Residents of Alberton always grab any opportunity to take a break and have a braai. Having a day, aptly named “National Braai Day”, only fuels their enthusiasm. It seems that most Albertonians spent the first 3 days of the week to buy all the essential ingredients for the perfect braai. Boerewors, steak, Lamb chops, sosaties, Chicken flatties, spareribs, pork chops, brandy, coke and more snacks than can possibly be consumed. Friends are already coming over to enjoy the day catching up after months of isolation. By 14:00 this afternoon the entire Alberton, and Gauteng for that matter, will be filled with the aroma of meat cooking on an open fire (or gas for some). The potato bakes, paptert and Braai pie will be ready to go. We have spoken to some of our residents about their plans for the day. Petrus from Mayberry Park, is an avid braai master and rarely goes a week without at least one braai. Today he will be spoiling the family with an enormous fillet steak, honey-mustard chicken sosaties, nearly 2kg of boerewors, spareribs, and cheese grillers as an appetiser. His wife, Katrina, has spent most of her morning preparing a paptert and a ‘malvapoeding’ is already in the making.
Henry and Alta, two elderly residents living in Florentia, are going for steak, with some marinated chicken. Alta made a green salad with the usual cucumber, tomato, lettuce and feta cheese. They also have a cheese and onion bread baking in the oven. Leah, a single mom from Meyersdal, have joined forces with several other couples in her complex and will be having a ‘street braai’ later today. Hailing from London, Gerrard, an Albertonian currently working in the UK, has been preparing a braai feast for himself and his South African friends. A few British friends will be joining them for the occasion. He bought steaks, pork bangers, and vegetables. They will be enjoying the meat with a side of mash, Yorkshire pudding, and gravy – a lopsided but perfect marriage of South African and British cuisine.
A local butcher told tameTIMES that he always experiences a sharp increase in sales before National Braai Day and that he now opens on the holiday for those who failed to buy their meat the day before. Sales for liquor, wine, and cold drinks also see an increase and all braai related extras, snacks and spices also tend to sell fast before the holiday.
Though some residents feel that the day should be focused solely on celebrating heritage, it seems that most are of the opinion that having a braai is a unique South African way of celebrating a shared and rich heritage.