Gerald Potash,

Hello again,

I have returned home to darkness. Our electricity has been going off for about 10 hours a day and nothing is more convincing for us (and for investors) to observe how SA is sliding downwards. It is depressing and the promises made by government mean absolutely nothing. The reality is that corruption, State Capture and blatant theft have devastated our economy and bankrupted the fiscus. Very little of anything works effectively anymore, unless it is part of the private sector. Have you any idea what 4 hours of continuous power outages in the middle of the day does to schooling, let alone small business?

Whereas I am not suggesting that England is perfection but at least they have the basics like the trains and busses running on time ; and they don’t have  power outages. Their harbours work full-time and they have airlines that operate effectively.

That alone is enough to attract many a SAfrican to emigrate………and they are doing so in ever greater numbers.

Oh, and they get jobs because most of those emigrating are usually well educated.

This was confirmed by the report of the Social Research Foundation which found that half, and probably more, of the country’s top earners and university graduates are considering emigration. Sadly, the data was exactly the same as the data last year, which further shows those with accountancy skills are most likely to be the ones leaving.

It’s not at all easy for emigrants because what they take with them is usually very little since the Rand falls with the on-going electricity problems and is now almost touching R18= $1.

I missed lots of local news in my absence, though I did try to follow SA news as much as possible. The one report that shook me to the core was Rob Hersov’s criticism of Cyril Ramaphosa. It is moving, it is sincere and as I have been telling you for ages Cyril is a wuss. Hersov calls Cyril a lot worse than that. This outburst from a high profiled personality has created a fair amount of criticism and to be sure not everyone agrees with Hersov. However most of  the attacks are on Hersov, the man, not on what he said about our President. Why don’t you click on this link and decide for yourself after watching the clip from Alec Hogg’s BizNews conference. 

Just skip the advert as soon as you can to watch the clip.

Mark Barnes, the former Post Office CEO and possibly even more high profiled than Hersov, has written a letter to Cyril pointing to 10 things that should be done immediately to assist the country get onto the right step. This, too, has attracted lots of comment. Barnes tells it like it is and he hits the nail on the head, but the ANC is dying and its leader is a wuss so I really don’t expect much to follow.

Soon after I arrived back, Cyril left the country to visit the USA, England and then back to America. He met with Biden and “explained” SA’s position on the Ukraine war, begged for money—and got some promises — and then flew to London for the Queen’s funeral.

He was due to return to America to attend the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly but cancelled to fly home to urgently address the energy crisis.

Wasn’t there a crisis BEFORE he left? This was Brandan’s view of the visit to the White House, from Business Day:

One of the first stories I read in our press on my return was Andrew Whitfield, DA shadow Minister of Police, telling that only 44% of SAPS stations when called answered their phones.

What does that tell you of cadre deployment?

As I told ‘Roy’s boys’ at Sababa where they meet every Thursday for their weekly coffee catch-ups (some of the fellows inexplicably order tea) if somebody were to break into our home I certainly wouldn’t call the local Police station first. I would call our private security firm who patrol and have an efficient switchboard operator and then I would call our very own neighbourhood watch, where I was an active member, who arrange daily (nightly) drive abouts throughout our area. And they do a lot more than just answer their phones. They also have a very active WattsApp Group for us locals and that is so reassuring.

The ANC’s leadership race gets lots of publicity and things are hotting up as December gets ever closer. Last week Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, ex-wife of accused No 1 and the candidate that the Wuss pipped to the post last time, has been nominated by her branch to take over the ANC. This humourless 73 year-old  carries the RET torch and is not what SA needs right now to run the country. 

Then Dr Zweli Mkhize, not cleared of siphoning money to his colleagues when he was Min of Health during the pandemic, is also wanting to become President of our country. He has put his name forward for the election convention in December.

Expect more news on this front in the weeks ahead as further “leaders” challenge Ramaphosa for the top position in the ANC and in the country.

Normally one would expect Ramaphosa’s re-election to be no more than a “shoe in” but Cyril is under a heavy cloud following the discovery of all those dollars at his farm, Phala Phala. Was he breaking the law? Why were the dollars not banked? Why was the burglary kept secret? Why does he not answer questions on the matter?

There have been several motions of no confidence brought against him in Parliament and now, at his behest, an ‘independent committee’ has been appointed to look into the whole matter. We are not short of such committees in this country and very little ever comes of them……so don’t hold your breath.  

It is getting more and more likely that the ANC will not be the majority party after the 2024 general election. 

Every day new parties are springing up; the latest is with Mmusi Maimane who once led the DA and is to launch a new political party on Saturday in Soweto. He has not yet even told us what he will call it, but he has told us that he wants to be President.

You will not be surprised to learn that Julius Malema has criticised black people who have mourned the passing of Queen Elizabeth 11. He calls the British (colonialists) thieves and he wants back all the gold and diamonds that they “stole”. He says not a word about the infrastructure created and the development of a totally undeveloped land which they the ‘colonialists’ left for the people.

I don’t particularly agree with this view of Malema but

here is the harsh Zapiro telling it for Malema and all those who believe as they do—from yesterday’s Daily Maverick:

Kloof Street in Cape Town is one of the coolest streets in the world. Again this famous hang-out in day time and offering world class restaurants in the evenings has made it onto the World’s famous street list in the top 30.

My trip to London was wonderful. Staying with the kids (3Ms—Marilyn, Michael & Max) I got to do as much as I could fit into the little time I was away. I had some notable coffee catch-ups—-with Jeff in Mill Hill and twice I joined Roy’s boys in Borehamwood where I am now treated as a ‘regular’ by the ex-pats who meet every Thursday afternoon to just chat. Bernard and Hymie transported me to and from Edgware which I really appreciated. Then Jonny organised Spurs tickets for the two of us to be back in simply the best sports stadium in the world to watch Tottenham Hotspurs beat Fulham in a league derby. That was a special treat and to sit amongst such knowledgeable fans in a stadium jam-packed again after COVID made it even better. Jonny also found an occasion to breakfast with me in Elstree where I met his ex-CT buddy, David (a real character) and add to my socialising a memorable and delicious lunch with Neville & Lily at their home in Pinner. Then I spent a most interesting morning (well much more than a morning by the time we finished lunch) with Philip who took me to meet up with Ivan Kapelus, whose book ‘From the Baltic to the Cape’ has been on my book shelf since it was published. We spoke about Van Rhynsdorp and we spoke about Stellenbosch and we we remembered things that made us smile and things that made us laugh. Now that is what catch-ups are all about.

Another notable catch-up was with John at King’s Cross station. We had met there before and often here too, because John has a home in Fresnaye as well as in London.

Even though I went with the 3Ms to Watford on more than one occasion the game we had booked for on the Saturday at Vicarage Road was cancelled because of the Queen’s passing. I’m sure that Michael will see to it that I get back to Vicarage Road before too long.

At this time of the year it is my pleasure to wish all who are celebrating their New Year in the coming days everything of the best for a happy and healthy year ahead and well over the Fast.

The coach was on the couch with me most of Saturday as we watched Spurs annihilate Leicester after a mediocre first half. Son was brought on and what a difference he made, scoring 3 goals in just over 13 minutes!

In a late game we also watched the Springboks beat Argentina to keep our hopes alive in the rugby competition as we are now level at the top with the All Blacks.

As always,


Email:     Phone: +27 82 557 5775
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