22nd to 24th October 2007
Griquatown is just like it was last year - except there has been some building of economy housing near historic Leeuwenskuil.
My host Jim de Viller, the Dominee of the Nederlandse Gereformeerde Kerk, tells me that the population here is not rising and that an official estimate is that 25% of the population now has AIDS. Burials are common with diseases like TB rampant among the community because of their low resistance to disease because of HIV. The AIDS infection is probably a great deal higher.
Image right: On the road to Griquatown
Like everywhere else I have been told that the corruption in the new black hierarchy is endemic - effecting all areas of life. The crazy situation has arisen where the Douglas Shire (which Griquatown falls into) only has money to pay its employees and cannot even afford to buy washers to fix water connections. The rate payers have to buy the washer and then someone will come out and fix your problem! The roads in places like the town of Douglas are near impassable in parts and electricity oftn drops out.
The mining industry - a lead and zinc mine just 40 miles from here - is at a stand still because the American company which established the mine has had its permit given to a black man in Kimberley who is well connected politically. As the owners of the mine are not willing to be held to ransome and pass money under the table to get their permit back they are now looking at closing down the entire operation. As a result there is no employment in Griquatown. This is the type of story I hear time and again - replicated in theme across the country.
The economy is grinding to a stand still as the new black power try to suck every cent they can out of the white economy - and in so doing bring their own people to their knees. The lack of understanding of business accountability has to be seen to be believed. Although the corruption is known no one does anything about it, there is just talk in the media. Like Queensland, Australia the judicial system has been compromised by politica interference - but it is the endemic corruption which is destroying their future... how 2010 is going to happen - the World Soccer - God only knows! I hope the soccer bosses have a plan "B".
Here in Griquatown a tiny tigers eye mining industry keeps the population going.
|22nd||Travelling to Griquatown - the new Big Hole of Kimberley display is a must-see; a brief sojourn in historic Campbell to see the Bartlett Church where Dr Livingstone preached in the 1840s; catching up with Hetta Hager of the Mary Moffat Museum.|
|23rd||The informal launch of "Children of the Mist" at the Mary Moffat Museum in Griquatown; climbing to the top of the water tower for the first time; communal birds and discovering Barend Barends' amazing Hardcastle (c1810).|
|24th||A visit to the tigers eye (Griqua gold) mines at Griquatown after visiting the small stone polishing factory to purchase a piece of tigers eye for a special lady...|
Return to Scott Balson's 2007 book tour