Correctional Services said that “matters are under control” at Johannesburg’s Sun City Prison on Wed.
The Metro cops are out in full force on the roads. They have embarked on the yearly Arrive Alive campaign without informing the motorists.
It seems they are taking no quarter as they block side roads that motorists use to avoid the roadblocks.
It is amusing to see BMWs and Mercedes Benzes make U-turns as they run away from the police. It used to be that taxis and isikorokoros were the ones that kept a healthy distance from the authorities.
When I mentioned this turnabout to the taxi driver, he said two words: "Speeding tickets". The owners of the big machines love speed. They also think they own the roads and rudely push the cars with no pedigree out of their way. Their arrogance deflates when the Khaki Blues do their thing.
The taxi driver told me that his minibus was new, he had no outstanding tickets and had enough money to pay a bribe - if that proved to be necessary.
I told him that bribing cops was a criminal and moral offence. He shrugged and said: "Money talks."
Luckily we passed the roadblock without being stopped.
A reader called me to complain that the roadblocks had an unfortunate side effect. Apparently the driver of the taxi he was in did not have a clean record. His minibus was noisy and he waved his hand out of the window as the indicators were defective.
The taxi took a detour and the commuters were forced to go on an unplanned tour of the Cleveland area to avoid the police.
The reader said the Sho't Left tour was deadening as the sights were unbroken vistas of factory after factory. There was no greenery, the people were running to their work in order to beat the clock. In short, the sightseeing had no value and it also made them late for work.
He said he had a sense of adventure but it did not include being forced to endure ten minutes of a boring tour of a place he had no interest in.
He swore that whatever happened in the future, he would never try for a job in Cleveland.
I asked him why he did not check to see if those factories had shops attached to them. In these days of recession, sorry, credit crunch, or whatever, factory shops are fast becoming the place to shop.
The factory shops are cheaper and save you a few rands. They beat the malls hands down. The downside is that they are not conveniently grouped together for ease of shopping.
I understand that there are people who are organising tours around the factory areas in Gauteng for eager shoppers. Many unemployed people are going on these tours to buy goods they can then sell.
The downside is that these shops are closed at weekends when people are free to do their shopping. A little fine tuning should sort out this problem before 2010.
At least the cops are helping out with job creation.