Redakteursbrief — 21 Oktober 2016

Ek en my ander helfte is die afgelope naweek Nelspruit (Mbombela) toe om vir die ander deel van die kinders te gaan kuier.
Sover as wat ons ry, sien ons trokke met wild- en beesvoer. Vaalwater, Marble Hall, Groblersdal. Daar is nêrens ‘n groenigheid te bespeur nie. Ek het later ophou tel by hoeveel van dié trokke ons verby is. Die beeste staan maer en uitgeteer langs die pad, die spilpunte op die lande spuit onverpoos.
Dit was nog nooit vir my presies so duidelik nie – die hele land is droog. Selfs die altyd groen grasvlaktes van Mpumalanga is vaalbruin.
My gesprek met Francois van den Berg, voorsitter van die Waterverbruikersvereniging (WGV) van Limpopo, stem my ook nie meer positief nie. Volgens hom is die skrif aan die muur. Dit is die droogste in Lephalale en omgewing sedert 1995 en die water word steeds minder.
Alhoewel die eerste reën vroeg Woensdagoggend in sommige dele geval het, sê Van den Berg dit is onwaarskynlik dat dit genoeg sal wees om ‘n verskil aan die droogte te maak.
My gesprek met Candice Robinson, wat vir etlike jare aan die dwelm CAT verslaaf was, het my weer laat besef dat ons, wat daagliks met ons gewone lewe voortgaan, nie ‘n idee het watter enorme probleem dwelmafhanklikheid en dwelmhandelaars in ons bosvelddorp is nie. Sy is reeds vir drie jaar skoon, maar voor sy met rehabilitasie begin het, kon sy maklik tien dwelmhandelaars se selfoonnommers verskaf – almal plaaslik. Sy sê dat baie kinders dieetpille drink en dan oorskakel na iets sterker omdat dit dieselfde effek het, dis net “beter”. Sy vertel ook dat dwelmhandelaars glad nie so vreesaanjaend is soos wat hulle in films uitgebeeld word nie – hulle is net voortdurend besig om hulle onwettige praktyke uit te brei en nuwe verspreidingsareas te kry. Lephalale is vrot van die dwelms en dit neem daagliks toe. En dit kan met enigiemand gebeur. Wees bedag.
Dankie dat jy jou storie met ons gedeel het Candice en dankie vir die goeie werk wat julle doen.
Dankie ook aan Erika Tempel wat te midde van hitte en droogte bereid is om die ekstra myl te stap vir ons dierekinders, want soos sy tereg sê, die Here het vir ons opdrag gegee om ook na hulle om te sien.
Baie sterkte ook aan al die Matriekleerders wat reeds begin het met die eindeksamen – waarskynlik die belangrikste eksamen wat jy in jou lewe gaan skryf. Onthou dit en leer hard. Jou matrieksertifikaat vergesel jou lewenslank.
Laastens dankie aan Medupi vir die goedvoelstorie op die voorblad. Goeie nuus is deesdae skaars.


My other half and I went to Nelspruit (Mbombela) the past weekend, to visit the other part of the kids.
As far as we went there were trucks with game and cattle feed. Vaalwater, Marble Hall, Groblersdal. There is no greenery to be seen, anywhere. I eventually stopped counting how many of these trucks passed us. Emaciated cattle were everywhere next to the road, and the centre-pivots are spraying water non-stop. It has never been this clear to me – the entire country is in drought. Even the evergreen grassy planes of Mpumalanga is a drab yellow-brown.
My conversation with Francois van den Berg, chairman of the Water Management Association, doesn’t leave me more positive. According to him the writing is on the wall. It is the driest it has been since 1995, and water is becoming more scarce. Although the first rains started to fall on Wednesday, according to Van den Berg, it is unlikely that it will be enough to break the drought.
My conversation with Candice Robinson, who was addicted to the drug CAT for years, makes me realise again how we, that continue with our normal daily existence, don’t have a clue what an enormous problem drug addiction and drug dealing is in our small bushveld town. She has been clean for three years, but before she started with rehabilitation, she could easily give you ten drug dealers’ phone numbers – all local. She says that many children drink diet pills, and then switch to something stronger, because it has the same effect … just “better”. She also says that drug dealers are not the scary characters that movies depicts them to be – they are constantly busy expanding their illegal activity and finding new distribution areas. Under our noses. Lephalale is rotten to the core with drugs – and it is increasing daily. And it can happen to anyone. Be aware. Thank you for sharing your story with us Candice, and thank you for the good work you do.
Thanks also to Erika Tempel that is willing to walk the extra mile for our animal-children, despite the heat and drought. As she rightly says, God commanded us to look after them too.
Best of luck to all the Matric learners that started with your final exams – probably the most important exam you will ever write. Remember that, and study hard. Your matric certificate accompanies you for the rest of your life.
Lastly, thank you to Medupi for the feel-good story on our front page. Good news is scarce these days.
— Leoni

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.