Joys of Easter

Reverend Renate Cochrane, Hout Bay

Easter is the time when Christians celebrate the resurrection of Christ – so what does this have to do with eggs and bunnies?

We can only understand this custom with a look at history. Many centuries ago, when the first missionaries came to Germanic countries, local people embraced the Christian message of love and justice, but did not want to give up their cultural traditions. One of their most beloved traditions was the spring celebration in honour of the goddess Eastre. She was the goddess of fertility and “new life”. After the dark winter months, the Germanic tribes joyfully anticipated the “new life” of planting, warm air and sun in summer. Many symbols accompanied the spring festival. Eggs are the symbol of fertility, so are rabbits as they multiply very fast.

When I was a child in Germany, my deeply Christian mother explained to me, that our Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies were a reminder of ancestral times when people still worshipped many gods and goddesses.

This never disrupted the joy of “pagan” Easter practices in our family – as children the chocolate feast and search parties in the garden instilled happiness in our hearts.

And today, as an adult, celebrating that Christ has conquered death, I still carry the joy of Easter in my heart. There is nothing wrong with cultural tradition going alongside religion – as long as the cultural tradition is not oppressive.

Seeing the chocolate bunnies and Easter decorations in South African supermarkets is still strange for me, but I remember the sweet joy of our childhood and I am sure, African children are just as happy about this custom.

Eddie Norton, Muizenberg

With reference to your article on the state of laying fire cables (“Fibre laying process stinks, says resident”, Off My Trolley, April 11 ), I believe that the public don’t really understand the process.

In the dark old days the Post Office (now Telkom) would come into a suburb to lay cables, especially a newly developed suburb, and lay the necessary infrastructure.

Telkom have a company called “Open Serve” who now are responsible for laying the new cables. They can also subcontract to the IP providers such as Frog Foot, Vuma and Afrihost.

These IPs would then do the connection from the layed fibre into the public’s dwelling.

There will never be another cable layed again as one cable can handle all requirements.

The IPs will offer the public the services as to the individual’s requirements such as broadband, data and VOIP at competitive rates. Also speed of data variables.

Mr Norton is correct. It is not so much that people are complaining about the fibre installation but the fact the IPs don’t restore the area, according to the wayleave and the municipality doesn’t have the will to enforce their own regulations – Brian Joss, Off My Trolley

Johann Kikillus,
Ocean View

There is a major problem unfolding before our eyes. What has become more apparent over the past 10 years is that there are more people struggling than before.

It is becoming a luxury for children to attend creches.

In Ocean View, most of the creches cost in the region of R350 to R500 a month.

This means that households who rely solely on the child grant of R420 per month are unable to afford those fees and the child is denied the right to education.

When a child does not have the benefit of attending Grade R, they start Grade 1 on the back foot. It is hardly surprising then that many of those children struggle academically and give up – with their self esteem in tatters.

At Ocean View Care Centre, we have tried to address those children’s problems by running a free Grade R over the past four years.

To date, we have helped over 300 children and tried our best, with limited resources, to prepare them for Grade 1.

However, we are not a registered early childhood development (ECD) centre, and in no way are we able to meet the criteria of the ECD requirements.

This has been made public from the very beginning, and I have invited many top officials and politicians to address the problem.

Sadly, I do not have the support of several politicians and officials who would rather close the kids’ centre down than fix the problem.

What is needed across the Western Cape and the country is a plan to provide decent Grade R preparation for children who cannot afford to attend fee-paying schools.

These children often are considered vulnerable due to the fact they live in communities that are rife with drugs, violence and serious poverty.

The government that wins the next elections would be wise to prioritise the group I have mentioned here.

I believe without a doubt that if all our children are given equal opportunity at education , then this curse called gangsterism will begin to disappear.

Sadly, over the past 20 years this problem was not given the attention it deserved and today we are seeing the tragic outcome.

I would love to engage with anybody who has similar viewpoints.