No rain yet hope remains in drought; plus other highlights from 'Vrye Weekblad'

Here's what's hot in the latest edition of the Afrikaans digital weekly

11 October 2019 - 08:19 By timeslive
A child rescues a lamb from a dried-up dam in Vanwyksvlei.
A child rescues a lamb from a dried-up dam in Vanwyksvlei.
Image: JAN LA GRANGE/VRYE WEEKBLAD

A week or so ago, there were rumours of rain. 

An 80% chance , the weather report promised. Then is was 90%. And by Sunday the promise was 100%. The wind picked up, the clouds gathered and we were holding our breaths. 

It was over quickly. At least this time we got 3,5mm. We are thankful, but that was too little. Way too little. 

This is the story of so many residents of the Great and Little Karoo and parts of the Northern and Eastern Cape where the drought is still stretched out over a total of 15 million hectares – one fifth of the entire country. 

According to the agriculture department, the worst-hit areas are in the Namakwa district (Springbok, Garies, Kamieskroon and Ghamoep) and the Karoo Highlands Municipality (Williston, Fraserburg and Sutherland). In the Kalahari and Namaqualand the drought is now in its seventh year. 

Read all about it in this week's edition of Afrikaans digital weekly Vrye Weekblad.


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Vrye Weekblad spoke to residents and specifically farmers about the struggle they and their animals and crops face.

In the Eastern Cape no drought relief is provided by the provincial government. The Northern Cape government just released R30 million to help 2,000 farmers. 

Fruit farmers in the Little Karoo are desperate. Many farm workers have lost their jobs due to the drought and more than 300 ha of orchards have been removed. 

Farmers have to wipe lambs' faces with damp cloths because the dust clogs their nostrils. On a farm in Leeu Gamka, desperate honey badgers chewed off the lambs' snouts. 

The drought takes its toll on humans, animals and plants and the prospects are dire. 

But man is a strange creature. We always want to remain hopeful. Without hope, what is left?

The full article is in this week's Vrye Weekblad:


Must-read articles in this week's Vrye Weekblad

MAKE OR BREAK FOR THE DA | Max du Preez writes that the decisions the DA makes over the next two weeks will have a profound influence on opposition politics. 

FREE TO READ — ASYLUM IN IRELAND | In the first eight months of this year, more than 200 South Africans applied for international protection in Ireland.

FREE TO READ — NG KERK GIVES THE GREEN LIGHT | The Dutch Reformed Church has welcomed back gay members, but Professor Charlene van der Walt wonders if it is too little, too late. 

DO SOMETHING SMALL | The world is like a patched beach ball currently. We need random acts of charity to make it work.

GET OUR APP HERE! | It is now even easier to read Vrye Weekblad. 

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