I really would have liked this week’s review to have been bright and breezy with all sorts of positivity begining to show while we enjoy this stunning summer weather. Instead the reality of our position is load shedding and the dark forecasts of most columnists who are presenting the very opposite for what lies ahead. We live in a wonderful part of the world and we are blessed to live the life we do but for most of SA the picture is very different.
South Africa is in a state of disaster. The President is expected to make a formal announcement in this regard this weekend.
What he won’t tell his “fellow South Africans” is that he and his Party, the ANC are solely to blame for the disaster we are in. Ramaphosa himself, for very many years has put his party (and cadres) above the interests of the country and he has admitted that even to the Zondo Commission. Now due to inaction, when successive leaders from Mbeki onward were warned about our coming power shortages, steps have to be taken to save us from being a failed State. Poor leadership has been the main feature of the ANC almost from day one and at first it wasn’t really noticeable in the euphoria of Mandela and the demise of Apartheid. But now SA is suffering as absolutely everything that the State controls is collapsing. Schools, hospitals, harbours, post offices, railways, roads, and Eskom all on their knees.
Also expected from the President any day now is a cabinet reshuffle. But don’t hold your breath. The quality to choose from is nothing to get excited about. He has a pool of poor talent to choose from that is as bad as his present cabinet. There are one or two exceptions but they are very, very few. And will he make the changes that are so necessary?
A great deal of this week’s action has been up in Joburg where the DA mayor was again voted out of office by the other parties and a puppet from the tiny Al Jama-ah party (1 parliamentary seat) has been installed as mayor. Johannesburg is now being led by Thapelo Amad, an imam and an outspoken Palestinian supporter who hails from Soweto and who wants Sharia law for SA. One of his very first actions was to table a motion to rename Sandton Drive after the Palestinian woman activist Leila Khaled in the hopes of annoying the United States consulate which is on Sandton Drive.
When it comes to civic matters it seems that the ANC and the EFF are pulling Amad’s strings and this depressingly illustrates how coalition politics in SA never seems to work. This is Rico’s take on the whole affair from today’s Business Maverick:
The deposed, capable Johannesburg mayor, Dr Mpho Phalatse has indicated that she wants to lead the DA. John Steenhuisen you have a fight on your hands.
As you must know our electricity outages just go on and on. How Ramaphosa’s announcements will help this situation I am not sure, but what is certain is that the longer these multiple daily outages continue the more it hurts almost every citizen. One of the recent consequences of the many electricity switch-offs has been the effect that has had on water pumps pumping water from the smallish dams and reservoirs up to the large redistribution plants. Too many of these pumps have given in from all the on/off activity and in too many instances suburbs even whole towns are being left without any water which of course adds to the agony of being without electricity. This is just so inconvenient and annoying. In our own town some suburbs have been without running water in their taps for almost a full week.
Video clips are doing the rounds on social media of traffic lights on busy intersections of Johannesburg being cut down and vandalised for the copper cable. Driving to Killarney Mall is now a nightmare. Police watched (on another clip) as a road was dug up and copper cable was stolen in front of their eyes. I don’t make this up. It’s beyond sad.
This lack of electricity is dividing the country like never before and this time the cause is not apartheid.
It is unmistakable that those who can are choosing to live a better life and privatisation is receiving enormous support. Everything that the ANC has controlled has become broken and Ramaphosa told his Party this week that they had better change or they will be out of office next year.
But SA has been going the privatisation route for a long while already because of the corrupt and incompetent ANC meddling. Look at schooling, where the private schools are far superior; look at private security which is so very much better than our police force; look at the post office where Post Net has taken over and … and …and….
On Monday the usual suspects, at the behest of Dennis, that character of note gathered at the CT Press Club to listen to Mmusi Maimane. This one time leader of the DA articulates well and his talk was very well attended. This time all the suspects were present; Paul, Robin, Henry, Kenny, Dennis and yours truly. Maimane told us about his ideas of coalitions and that he and his new political party, Build one SA–BOSA– will enter into coalition talks with any (well most) of the other political parties because a coalition is the only likely way to beat the ANC at the polls.
In question time Paul questioned Maimane’s assertion that we need more courts to prosecute corruption. Paul pointed out that the courts do not investigate crimes and it is the investigation bodies like the Hawks who do that — but of course they are under-resourced and underfunded thanks to the ANC.
Zuma’s chances of removing Billy Downer as the prosecutor in his Arms Deal case are slim but the whole thing made headlines againd on Monday when the Judge who has been so highly critical of Accused No 1 and his nefarious tactics recused himself. Judge Kriel did not want to even allow Zuma’s crew to suggest that he may have been tainted and pre-judgemental of Zuma. Another judge has already been appointed to hear the case. And we are back in court with this matter on April, 17.
Can you believe that another tiger was on the loose on the streets of Johannesburg this week? This fellow was caught (?) in a busy suburb and not euthanized but sedated and returned to its owner. There is a question about the photos that have been circulating on social media and this whole story may be a scam. But it sure made plenty of news.
Never before have I so agreed with anything coming from our fairy queen who sometimes acts as our Tourism minister, Lindiwe Sisulu. It seems Sisulu wants a deal (just a fraction under R1 billion) for a sponsorship of Tottenham Hotspur that will stretch over 3 years. She wants this deal to go through quickly because we are all expecting a cabinet reshuffle any day now and she knows she is destined for the chop for her on-going criticism of Cyril.
This only hit the press yesterday and already some of you have written asking me if I know what her kick-back is! Free tickets at the Tottenham stadium for life?
Yesterday the coach and I attended a U3A meeting where Dr Leonard Suransky talked about autocracy and democracy to a very full house in the Strand town hall. His assessment of the autocrat Putin was illuminating as was his view (shared by the writer, I may add) of the nexus between SA and Russia. That relationship goes back to when Russia supported the ANC cadres in exile. What an interesting hour! This is how Zapiro sees the relationship between SA and Russia, from Daily Maverick remembering that military exsercises begin here next week
The Stormers were crunched in Ulster but it was a side plagued by too many injuries. The Stormers do not get thrashed easily and they have already qualified for a home game in the last 16 of the competition. The cricket ODI series has been magnificent against England and quite unexpected after our bashing in the tests down under. How nice to watch our fellows doing so well, even though they lost the last game last night. Spurs won their encounter in the FA cup and Son scored two magnificent goals to send our team through to the last 16.
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