LETTER to the mayor and his council:
Look what have you done to our town, Uitenhage. This is a town that I have learnt to love, enjoyed myself with family and friends in.
I have tried my best not to cry for the town, for it is in a state of disrepair: the public tennis courts, the swimming pool, the roads, the waterfalls, etc. Where is all this going to end, Mr Mayor?
When people voted for you, you had all the promises that you would look out for everyone, creating jobs for all the people in the metropole. Can you please indicate what you and the municipality have done for Uitenhage and its surroundings?
Please explain to us how you decided in council meeting to develop Port Elizabeth when Uitenhage's development is always on the agenda for discussion.
Ask your council members how many people are in Uitenhage and ask them if the people will vote for you again in the next election or are you coming with food parcels again just before the elections? I'm planning to help this wonderful town of mine and I will stand in the next election for a position in your council, then we can meet face to face.
Mr Mayor, it not about the money or the status that I'm going to do this, but for the sake of a thing called heritage which we celebrate this month. I want my children to have a rich culture for their children as well when I'm not here one day.
They are my future and I don't want them to leave this wonderful place that I call home.
I hope you still know where Uitenhage is. We are growing in the development sector of industries.
We are contributing more than you can imagine to the economy of the metropole. I honestly hope and pray that you and your council will have a look into Uitenhage to develop this town as we are helping not just the town but the whole metropole.
The charming little town of Uitenhage is situated only 38km from Port Elizabeth and 30km from the sparkling Indian Ocean. Not only does Uitenhage serve as the automotive hub of the Eastern Cape, but it is filled with a rich history, and it has so many beautiful gardens and parks that it is often called "The Garden Town".
The town was founded in 1804 by JA Uitenhage de Mist, who was a Dutch government official sent to the Cape Colony in the early 1800s, and named in his honour. The town has a number of excellent 19th century South African buildings such as the Drostdy, built in 1815, the Town Hall, built in 1882, and the courthouse, built in 1898.
There are a number of other lovely examples of both Settler and Victorian architecture in the town. The Cuyler Manor has to be the most enjoyable historical attraction in the town – this graceful building served as the home of the landdrost of Uitenhage from 1802 to 1829.
I love this town and so do my fellow Uitenhagers. Don't kill the dream of having a beautiful town.
Uitenhage have produced the writer of the national anthem (Enoch Sontonga), the Bala brothers, Allan Hendricks, pole vaulter Ockert Brits, cricketer Nantie Hayward, rugby legend Garth Wright and so I can go on. The next leader of the country can come from Uitenhage.
All I'm asking is that you and the council assist us to develop the town to its former glory.
Stanley Arends, Uitenhage