Monday, June 29, 2015

Plot 111, Moloto, Pretoria. June 2015

" Love yourself first. Help other people"
Martie vd M
A quote from one of the members of the Plot 111 community


Martie and Marius de Klerk
This husband and wife couple are the "caretakers".
Marius used to work for Transnet, but left there several years ago.
Both of them are currently employed by a family member,
But they are two of the lucky ones in this community.
They have been in and out of Plot 111 several times
as they have had to move to where work opportunities open up.
They live here with their children and grandchild.
From my interactions with members of this community,
it seems that almost all of them are Afrikaans.
Not that they were not willing to speak English,
they were better able to express themselves in their mother tongue.
Marius has strong views on South Africa,
his biggest wish?
That we could all learn to respect each other!


I was part of a group that had come to distribute food, clothing and toys.
These are members of the Plot 111 community,
the group that I came with did not want any publicity.
Marius had already started the fire to heat chicken stew and rice
that the group had brought for distribution
These communities,
and there are 72 such camps within a 50km radius of Pretoria,
get no government assistance.
They also seem to attract very little publicity.
I am not certain if that is intentional or not.
I, for one, see these settlements as South Africa's "secret"...


The lady with Martie runs the soup kitchen.
She was not having a good morning and I did not get to speak to her.
However, I was told that she makes certain that the children have a warm meal
before they leave for school.
Not an easy task when there are limited water and electrical resources.
But, like many of the people I spoke to, she does what she can.


Some of the accommodation options  that I was shown.
Tents are home to some of the younger members of this community.
In the cold winter months in Pretoria,
I imagine that this is NOT where you want to be sleeping.


There are also several caravans that the owner of the property has supplied.
These are occupied by families.


This "house" has a flush toilet.
Most of the community has to use communal facilities.
The house layout is very interesting...
On the left is a bedroom and to the right a lounge.
The caravan is "built-in" and is home to some family members.


Just because money and material possessions might be in short supply,
it does not mean that you have to be dirty.
There was washing outside most of the dwellings that I walked past


Deon Fortuin, is the only "coloured" member of this white community.
There are six members of his family.
Although he has a drivers license,
he does not have the money for a Public Driving Permit
and is therefore unable to get employment.
So he stays at home while those family members who work,
go off to earn a living.
The pot in front of him doubles as a cooking pot as well as heating bathwater.
The family baths in relays as they return,
and when the ablutions are complete, dinner is cooked.


There are LOTS of dogs of various shapes and sizes.
All of them look well fed and disease free.


There is a "school" on the property,
currently it has very few students and no "real" teachers.
One of the community has been trained in the basics,
and she is now passing that knowledge on..


Lunch is served...
Chicken stew and rice.


The youngster in the middle is Pieter,
he seems to crop up in a lot of my pictures.
Not sure if he was "stalking" me...


The young man in the ABSA jersey was one of the few that spoke English.
He lives here with his family and he "dropped" out of school when he failed Grade 11.
He was going to rewrite the year, but his Dad died on the day that school started,
so he never went back
The fellow with the saw is Terrence, one of Martie and Marius's children
These are some of the people that I interacted with.
Most of them were happy to have their pictures taken and tell me their story.


Marietjie, Nathan and Anika Norde
Mom and daughter landed here because of one bad decision
that was make a few months back.
"My life changed in 5 seconds"...Marietjie told me
As with all those I spoke to, they were not looking for sympathy.
They were looking to be heard.
All of them refer to the world beyond the borders of the camp
as the "outside"...where they are often invisible or ignored.
There is no reason that because of their circumstances,
they should be treated with less respect.
Anyone of us could end up in similar circumstances.
Marietije and her daughter both teach at the school on the property.
I asked Anika what one of her goals might be...
"Getting my matric", was her reply.
And on a positive note?
Mom answered...
"It is onwards and upwards from here"...
Education was a recurring theme throughout my visit.


Eddie Roodtman's story was the most poignant for me.
He is the the most recent arrival here at Plot 111.
Although he has  been here less than a month,
he had spent six months living on the streets.
His biggest fear, while sleeping rough?
"I never knew if I would be attacked while I slept".
"I had my possessions stolen and death threats"!
He is a religious man, but even though he trust in a higher power,
he is actively looking for work.
Have there been any positive aspects to your present situation?
"Yes, I have become closer to my family that I have ignored for the past two years".


William(Billy)...
And his accommodation!
Two tents had been donated,and he was able to get one.
I hope that his new accommodation will be more comfortable than the accommodation that he had prior to our visit.
Billy is currently looking for work and is
positive about his present situation.


William Meintjies, Young Pieter Rood and his mom, Lucy
William is a panel beater, and is currently working.
Lucy is looking after Pieter at present while she looks for work


Some of the items that were brought for distribution.
Stations set up for each of the goods (books, toys, shoes etc).
They were strictly controlled so as to make certain that everyone
got equal access to the goods.
One young boy did complain to me that his brother had got several toys,
and he had only received one.
I chatted with his Dad, who said that he would make certain that they would share.


These scooters have been around for decades,
and probably will be for many more.
What did I learn from my exposure to a segment of our population
that I never knew existed?
1] There is a sense of community that we "outsiders" seem to lack
2] There is no sense of entitlement, each of the people that I spoke to
took responsibility for their situation
3] This can happen to anyone.
4] Don't assume. I had some preconceived ideas before my visit,
but those vanished as fast as the early morning mist
5] It is easy to dismiss members of this community if you are approached on the street.
I for one will take time to listen to their stories in future.
6] This community has similar "problems" to those experienced "outside".
Jealousy, alcohol etc...but what they DO have is s sense of pride.
Yes, they accepted the donations that were delivered to them,
but why would they not...it did not detract from who they are.
I would like to thank the community at Plot 111,
for allowing me to spend time with them.
You have certainly opened MY eyes and I am hoping
that this posting will open the eyes of others.
If you want to become involved in the plight of these
white settlements, please email Desre Coertze directly:
lifebetweenlives@webmail.co.za 

"Baie dankie aan almal wat met my gepraat het.
Ek hoop dat ek jou storie reg vertel het"
To find out more about the group that I accompanied,
please have a look at their Facebook page:
www.facebook.com/desre.coertze.

         

All images are the copyright property of  and may not be used without permission
Follow me on Twitter: @davidbatzofin
Visit my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/david.batzofin
Travel & Things has it's own Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/travelandthings

Travel & Things, the broadcast. 27/06/2015


Listen the broadcast here:

Who else have been guests on my radio show?
Use this link to have a look.

"Travel & Things" is rebroadcast on a Wednesday night
 between 19h00 and 20h00
This was the line-up for "TRAVEL & THINGS" that aired between 10 and 11am on
SATURDAY, 27/06/2015



1485am broadcasts live from its Johannesburg studio
and nationally on DStv audio channel 869.
Radio Today (@Radio2Day) also streams via its website: www.1485.org.za
AND on cell phones: 1485.mobi

10h00-10h15:
Taking a step back in time.
I chatted to Dennis Edgar,
the chairman of Reef Steamers...
The golden age of steam is alive and living in Germiston!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/reefsteamers/?fref=ts

The Michael Olivier minute 
Food lover and wine guru, Michael will continue to chat about what is new and "hot".

10h15-10h30:
Blogger time.
I spoke to veteran Blogger, Dax Villanueva,
from Cape Town.

10h30-10h45:
Are you or a family member considering heading off to Vietnam?
Hear what Adriane Erasmus had to say
about the year that she and her boyfriend spent there teaching English.
They lived and worked in Ha Long Bay,
one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Looking for an English teaching job in Vietnam?
Firstly you will need to get either a TEFL
or CELTA qualification here in South Africa.
Then to find positions available in Vietnam,
www.daveseslcafe.com

10h45-11h00:
And finally,
de-clutterer extraordinaire,
Kate Emmerson told us how to get rid of what holds us back.

This posting is brought to you DESPITE
Eskom load-shedding...
Thank you to BP fuel and a home generator!


         

All images are the copyright property of  and may not be used without permission
Follow me on Twitter: @davidbatzofin
Visit my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/david.batzofin
Travel & Things has it's own Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/travelandthings

Friday, June 26, 2015

Travel & Things, the guest list. 27/06/2015


Listen a previous broadcast here:

Who else have been guests on my radio show?
Use this link to have a look.

"Travel & Things" is rebroadcast on a Wednesday night
 between 19h00 and 20h00
This is the line-up for "TRAVEL & THINGS" that will air between 10 and 11am on
SATURDAY, 27/06/2015



1485am broadcasts live from its Johannesburg studio
and nationally on DStv audio channel 869.
Radio Today (@Radio2Day) also streams via its website: www.1485.org.za
AND on cell phones: 1485.mobi

10h00-10h15:
Taking a step back in time.
I will be chatting to Dennis Edgar,
the chairman of Reef Steamers...
The golden age of steam is alive and living in Germiston!


The Michael Olivier minute 
Food lover and wine guru, Michael will continue to chat about what is new and "hot".


10h15-10h30:
Blogger time.
I speak to Dax Villanueva,
a Blogger from Cape Town

10h30-10h45:
Are you or a family member considering heading off to Vietnam?
Hear what Adriane Erasmus has to say
about the year that she and her boyfriend spent there.

10h45-11h00:
And finally,
de-clutterer extraordinaire,
Kate Emmerson tells us how to get rid of what holds us back.

This posting is brought to you DESPITE
Eskom load-shedding...
Thank you to BP fuel and a home generator!


         

All images are the copyright property of  and may not be used without permission
Follow me on Twitter: @davidbatzofin
Visit my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/david.batzofin
Travel & Things has it's own Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/travelandthings

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Andy's Acoustic Forum, June 2015


A very cold June evening in Johannesburg.
Andy was dressed in two jackets and most of the performers
had "finger" problems.
But everyone, including the audience, soldiered on.


"Quietly Concerned" (aka Kyle Meenahan)
opened the evening.
Not only an accomplished musician,
but an intrepid adventurer as well


He recently walked around the coastline of South Africa.
Meeting people and playing music.


He has BIG plans for 2017,
when he intends to walk the length of Africa.


An much to the "disgust" of Andy,
he plays an Ovation...


A great set to get audience hands warm...
I am certain that he will perform again before his "Great Trek".


Donnagh Roberts was up next.
Not a performer that I have seen here before.


For a regular like me, a new performer is always a bonus.


She, like Laurie Levin, we playing Andy McGibbon hand made guitars.


Wrapped up warmly against the bitter cold,
it did affect her finger picking style.


But not her music.
I do hope that she comes back...soon.


A regular, Laurie Levin, back in action on stage.
It has been a while since she has visited.


And she brought some new songs with her...


She also did her "Defy" song that was used in a fridge advert.
Although the ad agency loved the song,
it did not conjure up a picture of kitchen appliances for me


Thanks for coming out on a cold evening...


Note the warm clothing.


If there is a 12-string on stage,
it can only be ONE performer...


Cindy Alter!


She has a new album out...
"Faith and Fire"
This is the title track.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ji_Fg7ji9Q


AND a book!
"NO SUBSTITUTE",
now available online and in the bookshops.


After being part of "Alter Irving" for several years,
she is currently performing solo this year.


Cindy was kept on by the audience to play a couple of extra songs.
Nobody complained
This song IS still playing in my head:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3BOKnFcQtI
Although she mentions seven years in the song,
she has now been cancer free for twelve.
The July evening will be held on Wednesday, 29th
and will feature a very special guest.
Be there and bring friends!

This posting is brought to you DESPITE
Eskom load-shedding...
Thank you to BP fuel and a home generator!


         

All images are the copyright property of  and may not be used without permission
Follow me on Twitter: @davidbatzofin
Visit my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/david.batzofin
Travel & Things has it's own Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/travelandthings