South Africa - Crime

By |  May 2, 1997  |
Folks, Much is made of crime in South Africa, both here and abroad. Insurance is very expensive in South Africa. Johannesburg is the crime capital. There, carjackings abound - and everywhere people live surrounded by razorwire. Cape Town was full of it, it is unwise to travel at night. The White pessimists viewpoint is that now the black people are allowed in the white areas, what can you expect ..
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Ladysmith - Natal

By |  Apr 8, 1997  | ladysmith
Folks, I am in Ladysmith - a rural town in Natal, and the start of the band Ladysmith Black Mambazo .. I am camping in a superb campground in town, very cheap, with mostly poor white trash as my neighbours. Some are out of prison, all are afrikaners, I buy dinner, they cook .. There is always the acknowledgement that whites and blacks will have to work together to find a solution, because they need each other.
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South Africa - Drugs

By |  Apr 3, 1997  |
Folks, Attending the festival this weekend, drugs were very much in evidence. Marijuana (dagga - pronounced dacha in RSA) is illegal. It is used, however, by most black people, and my colored friend in Clotesville, notwithstanding PAGAD ( .. against .. Drugs) also used it. It is also used by many white folks. It is grown in quantity locally, and is of excellent quality. The best appears to come from Swaziland and the Transkei - a homeland (?
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Lesotho - Internet

By |  Mar 26, 1997  | lesotho
Folks, I am sending this mail from National University of Lesotho, as you can see from the Email address “.ls” is the toplevel domain for this small African kingdom completely surrounded by South Africa. It has never been a part of RSA - it is a small mountainous country that supplies most of the water for RSA. Very third world, and its fortunes are inextricably linked to South Africa.
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Agulhas - Southern tip of South Africa

By |  Mar 17, 1997  |
Folks, Can you believe it - I am sending this from Cape Agulhas, from a cosy B&B hostel that is the second most southerly building in South Africa. Email as above - do not reply to me by replying to this message. Make reservations instead .. Meg will be happy to take them. For sixty years it was the MOST southerly - but with the fast tourist development there is now another place the other side of the point.
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By |  Mar 14, 1997  |
Folks, I took my bike through the Karoo - a semidesert area, and over Bainskloof pass - a very beautiful part of the country. Back in Cape Town - I ordered a made-to-measure motorcycle jacket last week and I am to pick it up. However, when I arrived for a fitting they had not started it yet - grrrr. They promise faithfully it will be ready today. I visited the South Africa museum - excellent.
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Clotesville - WCP

By |  Mar 11, 1997  |
Folks, I had planned to meet some theatre folk in Stellenbosch, but the best laid plans .. Out searching for interesting people in bars again .. I met Raymond, a colored man (sorry to keep mentioning color, but it still is crucial) who was buying electricity (actually, his son was, and he was waiting). We dived into politics straight away :-) and chatted for a while. He was a card-carrying member of the ANC, and a member of a vigilante group in South Africa called PAGAD - People Against Gangs And Drugs.
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Cape Point, Stellenbosch - WCP

By |  Mar 7, 1997  |
I took my bike down to the tip of the Cape peninsula - not actually the southernmost point in Africa, but close. There is a nature reserve here that has such an amazing variety of plant life that this part of the world is an entire plant kingdom. It is suggested that this tip of africa has either escaped the last two ice ages, of they were less severe here.
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Guest farm - Worcester, WCP

By |  Mar 4, 1997  |
Folks, I stayed with a friend of Megan Owen’s at a guest farm about 130 Km north of Cape town (I now have a Honda CX500) and was made very welcome. It is about a 80 hectare farm, growing table grapes - now in the picking season. They have about 80 resident workers on the farm - mostly colored people. They have a creche for the children, the men do the picking, and the women to the sorting, snipping of bad grapes, weighing and packing.
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Cape Town - Townships

By |  Feb 28, 1997  |
Folks, The townships are the areas where, during apartheid, the black people and (separately) the colored people were required to live. Pass-books were issued - like internal passports around the country - if you did not have a job in town you had to return to the homelands in the country. Things are not like that any more … however, they all still live in these areas, for economic reasons instead, and also because their friends and families live in the same community.
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