2016 Twitter Blanket Drive Ends With Passion

On 26 May 2016 the first ever annual Twitter Blanket Drive #TBD2016 to be held in Nelson Mandela Bay will come to an end. Since 2010 people with passion have joined the #TBD2016 call to donate old or new blankets across South Africa for this campaign.

Twitter Blanket Drive started in 2010 in South Africa when Melanie Minnaar challenged the Twitter Community to each donate one blanket during winter. The Twitter community responded with compassion and engaged on the social media platform to collect blankets for some of the country’s most vulnerable people. Over the past six years, thousands of blankets have been collected in the weeks leading up to winter to provide some relief and, of course, warmth to those in need.

During Nelson Mandela Bay’s first participation partners such as the Protea Hotel Marine, Summerstrand; Wild Rapids Spur in Uitenhage and Panarottis in Despatch all hosted the drop-off zones for the 2016 Twitter Blanket Drive campaign.

The fact that we could participate in this year really warmed my heart, and this really motivated me to collect blankets to keep Port Elizabeth warm,” says Eileen Koeberg, one of the #TBD2016 volunteers. “It opened hearts that my colleagues and friends gave their blankets and those who donated blankets, did so with much love.

The Salvation Army has been chosen as the NGO to receive the blankets this year as they are known for their work among the poorest and most destitute people in local communities. Twittering people with passion donated over 100 blankets.

The Twitter Blanket Drive helps people to get involved by helping organisations like ourselves make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate than us. It is important for us to count on each other to make this possible,” says Major Valerie Potgieter, head of the Salvation Army in Uitenhage. “We will make sure that those on the streets become our priority with this drive and so meet the most needy during this winter time.

Twitter Blanket Drive Event Invitation:

All are invited to join the hand-over parties on Thursday, 26 May at the following venues and times:

Nelson Mandela Bay residents can make their final blanket donations at the above venues, join the hosts and people with passion from Twitter.

Twitter Blanket Drive Media Contacts

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2016 Twitter Blanket Drive

Join The Salvation Army’s Women’s Support Group

The Salvation Army’s Uitenhage branch invites you to a weekly women’s support group. The Home League’s Motto: She watches  ovr the affairs of her household. This women’s support group is open to all ladies both young and old from Uitenhage, KwaNobuhle and Despatch. Mothers are also welcome to gain support from the more experienced ladies in the group.

The Salvation Army frequently invites guest speakers and conducts a Bible study on the last Thursday of the month. You arel welcome to join in prayer to support each other and the local communities and townships. Below is an example of the topics covered over the last four months.

Women's Support Group Salvation Army Uitenhage

Sometimes you may feel lonely, other times you may experience high levels of stress. There is no need to keep all the problems bottled up inside of you. Women are good listeners, and can understand the challenges faces by other women much easier. Regular meetings area source of rejuvination for every family and every household, every women and every mother.

So when you need some support or help, feel free to join the weekly meetings. Here’s the details:

  • Address: 1 Bilson Road, Central, Uitenhage opposite the Convent Pre-Primary school.
  • Time: 09h30-11h00
  • Contact: Email Major Valerie Potgieter or call Ms Murray on 071-256-7149
  • Cost: FREE!

Who is the Salvation Army in South Africa?

The Salvation Army is an integral part of the Christian Church, although distinctive in government and practice. The Army’s doctrine follows the mainstream of Christian belief and its articles of faith emphasise God’s saving purposes. Its objects are ‘the advancement of the Christian religion… of education, the relief of poverty, and other charitable objects beneficial to society or the community of mankind as a whole. The movement, founded in 1865 by William Booth, has spread from London, England, to many parts of the world.

The Salvation Army South Africa The Salvation Army South Africa

The Salvation Army South Africa The Salvation Army South Africa

Twitter Blanket Drive arrives in Uitenhage

The drop-off zones in Nelson Mandela Bay:

Twitter Blanket Drive started in 2010 in South Africa. The Twitter community moved by compassion and has engaged the social media platform to collect blankets for some of the country’s most vulnerable people. Over the past 6 years, thousands of blankets have been collected in the weeks leading up to winter to provide some relief and, of course, warmth to those in need.

Nelson Mandela Bay residents can now also take part in the Twitter Blanket Drive with two drop-off points – one in Port Elizabeth and one in Uitenhage.

“More than any other social media, Twitter is about local conversations,” says Ramon Thomas, local co-ordinator for the Twitter Blanket Drive in Port Elizabeth, and founder of TEDxPortElizabeth. “The #TBD2016 campaign shows how we can use social media to take action in local communities not just for national issues of a political nature.”

“For us as a Twitter community, social responsibility is a serious business,” says Merentia van der Vent, the national co-ordinator and Cape Town host for the Twitter Blanket Drive (TBD). “As winter’s bite fast approaches, we are aware that charities are under a huge amount of pressure to meet the demand for blankets. In today’s digital world, we have the power to make significant change, in the area of social development, harnessing the power of social media.”

The TBD started 7 years ago, in 2010, as a single tweet by Melanie Minnaar, as she contemplated the cold winter ahead and in true Twitter style, tweeted the following thought: “what if each person on Twitter donated a blanket?”

Melanie Minnaar Twitter Blanket Drive South Africa

Since then, the TBD movement has exploded and now has a national footprint with campaign drives taking place in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Pretoria and the West Coast. Previous years it was also held in Bloemfontein, East London, George, Knysna and Mossel Bay and countries like Zimbabwe & Namibia. This year the official hashtag is #TBD2016.

Last year, the Instagram community in South Africa, also supported the #TwitterBlanketDrive and collected blankets on their #Instawalks across the country. South Africans are also asked via Facebook to donate blankets.

In today’s fast paced world, using social media to increase community awareness is not only smart, but essential. According to the founder of the campaign, Melanie Minnaar, the Twitter Blanket Drive has injected a true sense of community into the South African Twittersphere, as the number of Twitter users involved with the TBD has grown exponentially since 2010. Tens of thousands of blankets have over the years been donated, to those in need.

Support Our Twitter Blanket Drive

Blankets can be dropped off at drop-off zones across the country from 7 April to Thursday 26 May 2016.

Call the local co-ordinator 081-4399555 or via Twitter: @RamonThomas

TEDxPortElizabethLive: Watch Dreams That Matter Take Shape

Watch and share Dreams with TED. This year’s TED Conference theme is: Dream, as this stems from the idea of dreams that matter, thus the TED2016 is dedicated to the concept of listening and following dreams, and also the great dreams we are able to achieve. TED Talks are extremely popular since they have become available online in 2006.

TED2016 Dream

This year’s conference is available as a live stream event organised by TEDxPortElizabeth, and taking place on the 19th February at the Nelson Mandela Bay Science and Technology Centre in Uitenhage. The event is free and open to the general public – tickets are limited to 100 people. TEDx are self organised local events based on the TED Conferences.

Re-launching TEDx in Nelson Mandela Bay is important because it connects us with the world’s leading thinkers, scientists, artists and innovators,” says Ramon J. Thomas, a TEDFellow since 2007 and the organiser for TEDxPortElizabeth. “Our mission is to continue to expand the foundation laid by TEDxSummerstrand and TEDxNMMU who came before us.”

TEDxPortElizabeth are the hosts of the live stream of the TED2016 conference taking place in Vancouver, Canada. The Friday 19 February event commences at 09h30 and is scheduled to end at 16h30 in Nelson Mandela Bay Science and Technology Centre.

Book your FREE tickets online here.

TEDxPELive Sessions 600x800

About TED Conference:

This is a platform where the greatest thinkers, artists, leaders and story-tellers give talks on their process as well as what they have learnt and wish to give off to the world. TED is non-profit community that has become global, which has streamed talk from various people and entities in almost 100 languages. TEDx are locally organised events based on the TED format described at www.tedx.com

About TEDxPortElizabeth:

Events organised dynamic group of thinkers, who aim to create consistent events to inspire the citizens of Nelson Mandela Bay and create connections worldwide. More info on our Facebook page.

Contact

To know more about this event and pre-book your ticket, please contact:

  1. Ramon Thomas, Tel. 041-9921215 Mobile: 081-4355599 rjthomas@qq.com
  2. Ntsika Tyatya, Mobile: 074-0322321 / 061-7027936 ntsika.loud@gmail.com

2013 Nelson Mandela Bay Book at PE Opera House

Alert! The programme for the second annual Nelson Mandela Bay Book Fair has been released. Some highlights from the fair, which will be held at The Opera House in Port Elizabeth from 14 – 16 March, include the following:

Thursday 14 March

Amabali Neentsomi: Workshop on African traditional story-telling in isiXhosa, facilitated by Jessica Mbangeni and Kholeka Sigenu.

Is Language Free? – New Activism in Language and Culture: Facilitated by Mcoseleli Dukisa with the panel consisting of Mandla Matyumza, Professor Ncedile Saule, Ntsiki Mazwai, Professor Cornelius Thomas, Dr. Don Mattera and Gontse Chaane.

Friday 15 March

Writing, Spirituality and Politics: Facilitated by Professor Xolela Mangcu, this presentation looks at what has been gained and lost against the backdrop of democratisation and shift in power to the majority of the citizenry in South Africa. How the changes impacted on the ability of writers to speak the truth to power.

The State of South African Literature: Facilitated by Sisi Maqagi with a panel consisting of Niq Mhlongo, Siphiwo Mahala, Mzi Mahola, Dr. Linda Kwatsha, Jessica Mbangeni and Buysile Western Kwenene.

Saturday 16 March

Workshop: Writing Poetry with Robert Berold.

Poetry Session: Don Mattera, Vonani Bila, Mzi Mahola, Ntsiki Mazwai, Mphutlane Bofelo, Madoda Ndlakuse, Sabata Mokae and Lesego Rampolokeng.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Book Fair (MBBF) is a project of Ikhwelo Writing Project and Imbizo Arts of South Africa. The project started in 2012. The organisers with the spirit of reaching out to all communities of the Nelson Mandela Bay hosted the Book Fair at Red Location Museum in 2012, and the 2013 edition will be hosted at The Opera House.

The purpose of the Book Fair is not tourist attraction but the promotion of the value of books and what they contain. The MBBF 2013 edition is made possible by the sponsorship from Eastern Cape Provincial Arts Council (ECPACC), Department of Arts and Culture (Nationally) and the Port Elizabeth Opera House. The guest writers invited for 2013 MBBF Edition are:

– Dr Don Matterra
– Jessica Mbangeni
– Niq Mhlongo
– Ntsiki Mazwai
– Boffelo Mpotlane
– Dr Simpiwe Sesanti
– Prof Ncedile Saule
– Dr Motsoko Pheko
– Duma kaNdlovu
– Siphiwo Mahala
– Lesego Rampolokeng

There will also be a host of local artists including Mzi Mahola, Prof Robert Berold (Rhodes University), Dr Linda Kwatsha (NMMU), Dr Cornelius Thomas (Rhodes University), Ntsika Tyatya, Babalwa Kona, Mthuthuzeli Zealand, Soga Mlandu, Mpumi Chilibe, etc.

VW to benefit province’s youth

Zanoxolo Wayile Nelson Mandela Bay MayorVolkswagen South Africa, chairperson Hubert Waltl, says he believes the soon-to-be-built loveLife Youth Centre in Uitenhage will be to the benefit of youth in the area. Waltl turned the first sod this week at the site of the planned loveLife centre in KwaNobuhle in Uitenhage.

The sod turning was also attended by Nelson Mandela Bay mayor, Zanoxolo Wayile. The R20m loveLife Youth Centre aims to make a meaningful impact in the lives of the youth of the Uitenhage area. It will offer young people specialised counselling services and also provide support to teenagers and parents.

“Additionally, it will have outreach programmes covering nearly 20000 young people annually in the 20 surrounding schools,” said Waltl. The centre was Volkswagen SA”s World Cup legacy project, he said.

source: Sithandiwe Velaphi / The New Age

U’hage residents call for Maphazi to step down, independence

DISGRUNTLED Uitenhage residents called for Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Nondumiso Maphazi to step down and for Uitenhage to become independent of the Bay municipality.

Councillor Mike Kwenaite said residents had called Maphazi and Deputy Mayor Bicks Ndoni to a meeting at Babs Madlakane Hall in KwaNobuhle “to come and explain what is happening in the municipality”.

Issues discussed included budget allocation, poor housing infrastructure and municipal manager Graham Richards who is currently on special leave.

Addressing the almost full hall, Maphazi said she had to attend the meeting because of “pressure”.

“But mainly I came because people sent letters questioning whether there’s still a municipality or not.”

She spoke at great length about the Richards issue, which culminated in him taking “forced special leave” with full pay .

She said no one had taken over Richards’s position on an acting basis, but that “by Monday next week there’ll be someone who’ll lead the Nelson Mandela Metro”.

Kwenaite made it clear they had been “unhappy” with Richards’s appointment, “but we had to accept the order of the ANC”.

He said Richards’s contract was due to expire in 2011.

During questions, a resident told Maphazi, to loud applause: “You are not helpful to us in Uitenhage, for that you should step down and give others a chance… We never see you around in Uitenhage.”

Another called for Uitenhage to not be “part of the Bay municipality”.

Also to loud applause, Maphazi said: “I said it clearly to the comrades that if I must be redeployed, I must be redeployed.

“They must hire someone they think is able to do the job in the Nelson Mandela metro.”

Meanwhile, three high schools in KwaNobuhle; Thanduxolo, Nkululeko and Mlungisi, in the area called Gunguluza (Ward 45), were closed on Tuesday after a mob of protesting residents stormed onto premises, ordered the principals and staff to stop teaching and allow children to join a service delivery protest.

This happened at about 9am. The main roads in the area were barricaded by stones and burning tyres to prevent the police from entering.

Those leading the delivery protest claimed that pupils were also affected by the lack of delivery.

Teachers said ANC officials who visited the schools had dissociated themselves from the mob action.

Ward councillor and DA leader Franay van der Linde confirmed there had been a housing delivery protest, which started on Tuesday.

“I got a call from someone that two people had been killed by the police while holding a protest and I was being held responsible for these deaths,” she said.

The ward councillor claimed that three months ago she had been held hostage for two days in the Gunguluza informal settlement area by a mob of angry protesters who demanded answers for the lack of service delivery.

She said she was afraid to go and address the residents and had asked housing director Seth Maqetuka to talk to them.

Van der Linde also said it appeared the protest was just a strategy by anti- DA elements to make the area ungovernable and to remove her as councillor in order to install an ANC councillor.

“They say no delivery will take place there until I have been removed as ward councillor,” Van der Linde said.

Police spokesman Inspector Marianette Olivier said a 50-year-old man from Gunguluza was rushed to Uitenhage Provincial Hospital after being hit by a police car.

The incident took place at about 9.30am, she said. “The residents were unhappy about housing delivery.

“They were toyi-toying and blockading the road. We fired rubber bullets but no one was injured.”

Rehab ‘explosion’ as youth switch on to tik

USE of the debilitating drug tik has exploded in Nelson Mandela Bay, with experts saying it has become the drug of choice among youth due to its availability and affordability.

While there are no official statistics on the severity of the problem, Shepherd‘s Field Rehabilitation Centre outside Port Elizabeth reports that tik addicts now account for 57 per cent of its patients.

And the SA National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (Sanca) in Port Elizabeth said its number of addicts on tik had more than doubled in the last six months.

As the second cheapest drug on the streets after dagga, tik has saturated the city‘s poorest communities.

The drug can get a buyer a “high” for just R20, but experts warn it causes parts of the brain to “dissolve” after prolonged use.

Tik is made up primarily of crystal methamphetamine, but can also include a number of household products such as anti-freeze, slimming drugs, rat poison and household cleaning products.

Sanca information, training and education co-ordinator Zarina Ghulam said the drug had infiltrated the northern areas of Port Elizabeth specifically and that the number of users was growing rapidly.

“From July to December last year, we‘ve seen a huge jump of tik users coming to us for treatment.

“It went from 3,1% to 7,2% in those six months. Although we do not have the latest figures available for the last couple of months, I can definitely say the numbers are growing rapidly.

“The majority of the people who come to us for tik abuse are from the northern areas and it‘s moving to Uitenhage.”

Tik was first identified as a potential problem in the Bay two years ago when gangsters were being paid for poached perlemoen with tik by Cape Town crime barons.

Shepherd‘s Field chief executive Gerrie Cronje said the number of tik users at their centre accounted for 57% of people admitted for substance abuse.

Although a number of these addicts came from Cape Town, the majority were from the Nelson Mandela Bay area.

Reinhardt Coetsee, director of Rei‘s Place House of Recovery at Greenbushes in Port Elizabeth, said it was evident that tik was a fast growing problem in the city.

“Although it hasn‘t hit PE as bad as Cape Town, it is definitely a major concern and the problem is escalating.”

Humewood Community Police Forum chairman John Preller said the number of tik users attending his group meetings was increasing.

“We‘re definitely seeing an upward trend. Numbers are increasing drastically and the alarming thing is that it is younger people between the ages of 18 and 25.

“Tik has found its way to PE from Cape Town and we can no longer say it‘s coming, because it‘s here, and it‘s growing.

“The scary thing is that people only seek help when their lives become unmanageable, when the problem is at its worst.”

Aaron Liddell, a recovering tik addict at Shepherd‘s Field, said he was able to buy tik on nearly every street corner as it was so freely available.

“I can get it from the guy down the street or go to any of the coloured areas and buy it. It‘s everywhere. It‘s even in schools and prisons.”

Ghulam said it had devastating long-term effects on the body, although tik users were often swindled by the initial feelings of euphoria, increased energy and self-confidence.

“One client who came in for treatment ended up in hospital. They discovered he had holes in his brain because of the tik and he had to have two brain surgeries. They couldn‘t do anything to repair his brain, so he died.”

She said tik users were prone to HIV/Aids because the drug heightened arousal, which could lead to high-risk sexual behaviour.

Preller said it caused extreme aggression, which often led to uncontrollable violence. “Just recently, I heard from a parent who said her son beat her because of his tik aggression,” he added.

Preller said some of the permanent effects of the toxic drug were that it dissolved the teeth and areas of the brain.

Substance abuse in the northern areas was one of the main reasons for the disintegration of families and gangsterism there, he said.

Tik addiction also had a drastic effect on the economy, and on families, said Preller, with addicts ultimately losing jobs and homes torn apart.

“With tik, they lose their ability to think straight and they end up getting fired.

“Shortly after that they‘ll start breaking into houses or hijacking cars to get money to buy more drugs and most of the time end up in jail.

“You end up losing a strong productive person in the economy, and if you multiply that by the thousands of tik users we see, it results in the loss of thousands of productive people in the economy.”

Source : The Weekend Post

Recession blues bite Bay business outlook

THE Nelson Mandela Bay metro‘s Business Confidence Index continued to decline in January “under recessionary economic conditions and low levels of both business and consumer confidence”.

The decline came amid the economy contracting by -1,8 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, the first annual retail sales decline in nine years, and a 22% plunge in manufacturing output.

The index, compiled for the regional business chamber, tracks the performance of 15 key economic indicators chosen from those available that are believed to “best reflect the business mood in the PE/Uitenhage area”.

These include the inflation rate as measured by the Consumer Price Index for the metro; the prime rate at month end; the rand-dollar exchange rate; retail sales in the Eastern Cape; the total number of new cars sold in the metro; the value of building plans passed and completed; the Consumer Confidence Index for the metro by the Bureau for Economic Research of Stellenbosch University, and number of passengers arriving at the PE airport.

But Dr Neil Bruton, compiler of the index, says current developments “will ultimately yield a consolidation in the rate at which the index is declining at present”.

“The inflation rate is set to decline rapidly in 2009 and … interest rates are set to decline, probably steeply. Furthermore, households and businesses are addressing their debt positions, with growth in credit extension to the private sector down to 11,9% in January, the lowest since November 2004, and with growth in demand for mortgage finance falling to the lowest level since mid-2003.”

The indicators that supported the index through January included significant declines in the trend cycles of the metro inflation and prime interest rates; continued growth in the real value of buildings completed and steady growth in value of those passed; and marginal growth in the trend cycle of retail sales.

Negative indicators included the “steep decline” in new cars sold and the “declining” number of airport passenger arrivals.

“The level of consumer confidence in the Eastern Cape, while reflecting a generally declining trend, remained unchanged.”

source: The Weekend Post