For retirees every day is like a public holiday

Youth Day! Do we senior citizens need to celebrate youth day? After all our youth is nothing more than a distant memory. Another public holiday, but then, for retirees, every day is like a public holiday. The only difference is that parking becomes a problem, and that that special parking spot will be occupied by a vehicle with-an-out of town registration plate.

The authorities have decided that a standardised number plate will soon be mandatory for all vehicles. Once this system is up and running, no one can point a finger at a “GP” or a Free State driver as there will be no quick way of determining from which province the vehicle has come.

Standardisation is the name of the game, and for us motorists, it simply means that we are going to have to fork out more money for the new sophisticated registration plates.

The proposed design for the number plates is as follows: A certified stamp of approval from the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), South African National Flag on top left corner, the name of the province under the South African flag, licence number and licence mark of the province, four-dimensional barcode with the QR code that contains the registration number of the manufacturer of blank number plates, the name of the province in which the vehicle is registered, the sequence number on the bottom left of the number plate and finally, all info will be embossed on an aluminium plate and coated with a retro-reflective surface.

One wonders whether this initiative is necessary in a country that has devolved towards third world status.

I get the feeling that some higher placed authorities went on a so-called “educational” tour to a first world country and saw what system was used there, and then came back home and decided to implement something that worked overseas expecting it to work in South Africa!

We have seen this sort of thing happening before – the correctional services tried to implement a system used in one of the states in the USA , but this has failed in South Africa unless a rehabilitation rate of prisoners of less than 10% is considered a success.

Most right thinking people know that since 1994 the education system in South Africa has plumbed new depths after another delegation toured overseas and came back and tried to implement Outcomes Based Education, a system that had already been discarded by a number of overseas countries.

I live in Scottburgh South, a relatively quiet suburb that has benefitted from dubious planning by the local municipality. Various roads were upgraded a year or so ago, notably Ashley Avenue, Marion, Minerva and Davallen. The problem is that these ultra-smooth road surfaces encourage speeding.

Residents take their dogs and children for walks through the leafy suburb and the occasional driver races past, hardly giving the pedestrians a safe berth. Although the speed limit in urban areas is 60 kilometres per hour, make no mistake this is still fast, especially when there are young children about.

The speed limit on Collocott Drive, the road running between the golf course and the railway line towards Scottburgh South, is 50 kilometres per hour, and yet most vehicles travel in excess of 70 kilometres per hour along this narrow road.

In response to last week’s column in which I recounted seeing a young monkey tumbling head-over-heels, I was pleased to receive feedback from a reader who mentioned that she and her husband, too, had seen a young baboon tumbling down the hillside in similar fashion in the vicinity of the dam at the Fairways Golf Course at Drakensberg Gardens. Local talent?

Henry Parsons

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