Friday, October 7, 2011

F W de Klerk

30 Sep 2011

FW de Klerk
Has South Africa lost touch with Mandela's legacy and can new Arab democracies learn from the South African experience?

South Africa's last white president, FW de Klerk, talks to Al Jazeera's Jonah Hull about what new Arab democracies can learn from South Africa's transition and why things seem to be going wrong in a country, he claims, has lost touch with Mandela's legacy.

South African Space Program

"So it is with a certain amount of national pride that I stand here today, in front of this international audience, and say that South Africa has a space programme that is not only about the pursuit of frontier research and knowledge as a goal in itself, but is also about developing all aspects of the space industry here at the tip of Africa for the benefit of the whole of Africa,"  Naledi Pandor has said.


Wasteful expenditure rises 1,600%

October 4 2011

A review of the latest national government departments' annual reports reveals that more than R427.4 million has been incurred in fruitless and wasteful expenditure in the 2010/11 financial year.

Democratic Alliance (DA) national spokesperson Lindiwe Mazibuko said this was a 1600% increase from last year when, according to the Auditor-General's Report on National Audit Outcomes, the figure stood at R26.6 million.

A list of expenditure deemed wasteful and fruitless by the Auditor-General in the annual reports of national departments showed the following amounts wasted:

Home Affairs - R334,640,000;
Rural Development & Land Reform - R73,406,000;
Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries - R12,199,000;
Health - R2,556,000; Basic Education - R376,000;
Communications - R1,438,000;
Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs - R336,000;
Correctional Services - R6000;
Economic Development - R27,000;
Justice & Constitutional Development - R849,000;
Police - R771,000;
Public Enterprises - R4,000;
Public Service & Administration - R311,000;
Science & Technology - R110;
Social Development - R7,000;
Transport - R12,000;
Water Affairs - R369,000.

Mazibuko said that had reasonable care been exercised, this R427 million could have been directed towards improving the livelihoods of thousands, as it could have built about 7,000 houses, 10 new schools, and could provide salaries for 2,500 teachers.  

In July 2010, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe announced that a task team would be established to prepare recommendations for Cabinet on wasteful expenditure.

Nothing has happened.

Census 2011

Count your blood money ANC,
Count the plastic bags next to the road,
Count the dead children on the roads,
Count the potholes,
Count the shacks,
Count the millions of Zimbabweans, Nigerians and Somalians living in the city parks,
Count the unemployed,
Count the rhinos,
Count the empty bottles Jonny Walker in Luthuli House,
Count the number of learners passing matric,
Count the number of dead farmers,
Count the number of productive farms left,
Count the aids graves in South Africa,
Count the dead babies in Baragwanath Hospital,
Count the number of working sewerage plants,
Count the number of qualified municipal audits,
Count the 4million taxpayers,
Count the 16million grant receivers,
Count your bloody days ANC.
You won't count me.

R 20 Million Misused

A 73-year-old Johannesburg priest was arrested after he allegedly offered a bribe to hide corruption involving millions, the Hawks said on Thursday.

He was arrested after he tried to bribe LeadSA's Yusuf Abramjee so that he would not say anything about the multi-million rand corruption and fraud, involving two schools he ran,” Colonel McIntosh Polela said.
The priest initially offered to pay Abramjee R1.2 million and upped it to R7 million. He was allegedly carrying R50,000 when he was arrested on the East Rand on Wednesday, Polela said.
The priest apparently wanted to hide his handling of funds at two schools in the Ramaphosa informal settlement in Germiston and Denver, south of Johannesburg.
Polela said the priest received R20 million from the Gauteng education department to run the two schools, and there were allegations the money was misused.
“We are investigating the matter. This involves the department of education and the department of local government. The buildings he uses belong to the department of local government,” he said.
The SA Revenue Service (Sars) had received a report against the priest, spokesman Adrian Lackay said.
“Sars views the complaint and the arrest in a very serious light and wants to pursue the matter further.”
He said Sars would not tolerate the abuse of the national fiscus for self-enrichment.
The priest was expected to appear in the Boksburg Magistrate's Court on Friday.

Sheryl Cwele has lost it all.

05 October, 2011

Convicted drug dealer Sheryl Cwele has lost it all.

Sheryl Cwele has lost her job as health manager of the Hibiscus Coast municipality after her appeal against her firing failed

Exactly seven weeks after State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele was granted a divorce from her, the Hibiscus Coast Municipality yesterday announced that her appeal to keep her position as health manager had failed.

Municipal spokesman Simon Soboyisa said the appeal chairman, Brian Denny, upheld the disciplinary committee's findings that Cwele was guilty of improper conduct, misconduct, and failure to protect the municipality's interests.

"The appeal was heard on September 21 and the chairman delivered his findings on September 30. The decision of the appeal committee chairman effectively terminates the relationship between Cwele and the Hibiscus Coast Municipality," he said.

"Her last salary was in September. The appeal outcome was finalised in September so she cannot receive a salary from the municipality for October," Soboyisa said.

He added that Cwele could approach the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, or the Labour Court, to try to get her job back.

Cwele was unavailable for comment yesterday. However, her attorney, Mvuseni Ngubane, said she had not given him further instructions relating to her employment.

Four days after her conviction on May 5, the municipal council agreed that Cwele should not be paid as of June 10 and that a formal disciplinary hearing should take place.

Cwele's salary was reinstated in July when she took the council to the Labour Court to reverse the suspension of her salary.

Siyabonga Cwele's spokesman, Brian Dube, said the minister would not comment on the outcome of the appeal.

Their divorce was finalised on August 23 in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

They were married in October 1985 but had not lived together since 2000.

Cwele and Nigerian Frank Nabolisa were sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment for recruiting drug mule Tessa Beetge, who is serving a prison sentence in Brazil, and for attempting to recruit Charmaine Moss.

Cwele was granted leave to appeal her conviction and is out on bail.

Confession of Faith by Cecil Rhodes 1877

At the age of 23, Cecil Rhodes in this essay writes in support of imperialism, asserting that Britain has a right to conquer and control other lands. He moved from England to South Africa as a child and made a fortune in the diamond mines. Later he founded the white dominated state of Rhodesia (Zimbabwe).

It often strikes a man to inquire what is the chief good in life; to one the thought comes that it is a happy marriage, to another great wealth, and as each seizes on his idea, for that he more or less works for the rest of his existence. To myself thinking over the same question the wish came to render myself useful to my country. I then asked myself how could I and after reviewing the various methods I have felt that at the present day we are actually limiting our children and perhaps bringing into the world half the human beings we might owing to the lack of country for them to inhabit that if we had retained America there would at this moment be millions more of English living. I contend that we are the finest race in the world and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race. Just fancy those parts that are at present inhabited by the most despicable specimens of human beings what an alteration there would be if they were brought under Anglo-Saxon influence, look again at the extra employment a new country added to our dominions gives. I contend that every acre added to our territory means in the future birth to some more of the English race who otherwise would not be brought into existence. Added to this the absorption of the greater portion of the world under our rule simply means the end of all wars, at this moment had we not lost America I believe we could have stopped the Russian-Turkish war by merely refusing money and supplies. Having these ideas what scheme could we think of to forward this object. I look into history and I read the story of the Jesuits I see what they were able to do in a bad cause and I might say under bad leaders.

"I contend that we are the finest race in the world and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race."

At the present day I become a member of the Masonic order I see the wealth and power they possess the influence they hold and I think over their ceremonies and I wonder that a large body of men can devote themselves to what at times appear the most ridiculous and absurd rites without an object and without an end.

The idea gleaming and dancing before ones eyes like a will-of-the-wisp at last frames itself into a plan. Why should we not form a secret society with but one object the furtherance of the British Empire and the bringing of the whole uncivilised world under British rule for the recovery of the United States for the making the Anglo-Saxon race but one Empire. What a dream, but yet it is probable, it is possible. I once heard it argued by a fellow in my own college, I am sorry to own it by an Englishman, that it was good thing for us that we have lost the United States. There are some subjects on which there can be no arguments, and to an Englishman this is one of them, but even from an American’s point of view just picture what they have los
t, look at their government, are not the frauds that yearly come before the public view a disgrace to any country and especially their’s which is the finest in the world. Would they have occurred had they remained under English rule great as they have become how infinitely greater they would have been with the softening and elevating influences of English rule, think of those countless 000’s of Englishmen that during the last 100 years would have crossed the Atlantic and settled and populated the United States. Would they have not made without any prejudice a finer country of it than the low class Irish and German emigrants? All this we have lost and that country loses owing to whom? Owing to two or three ignorant pig-headed statesmen of the last century, at their door lies the blame. Do you ever feel mad? do you ever feel murderous. I think I do with those men. I bring facts to prove my assertion. Does an English father when his sons wish to emigrate ever think of suggesting emigration to a country under another flag, never—it would seem a disgrace to suggest such a thing I think that we all think that poverty is better under our own flag than wealth under a foreign one.

Put your mind into another train of thought. Fancy Australia discovered and colonised under the French flag, what would it mean merely several millions of English unborn that at present exist we learn from the past and to form our future. We learn from having lost to cling to what we possess. We know the size of the world we know the total extent. Africa is still lying ready for us it is our duty to take it. It is our duty to seize every opportunity of acquiring more territory and we should keep this one idea steadily before our eyes that more territory simply means more of the Anglo-Saxon race more of the best the most human, most honourable race the world possesses.

To forward such a scheme what a splendid help a secret society would be a society not openly acknowledged but who would work in secret for such an object.

I contend that there are at the present moment numbers of the ablest men in the world who would devote their whole lives to it. I often think what a loss to the English nation in some respects the abolition of the Rotten Borough System has been. What thought strikes a man entering the house of commons, the assembly that rule the whole world? I think it is the mediocrity of the men but what is the cause. It is simply—an assembly of wealth of men whose lives have been spent in the accumulation of money and whose time has been too much engaged to be able to spare any for the study of past history. And yet in hands of such men rest our destinies. Do men like the great Pitt, and Burke and Sheridan not now to exist. I contend they do. There are men now living with I know no other term the [Greek term] of Aristotle but there are not ways for enabling them to serve their Country. They live and die unused unemployed. What has the main cause of the success of the Romish Church? The fact that every enthusiast, call it if you like every madman finds employment in it. Let us form the same kind of society a Church for the extension of the British Empire. A society which should have members in every part of the British Empire working with one object and one idea we should have its members placed at our universities and our schools and should watch the English youth passing through their hands just one perhaps in every thousand would have the mind and feelings for such an object, he should be tried in every way, he should be tested whether he is endurant, possessed of eloquence, disregardful of the petty details of life, and if found to be such, then elected and bound by oath to serve for the rest of his life in his County. He should then be supported if without means by the Society and sent to that part of the Empire where it was felt he was needed.

Take another case, let us fancy a man who finds himself his own master with ample means of attaining his majority whether he puts the question directly to himself or not, still like the old story of virtue and vice in the Memorabilia a fight goes on in him as to what he should do. Take if he plunges into dissipation there is nothing too reckless he does not attempt but after a time his life palls on him, he mentally says this is not good enough, he changes his life, he reforms, he travels, he thinks now I have found the chief good in life, the novelty wears off, and he tires, to change again, he goes into the far interior after the wild game he thinks at last I’ve found that in life of which I cannot tire, again he is disappointed. He returns he thinks is there nothing I can do in life? Here I am with means, with a good house, with everything that is to be envied and yet I am not happy I am tired of life he possesses within him a portion of the [Greek term] of Aristotle but he knows it not, to such a man the Society should go, should test, and should finally show him the greatness of the scheme and list him as a member.

Take one more case of the younger son with high thoughts, high aspirations, endowed by nature with all the faculties to make a great man, and with the sole wish in life to serve his Country but he lacks two things the means and the opportunity, ever troubled by a sort of inward deity urging him on to high and noble deeds, he is compelled to pass his time in some occupation which furnishes him with mere existence, he lives unhappily and dies miserably. Such men as these the Society should search out and use for the furtherance of their object.

(In every Colonial legislature the Society should attempt to have its members prepared at all times to vote or speak and advocate the closer union of England and the colonies, to crush all disloyalty and every movement for the severance of our Empire. The Society should inspire and even own portions of the press for the press rules the mind of the people. The Society should always be searching for members who might by their position in the world by their energies or character forward the object but the ballot and test for admittance should be severe)

Once make it common and it fails. Take a man of great wealth who is bereft of his children perhaps having his mind soured by some bitter disappointment who shuts himself up separate from his neighbours and makes up his mind to a miserable existence. To such men as these the society should go gradually disclose the greatness of their scheme and entreat him to throw in his life and property with them for this object. I think that there are thousands now existing who would eagerly grasp at the opportunity. Such are the heads of my scheme.

For fear that death might cut me off before the time for attempting its development I leave all my worldly goods in trust to S. G. Shippard and the Secretary for the Colonies at the time of my death to try to form such a Society with such an object.

South African Politics

We Need More People Like This Guy

South Africa’s politics is probably in the worst state it has been in history. We are ruled by a bunch of greedy clowns who’s only concern is to line their pockets with gold at the cost of their own people.

That might not be news to Africa, it is very much Mugabe style.

I received the article below which was written by former Pres. Mbeki’s brother Moeletsi Mbeki. I always wonder why our country can’t be run by wise men like him. Why must we have a guy who was charged with rape and fraud in charge of our lovely country?

If you read the article below it makes you think that there might be a sparkle of light somewhere in the tunnel.

It all boils down to “If you give a man fish, you feed hom for a day, if you teach a man how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime”. I agree with Mr Mbeki that this whole BEE and affirmative action idea created a lazy society who feel that they are entitled to everything without having to think or work.

I can predict when SA’s “Tunisia Day” will arrive. Tunisia Day is when the masses rise against the powers that be, as happened recently in Tunisia. The year will be 2020, give or take a couple of years. The year 2020 is when China estimates that its current minerals-intensive industrialisation phase will be concluded.

Moeletsi Mbeki
Moeletsi Mbeki

For SA, this will mean the African National Congress (ANC) government will have to cut back on social grants, which it uses to placate the black poor and to get their votes. China’s current industrialisation phase has forced up the prices of SA’s minerals, which has enabled the government to finance social welfare programmes.

The ANC inherited a flawed, complex society it barely understood; its tinkerings with it are turning it into an explosive cocktail. The ANC leaders are like a group of children playing with a hand grenade. One day one of them will figure out how to pull out the pin and everyone will be killed.

A famous African liberation movement, the National Liberation Front of Algeria, after tinkering for 30 years, pulled the grenade pin by cancelling an election in 1991 that was won by the opposition Islamic Salvation Front. In the civil war that ensued, 200000 people were killed. …

The former British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, once commented that whoever thought that the ANC could rule SA was living in Cloud Cuckoo Land. Why was Thatcher right? In the 16 years of ANC rule, all the symptoms of a government out of its depth have grown worse.
  • Life expectancy has declined from 65 years to 53 years since the ANC came to power;
  • In 2007, SA became a net food importer for the first time in its history;
  • The elimination of agricultural subsidies by the government led to the loss of 600000 farm workers’ jobs and the eviction from the commercial farming sector of about 2,4-million people between 1997 and 2007; and
  • The ANC stopped controlling the borders, leading to a flood of poor people into SA, which has led to conflicts between SA’s poor and foreign African migrants.
What should the ANC have done, or be doing?

The answer is quite straightforward. When they took control of the government in 1994, ANC leaders should have: identified what SA’s strengths were; identified what SA’s weaknesses were; and decided how to use the strengths to minimise and/or rectify the weaknesses.
A wise government would have persuaded the skilled white and Indian population to devote some of their time — even an hour a week — to train the black and coloured population to raise their skill levels.

What the ANC did instead when it came to power was to identify what its leaders and supporters wanted. It then used SA’s strengths to satisfy the short-term consumption demands of its supporters. In essence, this is what is called black economic empowerment (BEE).

BEE promotes a number of extremely negative socioeconomic trends in our country. It promotes a class of politicians dependent on big business and therefore promotes big business’s interests in the upper echelons of government.  
Second, BEE promotes an anti-entrepreneurial culture among the black middle class by legitimising an environment of entitlement.  
Third, affirmative action, a subset of BEE, promotes incompetence and corruption in the public sector by using ruling party allegiance and connections as the criteria for entry and promotion in the public service, instead of having tough public service entry examinations.

Let’s see where BEE, as we know it today, actually comes from. I first came across the concept of BEE from a company, which no longer exists, called Sankor. Sankor was the industrial division of Sanlam and it invented the concept of BEE.

The first purpose of BEE was to create a buffer group among the black political class that would become an ally of big business in SA. This buffer group would use its newfound power as controllers of the government to protect the assets of big business.

The buffer group would also protect the modus operandi of big business and thereby maintain the status quo in which South African business operates. That was the design of the big conglomerates.

Sanlam was soon followed by Anglo American. Sanlam established BEE vehicle Nail; Anglo established Real Africa, Johnnic and so forth. The conglomerates took their marginal assets, and gave them to politically influential black people, with the purpose, in my view, not to transform the economy but to create a black political class that is in alliance with the conglomerates and therefore wants to maintain the status quo of our economy and the way in which it operates.

But what is wrong with protecting SA’s conglomerates?

Well, there are many things wrong with how conglomerates operate and how they have structured our economy.
  • The economy has a strong built-in dependence on cheap labour;
  • It has a strong built-in dependence on the exploitation of primary resources;
  • It is strongly unfavourable to the development of skills in our general population;
  • It has a strong bias towards importing technology and economic solutions; and
  • It promotes inequality between citizens by creating a large, marginalised underclass.
Conglomerates are a vehicle, not for creating development in SA but for exploiting natural resources without creating in-depth, inclusive social and economic development, which is what SA needs. That is what is wrong with protecting conglomerates.

The second problem with the formula of BEE is that it does not create entrepreneurs. You are taking political leaders and politically connected people and giving them assets which, in the first instance, they don’t know how to manage. So you are not adding value. You are faced with the threat of undermining value by taking assets from people who were managing them and giving them to people who cannot manage them. BEE thus creates a class of idle rich ANC politicos.

My quarrel with BEE is that what the conglomerates are doing is developing a new culture in SA — not a culture of entrepreneurship, but an entitlement culture, whereby black people who want to go into business think that they should acquire assets free, and that somebody is there to make them rich, rather than that they should build enterprises from the ground.

But we cannot build black companies if what black entrepreneurs look forward to is the distribution of already existing assets from the conglomerates in return for becoming lobbyists for the conglomerates.
The third worrying trend is that the ANC-controlled state has now internalised the BEE model. We are now seeing the state trying to implement the same model that the conglomerates developed.

What is the state distributing? It is distributing jobs to party faithful and social welfare to the poor. This is a recipe for incompetence and corruption, both of which are endemic in SA. This is what explains the service delivery upheavals that are becoming a normal part of our environment.

So what is the correct road SA should be travelling?

We all accept that a socialist model, along the lines of the Soviet Union, is not workable for SA today. The creation of a state-owned economy is not a formula that is an option for SA or for many parts of the world. Therefore, if we want to develop SA instead of shuffling pre-existing wealth, we have to create new entrepreneurs, and we need to support existing entrepreneurs to diversify into new economic sectors.
Mbeki is the author of Architects of Poverty: Why African Capitalism Needs Changing. This article forms part of a series on transformation supplied by the Centre for Development and Enterprise.

Architects of Poverty by Moelatsi Mbeki
Architects of Poverty by Moeletsi Mbeki