On guard

On top of that they are strict. You cannot argue with a security guard.


Earlier this year I had occasion to interview the chairman of one of South Africa’s biggest retailers, who also sits on several other boards as a non-executive director. It was a Q&A interview, with some standard questions, including this one: Who/what inspires you?

This was his answer: “Security guards. They’re always so cheerful.”

It was an interesting answer, and it got me thinking – and noticing how many times in a day I interacted with security guards. The answer, if you live in South Africa, is “a lot”.

And they are, for the most part, friendly and cheerful. In shopping centres, they will always direct you to the shop you’re looking for. At government departments, they usually know more than the information desk clerks do. But it’s at business premises, I think, that they come into their own.

Because at corporate headquarters and office parks across South Africa, the security…

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Displaced foreigners struggle in tents

OVER 200 displaced people have found a new home in makeshift tents adjacent to Wembley Stadium, Johannesburg South.

There is no indication as to how long they will have to stay in their new-found homes. The group, which includes men, women and children, live side by side in tents. Some tents which are made to accommodate three people are now home to between 12 and 15 people.

Most of these people were evicted in central Johannesburg recently and others were left homeless when a building they were living in caught fire at the beginning of July. Life is difficult for these families because they struggle to survive, especially since most of them don’t have any IDs, passports and work permits, as they were destroyed by the fire.

City launches manhole cover replacement project

A HIGH number of deaths as a result of open manholes have prompted the City of Johannesburg to prioritize the replacement of the manhole covers.

Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, Clr Herman Mashaba officially launched the City’s much-needed manhole cover replacement project on August 10, starting in the inner city’s Helen Joseph Street.

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WORKING: Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, Clr Herman Mashaba drilling through the concrete around the old metal manhole. *Photo: Lucky Thusi.

This decade long neglect of infrastructure maintenance has resulted in the reported 99 deaths in 2014/15 and 104 deaths in 2016/17 and this was due to manholes left uncovered throughout the City.

Clr Mashaba said this project forms part of the City’s future network upgrades plan, which aims to improve our road infrastructure which is an essential component of boosting the City’s economy and creating job opportunities.

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STAKEHOLDERS: Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) and the City’s officials at the launch of the manhole cover replacement project. *Photo: Lucky Thusi.

“By ensuring that businesses can transport their goods and reach consumers and that our residents are able to safely move across the City, we will be a step closer to reaching our goal of achieving 5 per cent economic growth within the City by 2021. The project is expected to be completed by December 15 this year for all 4 000 of the City’s uncovered manholes. In prioritising commuter safety, construction work will be carried out during off-peak times during the day to fast-track planned upgrades with minimal impact on road users and pedestrians. The project will also include traffic accommodation, relocation of services, storm-water, roadworks, road signs and markings.

“Our administration has developed a comprehensive approach to the maintenance, development and expansion of the City’s road network. The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) has been allocated an operating budget of R1.1 billion in the 2017/18 financial year, and a three-year capital budget of R4-Billion,” explained the Mayor.

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NEW PROJECT: JRA’s worker putting the final touches and the new manhole. *Photo: Lucky Thusi.

He further said he would, therefore, like to thank the residents of Joburg for their patience while they address the current problems of under-maintained roads. The decades-long neglect of infrastructure maintenance means there are still substantial infrastructure challenges which require attention.

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FINAL PRODUCT: Done deal, the new plastic manhole cover that has just been replaced. Photo: Lucky Thusi.

City replaces manhole covers

CITY of Johannesburg Executive Mayor, Clr Herman Mashaba together with Joburg Road Agency (JRA) join forces in replacing the manhole covers in the inner city, Helen Joseph Street on August 10.

The metal manhole covers have been targeted by the scrap metal thieves who sold them to the scrap yards. The city replaces the metal manhole covers with the less valuable plastic manhole covers.

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Stanley Vilakazi, depot manager from JRA said these covers are a better option for the City of Johannesburg. “The city will save more using these plastic manhole covers. From time to time the city used to replace these metal manhole covers and a lot of money has been spent on them,” he said.

Clr Mashaba said open manholes pose danger to the community especially at night that is why the city is embarking on this journey to at least to cover them. “As a city we will make sure that we lure investors to come and help us in some of the challenges we have. The manhole covers is one of the problems the city is facing however with the help of JRA we are slowly but surely closing the gap. We like to thank JRA for coming on board to help us in this regard. These plastic manhole covers cannot be traded in like the metal ones. We are trying to minimise costs and at the same time saving our beautiful city,” he said.

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The Mayor said the city of Johannesburg was a beautiful city and he wants it to go back to its glory days and he said the community of Johannesburg need to help the municipality to achieve that.

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Manhole replacement

City of Johannesburg Executive Mayor, Clr Herman Mashaba will be replacing manhole covers in the inner city.

The Mayor together with Johannesburg Road Agency (JRA) will meet at Helen Joseph  Street (between Miriam Makeba and Henry Nxumalo streets) on Thursday, August 10 from 10am to 11am.

Follow me on Twitter @mshayeli #manhole #coj #hermanmashaba #jra

Clr Mashaba

Photography is the way

Photography is the way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever…it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything, – Aaron Siskind

After yo get a call to go to a story think of a picture you want to take. We need to be visually attracting our readers. There are five most important things you need to bear in mind when taking a picture, viz: exposure, exposure meter, aperture, shutter speed and ISO.

The smaller the f-stop number the bigger the depth of field –  this means the large aperture. For detailed picture (everything in focus) you need to increase the f-stop number (f=11 and upwards).

Things to remember

  • When you go out make sure your camera is in right settings
  • Check ISO and exposure
  • Don’t use flash on MACRO settings
  • To get that warmth, take house photos between 4pm and 6pm
  • Tripod will always give you great pictures, they are stable
  • When taking pictures on Manual: if you want motion in your picture  (1 – 1/250) and to to freeze motion (1/250 – 1/200).
  • When you battle with light either under or over-exposed
  • Do not use pop-flash with the hood simultaneously

Taking great pictures

  • Compose the picture
  • Background and foreground are important
  • Where do you put your subject
  • Shapes and patterns, moods and contrasts
  • The edges of the picture
  • Judging the moment
  • Giving your pictures a sense of depth
  • Getting the most from colour, black and white
  • Try the abstract approach

Have a great time taking those photographs.

For more photos and news by me visit Southern COURIER website