Still too sleepy for big events?

2008-02-10 00:00

Take a Break

Ah yes, good old Maritzburg did everything in its power to perpetuate the perceptions of its small-mindedness.

No wonder that parts of the Durban media still refer to the city as "Sleepy Hollow". The occasion was the Intaka Tech World’s View Challenge, which focused plenty of media attention on the city, particularly to the international cycling fraternity that observed proceedings here with great interest.

The series of races served as an important prelude to the forthcoming European professional circuit, and the pre-season showing of some of the world’s top athletes was keenly watched.

But the event was more than just about popularising professional cycling, it was also about setting the scene for a veritable feast of international two-wheel action over the next few years.

Much has been said about this already, but in essence, the city’s elevation as a cycling destination translates into sound economics.

What then of the detractors, those who complained so bitterly about the road closures that were necessary to allow cyclists a safe passage? Sure, there were problems about communicating these closures to the public, and some people were most definitely inconvenienced.

The hassles notwithstanding, we don’t quite fathom their selfish parochialism, and consider their views to be singularly inappropriate. Surely in the greater scheme of things, the inconvenience of an hour or so paled into insignificance against the impact of such an event, and its long-term benefication?

Not that this wasn’t all said before, but it is as if the whingers and whiners cannot stop themselves, a little like waving a red flag to a bull. The one consolation is that they constitute a minority, albeit a vocal one, and that their antics failed to detract from what turned out to be a successful foray.

Buffoonery rules

Has anybody else been struck by the apathetic response to the South African soccer team’s woeful performance at the African Nations Cup?

Imagine such indifference if a similar fate befell either the national cricket or rugby teams. While it’s true that the team failed to spark confidence before their departure, their round one exit hardly raised a ruffle. With 2010 looming, the prognosis is catastrophic from a sporting perspective, not to mention the embarrassment of the continent’s strongest economy coming unstuck against teams from minnow nations.

Lots of things clearly are very wrong, and we’re not sure that a World Cup-winning coach is able to make a difference. The problem goes beyond coaches and players, and brings to mind an allegorical truism, namely that a fish rots from the head.

Say, what?

We're deeply moved by the implorations of uMgungundlovu District Municipality deputy mayor Aubrey Lukhele who urged all and sundry to move on, now that municipal manager Monica Mngadi has finally vacated her post.

We appreciate Lukhele’s sentiments, but would like to ask the honourable deputy mayor why Mngadiwas appointed in the first place. To the best of our knowledge, Lukhele was one of her keenest supporters, and we’d dearly like to know what changed his mind. Or is it a case of reluctantly capitulating to a chorus of opposition, in a last-ditch bid to save the sinking ship, and hang on to the perks and privileges of this public office?

Dastardly deed

We'd love to know who dumped a load of rubbish in Prestbury recently. Judging by the condition of the packaging, the deed was done either on Thursday or Friday last week. According to the various labels on the cardboard boxes, the rubbish originated from Maritzburg Mowers at 293 Boom Street.

Sani capers

Does the trade journal Tourism Update know something we don’t? According to the December 2007 edition, the Sani Pass Hotel has obtained "extension of rights approval" to develop 450 themed leisure chalets, individually-owned houses, a mountain lodge and backpackers accommodation on 660 ha of land.

Last we heard all these plans were subject to an environmental impact assessment on ecologically-sensitive land, and the public participatory process had just began.

Eskom speak

Fearing the consequences of political incorrectness, Eskom no longer refers to "black-outs", but to "previously lit" areas.

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