The world as I see it...
The Premier of Gauteng, David Makhura, announced the formation of a 15 member committee to investigate "the socio-economic impact of e-tolls in the province". The committee has a deadline of the 30th November 2014 to deliver their findings to the Premier. At the time of writing this, 10 of the 15 members have been appointed.
"The panel will take on a comprehensive assessment of the socio-economic impact of the introduction of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project, particularly the e-tolls," said Makhura.
The panel is expected to invite the public to make proposals and submissions to incorporate into its findings which will contribute to a final report which will be submitted to the Premier by 30 November, 2014.
Premier Makhura has however urged motorists to continue paying for e-tolls.
It is important to understand that this committee does not have the power to scrap the e-tolling system. E-Tolling is a national law and therefore can only be changes by an act of parliament. The main reason for the committee is for Mr David Makhura to get factual evidence on how the e-tolling is affecting the residents of Gauteng, and to factually be able to present an argument to Parliament as to the what impact their decision has had on the residents of Gauteng....
I am of a firm belief that the current ANC government simply has too much power in government. The National Assembly has 400 seats, of which the ANC has 264 seats or 66%, a 2 thirds majority. The second closest is the DA with 67 seats or 16.75%.
Simply put, since the ANC have the majority, they have the power to unilaterally approve any resolution, even if everyone else in parliament is against it, they have 66% of the votes. What is good for Democracy is when the parties need to work together in order to achieve what is best for the country, a democracy where one party does not have a majority of the power.
While the DA does have the title of the “official opposition”, the last 20 years have shown that it struggles to break the 20% Barrier.
Even with the current trends, we might be lucky to see the ANC’s support shrink back to 1994 levels but still well above 60%....
As a aviation enthusiast, I am closely following the developments and reactions to any breaking news from the Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
Here are the Fact – Statements which have been confirmed and relate directly to MA370
- The flight departed from Kuala Lumpur International on the 8th March 2014 at 00:41 local time (16:41 GMT) en route to Beijing Capital International Airport where it was scheduled to land at 06:30 (22:30 GMT)
- The Flight climbed out to 35,000 feet, speed was 471 knots – all within normal.
- Last known contact with the aircraft was 01:30 (17:30 GMT). At this point, the transponder which talks to the Air Traffic Control Radar was turned off.
- Last time the aircraft appeared on the radar was 02:40, but without transponder information the exact position cannot be determined.
- At the time the transponder was turned off, the aircraft had approximately 8 hours of fuel remaining on board.
Rumours – Items Disproven
- It was reported that messages (ACARS) were being sent back to Rolls-Royce every 30 minutes after the transponder was disabled for 4 hours. The claims were later reported as inaccurate. The last ACARS report was sent at 01:07.
- There were reports that the family of the passengers made phone calls to the passengers on the plane and that the phones were ringing. Initially it was assumed that this indicated the phones were on and in a signal area. What was happening is that when the ringing is heard from the diallers side, it doesn't mean that it has made a connection to the destination cell phone, the first few rings are when it tries to connect to the targets phone, after a few rings if it cannot connect to the targets phone the call gets dropped. This is what was happening in this case. "So, they're hearing ringing and they're assuming it's connecting to their loved ones, but it's not. It's the network sending a signal to the phone letting them know it's looking for them."
Supporting Evidence – Items that could be used to draw a conclusion but are not yet accepted as fact
- Although the ACARS system stopped reporting back the engine status at 01:07, it was still sending back "ping" requests, a sort of message from the plane to the satellite to tell the satellite that the plane is still here and listening for messages. No actual flight data or position was sent as part of this "ping". At the time the last ping was received, the aircraft had approximately one hour of fuel remaining.
It all started with the news that a search and rescue operation was underway for a aircraft that missed its scheduled arrival time at Uitenhage Airport. The aircraft, a Giles G202 was enroute from Port Alfred to the Dias Festival Air Show and Western Cape Aerobatic Competition in Mossel Bay. The aircraft was due to make a interim stop in Uitenhage Airfield, however never arrived, prompting a search and rescue operation to begin the afternoon of Wednessday 29 January 2013.
The aircraft departed Port Alfred with two other aircraft shortly before a thunderstorm swept over the airfield. One of the aircraft, a Yak52, returned to base shortly after takeoff due to the poor weather conditions, the other two pushed through to their destination, with one arriving safely in Port Elizabeth.
Search and rescue operations were conducted throughout Friday, Saturday and Sunday when the missing aircraft was found in the Addo Elephant park on Sunday Afternoon, the pilot had safely not survived the ordeal.
Our thanks go out to all who volunteered time, fuel and their aircraft to the search operation. Many aviators in the Eastern Cape dedicated their time and equipment to assist in searching for the missing pilot....