Western Cape Branch Annual Cocktail Function and Awards 2016
More than 40 members and their guests attended this year’s annual Cocktails and Awards function, held recently at the PPC Newlands Cricket Stadium in Cape Town.
This popular event provided an opportunity for the Branch Chair to review the year’s activities, announce annual branch awards for excellence, and network with local members and their guests.
Also in attendance were the national president of the Society, Hanlie Turner, and CEO, John Sheath.
Proceedings began with a welcome from the Branch Chairman, Jan Ellis, who thanked the members present for their support of the local branch over the last year, and indicating that 2017 promised to be an exciting one with a full programme of events.
Jan then introduced the guest speaker, David Bruce, internationally acclaimed photographer, who has been working with the Ju/’hoansi Bushman in north east Namibia for the past 26 years. David described his relationship and interaction with the Ju/’hoan people which has resulted in the establishment of the ‘Ju/’hoansi Development Fund’, a non-profit organisation in Namibia, supporting the development of education in Nyae Nyae conservancy. This is a legally registered area, covering close to 9,000 square kilometres, with 2300 inhabitants and clearly defined borders. It has a constituted management body run by the community for the development of residents and the sustainable use of wildlife and tourism.
David began by describing the Ju/’hoansi Bushmen community as one of the few remaining integrated communities, while at the same time one of the most disadvantaged. They are extremely vulnerable in terms of physical and cultural survival. An exceptionally low level of education is a major contributor to their marginalisation. Elders believe only a merging of the old and new can root them, and that their children must combine formal education with cultural heritage to secure their land and heritage.
David stated that he is currently working on a five-year mother tongue village schools project in partnership with the Namibian Ministry of Education and the Ju/’hoansi Bushman community. The project aims at creating five Nyae Nyae Lower Primary Village Schools providing mother tongue education to young Ju/’hoan learners, close to home communities. The approach is based on holistic indigenous values, with full community participation and cultural integration, combining the construction of physical infrastructure and supply of learning materials with ongoing support in the form of training of educators, transport to schools, management and the provision of food supplies.
Throughout the presentation, David shared many of his unique photographs of the Ju/’hoan people which added to the great interest shown amongst the members present. Some of the photos featured are shown in the gallery below.
The evening continued with the presentation of the Chairman’s Award which this year was awarded to Peter Flower, Director of the Society, Honorary Member and long standing member of the Western Cape Branch.
The motivation for the award was read out by Adrienne Taylor, Secretary of the Branch, who described Peter’s involvement with the Society over the past 35 years. This long association with the Society was driven by his passion for excellence in the use of concrete and the important role that it plays in the effective provision of water services.
As Director, Water and Sanitation for the City of Cape Town, Peter is currently responsible for the R5,6 billion per year service of providing a sustainable water and sanitation to the formal and informal sectors of the Cape Town Metropolitan Council.
A personal message, sent from fellow-member and good friend, Paul Adams from Sika, was read out by Adrienne, the contents of which demonstrated the great positive impact that Peter has had on his colleagues in the Society and the organisation as a whole.
Formal proceedings were brought to an end with Jan Ellis thanking everyone for their attendance, and PPC for the use of the President’s Suite at the stadium.
(Click on images to enlarge)