A Story of Secunda and why it will survive COVID-19.
Secunda is a fairly new town but it has a rich history due to the various businesses that evolved here.
Secunda established in a crisis
To most who stay in Secunda, it is common knowledge that the town got its name for being the “second” extraction refinery making oil from coal. The first was in Sasolburg. Only after the 1973 oil crises, when Secunda was founded. This was when the Arab OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) imposed an embargo against the United States, Netherlands, Portugal, and South Africa. 1 Sasol Secunda was founded and South Africa became less dependent on the importation of crude oil. Sasol Synfuels (previously known as Sasol Two and Sasol Three) is the largest coal liquefaction plant in the world, and produces synthetic fuel, diesel, and related fuel and petrochemicals from coal gasification. 2
Life came to Secunda
In February 1977 in the kitchen, lounge, and dining rooms of a house in Danie Theron Street, Secunda’s first library was opened. A year later a clinic with permanent staff was established in the same house.
In the years to come, many an entrepreneur made their mark in Secunda. Two of these entrepreneurs were Kurt Roos and Johan Rosslee. They arrived in Secunda in 1989 and founded Roos & Rosslee Construction.
New businesses were established and the Secunda we know today, was formed.
A year of crisis
In December of 2019 the number of postcards, advertisements, and memes I saw that depicted the “20/20 vision” was incomprehensible. The promise that 2020 can only bring great fortune and riches was sold around every corner.
Then in January 2020, Sasol share prices started to plummet. The tension rose in Secunda. Employers could feel it in their pockets and soon after the retrenchment packages where handed out like Smarties.
Only 3 months later, exactly a week after the iconic Kosmos 3 in 1 Marathon, the foreign “China Pandemic” hit home, and it hit hard. Not just Secunda but the whole of South Africa.
Every person has a story of how the Corona Virus pandemic has impacted them on their home front.
New Life will come
It’s Spring, September 2020, and the uncertainty lies deep within us. We all look at life differently. We appreciate the normal, the regular, and everyday activities. Home-made Banana bread never tasted this good, hand-made crochet beanies are preferred above fabricated store-bought hats.
None of us will pass this year un-impacted or unchanged. But that is the beauty of it. Change is literally the only constant.
Okay, enough Philosophy for now . . .
Secunda will survive
One day, hopefully not too far in the future, our normal will return. We will enjoy live concerts, singing aloud to the well-known lyrics of an international band. We will hug our friends and stay out past 22h00. But until then, we will not stop enjoying the present and live today. We will enjoy the new leaves on the Willow tree at Boesies, appreciate the smell of fresh air while sitting on Eish’s deck, and will not take for granted a game of indoor cricket at Action Sport. No, we will survive and even more, we will live to see the “Post COVID Era” that is bound to come.