Tag Archives: gautrain

Weekly Photo Challenge: Movement

Movement ~ {A natural event that involves a change in the position or location of something} ; {A series of actions advancing a principle or tending toward a particular end}

Ice skating

Swooosh…Gautrain passing

Festive lights

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Journey

Journey ~ {The act of travelling from one place to another}

The journey by car

Driving through Sedgefield, Garden Route, South Africa

Journey by ship

Travelling by ferry from Dover, England to Calais, France.

Flying by plane

En-route to my home, Cape Town

Travelling by train

Travelling with the Gautrain, Johannesburg.

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Rapid moving with the Gautrain

The Gauteng Province is considered the economic heartland of Africa and is now home to the Gautrain. Gautrain is an 80-kilometre (50 mi) mass rapid transit railway system in Gauteng ProvinceSouth Africa, which links JohannesburgPretoria, and OR Tambo International Airport. (wikipedia)

The greater Johannesburg has a population of 10 million and Pretoria has 2.3 million. The two cities are rapidly sprawling towards each other and the train is expected to further the urbanization along the transport corridor.

My family and I were privileged to use it about a month ago.  Ashley goes to Pretoria once a week for business.  Usually he uses the car but most of the day he is stuck in traffic and this becomes very costly.  So we decided to give the Gautrain a go and make a day-trip of it.

We decided to board at Rhodesfield Station close to OR Tambo.

Rhodesfield station

Being a bit impaired on the technological front, we had a bit of trouble with the automatic ticket machine…

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The ticket prices are fairly reasonable if you take into account the convenience.  See the fare table below:

Gautrain-fares

From Rhodesfield we had to connect at Marlboro to get the train that went to Centurion.  So our total cost for the day for all 4 of us (yes, Kirsten had to pay!) was R268.

Rhodesfield to Malboro – R22 pp

Marlboro to Centurion – R 29 pp

Parking ticket – R10

Golden card – R 10 pp

Not sure how we got to that amount but that is more or less the breakdown.

The girls were very excited!

First time on a train for the girls and it’s a speed train!  Oh I think Chelsea once went on a train-trip with the creche to the zoo…but definitely Kirsten’s first time.

Waiting on the platform

It's coming in...

Beautiful!

Interior very clean

Waiting at Marlboro station

Marlboro station is situated to the north of Alexandra township, next to the wealthy suburb of Sandton.

In transit

Another train passing...whooosshh

Afgri building Byls Bridge

Love the interesting design of the Afgri Building next to the N1 highway.

This 9 000m² building is the first of a number of high quality office blocks which are to be erected in the Byls Bridge precinct. Each building will have a different architectural flavour, all distinctive cutting edge designs setting the trend for future developments in the area.

The building developed, built and owned by M&T Development has been constructed for AFGRI Holdings, a well known South African Company.

Centurion station

And in a wink of an eye we were in Centurion! Imagine Chelsea’s face as we nudged her to get off! “Is the train ride finished?  But we just got on!”  The trip from Marlboro to Centurion is 12 minutes.  That is an indication that the Gauteng Department of Transport has achieved their goal of getting the people there quicker.

The project is primarily aimed at enhancing and supporting economic growth in the Gauteng Province and generating employment. It is part of a longer-term vision, which will include a commitment towards creating and sustaining a new culture of public transport usage.

All in all, a great experience.  Imagine the pride I felt when using this world-class facility that can easily compare to any other globally. Proud to be South African.

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Charity sometimes comes with its own set of problems

Yes it does. It is very rewarding but also very frustrating many times.

As mentioned previously, we live in Naturena on charity grounds.  Ashley and I share the responsibility of taking care of the day to day running of the Breakthrough Centre.  The last few weeks has particularly been challenging.  We had a burglary, electricity black-outs and vandalism.

Firstly, about 2 months ago a group of kids from the neighbourhood broke the windows of the ablution block next to the creche.

Broken windows

We have identified the children and they literally live around the corner.  Our idea is to meet with their parents to try and find a solution to this challenge.  Hopefully we will do it soon.

Cable theft is a very popular crime in South Africa.  “Copper cable theft, which is estimated to cost the South African economy about R5-billion a year, has been declared a high-priority crime, “says Advocate Simi Pillay-van Graan, a Business Against Crime South Africa executive.

Last week the charity fell victim when a very expensive electric cable was stolen.  This happened during the wee hours of the morning after it was planted underground.  It appears the thieves dug it up and ripped it out.

Where the cable was stolen

The value was roughly R1250,00.  That is nothing compared to the loss the Gautrain suffered earlier this year when thieves stole cables to the value of around R45million.  Really disheartening when you consider that they won’t nearly get that amount back in selling it.

Then we had a few black-outs.  Some of them were related to the work the electrician was doing connecting the out-buildings. Then we had problems that we had to log with Johannesburg City Power.  I remember one call we logged at 01h00 am.

City Power truck

In total I think we were without electricity for about 48 hours.  Sjoe, reading this article back to myself is really exhausting.  I am not complaining, in fact I welcome these challenges.  It builds my character. It also teaches me patience and how to work under pressure.

On a more positive note, our neighbour who gave us problems earlier this year came around and made peace.  This time around he asked to chop down the weeds and bushes that grew since the last time he came to cut.  According to him it attracts more izinyoka’s (snakes) to his house.

Just a little update.

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10 Reasons why I love Jozi

Jozi on the move

If you told me a few years ago that I would move to Johannesburg in 2010, I would have refused to believe you.  I always vowed never to trade my beloved Cape Province for another…especially not crime-ridden Gauteng.

One of my friends, Yvette lived in Jozi for close to 7 years with her husband, Ronwyn Hughes.  Each time we would visit them the discussion would come up.  For years they would pose the question: “Why don’t you guys move up to the city…it’s not as bad as they say it is.”  I couldn’t understand their obsession with this place.  Everything was so fast and literally furious.  The rat race was unbearable as well as the traffic!

However, if God has plans for you, there’s no fighting it.  So we moved to the city of gold in April 2010, completely by faith.

Having moved countless times, we have literally married the nomadic lifestyle.  Thus we naturally settled in.  It was our first move to another province and although we were sad to be away from our family, it was exciting.

New prospects…new beginnings, a new start…  so we learned to love it.  And as the Hughes’ pointed out…it is not as bad as they say.

  1. Yes, there is traffic…all the time.  It is bad and the pollution is suffocative.  However, there are six million trees in Johannesburg. On satellite pictures, the city looks like a rain forest, albeit man-made. There are 1.2 million trees within the parks and on the pavements, and 4.8 million in private gardens throughout the suburbs.

Jozi trees

  1. Joburg’s suburbs are beautiful.  The houses are palatial and the gardens are very well kept.
  1. What it lacks in a sea, it makes up in a few dams namely the Emmarentia Dam and Zoo Lake among others.
  1. My opinion is that people are more open to change that in my home province.  Please note: this is based on my personal experience.
  1. The city is magnificent!  I love the buildings and their history.  I have been doing some reading regarding.
    When gold was discovered in the area in 1886 , Johannesburg sprang up from the veld as a rowdy mining camp. The city will be 125 years old this year.
  1. Jozi raised world-players such as Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu amongst others.  They lived in Vilakazi Street in Soweto.

Vilakazi Street, Soweto

  1. Johannesburg houses a few cities.  The FNB Soccer City and Gold Reef city.  Soccer city was the flagship venue for the FIFA World Cup 2010.  It hosted both the opening match and the final.  Gold Reef City Theme Park, a living attraction that documents the gold rush and the birth of Jozi (Johannesburg), and the place to learn more about the city’s fascinating history of grit, glory and gold.

FNB Soccer City

  1. I love the winters here.  Temperatures sometimes go below freeze point, but the sun would be shining.  I can’t say the same for summers…I hate the thunderstorms!
  1. Surprisingly I have grown used to the street vendors.  Especially the ones that sell hand-made products.  I love their quality offering and how they encapsulate the city in their work.
  1. The city has a certain pulse and it’s addictive.  The inner city buzzes with people from all over Africa that gives it a raw energy that I like.  It truly is a melting pot of people, cultures and opinions.

Melting pot

There are many more reasons why I love Joburg, maybe even more why I should hate it.  The crime rate is probably the city’s most famous liability, the traffic is a nightmare and the road works have been dragging for years…but it has the Gautrain, Africa’s first speed train.

You see…whenever I hear of something negative about the place I now call home, I am quick to think of a positive.  I guess its part of being a nomad.  You learn to adapt and see the positive about your new home town.  It is a great survival instinct.

Oh, you want to know what I think of the new tollgate system?  Right now, I try not to think about it.  We as South African’s have amazing coping abilities.  I will drive myself by this motto: I’ll drive less, talk less, work more and try to create a better country! 😉

What do you like about your hometown or city! Please share!


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