Teenagers scare the living shit out of me

Words from  a song by “my Chemical Romance” and are they true ? Well probably, but I suppose it depends on the teenager. Talking about Teenagers the ANC celebrated 100 years as a party, 83 as a liberation/terrorist organization (depending on what side of the fence you sit) and 17 years as the ruling party. So the ANC as a government is in effect a Teenager and like a Teenager subject to mood swings, petulance and indecisiveness. The ANC like a teenager care about no one but themselves, so the criticism received about spending 100 million is shrugged off because you cannot reason with a teenager, if they think they are right (and that’s all the time) they just go into a don’t speak to me mode that ensures  no further arguing or discussion. 

So while the ANC were spending 100 million of tax payers money on a self gratification party some 300 km’s down the road ain a sleepy little village called Clarens (yes my village) service delivery protesters where burning tyres and blocking the road between Fouriesburg and Clarens, stoning cars and generally making a nuisance of themselves. Seems to be some difference of opinion as to why people were demonstrating  in the first place apparently and according to sources in Clarens the ANC supporters were protesting because the ANC had not made arrangements for transport to come and collect them for the Bloemfontein Bash and DP members protesting the slow delivery of houses etc as well as the ineffectiveness of the ANC led municipality.  I suppose the Clarens ANC members were also pissed off that they did not get free T shirts and a chicken lunch (the normal, “let’s keep the peasants happy” hand outs)

I have to say that I do understand those that are sick of waiting for the ANC led municipality to deliver on their promises while I was living there the following are just a couple of examples of how the people in Kgubestwana and Kanaana were made to suffer
·         Sewage in streets
·         Storm water drains with no covers
·         RDP houses that were not completed because the contractor ran off with all the money (contractor was a friend of the Mayor)
·         Local schools in the township are disgusting
·         Football field that is meant for the community needs to be paid for to the municipality “in cash” before it can be utilised.

With 100 million being spent I wonder which “friends” of the ANC got rich on tenders and then getting someone else to do the work. The township residents call then Tentreupanears as they tender on a job and then they outsource the work to someone else, so for not doing the work they make a fortune (clever  and a good job if you can get it) Below is the actual news report regards the protest 

Today (Sunday 8/1/2012) we have arrested three people on charges of public violence. For now people are still blockading the road... we are monitoring the situation," said Sergeant Mmako Mophiring. Mophiring said the civil unrest started on Friday evening when about a hundred community members from the Kgubetswana township near Clarens started blockading roads with rocks and burning tyres. "They totally closed and barricaded the road with burning tyres and huge stones on the R711 between Clarens and Fouriesburg," he said. Police and public vehicles on the affected road were pelted with stones and damaged. "We managed to assist a kombi and a bus that were carrying members of the public to the ANC's centenary celebrations in Bloemfontein," he said. Mophiring said the protesters were still on the road on Sunday afternoon. "For now they are still there and we need to diffuse the situation...they are just blocking the road." Mophiring said the protest was seemingly caused by a lack of communication from the local municipality. "A group that one would say is not more than 100 people who started this [protest] had their own issues with [the] local municipality. Sometime last month they handed a memorandum to the municipality with given dates for answers. Answers never came forth so that's why they have the problem." Road users have been using alternative route.

One thing that stood out while I watched a little of the “we know how to waste your money” party in Bloemfontein was that while the ANC flag was everywhere and took centre stage, the South African flag was inconspicuous by its absence. So what the ANC are saying is that the SA flag is worth less than the party flag?
Another story from the press that I feel is typical of the current government. As always those in power who make the rules, don’t always abide by them......Its “do as I say and not do as I do”: Johannesburg - South Africa’s top traffic bosses, including no-nonsense Transport Minister S’bu Ndebele, are threatening a drastic crackdown on errant drivers. This while their vehicles have run up a raft of traffic fines in the past three years. Official records show that vehicles for which Ndebele and Collins Letsoalo, the Road Traffic Management Corporation’s (RTMC) controversial acting head, were the registered owners have been issued with 11 fines in Johannesburg and Pretoria. These are the two pilot areas for the controversial licence point demerit system. Two of the fines were cancelled. The details of the traffic infringements were obtained by Media24 Investigations as Ndebele and Letsoalo threatened to confiscate the driving licences of road hogs and speedsters against a backdrop of a holiday bloodbath on the country’s roads. 

The traffic fines show a silver 5-series BMW registered in Ndebele’s name drove through a camera trap at between 146 and 150 km/h on the N1 North in Johannesburg in July 2010. Another speeding fine for the same vehicle, for driving between 96 and 100 km/h in a 60 km/h zone the day after, was cancelled. Ndebele’s spokesperson Tiyani Rikhotso insisted the minister had sold the BMW in June 2010 and had never driven it outside KwaZulu-Natal. Rikhotso said the fine was probably an error that lay with the dealership where Ndebele bought the vehicle, but he could not provide City Press with the name of the dealership. He could not say who paid the fine when the car was still in Ndebele’s name.

Letsoalo – whose job since February 2010 has tasked him with leading accident investigation, traffic enforcement and implementation of the points demerit system under the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (Aarto) – had nine fines issued against his vehicles between October 2008 and March last year. The traffic violations include five for speeding and four parking fines slapped on four different vehicles registered to Letsoalo – two silver Mercedes Benz cars, a white Isuzu KB Bakkie and a silver 5-series BMW. One parking fine was cancelled. Among the fines was one for R1 000 for driving between 126 and 130 km/h in a 100 km/h zone and R750 for driving between 101 and 105 km/h in an 80 km/h zone. Letsoalo insisted he was not the driver of the vehicles. “I’ve got a driver who takes me around and my wife drives all those vehicles. “My brother drives those vehicles, my cousins and sometimes my father; I’ve got a lot of people driving those cars. But what I do, like any ordinary law citizen, I pay all the fines under my name. I’m not above the law.”

Howard Dembovsky, chairperson of the Justice Project South Africa, which runs the independent Aarto information website www.aartofacts.co.za, said the fact that records showing both the speeding fine for Ndebele’s BMW and five of Letsoalo’s fines as “paid” suggested the two men had paid the fines themselves and had thus admitted guilt for the traffic violations. Dembovsky said it was not impossible that the new owner of Ndebele’s car could have incurred the fine pending the transfer of the vehicle into his name. However, he pointed out that prior to Letsoalo’s appointment as RTMC acting CEO, he had been a deputy director general in the national department of transport. “He is not some civilian off the street. He should live by what he preaches and I hope he is going to cancel his own licence in light of his indiscretions since he sees fit to threaten everyone else.” Dembovsky pointed out that 17 months after one of Letsoalo’s speeding offences was committed, the fine was still unpaid and no warrant of execution had been issued, as Aarto requires, suggesting that the system “is clearly not working properly”. (NO SHIT SHERLOCK)

Started work on Monday and  must say felt like first day of school, I was running around on Sunday looking for my work shoes, making sure that I had all my items that I needed for work together. Monday morning arrived overcast and raining but it was good to see the team from work. Spent Monday and Tuesday in the office (I had assessments to catch up on)  

Wednesday flew up to Gauteng for a 3 day Training conference in Centurion, have to say that the breakfast was perhaps the worst that I have ever had (see picture). While it was raining and overcast as well as humid when we left PE further inland the weather was lekker and I always enjoy looking down on my country and see what a diverse and beautiful country we have (especially from the air) the central parts of the country are dry at the moment. It was one of our colleagues 2nd only plane trip and its the first time she has been to Gauteng, so it was fairly exciting for Frauleen. A miracle happened with regards my luggage, it was first on the carousel, usually I am standing there for an hour after everyone has left before it makes an appearance. 

I always get a giggle when I look over the safety brochure that British airways have for you to look at regards emergency situations on the plane, especially the plane hits water scenario (see picture) It looks like the passengers and crew are having a pool party and have not just survived a 37 000 foot drop out of the sky. I mean let’s be honest if a plane hits the water at 800kms an hour it’s not going to stay in one piece for long. When (or if) they find you, you will not be floating around the sea like you’re on holiday. The reason that the lifejackets are so bright is so that they can find the parts.   

On Tuesday it was announced that Eskom would be load shedding again due to restraints in the network.................This in summer nogal. Wednesday morning on the news they had the boss man of Eskom who explained that 2012 was the critical  year and that we as South Africans needed to assist Eskom in ensuring that no load shedding was in fact needed. He said that we should all attempt to save 10% on our electricity consumption as this will assist Eskom in ensuring that they do not have a energy deficit but also ensure that we as ordinary citizens do our part in reducing carbon emissions that in turn assist with the reduction of global warming , but wait are Eskom building the two biggest coal fired power stations in the Southern hemisphere?. Must say the spin Drs for Eskom are good as they have now basically pushed the onus on us.  

In Gauteng a stampede at the university of Johannesburg saw the death of a woman (the mother of a student who had saved all her life to ensure her son could get a decent education) and others being critically injured. 10 000 people were trying to register for higher education with apparently only 800 places still being available for this late registration. Now the government is saying perhaps it needs to build more higher education learning facilities (about Frikken time). The ANC can spend R100 000 000 (rumoured to be actually R 400 000 000) cake and champagne but not on important things like schools, universities, hospitals, clinics etc etc .  

Obviously everyone is blaming each other, people are saying the students are uncivilised, the varsity had same problem last year with crowd problems and should have done something this year to ease the problem, the government should not make a university entrance pass so easy etc etc. I decided to look into stampede’s (something we usually associate with cattle horses etc) and was amazed at how often they do occur as well as in what situations as well as countries (as its always assumed that the lesser civilised countries are the ones that have this phenomenon) Deaths from human stampedes occur primarily from compressive asphyxiation, not trampling. This is referred to as crowd crush. The compressive force occurs from both horizontal pushing and vertical stacking.

Earliest example of deaths of crowd crush (or recorded stampede) is 11 October 1711: 245 people were killed in a stampede on the bridge of the Guillotière in Lyon. This was caused by the coach of Madame Servient being in the middle of the bridge while many people came back from a fest on the other side of the Rhône. other examples that I decided to put in the blog are
·         May 18, 1896: 1,389 people were killed and 1,300 injured in the Khodynka Tragedy, a crush of those desiring to get presents during the coronation of Russian Tsar Nicholas II
·         December 30, 1903: The Iroquois Theatre Fire in Chicago claimed the lives of 602 people, many of whom died of crush asphyxiation in the rush to escape.
·         1943: Bethnal Green 173 people were killed as people tried to get into an air-raid shelter at Bethnal Green underground station, east London. Anti-aircraft fire reportedly frightened the crowd, causing them to run for the shelter. When a woman carrying a baby tripped on the stairs, others fell over her, triggering the crush.[
·         April 15, 1989: 96 people were killed in the Hillsborough disaster at the eponymous football stadium in Sheffield, England.
·         July 2, 1990: A stampede inside a pedestrian tunnel (Al-Ma'aisim tunnel) leading out from Mecca towards Mina, Saudi Arabia and the Plains of Arafat led to the deaths of 1,426 pilgrims.
·         January 13, 1991: At least 40 people were killed at a football match in Orkney, South Africa.
·         April 11, 2001: 43 people were crushed in the Ellis Park Stadium disaster in Johannesburg, South Africa
·         June 30, 2000: The Roskilde Festival disaster, in which 9 people were crushed during a Pearl Jam concert at Roskilde Festival, Denmark.
·         August 31, 2005: 1000 people were killed in a Baghdad bridge stampede
·         January 12, 2006: 345 killed at Jamarat Bridge in Mecca during the stoning of the devil.
·         July 24, 2010: The Love Parade disaster, in which 21 people were killed and more than 500 were injured during a mass panic at the Love Parade in Duisburg, Germany.[3
·         November 8, 2011 - 16 people were killed at Haridwar, India during a religious ceremony in the banks of Ganges river.

From research it would seem that rock concerts, sports stadiums as well as Mecca are the places to avoid 

While I was in Gauteng I popped in to see my friend and Author Paul Els as well as visit the grave of Daniel,Ponciano, Jose and Little Robbie I also got to see my folks and sister which is always a bonus when I am up that side of the world.  The 55 km trip from the guest house between Centurion and Pretoria took me 1 and a half hours (yes 1 and a half) if I had a gun I would have shot people. My feet and calves were so sore from using the clutch and brake all the time.  

Gabby started standard 8 on Wednesday (11/1/2012) after being on leave from 25 November and it would seem that she is happy with her teachers and her classmates, but then again it is still early days and being a teenager she could change her opinion almost overnight. Gabby is attending a big show next weekend, so hopefully she will do well. 

Humidity hit the Eastern Cape with a vengeance this last week with discomfort levels reaching 120% a figure they did not even think possible., it was really uncomfortable for a few days (in fact reminded me of Durban humidity) 

Friday we flew back home , plane was delayed due to heavy thunderstorms in Gauteng, so we amused ourselves by having a beer or two at the Keg and Aviator watching the travellers coming off the planes. We saw a lady in a wheelchair that looked like Stuey Griffin from family guy being pushed into the arrivals hall (I have never seen someone so small with such a huge head before). This is the first time I have flown with a female pilot, was a bit worried seeing that it was Friday the 13th, flight was  a little bumpy but otherwise ok, the decent however was a little (ok a lot) faster than I have experienced in the past and the trip to the parking bay was certainly faster, we had three Chinese duded in front of us and the airhostess had to explain to them what was for dinner by using hand signs (this is the beef sign). Had a good laugh at that. 

SA Klapped the Sri Lankans in the 1st ODI by 258 runs, SA scored 301 for 7 and the Sri Lankans 43  all out. It’s the 4th lowest  International ODI score in the history of the game and Sri lanka’s lowest ever total.  The second test in East London the Proteas won by 5 wickets.

International news this week was the following

Porto Santo Stefano - Passengers from an Italian cruise ship have described people leaping into the sea or fighting over lifejackets in panic after it ran aground, killing at least three people and leaving many unaccounted for. Around 40 people were injured, two seriously, and rescuers were continuing the search for the missing after the Costa Concordia, with 4 229 passengers and crew, hit a sandbar near the island of Giglio off the coast of Tuscany on Friday evening. Officials warned that figures were extremely uncertain because of confusion surrounding the rescue. 

Monday I start training for 3 weeks straight, Applying She Principles, Intro to SAMTRAC and Samtrac. So I am going to be busy busy busy.  

Well that’s it for now,  Have a great week

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