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 ...

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

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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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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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