Whoa! Finally a high ranking government official, Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni, has finally stated the obvious: Zimbabwe is not getting better despite Thabo Mbeki repeatedly telling us that silent diplomacy is working and a negotiated end to the economic woes is just around the corner.
Mboweni also said Zimbabwe’s seizure of white-owned farms by government-backed militia in neighbouring Zimbabwe was “a total disaster,” and that successful economies demanded that governments respect property rights.
“Things are beginning to move from bad to worse,” Mboweni said.
And with that talk about respecting property rights you’d think he was in the Thatcher administration rather than being a member of a socialist leaning party?
“The way the Scorpions [and the NPA] have continued to conduct themselves has raised a lot of eyebrows and the people have lost faith in the institutions,” said Maleka.I have a feeling that if Maleka took a poll he’d find support for the NPA and Scorpions to be a bit higher than expected. Perhaps what he meant to say is “Why do the NPA investigate prominent polititicians? Don’t they know we’re above the law?”
He said an overhaul of the NPA and the Scorpions is needed in order to improve the public’s trust in them. “More than perhaps the suspension, we need a serious overhaul which must be informed by the resolutions of the ANC national general council in 2005 and the policy conference that took place this year.”
Well that didn’t take too long. The National People’s Party has already descended into infighting and expulsions.
The NPP was formed by a number of Western Cape councilors with much bluster and hype who hoped to break the DA alliance on the Cape Town City Council and set themselves up to be king makers in the region. For those of you who can remember back to the most recent municipal elections this was the same tactic the ID tried and just like for the ID it failed miserably, with the DA still retaining control of Cape Town. The ID had to change track when it’s voters went into open revolt over it’s decision to ally with the ANC and is now a partner to the DA.
The NPP, having no voters, instead now has to turn in on itself. Come the next municipal elections I predict they’ll be all but wiped out.
This interview in the Sunday Times with Communications Director-General Lyndall Shope-Mafole is pretty much indicative of why the state of telecommunications in SA is so dire and why the DoC tries to prevent South African and international companies from investing in telecommunications.
“Part of that promotion is to say, ‘Okay guys, you people want to come and invest here. All we are saying is that you have got to have South African private sector involvement’.”
But isn’t there already local involvement, including by Telkom and MTN, in the Eassy cable?
“Yes, but I mean African private sector involvement as well. We are saying that we want to support our continental, as well as our South African, private companies in investing in the submarine cable.
“And here we have difficulties. Because, you know, the globe is basically based on a capitalist system. Those who have more money are able to make more money.”She embarked on a rambling and not-to- be-interrupted economics lecture, but, to cut a very long story short, her objections boiled down to South African companies doing better out of Eassy cable than other African companies.
You know last time I checked she was the DG of Communications for South Africa, not for Ethiopia. Why would any SA based telecoms company do any business with the DoC if they don’t have the best interests for SA companies at the fore.As to why Shope-Mafole hasn’t been fired/reprimanded for the terrible job she’s doing, well I believe this excerpt from the interview might explain that:
Current reading: Busy with a third reading of ‘Fit to Govern’ by Ronald Suresh Roberts
No doubt it’s an autographed copy (both Roberts and The Chief).
Update: No need to worry about the rest of Africa Lyndall, they’re doing just fine without you.
Mayor of Cape Town Helen Zille was arrested for taking part in a march against drug dealers on the Cape Flats.
There seems to be some confusion as to whether the march was legal. This article from News24 claims the march was legal, this article from IOL claims that Zille was arrested for attending an ‘illegal gathering’.The use of ‘illegal gatherings’ to disperse marchers is a bit concerning. According to our Constitution, section 17 of the Bill of Rights states:
Everyone has the right, peacefully and unarmed, to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket and to present petitions.
So unless these protesters were brandishing weapons and tipping over cars, something I don’t think Helen Zille would associate herself with, there couldn’t have been much of a problem?
You can not make this stuff up:
Food courier company Mr Delivery has blacklisted parliament after orders worth thousands of rands were cancelled at the last minute.
The Gardens branch implemented the measure after 20 separate orders for food, some for as much as R1 500, were cancelled at the last minute.
Don’t they have interns to do the KFC run?
From The Weekender
THE treasury has questioned whether the R8,4bn it is investing in the construction and refurbishment of stadiums for the 2010 Soccer World Cup will ever generate a return, and not end up being a costly noose around the necks of ratepayers.
Malcolm Simpson, the treasury deputy director-general in charge of the 2010 World Cup preparations, conceded that with hindsight SA should have considered the future viability of the stadiums before bidding, but said “this is (now) history”.
As if people weren’t warning government from the very start about the fact that building new stadiums from scratch in a country where soccer teams struggle to fill half their homes stadiums (unless it’s a Kaizer Chiefs/Orlando Pirates derby) might be a bad idea.
Cape Town’s stadium is a particularly bad investment that is being built in Green Point solely it seems so there will be nice sweeping shots of the stadium, Table Mountain and the sea in one take. Whether it will actually be useful afterwards is another matter.
Following the Sunday Times/Manto fight, Minister in the Presidency (and head of GCIS) Essop Pahad has said that government should pull it’s advertisements from the Sunday Times.
This can’t happen soon enough. It always irks me to open up the Sunday Times only to see the Limpopo Dept of Education using their budget to buy half page ads commemorating the Premier’s birthday instead of using that R50 000 (or whatever the going rate is) to I don’t know… buy books? Employ a teacher perhaps?
Following the SABC’s decision to leave SANEF, Jacques Pauw head of Special Assignment, one of the few actual investigative journalism programmes left on the SABC, has resigned (the Special Assignment team page is currently 404’ing, no doubt Snuki Zikalala is dutifully erasing any evidence that Pauw ever worked for them but have a look at the Google cache).
Special Assignment is the only SABC program that has any credibility with the public when it comes to tackling government even amongst non-English speakers which is quite a big achievement.
According to the British government, China is to withdraw backing from Zimbabwe. This is huge as China was probably the largest supplier of foreign currency to Zimbabwe. If this doesn’t somehow push Mugabe out of power I expect that there will be some major crackdowns on opposition parties and the economic situation to get even worse leading to a renewed wave of Zimbabwean political and economic refugees crossing into SA.