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MY POSTCARD FROM SANDTON,Justice Abeeku Newton-Offei

MY POSTCARD FROM SANDTON,Justice Abeeku Newton-Offei


The primary time Sandton of south Africa prominently obtained imprinted on my thoughts was when then chief of ANC youth wing, and now chief of Financial Freedom Fighters [EFF] get together, Julius Malema,was accused by a BBC journalist of getting the style for wealth by having his residence within the “plush neighborhood of Sandton” throughout a press-conference.

I’ve all the time had this impression of South Africa being a fantastic nation with well-structured practical methods trendy infrastructure, from what I learn, noticed in footage and accounts from those that had visited.

A rustic with enviable standing of getting the most-advanced financial system of the continent of Africa clearly is in a category of its personal. South Africa can also be a member of BRICS, a league of rising financial bloc, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, and usual to compete with the likes of North America Free Commerce Space [NAFTA], European Financial Union [EEU] and Affiliation of South East Asian Nations [ASEAN], I certainly had an excellent image of how the nation seemed like however being there in individual was undoubtedly a pleasing shock.

My journey took off from the newly-constructed terminal Three of the Kotoka Worldwide Airport, Accra, aboard South Africa Airways flight to Oliver Thambo Worldwide Airport in Johannesburg, on Sunday, 4th November, 2018, as a help to my boss Mr. Eugene Arhin, the top of communication directorate of the workplace of the president, attending Africa Funding Discussion board as a part of the president’s official group, and in firm of a workforce from the presidential press corps.

We landed in Johannesburg after a six and half hour flight and testing on the airport was fairly clean. Comparatively, Oliver Thambo Worldwide airport is a big when in comparison with our KIA, with all of the noise over this so-called ‘magnificent’ terminal Three.

Reasonably priced housing

It was through the journey from the airport to the town of Sandton that the pictorial picture I had had of south Africa all these years, truly started to hit me within the face: nearly 200meters from the airport, is that this array of low-cost housing challenge on an enormous land. A unit of the homes consists of 1, two and three bedrooms fitted with photo voltaic panels and satellite tv for pc TV dishes. All the neighborhood is lush inexperienced and shut by a commuter practice station which affords these low-income residents to simply commute to and from work.

I used to be amazed by the format of the group so I enquired from our native South African driver as to what that group was, and it was there that he advised me it was developed purposely for the poor and weak, notably ladies and youngsters who both are low-income earners or unemployed. He stated it was a scheme designed to offer free appropriate lodging for South Africans who discover themselves on the backside of nationwide socioeconomic strata in an effort to allow them reside significant lives and contribute to their nation.

Rebirth of Sandton

All main roads connecting municipalities are 7-lane twin carriage methods, with each internal and outer lanes in every path, specifically devoted to the emergency providers like ambulances, police and hearth service. Asphaltic overlays on their roads are spot-on and this permits automobiles to remain wholesome by means of mechanics and cleanliness. I by no means noticed, for as soon as, a automotive plying the street coated in heavy layer of mud, worn-out tyres with shabbily dressed particular person behind the steering-wheel.

We have been based mostly within the metropolis of Sandton and the format of this specific municipality of Johannesburg and province of Gauteng, is one thing I’ve not seen anyplace in my travels to developed nations. So I once more requested our South African driver how lengthy Sandton had been in existence and he stated “it has been in existence long before I was born”. Now, the driving force is in his early 40s and subsequently I used to be considering the town of Sandton was a lot youthful, contemplating the sheer magnificence, orderliness and cleanliness I used to be witnessing with my very own eyes.

In response to the data, Sandton, certainly, has been in existence since early 60s however what has made the distinction is the acutely aware effort to boost its picture to the current trendy commonplace via coordinated aggressive city regeneration. Large trendy buildings of lodges, residential, leisure and business amenities dominate the skyline. Addresses of all these buildings are captured in digital database for straightforward accessibility. On the bottom, the streets are well-laid with devoted bus-lanes, pedestrian walkways and emergency lanes.

Street community

We paid a courtesy name on Ghana’s Excessive Commissioner in Pretoria, and we made the journey by street. It was a 20-minute drive from Sandton, and barring sporadic visitors gridlocks on the best way, the journey wouldn’t have taken us greater than 15 minutes; and the reason being easy: it’s a twin carriageway with 5 lanes in every path, with the sixth outer lane clearly marked out with yellow paint devoted to emergency providers.

All through the journey, I by no means noticed a single driver trespassing into the emergency lane as a result of all the stretch is electronically wired by round the clock surveillance cameras. Coupled with this, are the ever-presence well-equipped freeway patrol police who, from what I witnessed, discharge their duties with utmost professionalism.

Fact be informed, I might not declare South African street customers are angels however the primary rule of a practical infrastructure to catch offenders and swift environment friendly methods to dish out commensurate punishment to the responsible with a purpose to create conducive environment for the law-abiding to go about their regular duties, is what makes a society useful, civilized and progressive.

Not as soon as, all through my time in Sandton, did I hear ever the sound of a automotive horn. Pedestrians cross the roads, solely at designated areas and drivers observe visitors guidelines to the letter. From what I skilled, it was apparent the main target of the police, by means of checking visitors offenses, is on the highways as a result of, within the metropolis, adherence to visitors guidelines is spotless.

Visitors laws

I didn’t see a police workplace at visitors intersection anyplace within the metropolis of Sandton, as a result of the visitors lights are all the time practical; and even at roundabouts the place there are not any visitors lights to manage visitors circulate, the idea of PRIORITY SYSTEM the place these already inside the circle has the right-of-way, is noticed with admirable precision. I by no means noticed business motor-riders plying the roads with out helmets, passing by way of pink lights at visitors intersections, scratching our bodies and ripping-off driving-mirrors of personal automobiles of different street customers.

And as I’ve already stated, South Africans aren’t angles and subsequently with no propensity to disobey street visitors laws; however what makes them strictly adhere to similar, is the truth that their each transfer is intently being electronically monitored by the regulation enforcement businesses. Certainly, there’s a saying that PEOPLE PUT ON THEIR BEST BEHAVIOR WHEN BEING INSPECTED RATHER THAN EXPECTED so investments in know-how to realize this objective, in itself, could be very a lot progressive as a result of it creates a society of law-abiding residents who won’t find yourself being reckless in what they do and inflict undue ache on society and useless value on nationwide coffers.

Public transport

They’ve a fleet of uniform white airconditioned-Toyota mini-buses embossed with colors of the South African nationwide flag which ply from well-designated bus stops throughout the town of Sandton and its neighboring metropolis. there was previous fashions of those buses for a similar function however a time went on and the town attained plush requirements, this previous fleet has been taken off the streets and changed with the present model that are glossy in look and cozy by expertise.

The despicable spectacle of reckless ‘okada’ operation is nonexistent whereas actions of lawless ‘tro-tro’ and taxi operations are utterly unknown in Sandton. Nauseating incessant tooting of horns by undisciplined characters doesn’t exist and that i by no means noticed drivers’ mates shouting to draw potential passengers. The apply of mega-phones blurring at lorry stations for passengers to varied locations is completely alien.

Passengers wait in queues at bus stops with endurance and when the buses arrive, boarding is completed in finesse.

A society displays its individuals

However in Ghana, a authorities coverage to electronically seize each citizen on a database to offer the platform to modernize our society, and to effectively struggle crime and mobilize assets for improvement, has been boycotted by a political custom, with a flimsy alibi that the database so captured, won’t be used for something besides COMPILATION OF A NEW CREDIBLE VOTER REGISTER WHICH WILL DISENFRANCHISE THEIR SUPPORTERS.

We stay in a rustic the place the utilization of bike and different Three-wheeled automobiles are prohibited by regulation, as means of economic transport however that is being executed and rendering the law-enforcement businesses helpless as a result of the last word decision-maker and chief law-enforcer represented by the political authority, is being held to ransom by a lawless mass with threats on the poll field. Driving by way of the town of Accra has now develop into a nightmare by means of complete gridlock and hazard to life.

For instance; the Four-lane carriageway at Kaneshie has been completely lowered to a single-lane by lawless ‘trotro’ and taxi drivers, creation quite a lot of misery to street customers. The identical state of affairs is on the new station and Neoplan intersections of Achimota-Ofankor stretch of the N4 freeway.

Certainly, I noticed the current unlucky improvement at Adenta, from South Africa, and I need to confess; it was extraordinarily worrying: absence of a footbridge on a freeway, in essence, shouldn’t be inflicting such degree of incessant untold distress on strange Ghanaians, if ‘mental’ sufferers behind the steering-wheels on our roads have been utterly gotten rid of, or, made to endure the identical style of dying once they massacred pedestrians in such callous method.

However in Ghana, it’s an accepted apply of drivers intentionally urgent on their accelerators once they have clearly seen a pedestrian crossing the street. When visitors lights are usually not working, the brains of Ghanaian drivers go utterly berserk. What is understood in driving talent as precedence system which determines who has the suitable of means at roundabouts, is completely alien to Ghanaian drivers, together with even the highly-learned.

As anticipated, there was large bashing of presidency over the unlucky Adenta accidents because of lack of footbridge, which in fact is justified, however there are additionally footbridges on each the N1 and the Kaneshie-Odorkor highways, but, individuals quite choose to desert these buildings and cross the roads by leaping over the median partitions.

It’s stated that A SOCIETY ALWAYS REFLECTS THE CHARACTER OF ITS PEOPLE so once we consciously tie the arms and cow into submission, our leaders in whom we’ve vested the authority of sate to handle our affairs for the last word betterment of all, with voting towards them within the subsequent election as a result of their solely crime is actualization of insurance policies to make the system environment friendly and useful, then, how would we then flip spherical and anticipate to be dwelling in FUNCTIONAL and ORDERLY society, since that might be tantamount to artificially inseminating an ovulating lioness with the semen of a wholesome and sex-starved lion and anticipate the previous to provide start to untimely mouse?

Justice Abeeku Newton-Offei
Communication directorate
Workplace of the President
Jubilee Home

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