another couple of images I love, and that I want to talk about, are the “oil wells” and the “gold mines” mentioned in the second and fifth stanzas. The poet writes that she walks “like I’ve got oil wells/ Pumping in my living room” and that she laughs “like I’ve got gold mines/ Diggin’ in my own back yard”. Again, her defiance is brilliant. Though her oppressors might think they have ended her by subjecting her to poverty, still, she walks like she has all the wealth in the world. I love the tone, here. It’s as though she knows her oppressors are so materialistic and mercenary, that the only way they can describe her joy and sexiness is to say she looks like she has a lot of money. The images of the oil wells “pumping” and the gold mines “Diggin’” are so strongly evocative; I just love it.
Listen to Maya Angelou by clicking here:
Click on this link to read the article on petrol increase:
Or just read below :
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By: Adriaan Kruger
Port Elizabeth – Everyone knows the petrol price is high, very high. And most people know that the weak rand and high crude oil prices are to blame. But we do not always realise the full impact of the increase in fuel prices over the last few years because we tend to focus on the price at the pump for only a few minutes when prices change.
We’d rather try to forget that petrol used to cost less than R2.00 per litre up until the beginning of 1998.
Yes, that is right: Within 15 years the price of fuel has increased by more than 560%. That equals to an increase of nearly 14% year after year. Even this average increase of 14% per year does not sound so bad, until we realise that our salaries did not increase that much every year.
Effectively, we are spending a larger proportion of our salary feeding the pile of steel and chrome in the garage.
If we use the same figures the friendly people at South African Revenue Service have used for years as a guideline to calculate tax on travel allowances – 30 000km per annum – and an average fuel consumption of around 10 litres per 100km, every motorist’s fuel bill has increased to about R 3 375 per month.
This compares to R1 015 per month ten years ago when petrol was R4.06 per litre and R1 980 three years ago when the price was R7.92 per litre. Within 3 years our monthly expenditure on fuel has nearly doubled. Once again, our salaries did not.
Unfortunately, petrol is a necessity. And there are no substitutes for the stuff. We still need around 200 to 250 litres every month to get to work and back and to fetch the kids from school.
The result of higher petrol prices is simply that everybody had to reduce spending on other things to pay the extra R1 500 per month for fuel.
Latest results and commentary by almost all SA retail groups mention the fuel price as one of the main reasons for lower growth in sales. Gareth Ackerman, chairperson of Pick n Pay, recently referred to “the devastating effect of the increase in the fuel price on consumers’ disposable income”.
The Reserve Bank has identified higher fuel prices as the biggest source of inflation. This deals the SA consumer a second blow. Not only did the increase in the cost of petrol cut deeply into our disposable income, but the little we have left buys much less because of higher inflation.
The overall numbers are huge. South Africans use more than 20 billion litres of petrol and diesel every year. If we assume that half of this is used by private vehicle owners, then households in SA are currently spending nearly R60bn more on fuel every year than 3 years ago.
In total, SA citizens have some R5bn per month less to spend on food, clothing and entertainment.
Unfortunately, things will not change while the oil price remains high and the rand stays weak. Let’s hope a cold winter in the northern hemisphere won’t push oil prices even higher.
*After chasing money on the JSE for 15 years, Adriaan Kruger is now living a relaxed lifestyle in Wilderness and lectures economics part-time at NMMU.
©2013 Edward C. Lunnon
Monday 24 June 2013: 6 years 9 months on …
Physical: Deuce/ Mental: ED
Madiba, we are told, is critically ill today. Our thoughts are with him and his family.
Exactly eighteen years ago, he stood at Ellis Park holding the Rugby World Cup aloft. The Springboks had beaten the All Blacks and were the 1995 World Cup Champions.
It is considered one of the turning points in the building of our fragile new democracy.
Pera and I were at the maternity ward of St George’s Hospital here in Port Elizabeth. We spent the day there!
It was a turning point in the life of one Phillip John Lunnon. Pera was 25 weeks pregnant with Phillip, but he had decided that today was the day. No more waiting for September!
Thanks to skilful work by the gynaecologists, thy managed to keep him in there … until on 7 July 1995 he was eventually brought into the world by Dr Ivan Berkowitz at 27 weeks!
He – all 1,3kg of him – lodged in an incubator at St Georges for about a month until his homecoming.
We will celebrate his 18th birthday in two weeks time. He is now our tallest family member at 192cm!
We are truly blessed with two wonderful sons.
Adriaan Strauss feels the ‘squeeze’ ……
Watch as Springbok hooker Adriaan Strauss is grabbed by the, um, crown jewels by Samoan fullback James So’oialo …