Fire in Tarkastad


Loyiso Gxothiwe at the ABCD conference
Loyiso Gxothiwe at the ABCD conference

TARKASTAD – Residents recently witnessed a fire on the nearby mountain. It appeared to have started at the recently revamped Tarkastad sign, and spread upwards and sideways across the mountain.
TWO local women, Leechee Silinga and Vuyokazi Msizi, arranged an event for residents in the park recently.
The first part of the event, from 9am to 5pm, was aimed at children in the community, and consisted of games and water activities. Lunch was served to the children at the venue from revenue generated through a small entry fee. At closing time, the children wanted to stay, but they could not, as it was time to prepare for the second part of the event. From 6pm, the park was transformed to a playground for adults with a DJ from Hofmeyr providing music and adults invited to bring their own picnic baskets with refreshments. An affordable entry fee was charged to cover costs, and the event was well supported. Despite some unsavoury characters who tried to enter the premises while refusing to pay the entry fee, making false reports of violence to the police, the event went off without any negativity. The organisers, in collaboration with the Tarka Development Group, are working on finding co-funders for private security at future events.
FOUR members of the Tarka Development Group, David Fourie, Vuyokazi Msizi, Loyiso Gxothiwe and Ricaldo van Dalen, attended the Ikhala Trust Asset-Based, Community-driven Development (ABCD) Conference in Port Elizabeth from November 15 to 17. The event is an annual gathering of ABCD practitioners in the Eastern Cape to exchange lessons from the past year and plan for the next.
The conference was facilitated by Nomvula Dlamini, director of the Community Development Resource Association (CDRA) in Cape Town, with guest speakers Darren Ryder, business mentor at The Hope Factory, and celebrated journalist, author and poet Heather Robertson, former editor of The Herald and the Weekend Post.
During the annual gala dinner on November 16, Tarka Development Group was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for its “commitment to transforming the negative narrative of small towns in the Eastern Cape by sharing success stories and embracing diversity.”
Dlamini commended Ikhala Trust, saying: “You have successfully created a platform that brings together practitioners from communities, NGOs, government and academia – this made the discussions so much richer.”
THE Memorable Order of Tin Hats (MOTH) of Tarkastad held its annual Remembrance Day on November 20 at the World War II memorial in Tarkastad. Remembrance Day (sometimes known informally as Poppy Day) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth of Nations member states since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty.
DESPITE residents’ complaints, free roaming animals are on the increase in Tarkastad. Apart from the “normal” goats and cows which go around eating everything in sight, horses have now also been spotted strolling through the town in the main road. With the heavy flow of taxis and busses using the main road between Queenstown and Cradock, often not at significantly reduced speeds, it is only a matter of time before a serious accident occurs.

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