jacarandaApproximately 280 Jacaranda trees along Lynnwood and Atterbury Roads, from the University of Pretoria to Menlyn Shopping Centre, will have to be moved to make way for a section (Line 2B) of the A re Yeng Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system before the onset of spring.
“We have fought to have the trees preserved,” says councillor Siobhan Muller of Ward 82. “The Jacaranda tree is part of the history and the culture of Pretoria.”
She says the trees will be moved to George Storrar Road. “After the Line 2B is completed, other Jacarandas will be replanted along these two roads, as well as the Bolusanthus speciosus (tree wisteria), which has a purple flower and will give a similar effect as the Jacaranda.”
“The trees have to be looked after while they settle into their new home so that they cannot be relocated to somewhere in the ward,” says Muller. “There is no irrigation at the available open spaces and the fear was that they would not survive the move. As long as the Jacarandas are replaced along the BRT route, we are satisfied we will still have a purple October in Ward 82.
The period in which the moving will take place will result in slight disruptions along Lynnwood and Atterbury

BETSIE LOOCK-VAN DER MERWE
While casino operators aim to expand markets, the National Responsible Gambling Programme (NRGP), funded by the same – is aspiring to educate communities and individuals about the danger of gambling irresponsibly.
Research conducted by the NRGP shows that out of the total population of the gambling communities in South Africa, between 3% and 5% will become addicted gamblers.
“The statistics compare favourably with western countries where gambling has been in place for decades,” says Nana Magomola, executive director of the NRGP. She says NGRP interventions are aimed at people with problem gambling behaviour or who gamble irresponsibly but are not yet addicted to gambling.
“We educate communities at large about dangers of gambling irresponsibly. Our public education aims to get to the people before they get into trouble,” she says.
The NRGP recently facilitated an awareness workshop targeting religious leaders in Gauteng. “We understand faith based communities interact with a large number of members of the community and problem gamblers are also church going people. She says they often approach their pastors and counsellors about their life challenges, but are often embarrassed to talk about their gambling problems for fear of condemnation and judgement.
“NGRP programmes are effective because information gets shared with a group who share the information with their families and friends.
The NRGP also encourages voluntary self-exclusion programmes at casinos, “but the casino operators enforce the programme voluntarily at their casino,” she says.
The programme offers problem gamblers the option to select venues they want to be excluded from and sign an agreement not to enter or use gambling areas at those venues. Magomola says the agreement gives those venues legal authority to identify the person as someone participating in the self-exclusion programme and remove them from the venue if they enter.
However, self-exclusion is only valid for 12 months.
“In South Africa individual rights are protected and we can’t interfere with people’s freedom of choice, so permanent exclusion is difficult,” says Magomola. “At casinos where rules are strictly enforced, excluded clients are registered and their names come up as they enter the casino. They are further informed that if they win they will not be able to claim their winnings because of the ban, so if you know you can’t claim, it makes sense not to play.”
The executive director says as far as the success rate of the self-exclusion programme is concerned she doesn’t have statistics but knows casino operators do not want people to become addicted gamblers because, by definition, those who are addicted have financial problems and therefore are not good clients of casinos. She says regulators enforce this exclusion and casinos, whose employees do not comply, run risk of not adhering to licensing conditions.”
“The the amount of money invested by casino operators, race horse operations and the industry in the NRGP has provided huge benefits thus far. This is why in the 16 years since casinos were legalised the percentage of people who become problem gamblers has remained remarkably stable,” says Magomola.
The toll free counselling line can be called on 0800 006 008.

Interesting facts
* Up to 70% of people with a gambling addiction also have another psychiatric problem. It is pointless only treating the gambling problem. Any coexisting mental-health condition (such as alcohol or other substances, moor and/or personality disorders) should also be dealt with tot give the person with a gambling addiction a better chance of recovery from both conditions.
* Individuals who engaged in illegal behaviour in the year prior to treatment for their problem gambling tend to have more severe symptoms, more gambling-related debt and more severe symptoms during treatment compared to people who have not broken the law.
* Men tend to become addicted to more interpersonal forms of gambling, like blackjack craps or poker, whereas women tend to engage in less interpersonal forms of betting like slot machines or bingo.
Source: NGRP

LISA DEWBERRY
Despite fierce opposition from residents, church leaders and groups including Peermont Group which owns Emperors Palace, the Gauteng Gambling Board (GGB) approved Sun International’s application to transfer Morula Sun’s casino license to Menlyn Maine on 31 July. However, the battle seems to be far from over as opposition parties head to court to review the decision.
Professor Duncan Baker, ward councillor for the area, says the Gauteng Gambling Board’s decision will first be taken on review at the Gauteng North High Court and either way, the outcome will be taken on appeal. He says the GGB must provide reasons for the decision by end of September and he is convinced it will go all the way to the Constitutional Court.
“Billions of rand are at stake. This is only the first part of a long legal wrangle. Peermont Group and Viva Bingo made a strong case objecting to Gauteng Gambling Board Licence. Teresa Conradie, attorney at Mothla Conradie, has been representing about 6 000 residents who object to the development. Due process was supposed to be followed,” says Baker.
Michael Neumann, spokesperson for Hatfield Christian Church, who represents more than 15 church leaders, says Hatfield Christian Church is disappointed by the GGB ruling which went through regardless of objections. He says he reiterates the stance that locating Time Square Casino in an urban residential environment is detrimental to the wellbeing of the community.
“During the gambling board hearings several concerns were raised. Locating a casino adjacent to Glen High School lacks wisdom and is prejudicial to learners. I am convinced nowhere in South Africa is a casino adjacent to a high school. The experience of other schools located near to casino based gambling including Robertsham Primary and Fourways High School, corroborate our position that urban residential gambling is detrimental to the well being of communities,” says Neumann.
According to the church leader, Tshwane municipality also employ a mixed compatible land use policy, meaning similar land uses compatible with one another are meant to be grouped together. He says if locating a casino next door to a high school in walking distance of several other schools, colleges, retirement centres and churches constitutes compatible land use, he is unsure what constitutes incompatible land use.
“The social cost of gambling also has a significant impact on youth and elderly. GGB’s own research illustrates this. Hatfield Christian Church continues to explore ways to mitigate the negative consequences of gambling with variety of other stakeholders including the National Responsible Gaming Programme,” says Neumann.
Julie van Wyk, group public relations manager at Peermont Group, says they have requested reasons from the Gauteng Gambling Board for their decision and will decide on their next steps in due course.

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SHINGAI MLILO
A successful three day leadership training programme was hosted by Transformational Leaders, last week at the Artos & Oinos Conference Centre at the NG Church, Elarduspark.
Attendees of the event came from all over South Africa, some from Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg and others from Pretoria to learn how to improve their leadership skills.
Mr Obi Mandimutsira, one of the leaders in attendance, said: “I came for the training, because I am a businessman and in business you are a leader. I want to be a good leader to my businesses’ employees.”
Starting on 14 August, and throughout the training until 16 August, delegates were taught how to practically implement skills such as organisational growth and approaching other people. Lessons were applicable to marriage, family, business and church leadership.

Some of the delegates attending the training.

Some of the delegates attending the training.

 

SHINGAI MLILO
University of Pretoria students were introduced to Lawn Bowls on 15 August at the Sunnyside Bowling Club in the Barefoot Bowls’ Inter-Residence Challenge.
Students who participated in the event were invited by the Universities’ Student Representative Council (SRC); two different busloads transported the students to the event.
“It’s not often that we get young people in the sport and we did this to expose young people to the game,” said organiser, Sharon Thomas from the university.
Team SA Lawn Bowls Commonwealth medallists also made appearances at the event, one of which was Tracey-Lee Botha.
“What I find is that we don’t get a lot of publicity around bowls, and people don’t really know what the name and objective of the game is. However, a lot of youngsters are expressing their interest in the game. I foresee that, in the future it’s going to grow in South Africa; getting youngsters on the green like this, is going to do exactly that,” Tracey mentioned.
The South African Military Bowling Club representing Gauteng North were present to show the students how to play the game, “I think it’s fantastic, that young people are getting themselves involved in bowls,” said Judy Ralph who was umpiring.
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Na die suksesvolle aanbieding van jaarlikse musiekblyspele sedert 2009 het Hoërskool Garsfontein hierdie jaar, onder leiding van Con van den Berg (vervaardiger) en regie en choreografie van Christa-Louie Kannemeyer, die verhoogproduksie van “West Side Story” aangepak. Hierdie wenner van talle Tony-toekennings, het bekendheid verwerf met die groot sukses wat hul op Broadway beleef het.

Die Garsies het weer verseker dat hierdie produksie, aangebied deur ‘n uiters talentvolle produksiespan en fenomenale spelers, van hoogstaande gehalte is. Spesiale vermelding word van Stanzi Malan, Anrich van Stryp, Darryl Groenewald, Elena du Pisane en Archie Rohde met die briljante vertolking van hul onderskeie rolle, gemaak. Dit was ʼn produksie vol talle verrassings en ‘n skouspel wat nie gereeld op ʼn skoolverhoog in Suid-Afrika gesien word nie.

Rower Daniel Watkins (17) and Deputy Head of School at St Alban’s College dreamt of representing his country in the Junior Men’s’ Single Scull.
At the Junior World Rowing Championships held recently in Hamburg, Germany, Dan wore the green and gold. With 32 athletes competing in this event Dan managed to win his heat, quarter-final and semi-final, thus progressing to the final, where he won the Bronze medal. Germany got the Gold and Canada the Silver.
St Alban’s College is the alma mater of John Smith, the Olympic Gold medallist, so the rowers dream big.
In Coach, Tiago Loureiro’s words, “A magical moment for South African Rowing and St Alban’s College! Daniel is a superb athlete who has prepared for this moment for three and a half years. Dan first made South African Rowing history when his Quadruple scull was placed 5th last year. Truly rough conditions in this final made it more of a rock pull than a race, but we are still blessed, considering the conditions were borderline sinking conditions. Dan and I will treasure this moment forever.”

Dan Watkins in action.

Dan Watkins in action.

 

Solidariteit Helpende Hand se Motorfietstak Pretoria, in samewerking met Nehusa Fellowship en Stallions of Steel, het die afgelope naweek 400 kg nie-bederfbare voedsel en 1,5 ton meel aan die Helpende Hand Rustenburg-tak oorhandig.

Die skenking is op 16 Augustus tydens ʼn ontbytrit na Hartbeespoortdam oorhandig.

Johan Böning, voorsitter van Helpende Hand se Pretoria Motorfietstak, vertel dat hierdie skenkings onlangs tydens ’n “Biker-jol”-pretdag in Pretoria ingesamel is. “Ons tak het hierdie dag ten bate van die Helpende Hand Rampgebied Beursfonds gehou en het terselfdertyd nie-bederfbare kos vir behoeftiges in die Rustenburg-omgewing ingesamel,” sê hy. “Ons was oorweldig deur die positiewe reaksie wat ons gekry het. Meer as 250 motorfietsryers het opgedaag om hul harte vir liefdadigheid oop te maak en 13 motorfietsryerklubs was verteenwoordig.”

Volgens Johan het die dag nie net wonderlike skenkings opgelewer nie, maar ook gelei het tot die stigting van Helpende Hand se tweede motorfietstak. “Jan Venter is aangewys as die takvoorsitter en die tak het sommer dadelik weggespring met projekte om armoede in die Westonaria-gemeenskap te verlig en te verbreek.”
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Abbotts College Pretoria East students Devon Pateman (Gr10) and Brendon Fourie (Gr10) gathered a group of volunteers to paint the fence of Situla Pre-School, a school for special need students between the ages of 3- 6 in Pretoria East. The students raised the funds to paint the wall and sacrificed their Saturday morning to complete the good deed. Situla wants to congratulate Abbots College Pretoria on the commendable students this school is producing. It’s wonderful to see young people give back and be part of the change in their community.

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