Nonsensical and counter productive

Collo’s Column

The ban on liquor off-sales over the Easter weekend has nothing to do with preventing Covid infections, it is all about control. The ANC has lost control and has to do something to show that they are still in charge. They had to give in to the religious groups call for allowing bigger crowds at religious services so they had to show they still have muscle and what better way than to ban alcohol sales.

One would consider those on the Coronavirus Command Council (CCC) to all be reasonably intelligent beings. Surely they all have at least a matric so should have a modicum of common sense . Now we know the common sense cannot be taught, it is part of evolution so maybe herein lies the problem, or maybe not. So if they are reasonably intelligent why have they made such a nonsensical decision to ban liquor off-sales. This is how conspiracy theories start and gives credence to claims that the Black Marketeers are funding the election kittt.

Think about the stupidity of the liquor sales ban for a moment.

One of the main purposes of the various lockdown over the past year has been to avoid or reduce size of gatherings of people. From the very start when people were basically allowed contact with direct family that saw the hospitality and many other industries close to the present where, well in the cases of churches, there is almost no concerns of crowds it seems.

Surely having bottle stores open is not going to see more people in shopping centres. Having access to liquor is not going to see people drink less and surely encouraging them to drink at home is better than encouraging them to go to restaurants and most of all drive. . Those who can will have stocked up but those, especially the lowly paid will “maak a plan” and so the black market thrives.

So banning off-sales is actually counterproductive if you think about it.

Sunday lunch when the family gather to enjoy a few neers around the braai fnd they have no beer so dad loads the family into the car and they set off for the nearest restaurant.   Jannie feels like he wiill need a couple of brandy and cokes when he watches Bulls play the Lions but he forgot to buy on Thursday so off he goes to the nearest sports bar so he can watch the game.   In the township Freddie couldn’t get to the bottle store on Friday so he leaves his family and pops into the local tavern or shebeen for his fix.

Is the government not thus encouraging crowding rather than reducing it. Great for the reastaurants, pubs, taverns, shebeens and of course the black market but doing exactly the opposite to what they should be encouraging.

Congratulations to the  members of the CCC, may your piggy bank overflow.

Learning to Toyi-Toyi in the land of the free

Stephen's ScribbleSouth Africa is truly an amazing country. I often wonder about what it is that connects us to this diverse and complex place. I’ve observed over the years at how my relationship with my country has fluctuated. It’s not like a love / hate relationship …. more like a love frustrate relationship. It’s been a bit like a yo-yo ….

I’ve been blessed to live through so many of its transitions. As a privileged white child, I was shielded by the apartheid system. Unaware of the racism and inequality my middle class upbringing in the cosy suburbs was idyllic. Apartheid was specifically designed to look after the white people. And it did. For decades. Although my parents knew it was wrong and never voted for National party, they were never quite brave enough to push the boundaries further that the official “white opposition” party. By doing anything else they would have been breaking the law. Not an option for my parents. In saying that Donald Woods lived just down the road from us in East London and later on we went to school with Molly Blackburn’s’ sons. Being an activist in those days was not for the feint hearted. Both these families experienced severe trauma through persecution of the apartheid regime.

I was shoved onto a train in Port Elizabeth in the late 1980’s and taken to Pretoria for compulsory National Service. I suppose it was only then that I got a real taste of what it was like to be part of that system. We we told about knowing our enemy, the African National Congress. We were drilled day in and day out for three intensive months of basic training. We were taught how to shoot rifles and trained to go and fight in the wars that had been raging in Angola and Mozambique for decades. The attempted brain washing didn’t work on me personally but it did on many others. I got lucky as the war in Angola was nearly at an end. Friends of mine from school had been less fortunate.

In 1990 the ANC was unbanned and a few years later, the birth of a new democracy. The celebration hope of a new future for the nation under Nelson Mandela was palpable. It was an amazing time. I can only imagine how incredible it must have been for so many non white South Africans to finally be free. Something I’d taken for granted my whole life. Such basic human rights denied for decades. To be fair the new leadership inherited a real monster. How on earth were they going to pull millions and millions of marginalised people out of poverty? Back then the unemployment rate was already high. Human rights abuses in the workplace had of course lead to a powerful trade union movement during the apartheid era. COSATU (Confederation of South African Trade Unions) had become the ANC’s biggest ally during the resistance. How to marry apartheid style capitalism to the fiercely communistic ideologies of the labour force was never going to be easy.

Personally as a young white male it was also a challenging time. I had studied personnel management. Due to affirmative action, finding a job in my field was proving nigh impossible. Like many others I decided to seek greener pastures. I was fortunate to be well educated and resourceful. So I left for a while to forage abroad. Not so easy on the “green gamba” (S.A passport) … but I managed

As the years rolled by back home, I became quite opinionated about what I considered South Africa’s demise. Nonetheless I went home every year. Each time, I couldn’t wait to get back. It was was my country, my home. The place where I grew up and where my family still resided. Clearly I needed an attitude adjustment. It was hard, nigh impossible. to be fair especially during the Zuma regime. But it never changed my deep connection with our country. If I still wanted to be here and enjoyed being here every time I came homes. I felt free yet I needed to find ways to self-determine and survive under a different set of corrupt leadership. Once I got that into my head and stopped over reading all the bad news stories, things really improved.

Of course there will always be a very challenging political and socio-economic landscape here, one in which we all need to survive. Granted South Africa is not for sissies there are very real issues but there is also an incredible spectrum of awesome people. We should always remind ourselves that the huge majority of people that live here are inherently good. I remember the British press warning of how dangerous SA had become prior to us hosting the 2010 World Cup football. At one point they were even recommending people wore bullet proof vests for goodness sake! What utter nonsense. I helped curate the music at the Fan Park in down town Cape Town. I was there every day and night during the duration of the event. Booze was on sale …. many thought it could be a recipe for disaster … yet not one bad incident. I heard that there were similar good vibes at all the other Fan Parks. Everybody just watching the games and having a blast! It’s the people that make up the Rainbow Nation after all and those colours are still very bright.

Nonetheless, we’ve all witnessed the demise of the Rand since 2010. A very solid indicator of investor confidence. We’ve seem time and again how people illegally emptying State coffers aren’t brought to book. We’ve seen the lack of service delivery. Higher rates of unemployment. The list goes on. It’s really not good

But …. and here’s the rub …. Just about every other country in the world is also in kak these days. I’m not saying that’s a good thing, but think about that for second. I am gobsmacked at how naive so many people in the supposed First World countries are regarding the human rights abuses that are happening right now. This weird Orwellian prophecy is actually coming true. In the States, legislation is on the table to make it illegal for people to protest! Say what? To make matters worse all over the world people are complying … like sheep. Those very important freedoms that are at the cornerstone of ‘well advanced’ society are being taken away. London, New York, Paris, Naples, Barcelona etc etc…are no longer the same. I don’t want to go to any of those pozzies right now…why would I?

I want to stay in South Africa where people are not so good at ‘complying’. We’ve been there done that. The government knows this and understands that their capacity to enforce unjust laws is extremely limited. I’d like to believe that trying to control the general population is just not the African way. Freedom in Africa runs very very deep …. and it’s held sacred. South Africans don’t take too kindly to being suppressed and told what to do.

There is trouble on the horizon in many countries beyond our shores. In the words of Chris Hedges “It is certain that popular revolt is coming” Perhaps when that populous he is referring to finally decides to wake up they’ll turn to South Africa … the land of the free … to learn how to toyi toyi …









The German engineered Duo “P” carpet cleaning powder available in St Francis


Ursela Carpet Cleaning in St FrancisA hearty welcome to one of our latest entrepreneurs, Ursela Van Deventer. Ursela following in her Mother’s footsteps, is offering a boutique style DRYCARPET, UPHOLSTRY and MATTRASS CLEANING service in the greater St. Francis area.

The German engineered Duo “P” carpet cleaning powder removes stains and deep cleans carpets. This product has proven results in both the commercial and domestic markets. Absolutely NO WATER, SOAP or CARPET SHAMPOOis used in the cleaning process. Flattened carpet pile is also restored. Tested by Cleaning Research International in accordance with International Wool Secretariat Test Methods and is suitable for use on wool and Persian carpets too.

Recommended by the British and German allergy Foundations, the industrial strength Sebo vacuum cleaners are quiet and fitted with a S-Class filtration system.  The cleaners remove pet hair, pollen, bacteria and microscopic dust particles from carpets and come highly recommendedfor allergy and asthma sufferers. The deep cleaning of upholstery and mattresses also kills and removes mites.

URSELA’S CARPET DRY CLEAN is owner operated, giving clients full peace of mind. Attention to detail is at the cornerstone of every job. Quotesare done free of charge. If you require boutique style carpet, upholstery and mattress dry cleaning, look no further. Ursela’s friendly efficient service, very reasonable prices and excellent results speak for themselves.

Ursula Carpet Cleaners Wool approved

Time for the Annual King of the Kromme sponsored by Pam Golding Properties

Pam Golding Properties KING OF THE KROMME – hosted by St Francis Paddling Club.

This annual event will be held starting at Quaysyde at 3:00pm, Saturday 3rd April. This flat water paddling race takes paddlers up the beautiful Kromme and into peaceful waters of the Geelhout before returning down the Kromme, into the canals  to finsh where it started at Quaysyde. With tides and sand-banks to contend with the race takes not only fitness but skill to stay up with the pack in the hope of crossing the finish line first.

As always there will be the celebratory party after the race abiding by Covid-19 protocols of course where the winners of the events of the day will be presented with their trophies

So who will lift the 2021  title of “KING OF THE KROMME”!

we are hoping defending King of the Kromme champion Andy Birkett who has just won the 2021 Dusi for the eighth time  will be back to defend his title on Easter Saturday.

He will be up against top local paddlers Phil Smith, Gordon Spalding and Andrew Carter. Wouldn’t it be great to celebrate our first local winner!

It’s a beautiful 20km course up the Kromme and Geelhout, with a 12km short course, and junior “guppy” races too.

A Carbonology split paddle at a retail value of R2600 will go to a lucky draw winner.

Pam Golding Properties have sponsored this event since inception. Call Richard Arderne on 083 284 0168 for more info.

Who will it be this year? Maybe we will see a home grown winner for the first time in Phil Smith.

Some facts on the defending champion Andy Birkett published on the website of his Alma Mater (the ed is also an Old College Boy).

Maritzburg College is considered one of the top canoeing schools in SA, and the convenience of having the Msunduzi River right on our doorstep has fuelled the continued growth of the school’s canoe club.
2021 saw OC Andy Birkett claim his 11th Dusi Canoe Marathon win, making it eight wins consecutively! Andy first started paddling at Merchiston under Sally Peckett – and he and his brother “Ox” joined the College paddlers on a canoeing expedition to Knysna when they were still “Mudrats”. Andy competed in his first Dusi when he was only 13 years old.

Here are the Pam Golding “King of the Kromme” from 2009 to 2019 including some of the top paddlers in the world.


Will he or Won’t he??

Collo’s Column

Well we will likely know the decision by this evening on whether the Coronavirus Command Council (CCC) has changed the lockdown conditions and as to what degree. Certainly alcohol will be atop their list for it would seem all ills during this pandemic, well according to some on the  CCC, liey directly on either alcohol or tobacco and pose the greatest vehicle to spread the virus.

It is no secret that alcohol and tobacco are as inseparable as the ‘Two Ronnies’ or rain and water hence the rise of the black marketeers and common knowledge that this market benefits greatly when either one of both of these commodities are banned and so naturally it gives rise to conspiracy theories.

So, the black market is a perfect funnel for raising election funds for the ANC and would make sense that law enforcement pay only attention to thos marketers not on their fund raising committee. Then again maybe it is the past President and his RET forces who are running the show for was not his son Edward once tied to allegations of  being involved in the illicit tobacco industry a few years back. With his dad considered the ‘behind the scenes leader’ of RET faction they surely a cash inflow to mobilise the troops to not only defend the Uncle Jacob but to also to get the Ace elected as President next year.  

Whatever the reason, should they again put restrictions on the liquor trade it will have serious repercussions not only to that industry but the entire hospitality industry. Longer curfew hours will see fewer people eating out at restaurants owing to restricted trading hours. Closing off-sales over the weekends will probably also result in the total banning the transporting liquor during the lockdown resulting in accommodation cancellations, particularly in  self-catering establishment & non-licensed B&B’s owing to unavailability of liquor over the period..

Unable to sell liquor over one of the busiest weekends of the year, the off-sale retailers in holiday towns such as St Francis (Tops & Blue Bottle locally) will suffer serious loss in potential income at a time when they are desperately trying to recover from all the previous lockdowns. That locals will binge buy to stock up prior to bans only helps cash flow for it means fewer sales in weeks to come as hoarders stocks slowly reduce before they restock their cellars.

There is also talk that the CCC is being lobbied to open up restrictions for religious gatherings by allowing up to 5000 people to gather outdoors and up to 1000 being allowed at indoors events. With the traditional migration of worshippers to Limpopo over Easter the CCC will be hard pressed to deny the religious leader calls. Many of the ANC voter base will be those attending these huge gatherings and surely they will not wnt to antagonize these voters. That they are super spreader events will be considered but even if they do not accede to the demands the crowds will still gather and defy the CCC.

The rumour mill has made no mention of closing the beaches because of the Third Wave being anticipated for this more than anything should be of concern to us beach walkers, bathers and surf lovers. Waves and beaches go together like rain and water and waves and surfing are as inseparable as the “Two Ronnies” so we need to hope that those on the CCC have at last understood that these Covid Waves have nothing to do with the ocean waves and so the beaches will remain open.

Here is hoping Level One will be left as it is. Enough is enough already.