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Zululand - Kwazulu/Natal


I left Richmond, not a moment too soon, it appears, as there has been some
political trouble there. Briefly, a member of the ANC-controlled town
Mr Nkabinde, who were voted in at the last election, was alleged to be a
police informer. The ANC expelled him - without, I think, a trial, or with
reference to ANC membership rules. Mr Nkabinde resigned, and 9 fellow
members of the council resigned in sympathy. Of the two council members
left, one was gunned down outside his home the following week, for
obvious reasons ..

I stayed a night in the rural town of Kranskop - a timber town on the edge
Zululand. I took a 100Km dirt road across to Babanango - through the
heart of Zululand. I stopped at a new tribal center, which was next to a
new telecommunications tower. From some Telkom guys who were passing,
I learned that they have an ambitious plan for rural telephones, using
point-to-point digital microwave. It has a range of about 15Km between
relay stations running at 2.4Ghz, and a range of 9Km for the subscriber
stations running at 1.6Ghz, which talk to an omnidirectional antenna
on the relay tower. Power is solar panels, cost of a subscriber station
is about R3,000.

I then arrived in Zululand, and am staying at Eshowe, the oldest city here,
though not the capital. I then went on another "community tourism" trip,
staying in a traditional Zulu hut overnight. Our host was Walter, a 63 year
old Zulu man, and his family, who does these trips in conjunction with the
backpacker lodge I am staying in. Walter has three wives, scattered around,
and 21 children. He is a Lutheran, as are many Zulus around here. Another
popular religion here are the Zionists, who have brought Christianity to
the people, using their traditions - with drums, incense, and traditional
singing styles. Walter also has a Shabeen - the semi-legal township pubs.
His was excellent - good music (car battery powered stereo) and fun local
people - all, of course, looking for jobs.

To be continued ..

Cheers,    Andy!

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