Braillorama Junie 2016


June 2016

Volume 47 No. 6

Printed in UBC braille

by Braille Services of Blind SA

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Crown Mines 2025

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Editors: Christo de Klerk

Martie de Klerk

Philip Jordaan

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Direct all correspondence to: The Editor, Private Bag X9005, Crown Mines, 2025, Johannesburg, R.S.A.

“This publication is made possible with financial assistance from the Department of Arts & Culture”



Dear Guptas: On upholding the spoils-sharing custom with JZ 77

Don’t hug your dog, he hates it 77

Black vs white millionaires in South Africa 77

South Africa’s most dangerous cities to live in 77

Albert Einstein: He really was an egghead 77

Handle with care – the world’s five deadliest poisons 77

New broom to sweep out cobwebs 77


Dear Guptas: On upholding the

spoils-sharing custom with JZ



15 APRIL 2016

Breyten Breytenbach has a business proposal for the Guptas: a stock market where people place bets on the value of our representatives.


Mahatma Gandhi reportedly asked: `What is a crime but a clumsy citizen’s cry for inclusion in the economy so as to share in the spoils?` (Denis Balibouse, Reuters)


Dear Masters Gupta,


Allow me to turn to you as fellow South African citizens in concerned, engaged and full standing – despite your double nationality facilitating the double-dealing. After all, you are not just some run of the bush amakwere-kwere (foreigners): you are credited with having captured the country’s live forces in no time to feather your nest as needy in-comers. (These damaged goods may have been overripe for the picking, but so be it.) You own the president (giving him ample time to perfect his fine art of giggling) and his clan, his ministers and their minions, and the senior civil servants.


In so doing, you honour a time-tested custom by which no liberation president in this country can hold his head high if he doesn’t have his own tame Indians to be intimate with – politically, financially or otherwise. As to who owns whom …


We assume the slightly needling matter of the state still paying salaries to these gents and ladies in public office will in due time be sorted out since it makes no business sense. In fact, we thank you for having them on your payroll, each according to his or her greed. The state will be much relieved not to have to pay double salaries, thus making more funds available to the poor. I salute your patriotic instincts in advance.

As you know, we, your fellow citizens, are a gambling lot, placing bets on sports, statistics, the economy, the size of our ladies and their hats, how many police will be caught with their hands in the cookie jar, the chances of a boer farmer making it alive to Xmas, the political longevity of the country’s top officials, and on who among the bottom feeding vice-chancellors of our internationally ranked and transforming universities will come up with the best bromides and most pliable intellectual dishonesty.


I know you cannot be bothered by these silly concerns – but there’s money to be made.

I wish to humbly approach you with a proposal that will kill two stones with one bird, as the proverb goes: giving us ordinary mortals a greater stake in the affairs of our country while generating money that could be used, for instance, to empower student activists.

What we need is a stock market that would make it possible for John and Beauty Everyman to place bets on the value of our representatives, or to buy and sell shares in those who govern or administer us. Of course, you are not the only oligarchy keeping and feeding a stable of political operatives and appointees. A stock market, limpid and regulated (and showcased by your media) should allow you to take over a competitor’s “assets” if these interest you, or dump those among your own whom you consider to be asses. Trade will no doubt be brisk. The “assets” could be colour coded to facilitate matters – black/yellow/green, blue or red, depending. Why, even outside interests such as our benevolent Chinese brothers will be keen to share in the killings to be made.

Each protagonist (or parasite) from the president down to the most lowly Hawk or Spook or Sparrow, prosecutor or deployed cadre, comrade or commissar … could be credited with a given number of shares according to market evaluation, allowing us, the people, to track their worth from week to week and to lay bets on their sustainability.


What could be more revolutionary than we people exercising our constitutional right and civic sophistication by speculating on the wiliness, integrity, abjection, sexual prowess, aptitude for inventing academic qualifications, the fancy footwork, and so on, of those entrusted with the well-being of our society? Allowance could be made for a stokvel approach where co-operatives of BEE beneficiaries can pool their shares to offer these “portfolios” in exchange for safer bets.


One could even envisage a situation whereby “bundles” of shop-soiled but still serviceable ward representatives, for instance, are donated to church bazaars to be won in tombolas by pious congregation members, or that a particular specimen sought after for her or his braying and lack of integrity be offered as part of a dowry or lobolo.

Not only will the economy grow, but since all of us will be enabled to try our luck, the stigma and categorisation of living in a criminal society will no longer be a consideration permitted to encumber progress. Was it not Gandhi who said: “What is crime but a clumsy citizen cry for inclusion in the economy so as to share in the spoils?”

A cellphone app could be designed to track the vicissitudes of our bets and facilitate the rapid buying and selling of shares.


I believe, sirs and honourable sri’s, that this will appeal to your innately democratic and proven patriotic instincts. It will only be normal, naturally, that you as market regulators and proprietors of most of these assets, be granted a fair margin of the profits generated by the trade.


With my respect,

Blackface Buiteblaf


Don’t hug your dog,

he hates it

© The Daily Telegraph


TimesLIVE 28 April 2016


It might come as a surprise to some, but dogs hate being hugged, a study has shown.

Animal psychologists say dogs feel stressed and unhappy when they are embraced by their owners because it stops them being able to run away.

The researchers looked at 250 pictures of dogs as they were being hugged and decided that eight out of 10 of the dogs showed at least one sign of discomfort, stress or anxiety.

The study was the work of Stanley Coren, a canine expert and professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia.

“Dogs are designed for swift running,” Coren wrote in Psychology Today.

“That implies that in times of stress or threat the first line of defence that a dog uses is not his teeth but his ability to run away.

“Behaviourists believe that depriving a dog of that course of action by immobilising him with a hug can increase his stress and, if the dog’s anxiety becomes significantly intense, he might bite.”

Black vs white millionaires

in South Africa

By Staff Writer

April 20, 2016

New data published by advisory firm, New World Wealth, shows how the racial composition of South African millionaires has changed over the past eight years.

NWW defines `millionaires` or `high net worth individuals` (HNWIs) as those people with net assets of US$1 million (R14.5 million) or more.

The advisory firm said that racial wealth breakdowns are an important issue in South Africa – `many feel that the speed of wealth transfer to previously disadvantaged groups has been too slow`.

It noted that `previously disadvantaged groups` include Black Africans, Coloreds, Indians and Chinese Asians (i.e. anyone that was restricted from voting prior to 1994).

According to the research there are currently around 17,300 South African millionaires from previously disadvantaged groups, which equates to 45% of South Africa’s total millionaire population.

This number has risen sharply, from 6,200 in 2007, NWW reported.

South African dollar millionaires – racial distribution, 2014-2015

Racial group | Millionaires 2014 | Millionaires 2015 | Change

White | 32 100 | 21 200 | -34%

Previously disadvantaged | 14 700 | 17 300 | +18%

Total SA | 46 800 | 38 500 | -18%

South African HWNIs – Racial distribution, 2007-2015

Racial group | Millionaires 2007 | Millionaires 2015 | Change

White | 36 600 | 21 200 | -42%

Previously disadvantaged | 6 200 | 17 300 | +179%

Total SA | 42 800 | 38 500 | -10%

South African HWNIs – Racial breakdown (%), 2007, 2014, 2015

Racial group | % of millionaires 2007 | % of millionaires 2014 | % of millionaires 2015

White | 86% | 69% | 55%

Previously disadvantaged | 14% | 31% | 45%

Total SA | 100% | 100% | 100%

Strong prospects for growth

South Africa is the wealthiest country in Africa with almost twice as many millionaires as any other African country, NWW stats show.

It said that South Africa has strong fundamentals for wealth growth including:

• A well-developed stock exchange and financial services system.

• A large free media which helps disseminate reliable information to investors.

• Secure ownership rights, which encourages people to invest in property and businesses in the country.

The report said that a large number of millionaires from other African countries have moved to South Africa recently – `we estimate that over 1,500 African millionaires have moved to South Africa since 2007`.

Most wealthy Africans have come from Nigeria, Angola and Ghana.

“Many African millionaires have also bought second residences in South Africa, which they use for business and holiday purpose,” New World Wealth said.

Things that are attracting them to SA include:

• Top class private schools for their children.

• Luxury residential estates.

• Nature, weather and scenery.

• One of the best private healthcare system in the world.

• Exclusive shopping centers (examples: Sandton City, Gateway, Montecasino, V&A, Hyde Park and Cavendish).

• English speaking country.

• There is very little religious violence (when compared to countries like Nigeria).

• Good transport infrastructure.

“We expect over 10,000 African millionaires to move to SA over the next decade, significantly boosting millionaire numbers and luxury spending in SA,” NWW said.

South Africa’s most

dangerous cities to live in

By Staff Writer

April 19, 2016

A crime index compiled by Numbeo shows that South Africa is considered the third-most dangerous country in the world – with four South African cities listed in the top 10.

According to the data site, South Africa is ranked second, only to Venezuela and South Sudan in terms of crime and safety across 117 countries in the world where data is available.

South Africa has a reputation for being one of the most dangerous countries in the world due to its high levels of violent crime. The country has also become a hotbed for economic crime, and digital crime activity.

The Numbeo Crime Index is based on survey responses, where users were asked to score the level of crime in their country and city from bad (-2) to good (+2), where 0 is average.

The survey dealt with citizens’ levels of fear around violent crimes, property being stolen, hate crimes based on ethnicity or religion, and even corruption and bribery.

Notably, corruption and bribery was perceived to be the biggest crime set in South Africa, followed by assault and robbery, and theft. Being insulted or attacked based on race or religion was the least worrying crime group.

Numbeo ranked Venezuela as the most dangerous country in the world, followed by South Sudan, South Africa, Papua New Guinea and Hondurus.

Most dangerous countries in the world


# | Country | Crime Score | Safety Score

1 | Venezuela | 84.44 | 15.56

2 | South Sudan | 81.32 | 18.68

3 | South Africa | 78.43 | 21.57

4 | Papua New Guinea | 77.58 | 22.42

5 | Honduras | 76.43 | 23.57

6 | Nigeria | 74.14 | 25.86

7 | Trinidad and Tobago | 72.60 | 27.40

8 | El Salvador | 72.04 | 27.96

9 | Brazil | 71.23 | 28.77

10 | Kenya | 69.49 | 30.51

11 | Bangladesh | 68.56 | 31.44

12 | Malaysia | 68.55 | 31.45

13 | Puerto Rico | 65.92 | 34.08

14 | Jamaica | 65.53 | 34.47

15 | Peru | 64.00 | 36.00

Looking at the city rankings, San Pedro Sula of Honduras is viewed as the worst in the world for crime and safety, followed by Pietermaritzburg, in KwaZulu Natal.

Maritzburg is one of four South African cities ranked in the top 10 – ahead of Johannesburg (4th), Pretoria (5th) and Durban (6th).

Cape Town, which is ranked as the 9th most violent city in the world (determined by the number of homicides per 100,000 population) is 20th in the Numbeo index.

A total of six South African cities were ranked (out of 342 cities) – all within the top 20.

Most dangerous cities in South Africa

# | City | Crime Score | Safety Score

1 | Pietermaritzburg | 87.10 | 12.90

2 | Johannesburg | 83.36 | 16.64

3 | Pretoria | 80.77 | 19.23

4 | Durban | 79.90 | 20.10

5 | Port Elizabeth | 72.56 | 27.44

6 | Cape Town | 72.00 | 28.00

Numbeo’s indices rely on user inputs as well as data manually collected information from a number of authoritative sources, with algorithms in place to discard statistically inaccurate data.

The group claims to have collected millions datapoints since it was established, and is often used as a comparative data source for media groups such as Forbes, Business Insider, Time, The Economist and the NYT.

Albert Einstein: He was

really an egghead

Martin Chilton,

© The Telegraph

TimesLIVE 20 April, 2016

Albert Einstein was perhaps the world’s greatest scientist.

The Nobel Prize winner died in 1955 at the age of 76, after laying the foundation of modern physics and changing mankind’s views on space, time, mass and energy.

But did you know he was obsessed by fried eggs? That’s one of 10 quirky things about the man behind the famous equation E=mc² that we learn from the book Einstein at Home, which is published in English next month for the first time. The book contains five interviews by scientist Friedrich Herneck with Herta Waldow, who was Einstein’s live-in housekeeper for six years.

The mad hair came on the cheap

Einstein’s second wife was his cousin, the short-sighted Elsa Loewenthal. She could not persuade Einstein to pay for a barber so she would cut his hair herself. Waldow recalled: “When his hair was too long, when it was beyond the pale, Elsa would cut off his hair with scissors.” As well as his dishevelled hair, Elsa also trimmed the great scientist’s moustache.

He made his shoes last

Penny-pinching seems to have been a thing in the Einstein household – a seven-room apartment. Waldow said that he was always short of cash. He wore shoes with holes in them, even if they were no longer watertight. “He would wear them until it was no longer possible.” She said his favourite footwear was sandals.

He really was an egghead (especially fried eggs)

Waldow had to deliver fried eggs and scrambled eggs almost every day for his breakfast. There were eggs for breakfast, usually fried. “Herr Professor always ate fried eggs, at least two.” They bought their fresh eggs from an elderly Jewish man. Einstein also enjoyed mushrooms with his eggs. “He would probably have eaten mushrooms three times a day, that’s how fond he was of them.”

But he didn’t want to eat “bloody” steak

He would only eat steak if it was very well done. He would always say: “I am not a tiger.”

And he hated English cooking

Einstein visited England in 1933 but wasn’t much impressed with the cuisine, saying of English cooking, “It’s ghastly; they cook everything with mutton fat.” But Einstein was “passionately fond of strawberries”.

He hardly drank alcohol

Einstein only drank caffeine-free coffee called Kaffee Haag and black tea. The inveterate pipe smoker didn’t drink much alcohol but liked celery punch.

He had a toy telescope on his desk

Next to his desk Einstein kept a telescope for observing the stars. “It was a kind of school telescope mounted on a tripod,” Waldow said.

He loved playing violin – but was terrible

Einstein liked to play the violin at night. He did not play pieces of music but “his own improvisations as he did his thinking to them”. He played in the kitchen because he liked the way the tiles made the music resonate. Fellow scientist Walter Frierich said of Einstein’s playing that he “bowed like a lumberjack”.

Einstein was not a party animal

He hated attending social events and “he often railed against it very angrily”. He did sometimes have dinner parties and special nights in with stars such as Charlie Chaplin.

He liked to wander round starkers

“Herr Professor just liked to look at beautiful women; he always had a weakness for lovely ladies,” said Waldow. She was 21 when she first started working for the 48-year-old Einstein. Waldow remembered that she blushed when she saw him naked. “It was very embarrassing for me. Either Herr Professor had not bothered putting on his bathrobe, or he was too lost in thought to remember to wear it.”

Handle with care – the

world’s five deadliest poisons


SUNDAY TIMES 2016-04-15

When asked to name a poison, people may well think of cyanide, arsenic or strychnine. But these are not the most toxic substances known.

More poisonous than these, but still not near the top of the tree, is tetrodotoxin, the pufferfish toxin that poisons around 50 Japanese people every year. The fish is a delicacy in Japan, but can be lethal if prepared incorrectly. Incidentally, this was the poison favoured by evil assassin Rosa Klebb in James Bond film From Russia with love. It also crops up in the blue-ringed octupus and was more recently discovered in tiny frogs in Brazil.

The LD50 (Lethal Dose, 50%) – the amount needed to kill 50% of the test population – is how toxicity is most often assessed, and is usually quoted per kilogram of body weight. On this scale, for example, sodium cyanide comes out at around 6 milligrams per kg. The LD50 of tetrodoxotin, by comparison, is around 300 micrograms per kg if orally ingested, and as little as 10 micrograms per kg if injected.

Assessing toxicity is not easy. The chemical state of a substance is important, as is how we ingest it. If we swallowed liquid mercury metal (as distinct from inhaling the vapour), it would very likely pass straight through us harmlessly. And yet when in 1996 an American professor got just a drop or two of the compound dimethyl mercury on her rubber gloves, it penetrated the gloves and her skin, sending her into a fatal coma some months later.

Nevertheless, here is a representative selection, in ascending order, of five truly deadly poisons, all at least a hundred times more toxic than cyanide, arsenic or strychnine.

5. Ricin

This extremely toxic plant poison was famously used to kill the Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov, exiled in London. On September 7 1978, he was waiting for a bus near Waterloo Bridge, when he felt an impact on the back of his right thigh. Looking round he saw a man bending down to pick up an umbrella. Markov was soon taken to hospital with a high fever – and died three days later. An autopsy revealed a tiny sphere made of a platinum-iridium alloy in Markov’s thigh. The sphere had been drilled to take a small amount of ricin and may have been fired from an air gun hidden in the umbrella.

Ricin is obtained from the beans of the castor oil plant (Ricinus communis), which is cultivated to extract the oil – the ricin remains in the solid fibre. It is a glycoprotein that interferes with protein synthesis in the cell, causing cell death. It has an LD50 of 1-20 milligrams per kg if orally ingested, but far less is required to kill if inhaled or injected (as in Markov’s case).

4. VX

The only synthetic compound in our top five, VX is a nerve agent with the consistency of engine oil. It emerged from ICI’s research into new insecticides in the early 1950s but proved too toxic to use in agriculture. VX kills by interfering with the transmission of nerve messages between cells; this requires a molecule called acetylcholine. After acetylcholine has passed on its message, it needs to be broken down (otherwise it will keep sending the message) by an enzyme catalyst called acetylcholinesterase. VX and other nerve agents stop this enzyme from working, so muscle contractions go out of control and you die of asphyxiation.

Nerve agents were made by both sides during the Cold War, but VX became particularly well-known after featuring in Hollywood blockbuster film The Rock. Only one person is known to have been killed by VX, a former member of the Aum Shinrikyo cult, though some 4,000 sheep were killed by it in an accident in Skull Valley, Utah in 1968. It has an LD50 of as little as 3 micrograms per kg (although some reports suggest the figure is a little higher).

3. Batrachotoxin

We’ve all heard of South American Indians using venom-tipped blowpipes to hunt their prey. Curare is the best known, and comes from a plant. The most toxic, however, come from the skins of tiny frogs – and the deadliest of all Batrachotoxin.

Native Indians in Western Colombia collect these frogs – golden Phyllobates terribilis and multicoloured Phyllobates bicolor – and sweat out the poison over a fire before putting it on their darts. The LD50 is around 2 micrograms per kg, meaning that an amount the size of two grains of table salt will kill you.

Batrachotoxin kills by interfering with sodium ion channels in the cells of muscles and nerves, jamming them open so that they do not close. The continued migration of Na+ ions results ultimately in heart failure.

Interestingly, captive-born frogs of these species are not poisonous, suggesting that the poison is derived from their diet. Indeed, nearly 30 years ago, Jack Dumbacher, an American ornithologist, was working in Papua New Guinea when he was scratched on the hand by one of the local Pitohui birds. He instinctively put his hand to his mouth, which started to go numb. Eventually, it was found that these birds – on the opposite side of the world to Colombia – have plumage containing the same poisonous molecule as the frogs. It is thought that both the birds and frogs obtain the toxin from the beetles they eat – although the poison is far less potent in the birds.

2. Maitotoxin

There are a number of potent marine toxins, such as Saxitoxin, which are often the cause of poisoning after eating contaminated shellfish. These are often associated with harmful algal blooms in the sea.

Maitotoxin is the most lethal of these substances, reckoned to have a LD50 about an order of magnitude less than batrachotoxin. Formed by a dinoflagellate, a kind of marine plankton, it has a very complicated structure, which presents a massive challenge to synthetic chemists.

Maitotoxin is a cardiotoxin, it exerts its effects by increasing the flow of calcium ions through the cardiac muscle membrane, causing heart failure.

1. Botulinum toxin

Scientists differ about the relative toxicities of substances, but they seem to agree that botulinum toxin, produced by anaerobic bacteria, is the most toxic substance known. Its LD50 is tiny – at most 1 nanogram per kilogram can kill a human. Extrapolating from its effect on mice, an intravenous dose of just 10g would be fatal to a 70kg person.

It was first identified as a cause of food poisoning due to incorrectly prepared sausage (Latin, botulus) in late-18th century Germany. There are several botulinum toxins, with type A being the most potent. These are polypeptides, consisting of over 1,000 amino acid molecules joined together. They cause muscle paralysis by preventing the release of the signalling molecule (neurotransmitter) acetylcholine.

This same paralysing property is fundamental to the clinical use of the botulinum toxin in cosmetic Botox. Targeted injections of tiny amounts of the toxin stop particular muscles from working, relaxing muscles that would otherwise cause wrinkly skin. But it has also been applied to a range of clinical conditions, such as paralysing muscles that, if untreated, would cause crossed eyes (strabismus).

There is increasing interest in using the properties of toxic substances medicinally. The venom of the lethal Brazilian pit viper, Bothrops jararaca, for example, contains blood-pressure reducing molecules that have led to pioneering treatments for high blood pressure.

As Paracelsus is reported to have said 500 years ago: “All things are poison, and nothing is without poison: the dose alone makes a thing not poison.” And he had a point. Ultimately, we are surrounded by potentially dangerous substances – it’s the dose that makes it deadly.

– Simon Cotton, Senior Lecturer in Chemistry, University of Birmingham

New broom to

sweep out cobwebs

Andy Capostagno

Mail & Guardian April 15 to 21 2016

Allister Coetzee won’t have an easy ride as Bok coach, but he’s been through tough times before and can prevail

Allister Coetzee’s appointment as Springbok coach on Tuesday exposed the worst-kept secret in South African sport. It would appear that the only reason the South African Rugby Union (Saru) waited so long to make the announcement was to avoid a costly contractual dispute with the Kobelco Steelers. The hiatus means, however, that by now Coetzee should know how to succeed in his new job. All he has to do is be ruthless.

That’s easier said than done in many ways, of course, not least because Coetzee is a gentle soul with outstanding diplomatic skills. Nevertheless, he will need to draw a line in the sand early. Saru has not imposed draconian rules about selecting overseas-based players, but at least for his first season in charge Coetzee should stick to home-grown talent.

The fact of the matter is that many first-choice players of his predecessor, Heyneke Meyer, have either retired (Jean de Villiers, Victor Matfield and Fourie du Preez) or are now the wrong side of 30 with waning powers (Schalk Burger, Bryan Habana and many more). Coetzee is at the start of a four-year plan to take a team to the 2019 World Cup that will not feature a single player with experience at the 2007 version.

And unlike Meyer in 2012, Coetzee has a transformation agenda to implement that cannot simply be forgotten about in the quest for wins. By 2019, 50% of the match-day squad must be black. Saru’s commitment to the coach is that it will come down heavily on franchises and provinces that don’t pick enough players of colour.

Right now there are too few of those campaigning in Super Rugby, but there is someone in every position who would be a worthy choice in the Springbok team. From 15 to one, if Coetzee needed to pick a side tomorrow it might look like this: Cheslin Kolbe, Seabelo Senatla, Lionel Mapoe, Juan de Jongh, Lwazi Mvovo, Elton Jantjies, Rudy Paige, Siya Kolosi, Nizaam Carr, Thembelani Bholi, Lubabalo Mtyanda, Oupa Mohoje, Trevor Nyakane, Edgar Marutlulle, Tendai Mtawarira.

Around the country there would be a large collective intake of breath if that side were to be selected for the first Test against Ireland in June, but the huge positive about it is that Coetzee can strengthen it immensely merely by selecting a few white players.

Faf de Klerk goes straight in as the form scrumhalf and his Lions team-mate, Jaco Kriel, should be the open-side flank. The Stormers lock pairing of Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du Toit is among the best in the world right now, and Frans Malherbe should be the starting tight-head prop. The bench would include players such as Adriaan Strauss, Warren Whiteley, Franco Mostert, Jesse Kriel, Willie le Roux and, once he regains fitness, Pat Lambie.

The point is that Coetzee has a clean slate. Very few contracted players remain on the books following last year’s World Cup, so the important thing for the coach to remember is to be ruthless. Reverse the template for once: make a white player show twice as much ability as a black player to merit inclusion. Come down heavily on him if he makes a few costly mistakes.

Fortunately, all of this is irrelevant in the case of Coetzee. He is a career coach with almost 20 years in the hot seat behind him. In rugby terms he knows the difference between a sheep and a goat and, as his long tenure at the Stormers proved, he trusts the players he selects regardless of skin colour.

Much of his coaching character was defined early. A quarter of a century ago, Coetzee was the last captain of the nonracial Saru team. They never played an international game but, as Coetzee told sports writer Firdose Moonda last year: “It was the pinnacle. I was extremely proud of it.”

When rugby became, nominally at least, nonracial in the early 1990s, Coetzee was able to turn out for Eastern Province in the Currie Cup. In a team that included such legendary players as Danie Gerber, Adri Geldenhuys and Frans Erasmus, Coetzee shared the number nine jersey with Springbok scrumhalf Garth Wright. The two were of a similar age and played the same style of game.

Wright recalls: “Allister was an outstanding scrumhalf. He wasn’t a big guy, so he didn’t play the extra loose forward way. He spent more time working out how to go around players than through them. He kicked well and had a good pass. He was always a great analyser of opposition strengths and weaknesses.”

The latter attribute eased his career path and as soon as he stopped playing, Coetzee got into coaching, spending two years under Ian McIntosh at the Sharks. He was also one of Harry Viljoen’s army with the Springboks in 2000, before returning to Eastern Province as head coach between 2001 and 2003.

They were not easy years, as Wright says: “When he came in as coach he had a tough time, but you might say that it reflected the tough times the union was going through and it made him strong.”

He will need all his strength to combat the tough times he will face in the next four years. There will be times when the urbane, confident fellow who faced the press with such aplomb on Tuesday will look haunted and wan. He will wish those same media people would shut up about the latest defeat and, more than anything, he will wish away Saru’s transformation charter.

But unlike Harry Viljoen, he will not walk away after a year in charge and go back to the world of business. That’s because rugby is Allister Coetzee’s business.











Dis stunning as mense hul taal bly praat 77

Englikaans 77

Trump lyk onstuitbaar; Cruz uit wedloop 77

Woorde van die week 77

Afrikaanse musiek: Dié jakkalsies verniel talent-wingerd 77

Eskom kry R2,6 miljard-lening vir skoon energie 77

As jy nooit verwag het om te verwag ná al die gewag nie 77

Dis stunning as mense

hul taal bly praat


Ek worry oor die toekoms van Afrikaans. Die studente op varsity verkies Engels en Afrikaanse ouers stuur hul kids na Engelse skole.

Dis genuine shocking, hoor! Waar gaan alles eindig as ons so reckless met ons taal omgaan?

Gelukkig is my kids nog okay. Nou die oggend om die brêkfistafel sê my laaitie nog – so tussen die gekou aan sy toast: “Dis darem cool dat ons nog in Afrikaans skoolgaan, Pa. Pietie van langsaan moet nou Shakespeare Primary toe en hy ken amper nie die difference tussen `yes` en `no` nie. Dis sad, nè?”

Ek kon nie help om te smile nie. Daai kid van my sal tot op die bitter einde fight vir sy taal. Dis actually amazing dat so ʼn jong kid so sterk oor sy roots voel.

Dit bly altyd vir my stunning as mense nog goeie Afrikaans praat. Recently luister ek op die karradio na ʼn Engelse radiostasie, wat ʼn kompetisie het oor die flavours van ʼn sekere ice cream. Die eerste inbeller sê toe haar Engels is nie hot nie, kan sy maar Afrikaans praat? Die omroeper sê dis okay. Sy sê toe: “Die flavours is raspberry, chocalate en grape.” En daar wen sy toe wragtie! Wys jou net: jy kán nog presteer deur op Afrikaans aan te dring.

Dit hang maar van elkeen van ons af of ons taal gaan survive of nie. Ek is so erg oor my taal dat ek onder die stort net Afrikaanse songs sing – vir in case die kids luister. Tot ons hond reageer net op Afrikaanse commands. As ek vir hom sê om te “sit”, dan sit hy. En as ek vir hom skree om te “sjarrap”, dan hou hy op blaf.

Nou die dag stop ek by ʼn padstalletjie omdat hulle produkte in Afrikaans op die plakkaat geskryf is.

Toe koop ek sommer al hul muffins, cupcakes en toffee apples om te wys ek support hulle.

Van support gepraat. Ek was nooit ʼn Stormers supporter nie totdat ek hoor Juan skree op die tiewie vir sy fly-half: “Pass die bal vir my!” Toe sê ek nog vir my laaitie: “Hoor net daar. Hy kon netsowel gesê het “pass the ball to me”, maar hy hou by sy taal.”

Nee kyk, Afrikaans hardloop darem nog sterk deur party van ons se veins.

Dis só ama-a-a-a-zing, nè? – Rudie van Rensburg.


Philip de Vos se gediggie, Englikaans, pas nogal by die tema oor die invloed van Engels op Afrikaans:


is deesdae stunning,


is deesdae cool.


is deesdae funky,

maar vir my

kan jy nie fool.


is deesdae Engels.


is opgemieks.

En as ons almal

só gaan praat,

word hy nooit weer


Trump lyk onstuitbaar;

Cruz uit wedloop

Netwerk24 04 Mei 2016

Daar blyk in hierdie stadium geen keer te wees aan die miljardêr Donald Trump se veldtog om as die Republikeinse Party se kandidaat aangewys te word vir die Amerikaanse presidentsverkiesing in November vanjaar nie.

Trump en sen. Bernie Sanders (Demokratiese Party) het vroeg Woensdagoggend (SA tyd) gemaklike oorwinnings in voorverkiesings in die deelstaat Indiana behaal.

Trump het meer as 53% van die stemme getrek, teenoor sen. Ted Cruz se sowat 37% en John Kasich se 8%.

Sanders het net minder as 53% van die stemme op hom verenig, teenoor Hillary Clinton se sowat 48%.

Trump se sege het daartoe gelei dat Cruz hom aan die wedloop om as die Republikeinse Party se kandidaat aangewys te word, te onttrek.

Trump, wat die steun van 1 237 afgevaardigdes nodig het om as sy party se kandidaat aangewys te word, het nou volgens CNN 1 053 afgevaardigdes wat hom steun. Dit is in hierdie stadium egter steeds nie heeltemal seker dat Trump ʼn volstrekte meerderheid aan afgevaardigdes gaan behaal voor die party se konvensie in Julie in Ohio nie.

Hillary Clinton kan nou op die steun van 2 215 afgevaardigdes staatmaak. Sanders het tot dusver 1 442 afgevaardigdes agter hom verenig.

Die Demokratiese Party se presidentskandidaat benodig die steun van minstens 2 383 afgevaardigdes.

Trump het Cruz in sy oorwinningstoespraak as ʼn taai teenstander beskryf en onmiddellik ʼn boodskap aan die Demokratiese Party gerig: “Ons kom vir Hillary Clinton!”

– Reuters

Woorde van die week

Maroela Media 28 April 2016

Woord: konkoksie

Betekenis: Middel, gewoonlik ʼn vloeibare mengsel, berei uit verskillende bestanddele, en vir die oningewyde dikwels van onbekende of twyfelagtige aard of van geheimsinnige werking – veral toegepas op geneesmiddels of magiese middels: Ek wil gan weer daardie konkoksie van die tronk vir goormaag hê nie nie (H.S. v. Blerk: Kas, 1966, 31). Nie onkruid is hierdie mooi kruidjie nie, maar bestanddeel in baie konkoksies vir verskeie soorte kwale (F. Linde in Rooi, 1965, 89).

Waar kom dit vandaan?

Uit Engels concocion, uit Latyn concoquere “om saam te kook, saam te laat verouder”

Woord: pajamas

Betekenis: nagklere

Waar kom dit vandaan?

Hierdie kleredrag is deur Moslems in Indië gedra, en is pai jamahs genoem waar die Europeërs dit ontdek het. Dit was ʼn wye broek wat by die middellyf vasgebind is. Maar oorspronklik kom die woord waarskynlik uit Persies paejamah, letterlik “beenklere”.

Woord: kannibaal

Betekenis: mensvreter

Waar kom dit vandaan?

Die moderne betekenis van dié woord het niks met die oorspronklike te make nie.

Kannibaal het glad nie “mensvreter” beteken nie, maar was Christoforos Columbus (1451-1506) se verbrouing (caniba) van die naam van die Karibiese volk wat hulself Galibi “dapper manne” genoem het. Dit wil natuurlik nie sê dat hulle nie mense à la carte behandel het nie – smaak verskil immers.

Woord: humor

Betekenis: luimigheid

Waar kom dit vandaan?

Humor word gewoonlik beskryf as “ʼn glimlag met ʼn traan” en as voorbeeld die gevoel van ʼn jong boer wie se skoonmoeder met sy nuwe trekker oor die afgrond ry.

Voordat die patoloë op die toneel gekom en uitgevind het dat daar bloed in jou are was, is gedink dat alle diere vier soort humor, dit wil sê vloeistof, in hulle liggame het. Hulle was bloed, slym, geel gal en swart gal (ook melankolie genoem uit Grieks melas “swart” + chole “gal”). Die verhouding van dié lot tot mekaar het jou temperament (dit wil sê “mengsel”) bepaal.

As jy te veel bloed het, was jy ʼn optimistiese of hartstogtelike (warmbloedige) mens; te veel slym en jy as flegmaties, dit wil sê stadig en kalm. Geel gal het jou opvlieënd gemaak en swart gal, nou ja, swartgallig.

Afrikaanse musiek: Dié jakkalsies

verniel talent-wingerd

Deur Die Blou Leeu

Maroela Media 18 April 2016

Ná my besoek aan ʼn onlangse fees van internasionale standaard is daar steeds ʼn klein jakkals wat sy kop uitsteek. Die Afrikaanse musiekbom wat gebars het so ʼn paar jaar terug was briljant, maar die bom het meer ʼn atoom-effek as enigiets anders gehad.

Suid-Afrikaners, toekenningspanele, feeste en die “sangers” self kan hulle nie orden in ʼn genre of kategorie nie. Almal is “goed” volgens gehore en almal “rock” en “country” terwyl dit steeds ʼn dans-sokkie-doef-doef-ondertoon het. Banjo-klanke wat tans die wêreldgier is, word in Baby songs ingedwing. Sinlose rympies word saam met die perfekte plakkaat-beeld opgedis en indien jy nie kan sing oor jou backtracks nie, kan jy sommer mime of saam met jou eie stem bo-oor die CD sing.

Musiekverkope is wêreldwyd af, maar die neiging is nie so erg soos in Suid-Afrika nie. Hier is ʼn gier waarvolgens al die nuwe musiek, veral van enkelsangers, in ʼn vorm gegiet word vir radio-standaardspeellyste wat ook wedersyds onder mekaar giere navolg. Radiostasies het ook identiteit verloor.

Die jong mansmark tussen 18 en 25 het almal Bobby van Jaarsveld-nabootsers geword terwyl die vroue tussen 18 en 25 almal Karlien wil naboots. Sommige baanbrekers, meer onlangs byvoorbeeld die Polisiekarre, is al deur menige “talentrowers” probeer naboots, maar dit was maar van korte duur. Die nabootsers word wel hul 15 minute van gewildheid in die kollig gegun deur soms verdwaalde media wat na mooi gesiggies en Hollywood-lyfies op soek is. Ek moet bieg die MK-generasie het baie cool gelyk, maar is ongelukkig soos ʼn koek, mooi versier maar versadig nie.

Die euforie van die vroeër kunstenaars om ʼn platekontrak te kry en gekeur of ontdek te word as sanger of liedjieskrywer het ʼn sekere prestige saamgedra, maar hierdie celebrity-beeld is vandag heeltemal gekelder. ʼn Sanger of akteur word hedendaags onder die normale professionele werkersklas as ʼn grap van ʼn stokperdjie beskou.

Te veel mense in Suid-Afrika sonder musiekkennis of -agtergrond neem CD’s op of wil sing. Dis een groot “glorified karaoke fest”. Sekere sangers het die spreekwoordelike deurbraak (lucky break) gehad, maar is ná vele jare in die bedryf steeds op ʼn middelmatige vlak wat ook die norm geword het in ons bedryf. Om middelmatig te wees is goed genoeg. Die publiek kom dit egter agter en daarom word CD-verkope minder. Gehore by konserte luister met ʼn halwe oor terwyl hulle eerder aan hulle bier teug, rugby gesels en stry oor wie gaan volgende in die ry staan vir die volgende drankie, en hier en daar tot liedjie nommer drie hoor jy sulke halfhartige gehandeklap.

Het ons volk moeg geraak vir dieselfde musiek en kunstenaars oor en oor waarmee hulle gebombardeer word? In my straat is daar seker nog nege ander mense wat ook al ʼn CD opgeneem het. Platemaatskappye wat ʼn monopolie het op sekere style, bondgenootskappe tussen maatskappye en mediahuise en “hand om die blaas”-mediavennote wat mekaar die stryd aansê om oorwinning raak ook belaglik.

Musiek en veral “organiese musiek” verloor tans. Die werklike liedjieskrywers en geskoolde musikante word fees ná fees en verhoog ná verhoog oor die hoof gesien om plek te maak vir kommersiële sensasie. Daar is ʼn reuseverskil tussen musikante en vermaaklikheidskunstenaars. Ongelukkig, met enkele uitsonderings, sit Suid-Afrika met meer vermaaklikheidskunstenaars as regte musikante en liedjieskrywers. Daarom het die neiging van vertaalde Eurovision-liedjies wat reeds in die 40’s begin het, vandag nog nie sy plek afgestaan vir oorspronklike liriekskrywers nie.

Geen kunstenaars wat die tyd sal weerstaan, is werklik nog aan die orde van die dag nie, buiten enkele uitsonderings. Die mark bestaan uit een-treffer-verskynsels. Die beeld, kleredrag en houding wat saam met die aandag gepaardgaan, is belangriker as die inhoud van die musiek. Die onbevoegdheid en onbeholpenheid en ʼn tekort aan ordentlike musiekresente en -joernaliste veroorsaak dat artikels weekliks fokus op dieselfde groep sangers of vermaaklikheidsterre terwyl daar hordes nuwe ordentlike opnames in die massa verdwyn. Daar word meer gefokus op die sanger se persoonlike lewe as oor sy nuutste werk. Ek kan nie onthou wanneer laas ek ʼn goeie resensie gelees het nie.

Die tendens in Suid-Afrika is ook duidelik dat mense net in die bedryf is slegs vir geld (wat ook in 90% van die gevalle ʼn illusie is). Die algemeenste antwoord op die vraag hoekom mense sang as ʼn loopbaan wil kies, is “want ek wil beroemd wees”. Daar is nie sprake van kuns- of musiekintegriteit nie.

Mense maak musiek om die verkeerde redes. Mense wat werklik geen benul het van instrumentasie of sang nie, word deur allerhande tegnologiefoefies gehelp om ʼn CD op die rak te sit. Die omslag is gewoonlik beter as die eintlike produk. Afrikaanse musiek is hedendaags kitskots-musiek. Dit versadig die publiek nie, hoewel die bedryf self oorvol en versadig is met spookasem-woorde en -melodieë.

Volwassenes skryf en sing liedjies op ʼn graad 2-vlak. Tussen die toptien verkopers van 2014 is daar slegs een persoon met geskoolde musiekonderrig sover ek weet. EINA! Dis tyd dat die koring van die kaf geskei word. Groepe wat oop en bloot staan en mime op hoofverhoë met instrumente in die hand is ʼn skande en die publiek word bedrieg deur ʼn skarlakenwit vroom tandepasta-glimlag-beeld. Ander het weer die houding van rock-sterre in Los Angeles terwyl hulle krepeer van ellende in ʼn Pretoriase voorstad in ʼn meenthuiskompleks.

Gelukkig is daar ʼn silwer randjie wat altyd skyn. Die ware liriekskrywers en instrumentaliste syfer hier en daar weer deur tussen al die jellievisse vir ʼn teug asem, maar volgens my is die Afrikaanse bedryf die afgelope vyf jaar op sy kop gedraai. Soos ʼn vriend van my dit beskryf: “Jou bedryf is nou soos ʼn septiese tenk en al die drolle dryf bo, my vriend!”

My groot kopseer is my waarneming onlangs by ʼn laerskool waar een van ons topkunstenaars opgetree het. Die gehoor en veral die kinders het dit afgelag, met opmerkings van dis “nou ʼn klomp gemors”. ʼn Gehandeklap van die sanger met die mikrofoon bo sy kop terwyl sy CD kliphard blêr en geen woord geuiter word nie, maak van sy gehoor dwase. Ek het egter die afgelope ruk met verskeie ouers en leerders gepraat. Daar is ʼn algemene opvatting dat Afrikaans “alles dieselfde klink”, en die publiek begin al meer wegskram (veral kinders) van Afrikaanse musiek. Kinders begin reeds met die gier dat Afrikaans nie meer cool is nie. Ek is bekommerd dat dit gaan lei tot die verskynsel in die laat 80’s en vroeë 90’s in my eie jeugjare, naamlik dat kinders begin wegdryf van Afrikaanse musiek. Dit was vir ons generasie ook destyds baie uncool om Afrikaans te luister. Dit is ʼn groot probleem vir Afrikaanse kuns en kultuur en ons taal in die toekoms.

Waar is die Gian Groens, Koos Doeps en Goosens heen?

Maar vir die oorspronklike skrywers en uitsonderings soos Francois van Coke, Karen Zoid, Joshua na die Reën en ʼn handjievol ander, hou aan om die standaard te lig!

Eskom kry R2,6

miljard-lening vir skoon energie

Maroela Media 18 April 2016

Die Brics-lande se Nuwe Ontwikkelingsbank het die eerste fase lenings ter waarde van $811 miljoen goedgekeur vir hernubare energieprojekte.

Die Brics-bank het oor die naweek bevestig die vier projekte, een van Brasilië, een van China, een van Indië en een van Suid-Afrika, is tydens die lentevergaderings van die Internasionale Monetêrefonds en die Wêreldbank in Washington voorgelê.

Die Brics-bank staan $300 miljoen aan Brasilië toe, $81 miljoen aan China, $250 miljoen aan Indië en $180 miljoen aan Suid-Afrika.

Die bank is in Julie 2014 deur die Brics-ledestate, Brasilië, Rusland, Indië, China en Suid-Afrika op die been gebring om hulpbronne te mobiliseer vir infrastruktuur en volhoubare ontwikkelingsprojekte.

Met ʼn aanvangskapitaal van $100 miljard, het die bank op 21 Julie 2015 met sy bedrywighede begin.

– ANA Sputnik

As jy nooit verwag het om

te verwag ná al die gewag nie

Deur ʼn mamma wat moes wag

Maroela Media 30 Maart 2016

Ek en my man was skaars ʼn jaar getroud toe ons besluit het om die Pil te los. Die helfte van die eerste maand was nog nie eers om nie, toe koop ek al skelm ʼn swangerskaptoets.

Sorgvuldig die voubiljet gelees, mooi gemik en siedaar … negatief. Nie ʼn sweempie van ʼn tweede strepie nie. “Toemaar, hulle sê mens moet na drie dae weer toets,” het ek bly hoop, maar diep in my binneste het ek geweet daar is niks. Na ʼn jaar is ons na ʼn fertiliteitspesialis verwys. Nog ʼn jaar later het ek myself wysgemaak dat ek vooraf moet aanvaar daar gaan een strepie op die stokkie wees. Elke maand was die teleurstelling en hartseer maar weer net so groot. Dit het al hoe moeiliker geword om vir vriendinne wat bultmagies kry, bly te wees. Nee, ek was regtig bly vir hulle, maar ook jaloers – nie ʼn lelike jaloers nie, ʼn hartseer benyding.

Twee embriotjies (Februarie 2013)

Ná vier jaar se pille, hormone, inspuitings, ongemaklike sonars, baie trane, hormoonbuie en duisende rande se skuld, het ek genoeg gehad. Nadat ons enigste twee embriotjies met In-Vitro-behandeling nie oorleef het nie en ek ernstige komplikasies ná die prosedure ontwikkel het, moes ons tot die moeilike aanvaarding kom dat ons waarskynlik nooit ons eie kindjie sou kon baar nie. Ons het al die behandeling, inspuitings en pille gelos en gewag om berusting te kry. Ek het alles weggegooi. Al wat ons gehou het is die foto’tjie van die twee embriotjies wat ek verloor het. Twee selletjies, wat elk soos ʼn bondeltjie borreltjies lyk. Hoe sou hulle gelyk het? wie se tone? Wie se neus?

Ek het myself maar in my werk verdiep en gehoop die mamma-instink sou die een of ander tyd ʼn stille dood sterf. Dit is iets wat mense nie verstaan nie. Dit is ʼn biologiese liggie wat aangaan. ʼn Fisiese behoefte aan ʼn baba – en daar is nie ʼn af-knoppie daarvoor nie.

Ons kry ʼn Prinses (Mei 2103)

Op die Vrydag voor moedersdag daardie jaar, kry ons ʼn onverwagse oproep. Dis my kollega by die werk se ma – ʼn senior maatskaplike werker – hulle het ʼn sesjarige dogtertjie wat daardie dag nog ʼn plek van veiligheid benodig. Pleegsorg sal moontlik volg. Dit neem my en my man net ʼn paar minute om “ja” te sê. Ek het vinnig bietjie nagelees oor pleegsorg en inderhaas is die studeerkamer van ons tweeslaapkamer-plekkie in ʼn dogtertjiekamer omskep en met geleende beddegoed opgetof. Daar was geen twyfel in my hart nie. Die Here het haar vir ons bedoel. Sy het ons nodig en ons vir haar. En so teen vyfuur se kant was daar ʼn maer, skaam dogtertjie met hartseer ogies en dowwe haartjies in ons huis met haar besittings in swartsakke en haar glimlaggie skaam en dapper, maar dit raak nie aan haar ogies nie, merk ek dadelik op. Sy het pragtige ogies – blou, soos myne.

Daardie Sondag, moedersdag, is ek ook ʼn mamma. En hoewel ek uit my vel wou spring van opgewondenheid, was daar nie ʼn selfgemaakte moedersdagkaartjie en koffie in die bed daardie Sondagoggend nie, want hierdie mamma moes eers haar titel verdien. By ʼn dogtertjie wat op ses reeds baie meer moes beleef en sien as wat baie grootmense in flieks laat ril. ʼn Gewelddadige pa, dwelms, ʼn dramatiese gyselaarsdrama waaruit sy self moes ontsnap, Nigeriërs wat reeds vliegtuigkaartjies bekom het om haar Lagos toe te neem – vol dwelms gepomp sou sy waarskynlik een van die duisende kinderprostitute in dié land word. Blou-oog dogtertjies is in dié land ʼn delicacy. En sy verlang na haar eie mamma, wat ondanks haar eie tekortkominge en foute, gebroke haar bes gedoen het om die mensie te versorg en beskerm.

Sy is bang vir haar nuwe pappa – eintlik alle mans. Ons neem haar nie kwalik nie. Ek sit saans wanneer sy bad by haar op die vloer. Dit word ons geselstyd. Sy vertel van die swartes in hul huis. Sy ken hul name. Die wit gif wat mamma in klein sakkies in haar sak hou. Ons besef dat prioriteit nommer een is om hierdie dogtertjie veilig te laat voel. Ons praat met die familie, die skool, die kerk en vriende. Ons span ʼn laer van liefde en gesonde grense en bid.

Die eerste paar maande is maar taai. Sy is in graad een en reeds in haar derde skool vir die jaar. Van lees is daar nog nie sprake nie. Ons swoeg elke middag en aand deur die huiswerk. Plak die hele huis vol woordjies. Deel belonings uit. Lees stories. Tel karre en borde en blare.

Dit is drie maande later. Die haartjies blink en die wangetjies is pienk. Die laggie raak-raak al aan haar oë. En haar nuwe papa mag haar al hoog in die lug gooi en help boomklim in die parkie. Sy sukkel met skuldgevoel, kom ons agter. Omdat dit vir haar lekker is by ons. Sy voel sy verraai haar mamma.

Ons is nog “tannie” en “oom”. Ons los haar en vertrou dit sal vanself kom. Praat maar net van pappa en mamma. Dit gaan goed by die skool. Prinses kry al vywe – ons is so trots!

ʼn Dapper vegtertjie (Augustus 2013)

Ek dink niks daarvan toe die maatskaplike werker bel nie. Dit is ʼn winderige Augustus-dag. Ek verwag dit half – sy het gesê die hofsaak waartydens Prinses se pleegsorgbevel afgehandel sal word, kom nou die een of ander tyd voor. “Daar is ʼn dogtertjie in ʼn babahuis in Capital Park,” sê sy. “Agttien maande oud. In Steve Biko gelos met gebreekte beentjies; ma weg … Nigeriërs …” die stem druis aan, maar ek kan niks hoor nie, want die trane stroom al klaar … “sien julle kans om haar te vat?” eindig sy. “Wanneer kan ons haar kom oplaai?” vra ek.

Die nuus versprei soos ʼn veldbrand by die werk. Nog voor ek kon wonder waar die kleintjie die aand gaan slaap, word my kantoor skielik gevul met pragtige kleertjies, doeke, wet wipes, bottels en babamelk, ʼn karstoeltjie, ʼn kampbedjie en selfs ʼn stootwaentjie. Die volgende middag stap ek by die babahuis uit met ʼn pragtige krulkopdogtertjie op die heup.

Nadat ek haar by die babahuis opgetel het, wou sy nie weer neergesit wees nie. Sy glimlag nie, merk ek op, druk net kort-kort die koppie in my nek. Maar die ogies is wakker en kyk belangstellend rond. Bruin ogies … soos manlief sʼn. Ons ry by die babahuis weg met ʼn pragtige krulkopdogtertjie. ʼn Klein fontein-poniestertjie op die kop. Een gehekelde kombersie, ʼn kliniekkaart en die kleertjies aan haar lyf.

Ons weet steeds nie veel van hierdie dapper klein vegtertjie se lewe voor die hospitaal nie. Ons weet die mamma is ʼn dwelmslaaf, die pappa onbekend. Ons weet net sy is op ongeveer 14 maande, met albei beentjies gebreek, deur ʼn barmhartige samaritaan by Steve Biko-hospitaal aangebring. Sy het ses weke in traksie gelê. Niemand het haar ooit kom soek nie. Toe sy ontslaan kon word, is maatskaplike dienste gebel en genadiglik het sy by die wonderlike babahuis in Capital Park geland. Daar het sy vinnig weer leer loop – gemotiveer deur die ander wikkelende lyfies in die huis. En nou is sy by ons.

Ons nuwe gesinnetjie beleef skielik ʼn paar groeipyne. Prinses is maar bietjie jaloers op Bokkie, maar hou tog daarvan om te help met die kleertjies uitkies en bad. Ons val in ʼn nuwe roetine. Saans is dit kosmaak, huiswerk, bad, wasgoed – ʼn wonderlike gejaagdheid en geraas waarmee net kindertjies ʼn huis kan vul.

O die goeie tyding (Desember 2013)

Ons gaan kuier een aand by my hoogswanger vriendin sodat ek kan toesig hou dat sy uiteindelik haar hospitaaltas pak. Sy gooi my speels met ʼn oorblywende swangerskaptoets. “Ek gaan dit nie weer nodig kry nie,” sê sy. “Ek ook nie,” dink ek, maar druk dit in gedagte in my handsak.

Dit is 9 Desember 2013. Daar heers groot opgewondenheid in die huis oor die Kersvakansie. Ons is in ʼn goeie roetine en die jaar lê byna op sy rug. Die kinders sien vreeslik uit dat mamma en pappa nou klaar moet werk, want ons gaan plaas toe én see toe.

Ek gaan koop ʼn groter handsak wat sommer as strand- en doeksak kan dien tydens die vakansie. Dié aand pak ek my handsakinhoud oor in die nuwe sak en ontdek weer die toetsstokkie. “Wel, ek kan dit seker net sowel gebruik voor ek dit weggooi,” dink ek. Vir die eerste keer piepie ek op ʼn swangerskaptoets sonder enige verwagting. Soos die klammigheid versprei is daar ook, soos verwag een strepie en ek gooi dit dadelik in die asblik, haastig, want Bokkie roep uit haar kamer.

ʼn Paar minute later, besef ek vir die hoeveelste keer ek het al weer nie my blaas ordentlik laat leegloop nie. My oog val op die stokkie in die asblik. Ek tel dit op … Kan dit wees? Wat ʼn wrede grap dat ek nou ʼn foutiewe stokkie moet kry. Daar is dan ʼn dowwe tweede strepie!? Kan dit wees? “NEE!” waarsku my hart. “Dit is beslis ʼn fout,” maar die opgewondenheid kry tog die oorhand. Ek neem ʼn foto van die stokkie en stuur dit vir swanger vriendin met ʼn boodskap … “Raai wat …?”

Die volgende oggend vergesel sy en nog ʼn vriendin my na die patoloë. My huisdokter het gevra hulle moet dringend die uitslae stuur, maar dit is naderhand twaalfuur. Ek aanvaar dit is seker maar negatief. Dié dat hulle nie haastig is om te laat weet nie. Ek is in die werk se laslappiekoor en dit is minute voordat ons moet gaan sing toe die telefoon lui. “Sit jy?” vra sy. “Agge nee, ek het geweet,” sê ek. “Jy is swanger,” sê sy in trane. “Jy lieg!” sê ek. My mond hang oop van verbasing. Ek bel my man. My ma. My skoonma. Die gevoel in my bene is weg en die trane begin rol toe ek oomblikke later “O die goeie tyding!” op die verhoog sing. My kollegas loer onderlangs na my en huil saam toe ek die tyding deel.

Die volheidsgetal (Mei 2015)

Dit is Mei 2015. My derde moedersdag. Ons is terug van ons eerste gesinsvakansie af. Grotgekruip, trampolien gespring, piekniek gehou en dinosourusse bekyk. Ek en manlief is al meer as ʼn jaar nie meer “oom” en “tannie” nie. Bokkie is in die kleuterskool en die slimste in die klas en Prinses het vergeet wat die swartes se name was.

Daar is koffie in die bed en ʼn handgemaakte kaartjie met ʼn pers blom daarop. Want ek is nou ʼn mamma.

Liewe mamma

Geluk met moedersdag

Dankie dat jy my grootmaak en versorg

en onthou ek is lief vir jou

Dankie dat jy vir my alles gee wat ek vra en ʼn skool.

Dankie vir my speelgoed

en die goed in my kamer

Ek kyk terug en sê vandag dankie. Dankie dat God beter weet as ek. Dat God meer gee as waarvoor mens vra, maar op Sy tyd. God het tweetjies geneem en twee gegee en toe … ook ʼn derde. Drie. Die volheidsgetal. Die volmaakte getal. Soos Hy. Drie-enig. Drie dogtertjies in een jaar. Net om te wys. Niks is by God onmoontlik nie. Die wag is dalk moeilik; voel dikwels onmoontlik, maar tog elke oomblik werd.




















Make 6 Large ones.


125 ml grated cheese

60 ml butter

pinch salt

pinch mustard powder

pinch pepper

little milk

60 ml flour

10 ml baking powder

1 egg


Rub butter into flour.

Add cheese and seasoning.

Mix with egg and milk to a soft dough.

Put in greased patty pan.

Bake 10 minutes in a 200°C oven.

Split open and butter.




375 ml flour

180 ml sugar

2 eggs

45 ml butter

10 ml baking powder

250 ml milk

a pinch of salt

5 ml vanilla essence


Mix butter and sugar.

Add eggs, one at a time.

Add dry ingredients, sifted together.

Add milk and essence.

Bake in a greased square tin for 15 minutes at 180°C oven.



Boil together for 10 minutes:


500 ml water

30 ml cocoa

375 ml sugar

A little vanilla essence thicken very slightly with mixed custard powder.


When cold, slice cake in squares, dip in cold mixture and roll in coconut.




250 ml flour

250 ml pecan nuts

1 egg

250 ml butter

milk if necessary

15 ml baking powder

250 ml chopped raisins

60 ml sugar


Cream butter and sugar.

Add fruit and egg.

Sift in flour with baking powder and mix well.

Take small pieces of dough and press into crumbled post toasties.

Bake on greased tray in moderate oven until brown.





250 ml butter

30 ml castor sugar

30 ml oil

500 ml flour

2 ml salt

10 ml baking powder

1 egg


Mix  together:

250 ml raisins

250 ml water

30 ml flour

125 ml sugar

1 small tin pie apples


Cream butter and sugar.

Add oil.

Sift the dry ingredients.

Beat egg well and add alternately with dry ingredients to the butter mixture, knead well.

Add two thirds of the dough into a greased pie dish, fill with apple mixture and grate the rest of the dough over.

Spread with a fork to cover.

Bake in 180°C oven plus minus 35 to 40 minutes.


Serve with whipped cream.





Digital Accessible Information System South Africa (DAISY SA) is part of the global DAISY Consortium network supporting accessibility in ICTs and inclusive publications.

A rare once off training opportunity in South Africa

Accessible Web Design & Software Applications for Users with Disabilities

A one-day training event is to be held at Microsoft on Friday 3 June 2016 from 8:00 to 16:30. Venue: Microsoft, Corporate Hill, 3012 William Nicol Drive, Bryanston, Johannesburg.


Training Agenda

  • The user experience
  • Common web accessibility barriers
  • Web accessibility guidelines (WCAG)
  • Web Accessibility in Mind (WebAIM)
  • Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA)
  • Examples of good accessible websites
  • Code snippets for retrofitting inaccessible websites

Who should attend?

  • Web & software developers
  • IT HODs
  • Software testers
  • Technical project managers
  • Hybrid designer/developers
  • Content specialists
  • Disabled Persons Organisations
  • All other interested persons

Do you know?

  • Accessibility & usability for users with disabilities is something that has been seriously neglected in the online space?
  • According to the WHO, there are 285 million people worldwide who, due to some disability, cannot read all content on a website? 39 million of those people are blind?
  • With technological advances this user market is increasingly dependent on ICTs?
  • This user base accesses and experiences the internet and information differently?
  • Does your website design currently exclude or attract this user base?
  • What assistive technologies and applications are available?
  • Embracing web accessibility in the development life cycle is the perfect opportunity to expand your business reach and target an untapped market?

Who are your facilitators?

Prashant Ranjan Verma is an international accessibility and assistive technology specialist associated with the DAISY Consortium, National Association for the Blind and DAISY Forum of India with over 15 years’ experience. He has conducted inclusive publishing and web accessibility training in more than 20 countries. He is also an innovator – a currency identification device and an accessible restaurant menu reading app are his latest contributions.

Monique Camilleri is a mobile/web UI designer & front-end developer. Her experience and reach includes various sectors such as: digital media, online advertising, gaming & internet services. Her work in London led to her developing a passion in User Experience Design, with a vision to understand and engage diverse users in rich experiences on the web.

Book NOW by completing the registration form below and return by replying on this e-mail.

Training fee R 2 299 per person. Limited space available.
IMPORTANT: Delegates must bring their own laptop.

Contact us now!

Contact person: Shakila Maharaj, mobile number +27 83 263 9870.

All correspondence pertaining to registrations should be forwarded

See DAISY Consortium on for more information.


Registration form

I wish to confirm my attendance to this training session.



Physical address:


Cell/Mobile Number:

Landline Number:

E-mail Address:

A tax invoice will be sent to you with payment details. Your attendance is confirmed on receipt of proof of payment.


Blind SA Newsletter



May 2016 Mei

NO./NR. 125

Visit our website:



Tel: (W) (021) 442-8529

Tel: (H) (021) 987-7979

This publication is made possible with financial assistance from the Department of Arts & Culture.

Blind SA empowers a blind lady
with sustainable employment

By Abraham Allies

We continuously strive to better the lives of the visually impaired all over the country by offering the services for independent living.

In November 2015 Blind SA was contacted by a potential donor who want to offer one of our members permanent employment. Because there is a long list of jobseekers maintained by the Employment Committee of Blind SA, it was difficult to choose the correct candidate.

I was then reminded of a lady who was working at one of the sheltered workshops in Johannesburg who really tried hard to find permanent employment. She is very enthusiastic and was searching around the factories in Johannesburg for employment, but in vain.

I have invited her to go with me to the company that wants to offer a blind person employment. She accepted the invitation and to my surprise, she successfully passed the interview and the practical test. The first that I have done was to convince the employer of the abilities of the candidate and Blind SA’s continued support to both the employer and the employee.

Sarah was so happy of what Blind SA did for her with regards to the placement and the orientation and mobility (which is very essential after a placement) that she cannot stop thanking the organisation for helping her to a more sustainable living.

This is what she said: “You know Abraham, I don’t know how to thank you and Blind SA for this opportunity. Now I need not to depend on my disability grant to look after my family. Thank you for an organisation that cares”.

Sarah started at the company on 15 January 2016 and she is not only doing the assembling of small mining instruments but also helps with front line services when the need arises.

This is only one of Blind SA’s many success stories as we strive to better the lives of visually impaired in South Africa.


This is again a year where the organisation will be having elections, both on a national and local level. During the next 2 months, Member Organisations will be having their AGMS to elect new committees for a term of 2 years. Elections will also be conducted for the Executive Committee and the Chairs and members for the 4 standing committees of Blind SA. The office bearers will serve for a term of 4 years and the Chairpersons and members of the standing committees for a term of 2 years. Member Organisations were given an opportunity to submit names of candidates for all national positions before the end of February this year and the elections will take place at the 70th AGM of Blind SA during September.

Here is the list of nominees for your information to help you decide on the future of your organisation:


Ms Cathy Donaldson

Mr Ntshavheni Netshituni


Mr Ntshavheni Netshituni


Mr Derick Greeff



Mr André Steyn

Members of Committee:

Mr Christo de Klerk;

Mr Dibatsela Maabane;

Mr Johan du Preez;

Mr Ntshavheni Netshituni.



Mr Christo de Klerk.


Ms Antonnette Botha;

Mr Derick Greeff;

Mr Eric Gama;

Ms Heavan Botma.



Mr André Vosloo;

Mr Bongani Mthimunye;

Mr Eric Gama.


Mr André Vosloo;

Mr Christo de Klerk;

Mr Christo Vorster;

Mr Dibatsela Maabane;

Mr Doctor Nkosi;

Mr Hanif Kruger;

Mr Matthys Odendaal;

Mr Ntshavheni Netshituni;

Ms Susan Webber.



Mrs Susan Bam


Mr Eric Gama;

Mr Ntshavheni Netshituni;

Ms Sandra Dreyer;

Ms Tammy Watson;

Mr Thinus van Sittert;

Mr Tommie Lehmkühl.



Mr Tommie Lehmkühl;

Mr Solomon Nkosi.


Mr Abraham Allies;

Ms Martie de Klerk;

Mr Hanif Kruger;

Mr Tommie Lehmkühl;

Mr Sello Mabusela;

Mr Ntshavheni Netshituni;

Mr Louis van der Sandt.


Blind capable of
taking the lead

12 April 2016

Forrest Gump had it wrong. Life is not a box of chocolates, it’s a kaleidoscope. With the flip of a wrist realities are shredded and the world takes on a totally new shape.

Fitting words to depict the experience of the blind; spoken by executive head Freddie Botha last Wednesday evening when the Institute of the Blind celebrated its 135-year history.

To mark the occasion the institute, for the first time ever, changed its name. It will now be known as Kaleidoscope, changing its focus to being a commercially viable entity, with a rousing pay-off line: “Let the blind lead”. This, according to Hein Wagner, Kaleidoscope’s brand ambassador, places the focus on visually impaired persons as complete citizens in the community capable of taking the lead in society.

Dinner to mimic blindness

The point was powerfully illustrated with a Dinner in the Dark event, unlike any this journalist has ever seen.

The windowless dining hall at Langverwacht Wine Estate in Kuils River was pitch black, entered into through a heavily draped black tunnel to eliminate every point of light and shade. This attempted to mimic complete blindness and organisers made very sure they missed nothing when cellphones, cameras and anything that could possibly provide light were confiscated at the door in a somewhat fascist manner.

Wagner, who has been blind since birth, explained total blindness as “not only the absence of light, but also a complete loss of depth perception, the ability to determine distances between objects and see the world in three dimensions, with no option of reprieve”.

If this was not immediately understood by diners when they entered the hall, it soon became very clear. A menacing nothingness – pitch black, heavy and flat – wrapped up your entire consciousness to threaten your very existence.

For some, strangely this was a cue to give way to their inner boisterousness, whereas for most, I imagine, the darkness was oppressive.

I for one couldn’t keep my eyelids open after only a few minutes and cowered down to protect myself from the overpowering darkness. It is hard to say exactly when one’s other senses kick in, but mercifully they do, and when this happens you can somewhat relate to Wagner when he says “welcome to the magical world of the blind”.

Wagner, despite his blindness, has many accomplishments to his name and lived by the motto that “Impossible is Nothing”.

He ran the Antarctica, Two Oceans and New York marathons, completed several Cape Town Cycle Tours, tackled the white waters of the Zambezi River, not to mention climbing the ten highest mountains in the Western Cape. He was the perfect host in a most bizarre setting – sighted people having fun at being “blind”.

Diners enthusiastically piped out at how magnificent it was to actually smell the ingredients in the salads they were eating, as if feta cheese suddenly tasted better – sardonic, but true.

A crew of blind and partially blind waitrons was our only salvation and in the proverbial land of the blind, Erasmus’ one-eyed man was truly king.

These waitrons expertly guided every lost soul to their exact seats at the tables, to the restrooms when needed, passed the wine, found the cutlery and served a plated three course meal. Astonishing.

“Blind people in the modern world are often unseen; invisible to a sighted society, and we want to change that because the blind have such unlimited potential and so much to offer to the world,” said Botha. “Human awareness can be likened to a kaleidoscope and we know that with a simple twist of perception so much can be revealed. This is what has led us to the new name for the refreshed, revived Institute for the Blind.”

The institute presently receives only 15% of government aid and is therefore solely responsible for the generation of 85% of the total operational expenses.

“It is therefore important that we should strive to become more self-sustainable to ensure a future for our persons who are visually impaired,” Wagner explains.

He says the institute is setting up sustainable partnerships with local and international business entities to strengthen the brand and grow its product offering. “By raising the bar in becoming a world leader in all things blind related, our aim is to inspire the blind and sighted alike to be successful – no matter the challenge.”

97% of visually impaired unemployed

Wagner says the name change reflects an international character and opens doors to new opportunities, projects and funding.

“A few of our goals include the development of a one-stop resource centre for blind and deaf-blind persons at our information centre, the establishment of a modern technology training centre at our adult career development department, the marketing of the institute as one of the best tourist attractions in South Africa, and to establish more viable partnerships with the corporate sector and businesses as well as to enhance existing partnerships.”

He says they are also in the process of transforming the production units to become more sustainable. Already innovative products have been launched including a new coffee brand, wine etiquettes, cane, weaving, wood, mattress, metal, arts, crafts production and sales. Employment is one of the biggest challenges the blind face in South Africa – this is evident in light of the fact that 97% of the visually impaired are unemployed.

“It is also our goal to create more opportunities for job placement of visually impaired persons in the open labour market,” he adds.

Public ignorance and society’s general lack of knowledge of the blind, expensive assistive devices and training, inaccessibility, school training and provision of braille text books are other major challenges the institution faces.

Peadar Hegarty, who works with the team as a strategic advisor, says that the new positioning will help Kaleidoscope change how the world sees the blind.

“Kaleidoscope projects inspiration, emanating from this wonderful community of blind and deaf-blind persons who, far from seeing themselves as disabled, actually live their lives as people of unimaginable ability.”

Sport news

The 2016 Nedbank national championships took place in Bloemfontein from the 18th-24th March. On the menu there was athletics, boccia, football (7 aside), goalball, para cycling and swimming.

Athletics: A number of records in field and track items had been set up. This includes South African records, Africa records and two world records.

Lizaan Coetzee from Free State set up the world record for the 5000 meters in the B1 class for senior females. Her time was under 20 minutes. We see also a 100 meter race in the B1 category for senior males with a winning time of 11.40 seconds. The qualified time for Rio 2016 is 11.70.

Goalball: On the goalball court the competition, as normal, was very strong, especially in the senior male division. For two years in a row, Boland and Gauteng met in the final. Early in the first half, Gauteng took control of the game and never gave Boland a chance for a comeback. The final score, Gauteng 12 Boland 5.


Junior male:

Silver: Limpopo

Gold: North West

Senior female:

Bronze: Gauteng

Silver: Free State

Gold: North West

Senior male:

Bronze: Eastern Cape

Silver: Boland

Gold: Gauteng

Cricket: During the weekend of 1-3 April, the Boland Blind Cricket team visited Pretoria for a triangular cricket series (pro 20), between Boland, Gauteng North and Gauteng Central. Game one started one hour late and therefore there were only 12 overs aside in that match. Boland batted first and hit 143 for the loss of 2. After 12 overs Gauteng North (Northerns), had 115 for 8. After Friday lunch, Central got 128 for the loss of 7. Boland answered with 129 without the lost in the 15th over.

On Saturday morning Central batted first and hit 197 in 20 overs. Northerns answered with 139. The game after lunch between Boland and Northerns was the most exciting game of the tournament. Boland batted first and challenged Northerns to get 185 to win. After 15 overs, Northerns needed 56 of 30 balls. After the 17th over, they needed 34 of 18 balls. After 19 overs, Northerns looking for 20 runs and 6 balls left and a B1 must bowl. The 20th over started with a wide. At the end Boland won the game with 11 runs. Gauteng North hit 173 for the loss of 8.

Sunday morning Boland and Central played again. This time Central got 124 for 5. In the 19th over, Jerome Syster hit the winning runs for Boland.

Sunday afternoon, Northerns batted first and hit 111 all out. Gauteng Central hit the winning runs in the 13th over.

During this tournament Boland won four out of four games, Central two out of four and Northerns lost all their games. Boland received the cup and gold medals, with Central silver and Northerns bronze.

Article sent in by Marius Coetzee.

Kursus in joernalistiek
vir siggestremdes

16 April 2016

Siggestremdes kan danksy ‘n nuwe projek makliker die wêreld van joernalistiek betree met ‘n kursus wat hulle die nodige vaardighede sal aanleer.

Die Kaapstadse Vereniging vir Blindes (CTSB) gaan dié kursus in samewerking met WeCan24, Media24 se opleidingsprogram, aanbied.

Siggestremdes sal hiermee opgelei word om onder meer onderhoude te voer, berigte te skryf, bladuitleg te doen en subredakteurs te wees.

“Dis ‘n nuutjie vir die maatskappy en ons is trots daarop om op hierdie wyse betrokke te wees by hulpverlening aan die visueel-gestremde gemeenskap,” het Adrie Jurgensen, groepsbestuurder van Media24 se gemeenskapsdienste en projekbestuurder van WeCan24, in ‘n verklaring gesê.

Luidens die verklaring, wat Dinsdag uitgereik is, sal ‘n groep van 14 studente van die CTSB aan die kursus deelneem en ‘n diploma in gemeenskapsjoernalistiek verwerf.

Bonita Blankenberg, ‘n kommunikasiespesialis en blinde navigator wat aan motorwedrenne deelneem, en Benedict Leteane, provinsiale voorsitter van die SA organisasie vir blinde jeug, gaan die projekbestuurders wees.

Oor die volgende drie maande gaan hulle werk om die opleidingsprogram so inklusief moontlik te maak, waarna dit in volle gang sal wees, luidens die verklaring.

Siggestremde studente sal drie keer per maand bymekaarkom vir die joernalistiekkursus van ses maande.

Elkeen ontvang R2 500 per maand en sal ná die aflê van ‘n eksamen ‘n nasionale diploma in joernalistiek ontvang.

Braille Trumpet May 2016

Braille Trumpet

May 2016

Compiled, printed and distributed

free of charge by Braille Services

of Blind SA

Private Bag X9005

Crown Mines 2025

South Africa

Editor: Johannes Dube

Assistant Editor: Linah Ndlovu

Tel: (+27) 11 839-1793

Fax: (+27) 11 839-1217


Visit our website:

“This publication is made possible with financial assistance from the Department of Arts & Culture”


Checking SA’s books for crooks

`Decent work` puts jobs out of reach for millions forever

Africa is slum capital of world1

My government has let me down, says slain Hani’s widow

UN pushing us into bloodshed, claims DRC man

Admission process at schools goes digital

Encourage children to read, please

Report missing children in time

Abstaining does not help us

Recycle your skin to save lives – Expert

Selfies #unmask TB stigma

Taking your ARVs

What does being born again mean?


Checking SA’s books for crooks


The Sunday Independent, 10 April 2016

Archives under harsh scrutiny

ARCHIVISTS intent on exposing old crimes in South Africa are taking legal action to try to force the release of records that could reveal how billions of rand were squandered on illegal activities in the late apartheid era.

They are also trying to get bank-related records relevant to some of the country’s most controversial figures, including apartheid-era chemical warfare expert Wouter Basson and suspected Mafia kingpin Vito Palazzolo.

Basson is based in Cape Town, while Palazzolo, now serving a jail term in Italy, was previously based in the Western Cape.

The South African History Archive, an independent body established in the 1980s by anti-apartheid activists, is behind the drive to get the records.

Since February, it has taken separate legal action against the South African Reserve Bank and the auditor-general.

In an affidavit filed in the high court in Gauteng last week, relating to the auditor-general matter, history archive director Catherine Kennedy said: “South Africans are entitled to know the full extent of the activities of the apartheid government so that they may move forward and ensure these events are never again repeated.”

The history archive filed the papers last week, asking the court to declare the auditor-general’s decision not to grant access to certain records unconstitutional and unlawful.

In August it submitted three Promotion of Access to Information requests to the auditor-general.

These were denied because, according to the history archive, the auditor-general said the information in question related to third parties, and the Public Audit Act prevented access to these records.

The requests, according to the court papers, included:

* Annual reports of the Auditor-General of Intelligence to the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence from January 1, 2003 to June 30 last year.

* Details on tax exemptions on the export of uncut diamonds by diamond company De Beers from South Africa in 1992 and 1993 – in that time 20 million carats of uncut diamonds, valued at about $900 million, were exported. The tax levy of $135m was not paid because De Beers said the South African Diamond Board had exempted it.

* Secret funding used to promote apartheid policies.

In a press release issued this week, the SA History Archive said: “In terms of private sector activities, requested records related to tax exemptions on the export of uncut diamonds and secret funding could shed light on how it is that billions of rand in tax money, money badly needed for social spending requirements, was either never collected or spent on dubious and illegal activities at the end of the apartheid era.”

In other pending court action, the South African History Archive is trying to have the South African Reserve Bank release records involving, among others, Palazzolo and Basson.

It wants records or evidence the bank obtained during investigations into fraud, manipulation of the rand currency and foreign exchange, and smuggling of gold and other precious metals between 1980 and 1985.

In February, it approached the Gauteng court to have it declare unlawful the Reserve Bank’s refusal to release the requested records.

Palazzolo was previously implicated in crimes, including a Swiss money-laundering and hero-in-smuggling scheme.

In 2009 he was sentenced in absentia by an Italian court to nine years behind bars for having an association with the Mafia.

In the case of Basson, in 2013 the Health Professions Council of South Africa found him guilty of unprofessional conduct for his work during apartheid.

He applied to have this reviewed.

Until the mid-1990s, the Reserve Bank had to approve the movement of large sums of money abroad.

“To protect the rand from volatility, transfers of goods and services had to be done at the less favourable commercial rand rate,” the papers said. “It is well known that this system was exploited though fraudulent `round tripping` of money, generating massive illicit profits.”

Asked about the attempt to get his bank-related records, Basson told Independent Media: “I have no idea what it could be about, but would be very surprised if an efficient prosecution team, such as the one I faced for a number of years, would have missed anything they could have used against me.”

Neither Palazzolo’s son, Christian von Palace, nor a member of his legal team responded to queries.

Court papers said the history archive first requested information from the Reserve Bank in 2013, but this was denied because the request was not detailed enough.

It tried again in August 2014, making six different Promotion of Access to Information requests.

These requests were refused in October because the Reserve Bank said it had not found records relating to a few individuals, including Basson.

It did not give a decision within a specific time frame about others, including Palazzolo. According to the Promotion of Access to Information Act, this is viewed as a refusal.

Quest to get records released

THE South African History Archive has been working with the Cape Town-based Open Secrets project, consisting of South African researchers, to get records released.

Researcher Hennie van Vuuren told Independent Media that they were looking into apartheid-era economic crimes, about which little was public knowledge.

In recent court papers, South African History Archive director Catherine Kennedy said Open Secrets was “in the process of collecting and analysing apartheid-era archival material for the purpose of a book that will focus on procurement practices and public accountability during apartheid”.

`Decent work` puts jobs out of reach for millions forever


Sowetan, 12 April 2016


SOUTH Africa’s economy is exceptionally bad at creating jobs. Our unemployment crisis is the worst in the world.

Only four out of every 10 adults have jobs compared to a global norm of about six in 10. If SA’s employment rate was more like that of the rest of the world, 6-million more people would have jobs.

Mass unemployment is the root cause of most of our toughest social and political challenges. It is the reason we have high levels of poverty (half of all South Africans live on less than R800 a month) and the reason that inequality is much higher here than it is in other countries. Worst of all, unemployment is a terrible waste of human potential and an assault on human dignity.

Apartheid and its legacies – especially in education and access to opportunities – are a huge factor in all of this. But the approach post-apartheid policymakers have taken to resolving these challenges has actually deepened them. This is because labour market policy has been shaped by an approach to employment that says workers are allowed to accept only those jobs that government policymakers label “decent”.

Of course, we all want good jobs, but clearly there aren’t nearly enough in South Africa. “Decent jobs” may have higher wages and more job security. But they also cost businesses and government more, ensuring that there are fewer of them. In practical terms, our policymakers have prevented the creation of the kinds of jobs that were the first point of entry for unskilled workers into modernising economies like China, Vietnam and Turkey. The view seems to be that no wage is better than a low wage.

This is disastrous for unskilled work-seekers, particularly those who lack workplace experience. It also directly contradicts the advice of many international experts, who have warned repeatedly that South Africa must create jobs for the workforce that we actually have and not the workforce policymakers wish we had. Remember our workforce is drawn from an adult population that includes 22-million people who do not have a matric.

The creation of large numbers of entry-level factory jobs is the most important reason for the success of every developing country that has raised millions of people out of poverty. All of them realised there is simply no other realistic route to development. Mass employment is the best way to reduce poverty and increase economic inclusion. The “decent work” agenda stands in the way of achieving this because it excludes millions.

The key question to ask of proponents of “decent work” is how this helps South Africans whose skills levels are too low to have any real prospect of securing a “decent job”? Where should they go for a job? In practice, of course, they rely on their families, which leads to more poverty.

Ironically, the government allows one employer to offer work that violates almost every requirement of the decent work agenda: itself. It does this through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), the main driver behind government’s commitment to creating six million “work opportunities”. The EPWP offers only short-term contract work, with a minimum wage of less than R80 a day. Many of the jobs are basic – picking up litter, waving red flags on roads – yet thousands apply. Why is it acceptable for the state to employ people on these terms but not for businesses to do so?

The kinds of jobs private employers would create are almost certainly better than those the government provides through the EPWP: many would be full-time, permanent, and they would offer opportunities for training and career progression. Low pay isn’t forever, with increasing skills and income people get promoted or become entrepreneurs and offer their children better lives. China did it – why can’t we?

The choice to pursue a strategy that prevents employers from creating low-wage jobs means that millions of people are unemployed.

Well-targeted reforms could open up space for unskilled workers without lowering existing conditions of those who have jobs.

These reforms would help SA to start reducing unemployment, especially among the unskilled. However, they will only be introduced if leaders recognise the seriousness of the unemployment crisis and that the current approach stands no chance of success.

If we fail to create the millions of jobs we need, SA will never become the country we deserve.

Africa is slum capital of world

The Citizen, 11 April 2016


Pretoria conference hears shanty towns around world growing at 10% year.

Slum living remains a reality for million across the globe, presenting a “humongous” challenge for governments, human settlements minister Lindiwe Sisulu said during the closing ceremony of the United Nations’ Habitat III conference in Pretoria on Friday.

Citing figures presented by UN Habitat director Dr Joan Clos, Sisulu said about a quarter of the world’s urban population continued to live in slums and informal settlements, while the number of slum-dwellers around the world continued to grow at about 10% a year, intensifying in many parts of the world.

The proportion of slum-dwellers was most acute in Africa (61.7%), followed by Asia (30%), Latin America and the Caribbean (24%), and Arab States (13.3%).

“We have reached consensus around how to tackle the problem of informality. There is no doubt in my mind that there are commonalities about the problem of informal settlements,” said Sisulu. “Clearly the issues of legislation and policy firmness, planning, land availability, funding and stakeholder involvement are some things that were prominent in our discussions here.”

Emerging from the conference was a commitment by signatory states to work towards the transition of informal settlements and slums to sustainable neighbourhoods and enhance urban planning and land use. Government would further look to upgrading informal settlements and contributing to sustainable livelihoods and inclusive economic growth.

“To this end, I want to encourage all member states present and those that are not here to set our second target, that of ensuring we all contribute to the funds so as to get the desired technical assistance in achieving this goal of a slum-free era,” said Sisulu.

My government has let me down, says slain Hani’s widow

The Star, 11 April 2016

LIMPHO Hani, widow of murdered anti-apartheid hero Chris Hani, yesterday questioned the effectiveness of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC), saying perpetrators of apartheid crimes were let off scot-free after appearing before the commission.

“Twenty-three years later, I am still deprived of the truth and no disclosure as to why my husband was assassinated … which begs the question, was the TRC effective?” she asked at the 23rd commemoration of Hani’s death in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni – where Hani was shot dead in the driveway of his Dawn Park home on April 10, 1993.

“Was the TRC effective when perpetrators are given parole by judges while victims still search for the truth 23 years later? I believe the TRC was established in haste to ensure transition to freedom. The TRC’s effectiveness in terms of its goals is highly questionable.”

Those who refused to appear before the TRC were not sanctioned, while those who volunteered to appear and confess were pardoned, she added.

Hani was SACP general secretary, a former chief-of-staff of the ANC’s armed wing Umkhonto weSizwe and a luminary in the Struggle against apartheid. He remains an integral part of South Africa’s political history, particularly in the City of Ekurhuleni.

Hani’s killer Janusz Walus, a Polish immigrant, has served more than 20 years of a life sentence for the murder, which led to spontaneous riots, almost derailing the country’s transition to democracy the following year. Walus was recently granted parole by the high court in Pretoria, prompting an uproar of protest by Limpho and SACP supporters.

Walus’s accomplice, former Conservative Party MP Clive Derby-Lewis, who together with Walus was sentenced to death within six months of the murder, was released on medical parole last year. Their death sentences were commuted to life imprisonment after the Constitutional Court banned the death penalty.

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha has indicated he will appeal the court ruling ordering the release of Walus.

Limpho said she was disappointed by the National Prosecution Authority’s (NPA) decision to revisit her husband’s case.

“The NPA and the police refused and said we should bring new evidence and decided to not take the case. I feel let down by my government. My government deploys cadres who fail to deliver. I blame my government and also urge it to deploy capable people.

“The head of the NPA, who had all the powers, decided to turn down requests to pursue my husband’s case,” Limpho added.

“The government should revisit parole laws. A judge told me I should forget and move on 23 years later; meanwhile there is no closure for loved ones. Judges give perpetrators parole. The NPA is not doing its job … I am in and out of courts with my husband’s killers and subjected to abuse by a judge,” she said. – ANA

UN pushing us into bloodshed, claims DRC man


The Sunday Independent, 10 April 2016

THE DEMOCRATIC Republic of Congo’s foreign minister said on Friday the UN Security Council’s call for the country to hold a presidential election this year would “sow the seeds of future violence”.

A council resolution last week urged the government to take the necessary steps to hold the election in November, as required by the constitution. If successful, it would mark the country’s first peaceful transition of power.

The Congolese government has suggested that logistical and budgetary constraints could force it to postpone the poll.

Opposition leaders say President Joseph Kabila, who is required by the constitution to step down after the election following more than 15 years in office, is deliberately delaying the vote to cling to power.

But Foreign Minister Raymond Tshibanda told reporters in the capital Kinshasa on Friday that the insistence on meeting the constitutional time-line could lead to election related violence.

“Continuing to call for that six or seven months before (the deadline) when you know objectively that it is becoming difficult to do it in this time period – I think that borders on irresponsibility,” said Tshibanda.

“There is no better way to sow the seeds of violence than to proceed in this way,” he added.

“Do they want to contribute to pointlessly raising tensions in (Congo) so that things explode tomorrow, or do they want to create the conditions for acceptable elections?”

Kabila won disputed elections in 2006 and 2011 that were both marred by violence. The government says that voter rolls must be updated before the next vote to avoid disputes and ensure millions of eligible voters are not disenfranchised.

The electoral commission estimates that revising the registry will take 13 to 16 months but the opposition and some foreign countries, including the US, say it can be done in as few as six.

Dozens died in violent protests in January 2015 against a revision of the electoral code that critics said was a pretext to delay elections.

Kabila has refused to comment publicly on whether he intends to run again and instead called for a national dialogue.

On Wednesday, the AU formally named former Togolese prime minister Edem Kodjo to facilitate the dialogue.

Most major opposition parties refuse to participate, calling it a ploy to extend Kabila’s rule.


Admission process at schools goes digital

Batlile Phaladi

The Citizen, 11 April 2016


New programme to make long lines at beginning of year thing of the past.

A new online admission programme is to prevent parents from queuing for hours outside schools to ensure their children receive a spot in class.

Ushered in by Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi yesterday, it is aimed at the province’s pupils in Grades 1 and 8 and those relocating from other areas for the 2017 academic year.

Speaking at the launch in Chief Albert Luthuli Primary School in Daveyton, on the East Rand, Lesufi said the process would ensure that all the pupils were placed in schools either in proximity of their homes, or near their parents’ workplaces.

Registration application opens today and, from April 19, parents can apply for the school of their choice.

Following application, an automated confirmation SMS would then be sent to the parent’s cellphone.

Once the SMS confirmation has been received, parents would then have to submit the required documents at the schools within two weeks.

“Registration [requires you] to load your information for verification of the system and, when school applications start on April 19, parents [can] choose the school they would like their children to be placed,” said Lesufi.

The application period closes at midnight on June 1, and placement of pupils will be carried out from June 24 to September 7.

Lesufi said parents who were relocating and applying for Grades 2 to 7 and for Grades 9 to 12, would have to consult the school to verify availability of spaces.

“Spaces will be confirmed pending the current [pupil] enrolment and [pupil] retention in each grade, in line with the capacity of the school.”

But the online application system cannot be used to apply for pupils who have special educational needs, or for those in Grade R.

National Association of Parents in School Governance general-secretary Marks Ramasike welcomed the launch.

“Applying online would kill the intimidation most black parents said they faced in other schools,” said Ramasike.

“It would also bring about transformation in schools because parents do not have to go there personally.”

The MEC said starting the admission process early ensured the allocation of resources, such as learning and teaching materials, furniture, human resources and infrastructure.

“When we have an exact number of applicants online, I could go to the Treasury and ask for finances with proof that these number of [pupils] would need resources,” said Lesufi.

The system also has a technical back-up feature, allowing for the submission of applications in event of a temporary shutdown, added the MEC.

Documents required for online application:

– ID copy of the parent.

– Birth certificate of pupil.

– Passport and study permit from the department of home affairs.

– Proof of address for home or work.

Encourage children to read, please


The New Age, 12 April 2016

BASIC Education Minister Angie Motshekga has called on South Africans to make reading fashionable so that the country can compete in the world.

She said about 85% of people in the country did not read and even those educated did not find reading interesting.

Motshekga was speaking at the Educational Imbizo in Ivory Park, Tembisa, yesterday.

She urged parents to encourage their children to read.

“We do not have a reading culture in the country. Our children must be able to read independently. We call on you parents to buy books for your children.”

Motshekga said her department was working on ensuring that all children had books at their disposal through libraries.

She also addressed the issue of children with special needs.

“Pupils with special needs have been denied their right to education. We are dealing with this and I want to commend Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi for the plan to build 18 schools for special-needs children,” she said.

Motshekga said her department was rolling out a three-stream curriculum to make sure that the skills produced match those needed by the country.

“We are introducing technical vocational schools, we want our children to be able to do motoring and mining at high schools,” she said.

Motshekga’s meeting with the community of Ivory Park was the last leg of the government’s Imbizo week.

Report missing children in time


The New Age, 12 April 2016

There are many signs of discomfort in the home and missing children are at risk of street life or trafficking

AS THE world gears up to commemorate the sixth International Day for Street Children experts have called on families to safeguard children to ensure they don’t find themselves on the streets.

Statistics from Missing Children South Africa show that a child goes missing every five hours in the country. While some of the children end up on the streets, others are trafficked.

Senior social worker, Judith Mthombeni from the National Children and Violence Trust said families should not hesitate to report missing children immediately.

“It is not uncommon for children in South Africa to live separately from their biological parents, in the care of relatives or friends. A number of issues may be attributed to this norm, including the fear of getting into trouble at school or at home, parents divorcing or living with a new spouse, physical, sexual or substance abuse and bullying to name a few.

“As a result, we aim to educate communities about the consequences of allowing a long time to pass before reporting that a child has gone missing,” she said.

The world commemorates the International Day for Street Children today.

Mthombeni said that it was the responsibility of families and communities to prevent children from ending up on the streets.

“It is in the hands of families and communities to ensure that children of all ages do not resort to the streets as a desperate measure to avoid morbid domestic challenges at home,” she said.

She cited domestic violence, children bunking school and withdrawal symptoms as some of the signs which are exhibited by children planning to leave home.

“Any form of abuse at home, by any family member – whether it is drug, alcohol, physical or verbal abuse, will result in a child avoiding the home. Regular sleepovers at a friend’s house are a good indicator that they’re not comfortable at home. Seek professional assistance if domestic violence is experienced in the home,” Mthombeni said.

Parents can also look out for a packed travel bag as it was a sign “of a carefully planned escape option, made by a child who is not comfortable at home”.

Children on the streets

How many children are there in SA?

South Africa has more than 15 million children under the age of 14,

Street children in SA and the world

1 child goes missing in South Africa every 5 hours

Unicef estimates 100 million street children worldwide with the number increasing

The 6th International Day for Street children takes place on April 12

Abstaining does not help

Ellias Maile,

Kempton Park

Daily Sun, 14 April 2016

I was very disturbed to see my fellow brothers and sisters abstaining from registering for the forthcoming election.

There might be a million reasons for doing so, but this is not good for our democracy or the country.

Your vote is your voice and it is your way to choose the party that will represent your dreams and aspirations after the election.

The leader you vote for is not your boss, but your servant who must obey your instructions. The local government elections are critical in our lives because they are meant to provide services to the masses.

The people who don’t vote automatically withdraw their rights to complain or protest.

The worst part is that they are playing into the hands of those who have been giving bad service delivery to continue to do so.

Their votes can change how our municipalities are governed.

The only platform for the poor and the vulnerable to voice their concerns and give a mandate is the polling station.

Voting time is the only chance for politicians to sit and listen to ordinary men and women on the street.

I request all those who are still not registered to do so at the nearest IEC office.

Recycle your skin to save lives – Expert

Katherine Child

Sowetan, 15 April 2016

Donated parts can save lives

IT MIGHT surprise some South African to know that their skin can be “recycled” to save lives.

Yesterday the Centre for Tissue Engineering launched South Africa’s first bank that will store donated skin from deceased people for up to two years in a glycerol solution.

Donated human skin is a great healer, saving the lives of severely burnt patients who have little of their own skin left. A regular supply of donated skin has been unavailable in South Africa until now.

The centre already stores donated corneas, bone and heart valves.

Tissue bank spokesperson Sandra Venter said the bank, and NGO, could now afford to start collecting and storing cadaver skin, which will be made available to state and private burn patients – for the cost of storage and transport.

About 268 people in South Africa have severe full body burns each month and without donated skin used in treatment, many die, according to the head of the SA Burn Society Nikki Allorto.

“Many people don’t die of burns but die from the body’s stress response to the burn and lack of skin. When a patient’s wounds are covered with donor skin to prevent infection, the skin fools the patient’s body into thinking it is covered in its own skin. Their body relaxes and the person has a greater chance of survival,” Allorto said.

It does not matter what the donor’s blood type is or if their skin is a different colour – it can be used to save a life of a burn patient.

“Donated skin also prevents infection, keeps fluid and heat in the body and covers the nerve endings reducing a patient’s pain,” said Rachel Moore, head of Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital’s Burns Unit.

Without donated skin, an artificial dressing can be used to cover the wounds of burn patients but the dressing needs to be removed every three days, causing pain and scaring. Human skin can last for two weeks on a victim.

Fresh supplies of skin have been available from the recently deceased in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Moore said the skin bank will allow transportation of skin to severe burn victims across the country.

“Even a person who dies of old age can donate skin,” said Allorto.

“When you die – even if you don’t qualify as an organ donor, your donation of tissue, skin, heart valves, bones and corneas can change the lives of up to 50 people.”

For more information on signing up as a skin donor visit site

“The best thing to do is recycle yourself,” said Allorto.

Selfies #unmask TB stigma

Dalene von Delft

Mail & Guardian, April 1 to 7 2016

Tuberculosis activists inspired many media people, including journalists at the Mail & Guardian, to take part in the #UnmaskStigma campaign on World TB Day on March 24 last week. This involved posting a selfie of themselves on social media wearing a surgical mask. Some of those who did are featured on this page.

The masks are a symbol of the stigma that people with tuberculosis face – patients are required to wear them in public during the time that they are infectious (this is generally the first two to four weeks of treatment for ordinary TB).

Although mostly treatable, tuberculosis kills someone every 25 seconds, according to the World Health Organisation. Some forms of the TB bacterium have become resistant to commonly used medicines. This makes people increasingly fear TB patients and stigmatise them.

Four tuberculosis facts you need to know

One in three people with tuberculosis (TB) in South Africa are insulted, teased or gossiped about

Ordinary TB, or drug-susceptible TB, can be cured within six months

Drug-resistant TB, for which some TB medication doesn’t work, can take up to two years to be cured

Only 50% of patients with drug-resistant TB are cured

Discrimination changed my life

Five years ago, on Christmas Eve, I was diagnosed with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. I had to spend the festive season in isolation, away from my family and friends, to prevent them from contracting TB.

In addition to this, I had to wear a mask in public. People stared at me endlessly and questioned me about it. This experience of TB-related stigma changed my life.

In the eyes of many people, I was an unlikely candidate for tuberculosis: I was a doctor. I was working at a state hospital in the Western Cape. The long hours I worked weakened my immune system and allowed tuberculosis to develop in my body.

I wore the mask to protect other people from getting infected, but I realised many people have false beliefs about tuberculosis. They would ask me: “What is wrong with you? Why did you get TB?”

When you have TB, it doesn’t matter who you are: the stigma and discrimination you experience is the same. People don’t realise that TB is an airborne disease that anyone can get, even if you are young and healthy.

Multidrug-resistant TB is a form of tuberculosis for which many of the drugs used to treat ordinary tuberculosis don’t work. It is much more expensive and complex to deal with and a patient needs to be treated for up to two years instead of the six months for ordinary TB.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), only about half of multidrug-resistant TB patients around the world are cured. Four out of 10 die because they either haven’t completed their treatment or the drugs were ineffective.

I am one of the lucky ones who survived multidrug-resistant TB. But I didn’t escape the stigma.

The stigma has a negative effect on diagnosis and treatment. It often prevents people from seeking care early in the course of their disease, when they are more likely to be cured. Patients who start their treatment late are also less likely to complete their drug course. And some people infected with tuberculosis lose their jobs and their social support networks collapse.

According to the 2014 stigma index of the South African National Aids Council and Human Sciences Research Council, about 35% of people with tuberculosis experience external stigma such as being gossiped about, teased or insulted. People also experience internal stigma such as feelings of uncleanliness, guilt and shame.

The WHO’s 2015 global TB report says tuberculosis is the world’s leading cause of death from infectious disease and kills more people than HIV: every 25 seconds TB claims a life.

I wish everyone could understand what it feels like to have tuberculosis because it will increase support for people with TB and improve treatment outcomes so that fewer people die. I’ve learned that first-hand.



Move! 13 April 2016

People who are living with HIV/Aids may feel healthier after starting treatment, and stop taking their medication but it is vital not to make this mistake

THERE was a time when a person who was diagnosed with HIV or Aids received a virtual death sentence, as there were no known treatments for the disease. However, in the late 1990s, a combination of drugs was discovered that kept the virus in check. These were called antiretroviral (ARV) drugs. Since 2004, when South Africa rolled out its ARV programme to people living with HIV, they have given affected people a new lease on life.


ARV treatments do not cure HIV/Aids. There is still no outright cure for the disease, and it does not go away by itself. But ARVs do slow down the damage that the virus does to the immune system, and allow people to live long, productive lives like everyone else, without succumbing to the disease.

With one in every 10 people in South Africa living with HIV or Aids – that is, 6.19 million in 2015 – these drugs are tremendously valuable in giving an excellent quality of life.


The downside of this is that many HIV patients feel so good when they are on ARVs that they stop taking their medication, in the mistaken belief that they are cured, or that they don’t need them any more as their condition has stabilised. Nothing could be further from the truth.

They may also stop treatment if they suffer unpleasant side effects, such as headache, dizziness or nausea, though these usually pass after a few weeks. If they don’t, the doctor will prescribe a different regimen.

But it is very important, if you have started on ARV treatment, to continue taking it faithfully in order for it to work.

If you are pregnant, or are a breastfeeding mother, you can safely take ARVs, and should do so to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Ask advice from your doctor or clinic about the correct medication for you.


ARVs are drugs for life. This means that they give you back a good quality of life if you are living with HIV, but you have to take them for the rest of your life.

The purpose of ARVs is to reduce the HI virus in the blood to the point where the immune system, which is affected by HIV, can start to recover and the virus stops making copies of itself in the body.


If you have HIV and you stop taking the ARV treatment, the following can happen:

• Your strain of HIV may become resistant to the ARVs, so even if you decide to take them again at a later stage, they might not work.

• If the drugs are stopped, or not taken at the right time each day, the HIV takes advantage of this and starts to make copies of itself again. Sometimes the copies change a little bit, and the ARV drugs will not be as effective against them.

• If HIV becomes drug resistant, and you accidentally pass the virus on to another person, that person will find that drugs do not work for them either.

For these reasons, it is vital not only to take your medication faithfully, but also to comply with the instructions exactly.

So if you must take it twice a day, you should take it at the same time every day – say, at 7am, then again 12 hours later at 7pm.

This is to keep the drugs in your body at a constant level in order to fight the virus.

The same applies if you are on one of the newer combinations of drugs that have to be taken once a day.


Because it is so important that you take your treatment correctly, you might find it helpful to find ways of reminding yourself to do this, such as:

• Set your alarm clock or cellphone timer to ring just before your next dose is due, so that you don’t forget to take it.

• Keep your medication in the same place all the time, so you know where to find it – but be sure that it is out of reach of children. Stick a note somewhere you will see it, such as your bathroom mirror or your kitchen cupboard, to remind you to take it.

• Don’t wait until your medication has run out before you go and get a new supply.


ARVs help to keep you healthy by fighting HIV and controlling the levels of it in the body, but there is no guarantee that you can’t still transmit the virus to sexual partners, people with whom you share needles, and your baby. Thus, it’s best to follow the doctor’s advice.


Along with medication, you need to adopt good lifestyle habits such as:

EATING WELL: You need a balanced diet when taking ARVs. Replace junk food with protein (meat, fish, eggs and nuts); carbohydrates (pap, bread, rice and potatoes); and fruit and vegetables. Good food helps stop some of the side effects of ARVs, like nausea and diarrhoea. Do not take traditional muthi or over-the-counter vitamin supplements without talking to your clinic sister or chemist first, as some don’t go well with ARVs.

EXERCISING: It improves blood circulation, increases energy levels, lowers stress levels, helps maintain a healthy body weight, and assists with getting a good night’s sleep.

SLEEPING WELL: People living with HIV may have trouble sleeping and get depressed. This affects the body’s ability to fight infection and puts you at risk of contracting some of the complications of HIV.

PRACTISE SAFE SEX: You should tell a new partner your status before you have sex. If you don’t, you expose them to HIV and other STIs.


Move! 13 April 2016

Zenoyise John looks at the attributes of a true Christian

MAHATMA Gandhi once said, “I like your Christ, but I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Many people will agree with what this leader was saying when looking at modern Christians.


It’s important to note that Christians are not perfect. They make mistakes like everybody else.

According to Pastor Julius O. Oluwajodu, the founder and senior pastor at House of Mercy Bible Church in Randburg, when we stand before God, there is only one difference between a Christian and a sinner – and that is the blood of Jesus Christ.

A Christian’s sins are cleansed through the precious blood of Jesus. A sinner stands with nothing between them and God but their sins. Pastor Julius adds that salvation and eternal life are a free gift from God through Christ.

“We are saved by grace and not by our own merit or works. Jesus is the only way through which we can have a relationship with God and have eternal life,” he says.

“Therefore, we do not become born-again as a result of our personal merit. We become Christians by the grace of God through placing our faith in Christ Jesus.”


The word born-again is often associated with a more charismatic kind of Christianity. A true born-again Christian is not just a person who attends church regularly.

Christianity is a daily lifestyle through which one lives for Jesus Christ.

It’s a lifestyle of obedience, where the believer is a dutiful doer of the word and not simply just a hearer. Pastor Julius says that as we genuinely mature in Christ, we become distinguished from non-believers.



When a person truly repents, he vows to live according to the will of God. In Matthew 4:17 Jesus states, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”


Mark 16:16 teaches us that, “Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Baptism symbolises death to sin and resurrection of a new life in Christ.


You are filled with the Holy Spirit, According to John 3:6-7, “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” The verse call calls for people to be born again.



Follow and imitate the life that Jesus lived, says Pastor Julius.


“If you obey Me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession,” as Exodus 19:5 states.


The world has its own values, systems and priorities, and these are opposite to the values and laws of God.


You have the power and authority to exercise the gifts of the Holy Spirit.


Jesus in love. When you accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, He transplants His being into you.

Braillorama Mei 2016


Mei 2016

Jaargang 47 No. 5

Gedruk in UBC braille

deur Brailledienste van Blind SA

Privaatsak X9005

Crown Mines


Tel: (+27) 11 839-1793

Faks: (+27) 11 839-1217


Besoek ons tuisblad by:

Redaksie: Christo de Klerk

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Uitgewers: Blind SA

Rig alle korrespondensie aan: Die Redakteur, Privaatsak X9005, Crown Mines, 2025, Johannesburg, R.S.A.

“Hierdie publikasie is moontlik gemaak deur finansiële ondersteuning van die Departement van Kuns & Kultuur”



ToekomsVenster: Wat verwag jy wanneer jy bid? 77

Uitdrukkings: heuning 77

`Pote, los nou ons dagga-lote` 77

Die dwelm wat in jou tuin skuil 77

NGK: `Ieder en elk` kan praat oor gaybesluit 77

1% van wêreld ryker as al die res 77

Wyn nie net vir `snobs` nie 77

Stygende kospryse: Rek jou rand só 77


Te Koop 77



Wat verwag jy wanneer jy bid?


Maroela Media 30 Maart 2016


“Hand 12:5, 12: So is hy dan in die tronk bewaak, maar die gemeente het aanhoudend vir hom tot God gebid. Met dié gedagte is hy na die huis van Maria, die moeder van Johannes wat ook Markus genoem is, waar baie gelowiges saam was om te bid.”


Dis wonderlik om aan die ontvangkant van baie gebede te wees. Daar is mense wat ons elke dag voor die troon van God opdra. Iemand het aan ʼn Noord-Koreaanse Christen gesê dat baie Christene in die Westerse wêreld vir hulle bid. Die Noord-Koreaan het geantwoord: `Nee, ons bid vir julle!` Gebed vir mekaar is wonderlik!


Petrus se verhaal in die tronk is die verhaal van baie Christene in die wêreld. Dis ʼn hopelose situasie. Hy word streng bewaak. Daar is, menslik gesproke, geen kans om te ontsnap nie. Hy het tussen twee soldate geslaap: `Hy was met twee kettings geboei, en voor die deur het wagte die tronk bewaak` (12:6).


Intussen bid die gemeente vir hom. As dit in ons dag was, sou daar waarskynlik e-posse en teksboodskappe uitgegaan het om vir gebed te vra. Petrus se situasie kan slegs deur gebed verander word. Bid asseblief!


God beantwoord die gebed. Petrus word bevry sonder dat enige mens ʼn vinger verroer. Al wat hulle gedoen het, was om te bid. Hulle het nie met die owerhede onderhandel nie. Hulle het nie toutjies getrek of lospryse betaal nie. God het alles gedoen. ʼn Engel van die Here bevry hom.


Petrus self verstaan nie onmiddellik wat gebeur nie. Toe hy buitekant die tronk staan lees ons: `Nou besef ek eers regtig dat die Here sy engel gestuur het om my uit die hande van Herodes te red en van alles wat die Joodse volk van plan was om te doen` (12:11). Dis ʼn verhaal om te vertel! Dis hoekom Petrus onmiddellik na die biddende Christene toe gaan.


Miskien moet ons voordat ons verder gaan eers vra: wat verwag jy wanneer jy vir Christene in moeilike omstandighede bid? Dit lyk vir my dat die eerste Christene wel gebid het, maar nie heeltemal geglo het dat hulle gebede verhoor sou word nie. Toe Petrus klop en die diensmeisie sy stem hoor, was sy verskriklik bly. Die res van die gebedsgroep het egter nie haar entoesiasme gedeel nie: `Maar hulle sê vir haar: “Jy is mal.” Toe sy egter daarmee volhou, sê hulle: “Dan is dit sy gees.” Intussen het Petrus aangehou klop. Toe hulle die deur oopmaak en hom sien, was hulle baie verbaas` (12:15, 16).


Verbaas? Verras? Hoekom? Beantwoord God dan nie ons gebede vir mekaar nie?


Uitdrukkings: heuning


Maroela Media 15 Maart 2016


Uitdrukking: Wie heuning wil eet, moet steke verdra

Betekenis: Wie iets besonders wil hê, moet daarvoor betaal

Engels:No gains without pains


Uitdrukking: Heuning in die mond dra

Betekenis: Vol vleitaal wees

Engels: Drip honey


Uitdrukking: Heuning in die mond, gal in die hart

Betekenis: Agter vleitaal skuil dikwels bitterheid of afguns

Engels: Bees that have honey in their mouths have stings in their tails


Uitdrukking: Iemand heuning om die mond smeer

Betekenis: Iemand vlei

Engels: Butter someone up


Uitdrukking: Heuning is nie soet genoeg vir iemand nie

Betekenis: Iemand is so sedig dat hy niks sê nie

Engels: Butter won’t melt in his mouth


Uitdrukking: Soeter as heuning

Betekenis: Baie soet

Engels:Sweeter than honey


Uitdrukking: Wie heuning uithaal, moet steke verwag

Betekenis: Wie waag, moet moeilikheid verwag

Engels:No pain, no gain; those who play at bowls, must look out for rubbers


Uitdrukking: Heuning op die tong hê

Betekenis: Vol mooipraatjies wees

Engels: Be honey-tongued


Uitdrukking: Met heuning vlieë vang

Betekenis: Deur vleitaal jou doel bereik

Engels: Wheedle


Uitdrukking: Die heuningkwas gebruik/Met die heuningkwas smeer

Betekenis: Vlei

Engels: Lay it on thick


Uitdrukking: Met die heuningpot rondloop

Betekenis: Vlei

Engels: Drip honey


`Pote, los nou ons dagga-lote`

Kimon de Greef


Rapport 10 April 2016


Die 57-jarige Pam, ʼn inwoner van Pondoland in die Oos-Kaap, sit senuagtig vir die heuwels en kyk terwyl sy wag op die gedreun van helikopterenjins.


Sy het dit verlede jaar in Maart laas gehoor en dit het haar hele daggaoes vernietig.


Dié helikopters sit vol polisielede wat gif spuit sodat daggaproduksie ingeperk kan word.


Die helikopters het vanjaar nog nie gekom nie. Wanneer hulle opdaag, staan Pam en die res van haar dorpie 24 uur gereed om met sekels by hul plantasies in te hardloop en verwoed te begin kap sodat hulle nog kan red wat daar te redde is.


Aktiviste, natuurliefhebbers en hul regslui maak nou gereed om koppe te stamp met die Suid-Afrikaanse Polisiediens (SAPD).


Glifosaat word jaarliks in dié gebiede gespuit om daggaplantasies uit te roei. Dít terwyl die Wêreldgesondheidsorganisasie se Internasionale Agentskap vir Kankernavorsing (IARC) bepaal het dié onkruiddoders is ʼn “moontlike kankerverwekkende stof”. ʼn Maand gelede is daar selfs besware ingedien teen die gebruik van glifosaat in Europa deur ʼn openbare gesondheidskomitee in die Europese Unie.


“Ek weet wat ek doen, is onwettig,” sê Pam. “Maar dit is die enigste manier waarop ek geld kan maak.”


Die naaste dorp aan haar is Lusikisiki en daar is nie eens ʼn grondpad wat tot daar loop nie. Daar is 32 hutte en dié nedersetting kan slegs te voet of te perd bereik word.


Die afgelope 30 jaar word daggaplantasies aan die einde van die somer vergiftig, reg voor oestyd, sodat daar net droë stammetjies van dié tonne gesogte papegaaislaai oorbly.


Aangetrek in skoene sonder veters en ʼn geskeurde bruin baadjie sit Pam soggens en bewerk haar daaglikse oes.


Dit is 07:30, drie uur ná haar opstaantyd. Sy is al die heel oggend besig om haarself af te sloof deur borshoë daggaplante met ʼn piepklein sekeltjie af te kap. Nou sit sy op ʼn gekerfde houtstoel in haar hut, besig om van die blare ontslae te raak sodat sy die daggablomme (bekend as “die koppe”) kan oes. Ander dorpsbewoners kom aangestap met bondels dagga wat hulle op die kop dra en in Pam se hut pik-pik daar ʼn paar hoenders aan die daggapitte wat op die vloer geval het.


“Die gif wat hulle spuit, dryf ons uit die huis uit,” sê sy. “Dit maak ons siek. Dit maak ons mielies dood en selfs ons diere word siek.”


Intussen het die uitwerking van jarelange glifosaatbesproeiing sy tol geëis op die meeste Oos-Kaapse dagga.


Die bietjie dagga wat deesdae in Pam se dorpie “oorleef”, is van swak gehalte en dit word spotgoedkoop verkoop.


Vir Pam en kie bly dít egter hul enigste inkomste.


Die dwelm wat

in jou tuin skuil

Sonja Carstens


Rapport 10 April 2016


Kinders gebruik nou ʼn blom wat algemeen in Suid-Afrikaanse tuine voorkom as dwelmmiddel.


Hulle eet dit of maak ʼn brousel, bekend as “swart tee”, omdat dit hallusinasies veroorsaak. Maar dit kan dodelik wees.


Verlede week moes lede van die Sinoville-polisiekantoor in die noorde van Pretoria help om ʼn tiener onder bedwang te bring sodat ambulanspersoneel haar na ʼn hospitaal kon neem nadat sy die maanblom ingekry het. Sy was psigoties en baie aggressief.


Colleen Strauss, uitvoerende hoof van die Sinoville-krisissentrum, sê nóg kinders nóg hul ouers besef hoe gevaarlik die gebruik van die blom is.


In dié geval het ʼn groep skoolmaats die tee glo by ʼn sekswinkel gekoop. Dit is egter vrylik in tuine beskikbaar.


“Dit word nie raakgesien in ʼn urinedwelmtoets nie. Dit veroorsaak hallusinasies en aggressiewe gedrag. Gebruikers sal gek en onverantwoordelik optree,” sê Strauss.


Prof. Kobus Eloff, bioloog aan die Universiteit van Pretoria (UP) se fakulteit veeartsenykunde by Onderstepoort, sê die maanblom of angel’s trumpet verwys na Brugmansia suaveolens (vroeër bekend as Datura suaveolens).


“Dit is ʼn gewilde struik in Suid-Afrikaanse tuine. Dit bevat toksiese alkaloïdes, spesifiek hoë konsentrasies van atropien en skopolamien. Dit is na verwant aan die giftige onkruid Datura stramonium, bekend as stinkblaar,” sê hy.


Dr. Wouter Basson, kardioloog en eertydse hoof van die weermag se chemiese en biologiese wapenprogram, Projek Coast, sê die maanblom word al vir jare by tye gebruik as die gier onder kinders posvat. “Dit is nie verslawend nie en word nie as ʼn dwelmmiddel geklassifiseer nie. Dit is egter nie veronderstel om ingeneem te word nie en die gebruik daarvan is gevaarlik. Dit kan in ekstreme gevalle jou dood veroorsaak.”


Die gebruik daarvan gee hartkloppings en kan ook epileptiese aanvalle meebring. Dit duur tussen 24 en 48 uur vir die plant om uit ʼn mens se gestel te werk.


Dr. Kobus du Toit, wildveearts en skrywer van verskeie boeke, sê nog ʼn alkaloïde in die maanblom, hiossien, is vroeër gebruik in die verdowingsmiddels om die eerste witrenosters in die Umfolozi-Hluhluwe-wildtuin in KwaZulu-Natal te vang.


“Dit gee versteurde visie vir tydperke langer as 12 uur en is waarskynlik die rede hoekom van die renosters ná vrylating van skuins walle afgeval het.


“Die plant het ʼn bitter smaak en diere sal dit nie maklik eet nie. Mense wat egter doelbewus die plant inneem, speel met vuur,” sê hy.


Lt.kol. Lungelo Dlamini, polisiewoordvoerder in Gauteng, sê die polisie is nie bewus daarvan dat die gebruik van die plant ʼn tendens in die provinsie is nie. Hy vra dat voorvalle by die polisie aangemeld moet word.


Rapport het die plant, ʼn struik wat tot 8 m hoog kan word, die afgelope week by kwekerye in Pretoria opgespoor waar dit vir tussen R110 en R135 gekoop kan word.


NGK: `Ieder en elk`

kan praat oor gaybesluit

Jean Oosthuizen


Rapport 10 April 2016


Die NG Kerk se leierskap het ʼn uitnodiging gerig aan “ieder en elk” om hulle oor regsmenings te nader ná die kerk se omstrede besluit dat gay lidmate en predikante voorlopig nie in die kerk mag trou nie.


Dit volg nadat die algemene sinode verlede jaar besluit het dat gay mense wél in die kerk mag trou. Die sinodebesluit is egter kort ná afloop van die sinode vir eers tersyde gestel toe ʼn paar van die kerk se lidmate daarteen appèl aangeteken het.


Sommige lidmate meen die kerk steun op selektiewe regsadvies om die algemene sinode se besluit doelbewus te pootjie.


Die sinode se besluit het tot vuurwarm debatte in die NG Kerk gelei en daar is lidmate wat openlik dreig met skeuring as die besluit deurgevoer word.


Die sinode van Namibië sê dit is volgens hul interpretasie van die Bybel op geen manier moontlik om sulke verhoudings te aanvaar nie. Hulle sê gay mense moet selibaat bly.


Hulle oorweeg dit om die NG Kerk van Namibië se verhouding met die algemene sinode in Suid-Afrika te hersien.


Volgens hulle is die Bybel duidelik oor die “goddelike gegewe” van menslike seksualiteit. “Dit is primêr deur God bedoel om die menslike geslag te laat voortplant binne die ruimte van gesinne, gegrond op ʼn onverbreekbare verbintenis tussen ʼn man en ʼn vrou wat mekaar liefhet.”


Dr. Gustav Claassen, algemene sekretaris van die NG Kerk, sê daar is nog nie op formele vlak met die leierskap van Namibië in gesprek getree nie. “Ons gaan nie op persberigte reageer nie.”


Claassen wou ook nie reageer op enige navrae oor die huidige status van appèlle en hersienings rakende die besluit oor selfdegeslagverhoudings nie.


Die sinodes van KwaZulu-Natal en die Noord-Kaap het ook vanjaar hul onderskeie sinodesittings, waar sulke verhoudings hoog op die agenda sal wees.


Vrystaters het hul sinode versoek om ʼn spesiale sinode oor die aangeleentheid te hou.


Die kerk wil steeds nie sê wie is diegene wat appèl aangeteken het teen die sinodebesluit of wat die presiese inhoud van die appèlle is nie. Daar is 21 appèlle ontvang teen die algemene sinode se besluit dat gay mense in die kerk mag trou.


Sommige daarvan handel blykbaar oor Skrifbeskouing en die algemene sinode se interpretasie van die Bybel, die belydenis van die kerk. Ander handel oor kerkordelike kwessies.


Ds. Nelis Janse van Rensburg, die NG Kerk se moderator, sê die appèlle is steeds nie amptelik geopen vir insae van enigiemand nie omdat nog besluit word oor die appèlprosedures.


Van Rensburg het die 65 teoloë wat vies is omdat die algemene sinode se besluit nie uitgevoer word nie per brief genooi om met die kerk se leierskap te praat oor enige onduidelikheid oor die prosesse.


“Julle is gewaardeerde geloofsgenote en jul mening is vir ons baie belangrik,” het hy aan die groep geskryf en ook alle ander lidmate genooi om die kerk met regsmenings te bedien.


Hy sê die moderamen beskou die 65 teoloë se brief as ʼn welmenende bydrae tot ʼn komplekse gesprek en is oortuig dat meerdere insigte net kan help om sinvolle oplossings te vind.


Hy het ook vure probeer doodslaan oor kommer onder sekere lidmate dat die taakspan wat die appèlle hanteer, nie onpartydig is nie.


“Die moderamen het met ʼn meerderheid van stemme besluit om die Algemene Taakspan Regte (ATR) te versoek om in die besluitnemingsproses oor die appèlprosedure wat gevolg gaan word, die ATR-vergadering te suiwer sodat appellante nie deel het aan die besluite oor die proses nie.”


Een van die NG Kerk se gay proponente wat regstreeks geraak word deur die kerk se gesloer om die algemene sinode se besluit tot uitvoer te bring, Hennie Pienaar, het aan Van Rensburg geskryf hy is diep ontstig omdat hy en ander lidmate steeds uitgesluit word as volwaardige lidmate van die kerk nadat die algemene sinode anders besluit het.


Pienaar sê die NG Kerk sal diep introspeksie moet doen met die hoop dat nederige liefde hulle sal lei om tegniese punte só te omskryf dat almal welkom is en kan deel in alles wat die kerk bied.



1% van wêreld

ryker as al die res

Mariné Jacobs


Maroela Media 18 Januarie 2016


Die wêreld se rykste 1% besit meer rykdom as die res van die wêreld saam, het Oxfam International bekendgemaak.


Die navorsingsverslag wat pas deur Oxfam, ʼn internasionale konfederasie wat armoede beveg, bekendgemaak is, dui daarop dat die krisis van wêreldwye ongelykheid nuwe afmetings aanneem.


Die studie toon onder meer ook dat die rykste individue in die wêreld weens ʼn internasionale netwerk van belastingstelsels $7,6 miljard bymekaargemaak het, terwyl die armer helfte van die wêreld se bevolking oor die afgelope vyf jaar ʼn miljard dollar minder verdien het.

Volgens Oxfam het die volgende skokfeite tydens die studie aan die lig gekom:


• In 2015 het 62 individue dieselfde rykdom as 3,6 miljard mense gehad.

• Die rykdom van die 62 rykste mense in die wêreld het oor die afgelope vyf jaar met 44% gestyg. Dit is ʼn vermeerdering van meer as ʼn halfmiljard dollar.

• Intussen het die armer helfte van die bevolking se rykdom met 41% verminder.

• Die gemiddelde jaarlikse inkomste van die 10% armste mense in die wêreld het oor die afgelope 25 jaar jaarliks met minder as $3 gestyg.

• Die meerderheid van die wêreld se laagste betaalde werkers is vroue wat dikwels ook in haglike omstandighede werk.

• Hoofuitvoerende beamptes van die topmaatskappye in die VSA se vergoeding het sedert 2009 met 54,3% gestyg, terwyl gewone lone skaars verander het. Die hoofuitvoerende beampte van Indië se top inligtingstegnologiemaatskappy verdien 416 keer die gemiddelde salaris van werknemers by dieselfde maatskappy.

• Vroue beklee die posisie van hoofuitvoerende beampte in slegs 24 van die Fortune 500 maatskappye.


“Die groeiende ekonomiese ongelykheid is nadelig vir ons almal, aangesien dit groei en sosiale samehorigheid ondermyn. Die gevolge vir die wêreld se armstes is veral ernstig,” het Oxfam gesê. “Ons kan nie ontken dat die ware wenners in ons internasionale ekonomie diegene aan die toppunt is nie. Ons ekonomiese stelsel leun in hul guns en dit is waarskynlik al hoe meer die geval. In plaas daarvan dat inkomste en rykdom deursyfer na onder, word dit teen ʼn skrikwekkende pas na bo gesuig.”


Volgens Oxfam is die grootste rede vir die verskynsel dat die opbrengs op kapitaal soveel meer is as op arbeid. “Werkers trek al hoe minder voordeel uit ekonomiese groei, terwyl die eienaars van die kapitaal deurlopende groei op hul kapitaal sien deur middel van rente, dividende of teruggehoue winste, vinniger as wat die ekonomie groei.”


Belastingontduiking en regerings wat belasting op kapitaalgroei verminder, dra verder tot die rykes se inkomste by. Aangesien regerings gebuk gaan onder die verminderde belastinginkomste, word belasting deur indirekte belasting ingevorder soos BTW, wat weereens buite verhouding op die armes neerkom.


“Ons wêreld het nie ʼn tekort aan rykdom nie. Dit maak net geen ekonomiese of morele sin dat dit in die hande van so min individue is nie. Oxfam glo dat die mensdom beter kan doen as dit, dat ons die talent, die tegnologie en die verbeelding het om ʼn beter wêreld te bou. ʼn Wêreld waar daar behoorlike werk vir almal is, waar vroue en mans gelyk is en waar die rykstes hul regverdige deel betaal om ʼn samelewing wat tot almal se voordeel is, te ondersteun.”


Wyn nie net vir `snobs` nie

deur Gerda Mouton


Maroela Media 3 Februarie 2016


Wyn hoef glad nie gekompliseerd te wees nie; dit gaan mos eintlik oor die samesyn wat saam met wyn gaan. Maroela Media het met Gerda Mouton, ʼn wynmeester van Pretoria, gesels oor die basiese beginsels van wyn.

Die verskil tussen wit-, rosé- en rooiwyn


Hoewel wyn sy kleur van druiwe se doppe verkry, is dit steeds moontlik om witwyn van rooi druiwe te maak.


Met die maak van witwyn word die doppe so gou moontlik verwyder om ʼn mooi helder kleur te kry. Witwyn is eintlik geel, goud of het selfs ʼn groen skakering. Daar is wynmakers wat die doppe ʼn bietjie langer sal inlaat, maar Gerda sê dit gaan oor wyntegniek. “Wynmakers sal so ʼn bietjie speel om dalk meer taniene (ʼn preserveermiddel wat in druiwe se doppe voorkom) in die wyn in te bring, maar hulle weet presies hoe om dit te doen. As jy die doppe te lank gaan los, gaan die wyn sy helderheid verloor.”


Rooiwyn word van rooi druiwe (hoewel wynmakers van swart druiwe praat) gemaak en kry ook baie langer blootstelling aan die druiwe se doppe. “Tydens die gistingsproses moet die sap in kontak bly met die doppe sodat dit die kleur kan absorbeer van die druif. Rooiwyn se dopkontak is enigiets van weke na maande.” Die wyn verkry nie net ʼn mooi donker kleur van dié blootstelling nie, maar neem ook baie meer taniene op. As gevolg van rooiwyn se hoë taniene-inhoud, word minder sulfate gebruik met die maak van rooiwyn.


Meeste rosé-wyne word van rooi druiwe gemaak, maar die hoeveelheid blootstelling aan die doppe is baie minder as by dié van rooiwyn, en so kry dié wyn die rosé-kleur. “Rosé se dopkontak is ure, dan haal ʼn mens die doppe weg.”

Wat is ʼn versnitwyn?


Dié verduideliking kan redelik tegnies raak, maar dis wyne wat bestaan uit ʼn aantal wyne wat versny is. “Die versnit kan plaasvind op verskillende maniere, maar die doel van ʼn versnit is om elke komponent van die variëteit wat gebruik word, ʼn beter wyn in geheel te maak as wat die variëteit op sy eie kan wees.” Gerda meen Suid-Afrika is veral innoverend as dit kom by wit-versnitte. “Hierdie wyne doen ook besonder goed op die oorsese markte.”

Hoe weet ek dis kwaliteitwyn?


Gerda meen dié vraag is omstrede, maar volgens haar moet ʼn wyn ʼn mens drink-plesier gee. “As jy dit verstaan, vat dit alle snobisme weg.” Sy sê die wyn moet voldoen aan sekere standaarde wat universeel daargestel is deur proepanele en wynkundiges, maar dit sê nie dit gaan noodwendig vir jou die beste wyn wees nie. Hier is ʼn paar aspekte waarna jy kan kyk of jy met ʼn kwaliteitwyn te make het:

Die wyn moet tussen al die komponente (soet, suur en taniene) ʼn balans hê.

Daar moet ʼn bepaalde lengte van nasmaak op jou tong wees (daar moet geure op jou palet bly – omtrent vir 7 sekondes).

Daar moet diepte wees (die wyn moenie ʼn “plat” of eendimensionele smaak hê nie).

Daar moet kompleksiteit wees van die komponente (verskeie geure en aromas moet ontwikkel soos die wyn gedrink word).

Wat is die verskil tussen ʼn R60 bottel en ʼn R250 bottel?


Gerda sê as jy R250 vir ʼn bottel betaal, is dit omdat jy vir ʼn sekere handelsmerk betaal, en daarmee alles wat saam met daardie handelsmerk kom, soos die verpakking en die wynmaakproses.


• Jy gaan byvoorbeeld ʼn swaarder bottel kry.

• Die holte van die bottel gaan dieper wees.

• Die hoeveelheid inligting op die etiket.

• Hoe hy geseël is.


“Dis nie altyd te sê dat ʼn duurder wyn beter kwaliteit beteken nie – dit gaan oor jou persoonlike smaak.” As jy na plekke soos Frankryk reis gaan jy beter kwaliteit wyn kry as jy meer betaal, maar in Suid-Afrika kan jy nog ʼn redelike prys betaal vir ʼn redelike wyn. “Vir enigiets tussen R55 en R80 kan jy ʼn redelike wyn kry. Vir ʼn goeie wyn kan jy tussen R100 en R120 betaal,” en Gerda meen vir ʼn spesiale geleentheid sal jy dalk ʼn duurder wyn kies. “Kwaliteit is nie die enigste faktor wanneer jy ʼn wyn kies nie, soms is die beste wyn, die wyn volgens almal se smaak.”


Gerda meen dat die drink-plesier van wyn baie afhang van die geleentheid en dat dit gaan oor samesyn. “Dit gaan absoluut oor wat jou drinkgenot is op daardie oomblik, wat jy doen en saam wie jy is. Wyn gaan nie sonder kos nie – dit is die kultuur van wyn.”


Stygende kospryse:

Rek jou rand só


Maroela Media 11 April 2016


Stygende kospryse weens die droogte beïnvloed reeds ons sak, en

kenners reken dat ons vir minstens 18 maande heelwat meer vir kos gaan betaal. Volg dié wenke om jou inkopierande te rek:

• Kyk na varsprodukte se vervaldatums. Varser produkte word dikwels agter die ouer produkte gepak. Koop die varsste moontlike item op die rak.

• Beplan vooruit: Kook vir twee aande op ʼn slag, of kook só dat jy oorskiet kos kan saamneem werk toe. Só mors jy minder.

• Koop ʼn kleiner verskeidenheid varsprodukte as waaraan jy gewoond is, gebruik dit op en koop volgende keer weer ʼn ander verskeidenheid produkte, sodat jy nie varsprodukte hoef weg te gooi omdat dit oud word voordat jy dit kan opgebruik nie.

• Maak ʼn vinnige som om te bereken watter grootte of verpakking van ʼn produk jou die goedkoopste gaan uitwerk. Werk byvoorbeeld uit wat ʼn rol toiletpapier kos in ʼn pak met 15 rolle teenoor ʼn pak met 20 rolle. Groter hoeveelhede werk dikwels goedkoper per gewig uit. Pasop net vir die sielkunde hiervan: As daar ʼn groot houer warmsjokolade in die kas staan, is die versoeking groot om elke aand daarvan te drink, terwyl ʼn klein houertjie jou sou gedwing het om net elke tweede aand te drink. Jy bestee dus meer, nie minder nie.

• Gebruik in die winter oorskietvleis en -groente in ʼn pot sop die volgende

• As jy nie tyd het om ʼn lysie te maak van items wat jy nodig het nie, maak die yskasdeur oop en neem ʼn foto van die inhoud. Só kan jy vinnig in die winkel kyk of jy iets nodig het voor jy dit inlaai.

• Maak ʼn huisreël dat sekere luukse items soos warmsjokolade, tamatiesous en koeldrank nie vervang word as dit voor die einde van die maand gedaan is nie.

• Kies ʼn mandjie of waentjie wat ooreenstem met die hoeveelheid items op jou lysie. ʼn Groot waentjie sê vir jou kop dat jy maar nóg kan inlaai, al het jy reeds alles op jou lysie uitgesoek.

• Navorsing wys dat ʼn mens minder in die supermark bestee wanneer jy kontant betaal. As jy vinnig winkel toe ry om brood te gaan koop, los jou beursie tuis en neem net genoeg kontant saam vir ʼn brood. Só vermy jy die versoeking om “een of twee” ander klein goedjies ook te koop.

• Beplan spyskaarte seisoenaal: Avokado’s en sitrusvrugte is goedkoper in die winter, maar peperduur in die somer, omdat dit ingevoer word.

• Moenie goedsmoeds glo dat ʼn afslagprys goedkoper is as ander produkte op die rak nie. ʼn Produk wat teen ʼn afslagprys geadverteer word, is dikwels goedkoper as wat dié item gewoonlik is, maar steeds duurder as dieselfde item van ander handelsmerke. Vergelyk pryse voor jy inlaai.

• Koop sover moontlik elke keer by dieselfde supermark. As jy die winkel goed ken, kan jy reguit na die items stap wat jy nodig het en dit inlaai. In ʼn onbekende winkel waar jy moet soek vir items kan jy produkte raaksien wat jy nie ken of nodig het nie en impulsief besluit om dit op die proef te stel.

• Maak seker jy is nie honger wanneer jy gaan inkopies doen nie. As jy honger is, is die kans goed dat jy allerlei items gaan inlaai net omdat dit lekker lyk en nie omdat jy dit nodig het nie.

• Verwerk en vries varsprodukte as jy sien jy gaan dit nie opgebruik nie, sodat jy dit nie vermors nie. Gebruik varsprodukte soos tamaties wat ʼn bietjie oorryp is, maar nog nie vrot nie, in ʼn gekookte dis (maak seker jou gesinslede sien jou nie) of bak piesangbrood met oorryp piesangs.

• Oorweeg aanlyn-inkopies vir jou maandelikse inkopies. Jy spaar tyd, brandstof en parkeergeld, en boonop word jy nie in die winkel verlei deur spesiale aanbiedinge nie.

• Maak seker jy het al die basiese items in die kas sodat jy nie nodig het om vinnig winkel toe te ry vir ʼn pak pasta en terugkom met twee sakkies produkte nie. Wanneer een van die basiese items in jou kas op is, skryf dit op jou lysie en koop dit volgende keer as jy winkel toe gaan.

• Gebruik ʼn e-lysie om jou inkopies te organiseer. Met ʼn gratis app soos

Wunderlist kan jy ʼn inkopielysie (en ander lysies) maak, dringende items merk, ʼn datum en alarm daaraan koppel, en jou lysie met iemand anders in die huis deel. As een iets afmerk, verdwyn dit ook van die ander persone se lysies. Só maak julle seker jy en jou man kom nie albei met brood en melk by die huis aan nie.

• Sommige supermarkte bied produkte wat op ʼn spesifieke dag verval op ʼn aparte rak teen afslagpryse aan. As jy die produk vir die aand se ete nodig het, loer gerus daar vir produkte in ʼn goeie toestand voordat jy ʼn varser, duurder produk koop.

• Sluit aan by supermarkgroepe se lojaliteitsprogramme en spaar jou afslagpunte tot in Desember wanneer jy vakansie-inkopies moet doen. Jy sal verbaas wees oor die randwaarde van die afslagpunte wat jy deur die jaar bymekaar gemaak het.

• By varsproduktemarkte kan jy vroeg op ʼn Saterdagoggend kraakvars vrugte en groente direk by die boer koop teen heelwat minder as wat die supermark vra. Jy kan boonop sommer die gesellige atmosfeer van die mark geniet! Dis ʼn heerlike uitstappie vir die hele gesin.

• Eet een keer per week vegetaries. Vir ons Suid-Afrikaners is dit amper ondenkbaar om nié vleis in ons geregte in te sluit nie, maar met stygende vleispryse vanweë die droogte gaan dit binnekort dalk onvermydelik wees. Gebruik bestanddele soos bone en neute vir proteïen. Voeg vleis in ʼn dis by eerder as om dit as ʼn aparte item te bedien, sodat jy dit kan rek met groente en ander bestanddele.

• Koop die supermark se eie handelsmerkprodukte. Dis gewoonlik nie so aantreklik nie omdat daar bespaar word op veelkleurige ontwerpe en verpakking. Maar die inhoud is meestal van dieselfde gehalte as ander, duurder produkte.

• As jy vleis by die slaghuis koop, werk vooraf uit presies hoeveel van watter soort vleis jy nodig het, en vra dan die slagter om die regte hoeveelhede vir jou in pakkies op te maak. ʼn Pakkie voorafverpakte vleis is dalk 200g meer as wat jy nodig het, maar dis nie asof jy dié 200g eenkant gaan sit vir die volgende ete nie.






Waarom is Paddy se laaste wens om ter see begrawe te word nooit uitgevoer nie?


Omdat die grafgrawers verdrink het.


Dis ʼn fout!


“Ons kan ʼn jaar of twee saamwoon en as ons goed regkom, kan ons trou. En as ons ʼn fout gemaak het, kan ons uitmekaar gaan”.


“O, ja? En wat maak ons dan met die fout?”


Steek deur!


“Daar’s twee gate in my broek!”


“Wel, moenie net daar staan nie, steek jou bene daardeur.”


Diep Rivier


Hoekom loop Diep rivier deur Kaapstad?


Want as hy stilstaan “rob” hulle hom!


In die TV kamer


“Mamma, die kinders spot my oor my groot ore.”


“Ag, moenie jou aan hulle steur nie, my kind. Staan net bietjie soontoe dat ma die televisie kan sien.”


In Woolworths


“Mamma, mamma, die kinders sê ek is vet!”


“Toemaar my skat, moenie jou aan hulle steur nie. Kom ons kyk nou watter tent pas.”


In die pub


“Hoe het jou afspraak gisteraand met jou baas se dogter afgeloop?”


“Ek moes oop kaarte speel … Master-kaart, Visa-kaart, Bob-kaart …”


In Boesmanland


“Mamma, hoe lyk reën?”


“Ek weet nie my kind, vra vir oupa.”


Te Koop


Mev. Mathilda Schutte van Vereeniging het ‘n “Calorina colour identifier” te koop. Die masjien is in ‘n goeie werkende toestand en sy wil graag R1 500 daarvoor hê. Indien u belangstel, kontak haar gerus by 072 307 5390 of 076 616 1814.










Jislaaik, but it’s lekker overseas 77

Is the West too tired to fight `God’s warriors`? 77

New body parts 3D-printed for damaged corpses 77

Urban blacks lose confidence in Zuma 77

Will NASA’s InSight Mars Mission Launch in 2018 77

Mysterious Icon Found at Bethlehem Church 77

Samsung dominates SA smartphone, tablet sales 77

SA astronomers help discover hidden galaxies behind Milky Way 77

How the origins of the KhoiSan disprove of `race` 77


Jislaaik, but it’s lekker overseas

Graeme Hosken


TimesLIVE 01 April 2016


Ouma’s lap, large properties and a good, affordable education system are the lekkerness South African expats long for.

But many miss family, the weather and schools


But the Expat Insider’s Inter Nations Survey – which profiled 140000 expats from 170 countries – says that expats were far happier on average than those who had remained in South Africa.


The 2015 survey also said that South Africans were more likely than any other nationality to adapt to their new surroundings.


For 37% of South African expats, their new country is their first stay away from their nation of birth. The global average is 28%.


In addition, said the report: “South Africans seem to hit the expat jackpot the first time around: 22% of them are planning to stay longer than five years in their current country of residence, versus 16% globally”. The primary drivers for leaving South Africa are better personal security, greater economic opportunity and an improved quality of life.


The majority who emigrate (28%) hold top management positions, while 16% are teachers, academics or researchers. Of these emigrants, 65% enjoy higher salaries than they got at home – even though only 66% of South African expats have degrees compared with the global average of 83%.


But, noted the report, the South African expat usually spent “two more hours a week at work than the average expat”.


But, while South Africans might be better in assimilating into a new culture than expats of another nationality, 31% experience language barrier problems.


Many expatriates long to converse in their mother tongue and most (57%) choose a partner of the same nationality.


Bjorn van Niekerk of Intergate Immigration said South African expats generally longed to return home for cultural familiarity, the weather, sports and family, with many wishing their children could “attend schools here, especially private schools, which are considerably cheaper than those overseas”.


Leon Isaacson, Global Migration SA’s managing director, warned that the grass was not always greener on the other side.


Is the West too tired

to fight `God’s warriors`?

Jonathan Sacks,

©The Telegraph


TimesLIVE 31 March 2016


I have been in New York these past few days to give a talk at the 9/11 Museum erected on the site on which once stood the World Trade Centre.


It is a place of collective grief and remembrance, where the exhibits are fragments of wreckage and the debris of destruction.


Most moving are the memorial fountains that occupy the footprint of the original buildings. Unlike most other fountains, though, here the water flows down and disappears into a black hole, an abyss. The intention was to symbolise lives lost that can never be recovered. No matter how much water flows, the emptiness is never filled.


After the tragedies of the past few weeks the memorial has another message also: it is that the violence never ends; innocent blood continues to flow.


Asad Shah, a 40-year-old shopkeeper in Glasgow, was a deeply loved man who represented all that is good in religious faith. His crime was to wish his

Christian friends and customers a happy Easter. He was murdered, it seems, not just to silence him but to intimidate others who might have followed him on the path to religious tolerance. One must not forget that, of the hundreds of Muslims murdered daily, the majority die at the hands of fellow Muslims.


The suicide bombings in Lahore are part of a pattern in which Christians have been terrorised across an ever-widening swathe of countries across the world.


Christians are being persecuted in about 50 countries, among them North Korea, Syria, Somalia and Sudan. In 2003 there were 1.5million Christians in Iraq; today a few thousand. In Mosul, one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, Christians were forced to flee by Islamic State in 2014. In Afghanistan the last church was burned to the ground in 2010. In Gaza in 2007, after the rise of Hamas, the last Christian bookshop was destroyed and its owner murdered. In Yemen, on Good Friday, Father Tom Uzhunnallil, an Indian Catholic priest, was crucified by IS.


The ethnic cleansing of Christians throughout the Middle East is one of the crimes against humanity of our time, and I am appalled that there has been little serious international protest.


But the real target is not Christianity but freedom. Neither is this a war. Wars are fought between nations, by armies, and the intended victims are combatants. Terrorists wear no uniforms and their intended victims are innocent civilians.


There have been ages of terror before but never on this scale, and never with the kind of technology that has given the jihadists the ability to radicalise individuals throughout the world.


The aim of IS is political: to make Islam once more an imperial power. But there is another aim shared by many jihadist groups: to silence anyone and anything that threatens to express a different truth, another faith, a different approach to religious difference. That is what lay behind the attacks on the Danish cartoons; on Catholics after a speech by Pope Benedict XVI; the murder of Theo van Gogh; and the attacks on Charlie Hebdo. The calculation of the terrorists is that, in the long run, the West will prove too tired to defend its own freedoms. They are prepared to keep committing atrocities for as long as it takes.


This kind of movement cannot be defeated by military means alone. The world needs to hear another voice from within Islam.


We need people of all faiths to express their active opposition to terror in the name of God.


No genuine religion ever needed violence to prove its beauty, or terror to establish its truth. This is not faith but sacrilege.


  • Sacks is a former chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth. His book Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence is published by Hodder & Stoughton


New body parts 3D-printed

for damaged corpses

©The Daily Telegraph


TimesLIVE 01 April 2016


A funeral home in China has started using 3D printing technology to create missing body parts for damaged corpses.


The Longhua Funeral Parlour in Shanghai set up its printing studio to repair bodies that may have been disfigured in fires or accidents, or even to make the deceased appear better-looking than they were in life.


“It is difficult for relatives to see incomplete faces or bodies of their loved ones and make-up cannot always repair them,” said Liu Fengming, of the Shanghai Funeral and Interment Service Centre.


Bereaved families would be charged between £430 (about R9000) to £530 for a facial recreation, according to CRIEnglish.


In August 2013 the Hangzhou Dianzi University announced it had created Regenovo, a 3D printer that printed a kidney that lasted four months.


Urban blacks lose

confidence in Zuma



SUNDAY TIMES 2016-04-03


For the first time, a majority of black middle-class South Africans believe Jacob Zuma is not doing a good job as president.


Market research company TNS found that Zuma’s performance approval rating has dropped significantly to its lowest point among blacks in major urban areas.


The survey – given exclusively to Sunday Times – was conducted before the Constitutional Court found this week that Zuma had violated the constitution in failing to take the remedial action sought by the public protector over Nkandla.


In February, 2,000 adults living in seven major metropolitan areas were surveyed and the results showed a shift in opinion among black people for the first time since Zuma was elected in 2009.


“Although the ratings have dropped across all race groups, the results show a marked shift by black respondents in their approval of the president, dropping from 43% in March 2015 to 27% in February 2016, with 59% stating that the president is not doing a good job and 14% stating `don’t know`,” said TNS director of public affairs Amien Ahmed.


He said black opinion about whether Zuma was doing a good job was usually stable. However, “[black people] are finding an expression that we are not happy”, Ahmed said.


The survey found that in line with previous trends, Zulu speakers are more likely to agree that Zuma is doing a good job, but the results show that this sentiment has dropped substantially from an average of 58% last year to a low of 33% in 2016.


Zuma spokesman Bongani Majola dismissed the TNS survey. “The most credible and reliable barometer of citizens’ support and preferences remains our local as well as provincial and national elections … Any other `survey` of our people is too limited, unreliable and far from credible, as successive election results have borne out,” he said.


Overall, the survey found that only 21% of South Africans living in metro areas believe Zuma is doing a good job as president. In March last year, his approval rating stood at 33%.


TNS has been measuring attitudes to Zuma since his inauguration as president.


He has the lowest approval rating among coloured people, at 3%, followed by white people at 9%.


“Older people are more likely to state that Zuma is not doing a good job as

president [74% of people 50 years and older versus 62% aged 25 to 34]. The overall level of disapproval has, however, risen in the current survey from 56% in March 2015 to 67% in February 2016,” Ahmed said.


Will NASA’s InSight Mars

Mission Launch in 2018?

By Irene Klotz


Discovery News March 7, 2016


NASA had hoped its next Mars probe would have launched by now.

Instead, the agency is mulling whether to spend an extra $150 million to fix a problem with the spacecraft and re-target liftoff for May 2018, the next time Earth and Mars favorably align for flight.


“The fact that I’m standing here talking to you, instead of gloating on the

phone (from the Mission Control Center) is a clue that things haven’t gone as well as one may have hoped,” project scientist Bruce Banerdt told a Mars exploration planning group last week.


Launch of InSight, which is designed to study the deep interior of Mars, had been targeted for Friday, March 4. But preparations came to a sudden halt in late December after a nagging technical problem with the spacecraft resurfaced for a fourth time. By then, it was too late to finish another round of repairs before the 2016 launch window closed.


“Everything was ready to go, but then we kind of went off the rails,” Banerdt


Last week, the InSight team presented NASA managers with a proposal to fix the spacecraft and an estimate of the cost.


The extra $150 million would bust the project’s current cost cap of $675 million and likely delay other projects. NASA already had spent about $525 million on InSight when work was suspended.


“Overall, I think we got a positive response,” Banerdt said.


A decision on whether NASA will proceed with the mission is expected as early as this week, he added.


The problem with InSight involves a nine-inch diameter spherical chamber that holds sensors needed to make seismic measurements. The chamber has to be able to maintain a near-perfect vacuum so the instruments can detect motions equivalent to the width of a hydrogen atom.


With that data, scientists hope to learn about Mars’ core and mantle, information that is key to understanding how the planet formed and evolved.


The chamber has an infinitesimal leak — so tiny, says Banerdt, that if a car tire leaked at that rate it wouldn’t need any air added for three centuries. But the leak is too high for the seismometer to operate properly.


“We figured out what the problem was and it’s not going to happen again,”

Banerdt said.


Although a subcontractor in France manufactured the faulty instrument, Banerdt says there should have been a management system in place to catch the error.


“I don’t place the blame on any particular agency or any particular organization. It really was kind of a systemic problem … We share in the responsibility and we’re going to be sharing in the cost to fix it,” he said.


The French space agency CNES would foot the bill for its extra labor costs,

Banerdt added.


If approved, the revamped InSight spacecraft would launch on May 5, 2018, and land itself on Mars on Nov. 26, 2018, for a two-year mission.


Mysterious Icon Found

at Bethlehem Church

by Rossella Lorenzi


Discovery News February 24, 2016


Restoration work in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem has brought to light an icon of great religious and historical value, officials say.


Ziad al-Bandak, a Palestinian presidential adviser for Christian Affairs, told

Ma’an news agency that the centuries-old icon is made of brass, silver, shells and stones.


He added the religious artifact was found under plaster about two months ago near a window in the church.


Originally built in the fourth century by the Emperor Constantine and his mother Helena over what is believed to be the birthplace of Jesus, the Church of the Nativity was leveled in the Samaritan Revolt of A.D. 529 and reconstructed during the reign of Justinian in the 6th century.


The church was in such poor condition after centuries of neglect that in 2012 it was listed by UNESCO, the United Nations cultural agency, as an endangered world heritage site.


A year later, the first major restoration in more than 500 years began. So far $8 million, from the Palestinian Authority, Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian churches and others, has been spent to restore the church.


“The removal of centuries of dust has left mosaics sparkling in the sunlight

filtering through brand new windows,” al-Bandak, who is leading the Palestinian committee in charge of the restoration, said.


“Structural repairs on the fragile rooftop and windows have been completed and artistic treasures have been returned to their delicate elegance,” he added.


The first phase of the restoration has now ended, but another $11 million is needed to complete the project.


Meanwhile, plaster covering the mysterious religious artifact has been removed. The ancient icon is not available for public viewing and photographs have yet to be published.

Samsung dominates SA

smartphone, tablet sales

Duncan Alfreds


TimesLIVE 29 March 2016


South Korean electronics giant Samsung has the top-selling smartphone and tablet brand in South Africa, according to international researchers.


Samsung dominated South African smartphone sales in the last three months of 2015 with a 53% unit share, according to data from the International Data Corporation (IDC).


The growth came despite a weakening rand that did not deter consumers from buying smartphones. Sales of smartphones in South Africa grew 11% in volume and 22% in value on a year on year basis, said the IDC.


“The biggest growth comes from the mid-range smartphone class with more than 100% growth for both volume and value,” Teboho Leshage, senior research analyst at IDC South Africa, told Fin24.


“The total market growth in Q4 2015 was along the expectations and the seasonality as Q4 is a festive season in South Africa and people opt to buy their kids and family smartphones as gifts,” Leshage said.

Meanwhile, Apple made a showing in second place because of the brand’s high Average Sales Price (ASP) of $852 (R13 203), resulting in volume growth of 50%.


“This growth can be attributed to the growth in the iPhone 6 Plus, which more than doubled its units from 2015 Q3. IDC has forecasted steady growth rates for smartphones for the 2016-2020 forecast period, to be expected, volume growth rates are forecasted to grow faster than the value growth rates,” said Leshage.


South Africans are still buying feature phones which made up 47% unit share, but only 4% value share because of low ASPs, said the IDC.

Tablet market


In the local tablet market, Apple and Lenovo came in second and third to

Samsung, but sales are focused on lower priced devices.


“Samsung with the widest portfolio continues to dominate the tablet market, however, entry level tablets still accounted for majority of their sales,” Fouad Rafiq Charakla, IDC MEA senior research manager told Fin24.


“Bigger vendors like Samsung, Apple, Lenovo, Huawei are facing stiff competition from a number of white box players who still command close to 50% of the tablet market share in South Africa,” he added.


SA astronomers help discover hidden

galaxies behind Milky Way

TMG digital


TimesLIVE 09 February 2016


Two South African astronomers are part of an international team of scientists that has helped to make a groundbreaking discovery by peering through the stars and dust of the Milky Way with a radio telescope to discover galaxies beyond it.


The study involved researchers from Australia‚ South Africa‚ the USA and the Netherlands.


Professor Renée C Kraan-Korteweg‚ Chair of Astronomy at the University of Cape Town‚ and her close collaborator‚ Dr Anja Schröder‚ who is working with the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO)‚ are among the lead authors of “The Parkes HI Zone of Avoidance Survey”. The paper was published in the Astronomical Journal on Tuesday.


They are working with first author Professor Lister Staveley-Smith‚ from the

University of Western Australia node of the International Centre for Radio

Astronomy Research (ICRAR).


Hundreds of hidden nearby galaxies have been discovered for the first time‚ shedding light‚ among others‚ on a mysterious gravitational anomaly dubbed the Great Attractor. Despite being just 250 million light years from Earth – very close in astronomical terms – the new galaxies had been hidden from view until now by our own Galaxy‚ the Milky Way.


Thanks to the 64m Parkes Radio Telescope (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation)‚ which was equipped with an innovative receiver that can scan the sky 13 times faster than before‚ the scientists were able to survey this hidden part of the universe much more efficiently.


“Even so‚ the data gathering went on for various years‚” said Prof



The discovery may help to explain the Great Attractor region‚ which appears to be drawing the Milky Way and hundreds of thousands of other galaxies towards it with a gravitational force suggesting it contains a mass of the order of one million billion suns: our whole Milky Way is moving towards the Great Attractor at two million kilometres per hour.


Prof Staveley-Smith said: “The Milky Way is very beautiful‚ of course‚ and it’s very interesting to study our own Galaxy‚ but it completely blocks out the view of the more distant galaxies behind it.”


Scientists have been trying to get to the bottom of the mysterious Great

Attractor since major deviations from universal expansion were first discovered in the 1970s and 1980s. They don’t actually understand what’s causing this gravitational acceleration on the Milky Way or where it’s coming from.


The team found 883 galaxies‚ “about half of which had never been seen before‚” said Dr Schröder‚ who scrutinised all available multi-wavelength imaging data for possible counterparts.


Prof Kraan-Korteweg said that the newly identified galaxies provide evidence that the mass overdensity called the Great Attractor is due to the existence of a major nearby supercluster – a large collection of galaxies and clusters of galaxies – that crosses the Milky Way diagonally.


The research identified several new structures that could help to explain the movement of the Milky Way‚ including three galaxy concentrations (named NW1‚ NW2 and NW3) and two new clusters (named CW1 and CW2).


Prof Kraan-Korteweg‚ who is internationally recognised as leader in unveiling the galaxy and mass distribution behind the Plane of the Milky Way‚ said astronomers have been trying to map the galaxy distribution hidden behind the Milky Way for decades. It has been a focus of her research over the last 25 years‚ and she has involved numerous students (notably at UCT) in this type of research.


“We’ve used a range of techniques‚ including telescopes at the SAAO‚ but only radio observations have really succeeded in allowing us to see through the thickest foreground layer of dust and stars in the inner Milky Way. An average galaxy contains 100 billion stars‚ so finding hundreds of new galaxies hidden behind the Milky Way points to a lot of mass we didn’t know about until now‚” she said.


Prof Kraan-Korteweg mentions that such systematic surveys with radio telescopes are in a sense precursors to the much deeper surveys for neutral gas planned with the Square Kilometre Array precursors‚ such as MeerKAT.


Both Prof Kraan-Korteweg and Dr Schröder have been involved in this project since its inception in 1997. This included regular observing runs over many years with the Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia‚ data reduction‚ the actual search for signatures of the galaxies in the data‚ and presenting preliminary results at international conferences. Both were in charge of preparing major parts of the paper and are working on follow-up analysis‚ in particular using near-infrared data obtained with the SAAO IRSF (Infrared Survey Facility) using the motions of the detected galaxies to get better estimates of the overall mass density in the nearby universe.


TMG Digital.


How the origins of the

KhoiSan disprove notions of `race`



04 FEB 2016


Human population groups worldwide are highly homogeneous genetically and their anatomical features vary in an uncorrelated fashion over the landscape.

A KhoiSan celebration


The ancient origins, anatomical, linguistic and genetic distinctiveness of southern African San and KhoiKhoi people are matters of confusion and debate. They are variously described as the world’s first or oldest people; Africa’s first or oldest people, or the first people of South Africa.


They are in fact two evolutionarily related but culturally distinct groups of populations that have occupied southern Africa for up to 140 000 years. Their first-people status is due to the fact that they commonly retain genetic elements of the most ancient Homo sapiens.


This conclusion is based on evidence from specific types of DNA. This evidence also demonstrates that other sub-Saharan human populations retain genetic bits and pieces of DNA from non-KhoiSan primordial humans. These pre-date their out-of-Africa colonisation of the balance of the world.


What is important in the debate on the origins of, and diversity among, population groups of Homo sapiens is to establish what cannot, and should not, be derived from the various DNA evidence used to support the KhoiSan-as-first-people hypothesis.

This is that the KhoiSan, or any other groups of humans, can be assigned to evolutionarily meaningful “races” – or subspecies in biological classification.


The DNA evidence, if interpreted incorrectly, could be used to support the findings of “scientific” racial anthropologists such as Carleton S Coon.


As recently as 1962, Coon “recognised” the KhoiSan as the Capoid race. He based this on the distinctive anatomical features of the Capoids from those he used to designate the Congoid race. These include golden brown rather than sepia-coloured skin, the presence of epicanthic eye folds, prominent cheekbones and steatopygia.


But, if correctly interpreted, the scientific evidence points quite to the contrary.

Human evolution cannot be drawn like a tree


If one were to compare the entire DNA genomes from representatively sampled human populations from around the world, the resulting relationships would look more like an evolutionarily reticulated chain-link fence. In other words, a network rather than a tree. This applies to even purportedly racially important anatomical features.


This is because human population groups worldwide are highly homogeneous (99.5% similar) genetically and their anatomical features vary in an uncorrelated fashion over the landscape.


These groups are, in evolutionary terms, very recent entities that have no biological or taxonomic significance.

The DNA evidence used to discover the human genetic “footprints” that characterise the KhoiSan, and other diverging populations, is today easily put together. Forensic pathologists use it to determine an unidentifiable corpse’s population group. This process has been popularised on television shows such as CSI and Bones.

This DNA evidence comes from:

• Y chromosome polymorphisms inherited without recombination along male lineages;

• Single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs, from nuclear DNA; and

• Most especially from mitochondrial DNA.


Mitochondria are organelles within a cell that have their own independent DNA separate from that in the nucleus that determines an organism’s external appearance and physiology. They are involved with cellular respiration and nothing more.


Mitochondrial DNA allows the detection of direct genetically “ungarbled” connections among evolutionarily evolved human population groups. This is because a component of it evolves much faster than the bulk of nuclear DNA. Also, mitochondrial DNA is inherited maternally and is thus not intermixed with paternal DNA during reproduction.


Some evolutionary genetic anthropologists ignore the overwhelming balance of evidence that there is no evolutionarily significant racial variation in either genes or anatomy. Instead they focus on these very few bits and pieces of DNA that, in evolutionary terms, change rapidly. This way they reach distorted conclusions about discernible “races” within the human species.

Why there is only one race

Recent DNA results used to detect human population genetic “footprints” is summarised: Humanity’s forgotten return to Africa revealed in DNA.


The story it tells is as follows. About 140 000 years ago human populations from East or Central Africa moved southwards and “colonise” western-southern Africa. The probable nearest living relatives of these source populations are:

• The Hadzabe people from north-central Tanzania; and

• Mbuti pygmies from the eastern Congo.


This migration gave rise to the present-day San hunter-gatherers.


Much more recently – about 2 000 years ago – there was a second movement of “colonists” from the north into south-western Africa. They gave rise to the pastoral KhoiKhoi people.


This second group of “settlers” carried within its genome bits of Eurasian-sourced – and even some Neanderthal – DNA derived from European humans who had returned to Africa about 3 000 years ago.

Subsequent to this second colonisation, there was intermixing between the KhoiKhoi and San. This gave rise to their close anatomical similarities despite the fact that they retained their marked cultural and linguistic differences.


Much more recently – about 1 700 years ago – there was a third major north-to-south migration. This time it was the Bantu-speaking, black Africans into south-eastern Africa. Those “settlers” that eventually became the Xhosa peoples moved westwards and encountered the KhoiKhoi, whom they drove further west and intermixed with genetically.


So, it is now possible for genetic evolutionary “anthropologists” to distinguish population differences among humans to infer the timing of their movements throughout the globe.


It is even possible to map one’s genetic “ancestry”, as South African President Nelson Mandela did, indicating that he possessed some KhoiSan DNA.


The important point is that this evidence should not be used to assert that these differences, or shared bits of “ancient” DNA, support the identification of multiple human “races”. In fact, it confirms the wise assertion by the pan-Africanist leader, Robert Sobukwe, that there was only one race: the human race.


Tim Crowe, Emeritus Professor, University of Cape Town


This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.




















30 ml margarien

30 ml olie

2 hoenderborsies, in blokkies gesny

1 dun gesnyde ui

2 fyngedrukte knoffelhuisies

1 blik (410 gram) ingemaakte tamaties

1 groen of rooi rissie, gekap

sout, peper, paprika

500 ml rou rys

750 ml water

sap van 1 suurlemoen

2,5 ml borrie

250 ml ertjies

1 pak gemengde seekosmengsel

15 ml fyngekapte pietersielie


Verhit margarien en olie in pan en braai hoender tot ligbruin.

Verwyder van pan en braai ui en knoffel tot net sag.

Voeg tamaties, rissie, sout, peper en paprika by en kook vir 10 minute of tot mengsel verdik het.

Voeg rys by en roerbraai vir 3 minute.

Voeg water, sap en borrie by, bedek en prut vir 15 minute lank. Roer af en toe.

Voeg ertjies, seekos en hoender by en laat weer kook vir 10 minute of tot vloeistof geabsorbeer is.


Strooi pietersielie oor met bediening.





1 × 410 g blik sardyne in tamatie

1 × 410 g blik tamatiesmoor

1 ui, gekap

1 groen soetrissie, gekap

1 teelepel suiker


500 ml witsous

1 koppie sterk cheddarkaas, gerasper

knippie neutmuskaat


Braai die ui en soetrissie in olie.

Voeg sardyne, tamatiesmoor en suiker by.

Maak die vis fyn.

Prut vir 5 minute.

Voeg die kaas en neutmuskaat by die witsous.

Plaas ‘n bietjie witsous in ‘n oondbak.

Bedek dit met een laag lasagne.

Voeg die vismengsel bo-op.

Herhaal die proses totdat die bestanddele op is.

Sorg dat witsous heel bo-op is.

Bak vir 30 minute teen 180 grade.

Bedien met ‘n slaai van jou keuse.





200g calamari ringe

100g Chorizo, (Portugese wors) in ringe gesny

3 tamaties, geskil, gekap

1 blik botterbone, gedreineer

2 huisies knoffel, fyngemaak

sap van twee suurlemoene

handvol vars pietersielie, gekap

100g botter


vars Ciabatta of pasta



Verhit olie in pan oor matige hitte.

Voeg die Chorizo, calamari en tamatie by.

Sodra die tamatie gaar word, voeg die bone, knoffel, pietersielie en suurlemoensap by.

Roer goed en laat dit vir 5 minute prut.

Voeg botter aan die einde by.

Bedien met ‘n Ciabatta brood, of op pasta.


Hierdie dis neem 10 minute om te maak in ‘n pan.

Jy kan die calamari op twee maniere gaarmaak: vinnig teen ‘n hoë hitte (2 minute), of soos hierbo – langer, maar teen ‘n laer hitte.





2 uie, gekap

1 groen soetrissie, opgekap

3 huisies vars knoffel, gekap

4 lourierblare

1 eetlepel kerrie

2 eetlepels vismasala

bietjie olie

1 koppie water

1 teelepel sout

4 groot aartappels, geskil

40 gaar mossels



Braai alles, behalwe die aartappels en mossels, liggies saam en stoom dit deur die water bietjie-bietjie by te voeg. (Jy maak basies ‘n sous.)

Voeg die aartappels by en kook tot dit sag is.

Voeg die mossels by en kook vir ‘n verdere 5 minute.


Bedien op rys.






Batho Pele, a Sotho translation for `People First`, is an initiative to get public servants to be service orientated, to strive for excellence in service delivery and to commit to continuous service delivery improvement. It is a simple and transparent mechanism, which allows citizens to hold public servants accountable for the level of services they deliver (Batho Pele Handbook – A Service Delivery Improvement Guide).


Batho Pele is not an “add-on” activity. It is a way of delivering services by putting citizens at the centre of public service planning and operations. It is a major departure from a dispensation, which excluded the majority of South Africans from government machinery to the one that seeks to include all citizens for the achievement of a better-life-for-all through services, products, and programmes of a democratic dispensation.


Eight Batho Pele principles were developed to serve as acceptable policy and legislative framework regarding service delivery in the public service. These principles are aligned with the Constitutional ideals of:











There are many ways to consult users of services including conducting customer surveys, interviews with individual users, consultation with groups, and holding meetings with consumer representative bodies, NGOs and CBOs. Often, more than one method of consultation will be necessary to ensure comprehensiveness and representativeness. Consultation is a powerful tool that enriches and shapes government policies such as the Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) and its implementation in Local Government sphere.



This principle reinforces the need for benchmarks to constantly measure the extent to which citizens are satisfied with the service or products they receive from departments. It also plays a critical role in the development of service delivery improvement plans to ensure a better life for all South Africans. Citizens should be involved in the development of service standards.


Required are standards that are precise and measurable so that users can judge for themselves whether or not they are receiving what was promised. Some standards will cover processes, such as the length of time taken to authorise a housing claim, to issue a passport or identity document, or even to respond to letters.


To achieve the goal of making South Africa globally competitive, standards should be benchmarked (where applicable) against those used internationally, taking into account South Africa’s current level of development.



One of the prime aims of Batho Pele is to provide a framework for making decisions about delivering public services to the many South Africans who do not have access to them. Batho Pele also aims to rectify the inequalities in the distribution of existing services. Examples of initiatives by government to improve access to services include such platforms as the Gateway, Multi-Purpose Community Centres and Call Centres.


Access to information and services empowers citizens and creates value for money, quality services. It reduces unnecessary expenditure for the citizens.



This goes beyond a polite smile, `please` and `thank you`. It requires service providers to empathize with the citizens and treat them with as much consideration and respect, as they would like for themselves.


The public service is committed to continuous, honest and transparent communication with the citizens. This involves communication of services, products, information and problems, which may hamper or delay the efficient delivery of services to promised standards. If applied properly, the principle will help demystify the negative perceptions that the citizens in general have about the attitude of the public servants.



As a requirement, available information about services should be at the point of delivery, but for users who are far from the point of delivery, other arrangements will be needed. In line with the definition of customer in this document, managers and employees should regularly seek to make information about the organisation, and all other service delivery related matters available to fellow staff members.



A key aspect of openness and transparency is that the public should know more about the way national, provincial and local government institutions operate, how well they utilise the resources they consume, and who is in charge. It is anticipated that the public will take advantage of this principle and make suggestions for improvement of service delivery mechanisms, and to even make government employees accountable and responsible by raising queries with them.



This principle emphasises a need to identify quickly and accurately when services are falling below the promised standard and to have procedures in place to remedy the situation. This should be done at the individual transactional level with the public, as well as at the organisational level, in relation to the entire service delivery programme.


Public servants are encouraged to welcome complaints as an opportunity to improve service, and to deal with complaints so that weaknesses can be remedied quickly for the good of the citizen.



Many improvements that the public would like to see often require no additional resources and can sometimes even reduce costs. Failure to give a member of the public a simple, satisfactory explanation to an enquiry may for example, result in an incorrectly completed application form, which will cost time to rectify.



Batho Pele Strategy on service delivery is developed to meet the following strategic objectives:


• To introduce a new approach to service delivery which puts people at the centre of planning and delivering services;

• To improve the face of service delivery by fostering new attitudes such as increased commitment, personal sacrifice, dedication;

• To improve the image of the Public Service.


It has been noted that many public servants have not yet internalised Batho Pele as part of their day-to-day operation while providing services to members of the public. In order to deal with this, the Department of Public Service and Administration has developed a “Batho Pele revitalisation strategy” whose aim it is to inculcate the Batho Pele culture among the public servants and improve service delivery in the public service.







P O Box 2672 Brooklyn Square 0075

Tel: 012 807 0142 Mobile: 0609670258

Secretary: Jace Nair Email:

For immediate release


South African Disability Alliance walks out of Disability Caucus on the eve of President Zuma addressing the Disability Summit

The South African Disability Alliance (SADA) had no choice but to walk out from the Disability Caucus on the eve of the Disability Summit where President Zuma is to be the keynote speaker and where he will meet members of the Presidential Working Group on Disabilities.

SADA was forced to withdraw from the Disability Caucus held at the St George’s Hotel and Conference Centre on 9 March 2016 in view of Disabled People South Africa (DPSA) refusal to discuss a letter addressed to SADA. The Disability Caucus meeting on 29 September 2015 resolved that DPSA and SADA needed to meet to address differences that affected the relationship between the organisations. The meeting was also called in view of the pressure Government was placing on a single unified voice for persons with disabilities.

SADA attempted over many years and more intensively during the past six months to meet with Disabled People South Africa (DPSA) to work closely in the interest of persons with disabilities. SADA’s attempts have been rejected by DPSA. However, SADA strongly supports the principles of democracy and the freedom of association and will continue with its advocacy work in representing, promoting and protecting the human rights of persons with disabilities in South Africa.

SADA is regularly portrayed by DPSA as an organisation not representative of persons with disability, yet SADA members and their respective affiliates throughout South Africa provide programmes, projects and activities in terms of advocacy, empowerment, development and rehabilitation services for the inclusion of tens of thousands of persons with disabilities (including members of DPSA) in civic, economic, cultural, sports, social and political life. SADA endorses the general principles of dignity; autonomy; participation, inclusion and accessibility; respect for difference; non-discrimination and equality as defined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (particularly the Bill of Rights) and the recently approved Cabinet White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and consider these as core international and national instruments for the promotion and protection of human rights for persons with disabilities.

SADA members and their affiliates are recognised by State Departments in all three spheres of Government, including the Departments of Social Development, Health, Labour, Basic Education and Higher Education, as well as the SA Human Rights Commission and Independent Electoral Commission.

SADA will not be distracted from its mandate to advocate for the human rights of persons with disabilities including the provision of services to improve quality of life for both persons with disabilities and their families. SADA therefore calls upon Government to recognise the right of SADA in respect of representation, dignity, autonomy, participation, inclusion and accessibility, respect for difference, non-discrimination and equality and not constantly insist on the disability sector being represented by a single organisation.

SADA members and a few national non-member organisations met and continued the agenda of the Disability Caucus in preparation for the meeting of the Presidential Working Group on Disabilities and the Disability Summit.

About SADA

SADA membership comprises 16 National Disability Organisations, including Parent Organisations, as well as two National Professional Associations. SADA was established in 2007 to provide a platform to promote collaboration between role-players in the disability sector and between the disability sector and other societal role-players, including relevant organs of state, in joint initiatives, campaigns, programmes and projects.

SADA’s objectives include:

a)     Providing a platform for consensus-seeking and reaching common positions on issues relating to key policy issues relating to disability;

b)     Developing approaches to public communication on disability issues, concepts, key messages and the shaping of public perceptions of disability and of disabled people;

c)     Appropriating services and methods of service delivery to disabled people based on norms and standards acceptable to disabled people;

d)     Developing common positions on disability issues;

e)     Developing joint strategies and inclusive positions on cross-cutting issues that affect disabled people;

f)       Promoting the involvement of disabled people in national issues;

g)     Providing leadership for disabled people in South Africa in disability issues;

h)     Public education and awareness raising; and

i)       Supporting, monitoring and evaluating the implementation of policy, legislation and other legal instruments on disability both nationally and internationally.

“The collective voice of the disability sector in collaboration”


The full members of SADA are Autism SA, Blind SA, Cheshire Homes SA, DeafBlind SA, Deaf Federation of SA (DeafSA), Disabled Children’s Action Group (DICAG), Down Syndrome South Africa (DSSA), Epilepsy SA, Muscular Dystrophy Foundation of SA (MDSA), National Association for Persons with Cerebral Palsy (NAPCP), National Council for People with Physical Disabilities in SA (NCPPDSA), QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA), SA Federation for Mental Health (SAFMH), SA National Association of Blind and Partially Sighted Persons (SANABP), SA National Council for the Blind (SANCB) and SA National Deaf Association (SANDA)

The associate members of SADA are the Occupational Therapy Association of SA (OTASA) and the SA Association of Audiology (SAAA)



More information contact

Jace Nair

Mobile: 0609670258




Youth Magazine


February 2016

Printed in UBC English braille

by Braille Services of Blind SA

Private Bag X9005

Crown Mines 2025

South Africa

Visit our Website:

Editor: Tracy Smith

Cell: 082-302-6741



Blind SA Youth Magazine is a free monthly magazine.

This publication is made possible with financial assistance from the Department of Arts & Culture.


Editorial Soapbox 3

Neo and the Big, Wide World 4

Freelancing – A Beginner’s Guide 11

Poem – A Life Full of Laughter 15

Good Old-fashioned Chocolate Pudding 17

Poem – Laugh boy laugh 19

Exciting News for Mariah Carey 19

Editorial Soapbox


Hello and welcome to another issue of our magazine.

The year is one month down, and I hope you’ve still stuck to your resolutions. For a change, I have. But like I said: I’m not telling what they were.

First up, a nice little story by Nal’ibali. This is to stir up a love of reading in children. February is read out loud month, so read this to a child or six if you can.

Then, to support our read out loud theme, I have included two poems written by young adults.

I have included a good old-fashioned chocolate pudding. Hey, modern is cool, but let’s face it: our grannies could cook. So try this out and hopefully lick your fingers.

Job-searching is difficult, especially for us blindies. I’ve included an interesting article on freelancing. So if you have an idea, and the courage it takes to implement some of these suggestions, why not implement them, and let us hear your success stories.

Once again, thank you for all feedback I receive. Please note that my cell number has been included only to make it easier for you to make those suggestions due to some not having access to internet or email or being unable to afford landline calls; to subscribe to the magazine, order braille books or apply for study bursaries, please contact the Blind SA office. For pranksters, please send your CV to Whackhead Simpson; he might entertain you.

I hope you enjoy this month’s Youth Magazine.

Neo and the Big, Wide World

Story by Vianne Venter


Join Nal’ibali in passing on the power of reading aloud this World Read Aloud Day

Every year Nal’ibali, the national reading-for-enjoyment campaign celebrates World Read Aloud Day (Wednesday, February 24) to raise awareness of the importance of reading aloud for children’s literacy development by issuing a brand new story and calling on adults across South Africa to read it out loud on the same day to the children in their lives and, in this way, help them break their read aloud record which is currently set at 166 000 children!

The story is made available in all 11 languages and this year, with the support of Blind SA, it is available in braille too! You can read it below or, to access the story in other languages, and to sign up and let Nal’ibali know how many children you are reading it aloud to, visit the Nal’ibali web and mobisites ( and from February 08. Members of the public who sign up online will stand a chance to win one of our book hampers to the value of R1 000 each from Bargain Books.

Neo looked out the window of his room at the grey view of the grey street with all the wet, grey people hurrying through the grey, pouring rain. He couldn’t go outside, and he had already read all his books to Mbali.

Just then, Gogo came in with her hair all twiggy from the wind outside. She was holding something. Neo could see that it was flattish, and square-ish, and very colourful … and it could open up – just like a treasure box!

“This was my favourite book when I was as young as you,” Gogo told Neo. “It was my door to the big, wide world.”

Then, she opened the book.

On the first page was a picture of a magical place, far away from the grey, grey day. The veld was green and gold and brown, with a great, big, blue sky above, and a warm, yellow sun, baking down.

“Wow! Is that real?” Neo gasped.

Gogo smiled. “Don’t you know? All stories are real, if you believe in them,” she said. Then she pointed to the place on the page where a little boy, just about Neo’s size, was walking across the veld.

As Gogo read, Neo closed his eyes and slipped away, over the hills … across the great, brown earth… off into the big, wide world.

He heard the voices of the veld.

“Come out! Come out!” sang a little bird.

“It’s a beautiful day!” chirped the cicadas.

“Come away, come and play,” whispered the wind in the long grass.

Neo remembered about the grey, pouring rain, and wondered if he should be out here. But in a story, you can do anything. There was no rain here. So, Neo set off across the veld.

The first thing he saw was tall and brown with a strong, wooden body. It had long, brown arms that reached up to the sky, and a big, twiggy head of leafy-green hair that swayed in the warm breeze.

“Hello,” said Neo, his eyes wide. “What are you?”

“I am a tree. I can see all the way across the great, gold plains. Come up, and look with me.” The tree reached out, and Neo climbed up.

From up in the branches, Neo could see to the very edge of the world. And there was so much somewhere out there, that it almost scared him to think of it.

But the tree held him safe, and whispered, “Go and explore. Don’t be afraid. It’s a wonderful, big, wide world out there.”

So, Neo climbed down and went on his way across the veld.

Soon, he came across a mound of hard sand with little holes, like tiny doorways. He could hear a million busy voices inside, and the patter of six million tiny feet running about.

“Hello! Who are you?” Neo called into one of the doorways.

“Hello!” a tiny voice answered. “We are ants. We tell the stories of the world in here. Do you want to hear some?”

Neo loved stories, so he sat down and listened. The ants told their stories of the veld and the forest, and of the mountains and the cities beyond.

“So many stories?” Neo asked.

“There are as many stories as there are stars in the sky,” the ants answered.

Neo waved goodbye, and went on his way across the veld.

Eventually, Neo came to a lot of water that rushed through the valley from morning till night. Neo stepped in to cool his hot legs.

Neo thought how good that would be. So, he followed the river across the valley and between the mountains. Together, they wandered through the afternoon and almost into night, until at last, Neo reached a hilltop.

From there, he could see a little town, washed clean by the rains and gleaming in the light of the setting sun.

Then the river gurgled gently, “Go on, go home. There are people who love you there, waiting to share stories with you.”

Neo went down, through the town. He saw the busy streets that rushed through the town, just like rivers. He saw houses, warm in the evening light. Inside them, people were busy, just like tiny ants.

At last, Neo peered through a window where an old Gogo, with strong arms and twiggy hair like the branches of a big tree, closed a book and bent to kiss her little boy goodnight.

Neo thought about the veld and the tree and the ants and the river. And as he watched the Gogo, a rainbow lit up the little house in colours so bright it looked like a picture in a storybook. Neo thought of his great adventure inside the pages of Gogo’s favourite storybook, and he thought of her and Mbali and home.

So, Neo slipped through the book, into his warm bed, in his cosy room, in his little house.

And that is why, whenever the world seems too grey, and his room seems too small, Neo opens a book. He steps through a door between the pages, and goes off into the big, wide world.


Get creative!


Together imagine and recreate a scene from the story using items in your environment. Make a life-sized version of the scene, or create a miniature scene in a shoebox.

This story was provided courtesy of the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign. To read the story in another South African language, or for literacy activities, reading tips, and more stories to enjoy with your children, visit,, or find them at and on Twitter: @nalibaliSA.

Freelancing –

A Beginner’s Guide


Many young adults are stepping away from the nine-to-five job market because what they want from a career is more than just a pay cheque. They’re looking for a challenge, self-empowerment and, essentially, a career with flexibility and room for creative expansion and growth.

Reuben Kieswetter, a 26-year-old brand and graphic designer, notices that most people tend to become bored of their jobs after their first year of work. “They [people] often master a single craft and nothing challenges them anymore,” he says.

Similarly, Renier Lombard who left his job as a brand manager and turned to freelancing, reckons that traditional nine-to-five jobs are, in fact, decreasing because people simply don’t like it.

But breaking into freelancing, and making it a financially sustainable career, is a continual process of network-building, self-marketing and developing your skills.


how-to-start-freelancing-a-beg …

We spoke to a few young creatives who are moving into the freelance working space, building their own brands, and becoming successful entrepreneurs. Here’s what you can learn from them:

•    Go online

Those looking to break into freelancing should not shy away from who they know and the various channels the internet provides. We’re in a continuing prime time of technological advancements and there is an increasing amount of online help for freelancers, especially networking opportunities and organisations outsourcing freelancers.

•    Let go of what might be holding you back

Freelance photographer Laikin Adams recently quit her eight-to-five job doing admin for a beverage company and decided to continue building her brand, Laikin photography, full time.

“I thought getting this job would help me build my brand, help me save money and do better in my photography. On the contrary, it made me want to do photography more,” Laikin explains, “I had no time to do personal projects, to create an online presence and respond to queries quick enough to book.”

Often, fragmenting your time in such a way can be counterproductive. Rather go full on freelance to the best of your ability. If you are able to juggle both working full time and freelancing, then be sure to be extremely organised.

•    Pick the right field for you

While slowly working your way into freelancing, you’ll most likely still need a full-time job to get by financially. Be sure to get into a field that is still closely related to the one you plan to freelance in. Laikin agrees: “When looking for an extra income, I would recommend finding a job in the field you want to be in. Even if you don’t want to have your own company/little business. Work in an industry that makes you burn with excitement and only fuels the passion in your work.”

So if you want to be a freelance writer, work as a content producer for a publishing company. If you want to be a photographer, try to land a job as a picture editor at a magazine. Not only will you be earning money, you’ll also be developing your skill and building a network within the publication among your colleagues, as well as the contacts that you might meet along the way.

•    Social media is your business partner

John LeRoy successfully tested and developed his brand John LeRoy photography using social media. “My social media accounts would be my brand representative, but the best part is that you can achieve maximum reach for free.”

Through this kind of self-marketing, John began gaining a big following. He then interacts with his following and keeps up the relationship with those who he’s worked with.

He suggests this as both the most difficult, but also the most important part. “Everyone has influence,” he says, “I started marketing myself by building a relationship with my small following and then building a relationship with other brands with a larger following.”

Poem – A Life Full of Laughter

By: Mduduzi Ncala

Source: Street Poetry – Death of a Sonnet (Facebook group)

Spare me,

From a heart break

Never lie or cheat,

For love’s sake

Instead of fighting,

Let’s just cuddle on the couch

Instead of leading me to suspicions,

Never fill my mind with doubts

Spare me,

From another break up

Save me from,

That old same love

Instead of adding numbers,

To our relationship

Assure me I’m the only one,

Every night before I sleep

Spare my love,

From turning to hate

Make me believe in clichés,

Like true love and fate

Instead of wondering,

Where you are

May I always find you,

Like a night shining star

Spare my heart,

From bruises and scars

Let the word loyalty,

Be the definition of us …

Laugh with me,

When the going gets tougher

All I ever want,

Is a life full of laughter

Good Old-fashioned

Chocolate Pudding


Serves: 6

Preparation: 10 min

Cooking: 30 min

70 g butter

125 ml (½ c) castor sugar

2 eggs

5 ml (1 t) vanilla essence

500 ml (2 c) flour

10 ml (2 t) baking powder

60 ml (¼ c) cocoa powder

5 ml (1 t) coffee powder

1 litre (4 c) milk


80 ml (⅓ c) brown sugar

125 ml (½ c) cream

80 ml (⅓ c) milk stout

Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a medium, ovenproof dish.

1.    In a large bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

2.    Stir in the vanilla. Sift together the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and coffee powder. Alternating, add the dry ingredients and milk to the sugar mixture.

3.    When all the ingredients are well combined, transfer the batter to the prepared dish and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes until the pudding is still slightly moist in the middle.

4.    Sauce: While the pudding is baking, combine the sugar, cream and milk stout in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes then remove from the heat and set aside.

5.    Remove the pudding from the oven and drizzle over the sauce while still warm.

Poem – Laugh boy laugh

By Adelia Rozenfeld

Laugh boy laugh,

till your mind loses its way,

and your stomach begins to ache,

Laugh boy laugh,

till the tears flow down your face

and the mercy catches a different train.

Continue to laugh,

about me,

and who I am.

Laugh until the skies shuts its eyes.

Laugh boy laugh,

I will too, but not on you.

You choose to mock the peculiar eccentricity,

while I find it extraordinary.

Laugh as I walk away,

to a greater journey,

your words won’t find their way.

Laugh boy laugh.

Exciting News

for Mariah Carey


Mariah Carey is engaged to James Packer.

The Australian billionaire asked the singer to be his wife during a private dinner in New York on Thursday, which was also attended by her closest friends.

“The happy couple got engaged tonight,” her representative confirmed.

According to TMZ the proposal took place at restaurant Eleven Madison Park, with Packer getting down on one knee in front of everyone he’d invited to the venue. The outlet has a photograph of the happy couple leaving the establishment and a giant engagement ring is seen on Carey’s finger.

The couple has been dating since June and spent much of last summer touring around Europe and the Middle East on Packer’s luxury yacht.

Both Carey (45) and Packer (48) have been married before – the singer was previously wed to music executive Tommy Mottola and actor/entrepreneur Nick Cannon, while Packer divorced model and singer Erica Baxter in 2013.

Mariah has twins from her marriage to Cannon, while her new fiancé has three young children with his ex-wife.

The superstar singer has publicly gushed about her beau, chatting about him being her dream man just two months after they got together.

“He’s just an incredible guy. He really is a good person, and that’s hard to find,” she said.

“I think anybody that’s a friend of his would say the same thing, if not more, so I can’t say enough nice things about him. He’s just a spectacular guy.”

Blind SA Newsletter



February 2016 Februarie

NO./NR. 122

Visit our website:



Tel: (W) (021) 442-8529

Tel: (H) (021) 987-7979

This publication is made possible with financial assistance from the Department of Arts & Culture.

Blind woman of vision
opens own business


December 3 2015

Tying a sari in two minutes, rolling perfectly round rotis and preparing what her brother calls the best mutton breyani may be a challenge for most people, but for visually-impaired Tunusha Naidu it’s all in a day’s work.

The 32-year-old of Umkomaas was born blind but it hasn’t stopped her achieving her goals.

To mark International Day for Persons with Disabilities, Naidu has opened her own company, Able, which stands for Ability Beyond Life Expectations.

The aim of her company, according to Naidu, is to help other businesses achieve their BEE compliance by having at least 2% of their workforce made up of disabled persons.

“We help companies achieve this quota via training courses and seminars. We also provide information on how to make the floor plan accessible.”

In the last month, Naidu has been busy setting up her company and is excited to begin working.

Speaking about her path to success, Naidu said she had attended Naidoo Memorial Primary School until Grade 7.

“The only school available for visually-impaired learners was in Pietermaritzburg and I did not want to board at the school.

“I attended normal schooling and had all my notes recorded by my mother. During exams, teachers would read the questions and write down the answers (I provided).”

After 1994, Naidu attended the Open Air School in Glenwood.

“I was among the first Indian visually-impaired learners at the school.”

And while she could have opted for easy courses, Naidu enjoyed the challenge and took up physics, maths, accounting and business economics.

“It was pretty challenging, especially accounting, but I passed with an exemption,” she laughed.

She didn’t stop there though, as Naidu then registered for a degree in linguistics, majoring in French and isiZulu, and graduated in 2004, cum laude.

She went on to complete her honours degree in 2005 and began lecturing first-year students the following year.

“I was then unemployed for many years. A year ago I joined African Lotus Productions working for Sunday Sadhana (a popular Hindu magazine programme aired on the SABC).

“I did productions, co-ordination and script writing. Learning how to use the (Apple) MacBook to edit interviews was challenging but fun,” she said.

“I resigned in September this year to pursue my business interests.”

As a motivational speaker, Naidu said that she had learnt to accept her disability from a young age. “I think it’s made me into the person I am. I am happy. This is my path and journey. Much of my success is attributed to Sai Baba and my parents. I also believe that you have to be assertive. If you want to make it in life you have to be a self-starter.”

Naidu said she often heard people saying what she could not do. “There are a lot of misconceptions about persons with disabilities, you have to constantly prove yourself to people.”

She loves spending time with her parents, Jay and Shamilla, both of whom are involved in business, and siblings Devishini, 36, an attorney and Lovendra, 31, a logistics company owner, as well as sister-in-law Shinaaz.

“I love cooking. As for a sari, I can tie that in two minutes,” laughs Naidu.

Source URL:

Bursaries for persons with
disabilities living in Tswane who
matriculated in 2015

Hello all,

Bursaries are available for people in Tswane (Pretoria) living with disabilities who have matriculated in 2015.

If you are a person living with a disability who have just matriculated, or know of such a person, please contact me via Whatsapp on +27612294455 or email

Thank you.

Hanif Kruger


By: Emily Beitiks

Well, it happened again. Last night, I was hosting an event and even though the topic was access for people with disabilities, I made a big access blunder. The event was running late, and I failed to consider the fact that the ASL interpreters needed to clock out, putting them and the Deaf attendee in a difficult and unfair position.

These sorts of slip-ups are common for all of us who host events, disabled and nondisabled alike. But we don’t share our mistakes often enough. As a nondisabled ally, I think it’s especially important that I cop up to my moments of failure because I owe it to my disabled friends and colleagues who patiently teach me when I drop the ball.

I also know now that access isn’t just about accommodations for people with disabilities. While society may see disability as a burden, I know that disability opens up creativity and innovation. I’ve personally benefited from many access features intended for people with disabilities. I am grateful for open captioning, for example, so that if I lose concentration during the pivotal moment in which a speaker provides the argument of their paper, I can look to the captioner’s screen for what I missed. With a co-sleeping 9 month old baby at home, this feature has been particularly useful lately. Having been working with people with disabilities for over ten years, I see that bodies and minds are on a wide spectrum; there is no “disability community” but rather “communities.” So working to make our world more accessible to disabled communities is challenging, and sometimes I make mistakes. In hopes that it may help you learn, here are my top ten memories of failure for your enjoyment in no particular order:

1) I’ve failed to introduce myself as nondisabled.

When I speak on behalf of the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability, it is important that I disclose my status as a “temporarily able-bodied person.” Failing to do so not only hides the place of privilege from which I speak but also renders people with invisible disabilities on the panel as nondisabled.

2) I’ve booked interpreters for events and forgotten about the importance of schmoozing with other participants before and after the official event.

While calling it “networking” may make some of us cringe, it’s incredibly important to people’s professional and political work. If we want to continue to eliminate the divide that has long existed between people with disabilities and the Deaf community, we need to build in opportunities for conversation over a glass of cheap wine and a cheese cube or two.

3) I put out flowers at an event.

Classic rookie move. We gotta have flowers at the bar to make things pretty, right? Wrong. The flowers make your event dangerous for attendees with multiple chemical sensitivities. So, go with paper decorations or just pass and enjoy that it’s one less thing on the event planning “to do” list – woohoo!

4) I gave a PowerPoint presentation and did not describe my slides.

Okay, before I lose all my street creds here, please note that it was a long time ago when I was an undergrad. But it wasn’t just any presentation. The focus was disability. And my low-vision adviser was in the audience. Huge fail?: yes. Did I learn?: yes. Should you learn from my fail and start giving audio description of your slides?: YES!

5) I planned for wheelchair seating but forgot that wheelchair riders sometimes travel in packs.

Another classic nondisabled rookie move. Yes, of course, I have wheelchair attendees at Superfest 2015 seating! Oh … you’d all like to sit together? FAIL. At Superfest: International Disability Film Festival, we now have a range of options for wheelchair riders to sit with their other wheelchair rider companions, to be next to non-wheelchair riding friends, or to sit in the multiple chemical sensitivities section. We’ve come a long way baby.

6) I’ve organized events and forgotten to ask if the stage is accessible.

Even if none of the planned presenters uses a wheelchair, you still want to plan for the possibility of a wheelchair rider pulling a Kanye-West-interruption-of-Taylor-Swift move, so the stage must have a ramp or lift. Nondisabled allies should not leave this battle to the wheelchair rider colleagues to fight alone.

7) I’ve pushed handshakes.

Plenty of people in the disability community shake hands, but handshakes need not be the norm. Whether one doesn’t have hands, doesn’t have control of their limb’s movements, or is triggered by the social anxiety of contact, handshakes can cause a lot of unnecessary grief so ask first.

8) I’ve lined up venues without gender-neutral bathrooms.

Hosting events for people with disabilities requires you to think about all the needs of your attendees beyond disability issues.

9) I’ve pressured people to commit to full-day events.

This is a common conference strategy: you pressure your attendees to stay together for a whole day, three days, whatever so that the group may adequately bond. Or you push for an early start and urge people to “power through” with short breaks. However, this is an ableist model. It doesn’t account for the needs of people who require a long time to get ready, long bathroom breaks, or people with chronic fatigue.

10) I’ve hogged the microphone.

Full disclosure: I’m still working on this one. I like to talk. And oh do I love a good Q&A. But if I’m on a panel with people with disabilities, I need to constantly remind myself that my voice must often come second. My confidence with public speaking is inseparable from the privileges I have as a nondisabled, white, heterosexual person.

So… what did I miss? Jump on the comments section and share please. There’s no comprehensive guidebook for this stuff (and if there was, the first item would be that guidebooks aren’t going to prepare you for everything). A reminder in closing, it is better to have tried and blundered than never to have tried at all. Getting to work with disability communities is worth it.

* Special thanks to Corbett O’Toole for her patient guidance on my access blunders as well as this post.


Will South Africa EVER offer
free services to the disabled?

South Africa has a long way to go before it’s able to offer blind and visually impaired citizens a decent quality of life, according to Retina South Africa.

There are approximately 380 000 blind people and over one million people suffering from low vision in South Africa, stated the SA Guide Dogs Association.

Disabled persons in South Africa are nowhere near having the same opportunities as their able bodied counterparts. This is according to Retina South Africa who highlighted the struggles of the blind and visually impaired as December marks International Month of Disabled Human Rights.

The patient-run organisation is dedicated to fundraising for a cure for the 150 000 people in South Africa suffering from retinal degenerative disorders such as Retinitis Pigmentosa, Stargardt Dystrophy and Macular Degeneration.

With over 80 organisations working in the sector to get equal opportunities and improve the lives of the blind and vision impaired, the battle is an uphill struggle as the scramble for limited resources continues.

The biggest challenge facing blind/vision impaired persons is lack of jobs and transport. “Partially sighted citizens of South Africa are often not regarded as disabled and are often excluded from disabled employment initiatives,” says Claudette Medefindt Head of Science for Retina South Africa. “They are often underemployed and the first to be retrenched.” Although the labour law indicates that between 2 and 5% of the workforce must be from the disabled sector, corporations tend to employ physically disabled persons rather than blind/vision impaired persons.

“Even when these people are employed, the infrastructure and technology are not available to make them compete equally with their sighted colleagues.”

Retina South Africa pointed out that there are computer programmes, cell phones and magnifiers available that can assist blind/low vision persons to do the job just as well as anyone else.

“Programmes such as JAWS and Zoom text, large print keyboards, voice activation software and e-readers are all easily available, but most companies are not interested in supplying reasonable accommodation.”

Accessible transport has also been outlined as another challenge.

“It is well documented that our public transport system is ageing and dangerous even for able bodied persons. The government-funded transport systems for disabled persons such as Dial A Ride do not recognise blind/low vision persons as being disabled and when questioned merely said that `they have a cane and can walk`. How insensitive is this?” The only options available is to ask family and friends for transport or enlisting the service of meter cabs which can turn out to be very expensive.

Extra expenses

“In other countries such as Australia, the government gives free bus/train passes to vision impaired persons as well as taxi vouchers to use where there is no public transport. They are allowed two train passes a year to go away on holiday, not only for themselves but for a companion as well.

“Furthermore, the Australian government gives them a disability pension even if they have a job, recognising that as a disabled person you have extra expenses and often have to pay others to do everyday things such as cleaning, gardening and shopping. They are also entitled to a carer’s allowance, computer equipment, lighting installations and all sorts of other benefits. South Africa has a long way to go to be able to offer this to its disabled citizens.”

The organisation also called for ordinary South Africans to be educated on identifying and assisting blind/vision impaired persons. “Most people think that if you have a white cane there is something wrong with your legs! Even people working in shops, airports, hospitals, where you would expect them to be trained to recognise and assist blind/low vision persons have no clue how to do this.”

Retina South Africa says that blind/low vision persons want to be part of the fabric of society and want to put their weight behind building a new and better country, but without the basic requirements and access to opportunities, it is obvious that it will take a very, very long time before this becomes a reality.

(Article from news24).

Lise-Mari tree op in
radiodrama deur
Angelo Julies

Lise-Mari van Wyk, ‘n gr. 9-leerder by Pionierskool, het op 17 November by die RSG-kunstefees haar debuut as stemkunstenaar gemaak.

“Kobus Burger, RSG se uitvoerende regisseur vir drama, het tydens die finale rondes van die kykNET-toneelspelkompetisie by die Kunstekaap in Mei vanjaar haar verhoogtalent raakgesien. Hy het haar genooi vir ‘n oudisie saam met die groep finaliste by die Seepunt-ateljee van RSG,” vertel Derek Daly, Van Wyk se drama-onderwyser.

Die tienerdrama, Ons het gees, is spesiaal geskryf deur Anton Treurnich, skrywer van die middagvervolgverhaal, Vloek van die rooigety, en hierin het sy die rol van Ria gespeel.

Haar optrede het groot lof ontvang van die bekende regisseur, Eben Cruywagen. “Ek maak nie dikwels voorspellings nie, maar nou maak ek wél een: Lise-Mari van Wyk sal nog as een van die grootstes onder die grotes gereken word,” het hy gesê. “Haar werksetiek is prysenswaardig. Sy is gefokus, toegewyd en verstommend professioneel.”

“Take a bow, Lise-Mari. Jy het jou stempel afgedruk. As regisseur respekteer ek jou dissipline en jou professionaliteit. As mens bewonder ek jou waagmoed, jou durf en jou stil, innerlike krag,” het Cruywagen bygevoeg.

Sy het daarna ook ‘n rol losgeslaan in ‘n volwaardige radiodrama met 26 episodes, Operasie Renoster. Die opnames sal in Desember plaasvind.

Daly sê hy is baie trots op Van Wyk. “Sy is baie talentvol en hardwerkend, sy gaan dit nog baie ver bring.”

Van Wyk het aan die Standard gesê: “Dit voel nog so onwaar, eintlik te goed om waar te wees. Ek het nooit gedink ek sal so goed vaar in drama nie. Ek is dankbaar dat meneer Daly my aangemoedig het om deel te neem en vir Andrea Streso wat my afgerig het.”

Van Wyk se ouers en familie is baie trots op haar. “Ons is oorweldigend bly en baie trots op Lise-Mari. Sy is ‘n bewys dat blinde persone enige iets kan vermag en enige iets oorkom kan word,” het haar pa, Johan, gesê.




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 Editor: Christo de Klerk

 A free publication of Blind SA.

Direct all correspondence to: The Editor BRAILLORETTE, Private Bag X9005, Crown Mines 2025

“This publication is made possible with financial assistance from the Department of Arts & Culture.”

Table of Contents

From the editor 3

Adjusting to Blindness 4

Blind boerboel breeder knows how to spot a champion 13

Blind woman of vision opens own business 16

Blindness in a high-tech age 19

Compliments 35

Four jobs you won’t believe people who are blind can do 47

Microsoft updates navigation headset for the blind 53


From the editor

I wish all readers a wonderful, happy and prosperous 2016 and hope you will enjoy this year’s issues of Braillorette. I would like to invite you again to let us have your feedback, to let us know what you enjoy and what you can do without; if there are things we should concentrate on less, or include more articles on a particular topic.

We begin this edition with a positive description of how someone adjusted to blindness. Maybe some of our readers can identify with what the author wrote in this blog post.

Blind dog lovers should enjoy the next article about a blind South African Boerboel breeder.

Next you can read about the achievements of a very enterprising South African blind lady who started her own business.

For those of you interested in matters technical, here is an interesting article about blindness in a high-tech age. It traces recent developments in the blindness-related world up to modern technology.

I am sure most of us are just too familiar with some of the situations described in the following article. It describes the awkward positions one can find oneself in especially as a blind person when one receive compliments, deserved or undeserved.

Next you can read about four remarkable people and the unusual jobs they do.

We conclude this edition with a short article about an interesting and exciting initiative by Microsoft, the navigation headset.

We hope you will enjoy this edition of Braillorette, but remember, please let us have your feedback so that we can ensure that you can read what interests you. – Editor

Adjusting to Blindness –

My Own Experience

Sherry H

January 19, 2016

In my last post, I mentioned that I felt my adjustment to blindness was quick and relatively easy.

In her memoir, “Out of the Whirlpool: A Memoir of Remorse and Reconciliation” author Susan W. Martin likens sudden vision loss to death and rebirth: One has to accept the death of the former Sighted Self and be reborn, not as a lesser version of that former self, but as a new Blind Self.

It’s not uncommon, according to Martin, for the process to involve significant struggle and grief over the loss of the Sighted Self.

That wasn’t my experience.

This isn’t to say that my transition from sighted to blind went off without a hitch. There were moments of aggravation and frustration, days when I wished I could just put my eyesight back on and go home.

I do recall one terrible night I spent sitting in the living room, crying inconsolably, absolutely convinced that I’d become worthless, that I would forever be a burden to my family, and that they’d be better off without me. Both my sons, one after the other, sat with me and tried to comfort me, but I wouldn’t be consoled.

When my husband woke up that morning, he, too, sat with me and offered to stay home from work. I declined, but I did make him take the key to the gun safe with him. It wasn’t so much that I thought I’d actually do myself harm – I’m not sure I could have managed to use the gun if I’d decided to – as that I suspected that if the possibility were there, I’d spend the day obsessing over it.

I don’t remember what brought on that horrible night, but I’ve never experienced another like it since, and I don’t expect to.

For the most part, though, I feel as though I slipped into the new blind me about as painlessly as anyone could.

I think there were a number of factors that came together and smoothed the passage for me, and I’m grateful for every one.


My Good Buddy Bob

First of all, there was the whole brain tumor thing. Bob the Brain Tumor very nearly killed me, and when I walked out of the hospital (okay, was wheeled out of the hospital) in some ways I already felt I’d been reborn.

Too, Bob was sitting on the front of my brain, stifling critical thinking and muffling emotion.

As my vision declined, I knew that something was wrong and thought that I should do something about it. But I couldn’t decide what to do, and I was very tired. I couldn’t feel any urgency toward the situation, so I’d resolve to think about it when I was rested and slip into sleep or daydreams again.

After the tumor was removed, even while I was still healing and on powerful medication, my thoughts were clearer than they’d been in a long time. And it was such a joy to be able to feel emotion again! If I regained myself at the cost of my vision, it was a price I was willing to pay.

Finally, my vision loss was very sudden. I didn’t quite lose my eyesight overnight, but the time between when I first noticed my vision becoming blurry and near-complete darkness was less than three months.

And when it was gone, it was gone. There was no lingering, no false hope, no way to pretend that I could still see in the same way I had before.

I was blind, and that was that.


Previous Conditioning

I’ve been extremely nearsighted since childhood, to the point of not being able to function without my glasses. I couldn’t make out faces, could read print only with difficulty, and I certainly wouldn’t have been safe to drive!

So in a way, every time I did something in my former life without glasses – walked down the hall to the bathroom in the middle of the night, poured a cup of coffee, or went for a swim – I got practice adapting to low vision.

I got used to trusting my body to move carefully through the space around it, to letting my hands manage without close supervision from my eyes.

Of course, doing things completely blind took this to a whole new level, but I believe I’d been laying the groundwork for a long time.

World’s Greatest Family and Friends

My husband has told me that the first time he saw me after the operation, he knew he had me back again, and he believed without a doubt that I’d recover.

From the moment I arrived home, the question was never, “Will she be able to do things again?” but “/How/will she do them?” And Mr H and our sons became expert at finding techniques that helped me adapt.

In the early days, when I was so debilitated that I couldn’t stand at the sink long enough to wash out a bowl I’d just used, they stepped up and did everything for me. They brought things to me and took them away, led me through the house by both hands, found outfits for me to wear.

But as I began to recover, they did something even harder: They stepped back and let me do things for myself, even when I fumbled and stumbled and yelled in frustration, they refused to step in and help me unless I asked them to – and then they did it willingly.

Our friends were also wonderful about accepting the “new me” as the strong, competent person I’d always been. Sure, I’d taken some damage, and it was going to take me a while to recover. But they never doubted that I would recover, and that’s a gift I can never repay.

I’ve met blind people whose families refuse to let them do things on their own, whose partners have said, “This isn’t what I signed up for,” and split, whose friends have stopped coming around.

I have to say, I think I hit the jackpot.


A Great Example

When I was in college, I knew a guy who was dating a blind woman from another town. He’d sometimes drive over and bring her to spend the weekend with him.

B. lived in an apartment, and I remember her telling me that when she moved in, her dad marked the stove dials with dots of nail polish so that she’d be able to feel them and do her own cooking. B. caught the bus on weekdays, though I can’t remember this many years down the road whether it was for work or school. She mentioned going places with friends in her hometown.

This same guy had dated another blind woman before I’d met him, and he told me about how her service dog would jump into the front seat and stand on the horn if they left him waiting in the car too long.

I never met this second woman, and B. and I didn’t get along particularly well, probably because I was a jerk at nineteen and also because I was interested in the guy she was dating. But encountering them, even secondhand, gave me a paradigm of blind people who lived independently, went to school or had jobs, and had friends and boyfriends and agency in their lives.

Is it any wonder that when I became a blind person, I assumed, at least subconsciously, that my life could be like that?

[By the way, B., if by some chance you should come across this and recognize yourself, I'd love it if you'd get in touch! I like to think I've grown up a bit in the last few decades, and I'd love to touch base.]


Other Factors

I could go on and on.

My parents taught me to face change head-on and embrace it, then adapt.

My father passed away long before I lost my eyesight, but I think he’d be proud of how we’ve come through it. I know my mother and her boyfriend are.

My parents also taught me to love arts and crafts and to try as many of them as possible. I think that wealth of experience has made my fingers more flexible and adaptable, especially now that my eyes no longer guide them.

My sister has been absolutely awesome, and knowing she believes in me has been huge. My extended family, too, have been wonderful and have encouraged me and supported me at every turn.

One of the first things my husband did when I came home was to find NVDA, the screen reader that lets me use my computer. This not only let me write down the stories that were crowding my mind and kept me entertained, but put me back in touch with the world on a more or less equal footing.

I know this has been a long post. Adjusting to blindness has been a long process. In some ways, I’m still figuring out who I am, what I can do, and who I want to be.

A lot of factors have made the adjustment easier, but I don’t think anything could ever make it easy. Then again, I don’t think anyone has life completely figured out, and I’m not sure life is meant to be easy.

I feel as though I’ve reached a point where I’m comfortable in my own skin – my new, blind skin. I’m happy with who and what I am, and look forward to seeing what I will become.

I’ve been very, very lucky in the circumstances that have helped me to reach this position, and I’m exceedingly grateful for everyone.


Blind boerboel breeder

knows how to spot a

champion dog


News24 2015-12-29

Port Elizabeth – A blind boerboel breeder can “see” with his hands what few others can see with their eyes – and his track record bears testimony to this.

Neville Comley, from Theescombe in Port Elizabeth, recently – for the fourth consecutive year – was named Boerboel Breeder of the Year by the Eastern Cape Boerboel Association.

“Maybe it’s just lots of luck … And maybe it has something to do with the two years I spent studying the bloodlines of the boerboel,” Comley joked.

Comley, who suffers from the hereditary disease, retinitis pigmentosa, lost about 90% of his sight by the time he was 19 years old. But then he turned to one of his other senses – that of touch – to carry on working with animals.

First it was show horses. Then, about eight years ago, he stumbled on the exclusive world of purebred boerboel breeders.

“When I started discovering what the breeding involves, I dedicated two years to studying their bloodline. Then I spent another three years on trying to bring the perfect bloodlines together.”

These experimental efforts finally paid off with Ben-Hur, his 2-year-old show dog, which boasts a mark of 92.3? – the highest in the province.

But his efforts over the last couple of years to be recognised as the breeder of the best boerboels in the province, counted for more. Because this top dog’s status reflected in the cost of owning a part of this bloodline – around R10 000 for one of the litter.

Comley has already started grooming a new champion dog for 2017. For now, details about the “champion dog in waiting” is still shrouded in secrecy, but Comley is convinced it will reign supreme in the boerboel fraternity.

“It’s bloodline will be very sought after. I can’t even put a price on it yet.”

Comley recently proposed to “his eyes and love of his life” Lizette Matzner.

“I can tell you one thing – that R10 000 bloodline fee is nothing compared to what an engagement ring costs,” he laughed.


Blind woman of vision

opens own business


December 3 2015

Tying a sari in two minutes, rolling perfectly round rotis and preparing what her brother calls the best mutton breyani may be a challenge for most people, but for visually-impaired Tunusha Naidu it’s all in a day’s work.

The 32-year-old of Umkomaas was born blind but it hasn’t stopped her achieving her goals.

To mark International Day for Persons with Disabilities, Naidu has opened her own company, Able, which stands for Ability Beyond Life Expectations.

The aim of her company, according to Naidu, is to help other businesses achieve their BEE compliance by having at least 2% of their workforce made up of disabled persons.

“We help companies achieve this quota via training courses and seminars. We also provide information on how to make the floor plan accessible.”

In the last month, Naidu has been busy setting up her company and is excited to begin working.

Speaking about her path to success, Naidu said she had attended Naidoo Memorial Primary School until Grade 7.

“The only school available for visually-impaired learners was in Pietermaritzburg and I did not want to board at the school.

“I attended normal schooling and had all my notes recorded by my mother. During exams, teachers would read the questions and write down the answers (I provided).”

After 1994, Naidu attended the Open Air School in Glenwood.

“I was among the first Indian visually-impaired learners at the school.”

And while she could have opted for easy courses, Naidu enjoyed the challenge and took up physics, maths, accounting and business economics.

“It was pretty challenging, especially accounting, but I passed with an exemption,” she laughed.

She didn’t stop there though, as Naidu then registered for a degree in linguistics, majoring in French and isiZulu, and graduated in 2004, cum laude.

She went on to complete her honours degree in 2005 and began lecturing first-year students the following year.

“I was then unemployed for many years. A year ago I joined African Lotus Productions working for Sunday Sadhana (a popular Hindu magazine programme aired on the SABC).

“I did productions, co-ordination and script writing. Learning how to use the (Apple) MacBook to edit interviews was challenging but fun,” she said.

“I resigned in September this year to pursue my business interests.”

As a motivational speaker, Naidu said that she had learnt to accept her disability from a young age.

“I think it’s made me into the person I am. I am happy. This is my path and journey. Much of my success is attributed to Sai Baba and my parents. I also believe that you have to be assertive. If you want to make it in life you have to be a self-starter.”

Naidu said she often heard people saying what she could not do. “There are a lot of misconceptions about persons with disabilities, you have to constantly prove yourself to people.”

She loves spending time with her parents, Jay and Shamilla, both of whom are involved in business, and siblings Devishini, 36, an attorney and Lovendra, 31, a logistics company owner, as well as sister-in-law Shinaaz.

“I love cooking. As for a sari, I can tie that in two minutes,” laughs Naidu.

Blindness in a

high-tech age.

Digital technology has brought about the biggest improvement in the lives of blind people since the invention of the white cane in the early 20th century, but the visually impaired believe the true revolution is yet to come.

I am meeting Pavel at Hyde Park Corner station in London. He is standing patiently by the turnstiles with an iPhone glued to his hand waiting for me to find him. At 27, Pavel is a real technology geek, always excitedly blogging about the latest Apple gadgets, features and applications. Though a true member of the technology-dependent generation Y, he still remembers how his life was before, and has agreed to talk to me about how profoundly digital technology has changed the world for him.

“We can talk about whatever you want, I have plenty of time,” he grins mischievously. “My mother went sightseeing but I wasn’t in the mood.”

Pavel has been blind since birth and whatever technology has done for him couldn’t replace his missing eyesight.

As we stroll through Hyde Park, he introduces me to a set of his indispensable helpers.

“The reason I am into Apple is that they are really the best for blind people.

They were the first to offer the screen-reading technology as part of the regular package. I don’t need to install anything extra, I just press a button and it starts talking to me,” he explains.

“Here in London, I am also really impressed with Google Maps for pedestrians; it really works well with the public transport.”

Through his phone, he can access apps that help him sort out his paper money, distinguish colours or even read signs and printed text by taking pictures of them.

Best thing since the white cane

There is no doubt that digital technology, including the Internet, computers and smartphones, has changed the world for everyone, but for blind people the benefits have been immeasurable.

According to Katherine Payne from the Royal London Society for Blind People (RLSB), smartphones and computers represent the single greatest improvement in the lives of blind people since the invention of the white cane and the introduction of a guide dog in the first half of the 20th century. The only comparable previous improvement had been the development of the braille writing system in 1824.

“When I was at university, I relied on cassettes being recorded for me in audio,” remembers 47-year old Steve Tyler, head of solutions, strategy and accessibility at the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB). “I relied on a very old-style braille display which I thought was fantastic at the time. I could type very quickly and take copious notes, but other than that I had to rely on human help.

“Today, I use technology on a daily basis – to shop, to learn when my train arrives, to buy tickets, to control my heating, to read newspapers. The accessibility of data through the Internet has been an amazing revolution for everybody, but for me all this was simply not possible before.”

Tyler, a graduate psychologist, joined the technology movement in the early stages. Through his involvement in artificial intelligence research projects, he contacted most of the major technology companies and made it his mission to persuade them to develop their devices to be as accessible as possible for those who can’t see.

It’s the smartphone revolution he considers to be the major game-changer: the creation of a talking computer inside a pocket-sized box that can be equipped with an almost unlimited set of functionalities for blind people to get on with their lives.

“I worked with Apple, Microsoft and other organisations like Samsung and Google to make sure that their operating platforms were accessible, because one of the decisions we made very early on – in about 2000 – was that if we can ensure that the device in your pocket, whatever it turned into, was accessible, chances would be that it could become the way in which we would be able to connect to the world, and that broadly appeared to become true.”

At the outset of the new millennium, Tyler worked with Nokia and Vodafone to create the first screen-reading technology for mobile phones. It was launched in 2002 with Nokia’s Symbian operating system and represented a major breakthrough for the visually impaired community.

Blind tech geeks

Pavel remembers the feeling when his phone first started talking to him.

“Suddenly, I didn’t need to ask anyone to read my text messages for me,” he says. “I could browse maps and other media. That was a huge change.”

However, Pavel’s love affair with technology started even earlier. From the first Eureka computer for blind users in the early 1990s through to his first talking Windows computer when he was 10 and the dial-up Internet, Pavel was an earlier adopter of digital technology than most of his sighted peers.

“When dial-up Internet first appeared, I got hooked immediately. I remember my mother being really angry about the huge telephone bills we had because of that,” he recollects. “But I think that in the blind community I was no exception.”

In recent years, high-profile tech companies and research institutions have virtually started racing to introduce the coolest new gadgets that could make life easier for blind people in future.

There is Google and its environment-mapping Project Tango smartphone. The device, currently only available to developers, uses infrared depth sensors to capture motion data in 3D and create maps of the environment that could be used by blind people to navigate in buildings.

Last year in London, Microsoft trialled a navigational headset that translates information on the surrounding environment into sound impulses to help blind users better navigate in cities.

Compiling information from the GPS and Microsoft’s Bing maps, the system provides step-by-step guidance along a pre-selected route. In order not to block the users’ hearing, the headset transmits the information via vibrations through the jawbone.

On the other hand, Oxford University researchers have been experimenting with smart glasses that can provide improved visual awareness to people with residual eyesight. The glasses are fitted with a camera that processes images and provides the wearer with simplified visual clues about nearby objects through a display located in the eyepieces.

Yet Tom Pey, chief executive of the Royal London Society for Blind People, warns that this race to create completely new gadgets might be rather counterproductive.

“In the past, I used to walk around with a rucksack full of gadgets and each thing in that rucksack would be used for one specific reason,” says Pey, a former investment banker who lost his vision at 39 after fighting with an undiagnosed infection for years.

“I had an eye glass, I had a way-finding piece of equipment which gave me talking GPS. I had another tool that would give me access to a calendar, I had another one that would give me access to my email and another one for access to notes. All of them individually were helpful, but you would need to have a really strong back in order to be able to carry all those things around.”

As a result, he says, many blind people would either purchase the gadgets but not use them for inconvenience, or not buy them at all because most of them live close to the poverty line and don’t have money to throw at technology.

The rucksack full of gadgets has been replaced with a smartphone full of apps.

According to Pey, the danger of putting too much effort into developing technology that would be of limited use still exists.

“We mustn’t fall into the trap that we fell into in the past, that we identified a problem and then developed a gadget that would solve that particular problem for a blind person,” Pey says.

“If technology is simply for blind people, it is doomed to fail. What you need to do is to design the technology in a way that it can benefit everybody.

You don’t want to have a separate app for the blind, then a separate app for people with dyslexia or other problems. That would be too costly. You want to design things so that they are accessible for everybody right from the start and even make things easier for the sighted.”

The Royal London Society for Blind People decided to lead by example and developed an indoor navigation system to be tested on the London Underground that transmits turn-by-turn directions via a network of Bluetooth beacons right into the users’ smartphones.

Although developed primarily with the goal of giving blind people more independence and confidence in their travels, the RLSB hopes crowds of tourists struggling to find their way in the intricate London Tube network would benefit from the system as well.

“If visitors come to London, they will be able to plug into our app and put in the location that they want to go to,” Pey explains. “The phone already knows where you are and plots the route for you.”

The system could in future enhance navigation in cities as well as provide guidance inside airports, railway stations and shopping centres.

The promise of IoT

According to Tyler, navigation and transportation usually comes first on the list of priorities blind people would like to see improvement in.

Apps such as Blindsquare or Ariadne are enhancing GPS navigation systems to make them suitable for blind users and enable them to travel independently.

However, in an ideal world, these systems could do much more. Tyler believes the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) as well as Big Data processing will lead to a major breakthrough that will provide blind users with much more confidence.

“At the moment, the traditional GPS systems are really centred around car drivers. Even if they refer to them as pedestrian mode, they are still talking about roundabouts in the road, whereas I want to know where the crossing is,” Tyler explains. “The traditional problem I would have would be walking down Euston Road and the system will say ‘yes, you have arrived’, but the destination that I want is across two lanes of traffic on the other side of the road.”

Smart maps of the future would navigate the blind user to the destination via the most convenient crossing with almost pinpoint precision.

These systems, Tyler foresees, would use not only more detailed mapping, but combine positioning data with image processing to enable the blind user to find the door of the exact shop he or she might be looking for.

“The GPS accuracy at the moment doesn’t allow you to be pinpointed to the right direction,” says Tyler.

“So you may be standing virtually ten metres away from an entrance to an exact shop but the sat-nav technology won’t help you any further.

“To overcome this problem, we have been experimenting with visual analysis.

“The idea is that you will be able to take a photograph or video of where you are and this photographic information will be analysed, blended with the data that’s already available to your device from GPS or any other beacons in the vicinity, and you would be able to read the shop signs.”


Ultimate solution

Many of those with vision loss, including Tom Pey, hope technology will eventually bring about yet another big breakthrough. In the same way that cochlear implants have been successfully used to restore hearing in deaf people for years, the ever improving microchip technology could one day help make up for the deficits in the vision system of blind people.

“At the end of the day, we can put a lot of technological solutions in place to deal with the loss of sight, but ultimately it’s the loss of sight that is the cause of the problem,” Pey points out.

“As microchip technology gets even more powerful and faster, the possibility to transmit complex information about the environment into somebody’s brain may become a reality.”

However, Imperial College London researcher Konstantin Nikolic warns that despite two decades of research efforts, progress in the development of a retinal prosthesis, the number one technology explored as a cure for blindness, has been frustratingly slow.

“The problem is that the visual system is much more complex than the hearing one,” Nikolic explains.

“We don’t properly understand the underlying biology and don’t know exactly how to stimulate the retina in order to create visual perception. As a result, the currently existing implants mostly provide some sort of noise from which the blind user can draw some information, but what they see is far from what sighted people can see.”

But Nikolic is confident the awaited breakthrough could come at any time.

Until scientists and engineers can solve the big mystery of eyesight, though, digital technology will continue to make life easier for blind people.


Restoring eyesight

Retinal implants, in development since the late 1960s, are experimentally used to provide some limited visual perception to people with conditions affecting the retina. They use miniature electrodes to stimulate remaining retinal cells.

The implants can be placed either on the retina (epiretinal), slipped underneath (subretinal), or alternatively placed outside the eyeball (sub-choroidal).

The current most common epiretinal prosthesis is Argus II, which consists of 60 tiny electrodes, each measuring 200μm in diameter. The implant is connected to an image processor that receives wireless signals from a camera on the patient’s glasses. The best the implant can achieve is providing awareness of light and basic object recognition, such as locating the door or being able to follow a white line. To enable the patient to recognise faces or read large print, 1024 electrodes would be needed. For reading normal print, 10,000 electrodes would have to be squeezed onto the chip.

Other approaches attempt to provide visual information through touch or sound, with the user trained to interpret the stimuli. In June 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration approved a device that sends signals from a camera into electrodes stimulating the tongue.


1824: braille tactile writing system.

1920s-1930s: Introduction of the guide dog.

1920s-1940s: Development of the white cane as a mobility aid.

1990: Talking DOS computers.

1996: First portable braille note taker with calendar, word processor and calculator.

Late 1990s: Internet revolution.

2002: Nokia launches Symbian operating system for smartphones with screen-reading technology.

2004-2006: Development of navigation systems specifically tailored for blind users.

2009: VoiceOver screen-reading technology becomes an integral part of Apple’s operating systems for computers and smartphones.


It can be hard to take a compliment gracefully. Sometimes we feel undeserving. Other times we wonder if we are being manipulated. There are times we feel a compliment is discordant with our actual achievement, such as when veterans of recent wars recoil from “Thank you for your service.”

I’ve been exchanging emails with someone I’ll call Anita. In one of her warm messages, she wrote: “I have to say I’m full of admiration for what you have achieved. It would be admirable for a sighted person to do what you have done, and I have to say I still don’t think I completely understand it all but as a blind person …”

She meant well, and good intentions do matter. Still, I felt discomfort, as I have on receiving similar compliments in the past. Some people will understand my ambivalence, but others, including some who are disabled, will say I’m being overly sensitive. I’m not sure I fully understand it myself. This essay is an attempt to figure it out.

Perhaps the most obvious explanation is a desire to be measured on our achievements irrespective of disability, health issues, race, gender or other outside factor. In the everyday world of work, performance matters, not how well we do in spite of this or that disadvantage.

Yet last week I spent an evening with a friend who is going through a long process of deteriorating vision. While exchanging war stories about office life, we acknowledged that many tasks are harder for visually impaired people. We admitted we were pleased with our successes in overcoming obstacles, as well as frustrated at those we couldn’t. If I concede that much in conversation with someone who shares my disability, how can I be unhappy that someone who doesn’t praise how I’ve adapted?

I started out with a reflexive skepticism about the Paralympics, built on the concession that disabled people can’t compete on a level playing field with the world’s top athletes. However, such events show that disabled people are instilled with the same spirit of competition. The joy and simple satisfaction that participants display undercut my purist objections. Moreover, by definition, most of the world can’t compete at the top level, while a fine athlete in one sport might be mediocre at another. A star basketball player is unlikely to excel at baseball. Ask Michael Jordan. In fact, there are some sports in which blind people can compete on more or less equal terms: wrestling is one, as depicted in Robert Russell’s autobiography, “To Catch an Angel” (1962). Another is dragon boat competition, where vision might give an advantage, but one that is surmountable.

What else might explain my discomfort? There is a significant difference between overcoming disability and other kinds of accomplishment. We admire people who achieve in some extraordinary way: a movie star, an astronaut, an accomplished violinist, the CEO of a corporation whose stock quadruples, a marathoner, an inventor, a firefighter, a Nobel peace prize winner. They all started out from a dream or goal and surpassed expectations. From the outset, their pursuit was voluntary — to the extent we understand volition. By contrast, when disabled people are praised, it can feel as if it’s for something about which we had no choice.

But once again, the explanation isn’t enough. When another friend who has low vision lost the hearing in one ear after removal of a tumor, I felt bad and told him I respected how he was handling the adjustment.

“What choice do I have?” he retorted. I said he could have withdrawn into his own world. Instead, he went right back to work and resumed life as usual. What I said to him was no different from what Anita wrote in her email. In short, I’m just as prone both to feel sympathy and to respect how others manage with their disabilities.

Another thought. Praise for accomplishments in spite of disability separates people with obvious disabilities from those without any. Yet this sense of apartness is hardly unique to disabled people. Admiration for a famous actress or returning astronaut can prevent us from accepting them on their own terms. When we admire someone, we convert them into a kind of abstraction. It’s all but impossible to meet authors whose books we’ve loved or actors who have conveyed certain characters on the screen and be able to talk to them as the people they are in person.

At this point, I should allow for the possibility that I dislike having to acknowledge my disability. If true, it’s a little like someone hoping no one will bring up their blemished skin or fat ass. I can’t rule this out. The evidence is in the dilemma blind people face when applying for a job or posting on a dating website: tell people in advance that you’re blind, or wait until they meet you, when their presumed shock might be offset by your geniality, sense of humor, cleverness, or whatever. But does this quandary reflect shame about our disability or a realistic assessment of a probable reaction? I lean toward the latter.

A kinder way of thinking about this quandary is that reference to disability brings out something many of us think of as private. It might seem to compromise a well-earned sense of autonomy and the aura of independence everyone wishes to project to the world.

Since the opening of the Pompidou Center in 1977 (though it wasn’t the first such structure), it has been somewhat fashionable for buildings to display their guts. But the very fact they are the exception demonstrates our fundamental desire not to have such things in our collective face, and more importantly, the desire in many of us not to be completely known. The adjustments that disabled people make are the pipes, mortar and wires of the structures that we call our lives. For a blind person, these adjustments might include how to coordinate clothes, how to manage in the kitchen, how to get around a city when all signs are visual, how to negotiate the workplace, how to appear “normal” in a sighted world. Success with these adjustments is an achievement, yes, but it’s like an athlete’s preparation for the big event. All that preparation means nothing unless the ultimate objective is attained. For many disabled people, that objective is mainstream recognition.

Once again, this need is hardly unique to disabled people. I go back to my list of achievers. How about an astronaut? Much of the admiration will be welcome, but all the recent attention to how they handle bathroom matters? Does a successful artist in whichever medium want their stories to include all the hard work and compromises they might have made to get to where they are? How about the actress who started out in X-rated movies? An F that a college honors student is given for a course can be a source of wry amusement among fellow undergraduates, but that F will be buried when the undergraduate becomes a famous psychiatrist.

True, physical disabilities tend to be out in the open. Comedians and others who like to shock take pride in pointing out the elephant in the room. But in many situations, there are good reasons why the elephant goes unnoticed, or at least without comment. Everyone is granted degrees of privacy even in public. At the office, a man today wouldn’t dare compliment a colleague in a short skirt for her shapely legs, while only a friend would tell a man that he’s wearing his lunch on his shirt and tie. All kinds of social norms and constraints go into what we’ll say to someone, but they all reflect our respect for other people’s feelings or worry about arousing anger — a bit of both, I think. And, in recent decades, fear of legal consequences.

What this notion of privacy comes down to is the need each of us has to mold our own image. It involves a lot of behind-closed-doors activity, as everyone knows who has ever rushed to get ready for work or to host dinner guests.

Some anecdotes are in order. At my last office, a certain lawyer was justly admired for his many achievements in what had once been an obscure field. I certainly hoped for his respect. But whenever he introduced me to someone, he told them that I was his “hero.” It didn’t mean fine lawyer or anything else for which I might want to be known in that environment. It meant he admired me for how I handled my disability.

A friend in her fifties whom I’ve known for thirty years recently lost her vision and became increasingly bothered by the new attention she received as she navigated the city with a cane. One time, a woman approached her on a subway platform to tell her how pretty she looked in her black dress. This friend is no cynic and she’s usually happy to receive praise, but she felt the stranger wouldn’t have been so forthcoming had she, my friend, still been getting around without a cane. I told her she’d better get used to it because blind people are involuntary stars. We had a good laugh at that.

A short passage in my unpublished memoir describes my first memory of receiving praise I knew I didn’t deserve. Here, I am fourteen, and I’d lost my vision only a few months earlier. Coincidentally, my family had just moved to America.

“As the summer waned, Dad drove us for a week’s vacation to a cabin resort a hundred miles north of Toronto. In the evening, a woman played guitar as she led the campers in sing-along around a fire. Ignorant of the words, I hummed the tunes.”

“Dad prevailed on me to try the bowling alley. Even with sight, I’d never got the hang of bowling. When I’d released the ball, it had rolled down the alley at a stately pace. Now, despite Dad’s guidance, the ball kept rolling into one or other gutter. My highest score was in the forties. I felt torn between hatred of doing something badly and wanting to do something with Dad.”

“I chose to believe the other vacationers were discreetly ignoring us. But at the end of the week, they awarded me the bowling prize. I was crushed. From now on would I be judged for how much I tried, not for how well I did?”

“The prize was a fedora. I’d worn a school cap in England, but never a real hat. With the back rim turned up, the fedora made me think of Chicago gangsters. In time I grew fond of it. It got Mum to laugh when I put it on.”

Perhaps, then, the underlying reason why I resist Anita’s comment is an accumulation of compliments that imply allowances for disability. If disabled people felt that praise for how we manage is enough, we’d risk losing our motivation to prosper in mainstream society.

I’ve built an edifice of speculation on top of Anita’s compliment, and yet I still don’t really know why it troubles me. Maybe it’s just a matter of how it’s said, something like the way the words “I love you” can move but also dismay. Of course, Anita already knew about my disability and had openly and flatteringly brought it up in her email.

One of her phrases is, “I still don’t think I completely understand it all.” Put as a question, it could have been an invitation for me to leave my disability island and join her on the mainland. When I reply, I might offer to answer any questions she has. In our psychotherapy-solves-everything society, this would be standard advice. But I worry that doing so might come across as a challenge when we hardly know each other. I think I’ll give it time.

In the end, no simple answer, whether to why I hesitated at Anita’s compliment or how to handle it with grace. But my use of an island metaphor suggests that the source of my difficulty is an ingrained anxiety about apartness.


Four jobs you won’t believe

people who are blind can do

December 2, 2015


These four remarkable and successful individuals are helping change the world’s perception about people with blindness.

Photographer Pete Eckert, state Supreme Court justice Richard Bernstein, BBC correspondent Gary O’Donoghue and chef Christine Ha.

Think of a job that someone who is blind can’t possibly do. Guess what? From an award-winning photographer to an international journalist, and from a state Supreme Court justice to an acclaimed chef, here are four individuals who are shattering stereotypes about what people with blindness can accomplish in the workplace – and in life.

Professional photographer

Award-winning photographer Pete Eckert calls himself a tourist in the sighted world. “I am trying to cut a new path as a blind visual artist,” he said on his website, “I am not bound by the assumptions of the sighted or their assumed limits.”

Eckert was diagnosed in his teens with retinitis pigmentosa. Before he lost his vision completely at age 28, he found an old Kodak camera and taught himself to use it. He went on to develop a unique photographic style that uses slow-speed photography and multiple exposures. “I see each shot very clearly, only I use sound, touch, and memory,” he said.

Over the past 30 years, Eckert’s photographs have been exhibited around the world and he has won multiple awards, including first place in the 2008 “Exposure” competition by Artists Wanted in New York. “My motivation comes from trying to show sighted people the world from a blind perspective,” he told Oasis magazine


International journalist

Gary O’Donoghue has a nose for news. That comes in handy since the British journalist is, in his own words, “that blind bloke you sometimes see on the news.”

O’Donoghue, who lost his vision at age 8, became interested in journalism in high school. That led to a 20-year career at the BBC, where he covered everything from the Kosovo war to British government.

In 2015, he was assigned to cover American politics in Washington, DC.

Being a blind journalist is “hard, but important,” O’Donoghue told the BBC “It’s important to have people like me doing the job though, if journalism is going to properly reflect how Britain is. Otherwise, all stereotypes will be perpetuated, and the world won’t move on in its understanding of disability.”

There are also advantages to being blind, O’Donoghue said. “Sometimes you get a second longer before they slam the door in your face,” he said. “It’s about making that second count.”


State Supreme Court justice

Justice is supposed to be blind – and it definitely is when Richard Bernstein hears arguments in the Michigan Supreme Court. He made history in 2014 when he became the first person who is legally blind to be elected to the state’s highest court.

Bernstein, who has been blind since birth, prepares for cases by having an assistant read him legal documents. “It would be much easier if I could read and write like everyone else, but that’s not how I was created,” he told the Associated Press

“No question, it requires a lot more work, but the flip side is it requires you to operate at the highest level of preparedness. This is what I’ve done my entire life.”

Bernstein is also an accomplished athlete who’s run 19 marathons. “So often people look at us and see physical infirmities,” he said. “But we tend to have a strength that comes with the spirit that is incredibly resilient and powerful.”


Chef and reality TV star

For popular chef Christine Ha, cooking is all about taste, aroma and touch. “I have to figure out by smell and touch if an ingredient is fresh,” she told People magazine,,20601024,00.html. “It’s really about being organized, careful and using my other senses.”

Ha has neuromyelitis optica (NMO), an autoimmune degenerative condition that caused her to lose most of her vision in her 20s. She never attended culinary school, but she attracted wide attention on her food blog, The Blind Cook, which includes recipes, cooking tips and restaurant reviews.

Ha became a pop culture phenomenon in 2012 when she won Fox TV’s “MasterChef” cooking competition show. She released a cookbook, “Recipes from My Home Kitchen: Asian and American Comfort Food”, and co-hosts “Four Senses”, a cooking show on Canadian television geared towards people with visually impairments. In 2014, she won the Helen Keller Personal Achievement Award from the American Foundation for the Blind.


Microsoft updates navigation

headset for the blind

In 2011, Microsoft UK teamed up with charity Guide Dogs to create `Cities Unlocked,` an organization that worked to create a headset designed to help the visually impaired. That device came last year, but now it’s received some major hardware and software upgrades. Although the original simply used bone conduction to send audio clicks and cues to guide the user around, the latest iteration is less of a practical tool and more of an information-rich service. It uses something called “3D soundscape technology,” which is kind of like a GPS that describes everything that’s around them, from local cafés to alerts telling them when a bus or train is approaching the stop.

The headset now rests over the user’s ears in order to allow outside sounds through. This means that the audio guide is unobtrusive, so people are still aware of their surroundings. What’s more, wearers are able to speak into a microphone and ask for more information or to repeat the information they just heard. The idea is that the update turns the technology from perspective to descriptive. One person testing the device described it as “massively empowering,” adding that it gave them confidence and made journeys a “pleasure rather than a chore.” The technology doesn’t even have to be for the visually impaired. Each element can be utilized by everyone, such as learning about your surroundings in a country where you don’t speak the language. The prospects are infinite. Bring on phase three.



Maart 2016

Jaargang 47 No. 3

 Tel: (+27) 11 839-1793

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Besoek ons tuisblad by:

Redaksie: Christo de Klerk

Martie de Klerk

Philip Jordaan

Uitgewers: Blind SA

Rig alle korrespondensie aan: Die Redakteur, Privaatsak X9005, Crown Mines, 2025, Johannesburg, R.S.A.

“Hierdie publikasie is moontlik gemaak deur finansiële ondersteuning van die Departement van Kuns & Kultuur”



Prinshofskool spog met 100%-slaagsyfer

GKSA-sinode: ‘n terugblik

Sonder wiskunde is onderrig Sinloos


Die geskiedenis leer daar is altyd ‘n toekoms

Afgrond tussen ryk, arm verdiep

Swakste grappe van die jaar



Ek is op soek na die braille-uitgawe van die resepteboek, Eenbak Etes deur Erina Bezuidenhout en sal dit waardeer indien iemand, wat hierdie boek besit en dit dalk nie meer gebruik nie, dit aan my kan voorsien. U kan my skakel by 0794928512.

Baie dankie

Cathy Robbertse


Prinshofskool spog met


Annelize Brits

Maroela Media 22 Januarie 2016

Al 26 matrikulante van die Prinshofskool vir visueelgestremdes in Pretoria het die 2015 NSS-eksamen geslaag. Boonop het die matrikulante ‘n totaal van 14 vakonderskeidings behaal. Twee leerlinge, Mkhuseli Methula en Lané Wahl, het elk drie onderskeidings behaal en 18 spog met universiteitstoelating.

ʼn Rekordgetal van 13 blinde leerlinge het die eksamen in braille geskryf, terwyl die ander erg swaksiende leerlinge van grootdrukvraestelle gebruik gemaak het. Hoewel die vraestelle vir sommige vakke soos lewenswetenskappe deur die onderwysdepartement vir visueelgestremdes aangepas is, was die moeilikheidsgraad dieselfde as vraestelle wat die res van die land se matrikulante geskryf het.

Die feit dat dit die 20ste agtereenvolgende jaar is dat ʼn 100%-slaagsyfer in die NSS-eksamen behaal is, getuig van die toewyding van die onderwysers en leerlinge. Prinshofskool kan met reg op dié prestasie trots wees.

GKSA-sinode: ‘n terugblik

Hannes Noëth

Maroela Media 25 Januarie 2016

Verlede week het die GKSA (Gereformeerde Kerke van Suid-Afrika) ʼn buitengewone algemene sinodesitting gehou. Die GKSA is alombekend by baie mense; baie kom selfs uit die Gereformeerde bloedlyne. Vir sommige, daarenteen, is dit ʼn vreemde kerkgenootskap; vir ander sommer net die klomp ou “Doppers” (‘n baie ou skeldnaam, deesdae ‘n erenaam vir Gereformeerde lidmate). Die GKSA is egter ook die kerk van ons liefde – ons geestelike moeder, waarin ons grootgeword en vir wie ons opreg lief is, ongeag haar foute en onvolmaakheid.

Die GKSA is eintlik maar ‘n klein groepie in verhouding tot die bevolkingstal van Suid-Afrika. Uit ‘n land van 55 miljoen mense is 100 000 mense ‘n klein groepie. Tog het geskiedenisskrywers dit eens dat die trefkrag van die GKSA sedert hul bestaansjare ver bo hul getalle was. Die rede lê waarskynlik op drie vlakke, naamlik ‘n baie sterk appèl op roeping, ‘n direkte betrokkenheid by onderwys en die klem wat gelê word op leierskap.

Die rede vir hierdie buitengewone algemene sinode in 2016 was om as kerke saam te besluit oor besware wat ingedien is teen bestaande besluite dat die vrou in die GKSA nie mag dien as predikant en ouderling nie. In die GKSA kom hierdie saak al langer as 30 jaar – nie soos dikwels beweer of onkundig vermeld word omdat dit ‘n verstokte siening handhaaf, ʼn tradisie voortsit of net ‘n klomp ou omies is wat besluit nie (interessantheidshalwe, met die pas afgelope sinode was ons afgevaardigdes waarskynlik gemiddeld die jongste onder afgevaardigdes in verskeie sinodes).

Vir baie kerke en teoloë is die antwoord eenvoudig en maklik, juis vanweë ‘n bepaalde Skrifbeskouing en -benadering. In die Gereformeerde kerke was dit nog altyd so ʼn bietjie moeiliker. Die GKSA se studie oor hierdie saak getuig van ‘n dieptestudie oor baie jare, opregtheid en ‘n konsekwente eerlikheid in die neem van ʼn besluit hieroor. Vir ons as klein kerkverband, met ‘n bepaalde roeping en rigtinggewend in Gereformeerde Skrifbeskouing, was die bevestiging dat vroue nie as predikante en ouderlinge toegelaat kan word nie ‘n bevestiging van ‘n bepaalde Skrifhantering oor die 150 jaar wat die GKSA bestaan en van die vertolking van die kerk wat hierdie saak betref nog lank voor dit. Daarom is dit geen ligtelike saak waaroor sommer net lukraak ‘n antwoord gegee kan word nie.

Wat opvallend was van hierdie pas afgelope sinode was die besonder hoë vlak van beredenering en studie oor sake waarmee eerlik geworstel is oor baie jare en steeds eerlik gehanteer moet word. Die vraag was: Kan beswaardes die kerke wat saamvergader Skriftuurlik oortuig dat die vorige besluite verkeerd is? Ná ‘n diepgaande en ernstige worsteling het die GKSA bestaande besluite gehandhaaf en die besware afgewys. Dit is nie diskriminerend teenoor vroue of onderdrukkend bedoel nie, maar dui eerder op ‘n bepaalde beskouing van geslagtelikheid, die huwelik, die gesin en van God se orde vir sy kerk, asook van begrip van die rolle van man en vrou in die gesin en in die kerk. En die samelewing wat hierdie besluit nie verstaan nie, gooi geweldig klippe, dikwels sonder dat hulle enige van ons besluite gelees, verstaan of oordink het. Is die GKSA se beskouing van geslagtelikheid, die huwelik en die gesin nie juis die antwoord wat ons nodig het in ‘n stukkende samelewing nie?

Die opregtheid en eerlikheid waarmee met die Skrif gewerk is in kommissies en besprekings was opvallend. In verhoudinge onderling en in die luister na mekaar was dit deurgaans opvallend positief.

Vir ons as lidmate van die GKSA is God ons Vader en die kerk ons moeder. Ons weet almal buite die GKSA verstaan dit nie altyd nie en ons verstaan dat daar dikwels baie vrae is. Ons verstaan dat mense nie verstaan nie. Maar ons is nie skaam vir ons moeder nie, ons is lief vir haar.

In die ses sinodesittings waarheen ek afgevaardig kon word, getuig hierdie 2016-sinode vir seker by uitstek die soeke na eenheid, na die onderlinge liefde selfs waar daar verskille is en die uitreik na mekaar. Daarom was die versugting ook: Al is die besluit teen die tydsgees in en teen ‘n groot groep teoloë van baie ander kerkverbande wat sommer ligtelik van buite wil voorsê, kan ons ná hierdie sinode weer in groot mate in eenheid roepingsbewus vorentoe gaan.

Natuurlik is die besluit nie noodwendig in ooreenstemming met die tydsgees nie en natuurlik gaan dit op sommige plekke selfs aanstoot gee. Lidmate van die GKSA wat lief is vir ons moeder het ons egter hierin aan mekaar verbind en ons vind mekaar hierin.

ʼn Belangrike draaipunt van die 2016-sinode was die “tirade” (nie my woorde nie maar dié van Beeld-joernalis Pieter Steyn) van ds. Kiepie Jafta oor te min transformasie in kommissies en die gebruik van die woord “wit oorheersing” deur Derek Mashau. Hy het later verskoning gevra vir die woordgebruik en die sinode het dit ook so aanvaar. Daardie twee momente het myns insiens (lees mooi, myns insiens) twee belangrike sake na vore laat kom: ten eerste die besondere gesindheid waarin die sinode in liefde en selfbeheersing (onder die baie bekwame leiding van die voorsitter) hierdie saak deurtrap, bespreek en hanteer het.

Op dieselfde dag, 140 jaar nadat Die Afrikaanse Patriot die eerste keer verskyn het om Afrikaners in Afrikaans te laat lees, is die sinode van die GKSA in 2016 bereid om ʼn taalaanpassing te maak te wete van goeie gesindheid en ʼn eerlike en opregte begeerte om die saak te bespreek waarvoor ons eintlik gekom het. Die tweede saak wat duidelik hieruit na vore gekom het, is die behoefte aan gesprekke oor eie identiteit en taal. Hoewel hierdie sinode ʼn baie duidelik pragmatiese kompromisbesluit geneem het om ons nie te laat mislei van die doel waarvoor ons eintlik bymekaargekom het nie, gaan ons nie die werklikheid kan ontsnap nie: In die GKSA, soos in die res van die land, sal meer aandag gegee moet word aan eie identiteit, eie waarde en wedersydse respek vir ander.

Die feit dat 11 persent van die nie-Afrikaanssprekende afgevaardigdes in hierdie sinode 30 persent van die kommissie-indeling beset, het getuig van die gesindheid waarmee die GKSA hierdie tameletjie voorlopig wou hanteer. (Die Skrif leer die duiwel loop rond soos ʼn brullende leeu, maar ons kan inderdaad sê gedurende die sinode het hy rondgeloop soos ‘n Britse leeu en so byna die gang van die sinode gekelder. Slegs goeie leierskap en ʼn opregte gesindheid het die spoor gehou.)

Hoe die verskille in die praktyk uitgepluis en geskik gaan word, dit weet ons nie. Of die kerke hulle gaan verbind tot ons gesamentlike besluit, so aanvaar ons wel. Aan die einde van die 2016-sinode kan ek wel oortuigend sê: Die GKSA is nog oortuig van haar rol in ons samelewing en het nog leierskap en ‘n roepingsbewuste saamdinkvermoë. Sy is nie volmaak nie. Tog is sy ons moeder. Ons is lief vir haar.

Sonder wiskunde is

onderrig Sinloos

Deur Elaine Swanepoel

Netwerk24 10 Januarie 2016


Net sowat een uit tien van die leerlinge wat in 2003 in gr. 1 was, het verlede jaar matriekwiskunde geslaag.

Net sowat 4% van hulle het dit met meer as 50% geslaag.

Volgens die departement van basiese onderwys se syfers het net 8% tot 12% van alle leerlinge wat tussen 1999 en 2003 in gr. 1 was, wiskunde in matriek geslaag.

In 2011 het net 3% van leerlinge wat in 1999 in gr. 1 was, bo 50% gekry vir matriekwiskunde. In 2012, 2013 en 2015 het 5% van 2000, 2001 en 2002 se gr. 1’s meer as 50% vir wiskunde gekry.

Kenners meen Suid-Afrika lei nie genoeg wiskundegeletterde leerlinge op om aan die toenemende vraag na skaars vaardighede in die land te voldoen nie.

Leerlinge wat minder as 50% vir wiskunde kry, kan ook nie in aanmerking kom vir baie van die poste waarvoor daar ʼn aanvraag in Suid-Afrika is nie.

Die departement van basiese onderwys het Dinsdag aangekondig vanjaar se slaagsyfer vir wiskunde is 49,1%. In 2014 was dit 53,5% en in 2013 59,1%.

“Die vraag na skaars vaardighede in die land raak al groter, terwyl die getal werkers wat die nodige wiskundige vaardighede het om dié werk te doen, al minder word,” sê Gavin Davis, DA-woordvoerder oor basiese onderwys.

Chantyl Mulder van die Suid-Afrikaanse Instituut vir Geoktrooieerde Rekenmeesters (SAIGR) sê Suid-Afrika moet ‘n geskoolde werkmag skep uit ‘n baie klein poel mense wat wiskunde kan doen.

“Werknemers in my veld kyk nie eens na kandidate wat minder as 60% vir wiskunde in matriek behaal het nie.”

Om enige BCom-rigting, medies of ingenieurswese aan die Universiteit van die Witwatersrand te studeer, moet jy minstens 60% vir wiskunde in matriek behaal. As jy ingenieurswese by die Universiteit Stellenbosch wil studeer, moet jy 70% vir wiskunde in matriek behaal en vir medies het jy 50% nodig.

Vir toelating tot die Universiteit van Kaapstad se ingenieursfakulteit moet jy 80% vir wiskunde kry.

“Die hele voortbestaan van ons land hang af van hoe ons in wiskunde presteer. Om 30% of selfs 50% vir wiskunde te kry, is nie goed genoeg nie,” sê prof. Johann Engelbrecht, uitvoerende direkteur van die Suid-Afrikaanse Wiskundestigting.

Hy sê al meer studierigtings en beroepe is afhanklik van wiskunde. “Dis iets wat ons in elke vertakking van ons samelewing gebruik.”

Hy is egter nie te bekommerd oor vanjaar se swak slaagsyfer nie.

“Dis duidelik dat die standaard van verlede jaar se vraestelle opgestoot is. Dis ‘n teken van volwassenheid dat die departement nie die syfers probeer kook het nie.”

Dr. Nic Spaull, ʼn onderwysnavorser verbonde aan die Universiteit Stellenbosch, pak die skuld vir die swak slaagsyfer in wiskunde op die power gehalte van wiskunde-onderrig.

“In ʼn studie verlede jaar onder 253 matriekwiskundeonderwysers in KwaZulu-Natal het die onderwysers ʼn gemiddelde van 57% vir ‘n matriekwiskundevraestel behaal. Geen opvoeding kan verder as die gehalte van opvoeders vorder nie,” sê Spaull.

“Dit is belangrik om swak onderrig reeds in die primêre fase aan te pak. Dit kan nie eers teen matriek gedoen word nie.”


Maroela Media 1 Desember 2015

Uitdrukking: Op jou louere rus

Betekenis: Nie verder lof probeer inoes nadat ʼn mens deur eie inspanning iets bereik het nie

Waar kom dit vandaan?

‘n Louerkrans (of lourierkrans) of erepalm was ‘n teken van oorwinning; ‘n seëvierende generaal sou so bekroon word. Om daarop te rus, was dus om niks verder na te streef nie. Daar word dikwels ten onregte gesê dat die lourierkrans by die antieke Olimpiese Spele toegeken is. Daar was vier sodanige spele, elk met sy eie soort krans vir die wenner. By die Putiese was dit van lourierblare gemaak; by die Nemeïese was dit van groen pietersielie, by die Olimpiese van wilde olyfblare en by die Ismiese van droë pietersielie of groen denneblare.

Uitdrukking: Iets voetstoots verkoop

Betekenis: Iets sonder waarborg verkoop

Waar kom dit vandaan?

‘n Eg Nederlandse verhaal skuil hier. By die mark het al die boere bymekaar gekom om hulle produkte van die hand te sit, hetsy vir geld, hetsy vir ruilartikels. As ‘n bees of koei die voorwerp van onderhandeling was, en die koper en verkoper klaar oor die prys gekibbel het, het die verkoper die dier van agter af met die voet ‘n stootjie gegee in die rigting van die koper. Dit het die transaksie beklink – en die koper kon nie daarna kom kla dat die dier gebreke het nie. Die voetstootjie het die uitdrukking met voetstoots tot gevolg gehad.

Uitdrukking: ‘n Padda in die keel hê

Betekenis: ‘n Krapperigheid of heesheid in die keel hê

Waar kom dit vandaan?

In Engeland het hulle geglo dat ‘n mens nie stilstaande water moet drink nie – jy sou dan dalk ‘n paar paddaeiers daarmee saam insluk! Die eiers sou dan stellig in jou maag uitbroei en die maklikste (hoewel nie die enigste nie!) ontsnaproete boontoe, deur die keel vind. Dit was dan blykbaar die oorsaak van hierdie krapperigheid, of heesheid.

Om die infeksie gesond te maak, is daar in die Middeleeue lewendige paddas in mense se kele gesit. Daar is geglo dat die fungusse in die keel daardeur vernietig sou word. Die kop van die padda is in die mond van die sieke geplaas, en as die padda asemhaal, sou hy dan die siekte “uittrek”.

Uitdrukking: heinde en ver

Betekenis: naby en ver

Let wel

Mense beklemtoon die heinde altyd asof dit ‘n groot afstand aandui, terwyl die woord van hand afgelei is met betekenis “naby”. Dit beteken al in Middelnederlands “wat by die hand is”, dus “byderhand”, dus “naby” is.

Uitdrukking: Die see kan iemand nie skoonwas nie

Betekenis: Iemand het so ‘n groot misstap begaan dat hy nie vergewe kan word nie

Waar kom dit vandaan?

Een verklaring vir dié uitdrukking word gesoek in die doop: Die doop was al ons sondes weg, maar die dade wat die betrokke persoon gepleeg het, is so erg dat selfs as hy gedoop word met al die water in die see, dit nog nie sy sonde sal wegneem nie. Baie vroeër is seewater skynbaar ook gebruik wanneer hande simbolies in kerkseremonies gewas is. Doopwater en wywater bevat ook sout vanweë die bygeloof dat die duiwel bang is vir sout.

Die geskiedenis leer

daar is altyd ‘n toekoms

deur Flip Buys

Maroela Media 13 Januarie 2016

Hierdie meningstuk is deur ‘n onafhanklike persoon opgestel. Die menings en standpunte wat in hierdie skrywe uitgespreek word, is nie noodwendig die beleid of standpunt van Maroela Media se redakteurs, direksie of aandeelhouers nie. – Red

Suid-Afrika is nie tans op ‘n goeie plek nie. Die politiek is deurmekaar, die ekonomie pap, die droogte en waterprobleem ‘n krisis en die staat verval stuk-stuk. Die rassestorm op sosiale media wys hoe broos die samelewing plek-plek is. Internasionaal lyk sake ook nie veel beter nie. Die prentjie lyk vir baie mense donker en talle wonder of daar nog ‘n toekoms vir hulle is in Suid-Afrika.

Maar die verlede wys daar is altyd ‘n toekoms, dis nooit verby nie. Dís die belangrikste les van die geskiedenis. Die fout wat mense maak is om te glo dat die toekoms vir ewig nag is en dat die son nie weer sal skyn nie. Die rede hiervoor is dat mense geneig is om net ‘n afwaartse lyn van die hede af vorentoe te trek. Hulle maak nie voorsiening daarvoor dat die geskiedenis nooit reguit ondertoe loop nie, maar soms skerp draai en weer boontoe loop. Dit gaan staan nêrens stil nie, maar verskyn altyd weer.

Churchill se toekomsresep

Die staatsman Winston Churchill het gesê hoe verder jy in die toekoms wil insien, hoe verder moet jy in die verlede inkyk. Daarom is dit soms nodig om so twee eeue terug in die verlede te staar, om te kyk na Churchill se resep om die rigting waarin die toekoms beweeg, te probeer “voorspel”.

Kom ons begin by die jaar 1800 en kyk na die skerp draai wat die geskiedenis elke twintig jaar gegooi het. Dan word dit duidelik die hede is nooit permanent nie, dat wie nou bo is, eensklaps ondertoe val en wie onder is, weer kan opkom.

1800: Napoleon is na sy self-kroning die onbetwiste heerser van Europa en Frankryk en daardeur dié supermoondheid van die destydse wêreld. Die Verenigde Koninkryk kom tot stand met die samesmelting van Brittanje en die Ierse Republiek.

1820: Brittanje is nou baas en Napoleon sterf in ‘n eilandtronk in St. Helena nadat sy neerlaag teen die Russe in 1812 die voorspel was tot sy ondergang by Waterloo. Die grootste deel van Suid-Amerika bevry hulself van die Spanjaarde en Portugese wat die voorspel is vir die ondergaan van hierdie twee wêreldryke.

1840: Moderne Nieu-Seeland en België kom tot stand, asook verskeie nuwe lande in Suid-Amerika.

1860: Die opkoms van Pruise, met Kanselier Bismarck, gee saam met Oostenryk en Frankryk die pas in Europa aan. Japan begin stadig wakker word en die VSA begin homself verskeur in ʼn burgeroorlog. Brittanje wen ‘n oorlog teen China, wat die begin van die ondergang van die regerende Chinese Keiserryk is.

1880: Pruise het hul oorwinning oor Oostenryk en Frankryk al die Duitse gebiede in ‘n Duitse supermoondheid verenig, oorheers Europa deur ‘n vennootskap met Brittanje, wat as seegebaseerde supermoondheid die oseane beheer. Die “Scramble for Africa” begin toe Europese lande Afrikagebiede onder hulself begin verdeel.

1900: Brittanje is op die kruin van sy mag as supermoondheid, maar is besig om hom so vas te draai in ‘n oorlog teen die Boere dat die Britte nooit weer daarna ‘n koloniale oorlog wou veg nie. Duitsland, Frankryk, Rusland en die Oostenryks-Hongaarse ryk regeer saam met Brittanje die wêreld. Japan verslaan die Russe vier jaar later in ‘n blitsoorlog.

1920: Brittanje heers weer alleen met Londen as die wêreldhoofstad. Die Duitse-, Oostenrykse-, Russiese- en Turks-Ottomaanse ryke was die slagoffers van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog, met Amerika en Japan wat stadig opkom. In Rusland woed ʼn bloedige burgeroorlog met die kommuniste wat net-net die oorhand kry.

1940: Duitsland beheer Europa en is na die Blitzkrieg en die sluiting van ‘n alliansie met die USSR, ‘n supermoondheid wat die wêreld oorheers. Hitler se bondgenoot, Japan, beheer die Ooste.

1960: Amerika en Rusland (USSR) is nou die twee supermagte met die wêreld wat in twee magsblokke van Wes en Oos verdeel is en die wêreld met kernwapens oorheers. Die Europese koloniale ryke verbrokkel en Afrika word vry.

1980: Amerika het so pas ‘n oorlog verloor teen ‘n derderangse moondheid, Viëtnam. Boonop veg hulle onder Ronald Reagan se leiding gelyktydig ‘n wapenwedloop met die Russe en ‘n handelsoorlog teen die Japanners wat skynbaar die nuwe onstuitbare wêreldmoondheid is. Die VSA moes onder Nixon ‘n alliansie met kommunistiese China sluit om Russiese mag te balanseer.

2000: Na die val van die Oosblok is die VSA die enigste oorblywende supermoondheid en probeer die Ooste en Suide verwesters deur hul goue tweeling van demokrasie en kapitalisme uit te voer en op almal af te druk. China begin stadig wakker word, al het Napoleon twee eeue terug gesê laat China slaap, want as sy wakker word, gaan sy die wêreld skud. In 2001 bars die militante Moslembeweging op die wêreldverhoog, met die aanvalle op die VSA se wêreldhandelsentrum.

Nou beweeg dinge vinniger.

2015: Die VSA regeer nie meer alleen nie, maar word gebalanseer deur Brics, met China, Rusland en Brasilië aan die voorpunt van die nie-Westerse opkoms.

2016: China, Brasilië, Rusland én Europa het ernstige probleme en die VSA bly vir eers weer alleen bo.

Maar dis nie net die wêreldgeskiedenis wat wipplank ry nie en in Suid-Afrika verander alles wat in die hede ewig lyk. Kom ons kyk baie oorsigtelik na die afgelope 100 jaar.


1900: In die Boererepublieke bied sowat 60 000 gewapende burgerlikes verwoed weerstand teen ‘n halfmiljoen van die beste Britse soldate. Brittanje wen en dwing al hulle kolonies onder een sambreel in “Suid-Afrika” in.

1910: Suid-Afrika word ‘n selfregerende unie onder die Britse kroon.

1960: Die land word in 1961 ‘n Afrikaner Republiek en begin met ‘n beleid om die Britsgebore “Suid-Afrika” te ontbondel in state vir al die bevolkingsgroepe.

2000: Die ontbondelingsprojek werk nie uit nie, Suid-Afrika word ‘n eenheidstaat wat vanaf 1994 deur die ANC regeer word. Die ANC kry met 62% se steun 100% van die mag. In net een eeu verander Suid-Afrika 6 keer: vanaf Boererepublieke na Britse oorheersing, ‘n kolonie, ‘n unie, ‘n Afrikaner republiek en toe na die nuwe Suid-Afrika.

2015: Sowat twee dekades na die Nuwe Suid-Afrika tot stand kom, is die land besig om so ‘n omwenteling te ondergaan dat al meer kenners glo die Nuwe Suid-Afrika is besig om tot ‘n einde te kom. Almal wonder hoe die toekoms lyk en glo vas dis verby – die hede is nou ewig. Dit klink byna asof almal mnr. Zuma glo dat die ANC sal regeer tot “Jesus kom”! Mense leer nie uit die geskiedenis dat die toekoms altyd onverwagte draaie vat en nooit lyk soos dit wat jy verwag nie.


Die belangrikste les van 200 jaar se geskiedenis is dat die toekoms nooit “verby” is nie. Dinge bly nooit dieselfde nie, niks is so vas en onveranderlik as wat dit op die oog af lyk nie. Eras, ryke, nasies en volke kom en gaan. Daar kom altyd weer ‘n toekoms te voorskyn, soos wat die son opkom na ‘n lang koue nag. Die hede is nooit permanent nie. Maar dit help nie om net op die toekoms te wag nie, want dan kry jy een wat ander vir jou beplan. Die grootste uitdaging vir Afrikaners is om hul oorspronklike politieke verbeelding in te span en verby Nkandla en die huidige werklikheid ʼn nuwe toekoms raak te sien. Bepaal self hoe jy die toekoms wil hê, skep sterk organisasies en neem aktief deel aan die vorming van ʼn toekoms waarin jy ook vry, veilig en voorspoedig sal kan leef. Want die enigste toekoms wat jy kan voorspel, is die een wat jy self bou.

Afgrond tussen ryk,

arm verdiep

Mari Blumenthal

Rapport 17 Januarie 2016

100 rykstes in SA verdien R61 000 in net 6 uur

Die hoë koppe wat die land se 100 grootste salarisse trek, verdien elkeen in een werksdag meer as wat die tipiese Suid-Afrikaanse werker in ʼn hele jaar huis toe neem.

Die rykes wat die land se hoogste salarisse verdien, hoef volgens Sake-Rapport se berekeninge net 6 uur en 12 minute te werk om net soveel te verdien as die tipiese (mediaan-) jaarlikse Suid-Afrikaanse salaris van net meer as R61 000 per jaar. Dit is gelykstaande aan ʼn maandelikse salaris van net minder as R5 100.

In Suid-Afrika is die mediaansalaris reeds veel laer as die gemiddelde salaris as gevolg van die klein groepie werkers wat hemelhoë salarisse verdien.

Die land se topverdieners sal ook net sowat 15 uur hoef te werk om iemand wat R12 000 per maand verdien, se jaarlikse salaris huis toe te neem. En jy verdien darem ‘n stewige R30 000 per maand? Dié stralejakkers hoef nie eens ‘n volle week nie – net 36 uur – te werk om jou jaarlikse salaris te verdien.

Die land se topverdieners sal ook net sowat 15 uur hoef te werk om iemand wat R12 000 per maand verdien, se jaarlikse salaris huis toe te neem. En jy verdien darem ‘n stewige R30 000 per maand? Dié stralejakkers hoef nie eens ‘n volle week nie – 36 uur – te werk om jou jaarlikse se salaris te verdien.

Dié berekeninge is gegrond op die algemeen aanvaarde maatstaf in mensehulpbronbestuur dat werkers 8 uur per dag of 173 uur per maand werk.

As ons egter aanneem dat die hoë koppe ‘n bietjie harder werk en elke dag 12 uur insit, sal hulle steeds net 9 uur en 18 minute moet werk om die ekwivalent van die tipiese jaarlikse salaris in Suid-Afrika te verdien.

Dié groot verskil in uurlikse lone toon die groot mate van ongelykheid wat steeds in Suid-Afrika voorkom, selfs wanneer die inkomstes van die land se werkende bevolking met mekaar vergelyk word. Dit is weens dié kwessie dat sommige ekonome, soos die bekende Franse ekonoom Thomas Piketty, hulle beywer vir die instel van welvaartbelasting vir die wêreld se rykstes.

Hoewel ongelykheid veral in Suid-Afrika ‘n knellende probleem is, neem dit wêreldwyd toe.

Oxfam maak hierdie week sy jongste verslag oor wêreldwye ongelykheid bekend op die Wêreld-Ekonomiese Forum (WEF) se jaarlikse glansberaad in Davos, Switserland.

Oxfam wil wanneer dié wêreld se magtigste sakeleiers daar byeenkom, graag gesels oor “waarom die wêreld se rykste 1% mense teen vandeesweek reeds meer sal besit as die totale welvaart van die ander 99% van die wêreld se bevolking tesame”.

Prof. Sampie Terreblanche, emeritus-professor in ekonomie aan die Universiteit Stellenbosch, het in sy boek Verdeelde land, wat in 2014 gepubliseer is, die geskiedkundige oorsake van ongelykheid in Suid-Afrika ondersoek. Hy skryf dat die ANC-regering in 1994 ‘n armoedeprobleem van die apartheidsregering geërf het wat toe reeds feitlik onoplosbaar was. Hy skryf hoewel die ANC dit as sy hoogste prioriteit aangegee het om dié probleem op te los, het sy beleid dit net vererger.

“Met sy beleidsmaatreëls van die afgelope 20 jaar het die regering elite-vorming en die bevordering van plaaslike en buitelandse maatskappye se belange eerste gestel en die verarmde swart meerderheid skandelik verwaarloos. Gevolglik het die armoedeprobleem vererger en het dit nou moeiliker as ooit geword om dit op te los.”

Terreblanche waarsku ook dat werkloosheid, armoede en ongelykheid vir nog ‘n dekade of twee kan voortduur.

Hoe het ons dit bereken?

Sake-Rapport se berekeninge is gedoen op grond van die 100 hoogste salarisse wat verdien word deur die topbestuur van maatskappye wat op die JSE genoteer is, volgens Sunday Times se jaarlikse lys van rykes. Die tipiese vergoeding op dié lys, wat basiese salarisse, bonusse en vergoeding in die vorm van aandele insluit, was in 2014 ongeveer R20,5 miljoen per jaar. Dit beteken die tipiese uurlikse loon van diegene op dié lys kom neer op bykans R9 900.

Volgens Statistieke Suid-Afrika se 2014-peiling van arbeidsmarkdinamika is die mediaansalaris vir werkers in die formele sektor wat nie as huiswerkers of in die landbousektor werk nie, net sowat R4 680 per maand. Om daarvoor te vergoed dat mense in dié peiling dikwels ʼn laer salaris aandui as wat hulle verdien, kan ons dit opwaarts aanpas tot R5 097. Dit is volgens die berekeninge van Ardenn Finn, ‘n ekonoom aan die Universiteit van Kaapstad.

Swakste grappe van die jaar

deur griffin September 17 2003

Sol deer nie

Het julle gehoor Sol Kerzner het SAA gekoop?

Die nuwe naam gaan Aerosol wees.

Medies, ongeskik

‘n Man trek aan na ‘n vol medies ondersoek. Die dokter kom die vertrek binne met ‘n bekommerde uitdrukking op sy gesig. “Ek is bevrees ek het slegte nuus,” sê hy. “Jy het ‘n onbehandelbare siekte. Daar is niks wat die mediese wetenskap vir jou kan doen nie.”

Die man is geskok. “Dok, hoe lank het ek?” vra hy.

Die dokter antwoord. “Tien.”

Die man is verward. “Wat se antwoord is dit? Tien wat? Tien maande? Tien weke?”

Die dokter sê: “Nege, agt, sewe …”

Batman en Robin

Wat het Batman vir Robin gesê voor hy innie kar geklim het?

“Robin, klim in die kar”.


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New app to help

women find their BFF

by Leonie Wagner

TimesLIVE 09 February 2016

Finding a BFF (best friend forever) is just a swipe away with a new app for women.

“Hey! Vina” helps women find and make female friends. Potential users sign up with their Facebook account, which is used to verify gender and find people they know.

Then there’s a quiz that identifies people you are compatible with. The user can then anonymously swipe to indicate whom she wants to meet right now. Just like Tinder.

Johannesburg clinical psychologist Annemarie Novello said this type of friendship app was relevant because people “are becoming socially isolated”.

Novello said the traditional ways of forming friendships were changing as people work longer hours.

“It has become harder for people to find places in which to connect. With the number of people emigrating and moving to cities, people are losing their childhood friends.

“The opportunities for adults to make friends are declining because people work different hours.

“Those who usually made friends with other parents aren’t any more, and others aren’t having children.”

The app was developed by Olivia June Poole and Jen Aprahamian to bring women together.

Poole told Huffington Post the app’s goal was “to drive a philosophy of community over competition among women”.

“We hope women everywhere will use the app to find the freedom and confidence that comes from having a strong community of friends supporting you.

“Women have a greater need for friends … it’s also important for some women to spend time with other women.

“This is where they can relax and get intimate emotional stuff that they can’t talk to their man about,” Novello said.

The app was launched earlier this year and is available on devices running iOS.

Adele officially best-selling

artist of 2015

TimesLIVE 08 February 2016

Adele, who broke records with her song “Hello” and latest album “25,” was officially the biggest artist of 2015.

Global music industry body IFPI said that the British ballad singer was the top-selling musical act last year based on worldwide sales of recordings.

Adele achieved the feat for the full year even though she did not release 25 until November 20 and declined to put the album on streaming sites, a rare move at a time when such on-demand services are growing rapidly.

25– Adele’s third album which came more than four years after its predecessor – broke records for first-week sales in both the United States and Britain.

The first track Hello, an introspective ballad in line with Adele’s previous work, was the first single to be downloaded more than one million times in the United States in one week.

IFPI chief executive Frances Moore, in a statement issued from Europe on Monday, called 25 the “runaway global sensation of 2015” and said Adele’s achievement was “simply phenomenal.”

IFPI, which stands for the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, presents its annual award based on an artist’s physical and digital sales as well as streaming, although the group does not release figures.

Tracking service Nielsen SoundScan reported Sunday that 25 had sold eight million copies in the United States – becoming only the sixth album to reach that threshold since 2001, when iTunes and other digital music innovations shook up the industry.

Number two for 2015 was another British artist, singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, whose career has soared in the past couple of years on the popularity of his ballad Thinking Out Loud.

US country-turned-pop superstar Taylor Swift, who won the IPFI Global Recording Artist award the previous year when she released her chart-topping album 1989, fell to number three in 2015.

Rounding off the top five were Canadian pop celebrity Justin Bieber, who in November released his latest album Purpose, and British boy band One Direction who called a hiatus in late 2015 after a fifth album and departure of founding member Zayn Malik.

DA wants Gupta Competition

Commission report

tabled in Parliament

TMG Digital

TimesLIVE 05 February 2016

The Gupta family, fresh from a savaging from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on Thursday, faced an attack from another opposition political party.

The Democratic Alliance (DA), late on Thursday, said it “will be urging the Competition Commission to act in terms of Section 21 of the Competition Commission Act (CCA) to ensure that any irregularities – for which the Guptas are infamous – are made known to Parliament”.

This comes, the DA’s Natasha Mazzone said, after “reports this week have confirmed that Competition Commission is to investigate the deal between Glencore, who owned Optimum Mines, and the Gupta-owned Tegeta Exploration”.

Mazzone said the deal was shrouded in “controversy and secrecy” as “Glencore was offered a much higher offer of R3.17-billion from a competitor, Endulweni Mining, which would have protected workers and provided them with an ownership share”.

“However, they settled for a deal with the Guptas’ Tegeta for a R2.15-billion, well below the alternative offer,” she added.

“This emanates from reports that Gupta-owned Tegeta Exploration is the new owner of Optimum Coal – the contracted supplier of coal to Eskom – especially when considering that the Guptas are always front runners to receive large government contracts even though they always fallen short meeting acceptable standards of delivery.

“Eskom is purchasing coal from soon-to-be Gupta-controlled Optimum’s mines that is export grade, a type of coal that is incompatible with Eskom’s turbines.”

Mazzone said that the “CCA mandates that the minister of trade and industry must upon receiving the report from the Competition Commission table it to Parliament within 10 days”.

Earlier on Thursday, EFF leader Julius Malema said the names President Jacob Zuma and the Guptas were synonymous with corruption.

“We’re not going to allow a South Africa that is sold over a plate of curry,” Malema said, who also accused the family of running a “corrupt cartel”.

“We are not going to allow the Guptas to masquerade as legitimate businesspeople when they are not. We’re tired of talking about the Guptas.”

8 reasons why building

new nuclear power

plants is a bad idea

by Andreas Wilson-Späth

TimesLIVE 2016-01-11

The South African government seems intent on pushing through its plans to build a fleet of new nuclear power stations regardless of mounting public criticism and opposition. The most recent sign that nukes remain a firm national policy target was the publication of a document spelling out that “9 600 megawatts (MW) should be procured to be generated from nuclear energy”, which appeared in the Government Gazette a few days before Christmas.


Alas, atomic energy remains a poor option for South Africa for a number of compelling reasons. Here are some of them in no particular order:

1. It’s too expensive

The nuclear industry involves prohibitively high capital costs, for example for constructing new reactor facilities. The government’s current procurement plan is estimated to cost more than a trillion rand. Give our nose-diving currency and past experiences from other countries who have embarked on new nuclear build projects, this already humongous figure is likely to turn out to be a severe underestimate.

Atomic energy operators have historically been recipients of large government subsidies. The technology is `mature` and unlikely to see future drops in costs. Renewable energy alternatives, by contrast, are constantly becoming more affordable. Nuclear fission is not a renewable source of energy. The world’s uranium reserves are limited and will become increasingly scarce and expensive.

2. It’s too dangerous

The consequences of the disasters at Chernobyl and Fukushima are stark reminders of the safety risks nuclear power plants represent. There is no guarantee that similar or worse accidents will not happen in the future.

In addition, the nuclear energy industry has long-standing ties to the atomic weapons business. South Africa’s past experience in this regard remains a particularly relevant example.

Proliferation of nuclear arms continues to be a global problem, specifically in countries that have an active nuclear energy programme. Why else would Iran’s plans for atomic power have been such a hot geopolitical issue for so long?

At various points along its entire value chain, from enrichment to power generation, the nuclear energy industry remains vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

3. It’s too secretive

Because of safety and security concerns, generating nuclear energy is undemocratic by definition and requires tight, centralised and secretive state and corporate control. The tender and procurement process for South Africa’s proposed new nuclear programme has been anything but transparent and open to public scrutiny. In this environment, opportunities for shady back-room dealings, financial `incentives` to strategically positioned individuals and outright bribery abound. Some of us have not yet forgotten the arms deal shenanigans.

4. It’s too dirty

Nuclear power stations generate high-level waste that stays dangerously radioactive for many thousands of years and for which no safe, long-term storage solution has yet been found anywhere in the world. All of the high-level waste produced at Koeberg over the years, for instance, remains in storage at the power plant itself.

Mining and processing uranium comes with very serious health risks for those involved as well as neighbouring communities, while also producing mountains of radioactive tailings and large quantities of contaminated liquids which represent major environmental threats.

5. It’s too slow

Government claims that reducing carbon emissions is a major reason for its plans to go nuclear. But building new nuclear power plants will take too long – decades – at a time when we desperately need clean, low-carbon energy to effectively counteract global warming. Renewable energy technologies can provide this much more speedily.

6. It’s outdated

Producing electricity by nuclear fission represents outdated 20th century technology. Investing time and money – and lots of both – in this dinosaur industry comes with significant and damaging opportunity costs that undermine our ability to make progress with real solutions. The future of electricity generation is renewable.

7. The environmental impact assessment is flawed

In its submission to GIBB Consultants, the firm facilitating the environmental impact assessment process for South Africa’s proposed new nuclear build programme, the anti-nuclear Koeberg Alert Alliance spells out some of more glaring problems with the process (full disclosure: I’m a member of this organisation and contributed to the submission). Among other things, the document highlights concerns about the lack of consideration given to the earthquake risk at the Koeberg site, a misrepresentation of South Africa’s projected future electricity demand, and criticisms about the veracity of some of the specialists scientific studies that form part of the draft environmental impact report, which is described as “incomplete”, “biased” and “inadequate”.

8. We have better alternatives

Renewable sources of energy, especially solar and wind power, are capable of providing cheap, clean and safe electricity much more quickly than newly build nuclear reactors would.

The claim that we need atomic energy as part of a mix of power sources is fallacious. A number of studies have shown that renewables have the potential to provide most if not all of our electricity needs.

Nuclear power is redundant in the 21st century.

Teenage online

sex codes cracked

TimesLIVE 08 September 2015

Attention parents. Do any of the following terms mean anything to you: GNOC, ASL, IWSN?

Web-based service to keep children safe online

One of the biggest barriers facing parents trying to monitor their children’s online activity is the language barrier.

To combat this, the UK’s The Daily Telegraph reported on its website, the British Department of Education has launched a language guide that will give parents a greater understanding of what is happening in chatrooms. It deciphers the teenagers’ chat acronyms.

For the record, GNOC stands for “get naked on camera”, ASL refers to “age, sex, location” and IWSN is short for “I want sex now”.

Thanks to the guide, parents will now know, when their child sounds a P999 or a CD9 (Code 9), that they are making their online friends aware that their parents are around.

The online service Parent Info, The Daily Telegraph reports, is an online service announced by the Department of Education. It is intended to give parents the confidence to talk about sensitive topics with their children.

UK Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan said parents could not provide online safety to their children if they did not understand internet culture.

She said: “The internet is an incredibly powerful tool that is changing the way our children learn and stay in touch.

“But we must also make sure that we do everything we can to help them stay safe online.

“As a parent myself, I understand how important it is to know your child is safe and that’s why this new online service is so important.

“I hope all schools take advantage of this new resource, which deals with fundamental issues such as cyber bullying and body confidence.

“Cyber bullying, which is now more common than face-to-face bullying, is just one of the areas that Parent Info tackles.”

An Interesting

History of 1752

Here is an interesting historical fact that you probably didn’t know … (I sure didn’t). Just have a look at the calendar for the month of September 1752:

Tuesday 1; Wednesday 2; Thursday 14; Friday 15; Saturday 16; Sunday 17; Monday 18; Tuesday 19; etc.

In case you haven’t noticed, 11 days are simply missing from the month.

Here’s the explanation: This was the month during which England shifted from the Roman Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar.

A Julian year was 11 days longer than a Gregorian year. So, the King of England ordered 11 days to be wiped off the face of that particular month.

So, the workers worked for 11 days less that month, but got paid for the whole month. That’s how the concept of “paid leave” was born.

In the Roman Julian Calendar, April used to be the first month of the year; but the Gregorian Calendar observed January as the first month. Even after shifting to the Gregorian Calendar, many people refused to give up old traditions and continued celebrating 1st April as the New Year’s Day. When simple orders didn’t work, the King finally issued a royal dictum; which stated that those who celebrated 1st April as the new year’s day would be labelled as fools. From then on, 1st April became April Fool’s Day.

The Big Read:

Who’s running this country?

Justice Malala

TimesLIVE 01 February 2016

Who appoints our cabinet ministers? If it is President Jacob Zuma, with whom does he appoint them? With the ANC deployment committee? With the ANC’s top-five leaders?

Or does he do it with his benefactors, the Gupta family? If he does do it with the Guptas, as seems clear from his last two cabinet appointments, it means that he has again betrayed the 11436921 (that’s nearly 11.5 million) people who queued to vote for the ANC in May 2014.

At its lekgotla last week the ANC discussed the influence of the Gupta family in the “capture” of state institutions. ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said a strong message from the lekgotla was for the government to “deal decisively” with “people outside the state” heavily influencing government decisions.

You have to laugh. Mantashe should have turned around to Zuma, who sat next to him, for an explanation of this phenomenon. For, at the end of the day, a conversation about the Guptas is really a conversation about how Zuma has sold his presidency to this family.

Here’s a question to illuminate this: Who appointed Mosebenzi Zwane, the Mineral Resources Minister, and Des van Rooyen, the near-miss finance minister? The evidence strongly suggests it was Zuma, as instructed by the Gupta family.

Let’s start with the process. Thereafter we will look on how Zuma has deviated from accepted and known ANC processes.

Former president Thabo Mbeki’s letter on Monday last week gave us a clear idea of how cabinet appointments are made in the ANC.

He wrote that, when appointing his cabinet, he would “prepare the list of persons I proposed should occupy these various positions.

“I would then submit this written proposal to each of the other five ANC national office-bearers for them to consider my proposals, ahead of the collective national office-bearers’ meeting which then took the final decision about who would serve.

“Subsequently, each of the ministers and deputy ministers was individually informed of [his] appointment by me as the president of the republic, sitting together with the secretary-general of the ANC. The same procedure was followed in the event of a cabinet reshuffle.”

We also know how the cabinet prepares for key portfolio changes. In December, after the shock firing of Nhlanhla Nene, former finance mister Trevor Manuel wrote: “I was in the cabinet when Mr Tito Mboweni was moved across from the Department of Labour to the SA Reserve Bank, and when Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma left the cabinet to take up a position as [chairman] of the African Union Commission. In both those instances, the ground was properly prepared and the cabinet was apprised of developments.”

Was this done in the case of Des van Rooyen, who was plucked from obscurity to run the finances of SA Inc? Not according to Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe, who said at that week’s post-cabinet briefing: “At the conclusion of the cabinet meeting, there was no new finance minister and there was no way we could have predicted [the appointment].”

So who knew about Van Rooyen’s and Zwane’s appointments? Zwane, who has been mired in two scandals involving the Gupta family, was hustled into the cabinet in the most secretive manner. City Press newspaper reported in September that no announcement about his departure from his MEC position in the Free State was made.

City Press wrote then: “It also emerged that Zwane was flown to Cape Town by [Premier Ace] Magashule’s office, catching off guard the troop of parliamentary officials who are usually involved when a new MP is to be sworn in. A source in the National Assembly table (senior parliamentary staff) told City Press that officials in parliament were surprised when Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli told them that Zwane, the new MP, was already in his office.

“It subsequently emerged that there was a last-minute rejig of the party political list of those eligible to become an MP. This was highly unusual, according to the source.”

Except for his ties to the Guptas, who are mine-owners, Zwane had zero mining or national experience. Whom is he working for now?

Zwane’s spokesman this week confirmed to the Financial Mail that “Zwane travelled with a delegation from Gupta-owned Tegeta Exploration and Resources to visit Glencore in Switzerland to negotiate the purchase of Optimum Colliery.”

Van Rooyen’s appointment was even more puzzling. The ANC’s top officials, from Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to Mantashe, seem to have known nothing about him. His friends new, according to newspaper report.

Plus, there were allegations that he arrived at his new office with two advisers – allegedly supplied by a certain family – whom he allegedly told Treasury officials to hire on the spot.

So, President Zuma, tell us: Who is running South Africa? Is it the ANC or the Gupta family?

From the ANC’s discussion at its lekgotla last week, there is growing concern that the Guptas are in charge.

As EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu has said, the Guptas “have de facto colonised South Africa, with Zuma being the chief colonial administrator”.

Cry, the beloved country.

A few brief histories

of some of your

favourite foods

by Shelbie

February 6, 2016

1. Lobster

In the early days of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, lobsters were so abundant that they would wash up in 2-foot-high piles. They were so easy to grab that people considered them trash food only fit for servants and prisoners. Rumor even has it that some people in Massachusetts revolted and the colony was forced to sign contracts promising that indentured servants wouldn’t be fed lobster more than 3 times a week.

As railways started to spread through America, transportation managers realized that if people didn’t know what lobster was, trains could serve it to inland passengers as if it were a rare and exotic delicacy, and the rest is a very well-marketed history.

2. PEZ

The use of the popular candies wasn’t always so childlike. 70 years ago in Vienna, they were created as a peppermint candy and marketed as a cigarette substitute. In fact, PEZ was derived from the German word for peppermint, pfefferminz.

3. Fettucine Alfredo

A pregnant wife actually inspired this world-famous dish. Alfredo di Lelio’s young bride lost her appetite when she was pregnant and needed to gain weight. Di Lelio owned a restaurant in Rome, and created the simple meal to try and get her to eat, and she ended up loving it.

4. Pickles

Pickles can date back as far as 2030 BC, when cucumbers from their native India were pickled in the Tigris Valley. In 50 BC, Queen Cleopatra credited prickles with making her beautiful and healthy. Her lover Julius Caesar gave them to troops in belief that it would make them strong.

Jews living in Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and Russia considered kosher dill pickles a staple in their diet, and when they arrived in the US during the late 1800s, they introduced them to Americans.

5. Corned Beef and Cabbage

Traditionally, boiled bacon was the food of choice on St. Paddy’s day for the Irish. When Irish immigrants come to the US, they couldn’t afford the high price of pork products, so they turned to the cheapest cut of meat: beef brisket. Since the US was a melting pot of cultures, the adopted cooking techniques from other countries, and instead of boiling it they brined the brisket like the Eastern Europeans. As for the “corned” part? It has nothing to do with corn but actually refers to the corn-sized salt crystals used in the brining process.

6. Eggs Benedict

If you’ve even eaten this while you’re hungover, you’re in good company with its inventor. In 1894, a Wall Street aristocrat, Lemuel Benedict (who was known to sport a racoon-skin coat and cane), ordered poached eggs, buttered toast, bacon, and a pitcher full of hollandaise sauce as room service at the Waldorf Hotel. Needing something to sop up the alcohol in his belly, he figured somehow that these ingredients would do the trick. The hotel’s restaurant Oscar Tschirky tried the concoction and decided it should be on the Waldorf’s menu.

7. Waffles

The beginning of the waffle’s long history starts out in Ancient Greece when they made small cakes between hot iron plates. As they spread in popularity throughout medieval Europe, they were known as wafers. By the 13th century they began to be stamped with various designs such as family crests and landscape scenes. The Dutch brought the breakfast food to the New World and by that time they were called “waffles.” It was Thomas Jefferson, however who brought the first long-armed waffle iron home from France in 1789, and a fad for waffle parties sparked in the US.

8. Pretzels

Legend has it that the pretzel started in the year 610, when Italian monks gave their students treats of baked dough twisted in the shape of crossed arms, which was the traditional posture for prayer. As the custom spread through medieval Europe, the 3 holes of the pretzel began to represent the Holy Trinity, and the snack became a bit of a good luck token.

9. Reuben Sandwich

Patricia Taylor, daughter of the late Arnold Reuben, told “New York Times” that an actress friend of Charlie Chaplin walked into Reuben’s deli and said, “Reuben, make me a sandwich, make it a combination, I’m so hungry I could eat a brick.” With that motivation, Reuben stacked up the legendary ingredients for the first time. The actress liked it so much that she said, “Gee, Reuben, this is the best sandwich I ever ate. You ought to call it the Annette Seelos Special.” Taylor says her father then responded, “Like hell I will, I’ll call it the Reuben’s Special!”

10. French fries

The origins of the falsely-named food date back to 16th century Belgium. According to Belgian tales, poor villagers often fried small fish from the river. When the river froze over during the winter, the villagers were forced to fry up potatoes instead.

During WWI, American soldiers were stationed in Belgium and were first introduced to the food. Since the official language of the Belgian Army was French, they nicknamed the delicious potatoes “french fries.”




500 ml meelblom

10 ml bakpoeier

45 ml kakao

160 ml sagte bruinsuiker

2 eiers

250 ml suurroom

100 ml melk

60 ml olie

400 gram melksjokolade, in stukkies gebreek

Oond 180°C.

Sif bakpoeier, meel, en kakao saam en voeg suiker by.

Klits eiers, suurroom, melk en olie en roer by droë bestanddele.

Klits tot romerige beslag.

Roer sjokolade by en skep in papierdoppies wat in muffinpan geplaas is.

Bak vir 25 of 30 minute of tot gaar.

Laat afkoel en sif kakao oor.



Sif saam:

1 k meel

2 t bakpoeier


1 t mosterdpoeier

knippie rooipeper

Vryf half k botter met vingerpunte in meelmengsel.

Voeg 1 k gerasperde Cheddar kaas by.

Klits saam:

1 eier

driekwart k melk

2 t marmite

Voeg eiermengsel by meelmengsel.

Skep in muffinpanne en bak tot gaar op 180°C.


Smelt saam:

1 e marmite

2 e botter

Giet oor warm muffins.



300 ml bruismeel


150 ml strooisuiker

75 ml olie

1 eier

250 ml karringmelk


1 blikkie ingelegde appelkooshalwes

Sif droë bestanddele.

Meng olie, melk en eier.

Meng twee dele saam.

Skep 1 e van deeg onderin gesmeerde kolwyntjieholte.

Plaas 1 t appelkooskonfyt bo-op plus ‘n halwe appelkoos.

Skep nog ‘n laag deeg bo-op.

Bak in matige oond tot gaar.

Besprinkel met gesmelte botter en kaneelsuiker.




200 g maalvleis

1 k koekmeel

2 t bakpoeier

1 t braaivleisspeserye

½ k olie

1 k volroom melk

2 eiers



Berei die maalvleis voor volgens jou smaak. (Kerrie of savoury)

Meng droë bestanddele.

Klits eiers, melk en olie saam.

Voeg by droë bestanddele.

Die beslag moet dikker as ‘n pannekoek beslag wees.

Smeer die kolwyntjiepan.

Voeg 1 dessertlepel deeg onderin.

Plaas 1 dessertlepel maalvleis bo-op.

Bedek met weer 1 dessertlepel deeg.

Bak teen 180 grade vir 15 minute.