Saturday, 25 August 2012

Neil Armstrong Has Died RIP

It is almost 1am and I am just home from performing...

Sad to see Tweets about Neil Armstrong's death.

Neil Armstrong has passed away at the age of 82 from complications following heart surgery, his iconic phrase "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" has inspired us for generations.

The following article contains the full report of his death:

My heartfelt condolences to his loved ones.

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Thursday, 23 August 2012

Illegal taxis: Minister has no plan

As I mentioned the other day, I have been requested by a local DA representative to post certain articles. I think that this one has merit - there are too many road deaths daily due to negligent Taxi drivers and sub-standard Taxis.

Sandy B

Democratic Alliance press statement
Ian Ollis MP, DA Shadow Minister of Transport
Date: 22 August 2012
Release: immediate

Replies to DA parliamentary questions have revealed that 2353 panel vans have been illegally converted into minibus taxis and are likely still on our roads.

The unsafe, unstable converted panel vans were officially declared to be illegal in late 2007 and are currently the subject of a national investigation by the Public Protector.

Transport Minister Ben Martins has admitted that his department has no plan in place to address this issue. He is essentially conceding that his department is not taking any steps to change a situation in which the lives of thousands of commuters are put at risk daily.

It not clear how many passengers are currently using illegally converted vehicles. The Minster and his department also "does not have information on the number of persons who have died in such minibus taxis."

It is the responsibility of the Minister and his Department to ensure that public transport is effectively regulated, safeguarding the lives of the passengers who use it.

I will be calling on Minister Martins to appear before the Transport Portfolio Committee to answer questions on this issue and on why the lives of South Africans continue to be put at risk.

The City of Cape Town and the Western Cape government is clamping down on illegal minibus taxis and have increased their impoundment capacity for private vehicles and taxis. Impoundment centres in Maitland, Ndabeni, Beaufort West, George and Hermanus allow for illegal taxis to be removed from the streets and have proven to be a powerful weapon in the city and province's fight against illegal taxis - largely because its effects are immediate and cannot be laughed off by the guilty party.

It is now the Minister's turn.

Minister Martins needs to roll out a national plan of action to eradicate these unsafe vehicles from our roads. To ensure the safety of minibus drivers, passengers and other road users, we need a plan which all nine provinces buy into and implement.

Media enquiries:

Ian Ollis MP
DA Shadow Minister of Transport
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Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Pinotage on Tap 2012 with Diemersfontein Wines

Free-flowing Pinotage party to kick off at Salt Rock Durban: Pinotage on Tap 2012

Wednesday, 30 May 2012: It's voluptuous, vivacious and velvety; and its annual vintage release is the reason that thousands trek to their regional capitals for the Pinotage party to end them all. The Original Coffee Chocolate Pinotage wine from Diemersfontein is about to be unveiled for vintage 2012 at Pinotage on Tap, kicking off on 1 September at Litchi Orchard in Salt Rock, Durban.

The venue has changed from the midlands, the location in previous years, to enable easier access for KZN residents. In addition to unlimited pourings from barrels of Pinotage, white wine and artisanal beer will be available for enjoyment with a generous selection of tasty, filling foods. Popular local performers will add to the market-style atmosphere and warm, relaxed vibe for which the event is famed.

The Gauteng event will follow on Saturday 15 September at the Forest Camp, Cradle of Humankind Restaurant, Lanseria, while the Cape Town event will be held at the home of 'the People's Pinotage', at Diemersfontein in Wellington on Saturday 13 October.

The ticket price of R250 for the Durban event includes food vouchers, the bands, and the famous 'bottomless' glass of Diemersfontein's Original Coffee Chocolate Pinotage. Ticket sales open on Monday 2 July at and early bookings are advised. For further information visit and follow the links to the Pinotage on Tap page.


For more information about this incredible farm, contact:

Diemersfontein Wine & Country Estate
Deidre Taylor
Marketing Manager
Tel: 021 864 5050
Cell: 082 776 9154

Media enquiries:
Erica Meles Public Relations
Erica Liebenberg
Telephone: 021 852 5648
Cell: 073 221 2353

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Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Touching Base! Hello There!

Morning all, just touching base to say hi and mention what has kept me away from writing for the blog!

I have moved away from Industrial Theatre (doing road shows to hundreds of schools, mainly disadvantaged and performing in all kinds of weather!) And I've taken the leap towards mainly doing live shows at different venues (piano and vocals), and traditional theatre shows. Added to my already hectic schedule doing school edu-tainment shows, running a music school, and home schooling my children... Gah!

My new show BESWITCHED has taken over every spare inch of time that I used to have, and launches this Thursday!

Tickets are R50 and Shika Budhoo and I are so excited about it! It will run at The Catalina Theatre, Wilson's Wharf Durban, from Aug 16th till Sept 02nd.

If you are feeling especially kind today, and you live in Durban/KZN please copy paste this as your FB status or BBM status - so many of our friends/contacts have already and we're so grateful!:

"#Beswitched runs @CatalinaTheatre 16 Aug- 2 Sept. New Comedy with Sandy Bigara and Shika Budhoo 031 3056889 to book! Only R50/ticket"

In the show I play 9 different characters - white, indian, australian, afrikaans, zulu and more ...... Fun! Stressed! Happy!

So yes, for now I have been asked personally by the Durban South Constituency of the Democratic Alliance to post specific articles written by leaders of the DA and so I will do so, I also post articles that interest me: I sometimes copy the article text for ease of reading but always post the link to the original (there will be follow-up articles on the topic on the original news pages) - I share what grabs my attention and, yes, I ramble (hence the blog name) and I hope you're alright with that 'cos it aint gonna change... When I have a break from writing scripts and working on my two new novels, I will put up some self-written articles. Right now I'm lying in the dark typing on my Blackberry... Not ideal!


Here is the Press Release for the show:

"BESWITCHED- Best friends, one Indian - Leela, and one White - Pamela.
Leela is marrying Pamela's brother Eric and, the morning after a disastrous engagement party the two friends sit and share a disjointed cup of tea... The result is that due to Granny Vashti's "Special Tea" the girls swop bodies... The problem is this: The wedding is TOMORROW!!

Filled with gorgeous memories and flashbacks to growing up in the 80's and 90's in Durban, audiences will see "both sides of the coin" and meet many zany and outspoken characters along the way.

This comedy with a dramatic twist will have audiences smiling, remembering and hopefully even tapping their feet as Pamela and Leela try to "Make the circle of love complete" and Be-switch-ed back before Leela's wedding!"


Have a fab day people and please let me know of any interesting news links etc that you'd like me to consider for posting!

Get in touch with me on Facebook xx

Sandy Bigara
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Saturday, 11 August 2012

Earthquake in Iran

This article is taken directly from: pasted here for your convenience. Please visit for more information.


"TEHRAN: Rescuers in northwest Iran are striving to dig survivors from the rubble of twin earthquakes that have levelled villages and killed at least 180 people and injured 1300 others.

The scale of the disaster is still emerging with emergency teams in the devastated zone northeast of the city of Tabriz pushing through the night after the Saturday quakes.

With telephone communications interrupted, officials say they're relying on radios and travelling in person to hard-hit villages to assess and rescue.
The quakes, which struck within 11 minutes of each other, measured 6.2 and 6.0 on the moment magnitude scale, according to Tehran University's Seismological Centre.

The US Geological Survey, which monitors seismic activity worldwide, ranked them as more powerful than that, at 6.4 and 6.3, respectively.
"Unfortunately, the toll is mounting and we are now at 180 dead and some 1300 injured," Khalil Saie, the head of the regional natural disasters centre, told state television on Sunday morning.
"Up to now, there are no deaths reported in the cities and all the victims come from rural areas," he said.
Earlier he told the television: "We are asking people to not panic. Help is arriving and rescuers are already at the scene."

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's office has posted a statement on its website expressing condolences to those in the disaster zone and calling on authorities to "mobilise all efforts to help the affected populations".

An emergency services official said 66 rescue teams were at work, using 40 devices and seven dog squads to detect buried survivors. He said 185 ambulances had been sent to the area.
Those hurt were taken to hospitals in Tabriz and Ardebil, the two biggest nearby cities, both of which escaped relatively unscathed by the temblors.
Villages outlying the towns of Ahar and Varzaqan, 60 kilometres from Tabriz, were decimated, being closest to the epicentres of the two quakes.
Dwellings close to Heris, another town close by, were also badly shaken.

Residents in the region were terrified as their homes shook around them when the quakes hit and they fled into the streets for safety, according to reports.
Tehran University Seismological Centre said the first earthquake happened at 4:53 pm (2223 AEST) with an epicentre just 60 kilometres from Tabriz, close to Ahar, and at a depth of 10 kilometres.

The second - actually a big aftershock - rumbled through from nearly the same spot. A series of more than 17 smaller aftershocks rating 4.7 or less rapidly followed.

The disaster zone is located around 90 kilometres from the borders with Armenia and Azerbaijan and around 190 kilometres from the border with Turkey.
Iran sits astride several major fault lines and is prone to frequent earthquakes, some of which have been devastating.

The deadliest was a 6.6-magnitude quake which struck the southern city of Bam in December 2003, killing 31,000 people.
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TNT Live Media's Presenter Search!

TNT Live Productions presents "TNT Live Media's Presenter Search!"

Enter now to become TNT Live Media's Video Presenter for 2012! Stand a chance to present the "I love Student Lyf Concert" on the 31st August and 1st September 2012 on camera‚ and rub shoulders with some of SA's biggest DJs!

Weekly prizes:
- T-shirts
- Photoshoot Vouchers

Grand Prize:
- TNT Live Media Video Presenter Contract (valid for 2012)
- 1 week Television mentorship with Mandisa Nduna (SABC 1 Class Act 2011 Finalist)
- A TNT Live Media Photoshoot
- A TNT Live Media Video shoot
- Spa treatment in your own home! By Fleuritious Mobile Spas

All you have to do is "like" the TNT Live Productions page (on‚ post a 30sec video of yourself on the TNT Live Productions wall‚ and get your friends and fans to "like" the page AND VOTE by liking your video! Weekly winners will be announced every Sunday!

On-location auditions will be held soon in an area near you‚ so keep your eyes on the page for more details!

The lucky winner of the grand prize will be announced on Sunday the 26th of August 2012!

Happy posting! And good luck! :D

Friday, 10 August 2012

Western Cape School Closures vs. KZN School Closures

So the ANCYL want to march in Cape Town for the closure of 27 schools?...interesting! Read on...

Written by: Sizwe Mchunu , DA Leader in KwaZulu-Natal
10 August 2012
The KZN Education Department's announcement that hundreds of small, non-viable schools would be closed in the province has been met with deafening silence by the ANC and alliance partners.

 This is despite a barrage of threats and provocation from the ANC and COSATU in the Western Cape about the Education Department's proposal to rationalize non-viable schools in the same way.

The ANC's silence is precisely because they know that better education opportunities need to be found for learners at non-viable schools with multi-grade classes and limited resources. But they cannot resist the opportunity to mindlessly politicize decisions that are made to improve the learning circumstances of learners.

We support the KZN Education Department's attempts to secure better opportunities for these learners in the same way we support the Western Cape Education Department. Tom Stokes, the DA's Education spokesperson in KZN, has submitted parliamentary questions to MEC Senzo Mchunu to ascertain how many schools have been closed since 2009 in KZN – an answer we anticipate soon.

The hypocrisy of the ANC's vastly different reaction to these two decisions brings into question why they've been so vocal in the Western Cape alone.

Marius Fransman and Tony Ehrenreich have some explaining to do.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Women’s Month: DA challenges Minister Xingwana to promote the rights of women

Democratic Alliance press statement by Helen Lamoela MP, DA Shadow Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities

01 August 2012
Release: immediate

Today marks the beginning of Women's Month. As we honour the women of 1956 who marched on the Union Buildings to protest against the pass laws, we acknowledge that some of the worst challenges faced by women then still persist for women today.

The DA challenges the Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Lulu Xingwana, to show us that she is serious about promoting and realising the rights of vulnerable and impoverished women. With an average budget of R142 million per year to coordinate and monitor the direct delivery of programmes to support, empower and develop vulnerable groups, Minister Xingwana consistently fails in achieving her mandate.

The statistics paints a bleak picture about the challenges faced by women in South Africa:
Every 25 seconds a women or girl is raped;
every six days a women in South Africa is murdered by her intimate partner;
we are experiencing a spike in violence against elderly women, with two deplorable incidents of violent sexual attacks against grandmothers in the last week; and
over 160 000 schoolgirls fell pregnant between 2008 and 2010, with many of the schoolgirls being in grades 3, 5 and 6.
This situation warrants a Ministry who is actively championing and protecting the rights of women and young girls.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Women's Month, Beswitched at The Catalina, Durban

Celebrate Women's Month with a girls night out:

Best friends, one Indian - Leela, and one White - Pamela. Leela is marrying Pamela's brother Eric and, the morning after a disastrous engagement party the two friends sit and share a disjointed cup of tea... The result is that due to Granny Vashti's "Special Tea" the girls swop bodies... The problem is this: The wedding is TOMORROW!!

Filled with gorgeous memories and flashbacks to growing up in the 80's in Durban, audiences will see "both sides of the coin" and meet many zany and outspoken (see:racist) characters along the way.

This comedy with a dramatic twist will have audiences smiling, remembering and hopefully even tapping their feet as Pamela and Leela try to "Make the circle of love complete" and Be-switch-ed back before Leela's wedding!

New Comedy *BESWITCHED* runs 16 Aug- 2 Sept. CatalinaTheatre. 031 305 6889 written by and featuring Durban's own Shika Budhoo and Sandy Bigara!

(Please contact either Sandy or Shika directly for interviews extra photos radio interviews, ticket giveaways or other publicity-related information)

Sunday, 5 August 2012

SA Politics: Blacklist Contractors Responsible for R50 Billion RDP Housing Failure

Democratic Alliance press statement by Stevens Mokgalapa MP. DA Shadow Minister of Human Settlements

05 August 2012

The DA has submitted parliamentary questions to the Minister of Human Settlements, Tokyo Sexwale, to reveal the names of contractors whose inferior work will result in R50 billion being spent on the rectification of RDP housing projects.

We want to know who these fly-by-night contractors are and whether they are still contracted to build houses. Contractors who build faulty houses must be blacklisted so that no more public money is wasted. It is time that Minister Sexwale took some tough action to match his tough talk.

This year alone, R930 million was set aside for the rectification of just over 34 000 housing units across the country. The vicious cycle of spending, shoddy workmanship and rectification must be broken by blacklisting bad contractors and preventing them from future involvement in contracts for state-funded housing.

Minister Sexwale is trying to shift the blame for crumbling RDP houses by saying that it is service providers, and not his department, that are responsible for RDP construction. The Minister conveniently ignores the fact that service providers are contracted by his department and should be held accountable by it. He also fails to mention the obvious failure by the National Home Builders Registration Council, an entity within his department, to protect housing consumers from unscrupulous contractors and to ensure that contractors who deliver sub-standard housing projects are blacklisted.

The Department of Human Settlements' dogged defence of under-performing contractors was evidenced again in last week's discussion in the portfolio committee for Human Settlements on the continuation of contracts to two sanitation service providers who have repeatedly failed to deliver on their commitments. In 2010/2011, the Independent Development Trust (IDT) and Mvula Trust received contracts to the value of R32 million and R11 million, respectively. Despite their failure to meet their targets, their allocated contracts grew to R150 million and R120 million in the current financial year.

It is time for the Minister to prove to South Africans living in appalling conditions in state-funded housing and the millions of South African still awaiting access to housing opportunities that he wants to get rid of service providers who squander state resources.

South Africans deserve sustainable human settlements, where families can be raised, where dreams can be realised and where people are given access to the economic opportunities that arise from home ownership. We challenge the Minister to purge the housing system of bad contractors.

Media enquiries:

Stevens Mokgalapa MP
DA Shadow Minister of human Settlements
083 275 1779

Piera Abbott
Senior Media Officer
076 130 5779

Sent to me by Shehana Gaibie.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Competition Time at Butik Asia!

BUTIK ASIA stores in KZN are celebrating Women's month with their new Spring/ Summer Collection Competition!**


1) Visit one of our Butik Asia stores @ Galleria Mall in Amanzimtoti (Toti) or @ Ushaka
Marine World in Durban (Point Waterfront).

2) Take a photo of yourself in-store looking fabulous!

3) Post to FB Butik Asia online, with a one-sentence fashion slogan or inspirational quote for Women.

The photo with the most likes wins! Get your friends to add Butik Asia as a friend or they can enter too and make the competition more exciting.


5 Nights away for you & family at The Happy Wanderers Beach Resort in KZN (valued at R6000)


- Butik Asia:

Happy Wanderers:


**Competition ends on 31 August

Good luck!