I certainly agree with Peter Bruce who wrote just more than a week ago that any self-respecting President would immediately resign or at least call a general election if the worst unemployment figures ever were delivered on his watch, and that is exactly what happened here but did Cyril resign?…… Don’t be silly.
Did the President or anyone in government say even one word about this total disaster where three out of four under 25’s are looking for work?
Oh, Cyril, as those figures were released calmly flew off to West Africa to “raise investments” for this country taking a huge bunch of his bloated cabinet with him on a lovely holiday jaunt.
Then Peter Bruce is even more depressing this week when he writes in the Sunday Times about the bottleneck caused by local truck drivers who block the important N3 highway from the Reef to Durban. They park their vehicles across the road, take out the keys and leave. It is a total shambles.
Because the government ministers promised that they would come back to the local transporters within 7 days after their last protest against foreign unlicensed drivers on that route. And what happened?…… You guessed it…….nothing! No report back because the Min of Transport and the Min of Economic Affairs were busy enjoying the hospitality of West African nations with the President.
Will Toyota, who desperately need that highway to remain open to transport their parts from their R16billion plant in Tswane to Durban be investing any more money into SA asks Bruce?
Then, to darken my mood even further on the weekend BusinessTech reported that South Africa is seeing a massive resignation wave that will impact as more and more skilled professionals resign to leave the country. Our economy has shrunk even further (-1.5%) this quarter and this emigration seriously affects our shrinking tax base negatively.
As you have probably noticed things don’t change easily here. But the voting pattern of the last election is sending a very deliberate message to the underperforming, incompetent, corrupt and dysfunctional ANC that enough is enough and SA is ready for change. The problem is that no other party has enough support to take over from the ANC and so SA may be forced, like Germany, for example to govern with coalitions. This is something that is not going to be easy. Right now the metros which have no majority party are battling to forge coherent coalitions under DA mayors and horse-trading is the order of the day. And if the ANC do, in fact stay the dominant party, who other than Cyril in the party is capable of leading?
Absolutely no one!
A big news story is that Accountability Now has threatened the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) with legal action unless it starts to pull finger! The NPA is taking far, far too long to prosecute and even Eskom is considering private prosecutions if the NPA don’t get cracking with prosecutions against some of its former heavyweights, like their erstwhile managers.
The pot is boiling…….watch this space.
Then what really brought this story right onto the front pages of our newspapers this week was that Adv. Hermoine Cronje, head of the Investigation Directorate (ID) at the NPA has suddenly resigned. She has only been in office for just more than two of her five year contract.
Her main gripe, apparently, is the lack of competent staff and the resistance of the government to bring in the right people. She is gatvol of working 20 hours a day and not getting anywhere.
Corrupt officials still are sitting in key positions in the NPA and friction with National Director of Public Prosecutions, Advocate Shamila Batohi are said to be behind the sudden resignation, although Batohi denies that there is friction between them.
Paul Hoffman, Director of Accountability Now is highly critical of the NPA in its current form. It is understaffed & under funded and he has written widely on the lack of teeth in this important corruption busting entity.
What is also clear from the many editorials in our press this week is that there is very little difference between the Zuma government and the Ramaphosa government. When it comes to governance both have just sat back and watched. This government should be making much more effort to get the Guptas back to face charges but they do nothing and apparently this irks Cronje. In spite of repeated calls the government have not employed enough prosecutors to give the NPA teeth. So now their top investigator walks. Typical.
David Bullard in an article in Politicsweb yesterday draws the interesting conclusion that both Batohi and Cronje have been set-up by the ANC to fail. This is how Brandan sees the workings of the NPA under Batohi in spite of her telling Parliament yesterday that there is no crisis in her department.
This probably has nothing to do with the reconstructed NPA but at last some top ANC cadres have been arrested for gross mishandling of State funds. Former Gauteng health MEC and ANC chief whip Brian Hlongwa, as well as seven other individuals have been granted bail of varying amounts between R20,000 and R50,000. They face more than 250 counts of racketeering, fraud, corruption, benefitting from the proceeds of crime and money laundering. This matter goes back more than 10 years and has to do with contracts and kick-backs to the value of R1.2 billion. Nothing shows more clearly than this case how poor SA crime busting of corruption is.
On Tuesday parliament debated and voted to amend the Constitution to allow Expropriation Without Compensation (EWC). It’s been three years in coming and it fizzled because the EFF(who want so much more than the ANC was asking for) plus many of the small parties largely voted against the Bill. The ANC have warned that they haven’t given up in spite of this bloody nose.
Shell is under severe pressure from activists who don’t want to allow the oil giant to use seismic resources to blast the pristine Wild Coast to establish whether we have oil and gas reserves along our eastern coastline. Royal Dutch Shell have begun to do seismic oil exploration and the protestors say that it will threaten marine wildlife such as whales, dolphins, seals and penguins on a pristine coastal stretch. In the meantime the blasting has begun and more than just local activists are upset. Even in London there have been well organised protests. This is how Zapiro sees the matter:
Load shedding is something I didn’t worry about on my short jaunt to the UK, but coming back to power blackouts certainly brought me back to local reality.
Mandatory jabs are on the cards. The government has come out strongly in favour of vaccinations for all against COVID. MTN, one of our largest employers, has already made it compulsory for all workers, unless they have a valid reason, to be jabbed. Iqbal Survé is in the news again and again for the wrong reasons. His AYO Technologies Co has declared a R320 million dividend this financial year which is equal to about a quarter of its current market capitalisation. The company is running at a loss and it is most unusual to declare such a handsome dividend in such circumstances. A whistle blower, a former employee, has reported the company to the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) and claims that there are serious and deliberate errors in AYO’s reporting.
Some very good news indeed is the fact that United Airlines have resumed their direct flights from New York to Cape Town International three times a week. “Our nonstop service from Cape Town is not only reconnecting our customers – both business and leisure – to New York City, it also provides the possibility to quickly and conveniently connect via our New York/Newark hub to over 60 onward destinations across the Americas,” their spokesman said.
Some more good news is that the new DA mayor of Johannesburg, Dr Mpho Phalatse has made it quite clear that she wants to clean up the city. This week we saw photos in the press of cops raiding city-centre clubs and pubs looking for contraband drugs and the like. Good.
The Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem thanked Miss Universe South Africa, Lalela Mswane for her bravery and “speaking truth to power”.
The 24-year-old is South Africa’s representative in Eilat on December 12, where she will be partaking in the 70th edition of Miss Universe. We will be holding thumbs for this bright 24-year old law graduate who stood up so bravely to ANC bullying.
On the couch, as usual was the coach to watch with me as the Stormers got deservedly thumped by the Lions. But during that game on Saturday evening we changed channels to watch the Blitsbokke winning their fourth 7’s Championship in a row. It was a narrow win against Australia in a tense game but I should comment though, as happy as I am to see SA do well in this form of rugby, it’s well…..just not rugby. Maybe that’s why I don’t enjoy T20 cricket that much either.
And then on Sunday Spurs played at home and of course the coach was here again to watch but neither he nor I were very impressed when the score line (and many press reviews) flattered our favourite team. Antonio Conte has lots of work to do, I’m afraid.
Good news is that the ‘hot’ Indian test side, having just beaten New Zealand arrives in this country for a test match tour next week. I can’t wait to be back at Newlands to watch the real deal.
As always, Gerald
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