April 29, 2007

Day for Darfur - The Time is Up

The time is up - Globe for Darfur

Calls grow for imposition of targeted sanctions on Sudanese regime

Protests will take place on Sunday (29th April) in over 35 capitals around the world to mark the fourth anniversary of the deadly conflict in Darfur.

Around the world 10,000 hourglasses filled with fake blood will be turned by activists to mark the start of the conflict four years ago. Events will be staged from Mongolia to Iceland, the U.S. to the Ukraine.

“Four years after the start of the conflict the blood of more than two hundred thousand murdered Darfuri’s stains the deserts of Darfur. The lives of the local population lie in tatters, as does the reputation of the international community,” said Ismail Jarbo, a survivor from Darfur who will be taking part in the events.

The Globe for Darfur, a global network of dozens of different organisations is calling for the imposition of targeted sanctions to force all sides to respect the ceasefire, end attacks on civilians, allow the deployment of an effective international peacekeeping force, and stop attacks on the aid operation.


Worldwide: Actors and musicians call for action on Darfur

Global Darfur Day- Women search for wood, men search for victims

British Red Cross keeping people alive in Darfur

World day of protest at Darfur violence

April 28, 2007

Durban Street Renaming - City Manager Explains Process

In the light of all the uproar and outcry over the renaming of streets and buildings in Durban, I thought I'd publish this media release from City Manager, Dr Michael Sutcliffe which explains the whole process.

The names that are on the list are PROPOSALS and the reason they are there is because people PROPOSED them, after advertisements in the media inviting them to do so. If those who are now making such a fuss preferred other names, they could have also put in proposals at any time. The Council can only evaluate the list of names submitted by the public. It can't manufacture names.

I was ashamed and saddened this week at the ignorance, arrogance, racism and hatred that I saw displayed, especially in blog posts regarding this process.

I hope Dr Sutcliffe's statement will clear some things up:


Dr. Michael Sutcliffe
City Manager: eThekwini

Over the past week we have received significant comment on some proposed changes to the names of streets, facilities and even the municipality. Whilst some of the comment is not even worthy of response it is very important to make sure everyone understands exactly what the process is so that they may properly contribute to what is an important part of building our city.


In February 2007 eThekwini’s Council agreed on a process to review and finalise names for streets and facilities in our city. In brief, the process required that after inviting comments from the public, the relevant council committee would review names received, make a recommendation to Council after which such names would be finalized. It must be noted that all political parties represented in council accepted this process and through this accepted there would be renaming.


Adverts ran on March 9, 2007 in major local newspapers calling on the public to put forward proposals for the renaming of roads, streets, freeways, municipal buildings, community halls, parks and other public places within the municipal region. Posters were also placed in different Sizakala centres and libraries. The public was encouraged to email, fax, post or even hand-deliver to these centres.

The closing date for submissions was the 30th March 2007, giving the public 21 days to engage with the municipality. And even after this closing date, a few submissions were also considered.

A total of 245 proposals were received. Some were disqualified because they failed to adhere to the set criteria, itself guided by the law. The disqualified included names of living persons, duplicate names and new proposals which did not refer to the old names. Some proposals were made by single individuals and some came from organizations. Some political parties simply forwarded what their branch structures had suggested and indicated that they would only formulate their views collectively when the matters were dealt with by Council. Some political parties made no submissions at all.


After considering the views received from the public in response to the adverts and discussing the matter with my colleagues within the administration, I decided to recommend to committee that before they properly consider each and every suggestion received, that they publish the names received for comment in order to ensure that all members of the public would have an opportunity to air their views on every name under consideration. This changed the process already agreed upon, but I believe it allowed for even greater participation as the public could now comment on the suggestions received from a wide range of sources, before committee considered each name submitted.

Councillors would then be better informed when considering each specific suggestion about views that they received, whether they were criticisms or support for the names received. It is not true that there are any secret submissions or that I have refused to make available the submissions received. After discussions with my Head: Legal I was informed that in order to make available to a third party the actual submissions received I must first ask the person if they are happy to make it available. If they are not I will still make their submission available but without their name or contact details.

The committee accepted my report allowing for this additional consultation until 11th May 2007. After that the committee will meet and consider each and every recommendation and comment thereon, and forward their views to Council for finalization. Obviously, further names can continue to be received and will follow similarly consultative processes.


4.1 MANY OBJECTIONS ARE ABOUT PRINCIPLE OF RENAMING NOT ABOUT SPECIFIC NAMES: Over 95% of the objections received to date have objected to the principle of renaming. Given that council unanimously accepted that some streets would be renamed there is little point in members of the public simply sending in general complaints that they don’t want streets renamed. This included all political parties represented on Council. Council has accepted that some streets will be renamed and it is unlikely that council will rescind that decision. May I therefore urge that members of the public provide specific comment in support or not of specific suggestions for street renaming.
4.2 ARGUMENTS THAT THESE PROPOSED NAMES ARE A FAIT ACCOMPLI AND THAT IT IS POINTLESS FOR MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC TO OBJECT AS THEIR VIEWS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED: As indicated above, the committee has not sat and deliberated on each and every name yet and so it is important for members of the public to put forward their views. Specific views will have to be assessed and so this is an important opportunity for people to provide specific reasons.
4.3 ARGUMENTS THAT SOME NAMES ARE REPEATED: As indicated above, different people/organizations may have made suggestions about renaming. This meant that some streets have more than one name, one name has been suggested for more than one street/facility, etc. Clearly the committee will have to look at this because the intention is not to have such as it would lead to confusion.
4.4 ARGUMENTS THAT SUGGEST ALL THE CITY’S STREETS ARE BEING RENAMED: eThekwini has over 30000 street names, with over 4000 being located in the former Durban central area. Even if all the proposals were to be accepted by the committee, this would mean less than 1 percent of the city’s street names would be changed and the rest would have been named during the colonial and apartheid eras.

I trust that over the next two weeks the public focuses on the consultative opportunities provided by this process and that we receive submissions which will allow the committee to clearly and unemotionally decide on which streets will be renamed and what names they will be given. This is an important aspect of public participation afforded us by our democracy.

April 27, 2007

Freedom Day in Durbs

For South Africans Freedom Day is like the day the Americans describe when they talk about remembering where they were when they heard "who shot JFK" (no, not who shot JR!)

I guess we all have our stories about that day. Stories of standing in the long queues, knowing that our county was embarking on a whole new journey. Now, 13 years down the road I sometimes feel the transformation is too slow. Then I see the uproar about the street name changes and once again I'm amazed at people's lack of capacity for change - I don't know if its fear or insecurity or resentment...

Today I just want to post a few quotes and a picture I took yesterday at the Radha Radhanath Temple of Understanding in Chatsworth (also known as the Hare Krishna temple)- I wish you all feelings of peace - Happy Freedom Day!

We do not want to be reminded that it is we, the indigenous people, who are poor and exploited in the land of our birth.
Steven Biko
Being black is not a matter of pigmentation - being black is a reflection of a mental attitude.
Steven Biko

Be the change that you want to see in the world.
Mohandas Gandhi

"I believe that our vision of democracy in South Africa will be realized, because there is a growing number of people who are coming to accept the fact that in South Africa we are a multi-racial community - whether we like it or not. I am not prepared to concern myself with such questions as: "Where have you come from?", "Do you come from the North?" or "Did you come from Europe?" It is not important.

What is important for our situation is that we are all here. That we cannot change: We are all here, and no one desires to change it or should desire to change it. And since we are all here, we must seek a way whereby we can realize democracy, so that we can live in peace and harmony in this land of ours. More and more people are coming to accept that and to work for it."
Inkosi Albert Luthuli, President General of the African National Congress - 1958.

April 25, 2007

Graffiti talks: Paint the city and protest

We always complain about graffiti because it messes up buildings and makes streets look like slums.

For many youngsters it is the only form of social expression that they find really makes sense to them; that has impact.

I know the eThekwini Municipality put up a Graffiti Wall at the Skateboard Park on the Beachfront a couple of years ago - I must go down and see what has happened to it.

Then there is graffiti like this - a very powerful medium for social protest. Some of these remind me a little of the wall murals in Belfast and Derry in Northern Ireland.

It would be a great way to create social awareness, especailly for something like HIV/AIDS - think of all those ugly bare walls, just waiting to be painted and all the creative young people aching to give expression to their feelings.

Corporates could even sponsor them - a little logo here and there would look cool - handpainted on the wall. (Look great in the SR portfolio too!)

These images are all from .matrix project, a blog by SEAN PATRICK COON, an experience designer and digital activist, living and working out of Greensboro, North Carolina,USA.

April 23, 2007

Vega launches another degree

As if the smart-alec kids aren't smart enough already!

Vega is launching another degree - hey I'm really happy - this is projection, hankering after my tormented youth. Creative youngsters have a hard enough time trying to deal with the world without feeling that there is no future for you unless you do the three piece suit or the "hoƫ hakke" route.

It was announced like this:

After much research and development Vega is proud to announce the launch of our new degree, a BA in Brand Building and Management. The first intake for the degree will take place at the beginning of the 2008 academic year. It will be delivered on all three Vega campuses, namely Sandton, Cape Town and Durban.
“The establishment of the degree was born out of a need to provide the industry with graduates who are able to make a meaningful difference to 21st century businesses,” says Gordon Cook, Vega School Navigator. He believes that the new degree offers both a strategic and analytical approach to brand building. He said: ”We want a new breed of thinkers who can provide creative and innovative approaches to developing and sustaining brands. And brands lead business. And in our view brands cause business"


How to Pronounce a Word in English

Living in a country with many languages one sometimes needs a little tool like this.

We all know that English is an odd language and that words often don't sound like they look, so if you're doubtful, check it out.

All you have to do is type the English word into the box and it gives you the correct pronunciation.

It's pretty good and the Voice speaks English not American. When I typed in aluminium it gave me the English pronunciation and then said American, also aluminum.

h o w j s a y . c o m

An English Pronouncing Dictionary with Instant Sound

April 22, 2007

Political Cartoon

What better way to start the week than with a political cartoon from Townhall.com?


April 20, 2007

Durban- the Smartest City in Africa

Martin Cele, CEO of Smartxchange, Deputy Mayor, Clr Logie Nairoo, Jacquie Subban, Head of Geographic and Information Systems, Ethekwini Municipality

The first SmartCity Conference and Exhibition in Africa took place in Durban at the International Convention Centre on 19 and 20 April 2007.

They streamed the conference live to five venues on the campus at the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) using eThekwini's municipality's fibre optic network.

Part of the SmartCity initiative is to provide affordable broadband technology to the citizens of Durban by using the City’s own fibre-optic infrastructure which will be extended and enhanced.

One doesn't have to be a rocket-scientist to understand, how broadband technology can change the delivery of government services, business processes, education and people’s access to information.

For eThekwini municipality, this is a win win situation. "There is no doubt that low cost connectivity will have a major impact in attracting foreign investment. SMME skills will also be able to be developed further around the telecommunications and broadband services space," says Deputy Mayor, Councillor Logie Naidoo.

Smartxchange, the organisers of the conference, is an initiative within the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). It was established for the purpose of developing the business base for the ICT industry in KZN.

In its efforts to realise the vision of KwaZulu-Natal becoming Africa’s ICT Hub, Smartxchange created the SmartCity Forum. Members were drawn from the SmartXchange partner base and workshops were held with key city officials to discuss the SmartCity concept and the SmartCity Municipal strategies. And that is how this conference and exhibition was born.

But watch this space, there will be another one next year. And keep an eye on the Smartexchange website - there is a lot of interesting stuff happening.

April 14, 2007

Buckland's Blogging Rules

Blogging expert Matthew Buckland shares some tips on what to do and what not to do in the World of the blog.

The rules…
GOLDEN RULE 1: THE HONESTY POLICY It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised. Be honest, direct, transparent. Do not try and bullshit your audience. Admit if you’ve made a mistake. If they see a pretender, bloggers will turn their back on you faster than you can say antidisestablishmentarianism.

GOLDEN RULE 2. LINK BABY, LINK Always link to other blogs in your posts and acknowledge your sources with links. Give ‘em linklove. This is fundamental to the culture of blogging. You’ll be surprised by how quickly you’ll build a community by doing this. Don’t be shy to add bloggers you like to your blogroll. (I’m guilty of neglecting my blogroll).

GOLDEN RULE 3. COMMENT IS FREE Yes we are all busy, but always make an effort to reply to comments on your blog… unless you’re Keo or a New York A-List blogger that cops 352 comments per post.

GOLDEN RULE 4. GIVE COMMENT So you have tons of traffic to your blog and everyone is talking about little old you. That does not mean you should stop contributing to the conversation by not commenting on other blogs. Always try, even if it’s pithy. Jump into the fray.

GOLDEN RULE 5. PERSONALITY Blogs are not newspapers. And you’re not publishing from the mahogany boardroom on floor 79. Inject your own personality into your post, be informal and have fun. Kill the ivory tower. Don’t be too serious. Talk about your pet Weimeranars if you need to.

Web 2.0 marketing course at UCT B-School for Execs

Dave Duarte, Marketing Geek announces the first Web 2.0 marketing course for Execs at UCT business school.

"I’m very happy to announce that UCT Business School will be running a 3-day Executive Education programme on Web2.0 marketing!

Max, Mike And I have been working with the UCT GSB, doing talks and developing this idea for some months… And yesterday our syllabus was finally approved! *yay*

The course is going to be called “Nomadic Marketing” referring to the way in which digital citizens work and move information in the dynamic global market online. More on that in coming weeks."

The progressive GSB exec-ed management team have given us free-reign of the marketing of this course, so look out for a dedicated blog featuring great articles, podcasts, and opportunities to attend the course for contributing… Coming soon!

The course will be running from the 17th-19th July.

For more info.

April 10, 2007

Rathayatra - Festival of Chariots- Durban

It has been Easter Time for Christians; Pesach for the Jewish community and here in Durban once again, the annual Festival of the Chariots or Rathayatra on the Durban Beachfront for the Hindu community.

Every year, this great festival of Rathayatra, which stemmed from Jagannatha Puri, explodes in a brust of colour and devotion as thousands of people gather to celebrate, sing and dance and of course to eat the delicious free food the Hare Krishna's and out.

With a hand tucked into a prayer bag - moving over the wooden beads, you hear the mantra of the Lord's Holy names muttered as you press through the crowd:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare.

My friend Vivan Attwood was there and took these amazing pictures which she said I could borrow for my blog.

April 9, 2007

Become an E-citizen through Intec

Long-distance education provider Intec College has introduced South Africa's first e-Citizen course to equip students new to the Internet with the tools they need to optimise their online experience and expertise.

Of course there are literally gazillions of free online courses for every skill you coud possibly need and if you have a lateral mind like mine you'll be happy to muddle along and learn as you go.

But a structured course like this is maybe the way to go, especailly for businesses and organisations where time is of the essence and also for older people who are not as comfortable with computers as the younger generation.

It will probably be easier for many people to learn in a more familiar and formal way.

Intec's e–Citizen is the new end-user computer skills course from the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) Foundation. The course is designed to cater for those with a limited knowledge of computers and the Internet. The e–Citizen course will develop your skills and knowledge, which will enable you to use the computer and Internet more effectively.

"The Internet's latest evolution, Web 2.0, has allowed web content to be generated by ordinary web users through 'do-it-yourself' tools like blogging and podcasting. It has seen the importance of the Internet grow rapidly," says Phillip Slatter, Intec's business and computer school manager.

More and more services are being administered online, he says. "Internet navigation and operation have become essential rather than 'nice-to-have' skills and to make full use of the web's potential, a well-structured course is vital. "Many of our student enquirers have expressed interest in learning how to make the most of tools like e-banking, shopping online, blogging, podcasts or uploading content. We took their needs into account

So go to Intec and see wha it is all about.

April 5, 2007

The benefit of two social media aggregators to business

Picked this up from Cosmedia

by Gino Cosme on Apr 4th, 2007

In the span of a month South Africa has unveiled two social media aggregators. First we saw the M&G unveil Amatomu, a blog aggregator developed by Vincent Maher and Matthew Buckland. Then yesterday Mike Stopforth, Justin Hartman and Mark Forrester released Afrigator.

Unlike Amatomu, which for the record is proving itself to be a worthwhile South African blog aggregator, Afrigator aims to be a complete social media aggregator that will aggregate blogs, podcasts, videocasts and websites in not only South Africa but Africa as a whole. This has benefits for both content creators and marketers alike.

read more

April 4, 2007

Local companies starting to embrace Web 2.0

By MyADSL, 4 April 2007

Despite low broadband penetration rates and high local hosting costs South African companies are starting to invest in new media and Web 2.0 services.

Blogging growing fast

The latest addition to the local Web 2.0 arena is Amatomu ( http://www.amatomu.com/ ), a local blog aggregator which aims to give the local Blogosphere the exposure it deserves.

Amatomu is funded by the Mail & Guardian, which is increasingly investing in new media projects like podcasts and blogs. They are also in the process of developing the Mail & Guardian Labs, an initiative aimed at developing innovative new Internet based projects.

Read more at MyADSL.co.za

Great promotional idea

On March 17 in Antwerp, 2,000 golf ball shaped helium balloons attached to Puma golf items were sent aloft to float down Meir, a busy shopping street as well as near taxi stands, train and bus stations. People were free to take the items. Labels were attached to the balloons that described the collection and directed people who grabbed them to the Puma website. The effort aimed to convey the "packable, portable and playable" qualities of the line.

Whingeing whites and Mbeki's pay

03/04/2007 07:32

By: Vic de Klerk

THE SA Communist Party and Cosatu are right. The whites have benefited most from the stability and growth of the South Africa's economy since the liberation - call it the democratisation - of the country in 1994. Many of my contemporaries and fellow countrymen will probably feel awkward to hear an older Afrikaner say that.

Read this great opinion piece at Fin24

April 2, 2007

eThekwini Budget Public Hearings- Dates, times and places

The Draft Medium Term 2007-2008 and 2009 -20010 Budget and all its documents is available here.


Please be advised that presentation on the 2007/2008 budget are scheduled to be held in the Albert Luthuli Hall, City Hall on the following dates and times:

10 April

Procurement & Infrastructure

Housing, Cleansing and Solid Waste and Human Resources

11 April

Health, Safety & Social Services

Health, Safety and Social Services

12 April

Sustainable Development & City Enterprises

Economic Development and Planning

12 April

Office of the City Manager
Corporate & Human Resources
Masakhane, Grants-in-Aid, Non-discrimination and Non-sexism
Housing, Cleansing and Solid Waste and Human Resources


Mpumalanga Wards 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 91


09H00 Mpumalanga Main Hall

Greater Hillcrest Wards 2, 8, 9, 10


09h00 Hillcrest Hall

Pinetown South Wards 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17


09H00 Pinetown Civic Centre

Clermont Wards 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 92


09H00 Clermont Hall

Greater Durban Wards 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37,48


09H00 Luthuli Hall, City Hall

Inanda-Ntuzuma Wards 3, 42, 43, 44, , 55, 56, 57


09H00 Nozaza Hall

Kwamashu Wards 11, 38, 39, 40, 41, 45, 46, 47,


09h00 KwaMashu Indoor Sport Centre

Phoenix Wards 48, 49, 50, 52,53, 54


09H00 Redfern Hall

Verulam Wards 51 , 58, 59, 60, 61, 62


09H00 Verulam Sportground

Lower South Wards 64, 66, 67, 68, 74, 75


10H00 Ningizimu Special School, Umlazi

Chatsworth Wards 63, 65, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73


10H00 Bayview Hall, Chatsworth

Umlazi Wards 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88


09H00 Umlazi Cinema

Upper South Wards 89, 90, 93, 94, 95, 100


09H00 St Ramalinga Hall

Upper South Wards 96, 97, 98, 99


09H00 Illovu B Hall

For more information kindly contact Krish Kumar, the deputy city manager: Treasury on 083 4615 106 or your Ward Councillor..

SA Blog 2007 Award Winners

And the winner is...


See all the winners