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October 2017
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Loss of 25 jobs in Middelburg

because of closure of the

Working on Fire Base

in Middelburg

It is with great sadness that I have to inform all, that the Working on Fire team of Middelburg were given notice yesterday that the Middelburg WoF base will be totally closed by not later than the end of October 2014.
There are three main reasons for this decision.
Firstly, insufficient support from all the landowners to use the team effectively in assisting to reduce fuel loads, assisting in making firebreaks and assisting in clearing alien plants. The rules to have a WoF team is that the team needs to be productive for at least 4 days a week.
Secondly, no or little support from the local Municipality. The manager in charge of the Fire Fighting Services of the Inxuba Yethemba Municipality felt no need for a WoF team in her area, while the Municipal Manager, the speaker and the Mayor failed to answer any request to acknowledge the local FPA and the available WoF team, for nearly three years..
Thirdly, the managing of a WoF team by a volunteer without sufficient financial compensation from all members as well as from the Municipality is an unfair request. While preforming a duty, which is the responsibility of all landowners including the Municipality, Working on Fire Management cannot justify a Working on Fire team in an area where there are not many fires and where the people do not support this worthwhile uplifting Expanded Work Program for youth development.
Although some of the currently employed, highly trained, Veld Fire Fighters can maybe be employed elsewhere in the Province, a great opportunity has been lost to give many more young people a chance to improve their lives and skills for a better future. 24 Young people who were sponsored by the Government will now be without income or will have to move away from Middelburg. This is a bad situation as there are not many job opportunities for young people in our area. We also need to realize that the National Government through Working on Fire, invested during the last three years a couple of million Rand into our area, which will not easily be replaced.
The Middelburg Karoo FPA will now have to find somebody who is willing to carry on managing the FPA without a WoF team, the current FPA manager, will not be available for election.
Please note that although the above is a sad thing for the Middelburg, Hofmeyr and Cradock area, great progress has been made to get more support for viable FPA’s in the whole of the country.
Discussions are currently being held with National and Provincial Government by the Eastern Cape UFPA and the National Veld and Forest Fire Forum to get fully paid FPA managers installed for a specific district or area, to ensure that all Veld and Forest Fire stakeholders (Including Transnet, Sanral, Eskom, etc.) are integrated in a fully Integrated Veld and Forest Fire Management System, together with Provincial and regional Disaster Management.
A draft for this system has been forwarded to national departments for their approval and we hope that we can see the benefits of this proposal during the next few years.
Within the next few weeks a meeting will be called by the Middelburg Karoo FPA chairperson to discuss the way forward, and who will be responsible for what.
However in the mean time I would like to thank all, who have supported me and the WoF team during the last 3 years, and I hope that we soon can see a better co-operation of all Veld and Forest Fire stake holders in our beautiful Karoo area.







The 33rd edition of the Hansa Fish River Canoe Marathon is poised to crown a new champion in both the men’s and women’s race in 2014 with both K1 defending champions unlikely to take to the start line on Friday 10 and Saturday 11 October.
Fisher King Len Jenkins has been sublime since the turn of the millennium having won all seven K1 titles on offer between 2001 and 2012 however the unpredictable yet hugely dangerous competitor has been in the canoeing wilderness since the 2013 Dusi Canoe Marathon and has shown little sign of returning to action ahead of the Eastern Cape’s major.
2012 women’s victor Michéle Eray, who became the first Eastern Cape paddler to win her local race in fifteen years since the late Daniël Conradie’s victorious effort in 1997, will certainly not be back in 2014 to defend her title after she took up the position of USA Canoe/Kayak’s High Performance Manager in August last year.
The absence of both former winners opens the doorway for a new champion to be crowned and no one will be hungrier to make the spoils their own than five time K2 Hansa Fish winner and triple Canoe Marathon world champion Hank McGregor.
Cradock’s K1 title is one of just a few to have evaded the Team Jeep/Kayak Centre paddler, arguably the greatest all-round paddler of all time, and with an extra week this year between the Canoe Marathon World Championships in USA and the Hansa Fish, all the signs point towards McGregor clinching the title.
McGregor will however be hard-pressed by countless parties, his good friend, training partner and four-time K2 Hansa Fish winning partner Grant van der Walt included as the Team
(continues on page 3)



The renaming of the Cacadu District Municipality has officially been gazetted and will take effect from the 1st of September, adding momentum to the municipality’s efforts of institutionalising the new name of Sarah Baartman District Municipality.
The Council took the decision in 2012 to change the name of the Cacadu District to Sarah Baartman in order to give recognition to the icon and the role of coloured people in the fight against apartheid. Sarah Baartman is an international icon, synonymous with the commitment to democracy by the South African Government. Baartman, of Khoikhoi descent, was born in 1789, raised within the Gamtoos Valley and laid to rest in Hankey along the banks of the Gamtoos River on 9 August 2002.
A lengthy stakeholder consultation process was undertaken between the Cacadu District Municipality, communities of the District, political leadership, and local municipalities, the South African Heritage Resources Agency as well as the South African Geographical Names Council. Amongst the specific stakeholders consulted during the public participation process were the Khoi and the San, which were of the opinion that the changing of the name is an opportunity to rewrite history and rectify the heritage of their people.
The application to change the name was thereafter submitted to the MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs for consideration and subsequent approval.
“It is an immense honour for the District to be officially named after an icon such as Sarah Baartman. It is our intention to uphold what she represents and through initiatives such as the Moral Regeneration Movement we will continue to endeavour to restore the dignity of the people of this District,” said Executive Mayor of the Cacadu District Municipality, Khunjuzwa Eunice Kekana.
Following the completion of a new brand strategy and corporate identity for the Sarah Baartman District Municipality, the name will be implemented using a phased approach.


Read inside

  • Vroue met Visie – Hofmeyr
  • Free access week to Mountain Zebra National Park Extended to the weekend
  • Forgotten incidents from long ago

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