Sunday, November 14, 2010

So sad for Durban now.

Some things about Durban, and South Africa, make me very sad, and this is one of them.
Here a pensioner in a wheelchair is unable to go into the office to prove she is still alive so she can still receive her meagre state pension.

Why,  You ask?  Because the only access is via this flight of stairs!!  The building is in a disgusting, dilapidated state, and the lifts no longer work, so everyone has to use the stairs.  No public transport passes anywhere close to this building, there is only metered street parking, and the pavement is in a  similar state to the building.    What is even worse is that no-one seems to care.  

The old folk received a letter telling them to present themselves to prove the state should continue paying the pension.  The letter indicates what documents to bring along with them.  When they arrive, ready to sit in the 2 hour queue, then they're told the letter was incorrect - there are other documents required!!  So they have to go away and come back another day.

Is this the way for a country to treat their elderly?  Where is South Africa going!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Please pass.

This beautiful old bike and sidecar, spotted down the coast.  

Appropriate for today as I remember my dad on his birthday.  He'd have enjoyed this one.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day at the beach.

The water was choppy, but the sun was out and it was a hot day, so no further reason is needed for a family outing to North Beach.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Out of the Ark

Another of our sad old buildings.  This one in Point Road.  Someone mentioned it was one of the hijacked buildings.

This is where the tenants stop paying rental to the owners, and the building just deteriorates until it is uninhabitable, but people still live there.  This makes it a dangerous place to be.

Till now, our government seemed to be totally unwilling to do anything about these situations.  In fact there is now talk about property owners not discriminating against those who cannot pay.  This does not bode well for our beautiful country.

On the other hand they have now introduced the law that requires everyone residing in the country to be correctly registered and accounted for.  If they get this right, it could significantly reduce crime, and get rid of many of the foreigners who often seem to be at the center drug rings and hijacked buildings.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Indian Influence

Durban is currently celebrating Diwali (festival of lights) and the 150th anniversary of the first Indians brought to South Africa.

These people were brought here a cheap labour to work in the sugar cane fields, and over the years have become a significant community in Kwa-Zulu Natal.   Mahatma Gandhi had a significant impact on the recent history of South Africa, before he returned to India.

I don't know if this is a new road in the new development, or a re-named road in the re-developed area, all I know is that this part of the point has been significantly upgraded over the past few years.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A building for all seasons

One block up from the South Beach is the Four Seasons hotel, which also has been there forever.  Once quite popular with the well-to-do,  these days it would not be my first choice of places to stay in Durban.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Doeane en aksyns

Customs and Excise building at the entrance to the harbour.  For most of us living in Durban, it feels like this building has been there forever, because we don't know a time it wasn't there.