Matla A Bana Cyclists

 

In 2000 Monique Strydom survived a four month hostage ordeal, and on the morning of her release, she vowed to dedicate her life to help fellow South Africans in need. Monique founded Matla a Bana – A voice against child abuse in 2001 after the terrible rapes of two babies in South Africa.

Since its beginnings it has grown to a national award winning charity helping thousands of children every year. The organisation works with SAPS, and its goals include having child-friendly reporting facilities at hospitals, courts and police stations. They also visit schools to educate children on how to deal with abuse.

On Monday, members of the Xtreme for Kids Cycle Tour 2018, one of Matla A Bana’s fundraising projects, visited Laer Volkskool and on Tuesday, it was Aberdeen Full Service School’s turn. They addressed the children from grade1 to grade 4, and gave a presentation about abuse, and the importance of reporting it to a responsible adult. The theme was “it’s Awe to tell someone”, (as in awesome!), aiming to empower the children to report an abuser. Each child was given a badge and an activity book. At Laer Volkskool, the organisers were thrilled when one young boy donated his R20 tuck money to the cause!

The tour departed from Johannesburg on 28 February, cycling an average of 180km per day under extreme conditions to raise awareness of child protection. So far, they have raised almost R214 000 towards the work of the organisation.

Luxulo star athlete

Renaldo May, a grade 5 pupil at Luxolo Intermediate School, has had an exceptional athletics season so far. He competes in the 10 year old age group, representing his school in the 100m and 200m sprints as well as the 1200m event.

He has shown promise from the first event of the season, the inter-schools, where he came second in all three events. At the Zonal meeting, he received the bronze medal for 100m and silver for 1200m, and from here he was selected to compete at the District athletics meeting in the 1200m. Renaldo again won a silver medal at the District event, and went on to receive gold in the Provincial competition.

He has received tremendous support from the school’s coaching team, and his brother Elton May. His next chance to excel will be at the National Athletics Championships, which will be held in Paarl.

Ward 7 community meeting in March

 

An interesting and fruitful community meeting was held recently in Aberdeen’s Ward 7, chaired by ward councillor Rudy Jacobs

The first part of the meeting was given over to Jonathan Tarantaal from the SASSA offices in Graaff-Reinet. He gave a clear explanation about the process of change from withdrawing with a SASSA card, to getting payments through a bank. Beneficiaries must first collect a form from SASSA, either from their offices in Graaff-Reinet, or on a Tuesday when they visit Aberdeen Showgrounds. This form then has to be taken to a bank of the recipient’s choice, where either a new account will be opened, or the SASSA payment will be lined to an existing account. This completed form must then be returned to SASSA.

A question was raised about those too frail to collect their own pension, and Tarentaal explained that a family member could be nominated to receive the payment into his or her account, provided that a power of attorney has been granted. Recipients will also still be able to withdraw at USave. Tarentaal also stated that negotiations are underway with the banks to reduce the fees that would be charged. A form is also available from SASSA for automatic deductions for a funeral policy.

Tarentaal closed by warning beneficiaries against unscrupulous scams, and urged them to only deal with identifiable SASSA officials.

Some of the ward committee members were then introduced to those at the meeting. There are currently two vacancies on the ward committee, as the representatives for business and religion have resigned.

Cllr Jacobs then explained how he had arranged a meeting last November with the municipal manager, and the directors of corporate services, community services and engineering and planning. He described this as very positive, although the proposed action plan, promised for November, was only received on 2nd February!

Various points were raised from the floor, including a comment that the palisade fencing around the park in the centre of town was erected upside down. Apparently, when this pointed out to the workers installing the fencing, they said that if it was placed the other way (with the sharp fork facing upwards), then children climbing over it would get hurt!

Many service delivery points were made, concerning the state of the municipal tip, slabs over water furrows, and the lack of available space at the cemetery. A disabled member of the community also informed the meeting about the difficulties she experienced accessing many businesses and offices in a wheelchair.

The final point made concerned the opening of the NMU satellite campus project, which should have been in operation already. Cllr Jacobs told the meeting that he had put in a bid at the relevant council meeting for the main campus to be in Aberdeen, to be central for all towns in the municipality. This is apparently being considered.

Saps sport against crime

 

On Saturday 24th February the Department of Safety and Liaison held a very successful “Sport against Crime” event at the Aberdeen Showgrounds. Kamdebo Primary, Luxolo Intermediate and Aberdeen Full Service School participated in rugby, soccer and netball for children in the 13 years old age group.

The honours were split between the schools, and great sportsmanship was shown all round. Kamdebo Primary won the rugby and came in second in soccer. Luxolo Intermediate won the soccer and came in second in netball, and Aberdeen Full Service School won the netball and came in second in rugby. Trophies and medals were handed out to the winning teams and the player- of- the- series in each discipline. All the participants were given eats and drinks.

The idea of the event is to keep the children off the streets, and to give them a positive alternative to crime and drug abuse. The schools would like to thank the Department of Safety and Liaison, the Aberdeen SAPS, and all other role players who made the event possible, for the wonderful initiative. It is hoped that such an event can be held annually.

Athlete shines

 

Kamdebo Primary School is very proud of two of its young athletes, who competed in the Sarah Baartman District athletics championships in Port Elizabeth on 16th February, representing Karoo schools.

Roelene de Klerk  won a silver medal in the shot put event for 10 year old girls, and narrowly missed qualifying for the Provincial championships.

Jaydon Jacobs came fourth in the high jump event for 13 year old boys.

Photo

Roelene de Klerk  with coach Niel Pienaar

Valentines fun at Kamdebo Primary

On Valentine’s Day the hall of Kamdebo Primary was covered with red and black hearts, carefully cut out and arrangeded by organiser Esteline de Jager and her team of teachers and enthusiastic learners.

Before the main party started, the children were able to buy small treats, all provided and donated by the parents. Each child paid either R2 (juniors) or R5 (seniors) to be part of the day, and on payment, each child was given a blank Valentine card which they could give to their dream partner!

The festivities at the school this year took a slightly different form to previous years, and it was decided that the children should be split into two different age groups for their discos. In the morning, grades R to 4 enjoyed two hours of dancing in the hall, and having their photos taken in the photo booth area complete with romantic props.

When the morning session finished, the teachers enjoyed a special braai in the new school garden created last year by Niel Pienaar.

From 4pm till 7pm, the senior children had their dance, and a prize was awarded for the best dressed couple. Winners were Maurizio de Jager (grade 5) and Zelicke Finnis (grade 6).

Over R2 600 was raised for the school from the sales of tickets and food, and the organisers are very grateful to the parents, acting principal and other teachers for their support.

Aberdeen Full Service School valentines dance

 

The learners of Aberdeen Full Service School had a wonderful day last Friday when the celebrated Valentine’s Day with a “sokkie”.

Each child paid R2 and came to school in an outfit of their choice, with many choosing red and white as the traditional Valentine’s colours. The DJ for the morning was teacher assistant Brendan Flippies, and the children had a great time dancing and listening to the music, which had been organised by teacher Gordon Job.

There was also a good turnout from the parents, who also enjoyed the music, and watching the learners have a good time. Close to R500 was collected towards school funds from the event.

Ward 7 DA branch executives elected

 

At a recent AGM, the Aberdeen ward 7 branch of the DA elected their new executive and committee.

Andrew Mentoor was re-elected as Chairperson, with Valerie Denham again as his deputy.  Zola Miller will act as secretary, with Anchen Ludick the Youth representative  and Estelle Van Wyk as the DAWN representative.  Dick van Wyk is an additional member, and the committee is under the leadership of ward councillor Rudy Jacobs.

“Our aim this year is to tackle service delivery issues where the municipality is failing, and which is unfortunately becoming the norm” said Cllr Jacobs. He believes this committee is very strong, as they have already arranged events to take place within ward 7 for the next two months.

In response to the frustration of community members with service delivery issues, the committee plan to go door -to -door to collect complaints and refer them to the relevant people at the municipality, following up where necessary. “This branch is very committed, and vows to serve not only DA members but also those from other political parties” concluded Cllr Jacobs.

Kamdebo Primary Athletics stars

 

On Friday 9th February some of Kamdebo Primary Schools top athletes represented Aberdeen at the Karoo Primary Schools athletics championship at the Kollie Koeberg Stadium in Graaff-Reinet.

Jaden Jacobs received a silver medal for high jump in the event for 13 year old boys. In the shot put event for 10 year old girls, Roelene de Klerk received a gold medal for her effort.

The athletes were accompanied by teacher Niel Pienaar.

On Monday, the school received the exciting news that both of these learners’ results were good enough to qualify them to represent Karoo Schools at the Sarah Baartman District event, to be held this Friday at the Oval in Port Elizabeth.

Garden and Social Club outing

 

Although only six members were able to attend last week’s inaugural outing of Aberdeen’s newly-named Garden and Social Club, all those present enjoyed every moment of it.

The group members were privileged to be able to visit Kriegerhoek Nature Reserve, which is not open to the public, thanks to the generosity of owners Bert Schade and Arpana Landheer.

After arrival, the visitors decorated pots as gifts for Valentine’s Day. Each person then potted a cutting or plant that they could take home afterwards. After some refreshments, the hosts shared some interesting information on the history of the farm, and this was followed by a walking tour of the farm yard and surrounding buildings. The highlight of the day was an hour-long game drive around the reserve. They spotted several groups of giraffe, zebra, different kinds of antelope and some blue wildebeest.

On their return to the farmhouse, each member was treated to a glass of sparkling wine. As this was just before lunch, the picnic baskets were unpacked and everyone feasted in the shade of the beautiful garden. Members were truly grateful to hosts Bert and Arpana for their hospitality. All returned to Aberdeen very grateful and satisfied after a day well spent in good company, enjoying nature at its best.

Future activities and outings planned for this year include a visit to Karoo Catch in Graaff-Reinet, a bowls day, and workshops on painting and pottery and making garden ornaments. Knowing and recognizing invasive species in your garden is a topic that will be covered at a later stage, and farm visits in the cooler weather with the intention to go out into the veld to learn about the interesting plants in the local environment. Chairperson Estelle van Wyk also promises something special for Arbour Day in August.