#HoughtonEstate Residents United.

We live in a very unique place on earth. It’s rich with heritage, culture and traditions which have come to define this gem in Johannesburg. Beautiful gardens, mansions and architecture boast the golden years of this magnificent living relict.

We live in a very unique place on earth. It’s rich with heritage, culture and traditions which have come to define this gem in Johannesburg. Beautiful gardens, mansions and architecture boast the golden years of this magnificent living relict.

We live in a very unique place on earth. It’s rich with heritage, culture and traditions which have come to define this gem in Johannesburg. Beautiful gardens, mansions and architecture boast the golden years of this magnificent living relict.

Landlords and tenants are both equally in appreciation of living in such an area where history still lives on.The time has moved-on and the generations of Houghton Estate contributors slowly disappear as the change of hands to custodians of the artefacts.

We are privileged to now stand as stewards of our community’s treasures. As a community we share a common purpose for safety, clean environments and that our children will be proud of the investments we have safeguarded.

Politicians come and go with ideologies for their personal gain, however sadly with these shifts of changes we see the negligence of their duties affecting our way of life. Over-grown grass, potholes and dug-up driveways, on and on it goes without any care in the world to the representative.

Whether they do or don’t do their job – their stipends are protected whilst our investments are on shaking ground.It would be futile to believe that politicians, who live outside our community, know what is best given that ruins lie around us. This is our community, and we have the right to charter its future.

https://www.facebook.com/houghtonestateresidents/

COVID-19 is not just killing people, it is killing “god”

I’m calling the religious leaders of all faiths to seek truth. To take a lead rather than being led. How is that which is spiritual is now afraid of that which is physical? How is it that which preached hope are now hiding under their beds? I’m a Christian and we have not seen our leaders take any leadership from Jesus but the words on their lips are from Cyril… What’s your god saying to you at this time?… Or has he died too?

click to listen

South Africa is deeply rooted in the belief that there is a god. No matter which religious institution one follows, the belief is that a higher power watches over their lives. Judaic, Christian and Muslim share a common history traced back to Abraham. Other faith share their beliefs that whatever we believe it helps others and builds a community.

Having a belief system brings a realisation that man is not the measure of all things and that one’s actions need to be accountable. Religion brings a self-discipline that god is watching us and that breaking the law without getting caught does not mean one has succeeded. In fact, it provokes a conscience to guilt which is far greater than the secular rule of law.

When the COVID-19 approached our shores we the people of South Africa prayed, we saw our President humbling himself to call on GOD. This is not the response of a secularist for the science would be the answer looking into the microscope attempting to unravel its make-up. However it’s clear that they are without success – man is shown NOT to be the measure of all things. Instead of taking a rational approach, which secularism heralds it, calls all to hide in our homes.

Secularisation is a process by which societies become more rationalised. It occurs when people perceive that the circumstances around them are changing – able by human intervention. If religious belief, such as fatalism, prevents society from seeing the environment in that way then religion may become an obstacle to modernisation. A rational or secular basis of social values does not accept unalterable or the sacred facts of life.

Secularisation means enabling people to differentiate between the sacred and the profane, the religious world and the world of material objects. It does not interpret everything in terms of a set of beliefs about what is sacred and what is handed down from time immemorial. Those beliefs may remain but people begin to separate them from secular concerns, the latter then being exposed to rational scrutiny.

Now that definition of secularism is clear, but then what has happened to the church? Why did they go also into hiding? The bankers, politicians and medical staff are taking the lead in showing courage on the front line, and showing greater beliefs in the world systems than the religious to their gods. Does the religious institutions not have a contribution? Is there no essential service they could take on – besides yet collecting the tithes? Have the pastors, clerics and rabbis gone into hiding? People are fearful, many don’t understand the spiritual significance of this or is it that religion has no answers?

I’m calling the religious leaders of all faiths to seek truth. To take a lead rather than being led. How is that which is spiritual is now afraid of that which is physical? How is it that which preached hope are now hiding under their beds? I’m a Christian and we have not seen our leaders take any leadership from Jesus but the words on their lips are from Cyril… What’s your god saying to you at this time?… Or has he died too?

Maybe South Africa is in possession of a money tree?

There are statistics which show that only 31% of the population pay tax. So, in light to the country’s financial delinquency to provide “free” money is not a socialistic outreach but one which means we now have a money tree, or we are going to hit serious rock bottom in the coming months. Where did this money come from? Are we selling off our country one bit at a time until the entire country is swallowed at the hands of the cursed?

South Africa has for more than twenty years struggled with balancing an economy, low levels of education and high unemployment. There are statistics of approximately more than 7 million people go to bed without food every night. The government has been the ruling party since its freedom in 1994. Inefficient and ineffective government bureaucracy, restrictive labour regulations and a shortage of skilled workers as many leave to work abroad. 

With notably high rate of murders, assaults, rapes and other violent crimes compare to most countries, South Africa seem to have turned a blind eye to the many issues the country faces.  I personally have requested crime statistics from my local police station and was told that these statistics were not “available” to the general public – so much for transparency in a democratic society.  In recent months prior to Coronavirus, South Africa’s economy appeared wounded and awaiting the vultures – as SAA, Eskom and other National entities all showed the similar characteristics of poor management. 

The only stability and guarantee South Africa has, during the current constant changes, are the inefficiency of those managing the country’s resources. Miraculously, amongst the many commodities – South Africa has grown its own money tree – for how else could we account for the R500 billion once off stimulus into social and economic support package at a time when there has been the greatest lack of productivity the country has ever experienced due to the COVID-19. Yet we now see more has been provided for the population to do “nothing”. This is not a hand-up just another spirit of entitlement. 

There are statistics which show that only 31% of the population pay tax. So, in light to the country’s financial delinquency to provide “free” money is not a socialistic outreach but one which means we now have a money tree, or we are going to hit serious rock bottom in the coming months. Where did this money come from? Are we selling off our country one bit at a time until the entire country is swallowed at the hands of the cursed?

The future generations of South Africans would look back and not see great men of sacrifice, instead history will show that they cared only for themselves. There is no shame in that, posing as socialist and manifesting capitalistic tendencies are but a shame!

Did SA Lockdown too Early?

Sweden uses science and evidence to implement a different strategy, a lone voice in fighting COVID-19. However, Austria, Denmark and Norway and amongst others are also now lifting the lockdown… No not us… we let others think for us. Look at the protest in Michigan, US, the people are not having it – “We will not comply!” – they realise their civil liberties are at sake – wake up South Africa!

We all watched, read and some tasted the beatings of those enforcing the public to “STAY AT HOME”.  A truly unprecedented time facing us all – warning us that those who disobey the lockdown “place everyone at risk” with objective to “flattened the curve”.  We the people like herd-minded individuals must obey the authorities. 

To those well-off this was a good time to recharge and reflect, however to those living “hand-to-mouth” this could not have come in a worse time ever, for not to work means not to eat and question how they will survive.

Now much of the world has been in “lockdown” unable to go outside apart for the purchase of essential items. What is considered “essential” are defined by the subjective priorities of the government’s interests. Stock Exchange, Banks and major corporations are willing to go as the “sacrificial lambs” to keep the country above water – but your livelihoods are not as “essential”.

In addition, religious institutions, despite adhering to the policies, are not considered essential despite the much benevolent givings to society, physically and spiritually. The sad reality is that the institutions had not challenged the directives of their authorities depicting as a vital service to society. Currently with much of the population locked indoors, with limited capabilities of engaging with family, neighbours and friends – we will soon reap the aftermath of psychotic behaviours created by these actions taken. 

There are plenty of studies to show of how isolation affects people and the mental disorders it creates. Have our authorities considered the response to the aftermath? As some governments have already begun to get itchy feet and now prepping its people to do a U-turn by sending them back to live as normal… for calls to stay at home echo no long-term strategy.  

what did we stay at home for? To see the economy plummet, or to see our jobs lost?  The virus has not run its course yet – so why let us go out now or “phase” us back as they say? Why, is it because this may not have been a wise strategy? It’s also a shame that religious institutions will be secondary priorities for industries will take a precedent to return to become to “normal” – this is good! I really hope this becomes a wakeup call for churches as I watched them bury their heads in the sand.

So, to be clear, it is eminent that the governments cannot carry on with a lockdown or face the consequences of becoming bankrupt and so could its citizens. This was a stupid idea and they swallowed the bait hook, line and sinker – now what?  Wasted effort of a suicidal attempt.  

Sweden uses science and evidence to implement a different strategy, a lone voice in fighting COVID-19. However, Austria, Denmark, Norway and amongst others are also now lifting the lockdown… No not us!… We let others think for us.  Look at the protests in Michigan, US, the people are not having it – “We will not comply!” – they realised their civil liberties are at stake – wake up South Africa!

Local is Best

Local is Best is a conscience effort by the community to making the decision to buy from a local business instead of going to a large retailer. It is also the understanding that the local business would appreciate that loyalty with reciprocating the consumer with a service which is unlike that of the large retailers. The businesses would vouch never to exploit the relationship in giving less than the value.

 

IVOTESA initiative, a love stimulus for our local economy.

Across the country, public events are cancelled, shops and restaurants have shut down, and workers were sent home in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This reduction in commerce is necessary as a public health response to the virus, but its adverse effects are already rippling through our local economy — and will likely worsen in the coming weeks and months.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has already mentioned that, “It will have a huge impact on travel, negative impact on our economy which we all know is in a very precarious situation”. It is for this reason we as a community need to stand together in support of our local businesses. In response, I have launched a campaign called, “Local is Best”.

Naturally we all can appreciate the financial adverse consequences affecting our local businesses. We have designed a number of campaigns to assist our business community. If you are a business owner in Killarney, Houghton, Norwood, Orange Grove, Fellside and surrounding areas – do get in touch, as we aim to provide you the media representation you so deserve when you get back to business. Our communities need to realise why local is best, especially life after the pandemic.

What is Local is Best?

Local is Best is a conscience effort by the community to making the decision to buy from a local business instead of going to a large retailer. It is also the understanding that the local business would appreciate that loyalty with reciprocating the consumer with a service which is unlike that of the large retailers. The businesses would vouch never to exploit the relationship in giving less than the value.

Why is it better to shop locally?

§  We refer to this as the love stimulus for evidently local businesses do not have the buying power of large retailers but do have the appreciation for their support. 

§  When we purchase at locally owned businesses rather than nationally owned, more money is kept in the community because locally owned businesses often purchase from other local businesses, service providers and farms. 

How do I get people to shop locally?

§  Directory – Exposure and media coverage of what our community has to offer therefore we will create an exclusive (not exhaustive) listing of reputable businesses.

§  “Local is Best” stickers – Brand recognition amongst the community to be displayed on shop fronts. 

§  Vouchers – to be provided as giftcards.

§  Loyalty Cards – recording of reward points for regular customers with percentage of discount.

Why are shops closing?

§  Tenants having to pay high overheads and ever-increasing utilities bills creating a choke on the feasibility of local businesses. 

§  We need to encourage landlords to be fair and to look after their buildings so that our community looks well maintained. 

We can also support a small business without having to buy anything?

§  Write a Review – Telling others about a great experience we have had at a small business – this is a huge way to support them.

§  Likes, Comments & Shares – Social media is so important to small businesses, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

§  Send them a message thanking them.

SA Medical System is similar to a Ponzi Scheme!

Discovery, Sanlam just to name a few offers schemes for a medical cover (whatever that means). For then there is an unregulated batch of “opportunists” named “doctors” who could charge willy-nilly so if the illness doesn’t finish you off – your medical bill will.

Some of today’s medical practitioners show no discretion to their greed for money above the consideration for the patient. Looking at each patient not with the diagnosis for remedy but with the sense of investment for the long-haul bleed until their death. 

Discovery, Sanlam just to name a few offers schemes for a medical cover (whatever that means).  For then there is an unregulated batch of “opportunists” named “doctors” who could charge willy-nilly so if the illness doesn’t finish you off – your medical bill will.

These schemes are just what they are, “schemes” for self-gain rather than the fulfilling the functions of their professions. They scheme methods to abstracting the most from every illness.

It’s not uncommon to hear of the numerous accounts of over-medicating, wrong medication and wrong diagnosis. It is also not uncommon to hear that repatriations for malpractice to the victims.

South Africa my friend, has lost its heart and capitalism is destroying it. I consider myself a capitalist with social responsibility but every day as I witness the abuse of our people – I’m beginning to see that this is not Capitalism in South Africa – it is abuse and exploitation. If this is what Capitalism looks like, then I want to be a Socialist. 

We visited a General Practitioner on Louis Botha Avenue today and to our surprise they attempted to fleece us with a wrong interpretation of our medical aid policy. We are graduates with Postgraduates degrees, so we can read and understand English. When their staff member mentioned that our “policy does not cover” we showed her the clear English interpretation.

Now, how many others would they have tried this manoeuvrings to the uneducated? It’s the type of poor behaviour which frustrates the locals to Xenophobic behaviour, for it’s the non-blacks who generally abuse the uneducated black population by contracts, regulations and wordiness of document knowing that they would not be challenged, ENOUGH is ENOUGH! Everyone has the right to a proper healthcare system which works and does not have motivations and incentives that abuse its people.

The Hippocratic Oath is one of the oldest binding documents in history, the Oath written by Hippocrates is still held sacred by physicians – to treat the ill to the best of one’s ability, to preserve a patient’s privacy, and to teach the secrets of medicine to the next generation.

It reads,

I swear to fulfil, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures which are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.

I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.

I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.

I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.

I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.

The Taxis Would Be Transporting More Than Just Passengers…

Now despite the Transport Minister’s precautionary measures would it not be ridiculous to assume that he is placing the great many at risk being sat in a taxi? Would the government be accountable to the lives of those they are placing now in harm’s way? How do you practise a 2-metre physical distancing in a taxi?

Lockdown means lockdown, and the dilution of the President’s speech to the actions of the Transport Minister merely adds confusion to the efforts to contain the virus. Whether it is a full, large or small load, it is a health hazard.

Is the Government adding to the confusion of the 21-day lockdown? President Cyril Ramaphosa announces that the SANDF army would be enforcing the lockdown. Citizens have witnessed the beatings and humiliating tactics of the authorities to little effect. 

The greatest of all dithering came regarding the policy on taxi loading capacity.  Initially the regulations on COVID-19 lockdown prescribed a 50% loading capacity, however when taxi operators threatened to go on a national strike Transport Minister Fikle Mbalula backtracked, announcing that, “during the lockdown period, all minibus and midi-bus taxi vehicles are permitted to load their maximum 100% passenger loading capacity as provided for in their operating licenses, provided that all passengers are wearing surgical masks or N95 respiratory masks.

 “The consultation process also included relevant structures within government and individual ministers. In consulting with the taxi industry, I have engaged the leadership of the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) and the National Taxi Alliance (NTA).”

However, just hours after announcing that taxis were allowed to carry the full load with masks conditions, this decision was rescinded yet to another, this time, the latest 70% capacity.

These changes to the lockdown came because the Transport Minister said the measures were all about saving lives and stopping the spread of the COVID-19 in the country.

Now honestly, we all know that this is not a lockdown if mass number of people are able to move around long distances. The idea of a lockdown is to curb the traffic from interacting at close proximities to each other. We are already familiar to the cramped living conditions within townships.

Now despite the Transport Minister’s precautionary measures would it not be ridiculous to assume that he is placing the great many at risk being sat in a taxi? Would the government be accountable to the lives of those they are placing now in harm’s way? How do you practise a 2-metre physical distancing in a taxi?

Lockdown means lockdown, and the dilution of the President’s speech to the actions of the Transport Minister merely adds confusion to the efforts to contain the virus. Whether it is a full, large or small load, it is a health hazard. 

Or is this to do with the pressure being placed on the government to strong-arm them to relent? Would it be interesting to enquire with the WHO on their take of current actions?

Coronavirus brings Service Delivery to South Africa!

We have Coronavirus to thank – had it not jeopardized the comfort of power seats in the country the people would forever be forgotten. We thank God that Coronavirus has brought running water, sanitation and no load-shedding. At last! … Freedom arrives again but always at the expense of the martyrs’ blood; for a many will die because of the very basic services of “physical distancing” are impossible to now make right.

South Africans love good things, we love to spend more than what we earn. Many of our homes and lifestyles are filled with possessions owned by the banks. Alas, the banks have none of the securities/regulating bodies that Western economies have to protect the poor. This pattern of economics in spending more than one has or can “afford” is not limited to the microeconomics of households, for the disease permeates to the very heart of our country’s macroeconomics.

Our leaders of South Africa have set a precedent of lavishness and indulgence of the people’s wealth. They portray the subliminal message that achieving good things is an entitled right to life if you get to public office. We, the people see their selfishness, self-centred and ego-centric ambitions to hoard positions of power for the manipulation of their aspirations rather than the peoples’ basic needs.

Only if the people of the townships and rural households would open their eyes to the reality. Similarly, to the Apartheid government who wanted its people, the majority, uneducated and caught-up in serving their masters, as there would be no room to get the masses out of poverty. So instead of the peoples’ promotion to at least the working class – they are sold a dream unable to ever achieve. A dream of prosperity that can be achieved only by stealing and coveting.

The people are not stupid – they are loyal for their allegiance have now been trained from the common cause of freedom from tyranny, to the ideology of “prostitution” where we now sell that “vote” to the highest bidder… and it is not that expensive. The people are so desperate that a food hamper with a T-shirt usually does the trick. Would it work again? Or have the eyes of our people finally opened?

Now we have Coronavirus to thank – had it not jeopardized the comfort of power seats in the country the people would forever be forgotten. We thank God that Coronavirus has brought running water, sanitation and no load-shedding.  At last! … Freedom arrives again but always at the expense of the martyrs’ blood; for a many will die because of the very basic services of “physical distancing” are impossible to now make right. 

I feel for my brothers and sisters in Alex and Khayekitsha, both townships are very close to our major economic power houses yet though that may be true – our leaders forsake to see the Power in the People! Amandla Awethu.