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If you live in Gauteng you probably have plenty of poor municipal services to complain about: Potholed roads, non-working traffic lights, garbage collectors frequently on strike, power and water interruptions, poor public transport, no traffic law enforcement, and crime, crime, crime!
Yet there are municipalities that are getting it right. In the main, they are governed by one political party. It's the same party whose State of the Province Address two weeks ago contrasts sharply with President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address. This comparison reveals a lot about the difference between the two parties' approaches to government, and how those impact people’s daily lives.
The first and most obvious difference is that Premier Helen Zille did not need truckloads of razor wire to protect her from the people she serves. There were no road closures, over-the-top security, or indeed any security measures at all. The second big difference is that while the President used tough global conditions to excuse the ANC’s poor performance, the picture where the DA governs is a very positive one, as measured by the National Government's own statistics –despite being subject to the same global conditions.
There are now 310 000 more jobs in the Western Cape than there were in 2009 when the DA took over from the ANC. In the past 3 years, unemployment has dropped from 24.8% to 19%. The latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey released by StatsSA showed that the Western Cape now has the lowest unemployment rate in South Africa, the lowest number of ‘discouraged’ work seekers (those who have given up looking for work), and the greatest number of new jobs created. Employment in the Western Cape has grown by a massive 9%. The business confidence index is 33% higher for the Western Cape than the national average.
In the 2015 Matric results, the Western Cape pass rate was 84.7%, the highest in the country, with all who passed qualifying for higher education, and half for university. We managed to keep a larger share of kids at school till Matric than any other province, and our retention rate of 67% was up on 2014. Our pass rates for maths and science were the highest of all the provinces, and our pass rate in schools serving our disadvantaged communities (quintiles 1-3) is over 70%, and rising every year.
Where the DA governs, things are going in the right direction. DA governments, whether they be in a province or in a town, are all united around one, clear long-term vision and committed to one action plan to achieve it.
The Municipal Elections later this year in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni will be the most closely-contested in two decades. This is your chance to make a difference by voting the DA in to govern them.
In a municipal election you can only vote where you are registered and you have to be registered where you live. Make sure now by visiting check.da.org.za or e-mail me your address and ID number. If you are not registered correctly, go to your local voting station on Saturday 5 or Sunday 6 March (next weekend!) between 08:00 and 17:00 with your ID book to re-register.
Is being a "sell-out" good or bad?
New on the Block, Movers and Shakers Back to top
Afrikan Connection Centre: Back to top
On our page for The Bridge Shopping Centre we have added a section for the centre next door, Afrikan Connection Centre. It is a small disreputable-looking, but very popular, centre at 12 Buccleuch Drive, just up Buccleuch Drive from The Bridge, between The Bridge and the Buccleuch Satellite Police Station. Enterprises there run largely to food and drink, gambling, or both. Presumably, the church upstairs caters for many who regret having drunk and gambled their wages away and want to repent before doing it again. Some of the businesses there, are:
Restaurant Review by Judith Back to top
*** Calice, Petervale Shopping Centre
This is the revamped Senza and it has retained its downstairs function room. There is an extensive bar and they do a wide range of cocktails. The menu is expensive including their wines. I think we are going to see steep rises in restaurant prices this year following the budget as well.
We ordered Stone Town Sauvignon Blanc --a new one to me-- and Appletizer. The Sauvignon Blanc was very good. I asked for grilled Cajun baby calamari with salad and my partner had Spaghetti Carbonara, which had too much pepper and had to be replaced. Both can be recommended. Knowledge's service was slightly lax and things did take their time to happen.
**** Shawnee Spur Steak Ranch, Chilli on Top, corner Rivonia and Leeuwkop Roads
Complete with Tango, our Guide Dog Puppy in training, we went to this relatively new centre and to the Shawnee Steak Ranch. We are now really good at explaining what a puppy in training is and why she needs exposure to as many experiences as possible. She always wears her official uniform and we carry her letter of authority with us as well. She also gives us an opportunity to introduce people who are scared of dogs to a puppy more likely to lick them!
We were greeted in a really friendly manner - this restaurant goes out of its way to make you feel welcome! It has a view west across the valley. Thomas was our host and Rebecca was our waiter. We ordered Appletizer and Misty Kloof Sauvignon Blanc. The latter was a well-priced and very drinkable wine. To eat, we chose from the Senior menu as we qualify! I ordered the Rump Steak with spinach and my partner the Spare Ribs. The steak was impressively Bleu and the ribs were declared very good.
Altogether a good experience and the restaurant is very family friendly with a great view.
Funny Language, English...
The prefix, "re" means to do something again (renovate, regurgitate, resuscitate). So, if you "repair" your socks, are you matching the pairs up again, or fixing the holes?
Passed On: Back to top
Shaving News Back to top
The annual Cancer Association Shavathon took place at Malls and Shopping Centres last Saturday, 27 February. If you missed it, you can still get your head sprayed or shaved in solidarity with those affected by cancer (often cheaper than a regular haircut) by getting your company to participate this week: Visit CANSA Shavathon.
Julius says he can't be a hooligan because he never hooled before.
Green Tip Back to top
Why is it that even relatively poor people buy new plastic carrier bags at the supermarket every week? You would think every 40c would count. Even if you can afford it, can the environment? Plastic bags either end up taking up space in landfill, or blow around the city, get into the stormwater drains, flow thence into local streams to festoon the banks and trees for a while, then get carried into the Hartbeespoort dam and the sea, polluting both, and releasing estrogens harmful to aquatic life.
Why not re-use your carrier bags? It is easy to get into the habit of
putting the bags back in the car for the next shopping trip. Better still,
when they have fallen apart, invest in durable shopping bags available from
most supermarkets. At the same time you can save
money and make a small contribution to saving the planet.
Elderly Customer: "I want something for wrinkles."
New Assistant: "Are you sure? You seem to have plenty already."
Your name in print! Would you like to contribute a shop- or restaurant review, a less obscure joke, or something else for this Newsletter? Please e-mail us. You will get full credit (unless you want anonymity). Reach 6,256 shoppers and shop-owners: Advertise in this newsletter! Editor: Rick Raubenheimer.