Monday, April 10, 2006


Apologies for the non-existent updation over the last while - i was on leave, and my home is an internet-free zone. You must understand this is not by any choice of my own, and two weeks without internet have made me decide it is time to get me some broadband.

Well, after i get burglar bars on the front windows. That takes priority.

For non-South Africans who may be reading this, allow me to explain why getting broadband in this country is a big decision. Due to the complete monopoly held by the only fixed line operator in the country, Telcom, and due to the fact that Telcom is one third government owned, broadband in SA is 1000% more expensive than in other third world countries, and 2000% more expensive than in first world countries. It is also about a thousand times slower (1mbps vs 1gpbs) and capped (maximum 3gigs download a month is standard). So take what you would pay for a month of broadband service in the US or UK, and multiply that by 2000. That's what it costs to get it here, only slower, capped, and with shitty service to boot. So it's a pretty big financial decision to get broadband, and one that i've been umming and ahing about for a while now.

However, 2 weeks disconnected from the world has forced my hand.

I discovered a few interesting things while on vacation that i will briefly share with you now. I would have blogged about them in more detail at the time, but hah! no internet.

  • South Africa actually has a law that makes it a criminal act to declare someone to be a witch. Despite the law, thousands of people every year are branded as witches, their houses and possessions burned, and in a best case scenario they are driven out of their villages and ostracized forever more. In a worst case scenario, they and often their family and friends are brutally killed. Who said witch trials went out of fashion with the Inquisition? They seem to be alive and well in sunny SA.
  • According to my grandmother's domestic worker, the ANC arrived in the townships the day before the municipal elections with crates of food that were then handed out with rallies to vote for the ANC. We're talking 5kg bags of sugar, rice, maize meal... all paid for with party funds, i'm sure. No chance that tax money was used for that.
  • From the same source, i hear that with the DA in power in the cape for only a few weeks, the difference in the townships has been marked. Houses are being built (when the previous ANC mayorship claimed there was no money or space to build houses), streets are being repaired, traffic lights are working. Surprised? I'm not.

More when i think about it.


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