PLASTIC WATCH: Sky News drawing attention to plastic pollution

Watching Sky News yesterday was a real eye opener as to just how serious the plastic pollution of our oceans has become. The shocking statement that by the year 2050 the weight of plastic in the oceans will exceed the total weight of all the fish in the sea may sound impossible but even if this figure were to be only half of that prediction; it is time for us all to start taking the threat seriously.

At the bottom of this post we have included some Sky News Ocean Rescue links to various articles, all certainly make interesting reading as to the serious threat not only to the fish and other seafood we consume but also to our health and something even more important, something we cannot live without, Oxygen.

And we have to start now! Today!

Possibly a good place to start is to stop supporting the government’s plastic bag fund which after all is probably lining a few cadre’s pockets instead of being used for what it is intended. This could spawn an whole new industry with the local production of cloth  / cotton shopping bags. How many sewing machines are lying idle in people’s cupboards that could be donated or loaned to a group of Sea Vista ladies to produce these bags? Spar and other outlets could purchase these and sell them on to customers and in the long run there is little doubt that saving the 50c one pays for each plastic bag would soon pay for the linen bags.

Take-away food containers should be next on the list. All pizza’s are sold in cardboard boxes but virtually all other take-away produce is supplied in polystyrene containers. Balobi’s Seafood Market and Deli, whether by design or accident are already setting a good example by supplying all their take-aways in cardboard containers and others should follow their lead.

And so we come to St Francis Today’s hobby horse – RECYCLING!

We simply have to motivate the municipality to create a drop off zone, or better still, strategically located zones, even if only for plastic waste initially. Glass and paper do in a relatively short period, certainly if compared with plastic, recycle themselves although in the longer term disposal of all recyclable waste products should also be addressed. But at least let us start with plastic.

We must start today. A simple exercise of putting all your plastic waste in a separate bag to your normal garbage will soon illustrate just how much more plastic waste you generate in a week compared to ‘’wet’ garbage. If you don’t already set you plastic waste aside try it for a week or two. It will shock you how much plastic you dispose of every month.

Start today and in two weeks you will have formed a habit that will significantly reduce the the tons of plastic waste that is generated in St Francis alone.

You can take your plastic waste to the Rotary sponsored recycling depot at God’s Acre on Tarragona Road, Sea Vista on the first Thursday of each month.

Sky Ocean Rescue

Sir Richard Branson backs Sky’s Ocean Rescue campaign

The ocean plastic problem: 10 key statistics


Sea Vista Marimba band off to China

Local Children’s Band To Perform In China

Sea Vista Steel and Marimba Band off to China

Back : Abulele Silolo, Dean Kalo (bandleader and teacher), Bafana Santi, Ayanda Hlela , Grant-Login Harris and Banele Speelman Front : Sagin Rala (crouching) and Jo-Andre Swarts

At the invitation of the Yangcheng Municipal People’s Government, Jincheng city northern China, the Solid Rock Steel & Marimba Band will leave South Africa on 25th January to fly to Jincheng to participate in that city’s annual Chinese New Year festivities.

“This opportunity came about after a Chinese delegation, who were visiting the Sarah Baartman Municipal District, attended one of our shows at the Cape St Francis Resort,” said band leader Dean Kalo. “We often do shows for groups of tourists at the Resort and we always get a good response. But this invitation came as such a wonderful surprise! We have never been on a plane and most of the boys have never travelled beyond the Eastern Cape!”

The trip will include a 20 day stay in Jincheng with the band playing each morning in the grounds of the Prime Minister’s castle and then enjoying various cultural experiences and shows in and around Jincheng. The boys aged between 14 and 17 will travel with their band leader and teacher, Dean Kalo and other delegates from the Sarah Baartman Municipality who are sponsoring the band’s trip abroad.

Lesley Moore who founded the band in 2001 at the Talhado Children’s Haven is brimming with pride. “We have had our work cut out for us getting the boys equipped for this trip with passports, vaccinations and everything that goes into planning an overseas trip for the group and their equipment. The Sarah Baartman Municipality have been wonderful in assisting us and we are certain once the boys arrive in China, the Chinese people will receive them with open arms and make sure they are very well looked after. This is an opportunity of a lifetime for these youngsters.”

The boys who are travelling with the band are 25 year old Dean Kalo (bandleader and teacher), Ayanda Hlela (14), Sagin Rala (17), Abulele Silolo (14), Bafana Santi (15), Banele Speelman (15), Jo-Andre Swarts (15), and Grant-Login Harris (16).
Make us proud boys!

How Can You Help?

The band is often asked to play at weddings and other functions, and are regulars at the Cape St Francis Resort and St Francis morning markets. The biggest hurdle they face in fulfilling their engagements is transportation. The Haven are looking for a good Samaritan or Samaritans who would like to take on the responsibility of collecting and returning the boys and their equipment trailer from Sea Vista. If you can help call Lesley Moore on 0825561050

Article and Photograph by Lynn Aitken