11 December 2000
Elections & KwaZulu-Natal
Been there again - Kwa-Zulu Natal :
Went down to Durban for a week (or what would've been a week if some little punks didn't decide to break into my house). Had to see if anything changed down there over the past two years or so since I've been there.
But first let's turn our attention to our local elections. Less than Seventy Percent of registered voters turned out for the elections. Of that, about Twenty-Eight Percent of voters between Eighteen and Twenty-Three years of age voted! A reflection on their confidence in any specific political party? No, I did not vote - sad to admit but true. The ruling ANC party decided to give us very little notice on which day will be D-Day with lots of people having done advanced booking for an early holiday in order to miss what normally turns out to be "holiday rage".Yes, the ANC did win again. In certain areas with a big majority.
Glad to say that our areas are now the domain of the DA (Democratic Alliance), the only opposition that's worth anything. The SACP (Communist Party) claimed the elections to be a major victory for them having tripled their votes to less than One Percent of the total votes - ag shame! With this new-found "powers" seems the ANC now needs to thoroughly stuff this country up. Name changes for the sake of name changes, and here we're talking towns and cities, not just street names!
Who bothers with costs, never mind what companies will have to pay for changing letterheads, websites, etc. Money is no object it seems, and more urgent issues like crime, unemployment etc. are non-issues. Don't be too surprised when South Africa changes name to Azania!
Amazing though how every person you talk to here always mentions the five year period. Normally in the sense of "give it five years". Either referring to AIDS wiping out the entire black population, or the economy totally collapsing - normally it is linked to something very negative. The general attitude of Africans (as a whole) that America must and should look after poverty stricken Africa does not boost confidence in the average citizens' mind. We don't need hand-outs. This country has so much potential, it's scary.
Getting back to Natal - All the diseases you can image is busy sticking neck out there. Cholera is still claiming lives, foot-in-mouth is spreading, mad-cow disease is sticking it's neck out. But the Premier needs his jet! Controls on the major routes for Foot-in-Mouth is laughable. It's obviously easier to put the animals down than to stop the spreading of this disease.
For the visitor the Durban beachfront is a no-go. Even if you're a black foreigner, you won't enjoy the experience. The Indian Ocean has now become the Black Ocean. The beachfront itself is quite clean, passage to the beachfront is filthy though. Facilities are on the verge of breaking down and the hotels are starting to look like something from Nigeria (downtown - that is). This time of year especially, is a total rip-off for visitors. Seems like an institution with business down there. Come festive season and everyone hike their prices by at least Twenty Percent. Whatever you do, don't buy stuff on the beach! I've taken some pics which you can find here.
Happy holidays to all - will be back next week!