Gerald Potash,

Hello again,

The ANC held their manifesto congress for the upcoming general election in the voter-rich province of KZN. They managed to fill the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban with close to 70,000 supporters all wearing ANC regalia and only too happy to have been bussed in, been given a new T-shirt and a free KFC meal.

The speech that Ramaphosa made was hollow and he said absolutely nothing new. In fact he made virtually the same promises Mandela made 30 years ago. But then you know that it’s hard to take anything that Ramaphosa says too literally and I’m not sure that anyone believes even a word of those promises anymore…… .

Again he promised to create jobs, thousands of them and to fix potholes in the roads and, and, and….. But he has made these promises so often and all to little avail.

Typically one of the ANC big-shots, this time in the guise of Bheki Cele, abused his cabinet position and flew into the ANC event with a State helicopter. For a Party event! We pay for that Copter and the public want him to pay every cent back to the Fiskus for the cost of that flight. He was once fired as Police Commissioner and it’s high time he gets fired as Minister of Police. 

Tragedy struck when a bus taking ANC supporters back home to Mpumalanga from the congress overturned and 9 people died, while many of the other passengers were badly hurt.

The DA won its case (after struggling in our courts for 3 years) to have the ANC hand over all its cadre deployment documents from their various meetings. Guess which documents are missing?

Why, most of documents of when Cyril chaired the committee. They are lost; the laptop was broken; or no minutes were kept between 2013 and 2018; the dog ate the minutes.

The DA is now going to court to get the Provincial committee’s documents as well. 

I liked the Burger cartoon on Tuesday posted from Dr Jack reflecting on Cyril’s speech in Durban on the weekend.

Translation: As a previous head of the ANC’s cadre deployment committee I can assure you that there is no such thing as cadre deployment.

Jacob Zuma has also made plenty of news this week. The Afrikaans press pointed out that Zuma was using his old and very 

successful tactic of going to the ANC branches in KZN and turning them into Umkhonto We Sizwe (MK) followers. He used the very same tactic to unseat Thabo Mbeki from the leadership of the ANC and to take over himself from Mbeki to become President of this country. It all had to do with getting the ANC branches to support him. It is a tactic that is certain to deliver results in KZ-N which is the 2nd largest voting block after Gauteng (Transvaal to you).

Also interesting is that rumours are flying around that ANC big shots are keen to join Zuma. The Minister of Defence was said to be following MP Mervyn Dicks for joining MK. Dicks has now been expelled from his old Party and the Minister has denied all the speculation.

IPSOS in their latest political polling rate Zuma’s MK Party of taking about 20% of the vote in KZN. That translates to about 5% of the national vote which means the ANC could fall to a fraction over 40% in the May election.

With the DA likely to poll just over 20% and the EFF just under 20% there really doesn’t leave much for the other 368 Parties to share amongst themselves. Yup, we have more than 370 Parties to choose from when we go into the voting booth. Some of those making themselves eligible for a Parliamentary seat are independents . This is the first time that independents can stand for Parliament and it will be very interesting to see how many of these independents make it.

This is Siwela’s cartoon from The Citizen late last week:

In spite of promises and good news from the various authorities (mainly the Minister of Electricity) we are suffering irritating power outages too often.

Eskom’s energy availability factor (EAF) plunged in February to 50.84% – a new low. Energy analyst Chris Yelland points out that this decline is also despite the return of three 800 MW coal-fired units at the Kusile power station in November 2023. Every time the Min of Electricity opens his mouth it is to tell us how much better things are and then like his boss’s statements reality proves it otherwise. But I do believe as we get closer and closer to election day the better Eskom will perform; probably at the expense of servicing units in need, but less outages are a certainty through May. And possibly even before May. 

In January of this year 106 businesses closed down. This is a horrible way to start a year and Stats SA showed a 34.6% increase in last year’s figures. I’m very pleased that I’m not in business anymore.

In 2018 our dept-to-GDP ratio was 59.26%. Our Finance Minister has estimated a peak of 77.7% for 2025 for that figure. We now pay 20% of all tax revenue to servicing debt. The article I read explaining this looming disaster says leaving the current ANC in charge of the Fiscus is like leaving an alcoholic in charge of a liquor store.

To add to our economic woes there is a bloodbath in the mining industry where mining companies are retrenching with fervour in spite of the Government asking them not to. As the Government explained to the trade unions this week; there is a lack of demand and a lack of profit. In the 1980’s we had more than one million jobs in the mining sector. Today it’s about 440,000. 

The harbours and the railways not operating as they used to (properly) has something to do with the situation for sure.

The Daily Maverick in their weekly newspaper points out that the trouble isn’t only in mining. Their cover lead story this week with the headline “Hospitals Bleed

Hospitals staff are overworked, patients face long delays while public-sector pay hike devours state resources”.

It can hardly get worse but the ANC wants to bring in National Health within the next 5 years. Wishful thinking.

One bit of good news that I liked this week was Parliament giving our Judge President of the Cape his marching orders. It has taken 14 court cases and 15 years since John Hlophe was first brought to court. Jacob Zuma can learn about Stalingrad tactics from this man. He tried to influence two judges sitting in a Zuma matter (to do with the Arms deal) that got him finally kicked out. This week an overwhelming majority of parliamentarians (305-27) voted for him to be impeached.

Another bit of good news is that Malema says the 2024 elections will not be rigged. Does that mean the previous elections were rigged?

I am concerned by the amount of high profile people leaving the DA and most of them are not white. The latest is a former Cape Town mayor, Dan Plato. He believes that the Party is not doing enough for the poor and so he has left to join a former colleague, Marius Fransman with his new party, People’s Movement for Change(PMC).

There was no coach sitting on our couch this past weekend, but we will make up this weekend with both of “our” teams in action, unfortunately a gain at the very same time. Spurs play Crystal Palace and Stormers go to Tswane (Pretoria to you) to take on the Bulls.

As always,                                                                               

Gerald 

Email: gpotash1@gmail.com     Phone: +27 82 557 5775
 
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4 thoughts on “The Week That Was”
  1. Spot on Gerald, whats new, we live in Africa and Africa lives within us – The only time change will happen is when all the old politicians are dead and burried and the youth decide their own fate. Our Generation must live with the fact that the ANC will stay in power till were dead, Just like Zimbabwe ZANU PF. Any other thoughts on the matter are pipe dreams like Rhamaphosa’s speaches. Take care.

  2. The ANC must hand over all its cadre deployment documents,
    And this must be done without any arguments,
    To save our South Africa now,
    They must make a solemn vow,
    To remove all those overpaid incompetents.

  3. “Remember, when you are dead, you do not know you are dead. It is only painful for others.
    The same applies when you are stupid.”
    ― Ricky Gervais

  4. Thanks Gerald, as always enjoy your somewhat cynical outlook on the circus that surrounds us – just that a circus can be entertaining and funny not like the foolish idiots who pretend to run the country. One often wonders if they even realise how foolish and idiotic they look to the informed observer. As far as CR is concerned, he is perfectly useless let alone totally spineless but one shudders when you look at the options other than him.

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