Friday, May 29, 2009

Doctors on the March

May 29 2009 History was made as thousands of doctors nationwide downed stethoscopes and took to the streets. I spoke to a patient who could only hop on one leg and had the use of one arm after a motor bike accident. He had elected to go home as there were no doctors to help him with further ops. He was fully behind the strike and said conditions at King Edward Hospital were real bad. The government has since upped some of the wages but many doctors are still not happy with conditions and vow there could be further action at any time. In the meantime SA's brand new subs costing billions lie mostly idle due to lack of suitable crew and other technical problems.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Up to Speed (At last)

At last. A strange but welcome animal burrowed its way under the beach and jungle to come to rest in a smart new building. The quiet fishing town of Umtinzini on the KZN North coast is probably still unaware of this tiny hair like creature that has berthed here. Fact is, this tiny hair is actually a fibre optic cable that can carry massive amounts of data. Internet usage has just taken one giant step in Africa. As I stood and looked in awe at all the buzzing gizmos and goodies inside the purpose built cable station I couldn't help wondering how many more of us Africans will get addicted to the now non flickering screens of our charged up computers. Doctors will be able to perform live ops on instruction via the net and scholars will have access to the worlds databases in an instant.It will also open up reams of porno and on line movies to a new generation. No more sitting down by the river side and gossiping while collecting the days water. The Internet has arrived big time and all will soon be one global village thanks to this hair like creature.( Update Nov 2009..I am still waiting for the rush)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Fruit & Veg

They have been there for the past ninety nine years. Stalls passed down from father to son/daughter. Durban's early morning market is something of an institution. The city fathers have other plans. Lets smash it down and build a shopping mall with national chain stores inside. We'll remove these people and plonk them in a disused shed nearby. None of them will be able to afford the new rents and hopefully they'll just go home and leave us alone. Meanwhile back at the ranch the aging grannies and Aunties hitched up their saris and marched on the city managers office down at the town hall. Lucky for him he had left the country. They sang chanted and perspired in the midday sun. Eventually one of the appointed suits emerged and accepted their memorandum. Promises were made to give them a week or twos grace before the bulldozers moved in. In the meantime international organisations have stepped in and the fight continues. Just another day in our new and fragile democracy

Update Nov 2009 After a "Rent a Crowd" using massive advertising attracted about 100 people who were for the demolition of the market the Early Morning Market traders turned out in mass force on 18 Nov in a further march to City Hall demanding the market be retained)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

"Dr Livingstone I presume"

So the last of the great white explorers sets off on another great African expedition. This time there are no local bearers to carry the whiskey over the great plains of Africa. Instead powerful metal beasts consuming vast amounts of fuel will tour across nine countries distributing soccer balls and chalk to mark out football fields. The Humanitarian and Community Objectives will be - Ongoing “Right to Sight”, One Net One Life Malaria Prevention and Teaching on the Edge Programmes. With dedicated TV crews filming every turn of the wheel sponsors are keen to get their product on international and local TV screens. Such a pity that that the biggest tobacco company in South Africa, British American Tobacco have their logo and name plastered over the expedition vehicles. In what is supposed to be a humanitarian cause I wonder if the participants pause to ponder how many premature painful deaths their sponsor has caused in Africa. With tobacco advertising banned in South Africa this is one of the only ways to still push out the companies killer products. Shame on you lot! Follow these modern day "adventurers" at

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Harley Davidson

Way back in 1903 I wonder if this Harley fellow would have envisioned that his followers would one day gather in mass at the seaside town of Margate in South Africa. Thousands pitched up to admire and covert these once again sought after machines. After taking a serious dip some years ago the Harley brand has once again resurrected itself with a wide range of models. Appealing to a more mature (and well healed) rider these machines with their distinctive exhaust sound are now a common sight on South African roads. Each bike was meticulous and I'm sure many of them sleep in the lounges of their owners. Not surprising when some cost more than your average car. The first Africa Bike Week was certainly a humdinger.