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Editorial

Van Wyksdorp - Klein Karoo South Africa | 2015 (1)

Publication Date : 2015-05-02
Author/s :


THE ICONIC DONKEY CARTS OF VANWYKSDORP

In South Africa, donkeys only seem to be used with carts of Type A and wagons of Type B. Although of course Type C carts are common enough in other parts of Africa, including Mozambique, the only Type C carts I have seen in South Africa were in a couple of pictures from NorthWest Province, where apparently they were meant for horse draft, and in a poster on the wall of my local Department of Labour (picture here), but also housed at the University of Pretoria, Faculty of Veterinary Studies, Onderstepoort campus, as an example (also pictured) of the type developed in Kenya by the Development Technology Unit of the University of Warwick in the UK - esceo@eng.warwick.ac.uk. It seems that this was not approved by the South African Department of Transport. This could be because, unlike most South African carts, it does not have a seat for a driver.

Donkey owners in all parts of South Africa are expressing their desire for ‘carts’, but the need is evident enough from the grievous condition of the many donkey-drawn carts and wagons to be seen on the roads. Improvised repairs over a number of years have been effected on what were probably once decent carts, but have now degenerated into hazards not only for donkeys but for drivers, passengers and other road users. New vehicles are certainly called for. The problem has various dimensions to it. The demand for donkey-drawn vehicles is certainly growing, or there wouldn’t be so much happening in this field, suggesting that donkey owners see distinct earning opportunities for themselves. Without further research, it is difficult to know what these opportunities are, and what earnings they might achieve. Some can be suggested to donkey owners, and it is worth exploring this with donkey owners themselves in the course of training and workshops. Financing by means of franchise seems to be the most promising route, but commercial players in rural markets need to be made aware of the possibilities. In addition, all franchisers, including government ones, need to be sensitized as to the role and needs of the animals in animal-drawn transport so that proper standards can be set. As most donkey owners still seem to regard the cost of animal-drawn vehicles beyond their means, while the costs are steadily increasing, some positive action needs to be taken to reconcile wants with attainability. Those already in possession of donkeydrawn vehicles, as well as new owners, need also to recognize the need for maintenance. The involvement of the Department of Transport in concerns, mostly, of safety addresses this at one level, but it is a wider issue that also involves animal welfare.


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COPYRIGHT | vanwyksdorp.com | Klein Karoo | South Africa

KINGDOM / PHYLUM
Animalia, phylum Arthropoda
CLASS / ORDER / SUB ORDER
class Insecta
order Lepidoptera
Heterocera Rhopalocera
SUPERFAMILIES
Hesperioidea Hedyloidea Papilionoidea
Papilionidae, Pieridae, Lycaenidae, Riodinidae, and Nymphalidae
AUTHOR / COPYRIGHT
Author : James Smith
Photography : Dean Jones
Video : Malcolm Johnson
Copyright John Smith

 

ingdom Animalia, phylum Arthropoda, class Insecta, and order Lepidoptera. Generally, the order Lepidoptera is broken down into two sub-orders: Heterocera (the “varied-antennaed” moths) and the “club-antennaed” Rhopalocera, the sub-order to which the butterflies belong. The Rhopalocera sub-order includes 3 superfamilies: The true butterfly superfamily contains 5 families of butterflies: Papilionidae, Pieridae, Lycaenidae, Riodinidae, and Nymphalidae.

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