Tuesday April 7 Recap

This past Tuesday evening we hosted Qedani Mahlungu, the MEC for Health in the Gauteng provincial government. The MEC started off by reflecting on her beginnings in politics. She shared her experiences in terms of the difficulties operating in an environment where demands exceed the government's ability to supply. In doing so she commented on the disconnect between the politicians and the people. Then there was a detailed and frank assessment of the state of the Gauteng department of health. Much of this underscored the experiences of some Rotarians who interact with the system regularly. Ms Mahlangu's address included many anecdotes that showed both the negative and positive sides of health care in the province. The negative anecdotes reinforced various horrific episodes that have featured in the media over the last few weeks and months. But sharing so frankly served to elevate the MEC onto a platform that showed her to be honest and somewhat in control. Moreover, the positive stories, such as the intent to becoming more cost-effective, the determination to instill pride and discipline in the workplace and the imminent smart use of technology, impressed the club members and left a mark of hope. The question and answer session strengthened the members' appreciation for the work being done by the MEC and her team. Of particular note was the answer to the question of "buying South African", which showed that the MEC has a plan to convert health service into a job creator as well as a public good. The MEC was accompanied by a team of assistants. As and when individual system problems were raised, then members of the team were assigned tasks by the MEC to ensure that these matters will be attended to in due course.

Tuesday March 31 Recap

Gia Nicolaides gave a fascinating account of her experiences in reporting the Marikana massacre and its aftermath. Indeed, the matter is of current importance in light of the recent handover of the Farlam Report to the President. She was at pains to characterize her presentation and the book she wrote as a personal account of her experiences. She insisted it was not an academic analysis of the rights and wrongs of an event; one that has arguably shaped much of South Africa's political and labour relations discourse. As such, her address was partly an eye-opener, partly a reminder and partly downright horrifying. Much of what she had to say was with regard to the position of a journalist in the midst of a highly traumatic, life-threatening series of violent exchanges. Moreover, her perspective was that of a woman journalist in a situation of extreme intimidation directed at a woman's worst fears. Gia delivered her address very well. She was very articulate. But then again, an award-winning radio journalist would be expected to! The time of questions and answers was absorbing and members enjoyed a most informative, if not sobering, evening.

Tuesday March 24 Recap

We were privileged to have the funeral director Thom Kight with us at our last meeting. Thom addressed us on the ins and outs of the undertaking industry. He gave interesting information on the changes in the practices of funeral directors over the years. The members learned how culture plays a role in burial customs. Thom also told us of the challenges faced by the industry in terms of the sheer volume of paperwork required by Home Affairs. Did you know that at least 4 thumbprints are required on the burial document. Two from the deceased, one from the applicant and one from the doctor signing the death certificate! Rotarians heard of the differences in the bureaucratic processes between burial and cremation. We also learnt that the ashes presented after a cremation are not the ashes of the coffin or the cremated body. In fact, the ashes are not even ashes! They are crushed bones, which is all that remains after processing through the burners after 1-and-a-half hours at temperatures in excess of 700 degrees Celsius. There were wide-ranging questions. Thom clearly kept the meeting enthralled in what would otherwise be regarded as a macabre subject.

Forthcoming attractions - April 2015

Tuesday 7th April: Qedani Mahlangu is the MEC for Health in Gauteng – come and hear what is happening in the controversial field of Public Health.

Tuesday 14th April: Gareth van Onselen is a senior journalist with Business Day. Come and hear what is REALLY going on in South African business!

Tuesday 21st April: Paul O’Sullivan Come and hear what is going on in the criminal underworld of South Africa.

Tuesday 28th April: Programme to be advised


Speakers Past

Tony Hampson-Tindale is District 9400 representative for the Rotarian Action Group for Population and Sustainable Development – He will share with us some o0f the goals and initiatives that are taking place around the world. (1st March 2011)

Irene Klass is a survivor of the holocaust and will share her experiences with us. This is an event NOT to be missed. She will show a DVD illustrating her experiences and her life. (8th March 2011)

Tom Wheeler was with the Department of Foreign Affairs, before becoming a researcher at the Institute for International Affairs. He was South African Ambassador to several countries, amongst them Turkey and he will bring us up to date on the happenings in the North African countries. (15th March 2011)

Dr. Anthony Turton is an internationally recognized speaker and an expert on water and the environment. You may recall his sudden exit from the CSIR some years ago and the scandal this caused. We are very lucky to have such a speaker who normally charges a great deal to address conferences. He will illustrate his talk, which will be environmentally themed. (29th March 2011)

We visited the Sci-Bono workshops in Newtown at the old turbine hall to see the incredible things they are doing with regards to Mathematics and Science awareness amongst the young. We took part in some of the team games and were given a "Hands on" look at their exhibits. (5th April 2011)

Professor Ray Durrheim is the country's foremost expert in Geophysics and will give us some insight into the Japanese earthquake and Tsunami disaster and what is happening around the world with regard to seismic events. (12th April 2011)

What affects the inflow and outflow of capital into South Africa? Ian Cruickshank is a senior executive at Nedbank Capital and will illustrate this talk and help us understand why we are so dependent on these large capital inflows. (19th April 2011)

Our guest will be Angela Malan, former prima ballerina and head of PACT. She will be presented with a Paul Harris Fellow and recount some of her theatrical experiences. We may use this occasion to informally celebrate 90 years of the Clubs existence. (3rd May 2011)

Mmusi Maimane is the DA Mayoral candidate for Johannesburg. Come and hear how the new generation of South African politicians plans to manage our city. (10th May 2011)

Walking with Elephants – This highly acclaimed presentation by Robb Edgecombe has been critically received and a must for all those wild life aficionados. (17th May 2011)

The Aftermath – Alex Eleseev from 702 Radio accompanied the South African rescue squad recently to Japan and will share and illustrate his experiences (31st May 2011)

Lina Saintus, our ambassadorial scholar from the USA. On this evening, she gave us an illustrated presentation of her backgound and on her work in SA. (26th July 2011)

Dr Scheurmaier is the Director of the Wits Sleep Clinic, which undertakes research on all aspects of sleep – why we sleep....why we don't sleep....why we can't sleep! (2nd August 2011)

The Hacking scandal, Julius Malema and other journalistic revelations – Stephen Grootes from 702 Talk Radio will once again give us the inside story on these fascinating scoops in world newspapers.  (16th August 2011)

Catherine Loveshowed us round the historic LINDFIELD HOUSE, a vibrant Victorian museum, which she and her family have lived in for generations.  (20th August, Fellowship function)
Lilleisleaf – A place of Celebration – Come and hear the historian Nic Wolpe tell the amazing story of Lilliesleaf, Nelson Mandela and the struggle for the soul of the ANC.  (23rd August 2011)
William Gumede is a nationally acclaimed political analyst who wrote the definitive book about Thabo Mbeki. He gave us a fascinating insight into today's political scene. (30th August 2011)   

Dr. Peter Draper from the South African Institute of International affairs gave us a fascinating overview of what his organization is achieving. Read about it at: http://www.saiia.org.za/diplomatic-pouch/sub-saharan-africa-needs-to-step-up-and-move-with-times.html (20/9/2011)

Advocate Pansy Tlakula is the Director of the Independent Electoral Commission. (27/9/2011)

Achiever of the Year Dinner and presentation – Hugh Glenister, Moeletsi Mbeki, Vusi Pikoli and Paul O'Sullivan. (11/10/2011)

Aubrey Matshiqi is a noted political columnist and commentator, well known for his amusing and acerbic views on all things political. This was a most entertaining lunch. (18/10/2011)

Alistair Stewart is the deputy principal of St Stithians school and well known for his progressive educational leadership. He is a noted speaker in his field. (25/10/2011)

Advocate Tuli Madonsela is South Africa's Public Protector and has been much in the news recently. Come and hear what is really happening in the corridors of power! This is a "Must attend" event – the Public Protector rarely addresses gatherings such as this. (8/11/11):

What inspires South Africans to return to their country of birth once they have immigrated? Angel Jones of the organization "Homecoming revolution project" will tell us why. (29/11/2011)

Cheryl Carolus is a charismatic speaker and the current chairman of SAA. Come and hear how she has facilitated the turnaround in the fortunes of the airline. (10/4/2012)

A home/office energy expert will enlighten us on ways to save electricity/energy/money at home and work. (17/4/2012)

We have invited Rhona Manack who represents the National Sea Rescue Institute countrywide. This is a fantastic organization, doing fantastic work. Come and hear what Rhona has to tell us (Illustrated talk).  8/5/2012

 Ryan Hogarth is a social media catalyst, specializing in all aspects of social media. Have you ever wondered what makes your children/grandchildren so dependent on social chat? Then come and learn. (Illustrated). 22/5/2012

Why is COSATU hell bent on banning labour brokers? What is the true extent of Labour Broking in this country? Angela Dick is MD of Transman, one of the biggest Labour Brokers in the country informed us on this contentious topic. 29/5/2012

McIntosh Polela is the spokesman for the HAWKS. Not only is he an erudite spokesman, but his book "My father, my monster" paints a harrowing tale of his childhood. 5/6/2012

Craig Zaayman shared insightful economic views into some of the pressing issues facing South Africa. 12/6/2012

Gottfried Schiele plays the hand bells. It takes great skill to coordinate close on 50 bells and play melody to accompaniment. 19/6/2012

We welcomed a representative from the Nelson Mandela's children's fund. 26/6/2012

Presidential Induction 3/7/2012

John Moodey is the Provincial Leader for the Democratic Alliance in Gauteng. What is happening in opposition politics in our region? Where will we be going after Mangaung. 17/7/2012

The RI President visited our club for dinner in the Rainbow Room, and we held a wine auction in the Ballroom to raise funds for Bosmont Pre-Primary. 24/7/2012

Dale Jackson is the Deputy Headmaster at Jeppe High School for boys and chairman of the Jeppe Foundation.  He told us about the dynamic programme they have to uplift the lives of their less fortunate scholars.  31/7/2012

Patrick Craven, General Secretary of COSATU, addressed us. 7/8/2012

Ivor Hobbs is the Marketing Director of the South African National Blood Service. This presentation was filled with humour and music. 14/8/2012

DGPA visit: 5pm with Board Exco; 7pm with Club. 28/8/2012

Achiever of the Year dinner recipient Adv. Thuli Madonsela, the Public Protector, plus Jusuf Abramjee and Terry Volkwyn, 702 Lead South Africa! PHF award.  11/9/2012

Club Assembly. 18/9/2012