Bo-Kaap granted heritage

Cape Town, March 31, 2019 – After years of fighting the City of Cape Town, Bo-Kaap residents have finally managed to secure municipal heritage protection. A lengthy public participation saw 2 300 votes in favour, and only 27 against the move. Now, new developments and alterations to old buildings will have to follow strict guidelines on height, style and construction materials used. This, all in line with the area’s character.


Orania guards its independence

“ORANIA – Determined to maintain their independence, the people of Orania will not be taking part in the local elections.

There are no posters lining the streets and campaign cars aren’t making the rounds.

The people of Orania say their enclave is about responsible self-governance.

In existence for 25 years, Orania’s population has seen steady growth. It is now home to 450 families.

Orania Movement leader, Carel Boshoff said while some things attract people to Orania, other things push people away.

“Living with like-minded people, speaking your language, understanding your traditions and your culture – those are factors pulling people towards Orania but there are unfortunately also factors that push people to Orania like joblessness as a result of affirmative action or radical lack of safety,” said Boshoff.

Even the currency is different.

The Ora is used to keep money circulating within the town.

“Very many rural communities or even townships close to larger towns stay very poor because all the money seems to flow out of it, going to products and services that are not produced locally… People need to deliver services to each other and products to each other,” he said.

The economy in Orania relies on the export of pecan nuts, maize and wheat.

Tourism is also a large contributor.

The Afrikaner town falls within the Thembelihle Municipality, currently run by a former ANC mayor who now is an EFF member.

But the party that wins the municipality will have almost no say over what happens in Orania.”

Watch full story here. 


Source: eNCA

Respect initiation – without loss of life

NOTE: Article first appeared in The Citizen newspaper June 14, 2014. 

The traditional initiation season started yesterday and many young boys are heading to initiation schools countrywide to take part in this cultural rite of passage during their winter holiday.

In an effort to curb the deaths that result from circumcisions done at some of these schools, R180 million has been set aside by the Department of Health to assist initiation schools. Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi said every province will be given R20 million. This money can be used to hire help or buy necessary aids at initiation schools.

Some of the problem areas identified include the Eastern Cape, Limpopo and Mpumalanga, where some illegal schools are in operation. Motsoaledi said the problem in the Eastern Cape was “complex” because people are allowed to open up initiation schools without the consent of their traditional leader. This is why parents need to ensure the school they take their child to is legal – and report illegal schools.

Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi addresses a joint media briefing held in Pretoria on the initiation cultural practices. (Photo: GCIS)
Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi addresses a joint media briefing held in Pretoria on the initiation cultural practices. (Photo: GCIS)

“We can’t let these thugs kill our children,” said Motsoaledi.

Obed Bapela, deputy minister of traditional affairs said a “zero tolerance” stance would be taken on “bogus operators” of illegal initiation schools. “The loss of life that occurred over the years prompted government and the traditional leadership to embark on a drive to restore the integrity and dignity of the practice.”

Bapela gave an example of the 32 deaths last year in Mpumalanga, saying the Hawks were investigating the matter.

Motsoaledi said while some traditional leaders may be resistant to help, they need to understand that “things have changed”. Diseases such as diabetes have become more prevalent and require initiation schools to take more precautions.

The money provided is part of R385 million set aside by the department for the medical male circumcision programme, which will provide free circumcisions. The department will provide further support through assisting with health screening, providing medicines and technical help. Motsoaledi said health screening was vital in preventing deaths. “We need to pick up prior medical conditions” to avoid the inevitable.

A beaut of a day

The excitement around yesterday had been brewing for a few days. We were positively buzzing when we finally hit the N1 South to Pretoria.

Our destination was a Buddhist temple in Bronkhorstspruit. I knew nothing about the place and had no scholastic interests there. I was going along for the experience and because I am a liker of things.

Shandu and Thuli didn’t hold back when we took photo’s upon arrival. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

A few wrong turns delayed us a bit but when we finally found our way to Nan Hua Temple we realised that the long drive from Joho was worth it.

The bright red, green and gold trimmings on the Chinese architecture was breathtaking. I felt like I was on the set of every Chinese/Kung Fu movie I had ever seen. We went photo mad from the very minute we arrived. All of us so desperate to try and capture some of the beauty our words would fail to demonstrate later on.

Entrance to the main temple. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa
Entrance to the main temple. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

The very first thing I noticed was this graffiti on one of the arch’s pillars.

Really?! :/ Photo: Pheladi Sethusa
Really?! :/ Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

It made me sad, that some inconsiderate people could not grant others the same religious freedom bestowed on them. It’s just crass. But all the while very telling innit?

Anyway that unpleasantness didn’t ruin the mood for long. Our guide Sipho was very helpful, he told us about everything from the architecture, to explaining some religious and cultural aspects of Buddhism.

Walking up to the main temple, a stilling calm washed over me and stayed with me for the duration of our tour. It was a really tranquil space. Being in the temple where the main shrines were was quite an experience.

The 2.5 metre high Buddha‘s were a magnificent sight. The ceilings breathtaking and the mood serene. In the temple I most enjoyed the playing of the echo drum and wooden fish. The sounds created an echo around the room that made one take in design aesthetics in a holistic way.


The rest of the tour saw us eating a vegetarian lunch in absolute silence and meeting temple master Ven Hui-Xing, who was the most animated person I have ever met. He even gave us each a gift, what a great day indeed. Have a look at the links below for more on the day 🙂