Blogs » Jeff Brown's blog

Excavating and removing topsoil from the view site

Despite the hand delivered letter two weeks ago, from the community, requesting an onsite meeting with the roads contractor to discuss the wishes of the community, they're busy at work again today. Carting the topsoil away, somewhere, no doubt to replace it with a compacted layer of sabunga prior to tarring...

I guess they believe that if they finish the job in time, all we'll be able to do is accept it.

"Sabunga" is a South Africa colloquial name for a type or variety of sand and / or gravel, from weatherized dolerite. The weathered rock most widely used for road construction in South Africa.

So I phoned Zweliwinile, the "right hand" of Komkhulu, and then went to fetch him. We met with stony indifference from the onsite supervisor, but another meeting has been arranged for tomorrow at our village headwoman's Komkhulu. Following which we'll go to our Tshezi Chief's Komkhulu. The big "Great Place". 

For interests sake, the Tshezi are the ruling Bomvana clan of the Jalamba-Gambushe line, with European shipwreck ancestry. They rose to prominence when the Xhosa King Hintsa took Nomsa of the Tshezi's as his Great Wife. The land they occupy in the main is the region around Hole in the Wall and Coffee Bay, whereas Bomvana land extends from the Mbashe River to the Umtata River, and inland some 60km up to Mqanduli.

Some positivity, hopefully: I met Unathi Pali, who is working for Dept. of Transport at the view site itself. He's the firstborn son of our Tshezi Chief, Ngwenyathi. It's some years since I met with Ngwenyathi, but I asked Unathi to please inform his father of the issues and planned mitigations which I tried my best to convey in my broken Xhosa. At the very least I will have made an impression as a mad umlungu raving about the angry "amathongo".

Luisah Teish, author of the book Jambalaya, states "As we walk upon the Earth, our feet press against the bones of the Ancestors on whose shoulders we stand."

These ancestors, going back to antiquity are called Amathongo in Xhosa.

Anyway. My immediate priority today was very much disrupted, and I still have yet to complete the motivation to SAHRA for emergency declaration of Hole in the Wall as a national heritage site. Our best hope for the future of Hole in the Wall.


Add new comment

Total views: 209