Emray's World

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Waiting in queues are never fun. Especially not if you're bored as hell, and its bitterly cold and raining. But the worst has got to be when you're standing in said queue for two hours from 6am for a form to make a booking for a driver's license and the officials tell you at 8am that THEY'VE RUN OUT OF FORMS.

That happened to me yesterday morning at Rossburgh Testing Grounds in Durban, South Africa. Needless to say, I am NOT amused. A friend of mine was so determined to get the prized form, she was at the grounds at 4.30am this morning. She was 7th in the queue. C'mon people, wake up! There's got to be a better way to do things around here, I'm sick of complaining about everything that's wrong with this country so how about you give me something to cheer about?


Friday, September 29, 2006

Horror stories, bribery and corruption and fake licenses. It's enough to keep everyone off South African roads. Except of course, those who played a part in the above. So what's the deal with the drivers licensing issue in South Africa? Why are there so many unlicensed drivers on the road and why are supposed licensees such bad drivers? Something's going on in the water around Durban, South Africa and I'm going to find out what it is.

Watch this space...

Friday, September 15, 2006

This article caught my eye in the M&G archives because as a university student I feel it affects me. http://www.mg.co.za/articlePage.aspx?articleid=283565&area=/breaking_news/breaking_news__national/

Affirmative Action seems to be everywhere we look these days with everyone having an opinion on the topic. University is meant to be the stepping stone and foundation for the rest of our lives. Yet it seems that with this policy affecting university admissions, the dreams of hundreds of hardworking students will be shattered. Simply put, demographics dictate that black students should be given preference over other race groups in order to establish equality between those from disadvantaged backgrounds and their more privileged conterparts.

The article provides balanced accounts from both the UVT registrar Hugh Amoore, who believes that the measures are reasonable and necessary, and Democratic Alliance leader Tony Leon, who gives the impression that Affrimative action in universities is simply an Apartheid directed towards non-blacks. One can understand the unfairness in a measure where unfair advantages are given to people simply because of their skin colour. My concern however, lies with the Affirmative action admission students themselves. If they were unable to compete equally with students from other races in the standardised matric exams, how will they cope in the harsher world of university?

For those who actually graduate, they will someday enter the South African workforce. Of course, many will have this same policy that will grant them jobs that they are not necessarily the best equipped for. So I have a question. Is the South African workforce really performing at its optimum?

Just a thought..

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Have you been personally affected by crime? If you're South African, chances are, your answer is an emphatic YES. South Africa is one of the worst crime ridden countries in the world; Johannesburg is the SECOND most dangerous city in the world. My question is why? Many journalists and scholars cite poverty as a major factor. And while this may be true to a certain extent I believe the main reason lies in a flawed justice system. Rapists, murderers, robbers and hijackers escape with a light slap on the wrist. This sends out a message to other potential criminals that the justice system is on their side. Just last Wednesday a Northern Cape magistrate set free 13 suspects without even setting them a trial date.http://www.mg.co.za/articlePage.aspx?articleid=283928&area=/breaking_news/breaking_news__national/ Among these 13 were 2 accused rapists, alleged stock thieves, an alleged robber and men accused of breaking into houses and cars. What would be on your mind had you been one of these accused? Certainly not, "I've learnt my lesson, crime does not pay."

Something has to be done to rid the contry of the crime spree currently running riot. Another reason for the recent spate of violent crimes was the security workers strike in June. Minister of Safety and Security Charles Nqakula reassured the public that every possible action was being taken to reinstate law and order to the country. http://www.mg.co.za/articlePage.aspx?articleid=283844&area=/breaking_news/breaking_news__national/

Lets hope its not too late.

I'm out,

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Well it seems as though everyone around the world has just about recovered from World Cup fever. Everyone except South Africans that is. And who can blame us? It's a tremendous honour to be chosen to host a sport event of that magnitude. There couldn't have been many in South Africa who didnt feel the swell of national pride when the annoucement was made. However being the first African contry to host the WC, brings with it a huge responsibility to "keep the torch burning" so to speak . I had noticed the organisation and fanatical discipline that the Germans displayed as hosts earlier this year and it led me to wonder if South Africa can pull off the same feat. I have no doubt that we have the capabilities and the talent but (much as it pains me to admit this) South Africa's history of corruption is a dark cloud hanging over us. Would the tenders for stadiums and transport be given to the best candidates or simply those who have "insider connections"?

The deputy director general of integrated planning and inter-sphere coordination, Mathabatha Makonyama believes that transport is an issue of serious concern for 2010. In a report in The Mail and Guardian http://www.mg.co.za/articlePage.aspx?articleid=283895&area=/breaking_news/breaking_news__national/, he reiterates the belief that the status quo is far from satisfactory with a lack of reliable public transport. Air, rail and road networks must step up their game in order to be ready for the World Cup in 2010, not to mention the accomodation, logistics and troubleshooting. Seems to me like the organisers have their work cut out for them and are identifying problem areas and how to target them. Lets hope the action remains as dedicated.

Here's to South Africa not embarassing us all and pulling off an amazing World Cup!

Sala kahle,

Monday, September 11, 2006

It seems that South Africa has been making international news more and more lately, and for all the wrong reasons. When Ministers and academics from South Africa are sent to overseas conferences, they represent the country and their views are regarded as South African. Can someone please explain to me why then, at the recent AIDS conference in Toronto, Canada, our health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang allowed herself and our country to be embarassed by claims of garlic and beetroots serving to curb HIV/AIDS?

The government continues to support Minister Msimang, which leads one to wonder if the claims about nutrition being made are hers alone or simply her following President Mbeki's orders? In case anyone forgot, our dear Pres got himself into hot water a few months ago when he claimed that he didnt know anyone who had died from AIDS and had at the same time, expressed disbelief at the proof that HIV causes AIDS. Yes people, this is in a country where out of 45 million people, one in every nine is infected with HIV! Is our government really out to protect our interests? Or is it merely politics and a policy of "I scratch your back and you scratch mine"?

Maybe we'd get a chance to redeem ourselves if a concerted effort was made to stem the spread by educating the masses. But when our Minister of Health and President are playing games with millions of lives by claiming that garlic, lemon juice, African potatoes and beetroot help curb a terminal disease, then our country is in for a very sad future. Check out http://www.mg.co.za/articlePage.aspx?articleid=283720&area=/breaking_news/breaking_news__national/ for the latest on our nutrtion obsessed Minister of Health.

I'm out for now. Ciao,