There is not a news channel in the (Western) world that is not covering the BRICS meeting taking plamce in Johannesburg right now. The meeting kicked off on Tuesday in Sandton and Putin is not here. He did, however, make a surprise virtual call on day one and tried to justify the Ukraine war. As you can imagine there are plenty of photos of the other leaders all over the pages of our newspapers.
In advance of the meeting Cyril made one of his usual ‘Hello fellow S Africans’ speeches on TV on Sunday evening and it was as boring as ever and he told us nothing that we didn’t know. And this time he was only 18 minutes late. What he said was that we are friendly with Russia and we are friendly with America (the West) and that proves our neutrality in the Ukraine war. Really ……..does it?
What he also said is that he is happy to support a much larger organization so expect BRICS to be expanded to become BRICSABCDE pretty soon. 23 countries have directly asked to join the group and 40 countries are showing interest.
What is really interesting is that apart from India all these countries are currently having torrid financial times.
On the agenda was also the eagerness of these countries to reduce the BRICS nations dependence on the dollar.
Will that help to slow down their financial difficulties?
The ‘Moonshot pact’ touted by DA leader John Steenhuisen seemed to get off the ground well. Last week the DA met with 6 other political parties over two days and they appeared happy to work together to form an alliance and so try to beat the ANC/EFF accord in the upcoming general election. The new alliance will be known as the Multi-Party Charter and Steenhuisen is happy that there was agreement and maturity shown at the two day conference.
It does seem as if most S Africans want a better political arrangement than the current one and this grouping looks like it could grow.
It needs a few more players though and the most important one, in my opinion is Rise Mzansi, Songezo Zibi’s new political movement. If they could get him to join their movement the ANC could well be replaced in a few months time.
You probably aren’t surprised to learn that the ANC have called these Parties a gang of losers?
The Arrogant National Congress as News24 sometimes calls the ANC is in trouble and it looks like their chances of retaining Gauteng next year is slim. The latest polls show that the likely vote support for the governing party has dropped to just under 40% in our richest province. Not only corruption but the on-going problem with municipalities not being able to service residents is playing badly on the governing party. Some people in Gauteng towns have been without electricity for days on end and too many municipalities are broke and still owe too much money to the Fiskus. Even a city like Tswane (Pretoria) looks like a rubbish heap, there is just no service delivery. What happens to the money that the municipality collects every month?
The ANC does not deserve to govern.
Oh, KZN is also not a safe bet anymore for the ANC in next year’s election. Why do you think Ramaphosa let Zuma out of jail after just one hour? He is poep bang that the waning support for his Party will disappear completely unless he favours Accused No 1, whose support base is so strong in that province.
You may have noticed that nothing that the ANC touches works. On Sunday in City Press we read that not even our fighter pilots are not even flying because none of our military aircrafts have been properly maintained. These pilots now have all been given desk jobs! Ek sê maar niks.
A full year after its ‘investigation’ into Ramphosa’s liability for the Phala Phala ‘sale’, the President has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the investigation undertaken by the Reserve Bank. According to legal experts the Reserve Bank’s review is incomprehensible and their decision to keep their internal report secret is unacceptable.
Die Burger on its front page calls the report pathetic and a cover-up. On Tuesday the DA and UDM lodged a formal complaint to have that report made public within 7 days.
But to add to the confusion didn’t the SARS (our tax people) say exactly the contrary to the Bank’s conclusion.
Regretably some things are totally predictable like this report clearing Cyril and the results of the Zimbabwe elections held yesterday. I liked Brandan’s take on the matter from Business Day on Tuesday:
At last someone from an errant SA company has been jailed. No, not here, silly. Steinhoff’s former European finance chief, Dirk Schreiber, was handed a 3-and-a-half-year jail sentence by a German court, making him the first top-shot to be imprisoned over the accounting scandal that led to the near collapse of the massive retailer with a presence in more than 30 countries. But more than 5 years after the collapse the head-honcho, Markus Jooste is still living just down the road. Our NPA is truly forceless.
At a coffee catch-up with Johan, my ex-Stellenbosch pal who now also lives here, we discussed politics and he pulled out a heading that he had cut out from the editorial page of the latest Sunday Times to give to me.
“Cyril knows which side his bread is buttered on–he is the spineless piece of meat in the Russia-China sandwich”. Then I recalled this Zapiro cartoon from a little while ago when the military excersizes with Russia were on the go, showing our respective Foreign Ministers:
Are you surprised to hear that Zimbabwe (Rhodesia to you) expelled the Good Governance Research team ahead of their general election that took place yesterday? As I write the results are not yet known but you can bet your bottom dollar Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF Party will be declared the winner. As Stephen Grootes has commented in the Daily Maverick early this week, Zanu PF plan to rule forever.
STATS SA shows that retail trade sales fell in June for the 7th month running. Consumers are hurting and there really doesn’t seem to be too much light in this tunnel as food inflation is likely to remain in double digits this year. And there is expected to be a big petrol price increase next month. Ons kry swaar!
The property market has seen an uptake in semigration across the country, particularly to the Western Cape. This has seen an increase in property prices in our province and a marked decrease of property prices in Gauteng. Interestingly the rental market has increased across the country mainly due to the higher interest rates. Property expert Hayley Downes further points out that overseas interest is waning in our market. Downes does point out that the number of people relocating to the coast has increased from 31% to 46% over the last five years (2018 to 2023).
A great win for Spurs started the week on a good note.
On the couch on Saturday were far more than just the coach. Neighbour Dawie came over with some strong drink and he brought Wilma, then Tinkie arrived also with a serious bottle of liquid refreshment and the couch was getting so congested that the world champion placed herself behind us to watch the World Cup ‘practice test’ against Wales. The Springboks won easily showing improving fitness against a young Welsh team but the score was a little flattering and on Friday night the upcoming test against the All Blacks at Twickenham will, hopefully, deliver a better assessment of the quality of our current squad and our chances in the World Cup. That’s in two weeks time.
Did I mention Spurs win against Manchester United on Saturday evening? The new Aussie manager is turning the side into a real threat to the top teams in the Premiership. His style is attacking and after the dismal season last year it makes a happy change for us fans. The press has been full of praise and we diehards are looking forward to the season that has just got underway.
As always, Gerald
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