Posts tagged where is the love?

Water Weeds are killing our river

Our local newspaper, the Daily Dispatch, run this article this morning.

Deadly weeds choke Nahoon river – A noxious water weed is once again choking the life out of the Nahoon River, which is home to myriad species including bass, geese, fish eagles and otters. Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), one of the world’s worst aquatic weeds, first threatened the river’s ecosystem last year. Now the out-of-control alien plant has blanketed large stretches of the river, with the worst outbreak occurring near the causeway that links Dorchester Heights to the Stutterheim road.

Residents living along the river bank have now questioned the municipality’s efforts in keeping one of East London’s most popular rivers unpolluted. Joan Hempel, whose farm borders the river, said: “I am dismayed at the state of the Nahoon River. The rapid growth and spread of the hyacinth has already affected the wildlife. “It seems the entire ecosystem is being choked and destroyed by this alien invader plant.” Hempel has sent numerous reports to the Department of Water Affairs hoping to pressure government to act.

“To date no one has responded or reacted to my report. I was hoping to alert them to the alarming spread of the plant. Andrew Lucas, Department of Water Affairs provincial director of water regulation and use, said clearing invasive alien plants was the responsibility of land owners. Lucas said if the land belonged to the municipality, it was the responsibility of the Working For Water team. “I have not investigated the areas myself but the influx usually stems from residents,” he said.

Lucas said residents used the weed, which has a beautiful purple flower, to decorate their ponds and water features. “When it starts to overgrow they dump it in the river.” According to Lucas this reinfects the river system and the problem starts all over again. The water hyacinth has caused a decline in fish populations in Africa. – Taken from Dispatch.co.za  15/02/2011

Ok, so if Water Affairs doesn’t want to help the river then what?  A classic case of passing the buck, our politicians are very good at doing that.  Pity they are not as good at anything else.

I found this info on Wikipedia…

When not controlled, water hyacinth will cover lakes and ponds entirely; this dramatically impacts water flow, blocks sunlight from reaching native aquatic plants, and starves the water of oxygen, often killing fish (or turtles). The plants also create a prime habitat for mosquitos, the classic vectors of disease, and a species of snail known to host a parasitic flatworm which causes schistosomiasis (snail fever).

Solution – I will definitely be sending our political parties a strong email.  What nonsense is this passing the buck, if it isn’t your mandate then help us to get the right people in to fix the problem.  Be part of the solution, Don’t add to it – silly man.

Wikipedia’s article has some interesting results at the end…

Industrial utilization

Since the plant has abundant nitrogen content, it can be used a substrate for biogas production and the sludge obtained from the biogas. However, due to easy accumulation of toxins, the plant is prone to get contaminated when used as feed.

Exogenous

The plant is extremely tolerant of, and has a high capacity for, the uptake of heavy metals, including Cd, Cr, Co, Ni, Pb and Hg, which could make it suitable for the biocleaning of industrial wastewater [7], [8], [9], [10]. In addition to heavy metals, Eichhornia crassipes can also remove other toxins, such as cyanide, which is environmentally beneficial in areas that have endured gold mining operations [11].

Water hyacinth is also observed to enhance nitrification in waste water treatment cells of living technology. Their root zones are superb micro-sites for bacterial communities.[12]

Food for thought – this weed is not all bad, it’s just not any good in our Nahoon river.  An import bit of information, that I will include in my emails.

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Really, Is it that important?

 I love living in SA and been super proud of my home country is part of been “PROUDLY SOUTH AFRICAN”.  This article I found on msn.co.za illistrates why I can’t help but ask “Really?  Is it that important?” There are so many other issues in SA that need to be addressed by our political parties, but the ANC youth league chooses to focus on people parting away their money and paying big bucks to eat of women who are paid small fortunes compared to the working class Cape Town residents. 

Take a look and scratch your head like we all did…

Kenny “Sushi King” Kunene Vows to Never Use Another Woman as a Platter – The ANC Youth League on Wednesday welcomed businessman Kenny Kunene’s commitment to stop serving sushi off women’s bodies. Gallo Images ANCYL president Julius Malema was present at Kunene’s birthday bash last year and the pre-opening of his Cape Town nightclub ZAR this weekend. At both events sushi was served off the bodies of scantily clad women.

 “The ANCYL had in more than one occasion disapproved of such practice in the past and publicly voiced our disapproval,” league spokesman Floyd Shivambu said in a statement. He said the league, along with the ANC, would “continue to speak openly against practices that have potential to undermine the ethos of our revolution”. Following objections by the Africa National Congress, Kunene sent a letter to local media saying he would not hold any more sushi parties in future.

“I will not be throwing or attending any further such sushi parties as I have nothing but respect for the leadership of the ANC and the guiding principles of the movement,” The Star newspaper quoted him saying in a statement. He was responding to outrage triggered by photographs of him eating sushi off the semi-naked body of a model in Cape Town on Saturday night. It was Kunene’s version of the ancient Japanese custom of Nyotaimori or “body sushi”.

The model at Kunene’s party was draped across the bonnet of a white Maserati. ANCYL leader Julius Malema was quoted as saying at the party: “Helen Zille will not close ZAR at 2am, like she does other night clubs in Cape Town. The ANC owns ZAR and we will party until the morning.” ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe then distanced the ruling party from the comments. “The ANC is not into nightclubs or partying, but is a revolutionary movement,” he said in a statement. Last year, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi lashed out at “the BEE types who blow up to R700,000 in one night on parties”, describing them as the “predatory elite”.

“It is the sight of these parties, where the elite display their wealth, often secured by questionable methods, that turns my stomach,” Vavi reportedly said, referring to Kunene’s 40th birthday bash at his Johannesburg nightclub. Kunene said he should not have to defend what he spent on a party to celebrate a milestone in his life. It was “honest money and we were having honest fun”. In a statement on Wednesday Cosatu in Gauteng said neither the ANCYL or the ANC Women’s League issued a statement on the practice last year when Vavi criticised it.

“The saga also demonstrates the correctness of the decision by the disciplinary committee of the ANC to subject some to political education in order for them to comprehend that [the] National Democratic Revolution is not only about national question but it also involve the class and gender question,” Cosatu Gauteng secretary Dumisani Dakile said in a statement. “The political school should also entail teaching such comrades about the values and principles of our struggle.”

Malema was sent to a disciplinary hearing last year and ordered to attend “political school” Dakile said he supported the ANCWL finally speaking out on the matter and calling for the practice to come to an end. The ANCWL should “press charges” against those involved, he said.

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I read this post on msn.co.za.  I find this waste of public funds, totally unacceptable.  I hope our communities pull together and vote out over-spending and vote in people who really will do good-by our most needy citizens.  It is those people who need the R70 million more then Jacob and his family.

Those are the people who should be coming before his creature comforts, I am sure he and his family HAD a home with running water, electricity and sanitation before he became president.  The people who’s RDP houses did not get build, would love to live in Jacob’s old house.  To them it would be a palace. 

There’s some food for thought…

 
By SAPA, 2011/02/11

DA: more than R70m spent ensuring Zuma “lives large”

A press release from the DA stated that Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu Nkabinde revealed that R70 million was spent to renovate the five presidential residences over the last five years.

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Over R70m spent to keep Zuma confortable(Gallo Images)

Gallo Images

The release stated the following:

“In a reply to a DA parliamentary question received yesterday [Thursday], Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu Nkabinde revealed that more than R70 million has been spent on renovating the five presidential residences over the last five years, with almost R40 million being spent on President Jacob Zuma’s Pretoria residence, Mahlambandlopfu, alone. These figures are astonishing and constitute indulgent and wasteful expenditure of the highest order. It is deeply ironic that, on a day when President Jacob Zuma is due to offer another list of sweeping promises to South Africans, he has yet again been exposed as a leader who, in the face of chronic unemployment and poor delivery, has continued to place his taste for the finer things in life over the needs of the people he was elected to serve.

“President Zuma has repeatedly stated his commitment to addressing public concerns that the ANC government is “living large”. Indeed, he has expressed his intention to foster a “culture of greater prudence and less extravagance; achieving greater value for money and delivering more and better services with less resources”.

The figures contained in this parliamentary reply tell a very different story.

“That President Zuma has sanctioned the spending of tens of millions of rands of public funds on maintaining a lifestyle of excess and luxury is a powerful illustration of the President’s insincerity when making commitments to changing the ANC government’s culture of wasteful spending. It also reveals a disturbing disconnection from the pressing needs of millions of South Africans. The sum spent on the refurbishment of the five presidential residences over the past five years could have built over 1 200 RDP homes.

“It is worth noting that the figures contained in this reply cover only the structural and maintenance costs of the President’s five residences.

“Furthermore, this is not an exhaustive list of these costs as the Presidency failed to provide some of the figures on the grounds that they were “not readily available”, which raises concerns about the diligence of the Presidency in keeping accurate records of its expenditure, and the department’s approach to accountability.

“In a response to a parliamentary question in November last year, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane revealed that the running costs of the five presidential homes were in excess of R5 300 000 for 2009/10, excluding the salaries of the 113 staff employed to service them.

“The total cost of the running and maintenance of the President’s five official homes is therefore significantly in excess of those figures provided in the most recent parliamentary reply.

“The DA has submitted further questions to the Presidency to ascertain the cost of maintaining the staff complements of the various households, to enquire about anomalies in the figures contained in yesterday’s reply, and to determine exactly how often the President and Deputy President have used the five official residences since they assumed office. Such unnecessary extravagance has little place in a country’s where the alleviation of poverty and the provision of reliable services are its most pressing needs”.

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Get well Tata

There are very few people in the world to evoke such strong feelings of peace, love and acceptance as Nelson Mandela.  With our former president been in Milpark Hospital, many of us are left thinking “what if he doesn’t get better?’.

I feel that everyone is entitled to their privacy, especially during a personally trying time.  With the world’s media centred on Madiba and his condition, I want to send a message to Tata and his family – we wish you a speedy recovery and whatever the outcome, we owe were we are to your strength and wisdom.

Get Well Tata Madiba

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I love these sites!

 

Some of the sites I love to visit for inspiration and to see what others are doing. 

http://www.flamingotoes.com – a gorgeous crafting site, from clothing and home decor to bags and some cute toys.

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com – a useful site with some great tips on organising your house and diy decorating.

http://blog.effortless-style.com – totally fun site, great ideas for art works – I’m working on a collection of SA stamps for our hallway.

http://www.notmartha.org – run by Megan, this site has light-hearted feel to crafting.  Easy crafts with great photos and clear instructions, I’m in love with Megan’s Christmas tree!

http://www.mental-health-matters.com – a helpful site for me – it gave me good ideas on how to calm down my worked up 4-year-old.  Also made me feel normal, that I’m not completely useless at this parenting thing.

http://happychildfoundation.co.za – an organisation based in South Africa – they fundraise, feed and uplift communities.  All with the help of their Happy Bars.  They need help to get their foundation funding to continue their work.

http://www.4akid.co.za – great safety products for kiddies.  They have been very generous over the last year with donations of presents and party pack items for birthdays and Christmas.

http://www.safecosmetics.org – delicious diy beauty and makeup recipes.  So easy to use and something you can do with your sisters, daughters and friends.  Make a party of it!

http://www.rockyheath.co.za/ – a local lass, a friend of my sister-in-law.  Rocky does beautiful photos of pets as well as photos at our local SPCA of  those needing homes.  There is a scruffy one and a basset hound that are nudging my heart!

http://eatmytreats.blogspot.com – oh how I would love to meet Lauren.  She makes such gorgeous cakes and she also is super nice and puts her recipes on the blog.  With Lauren’s help I will be making my son”s “How to train your dragon”4th birthday cake.  I’m going to make the fondant and modeling chocolate myself – watch this space for updates on how well it turns out 🙂

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Our First Visit to Lukhanyiso School

We visited – our first visit to Lukhanysio School in Amalinda Forest, East London was an eye opener.  This is the school where we will be piloting our school veggie garden project.

We found a school in need of so much, yet the children smiled and played as if they didn’t have a care in the world.  We will put the final touches on the plan this week to hopeful break ground the second week in August.

After seeing the school, we not only want to help establish a veggie garden, we want to help to get the school into a better learning and teaching environment.

Items that were noted that needed attention:

  • broken windows
  • broken tables and chairs
  • serious lack of tables and chairs
  • shelving for library
  • security gates and bars of all classrooms
  • container needed for a computer lab for teachers and students
  • proper kitchen facilities
  • proper school hall / dining hall
  • proper grass and playground equipment
  • desks for teachers
  • proper staff room
  • high volume photocopiers and printer
  • fax machine
  • computers for teachers adminstration
  • water tanks to provide drinking water
  • signage for the school
  • paint for the buildings
  • educational materials for teachers and classrooms
  • plastic plates for lunches
  • metal spoons for lunches
  • plastic cups with handles for soups and drinking

We would also want to provide each child at the school with a hygiene bag consisting of:

  • 1 x face cloth
  • 1 x toothbrush
  • 1 x toothpaste
  • 1 x soap
  • 1 x draw string material bag with child’s name on

We want cleaning and hygiene to become a habit for these children to help prevent disease and spreading of colds and flu. 

If anyone would like to help us with donations of equipment or you want to get down and dirty with us – your are most welcome!

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We have been Nominated!

We have been nominated – my sister-in-law, Candi, emailed me yesterday to say that she had entered me in the FairLady Clarins Most Dynamisante Women competition.

I was so touched by her nomination, not only because it would create wonderful publicity for us, but als because Candi thought our work was good enough to nominate.

Thank you so much Candi, you are the best Aunty Candi ever!  If you would like to nominate us or another super lady go to  http://www.fairlady.com/clarins-most-dynamisante-woman and fill in the entry form.

Good luck and add some extra nominations for us 🙂

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