25 years ago

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - OPINION -

for the pro­duc­tion.

AT LEAST two homes in the sub­urb of Green­side had to be evac­u­ated on Fri­day af­ter­noon af­ter a cloud­burst in which 50 mil­lime­tres of rain is be­lieved to have fallen. Yes­ter­day af­ter­noon res­i­dents of the sub­urb were still try­ing to dry car­pets af­ter rain­wa­ter and mud flooded their homes. At least two fam­i­lies had to look for al­ter­na­tive

ONE OF the lit­tle de­lights of my life is re­ceiv­ing a monthly news­let­ter of fas­ci­nat­ing his­tor­i­cal anec­dotes from the Ka­roo.

It is pub­lished on­line by edi­tor Rose Wil­lis, who calls her pub­li­ca­tion Rose’s Round-up.

It’s been go­ing for 25 years now and never fails to in­trigue me with its sto­ries of old Ka­roo char­ac­ters and events (and be­lieve me, the Ka­roo has plenty of both).

For any­body with emo­tional ties to the Ka­roo I can rec­om­mend or­der­ing a sub­scrip­tion.

Rose’s Round-up costs R120 a year (12 is­sues) and you can sub­scribe by e-mail­ing rosewil­[email protected] gmail.com

I’ve known Rose since we’re were col­leagues on the staff of Farmer’s Weekly about 40 years ago.

We lost touch for some years af­ter we left Bloem­fontein. She later set­tled in Beau­fort West and be­gan col­lect­ing her won­der­ful Ka­roo sto­ries, which are now en­joyed by peo­ple over the world.

Rose’s sup­ply of sto­ries seems end­less. They are well re­searched and well told: tales of brave and home­sick young Bri­tish sol­diers fight­ing the Bo­ers far from home, English mis­sion­ar­ies who mar­ried San women and raised large fam­i­lies, road ac­ci­dents in the days of horse-drawn carts and ox wag­ons, army doc­tors run­ning field hos­pi­tals in dusty can­vas tents pitched in the bak­ing Ka­roo veld.

The wide open spa­ces of the Ka­roo have al­ways at­tracted ad­ven­tur­ous spir­its ea­ger to leave their city roots far be­hind, and their sto­ries are of­ten amus­ing and some­times tinged with sad­ness.

The Ka­roo is not a place for sissies, although it cer­tainly seems to at­tract more than its nor­mal quota of nut­cases.

It might sur­prise you to learn that a Beau­fort West man, Vun­ga­loo Sammy Naidoo, in­vented a hair re­storer and was so con­vinced of its ef­fi­cacy that he wrote to the prime min­is­ter, Sir Gor­don Sprigg, of­fer­ing to present a jar of his prod­uct,the Great Sam­p­well Hair Re­storer, to King Ed­ward VII.

Ap­par­ently the prime min­is­ter de­clined the of­fer on his majesty’s be­half, say­ing the king was in no need of hair re­storer.

I won­der whether Mr Naidoo’s hair re­storer would have worked on our present crop of politi­cians. Ours must be the baldest bunch of law­mak­ers on the planet.

Some of the in­ter­est­ing peo­ple con­nected with the Ka­roo in­clude Dr Chris Barnard of heart trans­plant fame, who grew up in Beau­fort West, and An­drew Waugh­uope, one of the world’s great­est crick­eters, ac­cord­ing to the in­scrip­tion on his tomb­stone in a peace­ful spot near Matjies­fontein.

That’s a story for an­other time.

Last Laugh

A man and his wife went out for an evening walk and he no­ticed an un­paid tele­phone bill ly­ing on the pave­ment near his gate. He picked it up and stud­ied it care­fully and then said: “Suzy, I’m go­ing to pay this bill.”

“Why would you do that?” she asked. “It isn’t yours.”

“Yes, I know,” he said, “but there’s a big dis­count on it and I may as well have it as any­one else.” THE DA has op­posed the Na­tional Credit Amend­ment Bill which aims to cre­ate re­lief for over-in­debted con­sumers, as Par­lia­ment refers it to prov­inces for de­lib­er­a­tion.

Par­lia­ment’s Se­lect Com­mit­tee on Trade and In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions this week de­lib­er­ated on in­put made by dif­fer­ent stake­hold­ers which showed that the ma­jor­ity sup­ported the bill.

The DA, how­ever, said it was con­cerned about the eco­nomic im­pact of the bill and the fu­ture it was likely to spell for the poor on ac­quir­ing credit.

DA MP Leon Mag­webu said: “We are op­posed to the bill. We feel that there was no eco­nomic im­pact re­port by the De­part­ment of Trade and In­dus­try or a re­port so­licited by the com­mit­tee be­cause this is a com­mit­tee bill.

“The eco­nomic con­se­quences of this bill re­main un­known. We wouldn’t want to be in­volved in a pro­ject that can crip­ple the econ­omy be­cause we know that the credit provider in­ter­ests must be looked at.

“This can only be done when there is a sci­en­tific study done on the ex­tin­guish­ing of debts,” said Mag­webu.

If passed into law, the bill will ex­tin­guish the debt of con­sumers who earn a gross monthly in­come of no more than R7500, have un­se­cured debt amount­ing to R50000 and have been found to be crit­i­cally in­debted.

The Na­tional Con­sumer Tri­bunal and courts will be granted the power to make debt re­struc­tur­ing or­ders.

This will in­clude re­duc­ing in­ter­est rates, fees and charges for credit agree­ments in debt in­ter­ven­tion and debt re­view pro­cesses to zero for five years or longer.

Mag­webu said the bill would dis­cour­age credit providers from of­fer­ing credit to the poor, in that it would clas­sify them as high risk.

He said the DA also did not sup­port the bill as it in­tro­duced a sys­tem that was al­ready in place, pre­scrip­tion of debts, through ex­ist­ing laws.

“This is an elec­tion ploy and we refuse to be part of it, there is al­ready a debt re­view in place for debtors. The bill could also lead to sig­nif­i­cant de­creases in costs of credit for the poor.

“The very same peo­ple they claim to pro­tect will be­come a high risk. Who is go­ing to lend money to poor black peo­ple when they know that there is a law that the debt can be ex­tin­guished by the law? There is no need for this in­ter­ven­tion,” said Mag­webu.

Com­mit­tee chair­per­son Ed­die Makue said Par­lia­ment would forge ahead with the bill.

– Mary Jane Mphahlele

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.