Trauma at Gold Reef City

My brother recently visited for a two week holiday from the UK, so we decided to go to Gold Reef City theme park for the day. We had done this before on one of his previous visits and the two of us had a great day out.

On Wednesday 20th February, my brother, his girlfriend, my boyfriend and I went to Gold Reef city, as my boyfriend had never been there before. We paid the R160 entrance fee, were told that two major rides, including the Anaconda, were out of commission for the day due to repairs.

We wandered around the park, going on rides, as you do at a theme park. One ride, I believe it is called the Tornadoes, had a number of park attendants working on it throughout the day. On our third walk through the park, we saw the ride was open and my brother suggested we ride it.

The ride is a rotation ride, where a number of red, two-seater carts sit on a five spoke ‘wheel’ that spins independently of the platform it is attached to. When we climbed aboard, we noticed a number of the carts had their safety bars tied to the carts with pieces of wire, so we skipped them and my boyfriend and I picked a cart next to my brothers.

When the park attendant came to lower the safety bar, he began adjusting something by our feet and pulled out a bolt. This should have been our fist cue to switch carts or leave the ride altogether, but he seemingly ‘reattached’ the bolt and lowered the bar. The ride started a few minutes later.

About halfway through the twirling, we heard the bolt fall off of our cart and saw it launch across the ride and hit the side of the enclosure. My boyfriend, who was seated next to me, heard and saw this with me, as did my brother in the cart opposite us. Of course, we began to panic, and it escalated as we heard at least two more bolts fall from our cart and fly across the ride. My boyfriend began shouting to the attendants that the ‘bolt had come off’ and we were both hanging on to the safety bar for dear life, as visions of the cart suddenly flying free and smashing into the wall swam through our heads.

Needless to say, the attendants did not stop the ride, nor did they acknowledge the fact we were shouting for assistance. The ride stopped on its own and we promptly exited the ride, both of us deathly white and shaking. My boyfriend was terrified. We left after that, fearing for our lives.

I have never had any problems at Gold reef city, but I am aware that there have been some in the past, and they have been bough to light by shows like Carte Blanche. I am also aware of the fact that my boyfriend and I should have exited the ride once the attendant pulled the bolt off our cart and that the ride had been closed for maintenance for most of the day.

However, I believe I am right in saying that if the park attendants were aware of any problems with the ride, and had spent half the day ‘fixing’ it, they should NOT have opened it for paying customers without testing it first. I also believe that the attendant working the ride (who I could see standing there while we were shouting for help) DID hear us and should have stopped the ride immediately, as we repeatedly requested. What if the cart had come off its supposedly ‘safe’ stand? Or what if one of the flying bolts had hit another rider in the face? Yes, none of this happened, but it is only a matter of time before tragedy strikes due to the incompetence or simple laziness of the park attendants.

 

I am a journalist for Property24.com and am affiliated with News24.com. I demand that a FULL investigation go underway to discover exactly what was wrong with that ride and I also demand a report be written and given back to me. If this does not happen, I WILL be taking my story to Carte Blanche who will once again shed light on how unsafe this theme park is. Half the rides look a hundred years old, and most of them simply do not feel safe. I will also be spreading my story on every social and news platform that I can, as it is unacceptable and people’s lives are at stake.

How dare the managers of Gold reef City have the nerve to charge R160 for a ‘fun and safe’ day, and have signs all over the place showing riders the steps to take to ensure they have a ‘safe’ ride, when the rides themselves are death traps.

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We have the right NOT to be exploited!

Recently, I was on the job hunt. Which, as most of us know, is never an easy task.

However, I was on the hunt. I was looking for a well paid office job that was close to where I lived, or within the neighbouring areas. I was beginning to think I would forever be on this fruitless search, when out of nowhere came what seemed like the opportunity of a life time.

I applied for a data capturer position within a company whose offices were located in Rivonia. I was promptly called in for an interview, and was more than happy to oblige.

I cannot stress this enough: When I went for the interview, it was for the position of a DATA CAPTURER.

I went for the interview, and everything went very well. The woman that conducted the interview seemed to like me and was very impressed with my social media background, as I used to blog for another website company. I went hope feeling encouraged and hopeful.

The woman then called me up once more and asked me to come in to discuss another role within the company, so I happily went in. She sat down with me and explained this new (title-less) job position to me, even said I seemed to be the perfect person for it. I would be helping recruit South African artists who would put their art on a website that was due to launch a month later. This job gave me the opportunity to meet with artists, photographers and designers, and seeing as though I myself am a passionate photographer, I felt that the job suited me perfectly.

So, I agreed to come in and read through the contract and sign it, once they got back to me.

About a week later, I emailed this woman to ask when I could see the contract, and what the salary would be, as we had not yet discussed it. I was then told that my salary would consist of R500 a week.

Not nearly close to what I was hoping, and now, working two jobs, I was still earning under what I had originally wanted too.But the opportunity seemed too good to pass up, and I agreed to come and sign the contract.

The contract was a one page ‘work-for-hire’ agreement, as the company did not want to tie me into tight with them, in case I got offered a better job with the salary I had originally wanted. So, on May 23rd, I signed the agreement and began work the next week.

When I went in for my first day, I was given my company email address and then I was emailed a bunch of word documents that consisted of a few CV’s, a few artists statements, but most of it was simply email addresses. No names, no details, nothing. Apparently, these were the artists I was to get into contact with and reassure, as the woman who had been in my position previously had just sort of left. So I began making my way through the list, sending out invites to group interviews and messages of reassurance to the artists who had already committed to the project.

After giving my ‘contract’ to a friend of mine who works in human resources,I was told it seemed like a very vague contract. There was no job description or title, there were no conditions of notice or a termination period, no rules and regulations of the company nor did it specify when I would be paid. So, I gave the person who was in charge of doing payments my banking details, thinking they would pay me when they paid everyone else. I also went through the list of discrepancies I had with my contract with the owners wife, as she was second in charge.

A few days later I was then given a ‘to-do’ list, which I promptly began making my way through. I scheduled 2 interviews for the next week, one as group interview, which consisted of ten people, and one as a single interview. I got a response from two people, saying they would see us then.

Unfortunately, I got very sick and left work early on a Friday. I remained sick the entire weekend and could not get out of bed, and so I did not think going in to work and conducting a group interview would be productive for anyone involved. I then phoned into work and was told it was alright and that another colleague would conduct the interview.

When I went into work on Wednesday June 6th and began working, my email account kept asking me to enter details that had already been entered, so I went to the head of the company and asked if he could help me. He said he and his wife, the other owner of the company, needed to speak with me.

So I sat down at the desk with a sense of dread.

He proceeded to tell me that things were not working out. That I seemed to be ‘here and there’ and that they obviously hadn’t really considered what they were looking for when hiring for my position. He said he was tired of hearing me say “I could talk to this friend of mine” instead of actually doing it. He then also said it was nothing personal and left the conversation hanging. His wife, who had been all happy and chatty with me the week before, did not say anything to me except to tell me that their company was one of the best digital solution companies in South Africa and shot down every suggestion I had made to try and help boost their company’s name. She told me the reason they didn’t have those things was because they didn’t want them.

I felt hot and sick and I could feel the tears stinging behind my eyes. I had never been ‘let go’ before. I didn’t understand. I was doing the best I could; I had contacted everyone I was told too. It wasn’t my fault that sometimes people don’t check their email. I can’t force someone to reply to an email I’ve sent them. There was only so much I could do at one time.

So I politely nodded my head, walked out the office and proceeded to pack my things. After talking to the woman who had first conducted my interviews and then offered me the position, I left.

That was two weeks ago. I still have not received payment for the time I was employed with this company. When it became clear that this was going to be a struggle, I promptly emailed them again with my banking details, but without result. I then emailed them AGAIN saying that I would be happy to come to the offices to collect the payment in cash, but if payment was not forthcoming, I would have no choice but to take it further.

Friends and family hounded me to take them to the Small Claims Court or the CCMA or complain about them on HelloPeter.com, but I am not a confrontational person.

However, when the last (slightly threatening) email I sent this company was ignored, I called them to ask when would be an appropriate time to go in and collect my payment in cash. I was then told the transaction had just been done, so there was no need for me to come in. When I asked to be emailed proof of this transaction, I was assured I would and then I hung up. I still have not received this proof, nor have I gotten my payment. And so this morning, I went onto HelloPeter.com and wrote a complaint. A complaint that, less than an hour later, was removed.

I still do not know the reason for this, although I promptly emailed the administrators at HelloPeter.com to ask why.

So why am I writing this then? Because I feel cheated. I feel exploited, unfairly dismissed, but mostly, I feel poor. I deserve to be paid, even if I only worked for the company for two weeks. Two weeks work deserves two weeks pay. I am tired of people in this country thinking they can get away with whatever they like. I am tired of constantly struggling and never getting anywhere while police officers and government workers sit on their butts all day and rake it in, no questions asked.

I AM TIRED OF BEING A SECOND RATE CITIZEN!

I have rights, you have rights! WE HAVE RIGHTS! And if we do not learn how to stand up for them, we will continue to be walked over by companies like these, and people like that. I applied for one position and then was given one that ended up with me being worse off than when I started, and I won’t stand for it.

And no one should

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