Wednesday, February 28, 2007

About this Blog

My name is Ebrahim Rasool, Premier of the Western Cape province, South Africa. Welcome to my blog!

I am very excited about this new medium of communication with citizens of our province and anyone else interested in our project to make the Western Cape a 'Home for All'.

Please accept my invitation to make comments on any aspect of the posts that are published here. This is meant to be a public forum for debate, and we expect users to be civil and respectful of others. Any comments may be moderated in compliance with the rules of this blog.


bloute said...

Mr Rasool,
Congratulations on realising the significance and potential of the blogging medium! I will visit regularly and I hope it becomes a constructive tool for engagement.


johan swarts said...

Dit verheug my om te sien dat ons premier begin blog het. Mag dit so oop, eerlik en onpolities korrek moontlik wees - en mag dit diskoers sonder grense tussen lede van die land se aanlyngemeenskappe aanwakker.

Dave Duarte said...

Congratulations Sir!
Two pieces of advice, both of which you may already know:
* Your blog isn't the place for press releases - this is a far more personal and engaging platform than traditional media. This is where people get to know you a little better - your thoughts, opinions and ideas in raw form.

*Do keep it up - the value of this blog will increase in time and can become a very important platform for communication!

henkk said...

This is a fantastic idea Mr Rasool! I hope that you will blog frequently. The blogging medium is immensely powerful and direct communication between Western Cape citizens and its government is without a doubt a great step to solving its many problems.

Ebrahim Rasool said...

A big 'thank you' to Bloute, Johan, Dave and Henk, and all those who have responded to my new blog. I have taken note of your comments and the suggestions made by others - and look forward to hearing more. Indeed, blogging is a great means of interacting with the public we serve, in a way that our government has never explored before. Of course this is very new to me too and it is going to take some getting used to, so don't be discouraged if I haven't responded to your comments sooner. Contrary to popular perception, the Premier and government officials generally work very hard to deliver on what we promise our citizens. I hope to be able to hear from bloggers both in and outside our province and to take advice from them. For the moment, I will be testing this blog as a medium of interaction between my government and all our people. I need not tell you that access to the internet, and therefore blogging, is still very limited in our country. This creates immense challenges, not only for my blog and its sustainability as an interface between our government and citizens, but it also has a range of implications for the way our people access information. Nonetheless, I am keen to see how this works and I am certainly encouraged by the responses we've already received.

Ingrid Thomson said...

Mr Rasool ... this is fantastic and farsighted. Welcome to the blogosphere! This is one of the communication options you have to interact with the citizens of Western Cape. And as the National Public Relations Officer for the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) and a blogger myself, perhaps I could remind that *free* internet access is often as close as the local public or community library. This could be something the public and community libraries could promote during South African Library Week {19 March - 23 March).
(And could learn to use as well to create a web presence for their own libraries)

Anonymous said...

Whilst I realise that Tourism is not the Premier's direct responsibility, I do believe it should be amongst his priorities. I have various proposals, based on research conducted over my 18 months stay in Europe. Who do I send these proposals to?
Your reply via email to: is much appreciated.
Yours faithfully
Ulrich Dannecker

g van niekerk said...

Mr Rasool
I work at a school in Claremont. We have just received 40 large, glossy, full colour posters advertising Africa Day delivered by courier from your office. First of all, today is the 21st June - Africa Day was on the 25th May! I am shocked at what a complete waste of money this is. Surely there are more worthwhile ways of spending tax payers money. I would appreciate your comments.

Anonymous said...

I would just like to share with the Premier my situation, so that he may be aware of some of the major forces acting against development targets in this country.
I am a young South African in my early 20's and am really very passionate about my home country, its people and our shared future. I am faced with the dilemma, however, of how it is financially possible for me to stay in this country. I want to, desperately, but this is what I am faced with:
I have studied, but four years of student loans at South African Universities amounts to a minimum of R80 000, if I had taken loans for accommodation, it could would be as high as R200 000. Take the interest rate, now at 13.5% and starting salaries (after a four year degree - cum laude - at a leading University I received offers of between R2 000 and R5 500/month) and it is simply not possible to pay that off. Add to that transport - I certainly cannot afford the petrol to work and back, let alone to actually purchase a vehicle.
Property is another story which I am sure I need not elaborate on - but the recent interest rate and property rates and taxes increases certainly do not help this cause!
I recently received news that my post-graduate fees have been increased by 32.4% for next year. So in one month me fees went up, my property rates payments went up, my student loan debt increased with the interest rate. How do the leaders of this country expect a person like me to stay? I am not offered a means of living in this country. I so desperately do not want to "chase pounds" and contribute to the brain drain, which is particularly bad in my area of work (I graduated with a degree in Social Work and Public and Development Management). These forces are literally PUSHING me and my colleagues away. As a young person in South Africa, I simply cannot afford to get an education, get to work and have a home - which are all things I need to do in order to contribute to the development of South Africa.
Premier Rasool, I ask you to share this your colleagues, so that they can think about how their decisions affect the brain-drain, with 30 out of a graduating class of 34 currently working overseas.

Molo Cape Town South Africa said...

Congratulations on the blog, from Cape Town's Internet Magazine, CapeTownMagazine.

Excellent to see politicians being this accessible.

Amina Jacobs said...

Mr Rasool,
This is wonderful. I am a 3rd year social work student, and you know what? No one needs my services, very depressing. I have tried nearly everywhere, where i know possibly. No success. No wonder our social workers runs away to go work in another country.

Amina Jacobs

Laeequah said...

Good day Mr Rasool

I must say it is good to see your support of our rugby team.

Lets hope you continue supporting all sports within SA