Rawsonville town boasts a top class camping resort but has no pharmacy


Scenic drive en route to Rawsonville

We visited the small sleepy town of Rawsonville during this school holidays again. We visit this town occasionally because it is home to one of our favourite camping sites, Goudini Spa.


As you drive to Rawsonville, after passing through the beautiful Huegenot Tunnel, you can easily be blown away by the beauty of the landscape. The tall, dark folded Mountain range with its deep ravines and layered smaller peaks is stunning. In large parts of the mountainous landscape, the orange strata of the lower rock layers covered with shrubs and grassy patches complete the natural canvass.


When you enter Rawsonville, you just see sprawling vineyards reaching far into the distance. Here and there you can see the rooftops of the main farmhouse and perhaps the outbuildings on these farms. Many of the vines closest to the road are already brownish and bare, signalling the end of the grape season. The skyline is also clear of all the pylons and electrical lines which dominate the city areas.

Although I love the quiet and the spectacular natural environment, I am not sure whether I would love to live in a town like Rawsonville permanently. As a visitor you can easily overlook certain essential services that may not be available to those living there.

Bank not open on Saurdays?

For instance, we had to go to Standard Bank in the town the Saturday, but we discovered that the bank is closed on Saturdays. In fact, that bank only operates every alternate days. We were forced to drive the twelve kilometer journey to the next town, Worcester, to find a Standard Bank branch. This was not a problem for us because we do have access to a car, but I wondered about those mainly farm workers who had no access to private or public transport, especially over weekends. Was it assumed that they don't need to visit this particular bank or banks in general?

The Rawsonville town centre itself is grey and listless. Along the main road, you can see supermarkets, liquor stores and the occasional takeaway cafe. The number of liquor outlets along such a short stretch of road tells its own story. The only colourful feature of these businesses was the large signage of their names. In fact, many of the shops had their stoep areas enclosed with burglar bar fencing and looked rather dark and unappealing as we drove past them.


Opposite one of the larger supermarkets we saw a large truck which had brought the farm workers to town to do their shopping. A few of the farm workers looked bored as they sat aloft this massive truck or leaned against the wall of some building.

No local pharmacy?

Th most startling discovery though, was that Rawsonville does not have its own pharmacy. When my sister went into town the Thursday to buy cough syrup, she was told there is no pharmacy. If you needed Panados or Dispirin painkillers, you could buy these from the Chinese stores located there. How is this possible that there is no pharmacy? Imagine not having access to something as common as cough syrup? And worse still, what if a farmworker or a poor resident here needs medication such as bronchodilators or anti-inflammatories?

The role of the local municipality: advancing tourism at expense of locals?

It made me realize how blinded one can be when you have luxuries like a car and when you can afford to go on holiday in places like Rawsonville.Being on holiday in country towns may have romantic appeal for holiday makers who don't necessarily see the lack of essential services like public transport and a local pharmacy.


But what about those farmworkers who don't have a choice and who earn low wages? Is this not what the municipality of Rawsonville should be paying attention to when servicing the needs of all its inhabitants?


Access to banking services can still be excused, but no access to over -the - counter medicine is a bit hard to swallow. Do those folk really need all those liquor stores and not a pharmacy?

Passengers of the truck that transported them to the town centre.







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