Posted by: solosnowbird | September 9, 2011

Western Cape University

The morning started off early with a commute through morning rush hour to the Western Cape University Centre of Law. We heard from Prof. Nico Steytler and Senior Researcher Derek Powell regarding their involvement in the democracy process of South Africa and local municipal government. They discussed the current focus on professionalism of local government and the need of skillful municipal managers. It was a fascinating dialogue regarding the ties of the national parties involvement in local elections.

Western Cape’s campus was quaint and very active. This campus and their students played an important part in the new democracy—this is the area that clashes occurred to overcome in 1993-1994.

Lunch and our next educational session was in Hermanus…a town that thrives on tourism. This municipality sets along the coast in a bay that provides protection for the Southern Right Whale. The whales come to the area to calf before heading back to the Antarctica. Spotted a few small rises, too far out for any pictures. The headline in the Cape Town Newspaper had a picture of a great rise by a whale today. It was comforting to know they were there somewhere under the surface even though we could not see them.

Hermanus has 25 Councilors and employs 1030 staff. Hermanus’ population is estimated to be 80,000. The 2011 census will provide a better estimate but still will not provide a sufficient report based on the number of illegal immigrants escaping from northern parts of Africa. Hermanus’ Mayor stopped by and greeted us. She noted she has an open door policy and will meet with anyone.

Dinner was a dining experience at Pepenero’s. Great food and laughter!

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