Gerald Potash

Hello again,

As expected many of the news stories this week are connected to the upcoming municipal elections in a little more than two weeks time. The political parties are going out hammer & tongs and making all sorts of promises that they won’t keep, but as far as I am concerned anyone other than the ANC or the EFF will be an improvement as opposed to what we currently have in the vast majority of towns in this country—the Western Cape, run by the DA, being the outstanding exception. Many of the hopeful councilors are young and one of them is only 19 years old. Will he, I wonder be able to stand up to the rot in his party?

The turnout on voting day is expected to be small with plenty of stay always. I suppose that is one way of showing dissatisfaction with the current situation.

This week Julius Malema actually had a huge crowd to listen to his bile in the North West Province and that scares me. What’s even scarier is to watch the mob, wearing those red EFF shirts, as they cheered with excitement as he entered the arena. 

Large areas in many of the municipalities like in Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth to you) and Msunduzi (Pietermaritzburg) stink. Campaigning has brought the state of our cities and towns into sharp focus and opposition parties are, deservedly, having a ball at the expense of the ANC. In the townships raw sewage floats down the streets where children play and dogs scavenge for food. And these two cities are not the exception to the rule. The municipal officers in so many of our towns run by the ANC are lazy, ignorant, arrogant and unqualified and even, may I suggest, corrupt.

They are overpaid and unworthy of their positions.

In some towns “run” by the ANC there are two mayors because factions in the Party don’t get along with each other.

Then the Vaal river, which feeds water to roughly 19 million is awash with dead fish from the mounting effluent.

SA, outside of the Cape is a failed State.

I will be extremely disappointed if the ANC is returned to run these towns. But loyalty to the “liberation party” may well again keep them in office, and because of the general ignorance the people often vote the way their chief tells them to….or even bribes them to follow there leader.

Then, one must ask, which Party wants to win to take over the mess that has been left behind by the inept ANC councillors? How do you even start to fix the mess? There certainly is no money left in the municipal coffers with which even to start fixing. And far too many municipalities are already under administration.

And with all this going on who is investing in SA? The reality is…..No one. With our plethora of regulations and crooked politicians, the Gateway to Africa has very noticeably moved away from here.  This is how Rico in Business Maverick sees the current situation:

One of the biggest news stories emanating from the campaigning (and there have been many) has been the story of the DA posters put up in the largely Indian suburb of Phoenix, just outside of Durban. The posters screamed “The ANC called you racists  The DA calls you Heroes”

The context goes back to the riots in the area several months ago when looting, plundering and destruction reigned for days on end and the suburbanites of Phoenix stood up to defend themselves because the police did absolutely nothing but look on. Many of those Indians were directly involved in the businesses that were so looted and destroyed. So the locals decided to protect their properties. By the end of the week 367  had  been killed and the ANC intimated that the local Indians had killed many of the (looting) Blacks.

Well, as the criticism of those posters grew louder, John Steenhuisen, leader of the DA came out in support of those campaign posters and there has been hell to play, including in the DA itself. Even the campaign manager for the DA has resigned his position. It appears that the DA is as split as the ANC is with internal fighting bubbling to the surface.This whole episode was a classic case of shooting oneself in the foot. This cartoon from Zapiro earlier this week from the Daily Maverick tells you all you want to know about the affair:

The quality of top people serving in our public service has again been illustrated by the review, by the President of our Police Commissioner, Khehle Sitole. Not one Police Commissioner, since the very first appointment under Mandela has finished his/ her term of office and usually jail has been where they served out their time. What is depressing is that this review was touted months and months ago and the President, as the President does, just sat on his hands. Will he fire the police chief? Probably not;  he needs every vote he can get for his party.

Every day we hear more and more of the corruption of ANC office- bearers. This week the Public Protector released a damning report where the Eastern Cape Premier is accused, with the Provincial public works officer of  being directly implicated in a fraud where they personally benefitted by more than R1 million from the funeral of Winnie Mandela. Then a very senior member of the Mpumalanga Province cabinet spent his first night in jail this week on murder charges. He is facing two charges of murder.

Has he been suspended by the Party? 

Well, it took a couple of days and he had already been charged previously some months back, but the ANC after serious deliberation have now asked him to step aside.

In an op-Ed in Rapport this weekend Tim du Plessis points out how biased the Judicial Services Commission is. His well-reasoned conclusion is that if you are white you cannot become a Constitutional Court judge, much less the Chief Justice of SA. His examples of the Commission’s treatment of David Unterhalter, the Constitutional Law expert, and top quality lawyers like Geoff Budlender, Jeremy Gauntlett, Halton Cheadle and Dennis Davis just makes one realise how cadre deployment by the ANC has corrupted even the highest levels of the judiciary. It also reaffirms how blatantly racist SA is.

Intellectual talent is completely ignored by cadre deployment and Ramaphosa at the Zondo Commission tried to justify just that.

Oh, did I mention that we are back to power load-shedding again. 

Eskom has no money, no diesel and we have no electricity. Down here we go off the grid for just over two hours every day. It’s a pain in the ……..  but we are getting used to it and the experts tells us it will go on like this until 2026.

What is terrible is when Eskom says electricity will be off for about two hours and it stays off for six like in Gauteng this week, then you really want to strangle those fellows.

A disaster is that the load-shedding allows the copper thieves to steal the wire that they then sell to the dishonest traders. How can we ever win?

It took more than 18 months to get SAA out of business rescue and flying again, albeit on very limited routes, but it took only two weeks for the cabin crews to come out in a strike for back-pay and better working conditions.

Already flights are being cancelled and to call the SAA helpline to try to get a refund is frustrating with a capital F. You then get cut off.

Weereensek maar niks.

The Central business district of Cape Town hardly noticed Covid. The developments have been on-going full steam ahead and the major difference is that now many of the new developments are modern multi-use buildings where office blocks now offer mixed use accommodations as well as business rentals.

When touring was still a thing some of my tourists wanted to paraglide from Lion’s Head down to the Promenade at Sea Point. Those who did it, absolutely loved it. I wouldn’t do it for all the tea in China or even if you had paid me what they paid for the experience. This week, Amy Sheldon, 25, became the first wheel-chair bound participant on a magnificent Spring day. Yes, she absolutely loved it!

And she wasn’t the only one in a wheel-chair to go down, either.

Right now 50 movies are being shot in the mother city. Everywhere you go you see camera crews knocking about. The CT Film Studio, just out of Stellenbosch has never been busier. Long may it last!

Whilst on lockdown, day 568, but now only stage 1,  up until now we have not been allowed to attend sports events. Now 2000 vaccinated fans can attend outdoor sports events and 750 can attend indoor events.

I don’t often report on our local football because our standard just hasn’t been up to scratch but this week I am happy to advise that Bafana Bafana have beaten Ethiopia home and away, head their section and are almost certain to make it to the final qualifying rounds for the World Cup next year. Who would have thought?

This past weekend saw the return of the Cape Town Cycle Tour, which this year had less than half of the usual participants, (almost 1800), but still managed to attract 850 foreign entries. The weather was magnificent but whether in the crowd blowing vuvuzelas or riding their bicycles the day was a huge success and a jolly good time was had by all.

Apart from that during this past weekend there was really no important sport in so much as neither the Springboks nor Tottenham had matches. I am pleased because it gives me the opportunity to mention the last  rugby test against the All  Blacks, the previous weekend. Like the weekend before when the winning kick went over after the siren blasted indicating that time was up allowing the All Blacks to scrape a win (which sadly the Springboks had kicked away that day) last weekend the Boks changed tactics and won a nail-biter, also by two points also at the death. Can a series ever have been closer? Amazingly, yes! In the last 7 times the Springboks have played the All Blacks our combined scores have been 130 each!

As always,


Email:     Phone: +27 82 557 5775

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