Open letter to Ebert

For the posting and discussion of Access Issues and Closures for Areas around South Africa.
wildx
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:00 pm
Real Name: Bernie Theron

Re: Open letter to Ebert

Post by wildx »

Ebert, you are right. If we want to enable the next generation to be able to access crags, may it be Milner, Choss, or God No(!), we as a community and the organization that does the most for access (MCSA), need to change how we operate on multiple levels.
MCSA (a club I am part of, and respect for all the work they do) needs to open up and when possible argue for higher degree of access for non members -knowing that they don't have to-.
I am tired of signing students application papers, not to mention explaining to them how to apply. Always with a warning that it would take months. They normally just give up.

So yes the discussion is important. Inside and outside of the club. Probably nothing will happen, if I remember the answers members of the club gave a year or so back to that questionnaire… Made me pretty upset how disconnected the club members are from the youth (what youth? I know...).

Sorry just ramblings from an illiterate.
Summary: argue with Ebert on his points, tired of this forum inability to discuss anything.
SNORT
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Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Location: Cape Town

Re: Open letter to Ebert

Post by SNORT »

The MCSA unlike the BMC and ACC is indeed a private club but with a broad social mandate.

It is entirely run by volunteers (other than the admin staff) and in that regard it is not a meritocracy or a democracy.

It has no state funding like the BMC.

The ethos and the functions of the club are governed by those who in the first instance step up to do a particular job and only secondarily are there by election.

The club is 100% a part of its members so if you like or dislike something or wish to add any function or change any ethos then do three things:

1. Join
2. Step up
3. Do.

I arranged two very successful trad exchanges within the ethos of the club with no particular mandate from the club but did receive some very limited finance. I designed the project, implemented it, got other volunteers involved and just did it. Lots of work and great fun. Empowered some 50 people altogether.

But for Covid the third exchange would have occurred now....

So, if for example, you want to arrange access to bolt a crag, the club has many members with the land and legal expertise and negotiation skills to help you get the desired outcome. All for free..
SNORT
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Re: Open letter to Ebert

Post by SNORT »

And it really is not onerous or expensive to join the club. You get at least 10 times more than you pay for
illona
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Location: Cape Town

Re: Open letter to Ebert

Post by illona »

SNORT wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:33 am And it really is not onerous or expensive to join the club. You get at least 10 times more than you pay for
Can you elaborate on this Snort? Because I think a lot of people's biggest question WRT joining the MCSA is what they get out of it. If you can give some stats or figures, it could convince more people to join.
SNORT
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Re: Open letter to Ebert

Post by SNORT »

You get out of it whatever you put in for a start. You are the MCSA. There really is no such thing as "The MCSA" like its some heavenly body and authority. It is made up of people giving their time and expertise. I told you already what I have done and will do again.

Some years ago "The MCSA" aka Neil Margetts did several rocknroads.

From an asset point of view, we the members of the MCSA own thousands of acres of land and many buildings. These are holiday houses in stunning places that are all but free to stay in. Any one property will cost you at least R10,000.00 a month to own. In the hex the Thomas hut is an absolute gem. You can go there with no food, no stuff and just arrive and be warm, fed and comfortable and then have a hot shower and swim in the pool looking at lots of disa's.

If this was commercial, you would pay at least R500 per person per night to stay there.

Then from there you can do the whole hex traverse and end up at Hoare hut where there are similar facilities.

"The MCSA" aka Snort, thats me, has developed very carefully around 50 routes or 10 000 metres of vertical climbing at Yellowwood and about 3000m of the best trad you will ever do at Blouberg. All at no charge. In so doing one has to be very careful and diligent in maintaining good relations with the owners and the locals. It is called Stewardship....That's what we, the MCSA do and do mostly well.

Then there is rescue and training and mentoring and on and on and on. All free are almost so.

I got to Alps around once a year and it costs me a fortune to stay in huts and get around there.

Here is it is basically almost free. You just got to go and do it.

Oh and finally you get a free journal each year that has a lot of good reads and info.
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XMod
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Real Name: Greg Hart

Re: Open letter to Ebert

Post by XMod »

This conversation seems to have drifted from the original topic. We seem to be discussing the club more than the issues with access to certain crags in the North East of the country (Ebert's original beef with the club).

But, seeing as we are here I'll chip in: I may be critical of the way certain situations were handled by club representatives but there are at least a few ways that the club has benefited almost all climbers:

One is negotiating with Parks and Cape Nature to develop a climbing management plan which has opened up access to Rocklands and formalised ("legalised") bolting in the TMNP. A long and arduous process that I seriously doubt single climbers, working alone, would have been able to achieve. Officialdom want a responsible and recognised body to work with - as does the new owner of the land Chosspile is on it seems.
(There is more work to do with getting a general climbing management plan authorised for all of Cape Nature reserves. This would open up the possibilty of many new crags being available for sport climbing. Now that I am back in the loop I will drag the draft plans I was working on out of mothballs and see if I can author something for the club to work with).

Another is the Anchor Replacement Fund which has done an amazing job of making potentially deathly routes safe for many, many years to come. I am proud and glad to have taken part in their work meets - it's a good feeling clipping an absolutely bomber glue-in ring-bolt!

The club is an invaluable source of information for all climbers. Even though I do not belong to the club they have always welcomed me (despite my being a belligerent so-and-so a lot of the time) and let me peruse their vast library of climbing literature.

During the early dark days before climbing gyms they opened their doors to climbers and allowed them to come and train on their indoor bouldering wall regardless of whether they were members or not.

I have always found the members to be sociable and by and large friendly, having enjoyed many a chat-over-a-beer at their monthly presentations.

To swing back to the actual topic - Is there no way the club can organise access to Chosspile for all climbers? Perhaps a register of entries (kind of a free permit thing) which would enable tracking anyone who is getting up to mischief at the crag (disrespectful behaviour, littering etc.). In that way people could be held responsible for their actions and it would provide the club protection from being liable for any poor behaviour by non-members at the crag. Surely it is possible to arrange something like this - the owner can be protected from people messing up his land and the club can be absolved of responsibility for the actions of non-members.
wildx
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:00 pm
Real Name: Bernie Theron

Re: Open letter to Ebert

Post by wildx »

Absolutely agree with Xmod and Snort. Invaluable club, created and run by passionate members.
Old Smelly
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Re: Open letter to Ebert

Post by Old Smelly »

Comprehension lessons:

1. No NEW Owner of land at Chosspile - same farmer whose family have owned it for hundreds of years.
2. No access issue to Chosspile - Ebert insists on trespassing BUT is not there now and is just being inflammatory.
3. I doubt this has any bearing on the MCSA access details or membership applications.

4. The Owner is a Farmer who is concerned about crime on his land and was going to shut down access entirely. There is no interest for him to allow the general public onto his land. The MCSA pays for guards at the gates and everyone who accesses the land pays Mount Amanzi for securing the land for the Farmer. The money paid goes to Mount Amanzi. Since the MCSA is paying for the Security guards and getting NOTHING in return this is a cost to the club. Anyone who has been there knows that members can take guests. The access arrangement works and basically permits anyone who is not a Tresspasser to get access and makes the OWNER happy.

This is nothing other than one individual recalcitrant and serial Tresspasser trying to justify his actions.

5. Applying to certain sections of the MCSA takes weeks not months but I doubt it is automatic anywhere as that would be incredibly foolish - any club should be able to choose who they allow to join. I mean if you can restrict access to a bar...
6. This is an attention seeking device employed by someone who no longer represents "youth" - except when it comes to a maturity level.
7. There will always be someone who has a gripe against the MCSA and poses it as a "broom of change" or "youth vs. establishment" and it almost always boils down to someone who wants their own way and doesn't understand why they can't have their way and is willing to jeopardise access for literally thousands of people to suit their own whims.

PLEASE NOTE - EBERT cannot be fighting for access in the Northwest Province if he is climbing in the Cape nor do I think he is representing anyone who is struggling to access Chosspile - hence my assertion that this is not about change but an attention getting Device.
Really, its not that bad...I think it's my shoes...
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justin
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Re: Open letter to Ebert

Post by justin »

Old Smelly wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:23 am Anyone who has been there knows that members can take guests.
Say what!?
Sorry, what’s the issue here
Climb ZA - Administrator
justin@climbing.co.za
Old Smelly
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Re: Open letter to Ebert

Post by Old Smelly »

Yes there are even people who sign in REGULARLY with fake or non active MCSA numbers - well known climbers of similar skill levels as Ebert.

One has to ask what is the cost of Integrity?!

Yes the money goes to Mount Amanzi

Yes the MCSA pays the guards

Yes you have to be an incredible leech to NOT pay as it jeopordises access...

Yes - no doubt Ebert gets access there via his friends when he is in town...

Yes - most likely he if he hadn't taken such a hardline Tresspassing policy he would probably have been fine...

This is about ONE obtuse and obdurate individual fighting for the misguided and underrepresented people who don't want to pay when those are the conditions of access...
Really, its not that bad...I think it's my shoes...
Marshall1
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Re: Open letter to Ebert

Post by Marshall1 »

"club should be able to choose who they allow to join. I mean if you can restrict access to a bar..." A bar is a bit different from a club because it is a private business. Often a club is registered as a Non Profit or Public Benefit Organization. A club should be allowed to restrict access & membership, but then I'm not sure if MCSA is registered as a n NPO/PBO. Some portions of the MCSA sections (S&R) & some sections of the MCSA are registered as a PBO. I'm not sure if a strictly private club with strict membership criteria & that only operates for its member's benefit should be registered as a PBO. Not sure if a strictly-private club is allowed to benefit from tax saving of a PBO. Their membership should try to avoid the saying the "private club" bit out loud & trump up the benefit-to-public bit.

PBO status could affect stuff like rates & taxes. Its worth considering. Could have an impact as many sections own quite a bit of land.

According to SARS, google:
"What is a public benefit organisation (PBO)?
A PBO is any organisation which is:
a non-profit company (NPC) as defined in section 1 of the Companies Act or a trust or an association of person that has been incorporated, formed or established in the Republic; or
any branch within the Republic of any company, association or trust incorporated, formed or established in any country other than the Republic that is exempt from tax on income in that other country;
of which the sole or principal object is carrying on one or more public benefit activities, where-
all such activities are carried on in a non-profit manner and with an altruistic or philanthropic intent;
no such activity is intended to directly or indirectly promote the economic self-interest of any fiduciary or employee of the organisation, other than by way of reasonable remuneration payable to that fiduciary or employee; and
where each such activity carried on by that organisation is for the benefit of , or is widely accessible to, the general public at large, including any sector thereof (other than small and exclusive groups)."
Old Smelly
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Re: Open letter to Ebert

Post by Old Smelly »

Thank You for that.

As mentioned I don't speak for the club. I have no clue as to its PBO status.

Also as mentioned - I can say I want to help EVERYONE - but that is very different from allowing everyone to come and live in my lounge.

I doubt if your argument means that a PBO cannot say who joins - I suspect that even PBO's are allowed to have some control of membership BUT I could investigate that if I was a lawyer and didn't think it was a big waste of my time. I still think that my point about a bar stands - how undesirable must a person become before it is decided that their behavior is unacceptable.

Back to the case in point - the MCSA is not restricting access for Ebert - the Landowner doesn't want Tresspassers and Ebert insists on Trespassing. This is to avoid paying Mount Amanzi the fee that they require and not an MCSA Requirement. This is all about one person and has nothing to do with whether the MCSA is a PBO or anything like that - this is about a troublemaker sitting in the Cape carping about something he cannot do in the NorthWest Province because he isn't there...
Really, its not that bad...I think it's my shoes...
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