| A CLARION CALL TO ALL
|South Africa is officially in recession.
One thing is certain that will result in this quicksand…increased levels of poverty amongst the majority of our people. What must we as people do to wither the storm?
We can fold our arms and perish as a community or we can be adventurous in our approach and begin to mobilize our communities in withstanding this calamity in simple and basic things that we as people can begin to do.
Drakenstein is no different from the rest of the country. We are subjected to this economic meltdown in the same way the people of Polokwane or other towns in the country are. What will set us apart from other areas in feeling the cold bite of recession is the manner in which we respond to the recession.
I believe there is no greater cause for a community to unite as against the cause to alleviate poverty and hunger. Food is going to be more expensive during this period when the incomes are going to be drying up for some.
The message I would like to put across and the message I am hoping will be received well by our people in Drakenstein is that there is hope in the distance, a light in the tunnel only if we begin to do things right. There are few things that I am appealing to all who live in Drakenstein to observe with passion as we brace ourselves for the effects of this recession.
The simplest thing that we need to do and do with passion to wither the storms is SAVE.
We need to begin to be conscious of the water consumption. Every household is asked to be weary of the level of their consumption. Families are urged to ensure that all drops coming out of their taps serve the purposes that are crucially needed by those who use them. It is time that one takes a conscious decision of not taking a bath but a controlled shower instead.
Use water for essential needs and guard against wastage. The same goes with the manner our people use electricity. By heeding to the advices given out by Eskom as to when and how one uses electricity will pay dividends in our collective effort of saving energy.
Further than that people are urged to mind how they handle their finances. It is definitely not a good time NOW to swipe those credit cards. For the holders of credit cards it is emphatically suggested that you only consider doing so when there is dire need and the cash is not available.
It is time that people should be involved in the planning of how every cent they have is spent on those issue that are essential to them. Otherwise our people are encouraged if they have not been doing so in the past, to begin to open savings accounts that are restrictive against withdrawals.
The second thing that we need to do is to be adventurous and creative in opening other streams of income for ourselves whether you have a regular job or not. The Minister of Tourism in his speech on the budget vote for tourism in Parliament raised very important issues that can have an impact to all South Africans. In his speech he contrasted the discovery of gold in Johannesburg in 1886 and the space created two centuries later by the advent of this “new gold”.
This “new gold” has shown capability to drive job creation, development and economic growth in South Africa. This “new gold” is tourism. By taking part in the mining of this “new gold” many people stand to benefit astronomically from it. What we have at the moment is just the tip of the iceberg. The message I have for our people is that they must begin to find ways to take part in this mining whether as individuals or as collective. There is so much that can be earned from that exercise. The beginning point is to access Municipality’s resources to undertake that exercise. We have a dynamic Tourism unit in our municipality that I want all people who will heed to this call, to access.
That unit will help those that are interested so that they can be able to define their areas of activities. This elephant is big for us all. Let us skin it together and begin to feed on it. If we do so and tackle this challenge together with zest, according to Minister van Schalkwyk “we will ride out the global recessionary storm and emerge on the other side stronger and better positioned to address the many developmental challenges that we as a continent, country and people face”.
Dr Sidima Kabanyane