The 2007 budget speech is barely 3 weeks away so don’t forget to send in your Tips For Trevor before it’s too late.
Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana suggested a unique solution to the crime problem. Conscript the youth!
The worrying trend whereby our youths are involved in the current spate of armed robberies and other related violent crimes that are ravaging our country could be reversed once they join the army.
Only one small problem. Once the youth leave their 2 years learning to kill (which is the primary aim of the army right?) and go back to their impoverished homes what exactly are they going to do? The military execution and usage of assault weapons during cash-in-transit heists have shown that ex-soldiers/cadres aren’t exactly averse to returning to a crime.Update: Claims against SANDF set to cost taxpayers
Hundreds of South African soldiers have been accused of killing, torturing and assaulting the very people they are supposed to protect – and taxpayers might have to fork out almost a billion rands in civil claims.
This administration’s foreign policy is becoming more of a mystery to me. Following the puzzling no vote at the UN over the resolution against Myanmar SA has now declined to send any peacekeeping troops to Somalia.
After the formation of the African Union there was much ballyhoo about finding African solutions to African problems, especially an African peace keeping force to be deployed in the various hotspots that dot the continent. South Africa, having the most sophisticated military force in Africa and being the leading proponent of an “African Renaissance”, is expected to provide a significant contribution towards any peace keeping activities and to that affect we already have troops in Burundi and the Congo.
Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota decided it would be best to explore other options. If the Ethiopian soldiers, who helped the interim Somali government defeat the Islamist rebels, are not replaced when they withdraw the country might implode into war again.Update: SA out in the cold at Davos
South Africa is losing valuable opportunities to secure foreign investment because of its close political ties with the rest of Africa.
The SABC is going to flight a 13 part series “90 Plein Street” depicting the life of a ANC chief whip and his ex-wfe (who is also an MP). The series describes the characer of the ex-wife as being
an independent-minded ANC MP … struggling to reconcile her own idealism and sense of justice with the requirements of the parliamentary system.
An ‘independent minded’ MP? At least we know for sure it’s a work of fiction.
Catch it on SABC2, every Wednesday at 21:30.
I urge everyone to read last week’s cover story from the Financial Mail, Soul For Sale, which covers the spectre of corruption and graft in the ANC. It’s pretty depressing reading, and no quote illustrates it better than this one from an ANC member in the Northern Cape describing the behaviour of some of his councillors:
In the Northern Cape we no longer have an ANC leadership. We have an ANC dealership.
Despite the continued statements concerning unity in the tripartite, alliance the relationship between the ANC and COSATU/SACP is not getting any better. A weekend meeting between the ANC and it’s alliance members nearly resulted in a walkout of COSATU/SACP delegates after Deputy Finance Minister Jabu Moleketi accused them of “tailism”(?), attempting to turn the ANC into a socialist organisation and not producing enough leaders. He also said their father was an elderberry and their mother wore combat boots. Ok I made up those last two.
I expect as the ANC NEC elections get closer we’ll be seeing even more of these outbursts.
I initially thought the AMP’s dalliance (and subsequent booting out of the DA coalition) was confined strictly to the local level with perhaps a few provincial leaders from both sides involved. However it has been revealed by AMP Chairman Gulam Sabdia that ANC Chairman (and Minister of Defence) Masiuoa Lekota was heavily involved in negotiations.
I guess the fact that the DA controls Cape Town is still a bit of an irritating itch for the ANC. The obsessiveness the ANC is showing here in trying to get the DA out of power is also a bit concerning especially considering the ‘truce’ of sorts that followed the last attempt where Provincial MEC for Local Government Richard Diyanti was going to use his legislative power to remove the executive committee system used in Cape Town. In return for calling that off the ANC were granted 5 more local sub-councils. I wonder if the gloves will come off further.
Here is the text of the Telecom Action Group donor supported ad highlighting the state of SA’s telecommunications, due to the behaviour of our state sanctioned monopoly Telkom, that ran in todays Mail & Guardian.
Last year, Telkom recorded a staggering R9.3 billion in pure profit. At your expense. South Africans continue to pay some of the highest prices for telephony services in the world. Don’t expect the government to step in. They couldn’t give a hoot. They’ve got a 38% shareholding. This in itself is like a ticket to act with impunity. And anyway, it’s the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) which acts as the watchdog for the telecommunications industry. Their central role is to regulate telecommunications in the public interest. So how come they’re not barking noisily and waking up the country about the fact that South Africans pay five times as much for a local call now than they did in 1996? Or that internet access in South Africa is among the most expensive in the world (in fact, you’ll pay less for broadband in Morocco, Egypt, Botswana, and Mozambique)? Or that Telkom is only too happy to pay a R15 million fine for failing to deliver basic services where “it was not economical to do so” (Hold the phone, could that be your area they were talking about?) Worse still, Telkom has laid off over 35 000 staff over the past seven years, ensuring that its profits continue sky-rocketing while the rest of the country continues at a snail’s pace, waiting up to six inexcusable months or more, to get connected. To anything. And all this from a company that is supposedly “proudly South African”? Indeed, something is very wrong when the only way the public can get through to Telkom is by running a full page newspaper advertisement. Because clearly, Telkom isn’t answering the phone.
Cape Town is being subjected to power cuts again except this time the problem is not localised and is extending right across the country. The cause is once again Koeberg nuclear power station where one of the two generators tripped and shut down around 2:18am.
Despite a growing economy (and the growinf demand for power that comes with it) no new power generating plants have been built in SA well over 10 years. SA has pinned it’s hopes on the pebble bed modular nuclear reactor but that is still in it’s infancy and the prototype won’t be built for a few more years yet alone the 20 or so envisaged reactors that will be built round the country.
There are two things that are a bit disconcerting. First of all that all it takes for Eskom’s network to fall over is for a single power station to lose half it’s generating capacity. That’s a big indication that there is no redundancy or excess power generating capacity left. Secondly Eskom is stretching to meet it’s requirements in summer which doesn’t make it look to good when winter rolls around and energy usage goes up.
We await Minister of Public Enterprse Alec Erwin’s claims of “sabotage!” soon.
Mayor Helen Zille has ejected the AMP from the DA led coalition in the Cape Town city council for what she calls ‘blackmail’ after the AMP demanded that their councillor Badih Chaaban be made deputy mayor. When Zille refused the AMP began talks with the ANC which then prompted Zille to give them the boot. If the AMP do now join with the ANC it will reduce the DA coalition majority to one vote. With a by election in Hout Bay next month the ANC could draw level if they win that.
Correction: The DA coalition is already in minority, 103 votes against a potential 106.
Update: ID: DA approached us
Update: DA Mal weighs in.
Update: ID joins Zille camp
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