Helping in the Helderberg

Peter Blaine,
Somerset West

It is a great pity that Lisa Balz did not research with any ardour what is happening in her community before putting pen to paper.

She would have found out that at least two of the best restaurants in the basin have been feeding at least 200 people per day, seven days each week essentially since lockdown.

She would have discovered that the citizens of the Helderberg donated in the region of R500 000 to feed the unfortunate, many of whom have lost their income sources through no fault of their own.

She would know that government’s efforts have been abysmal, other than enriching the looters.

The difference is that not one of the people who have stood up and put their money where their mouths are have sought publicity, as others, as she so eloquently points out, seem to have done.

Her reference to the old shibboleth about feeding and fishing is most unfortunate.

It implies that those who are receiving these gifts from those that care are useless ullage who can’t be bothered to work, that they are self-taught ignoramuses.

She ignores the fact that so many of our burghers have lost their sources of income, be it because their businesses have been forcibly closed, though they still have to pay creditors and feed their families, or because they have been laid off because employers cannot pay them.

I know of one family of five, that has had no income since December 2019; more than seven months.

That father, that mother and their older children know how to fish, but the ocean is bare. So it is with many.

It’s about time Ms Balz absorbed some fellow feeling and realised what is happening around her in her community.

There is another shibboleth about mind and gears. She should study that. Then she would not go off half cocked.

There, but for the grace of God, go I.

Lisa Balz,
Somerset West

My response to Eppie McFarlane’s letter (“Setting the record straight,” Bolander July 8) is as follows.

I am always amazed – and I say this with a big smile on my face – how different we human beings perceive the same piece of information.

For example: ask two people who observed the same accident and you’ll think, can it be that they have seen the same thing happening?

It is still heart-warming, how people and organisations within the Helderberg Basin work hand-in-hand to help needy communities.

It shows that in times of trouble we can rely on each other.

Don’t get me wrong… but the intention of my letter was to “sow a seed”.

To set ideas and processes in motion to teach those needy communities and individuals to help themselves in the future.

Share your ideas with me, and I am more than happy to participate, at