Nicole Rowe Sculpture | | Art in South Africa
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Title: A balm or a thorn
Medium: Polystyrene, resin, road maps, acrylic paint & wood
Year: 2014

Two of the most recent and contentious issues affecting citizens of Pretoria and its surrounds are the so called restorative street name changes and the notorious E-toll implementation across Gauteng.

The name changes might offer a healing effect to some, yet to others it is the proverbial thorn in the side.

The Aloe species is widely used in traditional herbal medicine. Aloe Vera is used as a multipurpose skin treatment or in essence a balm, to heal or soothe your skin. Though the aloe has many healing properties on the inside, on the outside it has thorns which do the opposite of a balm - it scratches and injures your skin. In such, the aloe represents both positive and negative factors that contribute either to healing or destruction.

Two questions were posed in an opinion poll to 1,000 participants from Pretoria:

  • Do you feel that the road name changes are positive or negative?
  • Do you feel the e-toll system is positive or negative?
  • The opinions were gathered from:

  • 792 participants from Pretoria regions
  • East
  • Central West
  • North East
  • North West
  • South
  • 204 outside Pretoria
  • 4 incomplete responses
  • Results:

  • 31% were positive towards the road name changes
  • 69% were negative towards it

  • 14% were positive towards the e-toll system
  • 86% were negative towards it
  • Are all these changes positive or negative to our country and economy, or should we look more closely at the aloe and accept both the balm and the thorn to ensure a balance?

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