Bitou Municipality launches 16 days of activism!

Bitou celebrated the launch of this international event by transporting various groups of people from all 7 wards to one central location, St. Mary’s Anglican Church in New Horizons on the 25 November 2013.

The proceedings started off with some joyous songs and dance celebration from our elderly groups hailing from New Horizons and Crags. Pastor Len Levendal opened with prayer and delivered a message that, “God created women from a man’s rib therefor she is non-lessor than him, but his equal.”

Various sector departments were in attendance and disseminated information and valuable pointers on how to identify an abusive situation and that community should not look away, but blow the whistle.

The main speakers for the day included Department of Justice, South African Police Service, Child Welfare and the Department of Social Development Representatives and all their messages were based on that we should “Break the Silence by Blowing the Whistle”. •

To Worry or Not to Worry?

“Either you have control or you don’t. If you do, take it. If you don’t, don’t waste your energy on worry.” Dr Wayne W. Dyer

Many people are consumed with worry – over money, time, work, what people say or think – the list goes on. The reality is that worry does not create solutions or contribute anything positive to our lives.

Worry causes unnecessary stress and tension and the consequence is that concerns over one area of our lives quickly spill into other areas. Feeling tense about a relationship at work can leave us short tempered with personal relationships at home, impact on health with lack of sleep and a multitude of other problems.

As simple as the advice above seems, it is not easy to implement. While it sounds rational when we are faced with challenges the choices on how to react seem limited. We need to accept that our first choice is how we react to issues as they arise.

It has taken many years for me to learn that the best first response is to do nothing apart from sleep on the matter at hand. Reacting emotionally and impulsively can only lead to poor quality decisions that often aggravate the initial concern.

Statistics are often quoted that 80% of what people worry about never happens – imagine all that energy redirected to productive thought and action!

The irony is that practice seems to improve our resilience in coping with adversity – the more challenges we overcome, the better we are able to deal with them. When we contemplate the lives of some people we are often amazed how serene they seem after overcoming great tragedy or hardship. These are the graduates of the “School of Hard Knocks”.

They have learned first-hand that worrying about something does not prevent it happening or create a solution, the best approach to life is to focus on what is perfect right now and to reserve your energy for dealing with real crises as they arise.

Try it on for size – don’t worry – be happy •


Top 10 Summer Tips for Your Pet

1. Have your pet clipped.

Daily grooming to remove unwanted hair will make your pet more comfortable and will help it to shed excess heat. Grooming aids such as Slicker brushes and Zoom Grooms are designed to strip loose hair from your pet’s coat and are very useful.

2. Provide adequate shade and water.

Make sure your pets have adequate shade to rest in at this time of year and have plenty of fresh water in the shade so that it remains cool. Dogs can only sweat through the pads of their feet and by panting. Evaporation from the wet surfaces of their mouth and nose helps lower body temperature.

3. Put ice in their water bowl

Freeze a cup or two of water and place them in your pet’s water bowl in the morning to keep their water cool.

4. Exercise in the shade.

Walk your dog in the cooler times of day, either early morning or late evening. Stop regularly to give your dog a rest and a drink, or even better a cooling swim.

5. Walk on the grass. 

Asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet’s paws. Avoid walking on hot roads and sidewalks and instead opt for a walk in a park or on the grass if possible.

6. Don’t leave your pets in the car.

Never leave your pet unattended in a hot car. Many say “I’m only going into the shop for a pint of milk – I’ll be just a minute”. The ‘just a minute’ extends very quickly if the shop is busy or if you happen to meet a talkative friend. On a 21 degree day, the car temperature can rise above 54 degrees in only minutes. The highest temperatures are reached in dark-colored cars with large glass areas.

7. Apply sunscreen.

Pets can get sunburned too! Your pet may require sunscreen on his or her nose and ear tips. Pets with light-coloured noses or light-colored fur on their ears are particularly vulnerable to sunburn and skin cancer.

8. Prepare for the beach.

Take care when taking your dog to the beach. Ensure that your pet can find shade or bring a beach umbrella or shade structure. Always remember to take fresh water along as drinking salt water can dehydrate your dog.

9. Take extra care for higher risk pets.

Short nosed breeds of dogs, such as Bull Dogs, Pugs and the Pekingese, are very susceptible to heat stress, as are overweight or thick-coated pets. Dogs or cats with poor circulation, very old animals and dogs with any respiratory disease are also at higher risk, so extra care should be taken.

Heat stress is a major concern over summer but a little common sense is all that is required to help your pets keep their cool and stay healthy!

10. Know how to treat your pet for heat stroke.

It is very important for you to be aware of the correct ways to help treat you pet if they are to suffer from heat stroke. The information provided below gives detail on the actions to take in order to prevent your pet from becoming permanently damaged.

What do I do if my pet does get heat stroke?
Heat stroke causes incredibly severe damage. Affected animals first appear excited, but then appear to lose their balance. Seizures can occur and this can lead to them slipping into a coma. Multi-organ failure can then follow and the animal will be at grave risk.

If this happens, then emergency first aid is vital and you will need to get them to a vet quickly. While you are contacting your vet, try to cool your pet by placing it in a room temperature (not iced) water bath or by hosing it. Then place your wet animal in front of the fan and apply ice packs to its head.

Your veterinarian will need to give medication to control seizures and to prevent further damage to your pet’s organs. They may also give it a water enema to reduce the body temperature. It is likely that your pet will be placed on an intravenous drip and your vet may also anesthetise your pet to prevent seizures.

As always, it is better to prepare your pets for the hotter weather and prevent them from getting heat stroke than to have to treat them for it later, however with early detection and professional treatment you can ensure that they will be back on their feet and are happy and healthy in no time. •

How Slow Can You Go?

Avoid the one big mistake cyclists make when it’s time for recovery.

Time off from cycling can be a good thing. One critical training principle is that of overload and recovery. For a system to grow stronger, it must be stressed and then allowed time to rebuild. This is the reason for recovery periods between hard efforts during interval workouts. From there, the principle expands to include rest days during hard training weeks, a recovery week within a month of training and, finally, a several-week-long hiatus after a season.

But what about recovery on a grander scale? The concept of a grand recovery period has implications for all athletes. Amateur racers and recreational cyclists frequently participate in events for several years and then turn to other pursuits and interests. Maybe you were a Cat 3 or an avid century rider five years ago, but your bike has been collecting dust or you’ve resigned yourself to just a weekend spin to stay moderately fit. It’s not too late for a comeback.

Regardless of where you are in the process, there’s one aspect of training that trips up cyclists more than any other: recovery rides. The concept is ridiculously simple: Take a very easy spin on your bike. To be honest, there’s little scientific evidence that recovery rides are any more beneficial—physiologically—than sitting on your couch. The same can be said for massage, but athletes and coaches swear by both as ways to enhance between-workout recovery. Both help athletes feel fresher and looser for their next hard training session. And there’s a clear psychological benefit to that.

Though it sounds simple, many athletes ruin their training by going too hard. To be effective, your easy ride must do no harm. Only by spinning at a very low intensity will you reap the psychological benefits.

Ease Off the Gas Pedal
So how do you properly execute a recovery ride? Start out easy. Once you’re at a nice, relaxed pace, take your speed down another notch. You can’t go too easy, but it’s easy to go too hard. Think of it as taking the bike for a walk: You shouldn’t be working any harder than you would during a stroll to the coffee shop. Your power output should be 30 to 50 percent of your maximum sustainable power output, and your heart rate should not go above 70 percent of your maximum sustainable heart rate. Keep your cadence at about 90 rpm—at low speeds and in low gears, this will seem brisk—and ride for 30 to 60 minutes. A power-meter graph from a recovery ride should show a low and relatively consistent power output, a relatively high cadence and little else.

Researched By :
Kátia C. Rowlands – PLETT PILATES ; SPINNING & FITNESS STUDIO – 082 513 4256 •

U3A Program

Monday 18th November 2013
– AFRICA by Sir David Attenborough
Sahara ( Part 5 of 6 )
Macro photography reveals the struggles of dung beetles
and silver ants in the very hot Sahara desert
10H00 at Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Co-ordinator: Moesch van der Spuy 044-533-6515

Tuesday 19th November 2013
– Italian Conversation
09H45 at 12 Challenge Drive
Co-ordinator: Brenda Hardy 044-533-5489

Wednesday 20th November 2013
– The Battle of Rorke’s Drift : a Doctor’s Story
Charles Wright, a retired gynaecologist from the UK, will
share his passion about researching the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879,
We will visit both Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift in Zululand
10H00 at Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Co-ordinator: Michael Lond 044-533-0018

Wednesday 20th November 2013
– U3A Plett Social Bridge Club
General lessons for improving players, help
and supervised Bridge in a friendly atmosphere
13H45 at the Angling Club
Co-ordinator: Pam Rodwell 082-822-8422

Thursday 21st November 2013
– Plett Panters ( Phone to book with Robyn )
Forest Hall – Brak River – Rugpad – Forest Hall
9km : Easy : Petrol contribution R33
08H30 Meet at the Shell Ultra
Co-ordinator: Robyn Eidelman 044-533-0438

Friday 22nd November 2013
– French Conversation
10H00 at 7 Glennifer Street
Co-ordinator: Merle Decot 044-533-5879

Friday 22nd November 2013
– Mah Jong ( Please book with Amelia )
Learn and play this ancient and fascinating game
14H00 Phone for venue and details
Co-ordinator: Amelia White 044-533-0113

Self-Worth vs Net Worth

It seems that society values people on the basis of

What they have
What they do
What others say about them





Sadly this basis for ‘valuing” people ignores many of the qualities that can improve self-worth – kindness, patience, creativity, to share joy, friendship….

We seem to have moved away from appreciating someone for the value that their deeds bring to a community to the superficial value that their material trappings are believed to be worth.

The impact that this has on each individual’s self-worth cannot be underestimated. In the past in small communities people were not motivated merely by greed or hunger. Vocations such as nursing, teaching, policing, firefighting were aspired to. Those that contributed to the greater good of the community were valued and respected.

It may be difficult to relate to this from the perspective of our modern thinking. Building character, learning time-tested skills and feeling good about what you can give rather than get seem low on most priority lists.

Once again it comes to the basic essence of what makes us all feel good – how we are treated by others, or how we treat them? The climb to success may secure net worth at the price of self-worth, but claiming that it is to support our family or fulfil a parents’ dream seem like poor excuses.

Perhaps the ideal is to achieve a balance where one part of our lives does not need to be sacrificed to feed another. Appreciating that self-worth and net worth do not need to be mutually exclusive is a beginning.

Start small, do something this week simply because it makes you feel good. Kindness has its own reward. Feeling good about who you are is priceless. •

More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Cat Claws

Does your cat get more joy out of shredding the wrapping off a gift wrapped present than you do? Odds are your kitty had a blast tearing away at the paper with his razor sharp cat claws. This is all in fun, but here is some insight into cat claws you may not know.

Have you ever looked at your cat’s claws? If you gently press on his paw pad the little sword will pop out so you can have a good look at it. Just look at those things. You would never consider cat claws a form of skin!

In fact, your cat’s rapiers are more skin than they are bone. Your cat’s claws undergo the same process to regenerate as does skin or hair. They are, in fact, a form of skin.

Cat claws have a dermis and an epidermis. Keratine forms the outermost layer of the outer epidermis. It forms a horn-like protein called the cuticle. This cuticle is hard and white and is actually dead tissue. Its job is to protect the living tissue on the inner part of the cat claw.

The inner tissue is called the quick. You can tell this easily because it is pink colored. It’s pink because that is blood. There is also nerves at the quick. Cat claws regenerate with cells much like your skin regenerates.

Each claw is attached to the terminal bone of your cat’s toe and is held in place by a thin layer of skin. Tendons above and below the toe bones are what your cat uses to extend and retract his claws.

One reason your cat can sneak up on prey is because his claws retract. Unlike a dog who’s toenail clicky, clack across the kitchen floor, your cat walks silently without all that racket. Watch out mouse!

Your cat’s claws perform other life saving functions. Your cat can escape a chasing coyote or dog by running up a tree. He can use his cat claws to rip away at another animal trying to harm him. Extended cat claws are essential to fend off predators.

The average cat has 18 claws-four on each hind paw and four on each front paw plus a dew claw. The dew claw is sort of like a human thumb without all the dexterity.

Although claws really don’t present a problem to your cat, claws can be a problem for cat owners. Cats absolutely must scratch. That’s where the problem come into play.

When your cat scratches away at your couch or carpet or table leg, then you get perturbed. Cat scratching is innate behavior, meaning that it’s part of their nature.

They scratch for three reasons: to leave visual markers; to mark territory with scent glands in their paws; to slough off the old outer layer of their claws.

It really is easy and far more cost effective to provide your kitty with a good cat tree that he can use for his shedding his cat claws and marking. They love sisal and that is a better choice than a carpet covered cat tree. •

Training by Repetitions, Time, and Distance: What’s Best?

You probably have likely noticed how some workouts give a specific number of reps to do for each exercise while other routines say to do an exercise for a set amount of time. This also applies to runners—you’re either counting miles or minutes. Each strategy is a good one, but one may be better for you. Use this guide to help determine which you should be doing.

Strength Training by Time
When a workout prescribes to do as many reps as possible in a set amount of time, concentrate on your form to ensure each rep is performed correctly so that, in turn, you get the most from your workout. Using a stopwatch can also boost your confidence since you don’t have to worry that you won’t be able to perform the recommended repetitions. Even if you can only complete one rep in the allotted time, that’s a starting point. This strategy is particularly good if you work out with a partner. Often one person can feel inadequate or that she or he is holding back the other if they struggle to do 8 jump squats while their workout mate breezes through them. Forgetting the reps allows you both to push yourselves at your own levels and still get the benefits of a gym buddy.

Strength Training by Repetitions
Most sports training is repetition-based, which allows athletes—and everyday men and women—to peak, maintain a peak performance, and then de-condition as you increase or decrease the reps and weight used for each move. This also helps avoid burnout and overtraining because you’re more in-tune to working from where you left off and keeping yourself at a pace that’s working toward an overall goal. Lastly, having a tangible goal for each exercise, such as 10 pushups, lets you to see where you stand and gives you a feeling of accomplishment.

Cardio by Time
Most of us don’t have a lot of time to work out, so training for time may be the best solution when you’re trying to fit fitness into your day. Plus you don’t have to try to calculate distance when running outdoors—using your watch as your guide is a no-brainer.

Cardio by Distance
Whether it is biking to the last telephone poll on your block or kicking it the last half-mile of your run, if you focus on time-based runs or cardio workouts, you may not push yourself to your maximum potential. In my experience, individuals are more willing to challenge themselves to, say, complete 3 miles as fast as they can, whereas they’ll take a 30-minute run at a leisurely pace. Plus when you know the finish line is nearing, you tend to get tunnel vision and forget how tired you may be.

The Bottom Line
Each method can help you lose weight, build strength, become faster, and meet just about any fitness goal. I recommend mixing it up and personally do so depending on how much time I have: If I’m squeezing it in, I focus on time. If I have a free afternoon, I’ll count my reps. Just remember to stay consistent, keep good form, and change it up so as not to reach a plateau. And have fun. Thinking too much about how you are going to work out may make you feel like it’s a job—and fitness should be fun.

Researched By :
Kátia C. Rowlands – PLETT PILATES ; SPINNING & FITNESS STUDIO – 082 513 4256 •




The National Youth Development Agency, in collaboration with the Youth and Local Economic Development Offices of the Mossel Bay Municipality, will host a job preparedness workshop and business awareness training programme from 5 to 6 December 2013.

Young people between the ages of 18 and 35 years are invited to attend these capacity building workshops.

Application forms can be obtained from the municipal offices, libraries, LED Office in the Goods Shed, the Municipality’s Youth Office at the Indoor Sports Centre in Samson Street, Extension 23 (next to the Roman Catholic Church) as well as from the community development workers.

Written applications must be accompanied by a CV and certified copy of the applicant’s identity document.

Completed application forms can be submitted to the community development workers or at the LED office at the Goods Shed or at the Youth Office by not later than 10:00 on 29 November 2013.

Enquiries can be addressed to Yolande van Aswegen at (044) 606-5224 or 0822966199 or Sharion Louw at (044) 606-5250 or 0826653533.



Helping to put water back into the Keurbooms River

The Eden to Addo Corridor Initiative, a non-profit organization from the Garden Route of South Africa, has started a project to restore the Keurboom River Catchment area and improve the water flow, by clearing thousands of hectares of invasive alien plants such as Wattle. It has received a promise of R8 million in Government funding, if the project itself raises R500,000 before the end of 2013. Eden to Addo has to crowdsource this funding from the public within the next 45 days to keep the Government grant, and has put out an urgent appeal to supporters to contribute towards the funding target.

The Garden Route catchments are a major priority within the Fynbos biome, (a world heritage site) for invasive alien plant control. In 2000, half the fynbos of the Keurbooms River catchment had been invaded by alien plants and it is projected that this infestation will increase steadily so that by 2025 the Keurbooms stream flow will be reduced by 95%.

The South African Government has recognized the importance of this initiative and has allocated R8 million to the project. These funds will cover wages as well as equipment needed to complete the project. These costs however, do not cover management and transport costs. If a further R500,000 is not raised within 45 days, the Eden to Addo Corridor Initiative will lose the funding from the Government. The project is set to begin before the end of 2013 if this last bit of funding is raised in time.

The project will provide 100 much needed jobs in destitute communities, secure the sole water supply of an entire town and restore the integrity of a wilderness river ecosystem.

This alien clearing project covers thousands of hectares of heavily alien-infested land in the mountains and hills behind the town of Plettenberg Bay. It covers a critical catchment area for the Keurbooms River, upon which the entire town, with a population of approximately 50 000, depends. A number of existing landowners have embarked on alien clearing projects in their own capacity, but they nevertheless require significant assistance to solve the problem and truly transform this area.

The project addresses the three major components of integrated catchment management: livelihoods, water security and biodiversity. Most importantly, much needed employment opportunities will be created to clear the invading alien plant species, the river catchment area will be restored to its pristine state and the stream flow will be greatly increased (predicted stream flow improvement is 6 053 110m³/yr.), which will secure the water supply of Plettenberg Bay.

Funding from the National Department of Environmental Affairs will provide the wages for the job opportunities to clear invader plant species. Furthermore, the resultant plant waste will be used to manufacture charcoal, which not only will reduce fire and erosion hazards but also provide entrepreneurs from local communities with small business development opportunities.

Eden to Addo will be training and employing 100 people for 3 years to clear 2000 hectares in the Keurbooms River catchment of alien species. Livelihood opportunities will be created for unemployed in the area and wage targets of 60% women, 20% youth and 2% disabled will be adhered to as far as possible. Further training, support and investment will be provided for the development of the eco-charcoal manufacturing businesses, thereby creating longer term self-sustaining opportunities for local entrepreneurs.

Eden to Addo is well positioned to facilitate both the clearing and the enterprise development aspects of this project, having already spent four years working with landowners in the Keurbooms Corridor. The need for alien clearing in our catchments is paramount – it will provide more water, more work, and more biodiversity for all.
To contribute to the project:
Watch the video:
Contact Joan Berning, CEO of Eden to Addo , 044 533 1623/ email:
Banking details: Account Eden to Addo, Bank Absa # 9186949260, Knysna •