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Author: Greg Arde


ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE HOOD Martin Meyer, 39, is a kind, empathetic chap with degrees in theology who is often spotted walking around in my hood:  Morningside. He is a social worker at a Durban hospital and the councilor for the city’s Ward 27. Bordered by Sydenham Road, North Ridge Road, the Umgeni River and the beachfront up to SunCoast, this is home to key businesses and important business people. Meyer was elected with a majority of 77% in his ward of 15 000 voters. After his re-election in August for another five-year term, I asked him what his priorities...

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Hey Obed, WTF!

Dear Obed Howzit boet, I hope all is well in London. My giddy aunt, I have put off writing to you until I had something cheerful to say. But it has been a few weeks now and, well, sorry, there’s fokkol to be chirpy about. The rogues’ gallery seems to be getting bigger as the culture of impunity deepens. All the while the students are revolting and the link between their vile behavior and the lack of leadership in South Africa is inextricable. The argument is a trite, but no less weighty because it is commonplace. Other clever journalists...

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KZN, the province for entrepreneurs

Howard Arrand is the man every entrepreneur in KwaZulu-Natal would want to know. And if you are an entrepreneur going places, he wants to know about you. He is Mr Business Banking at First National Bank: a guy with enough establishment pedigree to have a touch of cynicism about big corporates and a soft spot for mavericks. Arrand is a thoughtful and engaging man in his fifties and his official title, though he doesn’t brandish one, is Provincial Head for FNB Business in KZN. He is a trustee of the First Rand Foundation and chairs FNB’s corporate social investment...

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Master craftsmen are a dying breed. Ashwin Singh is a carpenter with great finesse for someone at the relatively young age of 40. Singh squints sizing up jobs with meticulous care, giving him the look of a mad professor (which fits his thing for science – he can recite the periodic table). He’s a whizz with wood and owes his passion for carpentry to his dad who taught him invaluable skills when he was boy. He didn’t go into the craft immediately: he spent 10 years in the casino business, some of it as a dealer. He ditched ungodly...

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Hey Zandile, congrats! You are on the right track, just do the right thing.

Dear Zandile Howzit sisi I hope all is well and that you are happily ensconced in your new office and enjoying the trappings of power. I am deeply envious of you, as you well know. Not because you are chums with Umshini Wami, rather because you occupy the office I have coveted for so long. Anyway, enough sour grapes. Good luck, I am sure you are going to need it. I must kick off by congratulating you. I never credited you with as much savvy as you have displayed in your first week in office. Your inaugural address at...

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