I have driven down Boshoff Street (in Pietermaritzburg (PMB) and aka Msunduzi) many times. On some of these trips I have had to stop at the traffic lights at the intersection of Boshoff and LongMarket (Langalibalele) Streets. While waiting for the traffic lights to change, I have invariably admired the old red-brick Longmarket Street Girls School building. In doing so I would invariably also notice the sign posted on the wall, prohibiting the posting of Notices on the same wall. I would then also always be somewhat amazed by the fact that there were none, posted notices that is. Here was an example of the law being stated and applied, or perhaps I should say, "enforced". A remarkable road /roadside experience in PMB.
If the delay at the traffic lights was long enough, I might also think about the letter I have always wanted to write to President Jacob Zuma. In it I would say that I have often thought that South Africa has transformed from a country which had draconian laws, to one that is now basically lawless. A country in which the government does not seem to be actually governing. To support my view I simple provide as examples "Littering" and "Traffic Control". Here in PMB folk litter Boshoff Street daily in a manner that has to be seen to be believed. Regarding traffic, one only has to drive from Grey's Hospital via Boshoff Street to the "Golden Horse Casino", to see endless violations of the littering and traffic regulations.
My letter to the President would end with me recounting my dream for South Africa, in which President Zuma wakes up one morning and says, "From today, no one in South Africa will drop a piece of litter, without the very real likelihood of that transgression of the law being prosecuted". If he could get that right, I believe that law and order would return to all forms of the life experience in South Africa. We would also have achieved the "African dream" and the Government "would be seen to be believed".
But wait, I have as usual digressed, what about the museum. Well it is located in the old Longmarket Street Girls School buildings and also incorporates what was once the "Voortrekker Museum", which is in turn adjacent to the "Church of the Vow". This complex has recently received publicity in the local press, as it was recently opened / launched as the "Msunduzi Museum", the Transformed Voortrekker Museum, that now reflects the greater South African diaspora, all presumably within the PMB context.
I last visited the Voortrekker Museum years ago. But in my retirement I intend to return. In a similar vein I have already returned to the KwaZulu-Natal (National) Museum in Longmarket (Jabu Ndlovu) Street. Before I visited the latter, I did wonder about where I would park, but was not too concerned as that part of town is not that busy in the afternoons. Visiting the Msunduzi Museum will be different. It is adjacent to the large "Freedom Square Taxi Rank", and also close to the Symonds Street Taxi Rank. So parking is going to be a problem. If I recall correctly, parking was not mentioned in any of the recent coverage I had seen regarding the museum.
Now I have cycled past the Church Street entrance to the "Church of the Vow" on several occasions, and that fence is serias (serious) and the gate is also secured by means of a chain and padlock. I have also never noticed any form of entrance on the Boshoff Street side of old Longmarket Street Girls School building, that actually fronts onto the pavement. The opposite side of the property shares a common boundary with the Freedom Square Taxi Rank, so I don't think the entrance could be there, and I did not notice one when I cycled into the rank.
So that leaves Long Market Street. I have to admit that I had never really noticed any entrance whilst driving down Longmarket Street, something I do from time to time. But then that is probably because I am far too busy dodging Taxis to notice anything else. As it is, I barely have time to keep an eye on the road ahead. Now if the President fixes the litter and traffic problems, well then I am sure I will notice the Transformed Voortrekker Museum.
I have since returned to Longmarket Street on my bike, and lo and behold, there the entrance was, a boomed gateway to parking, and pleasant and interesting grounds. I will be visiting the Museum shortly, and am sure that it is going to be fascinating. Yet to decide how I will brave the traffic.
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