Thursday, December 4, 2008

I had a day in Africa

On Monday (1st Dec08 )I went to Murraysburg.

There's a subtle change somewhere north of Beaufort West, without knowing it at first, one moves over the border into Africa. (No, I do not consider the Western Cape to be part of Africa and don't ask me why. It's hard enough remembering my opinions without having to remember the reasons for them).
Now Murraysburg is a dorp that once was and yet it once again is. It appears not to have the Western Cape's "papsak-siekte" and the various mindsets that go with it. The paint isn't peeling off, that happened long ago. It is as if the veneer of the old South African order has long gone, being replaced with a realism. A harsh realism. The dorp is poor, and scruffy, but that's the reality.
It's as if the place is so far behind that it's in front. In fact it's way in front. This is the future, accept it, embrace it and let's make things work again. No, not bring back the past. Make things work again - for everyone.

The picture is of the pump we installed.


  1. So far behind that it is in front? Wonderful phrase, but I not sure what you mean? Are you referring to peak oil? de-industrialization?


  2. Hi Allan,
    Yes, it's as if the town has been through the change that is required of us all in a South African context and in a world context. In SA we have to face the change and the challenges and accept them, globally we have to do the same. Accepting change is not enough though, we have to be part of a movement that makes the change happen. Part of my motivation for that posting was that many South Africans would see Murraysburg as proof of why they need to emigrate to Australia, the UK or North America. I see it as a damn good reason to stay. It's proof of a re-birth, proof that the old order has gone (in Murraysburg at least!) Proof that the future will be different, but no less interesting and challenging than the past. Murraysburg will not have to go through the pain of shedding the trappings of wealth when change happens, simply because they do not have the trappings of wealth.