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Old July 31st, 2018, 03:36 PM   #101
JulianL
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We have nearly 20 000 murders per year in SA. Clearly a huge number of people are not particularly concerned with the impact of their behaviour on their fellow man... Most realistic option is to massively boost security. It is not particularly expensive and beyond me why a country with the unemployment levels of SA does not do this..
As a foreigner (Brit) I am often also left with the impression that the government and many of the citizens (e.g. pretty much all my South African family and many friends) underestimate how much of a factor concern about security is in terms of being a drag on investment and tourism. It was certainly the biggest negative factor for me in terms of investing in SA. I know that South Africans must get really fed up of the "I lived/worked in SA for <x> years and never met anyone who hasn't had a gun pointed at them at least once(*)" type of hyperbole that is out there but it's dangerous to swing too far the other way and claim that all countries/cities are dangerous so it's no big deal. Security is a huge issue in SA.

- Julian

(*) As it happens, after only about 2 cumulative years spent in SA split across various trips I actually have had a loaded assault rifle pointed straight at me for the first time in my life but that was only an idiotic cash-in-transit guard who seemed to be fiddling with something on his jacket on a Greenpoint street and was waving the barrel of his gun around at head height as he did it. Unfortunately when he got himself in a position to fix whatever he was trying to fix the gun ended up with me staring straight down the flash suppressor and into the barrel. Ooops!
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Old July 31st, 2018, 04:06 PM   #102
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I've been mugged three times in CT including by a mob in Cape Town station and had family hijacked at gun point (luckily uninjured). I'm hugely supportive and optimistic about the future of SA but the insane levels of senseless violence are probably the biggest issue holding back the country. It puts off skilled foreigners from moving here, and chases away skilled South Africans. Just compare SA to Thailand - a country with very similar levels of development. It is hugely attractive to foreigners for various reasons but having 1/10th the homicide rate of SA certainly helps - and this is essentially a military dictatorship.

SA has democracy, English, good weather, diversity, global companies, a good middle class lifestyle etc. and by all means should be hugely attractive to foreigners as a more affordable and "exciting" destination than developed Western countries but crime is the one thing that puts everyone off.

Every developing country has issues with incompetence and corruption etc. but this level of violence in a stable middle income country is unique to SA and a few countries in Latin America.
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Old July 31st, 2018, 04:48 PM   #103
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Maybe my impression is wrong, I accept that my experience in SA is very limited, but as well as 100% agreeing with you I also wish more of your fellow country-folk had the same laser-like focus on the issue because personally I've seen so much defensive and what seems to me to be head-in-the-sand attitudes towards the security/personal-safety issues in SA and that really isn't a good starting point for making progress in addressing the problem.

- Julian
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Old July 31st, 2018, 06:11 PM   #104
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CT Metrorail staff extinguish yet another train fire

There has been another attempt to torch a train carriage at Cape Town station.

Over the weekend, three coaches were set alight at the station and earlier this month at least seven were destroyed by fire.

Recently, the rail operator stated 39 coaches have been destroyed in train fires in the city over the past four months at a cost of about R51 million.

Metrorail's Riana Scott said: “Shortly before noon, another attempt was made to burn a train. A set was set alight in a train stationary at platform 11 [and] staff were at the scene quite quickly; no significant damage was done.”

http://ewn.co.za/2018/07/31/ct-metro...her-train-fire
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Old August 1st, 2018, 05:42 AM   #105
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Because where is the anti-violence campaign by govt? Where is the condemnation of property destruction, of protests that get way out of control like, every single time? Where is...even a government anti-littering drive?

Nowhere, because this is business as usual for the ANC. They should have started 15 years ago saying that violence was anti-ANC, that members would be kicked out if they were caught looting shops and setting sh*t on fire. This stuff starts at the top and is either ignored or encouraged all the way down.
That is why when every ANC march of any sort turns violent and destructive, not one f*ck is given - it is expected. Look at the behaviour of MPs, their attitude and language - it is all racist, aggressive and anti-social.
Even worse with the ANCs ugly step child, the EFF. They are straight out anarchist, violent, racist criminals. Every day there is something new. H&M stock a tshirt the EFF don't approve of - they attack them, trash the store, threaten them with violence if the entire company doesn't leave the country!
And the govt does nothing except tacitly support the EFF. No criminal charges, nothing. Ffs, do you really think the supporters of these parties will behave any different?

The DA can hold a march of 20 000 without so much as a bin being knocked over so...what's the difference? The DA actively promotes non-racial and non violent conduct, simple. And the DA supporters take their lead and behave.
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Old August 1st, 2018, 12:12 PM   #106
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Amen - very true.
For example, I believe Julius just shot an AK-47 into the air at a rally. That's illegal. is he in jail?! - nope.
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Old August 1st, 2018, 04:03 PM   #107
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Good start:

Cape Town's 100 new railway cops are on the way

Cape Town’s new railway cops will be on duty by the end of September.

A R16-million budget for the pilot project was approved on Wednesday by the City of Cape Town mayoral committee.

Brett Herron‚ the mayoral committee member for transport‚ said the amount would be matched by the Western Cape transport department and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa‚ meaning R48-million would be available.

The money will be spent on training and deploying 100 members of a new railway enforcement unit‚ which will report to the city council law enforcement department.

Herron said the 100 officers were “just a start”‚ and would aim to reduce crime and vandalism on commuter trains and make passengers feel safer.

The civil society group #UniteBehind has written to President Cyril Ramaphosa asking him to declare a spate of arson attacks on Cape Town trains a national disaster‚ GroundUp reported on Wednesday.

Matthew Hirsch of #UniteBehind said: “We don’t believe that these are just frustrated commuters setting carriages alight. There is a more sinister element behind these attacks.”

https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/sou...re-on-the-way/
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Old November 6th, 2019, 08:55 AM   #108
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I have a very general question, slightly off topic, but it has been bugging me for a while... In CPT, most of the CBD buildings have the parking above ground, creating these awful bases for pretty towers to be built on. If public transport improves drastically, i.e. to the extent that parking bays become redundant (or at least half of it). How difficult will it be to convert these bulky parking lots at the foot of skyscrapers into housing/offices ?

Is this something practical that can release some space, (maybe even for low cost housing) ?
Or is it technically difficult and these will remain storage spaces for cars?
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Old November 6th, 2019, 10:04 AM   #109
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How difficult will it be to convert these bulky parking lots at the foot of skyscrapers into housing/offices ?

Is this something practical that can release some space, (maybe even for low cost housing) ?
Or is it technically difficult and these will remain storage spaces for cars?
These are really important questions. Developers of new buildings are attempting to make some of their parking levels convertible to make the transition to the post-parking future easier, but it's usually not economical to do it for every parking level. Often, the 1st floor of parking will be convertible to retail and the floor or two just below the offices are convertible, but the ones in between won't be.

The biggest issues for converting existing parking garages is the low ceilings and (sometimes) sloped floors. The City should get stricted with developers on these two issues, cause almost all other issues can be solved afterward. Parking garages, especially in the CBD, won't be storage for cars for more than another 10 years or so, but they may not become habitable. They can be used for Amazon/Takealot automated micro-distribution centres or vertical farming or a thousand other more valuable uses than car storage. But if we want them to be inhabitable, we need to apply stricter guidelines.

Here are some recent conversions in other cities:


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Old November 6th, 2019, 10:13 AM   #110
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I have a very general question, slightly off topic, but it has been bugging me for a while... In CPT, most of the CBD buildings have the parking above ground, creating these awful bases for pretty towers to be built on. If public transport improves drastically, i.e. to the extent that parking bays become redundant (or at least half of it). How difficult will it be to convert these bulky parking lots at the foot of skyscrapers into housing/offices ?

Is this something practical that can release some space, (maybe even for low cost housing) ?
Or is it technically difficult and these will remain storage spaces for cars?
3 floors of the Takealot offices on the foreshore were previously parking. Its a spiral ramp setup with flat parking levels and had fairly high ceilings for a parking garage so I guess the conversion wasn't too difficult.
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Old November 22nd, 2019, 09:54 AM   #111
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Travelstart launches a new online bus booking platform

Travelstart.co.za, a South African online travel agency, has launched a new online bus booking platform.

The platform, available at bus.travelstart.co.za, will help customers save time and money by comparing bus tickets from competing companies and serving the cheapest fare for a return or one-way route within South Africa, or to neighbouring countries.

The platform lets customers search, book and pay for bus travel from numerous suppliers such as Greyhound, Eldo Coaches, Citiliner, Eagle Liner, Intercity Xpress and Intercape.

Customers can book tickets for up to ten passengers in a single booking and can filter search results by bus company, coach class and price. Payment can be made by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express) at the time of booking, or at Pick n Pay stores countrywide.

Travelstart’s Managing Director Jerome Touze said that the bus booking complements existing online travel booking tools such as flights, hotels, vehicle hire and holiday packages.

The most popular route for South African bus travellers is Johannesburg to Durban. Regionally, the most in demand route is Johannesburg to Harare, Zimbabwe.

According to Travelstart, the new online bus booking platform is currently available.

https://www.iol.co.za/business-repor...tform-37709376
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Old November 26th, 2019, 02:44 PM   #112
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1 million people deprived of public transport:

Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain commuters left with no trains, buses for weeks

Commutters in Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain have been left out of “affordable” public transport access to the city centre, with at least 22 days of no trains and 179 days of no MyCiTi buses.

Musa Gwebani, the head of advocacy and organising for the Social Justice Coalition, said a person who used the train from these two communities paid at least R200 a month. When the train wasn’t working, a minibus taxi cost a minimum of R50 a day to the CBD.

“That’s R1000 in fares, R800 more than they had planned to pay.”

Gwebani said that to add insult to injury the MyCiTi bus service had suspended its Khayelitsha route.

“The only form of state-subsidised transport available has tapped out of a community with more than a million residents. How does anyone make that kind of financial adjustment? How do you go from paying R200 for something to R1000 without your income adjusting to factor in that change,” Gwebani asked.

It was still not clear when train services on the central line between Cape Town and Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain would resume after being suspended earlier this month. Metrorail also stated that trains would not be running to the most populous areas of the Western Cape “due to the theft of more than 730m of overhead catenary wire in the Bonteheuwel/ Nyanga area”.

Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott said their technical teams were busy replacing several kilometres of overhead catenary and other wire necessary to reinstate power for train operations on the two available lines.

“Our teams are working as fast as they are able to under difficult circumstances to repair infrastructure and to replace the overhead wiring in these high crime and gang-infested areas,” Scott said.

https://www.iol.co.za/capeargus/news...weeks-37987584
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Old November 26th, 2019, 06:48 PM   #113
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Trains aren't worth having when there's lawlessness like this - theyre sitting ducks, and the way they run - with wires etc, if that can't be changed or theft proofed, then whats the point.
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Old November 27th, 2019, 04:32 AM   #114
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Trains aren't worth having when there's lawlessness like this - theyre sitting ducks, and the way they run - with wires etc, if that can't be changed or theft proofed, then whats the point.
95% of people living there are not engaged in any crime or lawlessness. Why should they suffer? City, provincial and national government have to do more to resolve this issue instead of just abandoning half of Cape Town to no public transport.
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Old November 27th, 2019, 12:35 PM   #115
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I hate sounding so pessimistic, but this issue is down to poverty, criminality, and some politics thrown in.
These things will never be solved in a place like SA.
With a train, the lines will continuously be stolen because people are very poor, and desperate, or motivated to sabotage etc
What miracle government is going to get rid of any of those triggers?
At least with busses, you can torch A bus here or there but that doesnt mean other busses cant keep driving./ drive around it.
Obviously not idea.
I'd love to see some kind of generational change, seeing as in Asia where slums are also built on train line, they dont nick them there, so I understand its mental/an attitude to infrastructure that more respectful that we can change along wih criminalising scrap dealers etc.
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