Sunday 19 July 2020
SOS – Steve on Sunday
THE WEEK THAT WAS
20 July to 26 July 2020
My fellow South Africans (and Makwerekwere)
These weeks and months and years do gallop by rather rapidly do they not?
I merely turned on the kettle to force down another cup of tea when suddenly it was Saturday again. This never ever happened when I was a pre-teen? In those far away days it took literally years, perhaps decades, for my birthday and Christmas to arrive. And it took months to drive from Umtali in the then Rhodesia to the seaside at Beira just for a weekend. And at senior school it did not get much faster. Saturday would never arrive so that I could temporarily escape from Report Cards and Manual Labour…
And that long long wait to get my six cuts on a Friday in lieu of manual labour. The sprint to the loo afterwards must have been lovely to watch. Now that particular sprint after the cuts could only really start once you had turned the corner and no-one could see you…nor see your cheerful countenance burst into sudden tears of pain.
I digress before I even start…but then there’s nothing much else to do in Kimberley. The men and women in blue are appearing a little bit more often now that curfew has been re-introduced. It does feel good to be back at war. I feel 18 years old once again. We are at war, yes? I just do not know who the enemy is anymore. It was supposed to be a viru* from Ch***, but the way the hot talking heads carry on it appears to be them versus the rest of us. And nary a mention of the plague.
Another quick digression. Sorreee.
Mentioning the word ‘gallop’ reminded me that the whatever edition of the famous Durban July horse race is being run on Saturday at Greyville, albeit behind closed doors. It is South Africa’s most valuable race, but all I know about this year is that Do It Again is trying its utmost to do just that for the third year in a row. A mention of the winner before this edition goes to bed…
(Postscript: Do It Again did not do it again, but did come third. The winner was Belgarion who was tipped to win by some tipsters, well done to all concerned.)
Horse racing is in dire straits throughout the country, the plague merely adding to the woes of the industry. Kimberley’s Flamingo Park racecourse has closed down making the city of no diamonds all the poorer in more ways than one.
But back to lockdown.
Please to remember that because I live in Kimberley in the South African Northern Cape province I can only really comment about what is happening in my immediate surroundings although a remark or two about other South African or world affairs may just creep in.
I do get two daily newspapers, one English and one Afrikaans, as well as the weekly papers – the free Noordkaap and the not free Diamond Fields Advertiser – and believe it or not, I do have access to the internet, so I am reasonably informed of what is going on in the world. Getting the newspapers together with bread and milk is an essential food run for me. Although under Level 3 Part 45 (h) which has elements of Level 4 and 5 mixed with Level 1, I think you can now buy anything from shops except those businesses in the hospitality and tourism industries.
Perhaps next week I shall go into the tourism industry and lockdown – I have been an integral part for more than 30 years so do know a little. I think an Open Letter to the Tourism Groot Kops (Big heads) will be the best way to approach the total collapse of tourism in South Africa. Ooops, sorry, 98% of the tourist industry, the other 2 percent being employed by government and who still get their inflated monthly salaries.
Sport is also affected by the lockdown.
Let us start with rugby. Not everybody’s cup of tea – I nearly wrote bottle of beer – but growing up in a rugby mad eastern highlands of Rhodesia that bragged of the most powerful Rhodesian club side ever, that of Inyazura in the 1950s and 1960s, and a provincial side known as Manicaland, also powerful in that era, I have no choice.
A choice of tea perhaps? We were also well-known for our tea in the eastern highlands. Some well-known brands too, the Tanganda tea ditty in my head as I type.
Just to maak klaar (finish up) with Inyazura and Manicaland rugby without waffling lyrical. The farmers in the region during the 1950s and onwards employed assistant managers and these assistants needed to only mention on their CV that they played rugby, and played it well. Hence household names such as Piet Greyling, Salty du Randt and Ryk van Schoor, among quite a few others, playing for Inyazura and for Manicaland. And for the then Rhodesia.
It is the so-called super rugby competition between New Zealand, Australia and South Africa that is currently in the news, and the likelihood that South Africa will be all alone in a year or two’s time will probably come true. Both Australia and NZ have their own independent versions on the go while South Africa has only just entered the bad plague days. So, no rugby yet. There may be no rugby the rest of the year. That will be sad.
Not going into the nitty gritty of travel and time zones and too many teams in the contest, I do believe that South Africa should go it alone and concentrate once again on the Currie Cup. Ignore the northern hemisphere too. We were powerful for many a decade with merely the Currie Cup as the local contest and it should be that way again.
It may also be a good idea to discard the Rugby Championships with NZ and Aussie, and revert to Springbok tours to those countries and for their sides to tour South Africa. Three or four game test series with provincial midweek games. The people, I am sure, will love it and the stands will be packed coron* vir** presumably having retreated by then. There should still be plenty of money available, politics notwithstanding naturally. All dependent on whether we all have jobs as well as accommodation being available. In other words, flights coming in to South Africa.
Writing about politics in all sport does seem to appear that it will always be with us, especially in South Africa. I think our ancestors started politics with sport in the 1890s that eventually culminated in the Basil d’Oliveira affair of the late 1960s. Here endeth these few paragraphs on sport.
A collective happy sigh from the seven readers…
The comment “We shall leave no stone unturned” is commonly used by spokespeople for a variety of departments in Government, particularly by spokespeople for the men and women in blue.
I would like to inform all and sundry that I have been sitting on the banks of the mighty Vaal river on and off for some time now, and have even installed CCTV in certain areas to see when these millions of stones are going to be turned. I have seen no movement other than that of my hand slipping some wine into my glass and then sipping the same. It is done in public knowing full well that the women and men in blue, led by that funny chap in a hat, will not see me sitting among all those millions of stones waiting to be turned.
Aaaah, what a life.
Of course, with my luck, the stone they do eventually turn will be the one under which I am sitting
Those same chaps and chappesses in blue are also back to their aggressive best, manning road blocks, and using water guns and rubber bullets to disperse the extremely violent marchers from the hospitality industry, this near Parliament.
Seriously, I was quite shocked by the incident bearing in mind the marches and protests where the cannon and rubber bullets have NOT been used.
And the road blocks, according to the main dude that always wears a hat, is to catch those criminals carrying cigarettes and alcohol and also those not wearing masks. If it were not so serious it would be laughable.
Methinks that those rule and regulation enforcers in blue should really start looking at the millions of unturned stones for real criminals. Then turn them and find the so many hundreds, nay thousands, who have and are getting away with all sorts of crime including murder.
I have a headache.
And I’m muttering, so it’s time to get back to bed. I hope I do not dream about unturned stones.
Have a good week.
I thank you.