A great closing of our stay
The official presentation of our findings started at 10 am South African time. This meaning we waited until 10.45 am before we actually began. Also typically South African: two days ago a huge rain storm caused damage to the water facilities in Soweto. That is why our guests had to walk across the market square if they had to use the bathroom.
Our guests represented all of the stakeholders: NGO’s, government, companies, people from the ambassy, people from the SSDC steering group. All together there were 40 people. Our presentations really went well, there was a lot of interaction with the audience. The questions and suggestions contributed to our plans. Definitely extra input for our final reports. After the presentations many of the guests joined us for lunch at the Holiday Inn where the exchange of thoughts continued. The meeting had an interesting side-effect. By inviting all the people that helped us finding information, South-African parties that are working in the same fields and areas met. As one of our guests put it: ‘Thank you for introducing us to ourselves’.
A short evaluation with the Imtech steering group sorted out confusion about the various positions of stakeholders. With that most of our formal work in Johannesburg came to an end. In the afternoon some of us went shopping. I (in this case Véronique) went with Robin and René Ravel to the house I lived in from ’89 to ’92. It was very special. We got invited inside and I got to see every room again, it made me feel very cheerful.
At night we had a farewell dinner with Dave and Carol at the market theatre. René Ravel and Michel played the guitar. Some of us needed more action so we went to a great bar called Sofiatown. In downtown Joburg, for the most part not the safest area, where black and white people meet. Bart, Pieter, Hendrik and Ben returned from a business meeting and met us here for a drink and a dance. The last one for the road we drank at our local favourite the Ratz. All together a great closing of our stay here.
Bram Smulders & Véronique Duivelshof