How a Proposed Strip Mine Brought Conflict to South Africa’s Wild Coast (E360.Yale.Edu)

The murder of activist Sikhosiphi Rhadebe has not stopped communities in South Africa’s Pondoland region from opposing plans for a major titanium mine. What’s at stake are ecologically important lands – and, for the villagers, a way of life. Third in a series.

Xolobeni sand dunes

2017 started well for Ncinci One's Montessori and the children were very happy to be back at school :-)

Ncinci One's Montessori

Ncinci One's Montessori

The Wild Coast Holiday Association has compiled this short video introduction as a tribute to the beauty and splendour of the Wild Coast in Winter.

It's a little known secret that the best time to visit the Wild Coast is from May through September, while it's freezing cold inland and we are enjoying sub-tropical coastal temperatures here.


Hole in the Wall: On 26 January 2017, Incopho Coastal Developments (Pty) Ltd. or their proxies, made the third attempt to commence with the "Ridge Development" - hotel or resort complex - which has been mired in controversy for 13 years.

No government or investor support, fanfare or ceremony was evident at this inauspicious third "breaking of the ground" at the site overlooking the world famous icon of the Wild Coast, Hole in the Wall. Similarly to the two previous occasions, so called development was desperately undertaken at the last hour of their deadline for commencement.

Is this in the interests of the average rural person, or is there a dark and sinister plot. (Of course there is.)

Traditional leadership bill a sly attempt to bypass constitutional rights to land


Source: Business Day

Once again Ncinci One's Montessori was blessed with supporter's generosity.  I received a phone call from Stephanie Haywoood who said she had a few boxes for us from Buccleuch Montessori in Johannesburg. When Stephanie and Julian arrived at Ncinci One's Montessori in their loaded vehicle, we unpacked 11 boxes! WOW!

Donation of materials from Buccleuch Montessori

This is an excellent article by Roland Giesler, written in 2014, with facts about the fuel levy.

There have been many heated debates and commentaries on the current state of affairs surrounding toll roads in South Africa, but for the sake of clarity, I think it can be summarised as follows:

Fuel levy stats 2013

Funding will be made available for the N2 Wild Coast project but the route will be tolled.

FUNDING for the controversial N2 Wild Coast Toll Road project, including its two mega-bridges and the seven other bridges that will need to be built, will come from the Medium Term Budget.

One of the bridges will cross this Mtentu River gorge

The new WildCoast.Com site was launched on 18 October 2016, to no fan-fare or public announcement.

Just had to be done as the old database which has been running since 2006/7 was creaky and becoming senile.

So as we were rapidly losing page ranking and general relevance, the new site which had been in development for 6 months already at the time, had to be launched a bit prematurely.

Whale's Back - Hole in the Wall

First harvest for the T’kei mussel project

Click Here to open the Dispatch article in a new window. MUSSEL HARVEST: AmaMpondo women gather seafood at Lwandile on the Wild Coast. Picture: Pauline Ingle

Mthatha Bureau - 2008/05/05

AN AQUA-CULTURE project started seven years ago in Transkei has delivered its first harvest – with 60 local people each carrying off five litres of the nutritious seafood to feed their families.

The main aim at the moment is food security, said a spokesperson for the Coffee Bay Mussel Rehabilitation Project. But in the long run the organisers hope there could be tourism spin-offs similar to the Knysna Oyster Festival.

ROCKET LAUNCH PRODUCES NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS: On Tuesday morning, August 5th, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral carrying the AsiaSat 8 telecommunications satellite. About an hour and a half after the 4 AM launch, electric-blue clouds appeared over Orlando FL:

"These clouds appeared just before sunrise," says photographer Mike Bartils.

What a Super September we experienced at Ncinci One's Montessori! Not only was it Spring month, where we got beans, onions, carrots, butternut, spinach, tomatoes and flowers planted, but it was also International World Peace Day on 21 September and South Africa's Heritage Day on 24 September. The Ncinci One's joined Sing Peace Around the World at 10h30. They sang the song "Light a candle for peace" in isiXhosa and the chorus in English.

The Mthatha Round Table/Transkei Yamaha Funduro was held at Hole in the Wall this past weekend. There were many visitors to the area and the weather was perfect for the event.

They are happy, busy days at Ncinci One's Montessori and there is a lot of singing going on at the moment. Ncinci One's Montessori is proudly joining the International Day of Peace event, Sing Peace Around the World on 21 September 2016 at 10h30 where we will be joining 64 840 other children globally in singing the song and our children will be singing it in their mother-tongue, isiXhosa. It is joyous to hear them singing in small groups, as they walk home after school.

Our 3rd term started with a bang, in more ways than one! The first great thing that happened, is that JB's sister, Cindy Owen, from Dog Days Adventures in the UK , gave me a brand new Samsung J5 phone, which is now the school's official, much needed camera.Thank you very much Cindy for a great gift! The children happily returned to school on the 18th of July and on the first day back I asked the children if they had had a good holiday.

Ncinci One's Montessori is really a very special little school with the rural Xhosa children taking true ownership of their school. The 16th of June was a public holiday in South Africa and Friday the 17th was a school holiday in South Africa.  On June the 16th, 4 of the children went to the Assistant teacher's home and asked her if they could please come to school on Friday - Corina gladly obliged.  10 Children attended school on Friday the 17th and I think we were probably the only school in the country that was open.  

This is important information if you are planning on going on holiday, day trip or fishing along the Transkei Wild Coast:

You will need a permit to travel to cottages that are not on proclaimed or designated roads. (E.g. the road to the Jacaranda.) If you do not have a permit for these routes you may be charged by the Green Scorpions and given a spot fine of R2500.

A huge thank you to Orby Nicols for all the books, stationary and toys he donated from the old Ncinci One's pre-school - we will not need to buy pencil crayons for the next 3 years! Our kitchen roof is on and it is time to paint the rondawel.

Greetings from the admin office of Ncinci One's Montessori.  We are working hard and trying to make donating as easy as possible for you.  We are very pleased to say that Ncinci One's Montessori now has a Paypal account - so you can donate from anywhere in the world, and you use your creditcard to do it!  If you are in South Africa, you can use our FNB account.

Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you - We are on this road together!

The children are enjoying school so much and it is rather heart-breaking to have to close for a week.... BUT, I am off to the South African Montessori Association National conference in Cape Town, where I get the opportunity to spend quality time with other Montessorians, listening to great speakers and of course telling everyone about Ncinci One's Montessori at Hole in the Wall.... gaining interest and support for our project. We will re-open on 5 May, and our rondawel will be painted and our kitchen/storeroom will be operational :-)

Outside of the rondawel is now scraped (ready for plastering), and thank you JB for trimming the rondawel's bangs (fringe) - looking good. Kitchen and toilet will be started on Monday. Official opening date of our school is set for 18 April 2016.

It's been a busy week for JB and the guys.......the new floor finished, the inside of the rondawel is scraped and ready for plastering, the top of the wall has been filled in and the grass has been cut and is looking good. Thank you guys! Plastering starts tomorrow. Almost time to open!


A huge thanks to JB and the building crew for the lovely work completed while I was away at the SAMA conference. What a pleasure to come back to a painted rondawel and a completed kitchen/storeroom with guttering and rain tank installed! The 80mm of rain we have had today has helped our new tank alot :-)

Things have been progressing steadily at Ncinci One's Montessori and we were very lucky to get exposure for our project in the Daily Dispatch Newspaper, as well as a 10 minute radio interview on the Power FM  breakfast show.  I think our name is spreading nicely!

Another lovely week has passed at Ncinci One's Montessori - the children are settling in very well and are happy to be at school. We are still looking for sponsors for 3 children please.......

Happy Weekend all

Dawn and the abantwanas

What a good day it has been for us 

Hi all
I trust that 2016 is treating you well smile emoticon The new year has started with a bang! Herewith pictures of the rondawel we have been given to start Hole in the Wall Montessori. We are hoping to open on 5 April 2016, and we need a lot of help to get there!! Shopping and man/woman power! We have a big list ......and not much money.