Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Keeping both hands warm

Ha! I love it! What a bizarre way to go green! Hopefully there will be more and more of these types of initiatives popping up after yesterday's talk about not waiting for governments to save us. Although much as I tried to convince myself that it's not only good for minimising waste, but for rocking some recessionista couture too, I just can't. The combinations are hideous. Saving the little hand-knitted glove with reindeer prints (as only the Brits can do so well - I give you Mark Darcy's jersery in Bridget Jones) for pairing with an even uglier felt number in a clashing colour is really pushing the environmental movement back into the smelly hippy corner from whence it came! Perhaps Topshop or H&M will come to the rescue.

In the meantime, I'm happy to live in a climate where the only way this would work would be to pair unmatched flip-flops. And I have a small mountain of those to offer up...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Doing it for ourselves

I went to a talk tonight on Active Citizenship by Dr Mamphela Ramphele, at Kirstenbosch. It was for the launch of an interesting-looking book on how ordinary South Africans can make a difference. Some of the other speakers were a little arb - I had to do a lot of blackberry facebooking during a particularly long-winded anecdote about the National Union of Mineworkers' labour dispute with another union. But generally the idea was a good one: getting us off our arses, and transforming us from a nation of whingers to a nation of empowered citizens who uplift their own communities. She pointed out that we don't have any more baggage, for example, than Mozambicans, and yet they have made the decision to work towards a better future rather than moan about the past.

Two things stood out for me in what she said:

Firstly, we don't move on from our past because our post-apartheid amelioration system incentivises victimhood as a golden ticket for a free lunch.

Secondly, the vocabulary of 'delivery' has demobilised South Africans. We no longer do anything for ourselves because we expect houses to be 'delivered', jobs to be 'delivered'. It is absurd to expect the government to provide everything.

Where is our pride? Amandla awethu, my brothers and sisters :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

# rant

Can ol Helen Zille, the city government and SA companies please come to the table? When are we going to get cycle routes in this city? I can't believe with all the new roads being built for 2010, the city is showing absolutely no signs of engaging with how people actually want to travel in the 21st Century! How can you be clean when all you plan for are buses and taxis and trains? Where is our national cycle scheme, with it's financial incentives to use bicycles? Where are our safe, motor-free cycle lanes and pedestrian paths? Why don't green companies like Nedbank or Woolworths put their money where their mouth is and develop solar-powered trams? Cape Town needs to wake up.