The temperature is rising. We’re above 25 degrees centigrade some days already and it’s promising to be a hot and dry spring by the looks of it. Water conservation is on the cards and we’ve got a long way to go even if this week saw South Africa proclaim it’s largest wetlands conservation area proclaimed around Chrissiesmeer in Mpumalanga. For a time I was under the impression that it was enough if we’d save on electricity and go cycling now and then. Seems a general tightening of belts is called for and not only because of the steady decline of the prominent BRICS partners (Brazil, Russia & China. India might be the exception to this rule), but also because of the ongoing megalomanic phantasies and ludicrous spending sprees of our national gravy train. Sadly here in the South the economic climate is still cooling down and seems far from the general warming trend – up North, where even Greece is picking up some steam – hopefully!
The news that Zimbabwean teachers are not welcome in South Africa is disturbing, because it puts some big question marks on the long-term employment plans at Seminary. Not only the Seminary’s Day-Care-Centre, but its mainline business of theological training is likely to be affected by this. Following the good example of international staffing at CTS Ft.Wayne, which has/had prominent professors from Australia, Japan, Germany, South Africa, Brazil and others besides the regulars from N.America, we thought it an excellent idea to have teachers from the various corners of this continent too to compliment the strong influence from Germany and the USA. Gboto (Liberia), Ishaya (Nigeria) and Macben (Uganda) are part of this future perspective besides Shuping, Nkambule and Böhmer from South Africa. I wonder how this is going to pan out and request your dedicated prayers in this matter. Seminary doesn’t only need eager students, but also competent teachers, who will serve them with ongoing dedication, joy and confessional faithfulness.
Some of the articles that have caught my attention this week are listed down below:
- Dr Frans Cronje, Scenario Planner and CEO of SA Institute of Race Relations (IRR), recently spoke at the second annual Sanlam Investments and Glacier in Johannesburg. He spoke of the high and low road scenarios for South Africa and what South Africa urgently needs to address to change our economic outlook. This was published in this serious brief: Press Release 2013 The road less travelled 2013 swift action needed to prevent SA2019s slide towards 2018rocky road2019 economy 2013 14 August 2015
- One of the more sinister issues darkening our horizons is the proposed Expropriation Bill and a new stratagem to obscure its unconstitutionality. This not only threatens farmers, but all property holders in South Africa. As people are so busy with keeping the lights on and the water flowing in their houses, they are tempted to overlook the danger of loosing the house altogether. The Department of Public Works (the Department), under the leadership of public works minister Thulas Nxesi, has put forward the Expropriation Bill of 2015 (the Nxesi Bill), which allows municipalities and other organs of state to ride roughshod over constitutional requirements in expropriating property of virtually every kind. This is of grave concern, but read more over here: http://www.politicsweb.co.za/news-and-analysis/expropriation-bill-our-response-to-geoff-budlender
- If you think the new visa regulations don’t concern you, you might reconsider your prejudice once you read about the ordeal these travellers from Britain went through at O.R.Tambo recently. This is anybody’s nightmare when travelling abroad and it seems as if it doesn’t only happen in China, but right here at the prime tourist destination in Africa – at least that’s what it was until recently: http://www.biznews.com/thought-leaders/2015/07/16/nightmare-at-or-tambo-visa-regulations-used-as-weapon-of-mass-destruction/
- My mother always knew it: You have to read to learn something new. It seems to be a continual challenge in South Africa and I notice that at the Seminary too. Reading is not one of the main activities our students thrive on. Whether there is a racial component to this remains questionable, but read here, what Prince Mashele has written in this regard. http://www.rdm.co.za/politics/2015/08/11/race-and-the-reading-of-books
- Well, years ago people in Germany couldn’t imagine it either, but the Wall was indeed built and before they actually knew it, the Germans in East Germany (DDR) were prisoners in their own country. It practically happened overnight and took nearly 30 years to overcome. This week was the 54th anniversary of the building of that frightful means of suppression and despotic communist rule. Here is a film commemorating that icon of 20th century tyranny, which lasted from 1961-1989. Thank God, that it was not forever: http://www.dw.com/de/zum-54-jahrestag-des-mauerbaus-eingemauert/av-6592858
And here are some more pictures commemorating “Elephant Day”, “Lion Day”, South Africa’s traumatic past with had its own divisions and no-go-areas for the majority of people – making the people of the land foreigners in their own country of origin – homeless, migrant and even exiles. Traumatic history for sure. No wonder our present is not just plain sailing!