God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Reflections / Gedanken

South Africa: Miracles still happen

South Africa has in the moment a lot to worry about: from corrupt political leadership via rising political killings to the complete lack of moral leadership in major parts of society with all its consequences the portfolio of negativity is growing by the day. And not to forget the economical downturn and the threat of being a complete junk state on this note. Did I forget the danger to abuse pension funds to fill fiscal gaps or selling the table silver of Telkom to bail out – for the – I can’t count anymore – time to short-term fix the disaster of SAA created by a very close friend of the president, not wanting to leave till “ubaba” is gone. “Gupta” and “Statecapture” – thousands reasons to be negative adding to despair and hopelessness.

But in all this misery and after a peaceful transition in the early nineties from the inhuman Apartheid system to the dawn of democracy there is once again a shimmer of hope:
South Africa, with all its trouble and all its misery has the guts to expose big international companies on what they do best: floating best practice and just looking where the money is while throwing all ethical considerations over board:Bell-Pottinger, KMPG, SAP, McKinsey – and it seems the list will go on. It is amazing that a wounded country living through the agony of democratization and the fight to end racism and achieve equality for all its citizens is able to be a leader in forcing companies to come clean and stop hurting people, nations and basic ethical standards supposed to govern the global village. This is a ray of hope we can hold on and be proud of – especially being proud of those journalists, activists and politicians who are going for the truth as wounded healers.

And this ray of hope is the reason to I hope for another miracle: that the history of liberation movements turning into wanna-be political parties and failing their own people up to the point of destroying again what they fought for – because they can’t transform from the military battle ground to the party political debate acknowledging that the opposition parties are not the enemy anymore but part of the dynamics of democratic decision-making – that the ANC somehow finds a way to defeat this seemingly automated historical process of self-destruction and rise to the occasion of the new and democratic South Africa.

Let’s not only hope, but actively participate in all political and social processes to become what we have been in 1994 under the leadership of Madiba: a beacon of hope for the global village that human mankind can learn and evolve peacefully and meaningful for the benefit of all.

Filed under: Africa, General, Networking, Politics and Society, Reflection, Society and living environment, South Africa, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

08.06.2010 POZ and more…

An amazing day – already on the road shortly after 6 am this morning and somehow I manage not to get to the office until 4 pm in the afternoon. My cell is ringing constantly – even during meetings I hardly can handle it… 🙂

POZ meeting, we have to deal with the situation, that the SACBC is not in favor of our pastoral work. Somehow it seems that all the positive response we got before handing in the official proposal diluted within the closed meeting of the bishops. We are still awaiting the official response in writing, but it is indeed a setback that bishops are against pastoral care for their own fellow brothers and sisters working within the church. Well, “never give up” is one of my slogans and we will carefully try to more detail our offer and to get into a dialogue which at the end hopefully brings a benefit to the church. I am again and again amazed how difficult it is to bring initiatives serving the wider community of the church into the church. Only dialogue can bring a solution – we don’t want to work against any bishop, but we also know how necessary the work is we have begun.

Meeting with the DED in the middle of the day – discussion around the “weltwaerts” volunteers and the rules of engagement to get the right one who fit into HOPE Cape Town. In between and during the day several interview requests, lots of response on the “Beckmann” talk-show and a flood of emails to be tackled directly.

Only the failure of the internet provides a break – thanks to Telkom and MWEB which are more and more seem to fail their customers every given evening. The TELKOM lines are rotten and MWEB tries to squeeze so much internet traffic through a narrow bandwidth – it is amazing to see that they both sell services they cannot deliver on…

Filed under: HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, Reflection, , , , , ,

05.03.2010 Just some bits..

Today was quite a day.. in the morning it took me two hours to get a number within the headquarters of TELKOM to report my grievance. There is still – after 8 days – no progress on re-establishing the ADSL line. The PA of the person in charge promised to phone me back.. well, maybe tomorrow…

Caught by police having a cellphone in the hand… the fine is 500 Rand. But as it is almost usual in South Africa I got away with donating towards some chicken wings for the hungry police.. – much cheaper than the fine…

I had to go to a dentist – and landed in Fourways at a dental clinic. The dentist spoke an excellent German – he was from Namibia and as far as I could see and feel, he did an excellent job. After finishing – the dentist said: “We all belive in one God” – and scraped the payment.  What a nice surprise..

Talk with Archbishop Buthi about our POZ initiative regarding HIV positive priests and clergy. Once again after the nuncio and Archbishop Steven in Cape Town a positive talk and sometimes I really feel home in my church, because there is a basic understanding for the care of people, even if theological positions seems to be far away. But the pastoral care is a level, where we all can meet and stand our grounds.

In the evening visiting friends – why are so many robots out-of-order in Johannesburg?? To drive 2 km in 1 hour can make one very nervous. On the way back seen a very bad accident – the motorcyclist was still treated on the road.. May God be with him and may he survive – the bike certainly did not…

These are only some of the bits and pieces of today – small stories but also needed to be told…

Filed under: Reflection, , , , , , ,

26.02.2010 Thank you Telkom

More than 2 days without internet and email – Telkom shows the excellence of South African workmanship: Since Wednesday the system is down – round about 10 calls resulted in at least 5 different versions of what is really happening – one consultant ended the conversation prematurely in hanging up – it is amazing how untrained some of the consultants are. Telkom should at least make sure that its consultant know what an ADSL line is or that they work for such a company.

Speaking to a supervisor seems impossible. The attempt to connect by Nicki ended in a dead-end: “The number you have dialled is not existing anymore…” Thanks Nicki!!

Obviously Telkom recommended that one should report faults via internet 24 hours a day – says the nice voice in between the waiting hours.. Thanks Telkom, specially when you are not able to connect to the internet, this advice is brilliant.

I am typing this with a bundle from MTN – don’t ask me know how many nerves and attempts it has taken to get over the hurdle of RICA and all the other rules and regulations. Even if you are a customer for 13 years – please proof, that you exist – otherwise it is too easy and where would we end if we would consider the customer as those who need service????

Not to forget the ABSA bank, which, having western union as a service provider at N1 City categorical refuses to exchange any currency if one is not an ABSA customer with an account. I am sure, the foreign visitors will appreciate this kind of attitude!

I am sure, all visitors for the world cup 2010 will appreciate the service orientated service provider in South Africa. Well done, you are ready for the world cup 2010!

Filed under: Reflection, Uncategorized, , ,

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