Stellenbosch Umasipala

Dear Citizens of the Innovation Capital of South Africa,

As we currently celebrate two significant public holidays; the one Freedom Day on the 27th of April 2015 and Workers Day on the 1st of May 2015 we do so aware; overly aware of the xenophobic attacks that have raged through parts of our country.

I have taken note of these acts of violence where foreign nationals have been the target of people’s rage. There is no justification for this violence. I strongly condemn what has taken place. Whatever the reasons have been it is unacceptable and under no circumstance is it ever justified.

Xenophobia attacks have not spread to the winelands valley and I urge citizens to be vigilant in the defense of all people’s human rights and freedom under the South African Constitution.

If there is reason to anger against foreign nationals I urge the community to come together with their representative leadership to discuss the issues and through the correct channels choose the most appropriate route forward. We can’t as citizens take the law into our own hands and advocate lawlessness and chaos. Our region and it’s people can’t afford to be drawn into a downward spiral that only leads to anarchy. Let’s work in a coordinated and civil manner to address the challenges that may be experienced.

I urge you to speak to various role-players in your respective communities to discuss preventative measures so that actions such as those that have been taking place elsewhere cannot take place in Stellenbosch. We cannot condone any intolerant behaviour. If you feel threatened in any way, please report it to your local police station.

Our dream is to be the Innovation Capital of South Africa. A place where all people work together to ensure good governance and management; a green environment; a safe society; a destination attractive for investment and very important – dignified living for all our valley’s people. We would like all citizens of Stellenbosch to enjoy a dignified life, irrespective of their relative material wealth or background. For some it will mean a home; for others education; a small business; a beautiful environment; a safe route or access to basic services.

To be able to reach this dream we must understand that we are bounded to each other in our humanity – Ubuntu; I am because you are.

We can build this dream. All of us. Together. Let all of the Stellenbosch area unite and say #NoToXenophobia.

Conrad Sidego

Executive Mayor of Stellenbosch

With the inauguration of the new rector of the University of Stellenbosch (US) our town has received a formidable innovator.

This was the response of the executive mayor of Stellenbosch, Conrad Sidego at the inauguration ceremony of the new rector and vice chancellors of US, Professor Wim De Villiers.

South Africa is at a point in time where it needs innovators like never before, given the huge and glaring challenges that we face on a daily basis. The University of Stellenbosch is an academic institution of particular excellence. This combined with the fact that Stellenbosch is home to some of the country’s leading business leaders means that we have the resources to find the solutions to some of the most extreme socio-economic questions we face daily – joblessness, housing shortage and poverty.

‘This is where the innovator De Villiers, rector of a world-class university can make a giant impact’ explains Major Sidego. Together with his agenda for transformation we will be able to realise many exciting projects in Stellenbosch.

Our vision for the town is to be the Innovation Capital of South Africa and his arrival in our town will give us a welcome boost. He is assured of my personal support and that of the municipality and we look forward to work with him to take the town and the wider community to the next level.

For further information contact the mayoral communication office at 021 8088024.

Met die inhuldiging van die Universiteit van Stellenbosch (US) se nuwe rektor, het die dorp ‘n innoveerder van formaat aanboord gekry.

So sê die uitvoerende Burgermeester van Stellenbosch, Conrad Sidego wat gereageer het by die inhuldigingsseremonie van Professor Wim De Villiers.

Suid-Afrika het ‘n behoefte aan innoveerders soos nog nooit vantevore nie, gegewe die enorme uitgadinge wat ons in die gesig staar. Die US is ‘n akademiese instelling van besondere uitnemendheid. Daarmee saam is die dorp ook tuiste van die land se voorste sakevernuf. Terselfdertyd word ons ook gekonfronteer met van die uiterste sosio-ekonomiese vraagstukke – werkloosheid, woningnnood, armoede en voedseltekort.

‘Dís waar die innoveerder De Villiers aan die hoof van die wêreldklas universiteit, ‘n reuse-impak kan help maak,’ verduidelik Burgermeester Sidego.’ Saam met sy agenda van transformasie behoort ons opwindende projekte saam die lig te laat sien.’

Ons visie vir die dorp is om die Innovasiehoofstad van Suid-Afrika te wees en sy koms op die dorp behoort ons ‘n welkome hupstoot te gee. Hy is verseker van my persoonlike steun en dié van die munisipaliteit en ons sien daarna uit om saam met hom die dorp en die breë gemeenskap na die volgende vlak te neem.

Vir verdere navra kontak die Burgermeester se Kommunikasiekantoor op 021 8088024.

The 22nd of April 2015 will be remembered as the day that the Stellenbosch community, The Million Project team and the mayor of Stellenbosch, Conrad Sidego set out to achieve a world record – the World’s Largest Tree Hug.

After all equipment was delivered, the site laid out, stewards mobilised, medical crew were in place, auditors had sharpened their pencils the scene was set. Volunteers attending the event were treated to water, apples, and popcorn and fresh fruit juices and blessed with a clear blue sky and temperate weather. The tree huggers attending the Earth Day event comprised ordinary citizens, school children, small business owners, public officials and students.

Caption: The Mayor with a young tree hugger. (Photo: Ignatius Vlok)

The mayor delivered the official welcome and opening saying that ‘This event is significant. Trees not only beautify and green an area it adds to life, quality of living and that is what South Africa needs today. The world quickly dismisses symbolism and emotion that accompanies a day like this. This symbolism of hugging a tree is however very significant; in fact it symbolises not only care of the environment but care and concern about our community and our challenges.’

Stellenbosch Municipality is continuing with events such as this to make an unprecedented statement in terms of its commitment to care for the environment. Through the Million Trees Project, the dream is being reinforced towards home-style communities: friendly and supportive, providing shelter and jobs and dignified living. Taking into account the looming threat of global warming, we must do what we can to stop this slide toward catastrophe. We need to think anew! We need to think 110% green!

Campaigns and efforts like the World Largest Tree Hug by the Million Tree Project help to communicate the green and dignified living messages to local communities and to activate further participation. The Million Tree Project initiative is a comprehensive approach involving all residents, businesses, authorities and land owners. Everyone is encouraged to plant and care for trees across the 900 km2 of the Municipality. A key focus of the project is to ‘green the townships’- planting up the informal settlements and other areas previously not greened and those where high density developments prevented the planting of trees. Urban forests and green corridors are the green lungs that will pump life-supporting oxygen into our living space. The wish is for everybody to become active Ambassadors for Nature.

The Tree Hug day will go far to reinforce the messages of a greener environment, a greener Stellenbosch and a more prosperous community. Mayor Sidego has said before that, ‘If you can look after a tree, you will care for a child’. And that is the legacy of the Million Tree Project and campaigns like today…it is for our children.

Burgermeester Conrad Sidego het ‘n opvoedingsveldtog geloods met studente by die Universiteit van Stellenbosch se Neelsie sentrum op die 17de April 2015. Die doel van die veldtog is om studente aan te moedig om valhelms te dra.

Die algemene persepsie is dat fietsryers soms nie wetsgehoorsaam is nie. Dat hul nie stop nie by stopstrate nie, verkeersligte en padreëls verontagsaam. Ry langs mekaar in plaas van agter mekaar. Dit is egter belangrik om te besef dat hulle ook die pad met motoriste en voetgangers deel en dat almal hulle ook in ag moet neem.

In Stellenbosch word ‘n ‘Non-Motorised Transport’ beleid uitgevoer soos goedgekeur deur die stadsraad in Maart 2015. Die doel van die beleid is om ‘n mobiele omgewing te verseker waar alle vorme van vervoer gelyke waarde geniet. Die beleid is geskoei daarop om vervoer wat mens-gedrewe is aan te moedig en sodoende ‘n fietsry en voetgangersvriendelike omgewing te skep. Dit sal ook meehelp dat Stellenbosch tot ‘n groen dorp status verhewe kan word deurdat ons die omgewing met groter omsigtigheid behandel.

Burgermeester Sidego verduidelik, ‘Hierdie is ‘n deurlopende veldtog om bewustheid tuis te bring dat dit onwettig is om ‘n fiets te ry sonder ‘n valhelm.’Die veldtog sal gepaard gaan met opvoeding en bewusmaking by skole en ander instellings, veral in die lig dat jong fietsryers en potensiële fietsryers van jongs af bewus gemaak moet word oor die dra van valhelms.

Fietsryers wat nie valhelms gebruik nie moet bewustheid dra van die oortrediing en die potensiële veiligheidsrisiko. Die dra van valhelms moet deel van die daaglikse roetine vir ‘n fietsryer wor en fietsryers moet onthou om valhelms ter alle tye as julle op julle fietse is en bedagsaam te wees op die padreëls wat vir alle padgebruikers geld. Ander wenke sluit in die dra helder kleure; dat daar veiligheid is in getalle deur saam te ry in ‘n groep en om iemand te laat weet waar jy beplan om te gaan ry.

Dis veral belangrik om altyd op die uitkyk te wees vir gevaar – menslik, motors, diere – ‘n fietsongeluk kan enigetyd gebeur, wat veroorsaak kan word deur fietsryer self of deur motoris of voetganger.

Die doel van die veldtog is ook verder om die publiek bewus te maak van die wetgewing wat bestaan wat die dra van ‘n valhelm vir fietsryers verpligtend maak. Met die dra van ‘n valhelm kan die risko vir kop en breinbeserings met tussen 66% - 88% verminder word, volgens die Amerikaanse Fietsryvereniging. In Suid-Afrka is dit sedert 1993, volgens die nasionale Padverkeerswet, 1993(wet no 93 van 1996), verpligtend dat alle fietsryers ‘n valhelm dra.

So, onthou jou valhelm as jy vandag op jou fiets gaan klim!