Family, feasting for some

2015-12-24 09:28
Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business CEO Melanie Veness wraps presents supervised by her husband Mark, daughter Cloë and sausage dog Mia at their home in Clarendon.

Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business CEO Melanie Veness wraps presents supervised by her husband Mark, daughter Cloë and sausage dog Mia at their home in Clarendon. (Ian Carbutt, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - Ahead of Christmas on Friday, The Witness spoke to people from all walks of life to find out their plans for the day.

Msunduzi Municipality Mayor Chris Ndlela said he can’t wait to feast on turkey meat and gateaux cakes.

“To me Christmas is a family day, so I will be at home with my siblings and ‘the animals’, those being my children.

“I am planning to share with them the year that was, the highs and lows, and both my and the family’s future plans,” he said.

The break could not have come at a better time for the mayor as he said it will help him recharge for next year’s local government elections.

Ndlela said he had already stocked up with a case of beer and brandy for the “warriors”.

As part of the Zulu Christmas tradition, men go from house to house where they are celebrated with a case of beer and a bottle of brandy or whisky.

Melanie Veness, CEO of the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business, said she would not mind a gammon with mustard sauce and veg followed by ice-cream and Bar-One sauce on this day.

As usual, Veness will be home with her family cooking their traditional Christmas lunch, which she said is “enjoyed enormously around a very festive table”.

“There is always a great deal of laughter at the playing of the traditional ‘sport’ — we usually buy a new game or two, which we endeavour to play on the day.

“This year I know that one of them is croquet … It should be fun!” she said.

Her ultimate dream gift would be news that promises economic growth in the new year, “so that our country can prosper”.

Msunduzi manager Mxolisi Nkosi said he will be spending his day with his family and extended family.

“For me being with family will be the best gift. Nothing beats that as I need to relax and recharge myself for next year as we want to attain another clean audit.”

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Constable Mthokozisi Ngobese said: “I will be home with my wife and children relaxing.”

Premier Senzo Mchunu will miss out on a family lunch this Christmas.

Spokesperson Sibusiso Magwaza said Mchunu is scheduled to attend a ceremony at the royal palace tomorrow.

“As the leader, he took it upon himself that he will not take a break while there are service delivery issues that need to be attended,” said Magwaza.

“On Sunday alone, he had to attend three meetings. His schedule is hectic throughout the December holidays.”

Zanele Mkhize from Jika Joe informal settlement was packing gifts for her relatives when The Witness visited.

Mkhize will travel to Impendle today where she will spend her Christmas at her sister’s house.

“I have bought sweets for the young ones. I will present the elders with dinner sets and clothes,” she said.

Mkhize has also bought ingredients for dessert.

Delisiwe Mtolo, who also stays in Jika Joe, said she had not planned anything for Christmas Day.

“I will cross that bridge when I get there,” said Mtolo, who also asked The Witness reporter when Christmas was.

Mtolo spoke to The Witness while she was doing laundry. “This laundry is not mine. The owner will pay me for doing it. This is what I do to survive,” she said.

May Makhathini from Sobantu said Christmas had brought more stress than happiness for her.

The Witness bumped into Makhathini while she was walking from Sobantu to Fort Napier Hospital.

“I do not even have a cent to catch a taxi to the hospital. They phoned me to come and fetch my son who is mentally challenged.

“They said they want him to enjoy Christmas with his family. The problem is that I do not know what to buy for him because I have not have received my pension payout since November,” she said.

Makhathini said she had lost her card and identity document.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  christmas

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