To Mine, or to Yours


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When you buy a house, it is the single biggest investment of your life. It is treated as such by the financial partner, the Real Estate Agent, City Council, the Transfer Office, and the most important of it all, you and your family nesting it out. You consider so much of the local economics and geography of the area your new house is grounded, you yourself have qualifications as a realtor.

Soon you realise that all of this is not as important as the one single factor….you become a member of a new community. Soon you realise that you and your home are not so unique anymore because everything you do, or your neighbour does, have an effect on everything that influences that specific area. If you braai, your neighbours notice. If you make your Easter pickle fish they notice that too. If you have your house warming party, they probably would walk around in their pyjamas and warn you about the noise levels. Your kid get chased down the street by another neighbour’s dog and probably gets bitten, the local café becomes a problem for your teenagers son because that is where his peers would gather around to talk about the neighbourhood girls and probably have a smoke.


In a month you realise that the old couple behind cannot drive their own car to the shopping mall anymore because of poor eyesight, now you start driving them around. The school is pushing up the school fees at an alarming rate, and the municipality doesn’t remove the bins on time, or even cut the lawn in the park. Now you are part of a community, and the sources of your grey hair multiply by the day.

But luckily you don’t have to worry about all of this because all of us are guided by the laws and by-laws of the government in charge. Until you get this upsetting notice that some Australian Company wants to mine adjacent to you house looking for gold. A nerve shock right through the right side of your head, aren’t they enough trouble on the sports fields, now they want to come turn up my backyard looking for gold to benefit who? Anyone mining for gold in our area will not benefit anyone but himself, history has shown that throughout.

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The tranquil Georginia South is in danger. Is this beautiful Hamberg Dam being in the pipeline to be used for mining water?


How did this meal land on my dinner table? Is this a new tendency? Mining activities had been happening all along the Main Reef Area for as long as I can remember. The salvaging of gold from the old mine dumps of this area happened for decades on end, but most of us were audience to these mining activities. Yes like humans are, we see, and if it is at a distance and seemingly not affecting us, we don’t care really. Not even on windy days when these dust clouds from the mining dumps fill the air, our nostrils and lungs. Numerous studies had been done over the years, too many to list.


But it is not only that which fills the air and the top soil, but also that which is washed and sifted from the top soil to the underground water by the rains. There was a bit of media coverage of Johannesburg’s acid mine water drainage crisis. The solo water activist Mariette Liefferink from the Federation for a Sustainable Environment has been fighting this issue for years now, and Carte Blanche was kind enough to have her on the show a few times. I can remember that they had Eastrand farmers on one program that had said their produce are picking up cyanide from underground mine water, the so-called acid water. It is a known fact that cyanide is used in the process of gold extraction. Liefferink said mine water had the same acidity as vinegar or lemon juice, and was a legacy of 120 years of gold mining in the region. Everyone knows that vinegar kills vegetation.  Acid water is formed underground when old shafts and tunnels fill up. The water oxidises with the sulphide mineral iron pyrite, better known as fool’s gold. The water then fills the mine and starts decanting into the environment, in a process known as acid mine drainage. She also said “Waste from gold mines constitutes the largest single source of waste and pollution in South Africa… Acid mine drainage may continue for many years after mines are closed and tailings dams decommissioned,”

And to take it back to the air again, Johannesburg was once in our Geography school text books depicted as a city of major air pollution. We were told by the teacher that smoke from the industries, many cars, domestic fires all attribute to the dark cloud across the city. What they didn’t say is that dust from the mine dumps also filled the air.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Johannesburg is the most polluted city in South Africa. They have looked at 1 600 cities around the globe and came to a conclusion that only 12% monitor their air quality. They also concluded that air pollution killed at least 3.7 million people prematurely in 2012due to illnesses such as strokes, heart disease, lung cancer, respiratory infections and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Air quality is measured in Particulate Matter (PM). According to the WHO guidelines, the PM per cubic metre is 10micrograms (Mu). At the time when this report was written the monitoring system at was offline.

According to the Federation for a Sustainable Environment, the Witwatersrand is the world’s largest gold and uranium mining basin with the extraction, from more than 120 mines, of 43 500 tonnes of gold in one century and 73000 tonnes of uranium between 1953 and 1995. The basin covers 1600 km2, and has left 400 km2 of mine tailings dams and six billion tonnes of pyrite tailings containing 450 000 tonnes of uranium.

Mind you, it springs to mind that I read a report a few years ago that toxic waste can drift down wind for thousands of kilometres. In this report activists claimed that traces of South Africa’s West Rand mine dust have been found as far afield as Tasmania, and that is in Australia.

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The proposed mining site, between residential areas above in yellow. The proposed mining right area is located on various portions of the farms Glen Lea 228 IQ, Perdekraal 226 IQ, Rand Glen 229 IQ, Dobsonville 386 IQ, Doornkop 239 IQ, Fleurhof Township, Roodepoort 236 IQ, Roodepoort 237 IQ, Uitval 677 IQ, Vlakfontein 233 IQ, Vlakfontein 238 IQ, Witpoortjie 245 IQ, Vogelstruisfontein 231 IQ, Vogelstruisfontein 233 IQ, Soweto 387 IQ, Klipspruit 298 IQ, Klipriviersoog 299 IQ, Durban Roodepoort Deep 641 IQ, Bram Fischerville 663 IQ, Bram Fischerville 649 IQ and Tshekisho 710 IQ in the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, Gauteng Province.

Mining activities consist of opencast mining and refurbishing of existing infrastructure to access the existing underground workings


We already are a highway for traffic from Soweto to the Northern and Western suburbs. Imagine what lies ahead when mining vehicles and machinery take over our roads, how we get to work if no one from this Australian Mining Company addressed this issue. They don’t even live here, or use these roads daily. How will their studies inform them that we have a life and you want to disturb it? No of cause, it is no issue. They have two objectives, getting a mining licence and taking the gold and uranium. Their Environmental Impact Assessment is done because it needs to be done, not because they really care for the residents. And they will probably cover u their damage to the environment simply because legislation needs them to provide a plan.

Many studies will show that rehabilitation of the ecosystem is practically impossible. After mining activities no ecosystem can be restored to 100% or even close to it. If Nature gets disturbed, it stays disturbed because there is no proven medication. Imagine how difficult it is to do the following, removing any hazardous materials, reshaping the land, restoring topsoil, and planting native grasses, trees, or ground cover. And then like when you buy a car, after service and monitoring. If the program is decommissioned, it is decommissioned and becomes the problem and hazard of the people who live there.

A Mine Closure program is just as important as opening a mine. In 2016 we noted that Mintails was deemed a failure because of lack of funds for successful closure program. The Lancaster Dam in Krugersdorp collects polluted water from this Mintails Project. So in a country like South Africa with more than 6 000 identified neglected and abandoned mines, how can we continue just giving new mining rights and licenses to mining companies? On the one hand we say “never again…..” but we keep on breaking down our promises for the sniff of making money.


The mining company and its beneficiaries of cause.

But Government will be a major beneficiary. But how is it possible that government benefit from a private project? They will get a share from revenue from the mine as well as royalty fees. At this moment the Mining Charter was pulled for review, so not much info is available at this stage. We also know of the pressure from certain groups on the nationalisation of certain mines.

There is also a partnership elsewhere in the world between government and mining companies to ensure that issues such as land access, economic benefit, relocation of communities, beneficiation, corruption and the threat of indigenisation, are correctly managed, and economic opportunities for the communities are maximised. On the other hand mining companies are running scared of the influence of unionisation of the sector might have a negative outcomes on productivity and timelines. This has an impact on the local community and their benefits from mining such as equity stakes, infrastructure development, job creation and improving the communities’ ability to supply services and goods to the project…in a manner of all benefits all.

Having this mine will also scratch places where nothing is itching syndrome.

  • New workers will want to have access to land and housing,
  • Mining have a natural partner, that is agriculture and these two don’t see eye to eye in South Africa as they don’t partner in such projects.
  • Mining have a direct link to human rights, and the mutual respect that must be embedded in such a relationship.
  • There will be an expectation of social risk management as the local community will be a direct stakeholder. Mining companies can’t just mine and go. Home owners are stake holders just as the local government is.
  • How will conflict and communication be dealt with, will an organogramic communication system be put in pace for all shareholders, including the local communities?

Yes, there is a lot at stake and this might be a first project of its sort. Joburg was built around the mining industry, and this project is sort of different. It wants to be embedded in a settled community. It is going to be a long battle and we hope for the best for us, the community.

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Roodepoort Record Clip – Friday 13 April 2018

Success knows no Boundaries

  • Mikie Monoketsi

Your future is in your hands – from Cosmo City to international business!


Mikie Monoketsi knows what it is like to have nothing, to have lost everything and to have to start again. Faced with this challenging situation, it is easy to find something or someone to blame, but Mikie says each one of us has a choice in how we respond to options in daily life, and there is no future in being a victim. 


Growing up in a poverty-stricken Kimberley township, Mikie learned to find solutions for situations she did not enjoy. She realised she had the power to create the future she wanted. At 13, in order to have food and a small income, she started cooking street food for the patrons of her grandmother’s shebeen, making butterscotch and selling tobacco for a small mark up in her community. This meant she no longer went hungry and did not have to walk the 7km to school and back every day. Her innate entrepreneurial spirit filled her lunch box and gave her taxi money.


Her business career has not been without difficulties but these have taught her patience, perseverance and planning. Mikie understands the importance of setting clearly defined goals, measuring achievements and working hard to enjoy success. . She says: “I learned early in life that the only person who could change my circumstances was me. I had to decide what I wanted to do, plan carefully and make it happen.”


When a venture in the formal business sector failed, Mikie returned to her roots, opening a street shop in Cosmo City. Here she cooked and sold simple food to passers-by, making a very modest profit for hours and hours of hard work. Although she enjoyed her time in this community, Mikie yearned for bigger ventures and wanted to make a difference in the lives of others, rather than merely supply meals.


Chatting to customers she listened to daily complaints about their wish to be mokhaba free, understood how exhausted many of them were, and heard tragic stories of young lives lost to preventable disease. She realised she could contribute positively to the lives of others. Mikie had always been a fitness fanatic who exercised regularly and made wise choices about meals. She knew she had lifestyle information to share. She wanted to educate and empower people to live a healthier life and to help reduce the prevalence of lifestyle related diseases, including obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.


So she began researching ways to improve the body’s functioning and discovered age-old natural remedies found in a range of herbs and spices. This was the birth of Mamas Herbs and Spices, a proudly South African company.

Mikie discovered combinations and blends of ingredients which helped reduce bloating and improve the digestive system and developed a tasty, completely natural tea which she named Flat Stomach Tea. The initial order was sold out in a few weeks and testimonies began to pour in from people who felt more energetic, slimmer and healthier since they began drinking the tea.


Mikie combined this product with information on making healthy meal choices: choosing oats, lean protein, fruit and vegetables rather than clogging the body with saturated fat, refined carbohydrates and sugar. This resulted in demand for product and before long Flat Stomach Power Oats, Flat Stomach Meal Replacement Shake and a Detox and Wellness Tea had been added to the range. This was followed by a range of natural spices without bulking agents, colourants and flavouring, as well as a nourishing yet low calorie soup and beauty products.


As market demand increased, Mikie acknowledged that she could not provide an efficient and effective service to customers countrywide, so offered like-minded entrepreneurs the opportunity to join her by becoming agents and starting their own small business. Again, demand exceeded expectations with people from all provinces and neighbouring countries joining the distribution network and becoming financially independent. She says: “This was an important step in helping to stimulate township economies and empowering people to start their own business, but I realised people needed training and could learn from my experiences.”


Mikie moved to a larger premises in Randburg, where she offered free training to entrepreneurs, teaching them how to set goals, market their business, retain customers and secure a sustainable income stream.


The next step in developing a healthy lifestyle was to introduce the importance of daily exercise. Mikie began offering classes in her business premises and posted short videos on social media platforms demonstrating how simple exercises could be done at home. This attracted a dedicated following and again reports were received on how people felt more energised from doing moderate exercise every day.


Last year, an international company noticed the Flat Stomach range and approached Mamas Herbs and Spices, offering the opportunity of expanding into the international market. Again, this venture has been a huge success with testimonials of people who have transformed their lives being received regularly.


Mikie says: “The success is rewarding, but more important is knowing that people are beginning to make a mindset shift. They are learning that they can improve their health and that good nutrition is essential for the body to function and be disease-free. Watching people find hope and being able to provide for their families is an extremely satisfying experience. I will continue to empower, educate and uplift others so that they can live healthy lives and achieve financial independence by running their own small entrepreneurial enterprise.”


Top tips for success:


  1. Believe you are in control of your future.
  2. Do not let the past dictate your dreams. Think big.
  3. Find your passion. Follow your heart.
  4. Plan, plan, plan.
  5. Set goals and work towards achieving them every day.
  6. Be patient. Nothing worthwhile is achieved instantly.
  7. Success takes drive, dedication and determination.
  8. Work consistently every day.
  9. Never lose sight of your objectives.
  10. Commit to providing an effective and efficient service.
  11. Communicate constantly with customers.
  12. Repeat what works. Change what doesn’t.

BOUND by The Frank Files

Definition of bound

transitive verb
1:  to set limits to : confine
2:  to form a separating line or the boundary of :  enclose A chain-link fence bounds the yard. The state is bounded on its east by the Connecticut River.

3.  intending to go :  going bound for home college-bound



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So, I was having a conversation with someone the other day about a friend who is on maternity leave. The official term is “confinement”. This is what the person kept on saying: “Oh, she’s not in the office, she’s on confinement.: Really? Confinement? This poor woman who has been growing a life for the past 8 to 9 months finally gets to go on leave to give birth and bond with her baby is now going to be confined! What a prize!

Well, that got me thinking about other words that we use in everyday life to describe a situation or in this case a condition…

I am a paraplegic which technically means that I do not have the use of my legs and that I use a wheelchair to move around.

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When I hear the term Wheelchair “Bound” it makes me want to bind or confine someone to a wheelchair to see how they like it!

So, the first definition is: “to set limits to”. Certainly, anyone who knows me will be able to testify that I am not familiar with limits or rather, that I do not entertain them. In fact, the quote on my email signature for the past two years is “Don’t let your limits challenge you. Challenge your limits!”

The second definition is: “to form a separating line or boundary”. Again. Just because I am sitting in my wheelchair and allowed to bypass queues in supermarkets and banks, that does not make me any different. I am a person with needs, likes and dislikes just like you. And, because I never stop talking and doing, I cannot be separated by lines! I cross over them and make my presence felt and known.

Thirdly: “intending to go to”. Now, what does that mean? Am I intending to go to my wheelchair? I don’t think anyone intentionally wants to go into a wheelchair. Yes, it has it’s perks like the high heels and no queues. But, seriously, it was not intended.

Bernadette Francois is a resident of Georginia-South. She is our enthusiastic blogger that wrote this piece, but if you have a CV to be revamped or updated, Berni is you goto person. 

Cellphone / Whatsapp 061 904 0377

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Please people, nobody is Wheelchair “Bound” – I certainly am not or I would have never been able to accomplish anything in life. My wheelchair is an assistive device. It does NOT define me. There is no difference between what I am capable of doing and what you are capable of doing except that I do it from the comfort of my wheelchair (wearing killer heels) while you walk around (complaining about your sore feet). I can cook, sing, dance, swim, exercise, study, work, be a wife, be a mom, be a friend. I am differently-abled. NOT Wheelchair “Bound”.

Unfortunately, these outdated ideas are just as outdated as the terms that we still use. Let’s think about the words that we use, the images that they conjure up which result in the thoughts that we then have about people who are just unable to walk – not unable to live. No wonder people, feel so sorry or so “inspired” by people who use wheelchairs. They think that it must be so HARD for someone who is defined by this “Bound” word to be able to achieve anything. Believe me, it’s not, it takes the same amount of effort as anyone else to get out of bed every morning.

We are really free in our wheelchairs. This image is of a deepsea dive by Sue Austin. This is the freedom our souls are bound to. Please watch the short video below of Sue when she dives off the coast of Egypt (Image and video below with the compliments of Sue Austin)

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We have no limits, we are not separated and we did not intend to go into a wheelchair. Next time you want to say Wheelchair “Bound” think of a more positive way to describe the situation.

Try not to be confined or bound by your words!!!

Good luck😊

See the video below, just over 4 minutes long

Sue Austin, from Devon, UK, is a disabled artist who aims to change perceptions of the wheelchair. For her, after spending years bedbound, the wheelchair gives her freedom. She ‘flies’ a NHS wheelchair underwater. She has adapted the chair with battery powered propellers and large perspex aerofoils to control turns. She is in the process of applying for a patent and hopes that one day these chairs will be made available at diving centres across the world.

You can read more about Sue and her art at her website

This film was shot and edited by Norman Lomax of Moving Content, UK

Why do they Impersonate?

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I am so sorry if you have missed this electrifying performance by the Frenchman Michael Jonathan that had been tagged worldwide as the Number ONE Michael Jackson impersonator. This guy came to South Africa 10 years ago and fell in love with our country.

He was a regular face in France where he delivered mind-blowing performances at places like the Eiffel Tower, Moulin Rouge and Champs Elysees in Paris. Some of his routines include electric dances to songs like Billie Jean, Thriller, Beat It, Wanna Be Starting Something and The Way You Make Me Feel, to name a few.

OK well, he was on your doorstep so to speak. At the Roodepoort Theatre and the show ended last Sunday. Please keep an eye on the Theatre link on our Homepage to see what is running now. The tickets at the theatre come fairly cheap, until Pantomimes hit the stage. They are quite expensive especially when big stars are playing, but keep on taking your children to the theatre, it is important. Michael Jonathan as Michael Jackson below.

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But back to the main title and the question. Why do people impersonate? There are basically two world stars that had been impersonated for years on end, and I think you will know precisely who I am talking about.

Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson…and on a smaller scale, The Beatles.

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Seriously, we have career impersonators,

  • Those are people who impersonate only by voice like Trevor Noah as comedian (and he is good), then you get people who impersonate with clothes and make-up (voice included)
  • Then there is identity theft, a criminal activity. This is where the criminal tries to assume the identity of another with the assumption to commit fraud, such as accessing your confidential information, or to gain access to property not belonging to them. The act is social engineering and they are called impostors.
  • Then we have decoys, used as a form of protection for high end political and military like you see in movies, yes that really exists. This involves an impersonator who is employed (or forced) to perform during public appearances, to mislead observers or possible threats to the safety of the VIP.
  • Then you have people making up Fake News, misleading stories to sow discord, causing people to fight, or dislike each other for social, business or political gain. Something that is so serious nowadays that it can cause the outbreak of a war or something more serious like a world war. Some of the latest well-known cases is the world renowned Bell Pottinger PR Company from England that was exposed in SA. We have seen the poor POTUS (President of the United States) affairs that had been infected with Fake News and Russia.
  • And this one is real creepy. For the Sake of Companionship you can rent a Family. You can hire someone that looks more or less like your late husband, or portraying your friends or family. This can be seriously creepy, or just simply for companionship. If you have the money.
  • Below is an interview on 8 November on SAfm, podcasted here by Iono.FM. The show is Morning Talk and an interview with Michael Jonathan. This clip with the compliments of SAfm.

But this can’t be compared to Michael Jonathan. I met him on 8 November at SABC on his way from SAfm interview. Quite a nice chap. He lives the part and looks like him too. But there are many Jackson impersonators all over the world.  Like most impersonators, they live a Michael Jackson lifestyle, walk like him or almost talks like him. The screech Heeee hee, is part of the make-up. The American photographer Lorena Turner of the Communication Department at California State Polytechnic University, took 4 years in tracking down 35 impersonators making a living out of the Michael Jackson legacy. Some of them took the expensive facial plastic surgery to make it look “almost” real.

Michael Lukas and Brandon Hunt of Las Vegas look like obvious plastic surgery models.

  • Michael Lukas Las Vegas

  • Brandon Hunt Las Vegas

For them, the world can’t be without Jackson (as with Elvis). And it is not how Jackson or Presley sang or the songs they did, this is about the change they’ve made. They came here on earth, literally being different to the status quo of the time. That is what makes you a game changer that never dies. You are different.

I had a chat with a young man in Quintin Street some time ago. The chat was about how different you are. You know you are different not because you tell it to yourself. You know you are different because you see the direction in which the rest are going. Everybody gets locked up with brands, you do what your friend does, and you try to do what the Jones’ do.  At the end you disappear in the flock of sheep. The Micheal Jacksons are the people that look into the opposite direction of the flock of sheep. Within the flock it is crowded, you cannot see, hear or think. It is noisy, less creative and more group related, every young man or young woman has got their hooka pipe lit and the brandy bottle open, wasting time and energy.

In the opposite direction of the sheep it is not crowded, you can think and be creative. This is where the Michael Jacksons, Elvis Presleys, Elon Musks, Nelson Mandelas, Salvador Dali’s and Imtiaz Soolimans dwell. Because of who they are, they’ve created arts, economy, politics and technology. Can you believe that 8 years after his death, Michael Jackson still entertains the crowds of the world, and he still creates jobs? Only his legacy that is.

Below is a video shot at the Roodepoort Theatre where Michael Jonathan is doing his thing on stage. He published the video himself on Youtube.

Disclaimer : I do not own any publishing rights for the audiovisual material used as illustration in this blog and wish to thank the owners of such material, especially Michael Jonathan, Roodepoort Theatre and SABC (SAfm)