A Cape Town’s high school principal’s open letter to South African president Jacob Zuma has gone viral. Here is the text:
Dear President Zuma
It’s two years to the day when Gareth Cliff, a local media celebrity, wrote an open letter to you. It caused quite a stir at the time. And as I was thinking about what I was going to say to the Class of 2012 of my school, his letter came to mind. As I re-read it I realised it was about time for another one. Not quite as controversial perhaps but nevertheless another open letter borne out of my desire to see the 200 matrics that we’re about to send you, fulfil their dreams in a positive, dynamic South Africa.
My name is Stephen Price. I am the Principal of Bergvliet High School here in the Western Cape. Some would describe this school as a ‘former Model C school’… a description generally used to justify why other schools are underperforming. But that is another discussion.
You see, right now I am addressing close on 1000 teachers, parents and pupils at the Valedictory Service of the Class of 2012 of my school. It is a special occasion, full of excitement and expectation, of joy and sadness, of hope and trepidation, and it will be a day for them to remember. Their last official day of school. I’d like to tell you a little bit about them. But, before I do, consider this. Continue reading School principal’s letter to Zuma
At long last I have got around to sorting out the paperwork for getting British citizenship. At first it appears to be a fairly straightforward process:
Pay the Home Office £88 for a letter stating I do not hold British citizenship. On recipt of the letter submit the application for the retention of South African citizenship to the South African High Commission in London. With £25. Once that application is confirmed, pay the UK Border Agency a large sum of money and submit 5 years worth of identity documents and proof of address. Once citizenship has been granted, attend a citizenship ceremony to complete the legal process. Bob’s your uncle and Betty your Queen – go apply for a passport. Continue reading Citizenship hoops
We headed into the dark wet heart of Knoydart at 10 knots. Bottle-nose dolphins leap and surfed the bow wave. The rain lashed down. Some looked pensive while others dispersed the tension with humorous, if somewhat brittle, banter.
The plan is to replace the roof on the shed and get some lighting in. [Note to self: write a list of things to do]
However, getting rid of an asbestos roof is not as simple as just crowbarring it off and dumping in the bin ready for the waste management team to collect. Angus Council does not have a licence to collect asbestos waste and the recycling and landfile sites are not licenced to accept any asbestos (Angus Council website). A certified contractor is required to dispose of the material in a safe manner. And I expect this to be fairly pricey, somewhere in the region of £300.
The high price of removal has been confirmed and so alternatives need to be sought. A tarpaulin? New sheets over the top?
We have a flock of jackdaws and rooks that are nesting in a large pine tree in our neighbour’s garden. They start their raucus cawing at about 4am and once everyone is awake they then proceed to terrorise them. All the small garden variety birds (little brownous jobis, blue tits, great tits, chaffinches, robins, batman, blackbirds, starlings, housemartins, turtle doves, rock pigeons) that frequent our feeders are subject to harrassment, derision and demeaning behaviour from these ebullient bullies. So, let me tell you once jackdaws – I know where you live!