Those SONA protests & road closures

That time of year again when hits can be garnered from repeating helpful information that people should have got from elsewhere, but didn’t. This year’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) is on Thursday, but the rehearsals begin this evening, disrupting your drive home and reminding you of the pomp our President so richly deserves.

Basically, anything around Parliament is going to be closed from 5pm each evening, while roads around JZ’s Cape Town place in Newlands will be shut only on Thursday evening. Here’s a helpful link to a helpful PDF with all the details:

Helpful PDF

BUT! In addition to the official SONA thing, there are three – count them and weep – THREE separate protest marches on Thursday too! And they start early:


First off is the DA, starting at Gardens Centre Woolies Mill Street at 9am. Then Ses’Khona (minus currently jailed poo-flinger Andile Lili) from Kaizersgracht at 10.
Later (1pm) is the #ZMF movement, heading from Greenmarket Square down to the Grand Parade.
For the record, the #ZumaMustFall group has applied for 5000 marchers, Ses’Khona has applied for 1500 marchers, and the DA has applied for 500.

Look, the smart thing to do is to avoid the CBD altogether on Thursday. But if you really can’t, then plan carefully and pack adequate supplies for a night in your car.

There Are Road Closures in Cape Town CBD This Weekend

So take note and spread the word.
Last week, the City of Cape Town sent out a press release warning people of roadworks at the lower end of the CBD over the weekend and telling motorists to expect delays when entering the city via the N1 or N2.

But, as is their wont, people took no notice of this press release, motorists got delayed and everyone got very annoyed and blamed the city for everything: the alarming rise in bird flu cases in south east Asia, the continuing absence of any decent peace deal in the Middle East, the reduction in NASA’s funding by the Obama administration and the fact that it took them 15 minutes extra to get into town last Saturday.

There is, of course, precedent for this: each year at the State Opening of Parliament – an annual event which is always well publicised well ahead of time – there is utter chaos as people who apparently live under a rock and routinely head into work wearing blinkers and avoiding any kind of media on a 24/7 basis, then whine as they caught up in an unexpected (to them) traffic jam.

Let’s not let that happen this weekend. Here’s the detail:

Intersection of Buitengracht and Walter Sisulu Avenue
Extensive road rehabilitation work will take place on the intersection of Buitengracht and Walter Sisulu Avenue.
Lanes will be closed from 19:00 on Friday 10 May 2013 until 06:00 on Monday 13 May 2013.

Lest we forget, Walter Sisulu Avenue is the “new” name for Coen Steytler Avenue. And, because we’re trying to help out those sort of people that wouldn’t know where Coen Steytler Avenue was anyway, it’s the road that runs along the side of the CTICC and is the first set of robots you get to coming into town via the elevated freeway.

There will be delays.
You have been warned.
Share the wealth.

What more must they do?

The dry-run of the dry-run for tomorrow’s Opening of Parliament and the State of the Nation Address was last night.

Having two dry-runs means that any problems discovered in the first dry-run can be ironed out in the second dry-run and any problems discovered in the second dry-run might be ironed out by the time the real thing happens on Thursday. Any problems on that day will likely be due to reaction to Zuma’s job forecasts.
It’s hard to drive when your eyes are full of tears (joy, despair, gas).

And despite a widespread media campaign, people still rang into radio stations, besieged twitter and probably moved to Perth because of the inevitable traffic congestion in the CBD.
That’s not a problem to me. What is a problem to me is when they put on their best whiny voice and trot out that line:

Why didn’t they tell us about this?

Because the simple answer is that they did. It’s been in the Cape Times (albeit with poor maths therein) and the Cape Argus. I’m told that even the Daily Voice mentioned it, but no-one believes their stuff anyway.

But I don’t read the papers

It’s been on Kfm, it’s been on Cape Talk, it’s been on Heart.

I only listen to CDs in my car

It was on those HUGE new dot-matrix signs which are all over this corner of the Province.

I was too busy chatting on my cellphone to look at the signs

Some local blogs even gave you the details as part of their public service covenant.

So what more must they do to get this information through to you?

Employ scantily-clad midgets  to go door-to-door to inform everyone in the Western Cape?
Get planes to sky-write the details over the Mother City (South Easter permitting)?
Or just tattoo it on your forehead so when you look in the mirror each morning, you’ll remember? Forever.

What I find odd is that the tiniest bit of bad press about anything in Cape Town or South Africa makes its way through the gossip grapevine via word of mouth, SMS, twitter and – more often – email and Facebook, yet helpful information like this just never seems to get through, no matter the best efforts of mice and men to put it out there.
What exactly does that say about the State of the Nation?

So – let’s have one more go for those of you at the back.

There will be more disruption on the this evening (Wednesday) and tomorrow (Thursday) evening.
Here are the full details.

Now stop moaning and get back underneath your rock.

Road Closures for the Opening of Parliament 2011

Yes folks, it’s that time of year again when Parliament finally comes back to work after the summer break (noting that the rest of us have been back at least 5 weeks already) and JZ stands up and tells us how many jobs he intends to create this year.
Then we can all laugh heartily as millions are retrenched across the nation.


Anyway, the upshot of all these festivities is mild traffic chaos in Cape Town for a few days as they practice driving from JZ’s place to town and back on Tuesday and Wednesday and then actually do drive from JZ’s place to town and back on Thursday.
If you plan to be anywhere near the City Bowl or the M3 on these days, it’s very likely that this will affect you.

Fortunately, we at 6000 miles… are ready, willing and able to pass this information on to you so that you don’t find yourself stuck in horrendous snarl-ups over the next few days – just click the link below.

Road closures for the Opening of Parliament 2011

I’m playing football in town on Thursday night, so I’ll need to work out an alternative route that evening.

It’s either that or catch a lift down with Mr Zuma.
We at 6000 miles… have some high-powered connections – that’s where the difference comes.

Hat-tip to the Hipless Chilean

Road Closures for State Opening Of Parliament

Following yesterday’s rehearsal for tomorrow’s State Opening of Parliament, the times of the road closures for tomorrow’s State Opening of Parliament have been updated.
Good job they had a practice, then.

Fortunately (as ever), here at 6000 miles… we’re ahead of the curve and we have those updated times available for you right here in handy PDF format.
You don’t need me to tell you to just right click on the link and SAVE TARGET AS:

ParliamentOpeningRoadClosures (PDF, 77kb)

Aside from updating the timing of the road closures, the rehearsal seemed mainly to consist of these guys practicing their formation flying over my house.

They looked to have it pretty much sorted first time around, but just to make sure, they kept it up for another couple of hours until one of them eventually ran out of fuel and dropped out of the sky.

Let’s hope they don’t make the same mistake tomorrow.