Peoples post retreat 23 jul 2013
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TUESDAY 23 July 2013 | 0021 910 6500 | Fax: 021 910 6501/06 | Email: email@example.com | Website: www.peoplespost.co.za | Mobisite: ppost.mobi
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COMPLAINTS: NOISE DISTURBANCE
Locals want to halt all games
eathfield residents have red-carded all
ball games being played on land zoned
as a Public Open Space (POS).
Langevlei Parkland inMagda Road is said
to be used by soccer players, golfers, quad
bikers, cricket players and even friends
gathering to enjoy music and a drink.
But the City of Cape Town maintains the
public cannot be denied access onto the field
and the purpose of the space is to encourage
Arlene Jacobs, a nearby resident, says she
has endless problems with people using
the field for recreational activities as they
cause a major disturbance.
I am still having endless problems with
people coming from all over to play soccer
andvarious other forms of sport, directly op-
posite my house, she says.
This is a desperate plea asmy son cannot
endure the disturbances caused as he works
Mitchell Neilson lives up the road from
the field and understands what residents
Although promoting recreation within
the community is important, respecting the
residents privacy and peace is equally as
important, Neilson says.
That field is a popular spot among the
youth and I feel it will be hard to keep them
off this field.Onedoesnotwant to soundneg-
ative, because at least they are doing some-
thing constructive, he says.
On the other hand, the residents cannot
be forgotten because they are the ones who
have to put up with the kicking and scream-
Signage on the field states that no formal
sports activities may be played on the field.
But it gives no indication that informal
games should not be played.
Residents are calling for signage stating
that no form of sports be allowed on the
says erecting further signage can be ar-
ranged, but the public cannot be deprived of
using the open space.
It must be understood the purpose of the
public open space is that all citizens use it
for passive and active recreation, he says.
Herholdt explains that informal games
such as soccer and cricket are acceptable
and encouraged, just as long as it does not
take on any formal status.
If bylaws are contravened, it is the re-
sponsibility of the Citys Law Enforcement
agencies to enforce the law, he adds. We
will make it clear on the signage that no for-
malised sport will be allowed.
Ward councillor Jan Burger understands
how residents must be feeling, but says fen-
cing off the field is not an option.
Imagine how it will look if we closed off
every public open space in the community,
This is also all about respect. People us-
ing that fieldmust show some respect for the
people living there.
Thursday was a buzz of
activity as people across
the country and around
the world celebrated the
95th birthday of former
Mandela. Coinciding with
the birthday of the
health seems to be
improving, was the
celebration of Mandela
Day and people per
forming 67 minutes of
community service. At
St Georges Cathedral in
the CBD special
messages for Madiba
were written on boards
by visitors. Some also
donated goods such as
Steenberg residents Zo
Jephta (4) and Ethel
Veronica Martin (57)
read the messages.
PHOTO: LEANNE STANDER/
PEOPLE'S POST | RETREAT
Tuesday, 23 July 2013
Making sense of mental illness
iving with amental illness is trying and
traumatising for most people. But ade-
quate resources would go some way to
During July Psychiatric Disability
AwarenessMonth CapeMental Health and
Cape Consumer Advocacy Body (CCAB) are
campaigning for better resource allocation
to publicmental health services. CCAB is an
advocacy group representing people with
Cape Mental Health spokesperson
Maleeka Mokallik says there appears to be
a rising number of people with mental ill-
In SouthAfrica substance abuse andHIV/
Aids, cause variousmental health problems,
including depression and dementia, which
add to the mental health burden.
A 2008 study by the Alcohol and Drug
Abuse Research Unit of the Medical Re-
search Council found that the majority of
people who have been admitted had a sub-
stance-induced psychotic disorder, which
far outweighed those admitted for schizo-
phrenia disorders and bipolar mood disor-
ders, Mokallik says.
Only 4% of the national health budget is
allocated tomental health and in Cape Town
there are only 1682 beds between four psy-
The plight ofwoefully inadequate resourc-
es was taken to the streets of Cape Town.
Complaints include too few beds in State
hospitals, day hospital dispensaries not al-
ways stocked with medication on collection
days, and therapy not always been available
Others spoke of the difficulties to get jobs
and not disclosing their mental illness for
fear of not being employed.
One such person is former teacher and
mother of two, Vanessa, whowas eventually
correctly diagnosed with apsychotic bipolar
mixed mood disorder.
My condition was misdiagnosed and for
16 years I was using the wrong medication,
which aggravated my mental condition,
Whenever I spoke to my psychiatrist
about my uncertainties towards my condi-
tion, hed say I am imagining it. By accident
the hospital changed by medication after
they saw I was functioning better on lighter
dosages. Theywere able to pin downmy con-
dition and diagnosed me with apsychotic bi-
polar mixed mood.
This means Vanessa experiences depres-
sion, agitation and anxiety simultaneously.
My illness came to the fore after I had my
children, and experienced severe post-natal
depression, which went unnoticed, because
of my sense of guilt towards my them.
She saw psychologists and psychiatrists
18 years ago after her first episode, but re-
sisted using themedication they prescribed.
Seven years ago I made peace with my ill-
ness, when I recognised the symptoms be-
fore major episodes presented.
Her marriage suffered as a result. My ex-
husband stopped paying my medical aid,
which forced me to access the State health
She received excellent help and had no
problems with obtaining my medication,
but battled finding psychologists and psy-
chotheraphy, because the system does not
readily provide that.
Her illness led to a downward spiral and
she had to leave her teaching job. I was a
danger to myself and others and was admit-
ted to Victoria Hospital where the doctors
were sensitive and helpful, despite awful
conditions and overcrowding.
The nurses showed a lot of prejudice to-
wardspatients. Iwas fortunate tohaveabed,
while other patients (were) in armchairs
and on mattresses on the floor. The lack of
funds and facilities in State hospitals is evi-
dent, especially after youve used private
She points out private healthcare is not
infallible, because they misdiagnosed me.
For CCAB chairperson Oscar January,
who has a rare form of schizophrenia, diffi-
culties set in at an earlier stage.
I always thought Iwas just going through
themotionsof pubertyandgrowingup. Iwas
constantly confused and paranoid, strug-
gling to walk away from arguments, and I
never shared the same reaction to situations
as others did, he says.
Id often freeze up with vacant eyes and
not know whats happening around me.
He knew something was wrong and, at 19,
a health professional told Oscar he had had
a nervous breakdown of which I was una-
ware andwas later diagnosedwith schizo-
My time at Groote Schuur Hospital is a
blur; I felt like I was there for two days, (but)
it was two weeks before I was transferred to
Valkenberg Hospital where I underwent
He has been fortunate, he says, because
my family was very supportive from the
start, but Ive met many people whose fami-
lies disown them, because they dont know
how to handle their situations.
Through stigma, Oscar has lost many
People place you in a box and categorise
you, and themedia doesnt assist with elimi-
nating these stereotypes, by claiming all
schizophrenic patients are violent and psy-
chotic, and forgetting the illness is treata-
Families also hide the mental status of
their kin, making it difficult to get an accu-
rate figure of the mental health situation in
South Africa, he says.
He says mentally ill people experience
great difficulty when trying to find work.
So many of our members have qualifica-
tions and are unemployed. The employment
equity quota states that 5% of staff should
be disabled. This figure needs to include
mentally ill people, which is not the case at
the moment. This stems from a lack of
awareness and services, and because the
topic is taboo.
Oscar, too, has been at the receiving end
of inadequate resources in the State health-
I have to take every evening before bed. (One
day) I collected my medication from the day
hospital and the dispensary never had my
medication in stock. The pharmacist gave
me substitute medication which had severe
He suffered contact jitters and excessive
sweating. Functioning during the day was
a serious issue and I only got better when
I went back on to my usual medication.
Provincial health department spokesper-
son Faiza Steyn says pharmacy services
have checked recent out-of-stock records
and there were no serious shortages to psy-
Suzanne Solomons, of Cape Mental
Health, says access to psychiatric hospitals
for patients is becoming an increasing prob-
Patientsnowhave tobeadmitted to agen-
eral hospital, where they have to be ob-
served for three days before they can be ad-
mitted to a psychiatric hospital such as
Valkenberg, Stikland, Lentegeur and Alex-
andria, she says.
Solomons says a Cape Mental Health
member had an unpleasant experience at
Somerset Hospital when he was admitted
five times in six months, for three days ob-
servation. He spent five days sleeping on a
chair before the doctors determined what
was wrong with him.
V If youor someone youknowneedassistance, contact
Cape Mental Health at (021) 447 2416 or go to
MAKING A STAND: People with psychiatric disability demonstrate about inadequate mental health
services they demonstrate at the St Georges Mall. PHOTO: LULAMA ZENZILE/PHOTO24
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PEOPLE'S POST | RETREAT
Tuesday, 23 July 2013
RETREAT: cnr 11TH AVENUE & RETREAT ROAD, RETREAT. TEL: 021 715 8090 / 1469
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open until 7pm mon-fri and sat 9-12
he Greater Retreat area might have to
brave the ongoing gang violence, but
this has not forced local to throw in the
towel as they continue to call for preventa-
tive measures to be put in place.
In the latest shooting incident last week,
two men were gunned down in St Montague
Village, adding to horrifying statistics
mounting almost daily.
Trevor Trout, chairperson of the Muizen-
berg Sub Sector Forum and a community
worker inCapricorn, confirmsanurgent let-
ter requesting for help has now been for-
warded to the provincial police commission-
er General Arno Lamoer.
People are not sure if they should go to
work because the shootings are taking place
at any hour. Even more worrying is the fact
that children returned to school after a
three-week holiday duringwhich they spent
ducking and diving stray bulletswhen going
out to play, says the distressed Trout.
The letter called on police to consider de-
ploying armoured vehicles at schools, li-
braries and shops for strength and control
with immediate effect.
Othermeasureswere also suggested in the
letter by locals who called on the Depart-
ment of Social Services to tackle the many
social issues in the community.
This includes asking the justice system to
explain why convicted murderers are able
to get bail and theDepart...