Friday, October 21, 2011

Of Rising Electricity Bills

Pretoria South Africa
Are we all running out of solutions to bring the cost of electricity down. The more I try, the higher my bill goes. I, like most of my friends have tried all we could. Its true, our electricity has always been the lowest tariffed in the whole world. We could be a bit spoilt or the change was just too uprupt.

In my work visits to Switzerland "those days", a bunch of us were having a casual chat and one guy from a certain Island couldnt believe that I cooked with electricity. I, on the other hand was surprised he and the rest of the group were making a bit deal of that. Electricity was as cheap as bread, almost. My bill was about R300, I lived with 4 or 5 other family members  at a time and we cooked everyday. Thats only a couple of years ago. And now I manage to pay close to ten times that and with reduced number of household members and conscious efforts to keep my bill low.

My friends living in Pretoria and Joburg observed the same. One friend switched from electric stove to the gas one and that resulted in an impressive doubled electric bill. I use no tumble dryer, I have no heating and cooling system, my life has been simplified but City of Tshwane hasnt noticed. One friend has switched from the billed electric system to the pre-paid and that seems to be the best. Switching is not always easy though. Especially for those who live in sectional title units like flats and townhouses.

What saddens me the most though is this affecting South Africa's attractiveness to Foreign Investors. Low electricity rates have always been our strength and advantage.
On a micro level, I only want to pay ONLY for the amount of electricity I use. Is that too much to ask?
What's your own story of rising electricity bills?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Public vs Private School in Pretoria South Africa

A hot debate in the website at the moment is on whether one should choose a public vs private school in Pretoria for their children's education. I am actually thinking of what is good for my son. I have gone through this debate over and over again within me. I thought engaging other parents will help me think clearer. It did and did not at the same time. I am as confused as I was before. The only comfort is in knowing that I am not the only parent in this dilemma.
It seems to me that, parents in South Africa are begining to prefer private school education for their kids but most can't really afford it. My estimation for 2011, for average private school fees is R5000 per month. Well, some private schools will be more expensive, and others may be less. There goes my dream of having two more kids.
Some people seem to have achieved great results with public schooling. This will depend on what you view as positive results. Others claim that they wouldn't have made it without a private school and that extra fee is a welcomed sacrifice. I have to start applying now for 2013 and I still don't really know
which of the two suits my son's needs.
See the rest of the debate here...
And if you are also searching for schools in Pretoria South Africa, visit this page...
If you manage, learn or teach in or have a school in Pretoria list it for free here...

Monday, July 4, 2011

Rietvlei Dam and Nature Reserve

We often wander and wander, and drive slowly nowhere as a family. On one such activity, we decided to wander in Pretoria East. And, without even thinking, we were at the gate of Rietvlei Dam and Nature Reserve. I fell in love with it, just by looking at the "gate man". Such a friendly soul.
Rietvlei Dam and Nature Reserve
Breathtaking, I know. Its just the best campsite in Pretoria ever. And the chalets are as comfortable as a hotel--- a bit exagerated, but hey, you get the point.
Rietvlei Dam Accommodation
Rietvlei Birding
These are the dam's residents. They float close to guests, in a great spot for picnicing. lots of families hang around for braais/ barbeques. Its a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. It gave quite an impresion.

Dam Rates
You do pay to get inside and even camp in the dam. So if you are going for the day, you may as well go in very early in the morning. Another must go visit Pretoria attraction. The Game Reserve is enclosed just next to the dam.
***note to self---I really need to structure my blog and blog times.***

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Hello Pretoria, South Africa

Hello Pretoria, South Africa and those who love us, and maybe not. I had to come to announce my big come back. And NO NO NO, I was not on vacation. The website work was hectic. It happens when you edit a website, manage its content and respond to hundreds of enquiries every month. But I wouldn't change that for anything. I missed blogging here though.

Let me search for the photo that can make this blog post attractive. I love Pretoria photos anyway.
Church Building in Pretoria, Lynnwood Road

The church that borders the Afrikaans Hoër Meisieskool and Affies (Afrikaans Hoër Seunskool).Popularly known as Ooskerk. Its in Lynwood road, close to Loftus Versfeld Stadium. And because we loved it so, lets also show you that koppie...
Pretoria, South Africa
 Where were we.... oh, ja, I feel like I rose from a full year sleep and I missed on the world cup. I really need an assistant or three. Our facebook page is really doing great. We share photos of our city, and we love the old buildings and their background stories. Good to be back.

 Mbini Kutta-Mathye
In Love with Pretoria

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