Karoo Parliament 2014
To all our wonderful speakers and participants at the Karoo Parliament
- a summary of future strategies
Dear loyal Karoosters
It was a great pleasure and privilege to meet all of you (or catch up again) at Vusubuntu Centre in Cradock last week!
We have received very favourable feedback about the Parliament – and that can only be attributed to the high standard of speakers and participants at the Parliament. The word "parliament" is derived from the French word "parler" – "to talk" – and if people do not "parler" effectively, there would be no Parliament at all!
In terms of the way forward: Several important Acorns were harvested at the Parliament, which we hope will grow into big Oak Trees!
We would like to thank the entire town of Cradock for your incredible hospitality. In particular, Lineo Bebeza and her support staff from the Local Municipality, Charles and Rika Featherstonehaugh for the Expo, Alida Erasmus and her team for the décor, the local people who provided the cuisine, and the clan at Victoria Manor Hotel for helping out for a wide range of logistics – we remain ever grateful to you! Many thanks to our KDF Trustees who assisted in so many ways, in such a good spirit.
Just some notable achievements at the Parliament, and COLLECTIVE WAYS FORWARD: (these are in addition to the many valuable individual and small-scale initiatives which are already taking place all over the Karoo):
1. Karoo tourism: There is a great need for an overarching strategy for Karoo tourism, which goes beyond the strategy already drafted by KDF (see www.karoofoundation.co.za). A key driver will be Prof Ernie Heath, of the University of Pretoria (Earnie.Heath@up.ac.za) We are aiming for a day-long workshop, sometime in March 2015, to take this forward.
2. Sustainable tourism: Please remember the information on Sustainable Tourism provided by Caroline Ungersbock, and visit her website www.stpp.co.za, to find out how YOUR tourism business can receive recognition for sustainable environmental and social practices. Caroline can be contacted on email@example.com. Also, how you can improve your own sustainability performance!
3. Karoo Cuisine tourism: Definitely lots of enthusiasm about collaboration. Please contact Gordon Wright in Graaff-Reinet (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org). The Karoo already has fantastic cuisine in places like Prince Albert, Bedford, Cradock, Graaff-Reinet, Gariep Dam, farm stalls, guest farms … the list is endless. An important guiding spirit will be Dr Gerrie du Rand of the University of Pretoria (email@example.com) – please keep her strongly in the loop. Annetjie Reynolds (firstname.lastname@example.org) must be part of the initiative too. Please contact Derek Carstens (email@example.com) of Taste of the Karoo (www.tasteofthekaroo.co.za) if you want to buy or sell authentic Karoo food!
4. Olive Schreiner tourism: A lot of work is already done; Schreiner Museum in Cradock is the obvious hub; we now need to make real plans with Middelburg, De Aar, Colesberg, Hanover, Kimberley and Matjiesfontein. I am delighted that Matjiesfontein had good representation at the session. Please contact: Prof Paul Walters (firstname.lastname@example.org) Mr Jeremy Fogg (email@example.com), Mr Brian Wilmot (curator of Olive Schreiner Museum, at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also look forward to ongoing collaboration with NELM in Grahamstown. Please keep me (Doreen) in the loop, as it links to some important Boer War stuff, and I could help with contacts in those towns!
5. Waste recycling: The need for inter-town collaboration came through loud and clear. Please contact Prof Rinie Schenk (email@example.com) at UWC, who is launching an important project on waste recycling and waste-pickers. I hope that Rinie and her colleagues (Kotie Viljoen of UJ, firstname.lastname@example.org and Derek Blaauw of NWU) can assist to get a waste recycling network going in the Karoo. Also contact PETCO (Ms Lisa Parkes, email@example.com and PRASA (Ms Ursula Henneberry, firstname.lastname@example.org who are directly involved in the trade.
6. Karoo aviation: There was in-principle agreement to create a Karoo Aviation Network, consisting of airports and airfields. The key people are Braam Hechter of Beaufort West (email@example.com) and Rob Beach of Somerset East (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Alan Nelson, who has excellent solar technologies for runway lighting (e-mail: AlanN@reutech.co.za). Who wants to take the lead on creating such a Network? I am prepared to assist, so you can copy me (Doreen) as well. I did a pre-feasibilityreport for the Karoo Gateway Airport in Beaufort West. The crucial issue is to link airports with municipal planning (IDPs etc), as well as with the broader aviation industry.
7. Shale gas mining: For those of you who are concerned, please look at the Treasure the Karoo website on an ongoing basis (www.treasurethekaroo.co.za). It will be very important for Karoo stakeholders to engage in public participation events wherever there is an opportunity to do so! If you would like more community education on shale gas mining, please contact Stefan and Erika Cramer in Graaff-Reinet (email@example.com) – it is incredibly valuable and interesting. A wonderful school outreach project.
8. Foetal alcohol syndrome: It was great to have three specialist organisations presenting on FAS. In future, we look forward to more collaboration across the Karoo. Please contact Francois Grobbelaar of FASFACTS (firstname.lastname@example.org) Lian-Marie Drotsky of Foundation for Alcohol-Related Research, or FARR (Ld@farrsa.org.za) or Hanlie Snyman, of Institute for Disability Innovation (e-mail email@example.com. Please keep me in the loop as well!
9. Heritage in Karoo towns: Various speakers focused on different ways to promote and protect our heritage. Thanks very much to Gwynne Pekeur of Laingsburg (firstname.lastname@example.org) Linda Henderson of Steytlerville (email@example.com and Dr Judy Maguire of Prince Albert (firstname.lastname@example.org). Just to note that Judy recently won the top award of the Van Der Stel Foundation for heritage conservation! In particular, I would like to remind everyone that Prince Albert has drafted a wonderful heritage conservation tool – a format which enables you to record the characteristics of each structure in your town – including old houses, modern houses, RDP houses, dams and bridges! Please contact Judy for assistance on this.
10. Supporting vulnerable people in the Karoo: We had valuable inputs by Katie du Toit of De Aar (email@example.com) Mike de Jongh on the topic of the karretjiemense (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Veronica Booysen of Vukusebenze in Cradock. These speakers are the tip of the iceberg. Many other small and local NGOs are doing valuable work in the Karoo towns. But can't we get them to collaborate in a network, e.g. to create a shared buying scheme (of food and clothes), or to share ideas? I don't think there was really a collaborative strategy proposed at the Parliament, and actually , we simply don't have enough information. Can anyone take the lead on this?
11. Nutrition in the Karoo: This was the topic of Prof Tim Noakes's keynote speech. I am sure everyone has their own opinion on "banting"! (I have been banting since last Saturday, and I feel great! ) But the real nub of it is that we are facing an epidemic of obesity, diabetes and other lifestyle diseases in the Karoo. Somehow, someone has to take this message forward to our children and communities. We don't have a strategy on this yet. Please keep thinking how we can do this. Does anyone want to take the lead?
12. The next Karoo Parliament: Delegates felt strongly that we need to continue with the initiative next year. The KDF is discussing ways to make this more inclusive. We would like to invite anyone who wants to be on a REFERENCE GROUP for the next Parliament, to contact Doreen. We need a more collegial approach! This means that people who would like to apply their mind, network with other Karoo stakeholders, discuss who should b on the programme, discuss the format of the programme, etc, are welcome to serve on this reference group. Please contact Doreen at email@example.com if you want to get involved!
We will let you know the venue for the next Parliament once it has been finalised.
Once again, salaams to all you great people of the Karoo!
All the best
- Caroline Ungersbrock: Sustainable Tourism - 3.57MB
- Sipho Mampe: The Northern Cape Tourism Master Plan - 906KB
- Chris Wilken: Aviation in Somerset East - 2.91MB
- Braam Hechter: Aviation in Beaufort West - 2.8MB
- Alan Nelson: Appropriate airport technology - 7.28MB
Update on the Great Fracking Debate
Dr Stefan Cramer, Environmentalist
- SIX REASONS WHY THE KAROO WILL NOT BE FRACKED… …if reason prevails… - 1.56MB
Prof Tim Noakes, University of Cape Town: "Putting Nutrition on the Agenda of Local Development"
Presentation - Tim Noakes Lecture - Why nutrition is essential for local development - 2.13MB
Parallel Sessions on 6 Nov
|Theme A: Karoo Tourism
Part 1: Karoo Cuisine
Part 2: Olive Schreiner Route
|Theme B: Karoo Wellness
Part 1: Supporting Families in the Karoo
Part 2: Working to end Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
|Theme C: The Karoo Economy
Part 1: Using waste as a Resource in the Karoo
Part 2: Revitalizing Central Business Districts
Comments received after 2nd Karoo Parliament
Baie dankie vir die groot voorreg om te kon deel wees van die wonderlike twee dae. Batterye is gelaai, ek kan die einde van die jaar sindroom pak met 'n huppel in my stap!
Dankie vir julle glimlaggies wat mens so tuis laat voel het.
Dear Doreen, we just wanted to say thank you to you and your team for the last edition of the Karoo Parliament. It was such a nice experience, a wonderful networking opportunity and great place of learning. We made interesting new friends. The economy sessions' focus on certain aspects of tourism and aviation looked a bit strange to me, I would have expected a bit more overview and strategic thinking, as it was the case in earlier editions, I believe. The excellent venue was in no small part responsible for the relaxed and easy-going atmosphere among participants. One would of course would like to see a larger representation of issues relating to the majority of the people of the Karoo.
But it is always easy to criticise fin hindsight. We think your and your team did an excellent job to pull this together despite severe constraints. In particular we wanted to comment positively on your own facilitation skills. You did this in such a friendly and accessible manner that made everyone feel part of it, and still maintained a high degree of focus and context. Well done indeed. Please keep us in the loop.
Hartlik geluk met 'n baie suksesvolle projek! Baie dankie vir die wonderlike geleentheid om te kon deel aan hierdie ervaring. Dit was werklik baie positief en 'n regte brandstof-inspuiting. Hoop om julle weer in 2015 te sien?