Liquid chefs in Rosebank last night

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SKY HIGH: Keegan Smith showing off his best flair bartending skills at the Liquid Chefs in Rosebank last night. Photo: Valerie Robinson

 by Valerie Robinson.

A flair bartending competition saw some of the best bartenders in the country competing to raise funds in Rosebank last night.

The best of South African bartenders showed off their skills at flairing competition in Rosebank last night.

Flairing is the art of performing for the audience while drinks are mixed. The participants made use of accessories such as liquor bottles and shakers, as they juggled and tossed their props in a bid to impress the audience.

The competition, hosted by Liquid Chefs, was a fund-raising initiative for fellow bartender Martin Strobes who is battling cancer and managed to raise a total of R19 360 on the night.

The 16 participants represented both old school flair and new school talent. There were eight rounds which saw a more experienced bartender flairing against a new school counterpart.

After each round of flairing there was also a speed round. The competitors had one minute to make a cocktail that was auctioned off with the highest bid peaking at R1600.

At the end of the night the competition deadlocked resulting in a tie breaker round. Victor Pires, considered as one of the best flair bartenders in the country, emerged victorious.

Wits bus system in a crisis

WITS’ new circuit bus system has come under heavy criticism following a stampede that happened at the Education campus on Sunday.

Wits students were involved in a stampede while trying to board a single bus, apparently serving students from several residences, on Sunday. The incident happened at Wits Education campus where students from various residences had converged to catch a bus to Rosebank as part of a new bus system implemented by Wits Services.

HIGH FOOT TRAFFIC: Witsies wait for the next possible bus at the Yale road bus stop.                                                                                                Photo: Valerie Robinson

HIGH FOOT TRAFFIC: Witsies wait for the next possible bus at the Yale road bus stop. Photo: Valerie Robinson

“The schedule is very inconvenient. What’s even more concerning is the rate at which management keeps making changes without finding out from students how they are affected.”

The new system which came in effect on March 1, requires all res students to travel to Education campus in order to catch a bus to Rosebank. The new arrangement has inconvenienced many commuters.

“On Sunday, the bus left the students who usually catch the bus outside Junction and fetched Junction Residence [students] who have their own bus,” said Nontobeko Nkosi, 2nd year LLB.

Previously, Wits students who stay in the surrounding student accommodations near Junction were picked up by buses on the street. But under the new system the buses now pick up students inside Junction, meaning students who stay in other residences cannot always access the bus.

Wits Vuvuzela has attempted to contact Wits Bus services spokesperson Nicki McGee but has not yet received a response.

House Committee chairperson for Knockando Hall, Ivhani Maselesele, said he’s found the new bus system “convenient” for him. “For the first time, the bus stops at Knockando, it takes us to JCE, where we then take the Rosebank bus. At first, we used to walk to EOH.”

However, Dankie Mokwena, chairperson from Jubilee Hall, said the new system was inconvenient for main campus students.

“The schedule is very inconvenient. What’s even more concerning is the rate at which management keeps making changes without finding out from students how they are affected.”

According to Mokwena, the House committees are trying to find a solution with management.

“We have suggested that there are better solutions and have highlighted the fact that management cannot complain about costs if our fees keep going up every year.”

Changes on new bus schedule became effective from the March 1. These include buses leaving every 30 minutes instead of every 15 under the previous schedule. The only stops for the Rosebank bus, are in Parktown (at Junction Residence and Education Campus). A reverse circuit bus has been on weekends, during the day.

Students ‘stampede’ over new bus system

 

MARCHING AHEAD: Witsies filling up the bus to secure their seats. Photo: Anelisa

MARCHING AHEAD: Witsies  line up quickly to fill a circuit bus. Photo: Anelisa Tuswa

By: Palesa Tshandu and Anelisa Tuswa  

Wits students were involved in a stampede while trying to board a single bus, apparently serving eighteen residences, on Sunday. The incident happened at Wits Education campus where students from various residences had converged to catch a bus to Rosebank as part of a new bus system implemented by Wits Services.

Wits Junction House Committee vice-chairpeson Nkululeko Tselane said the issue with the new system is that “all the res’es have to go to Education campus for a bus”. Tselane said the “chaos” started with Rosebank buses, where students from eighteen different residences had to use a single bus stop at Education campus.

“All these res’es come to one spot – and everybody has to get on the bus because there’s no standing in the buses … it’s a stampede hazard which is what we as the house committees we are worried about,” said Tselane.

Tselane who was at Wits Services earlier today to discuss the issue, said the change in the bus schedule was not communicated properly to his House Committee. “The House Committee has been opposed to it from the beginning … we said that we don’t agree with it, it’s not practical.”

“Siyahamba nomtwalo, bese sibuya ngomtwalo (we go with baggage and we come back with baggage)

Thivhulawi Ramukhuba, one of the drivers who was at the scene of the incident said the issue is with students who use the Rosebank route to get to main campus instead of waiting for a direct bus to the campus. “Siyahamba nomtwalo, bese sibuya ngomtwalo (we go with baggage and we come back with baggage),” he said referring to students who don’t climb off the bus at Education campus and instead remain until the bus reaches main campus.

Ramukhuba said this has been an on-going issue where students do not get off at their intended destination. “The situation is similar with those who get off at EOH (Ernest Oppenheimer) res – we tell them to get next bus but instead the students stay on the bus and we go with them to Rosebank and back.” He confirmed that he hasn’t raised the issue with students as he wants to avoid conflict. “I’d rather keep my mouth shut,” he said.

Tselane said the issue has to be addressed today because part of the changes that have been implemented was that the buses are leaving every 30 minutes instead of every 15. “That’s our issue now … people are late for lectures because they are not making it on time. It’s compromising academics.”

Wits Vuvuzela contacted Wits Services’ Operations Manager:Transport Timothy Mudau who said that he cannot respond because “we are still not sure of what happened.”

WITH VIDEO: Numsa protest rising unemployment

LEADING THE NATION: NUMSA supporters leading the charge against unemployment with sticks and loudspeakers on 19 March 2014 at Zoo Lake.                                                          Photo: Luke Matthews

LEADING THE NATION: NUMSA supporters leading the charge against unemployment with sticks and loudspeakers on 19 March 2014 at Zoo Lake. Photo: Luke Matthews

Increasing youth unemployment was the key reason for a march that started at Johannesburg’s picturesque Zoo Lake earlier today.

The National Union of Mineworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) went on strike today to highlight the high level of unemployment amongst youth in South Africa.

Numsa reported that youth unemployment in South Africa is the third-highest in the world and also said that every one in four people are unemployed in the county. The union added that 71 percent of all unemployed people in South Africa are between the ages of 15 to 29.

There were a number of protesters in EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters), t-shirts at the march along with miners and migrant workers. There were also a few protesters in ANC (African National Congress), t-shirts despite Numsa’s decision not to campaign for the ANC this year. The union said the ANC is an anti-working class party and they don’t provide enough jobs and services for people.

VIDEO: The marchers assembled at Zoo Lake in Johannesburg.

The Numsa protesters went from Zoo Lake to the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) offices in Rosebank. The march was a peaceful one with singing and dancing during talks given by speakers.

Gautrain comes closer

Photo: Amogelang Mbatha

THE Gautrain now has a temporary link for commuters to reach the Johannesburg CBD from Rosebank station.

The Rosebank to Johannesburg CBD temporary bus route was opened on August 29 and will act as a shuttle service until the last link of the Gautrain, between Rosebank and Park Station, is completed.

The white buses with the Gautrain logo will run every 12 minutes from 5.30- 8.30am and 4-7pm and every 20 minutes during off-peak hours from Monday to Friday.

The shuttle has 15 stops on its route and ends at Anderson and Simmonds Streets. The stop at the Civic Centre, Loveday Street, is the closest stop to Wits

Students who want to use this service must have a valid Gautrain Gold Card with a minimum of R20 on it as cash is not accepted on the buses. The Gold Card costs R10 but once you have a card there is no need to buy another one.

Fares for the buses are R6 if you use the Gautrain and a bus within an hour of one another and R20 if you do not use the train and bus within an hour.

The Gautrain link between Rosebank and Park Station is scheduled to open at the end of the year and the shuttle service from Rosebank is a temporary solution to enable more people to travel in style.

To see the entire Rosebank to JHB CBD route go online to www.gautrain.co.za and download the schedule as a PDF.