18 million people, 73% voter turnout results monitored electronically, democratically and peacefully – another great day in South Africa.

It’s not so much about the results but more about the people and the process and how we always rise to the occasion.

Firstly it should be said that congratulations are in order to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) who have done a remarkable job that would be the envy of any country in the world. Hats off and thank you to this well run transparent organisation – an example of what we wish for from our political leaders.

Let’s however not dwell on this concern but rather focus our energy on the beautiful South African people who are a joyous, friendly, fun loving and resilient. We have become a rich vibrant and diverse society, proudly South African.

Visiting South Africa is not just about seeing great sights it’s about Ubuntu, it’s about emotion, belief, hope and the opportunity to listen to great campfire storytellers and meet a collection of characters who cannot wait to welcome you to our shores for an adventure which will change your life forever. Yes, we South Africans have stories for every sunrise, every sunset and every glowing campfire, Tsama Hanzi – come sit with us and let us tell you a story…


A story about our digitally advanced rural learners who write poetry, fly drones and talk daily to a league of nations in a world that has become flat. People who sit under a tree of knowledge and plug into a future that is burning brighter than they would ever have thought possible. This transformation and the birth of new leaders, entrepreneurs and literates are taking over the digital landscape and showing us what can be achieved for the future of our country. The Good Work Foundation (GWF) is at the forefront of educating South Africans from rural communities. It is in the positive results that we have seen from the GWF that we can look forward to a better future for all South Africans.

DSC0145-1024x1536 2

A very proud moment: HDLC Facilitator, Lungile Shabangu, graduates with her International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL) Advanced at the Good Work Foundation. Photographed by: Ryan James

A story about the leopards who live and thrive at Londolozi. Leopards that at one time where impossible to see, that have now found a safe home in the reserve. We can look at the wonderful story of the Dudley Riverbank young male born in July of 2009. After gaining independence from his mother a little under two years later, he appeared to be thriving until disaster struck! He was found with a seriously injured back leg. Although no external injury could be seen, the leg was badly swollen and unable to bear any weight. In a predator-rich environment like Londolozi, a badly injured leg is as good as a death sentence for a leopard.


The Dudley Riverbank young male. Photographed by: Talley Smith.

This young male however, was to triumph through adversity. Whilst the rangers and trackers of Londolozi assumed he had at the most a few weeks to live, the leopard himself had other ideas.

Adaptation is the name of the game for survival, and the next few months saw the young male eking out an existence on whatever he could scavenge, or, rarely, catch. Through a small meal here and there, he managed to keep his energy levels up as bit by bit his leg began to heal. Little by little he was able to bear more and more weight on it; first limping painfully, then hardly at all, and then, to our amazement and joy, six months after first being seen with his injury, he was found one day with absolutely no sign of a limp, and he was followed to where he had a fully grown bushbuck kill stashed up in a tree. After staring death in the face, he was back to 100% strength and efficiency as one of the super predators of the African wilderness.

It’s stories like this of our animals and people and the recent elections that confirm that South Africans certainly know how to turn it on. We’re at the start of something big and it all starts with a story…

Stay tuned for part two….

Written by: Dave Varty

Filed under GWF Life Restoration

About the Author

Dave Varty


Dave's story is too full and rich to tell in a brief blog bio. Suffice it to say that it is due to his passion, hard work and lifelong dedication to conservation that Londolozi is what it is today. One of the co-founders ...

View Dave's profile


on Give Us A World Cup Or A 20 Year Election Celebration And Boy Can We South Africans Turn It On

Join the conversationJoin the conversation

Jill Grady

Thank you Dave for a great blog! We had the privilege of visiting different areas of South Africa last Sept. and also spent 4 nights at Londolozi and immediately fell in love with your beautiful country and amazing people. We found the South African people to be very kind, resilient and compassionate. We heard many life stories along the way and found South Africans to be very open and generous in sharing their life experiences with us, and in this way, learned more about South Africa than any book could have told. It was the most amazing, life changing experience and we can’t wait to return again next year.

Arden Zalman

Thank you, Dave, for a very interesting story. Having been to Africa and South Africa in particular, I appreciate the wonderful world that has been created for all of the people and animals who live there. If I could live my life over, it would be in the bush–but at least I can visit whenever I can–be back in

Judy Guffey

Having lived in Secunda for 4 years i know the beauty ofvthe country and her people. My heart has a special section that holds South Africa and especially Londolozi (first visited in 1983 at what was then ‘bush camp’.). The future is bright with special thanks to the Good Work Foundation and everyonevat Londolozi. I miss youvall.

Dave Mills

Londolozi is a special place. That’s partly because it is in a very special country. Congratulations to the wonderful, kind, compassionate, and positive people of South Africa. The future is yours. Nkosi Sikelel’i Afrika.

Michael & Terri Klauber

Dave and team, We are so proud of the direction that South Africa is headed in, and we are thrilled to hear of a successful election process. Of course, the most exciting thing for us to continue to appreciate is the amazing place your family has created where the “real world” happens every day. Mankind, wildlife and respect for the environment living in harmony together. Congratulations always! We belive there is no place on earth like Londolozi.

Ryan James

Thank you Dave. What a privilege to live in a country as unique as ours!

Zano Mabuza

The great thing about positive stories is that they’re contagious! Definitely staying tuned for the next one.

Jenifer Collins Westphal

Congratulations SA on an amazing voter turnout – the US had elections shortly after with a dismal turnout. We could learn a lot here from your passion and your stories. Dave, thanks for a beautiful blog! Cannot wait to be in the bush!


Here is my take
Nationally we have just participated in our fifth democratic election. The results were interesting:

• The ANC’s majority has declined from 69% in 2004 to 62.3% in 2014. It is likely that this trend will
continue. As a consequence it is possible that during the next five years the
ANC will split along the lines of Constitutionalists vs Crony-ists and that
President Zuma will retire prematurely to avoid falling into the cracks he

• The DA’s support has increased from 1.7% in 1994 to 22.3% in 2014. It is now the most
demographically representative party in the country and as many Black
supporters as Whites, Coloureds and Asians. This representivity will grow and
it is highly likely that during the next five years a new DA leader will emerge
– someone prominent and Black. The spectre of coalition politics with the DA as
the primary King Maker may happen as soon as 2019, certainly at Metro level.

• Ego-driven political parties are on their way out – witness the demise of COPE, AGANG, FF+ the UDM
and 20 others.

• The political landscape has shifted with the dramatic emergence of the EFF – not at the expense of the DA, but mostly at the expense of the ANC. The EFF has an entirely different manifesto
and political proposition and, coming from nowhere, now has some 25 seats in
Parliament. The emergence of a radical, left-wing opposition party could,
paradoxically, enhance the openness of our democracy and energise unity amongst those opposed to extremism. Unless, like COPE the EFF is torn apart by leadership arrogance, dissent and squabbles.

The past five years have been characterised by poor political leadership, but, as Steven Friedman points
out, not everything can be blamed on the leader and a new leader will not change everything overnight.

Nevertheless the different pace of positive/negative social cohesion that is described above provides an
odd cocktail of hope, ambivalence, uncertainty and enthusiasm for our future.

Our fifth National and Provincial election has manifested a fundamental re-alignment of our political
landscape: a growing middle-class, increasing urbanisation, the reduction in the number of those living in excluded communities and the emergence of a positive, confident and optimistic brigade of young South Africans who are ‘over’ racial stereotyping, conventional wisdom madness, and apartheid guilt…and
are our hope for the future.

And it is – mostly – bright.

Steuart Pennington

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