Top matriculants share their secrets to success

THEY cut down on TV, socialising and sport and spent long hours poring over their books, but the sacrifices were worth it for a bunch of Eastern Cape matrics who were named the boffins of the Class of 2008.

The province‘s bright sparks were happy to share their success secrets with Weekend Post, saying this year‘s new batch of matrics should start studying from day one in Grade 12 if they wanted to excel.

“I worked every day in class so I didn‘t have to study so hard when it came to exams and I only watched my favourite programme every week,” said top Grahamstown pupil Megan Yendall, 18, of Victoria Girls‘ High.

Top Graaff-Reinet matriculant Yvonne Scott, 18, of Union High agreed.

“Take it seriously from the beginning. And if you work really hard you can take the finals more calmly.”

Thembalethu Sikwana, 18, of Lungisa Senior Secondary School in KwaDwesi, who was named the top achiever among historically disadvantaged individuals (HDI) in the PE district, said cutting down on watching his favourite cartoons, jogging to de-stress and studying in groups led to his success.

Thembalethu, who wants to study medicine, scored 93 per cent for maths and 94% for life sciences.

Planning and sticking to a timetable were the secret of Emile Naude‘s success.

Emile, of Nico Malan High School, who was the Uitenhage district‘s top boffin, and who will be studying chemical engineering at Stellenbosch University this year, said he planned precisely what he needed to study for each subject.

“It is vital to study hard for the June and September exams. You can‘t start at the end of the year,” said Emile, who pulled off 94% for maths.

Making summaries and teaching his peers was central to the success of East London‘s top Grade 12 pupil, Pratik Pokharel, 17.

Pratik, of Selborne College, said he made “compressed notes” two weeks before exams began and then went over them a day or two before the finals.

“I gave up soccer, movies and going out during the exams,” said Pratik, who will be studying business or actuarial science at UCT this year.

For Melody van Rooyen, of Hoerskool Nico Malan, coming second in the Eastern Cape with six straight A‘s meant studying until 4am on some nights and giving up her hobbies.

“It was all worth it,” said Melody, who will study mechanical engineering at UCT this year.

Avuyile Kopolo, of St James Senior Secondary School in Cofimvaba, said her achievement of becoming the first pupil from a historically disadvantaged background to come third in the province with straight A‘s, was due to “preparing a long time before the exams and being determined and focused on my books”.

Weekend Post Matric of the Year 2008 winner Gerrit Maritz of Daniel Pienaar Technical High School said he was “pleased” with his seven distinctions out of eight subjects.

Daniel, who is enrolled for a degree in electrical engineering at Stellenbosch University this year, advised this year‘s new batch of Grade 12s to “study consistently from the moment the first bell goes with your finals in mind”.

source :Weekend Post

Taxi Striks before 2010

MAYHEM erupted as hundreds of striking taxi drivers ran amok early yesterday, hurling stones at offices and passing cars, attacking municipal workers, setting a vehicle alight, blocking rush- hour traffic and crippling businesses in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Amid widespread condemnation over the wave of violence, urgent talks between city officials and taxi representatives collapsed late last night with defiant drivers vowing the wildcat strike would continue today, leaving thousands of commuters stranded.

Police, who yesterday drafted in reinforcements including the crack flying squad and rapid response unit members, will be on “high alert”. Police Captain Rassie Erasmus declared: “We will not let taxi drivers hold the city to ransom”.

The drama unfolded yesterday when more than 300 taxi drivers opposed to the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system being implemented for the 2010 World Cup blocked major roads including the N2 freeway near Bluewater Bay and the Uitenhage road near Vista University.

Police arrested six people for public violence and confiscated “a number of taxis blocking the roads”. Motorists were left fuming in long traffic jams while many commuters were unable to get to work.

Traffic police and SAPS vehicles were stoned while a municipal vehicle was set alight outside Brister House in Govan Mbeki Avenue.

Police spokesman Captain Johann Rheeder said about 30 men ran up to a municipal car and smashed the windows. “They poured petrol on the car and set it alight.”

Yesterday‘s havoc follows an orgy of violence and looting, which raged in several parts of the city last November, leaving one person dead and others injured.

Police in Nyalas were deployed to quell the protests and officers were forced to fire rubber bullets to disperse crowds.

Nelson Mandela Bay municipal spokesman Kupido Baron said last night: “These violent actions do not belong in a peace-loving society.”

He added that workers at a BRT construction site in Govan Mbeki Avenue were attacked and offices stoned.

However a defiant metro public transport forum spokesman Melekile Hani told The Herald last night: “We are pledging our solidarity to our comrades. We are not going back to work! Until the municipality agrees to suspend work at BRT sites, and we secure the release of our arrested comrades, the strike continues. We apologise to commuters, but they must understand we are at war!”

Meanwhile, Port Elizabeth Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Odwa Mtati said the strike had “succeeded in causing maximum disruption” to businesses. “The shock of it was that no warnings were issued, so it‘s been very disruptive, especially since large parts of the industry only re-opened on Monday.”

The motor industry, particularly General Motors SA, was hit hard. GMSA spokesman Denise van Huyssteen said: “We are disappointed by the surprise strike, which has impacted on our ability to assemble vehicles.

“We only resumed full operations yesterday following a four-week break. Such actions send negative signals about doing business in this country, particularly at a time when we should be promoting political and economic stability.”

Eveready “definitely felt the impact of the strike”, spokesman Curt Bosman said. “Our workers on the afternoon shift have to leave earlier because they won‘t find taxis later, so we‘ll have to stop production. We might not even have nightshift.”

The DA also condemned the violence and chaos. Eastern Cape transport spokesman Pine Pienaar said: “The situation is just not acceptable”.

Kupido said the strike was especially disappointing “since this disruptive behaviour followed after an important meeting on Tuesday between the mayor and the industry.

“A task team consisting of representatives of the taxi industry and the municipality was established with the sole mandate to prepare for a transport indaba which will address the concerns of role-players in the industry.

“Despite this progressive step, some members of the taxi industry still went ahead with strike action and as a result inconvenienced many commuters who unfortunately rely solely on public transport.”

source : The herald