Yesterday morning as I drove to the township to collect Emily, my houselady, I noticed streams of people walking from the other parts of the township (there are no "suburbs" in the township) all carrying buckets, large plastic bottles, jugs and other recepticles.
A little further on I saw a long queue of men, women and children, all with containers, waiting at a tap. It suddenly dawned on me that the township was without water. I'm not sure how or why, but obviously there were two or three water points in people's yards (not many gardens in the township either) which had water. Everyone was drawing from these few taps/faucets.
Sure enough, when Emily got into my car, she told me that they'd been without water since the previous day. The "people who work for the municipality" told her that the water purifying pump at the town dam, had broken. I assured her that as soon as I got home, and the municipal offices opened, I would phone the people responsible and enquire as to when the water would be available again. (Which I did and was told that the problem was being resolved as we spoke)
My household staff which consists of Emily, houselady; John and David, gardeners and Simon, a once-a-a week gardener, (becuase he has no other income) will each receive a hamper of groceries from me this afternoon. I also buy stewing meat and chicken portions for each of them to cook up with their families in the township on Christmas day. Since they've been in my employ, I have given them each a Christmas / annual bonus. This is a month's salary (thirteenth cheque, as it were) in cash. Next week, as normal, they receive their December salary. But today they are given an extra month's pay. This is all I can do for them; to quote a wise man (with apologies, I forget who!) I am but one, but I am one. So I do what I can.
I wish all my blogger friends a very blessed season with their loved ones. Thanks for your love, visits, comments and kindness during 2009.