Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas and New Year in South Africa

In the run-up days to Christmas and New Year a lot of things happen in South Africa I will try to list them under their own headings.



Most shops and even street vendors see Christmas as an opportunity to make money the shops get decorated and suddenly everything is on special

 even if it is not a special. And everyone start to buy Christmas presents. The shopping centers become over crowded because most of the schools have closed already in the last week of November till the second week in January for the summer holidays.



Most families go on vacation for 2 to 4 weeks and a huge majority of them go to the coastal regions. Yes it do not snow in SA we go and cool of in the sea temperatures go up to 35 degrees Celsius in bigger part of SA. It is also raining season in the biggest part of SA. Not that it rain a lot if in a good year you get a thunder storm every second day or so. There fore coming from Europe take of the snow jackets before you land at Oliver Tambo Airport in Johannesburg.  Remember SA is on its best in the summer it is green and beautiful



Crime in the big cities does pick up in the past it was blamed on the poor and unfortunate people but I start to believe it is more organized crime. Syndicates, that tries to rob shops and transport companies, of their cash. On 22 Dec the police arrested 30 armed men in 3 separate attempts to rob shops. House breakings also pick up because many houses are left alone for periods of up to 4 weeks. Picket pocketing does happen in shopping centers and you must be alert when doing shopping.


The les fortunate and homeless Children

A lot of organizations run welfare projects to give to them some thing for Christmas About every local radio station joins in on such projects. Most churches, Bikers clubs, and cultural groups are involved in welfare projects.


 What causes deaths during this time of the year?    

 I think the number one killer is alcohol people drink to much and then do stupid things like: Driving, Swim in the sea, Lighting fireworks and working along the side of busy roads and in front of oncoming traffic. Reckless driving and speeding on the roads is probably number two. Children drowning in swimming pools a day or two ago it was on the radio of 3 drowning in one day only in Johannesburg. On New years day the most people drown in the sea because it is overcrowded and they that can not swim while playing in the waves. People get killed in crime act but it is difficult to relate it to the festive season, these are things that happen through out the year. 


On Christmas and New Years day

Most families come together to celebrate Christmas day by giving present’s and some even attend church at 00h00 on Christmas day. Traditionally we eat on Christmas day If it is not a Braai (Barbeque with a proper fire) it is a huge cooked meal and then we still eat cake through the day we can eat in SA. 

Thursday, December 18, 2008

South Africa's political parties

South Africa has 11 official languages and more the 16 political parties. The government of the day consists of 16 parties with the African National Congress (ANC) as the leading party. In 2009 South Africa will have an election according to the constitution. Independent of the government is the IEC (Independent Electoral Commission) They are the Electoral Commission of South Africa a permanent body created by the Constitution to promote and safeguard democracy in South Africa. If you haven’t seen a poorly structured web visit this one, at least can you see if you are registered on the main page but it is a struggle to get to the rest of the information on the page. They are so independent that I could not even get a list of political parties on their site.

With the oncoming election in 2009 and disbelieve in the ANC have it happened that a breakaway party have seen the light. It is called COPE (Congress of the People). This party have South Africa talking and as in politics is there a lot of attempts to make things for them difficult even the word “Congress” get debated by the ANC that claim the word for themselves. You hear daily if people from the ANC that is walking over to COPE and the party are growing in support. Definitely, a party that is going to give the ANC a hard time.

If COPE wins this coming election it will change history again in South Africa.At the moment is there no intimidation that I could pick up in SA and it seems if we going to have a free and fair election. The ANC is hopefully mature enough to handle the situation should they loose the election. We all pray that we won’t end in the same situation as Zimbabwe and some of the rest of Africa without a proper government after the elections.

In no specific order hear is a list with links to most the roll players in the coming election could get hold of.

Independent Electoral Commission

African National Congress

Congress of the People

Democratic Alliance

National Party

Freedom Front Plus

Christian Democratic Party

Christian Democratic Alliance

African Christian Democratic Party

Inkata Freedom Party

United Democratic Movement

Independent Democrats

Pan Africanist Congress

United Christian Democratic Party

Minority Front

Azanian People's Organisation

South African Communist Party

Friday, December 12, 2008

How long will the rest of the world sit and watch Robert Mugabe Killing people?

What an insult to humanity to watch the killing of innocent people in Zimbabwe again, while everybody in the rest of the world watches. It is a shame that Saddam Hussein that was one of the worlds strongest dictators was taken out by fours while Robert Mugabe gets away with the murder of his people.

The 84 year old President Mugabe made the statement on 11 December 2008 "Now that there is no cholera, there is no need for war." even as the toll rose to 783 deaths and South Africa declared a border district a disaster area. Because of hundreds of cholera infected Zimbabwe people stream into South Africa for medical help.

Now is the time that the international community must help to end this Killing of people in Zimbabwe. South Africa alone does not have the power and/or the guts to do it.

The Question is how will help?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Roads in South Africa

Most of the major routes in SA are tarred the main routes is mostly toll roads. Toll roads in SA are normally in good condition and full of speed traps. You might also get animals and people on tall roads close to town ships so be careful. The other roads that are linking the smaller towns is also tarred but in some areas not well maintained. Those roads normally have potholes in them and some is dangerous. The local people spend quite a bit of money on tyres and wheel alignment due to damage on their cars from potholes.

Driving style: In towns is the speed limit 60Km/h and on the open road 120Km/h cars drive on the left hand side of the road in SA. The most people die on the roads during Easter weekend and school holidays. That is normally when most of the people in SA are on the road people travel up to 2500Km on holidays. Most of the accidents are due to reckless driving and alcohol misuse.

What to see on the roads: You may come across the most interesting thing on the SA roads. From people that overtake when they can not see oncoming tragic to very slow moving things. If you lucky you might come across abnormal loads at 2Km/h. and then is their, the funny ones. These photos do not need explanation

December 17, 2008 the sun will rise continuously for 36 hrs

You have most probably got an e-mail with this message that is doing the round in South Africa.

“Coming December 17, 2008 the sun will rise continuously for 36 hrs(1.5 days)... During this time the US countries will be dark for 1.5 days.

It will convert 3 days into 2 big days. It will happen once in 2400 yrs. We're very lucky to see this. Forward it to all ur friends”

And now you want to know if it is thru? The answer is NO, it is not thru.

Why not?

The earth is turning and for this to happen it must slow down and speed up again. The impact this will have on all living things is catastrophic. We will experiences less gravity on the earth. The Moon will take off in its one direction. The earth will move out of its orbit. I can think of a lot more bad things that will happen if the earth turns slower. It will be like a sudden stop of a car driving into a wall.

How perfect is the Earth?

God have made the earth so perfect that NASA have not yet find any traces of life on any planet around us. The precise position of earth and the speed the earth is turning give the earth its property’s for life.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Welcome to South Africa

By now you must have heard that South Africa is a beautiful county. Yes that is true I live here and therefore I also believe that South Africa is beautiful. Why? Because we have the biggest diversity of landscapes from Rainforests and Bushveld to Deserts. The Big Five Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo, Leopard all lives here and you can see all of them on one holiday in the Kruger National Park if you lucky or with a good touring glide. Well if you do miss out on seeing them in the Kruger National Park you can see them in some private parks or even in one of the local zoos. I was so far unlucky to see all five in the Kruger National Park because a Leopard is a shy animal and most of the time hunt at night.

I have been asked if the wild animals walk around where we live. The answer is NO They live in big Game reserves some private and some not. The only place where wild animals like Elephants and Loins do walk loose that I know of, is north of South Africa in the Nothing parts of Namibia and Botswana. We also have a lot of animals that you will see only in South Africa or Africa.

The people around here: We have 11 official languages in South Africa but if you do speak English 98% of the people will understand you. Netherlands can be understood by Afrikaans speaking people if they listen very careful to you when you speak slowly in Netherlands.

Crime is just as bad as any were in the world. Never leave you luggage unattended and keep your money at a save place on you. Never wander of into suburbs that are not on you touring plans and first ask advice at information centers before going into rural areas.

If you not sure about your tour plan you may asked me and I will tell you if I will go there or not to give you an idea of save places to go to. I will most probably put my answer in the blog for others to read.

This was my first Blogging on this Blog and I hope you will enjoy it and you time in South Africa.