Monday, February 18, 2008


Someone must have talked! These two baddies hijack a car then collect three more thugs and head off for an unpleasant mornings shopping. However waiting for them at the Marianhill Toll Plaza is half of Durban’s special police. When one character reaches for the cubby hole (glove compartment) they shoot his thumb off. The five are then unceremoniously thrown into the back of a police van to bake in the sun and atone for their evil deeds while forensic staff leisurely comb the hijacked car for evidence. Two loaded hand guns with serial numbers numbers filed off are found. No doubt they will be back on the street on bail soon as they await their trial.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sticks and Stones

I am really struggling to get my head around the problems on our campuses. Today a small bunch of students (200) at UKZN's Howard college marched around the campus and forced students out of some of the lecture rooms. When I tried to film I was warned by a young girl that they would attack me. I called her one side and asked how it was that a small minority could control a large majority. She reckoned that if she could not study then no one else should either. I then chatted to the "evicted" students and they said they were scared of the weapons (sticks knobkerries etc) some of the protesters were carrying so they abandoned their lectures. Grievances are over accommodation admittance and fees.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Free electricity

The current electricity crisis in South Africa has caused a mad scramble for alternative sources of power. The tourism and hospitality industry have been particularly hard hit with many having to install generators to keep their customers happy. A small resort in the Drakensberg that has been self sufficient for all their power needs for the past four years is wondering what all the fuss is about. iKhayalamafu (Home in the Clouds) is adjacent to Monks Cowl in the central Drakensberg. It is well known to hikers and nature lovers for its scenic beauty and wide variety of flora and fauna. Four years ago Paul Brogan left the world of engineering with a major corporate and bought iKhayalamafu consisting of ninety acres of land including strong mountain streams. He investigated the feasibility of a joint solar and hydro scheme to power his small resort.
A small hydro electric generator that was sourced in Vietnam only requires nine litres of water per second to produce the two hundred and thirty volts required to charge an array of batteries where the power is stored. An inverter then converts the stored battery power up to 220v AC required for domestic use. Backing this up is a large solar panel in case of drought.
The solar hydro combination provides ample power for all the resorts electrical appliances and home comforts. Paul has calculated that even with a complete hydro and solar failure he has enough power for a week. Computer and Internet connections are via satellite allowing guests to make online bookings at any time. Even large washing machines required for the resorts laundry have enough power.