Letter from the Editor — 12 May 2017

About a week or so ago an email landed in my inbox. The rights for the mining of coal within the area of our town were approved. Taking into account the environmental impact studies, as well as the national environmental management laws, Groothoek Coal Mining Company (Pty) Ltd can go ahead.
The area neighbours on Onverwacht, Marapong and the newly developed Altoostyd. For many it is good news – it means more work opportunities. For others, it is inconceivable that there should be a mine in the middle of the town. How any environmental impact study can establish that the impact on the environment will be insignificant enough to allow coal to be mined there, is a debatable point.
For readers who would like to appeal – there is time until 15th May to appeal against the decision and details are given on the front page.
The area was once again shaken by the deaths of two people who succumbed to malaria in both Tolwe and Beauty. Phillip Kruger, senior manager from the Department of Health’s malaria control programme told me that malaria is unheard of in the month of May and that in this last season the greatest number of malaria cases in the last 40 years were reported. It confirms once again that nothing in life is predictable.
In closing I would like to share a report that I came across, written by Elsabe Brits for Netwerk 24. She says these days we lack compassion and empathy for others. “To empathise with another you must be able to climb outside of yourself. Completely away from what you think is right, your existence and preconceived ideas, to right inside the other person’s head and body.
Our society has lost that ability or never had it in the first place. Many people think they have empathy, but they don’t really – until they themselves one day need a life buoy”. Is that not so true?
The recent social media war and cruel comments after the death of Scott van Zyl showed that undoubtedly. It showed how little people actually care for others.
The French philosopher Rousseau did not state “to stay sane in the midst of mad people is in itself a kind of madness” for no reason.
— Leoni

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