Friday, 17 April 2015


Wheee. That’s the 54 000 level shattered by the JSE All Share index. In the last three weeks prices of shares in the index have been going up at a rate in excess of 120%pa. That’s very fast and anyone wanting to find a gloomy end to this story can be heard muttering about “exponential blow-ups” and other such rather jargon. The story remains, however, simple. There is a burning desire to own shares rather than anything else and buyers need to coax sellers – who probably just weeks ago were the doing the same – to part with their holdings by offering ever higher prices. It’s maybe useful to note that volumes and values of turnover are not record setting. Sensitive viewers should be ready to avert their eyes.
Meanwhile there is still no sign of the government setting out its stall of assets for sale and Eskom’s need for money is getting more urgent by the day. This week there were times when just one half of the theoretically available generating capacity was actually on line and so power cuts were numerous. This has of course added to the other tensions which are boiling over so seriously.
The awful lawless violent slaughter and attacks raging through our unhappy land is opportunistic violence and looting without any fear of retribution. It is also a consequence of not having anything else meaningful to do. The widely used x-word is totally wrong and dishonest and is an attempt to deny that we are watching racism.  There is no "irrational fear of strangers" here. Triggered and seemingly tacitly condoned by disgraceful and culpable so-called leaders, the savagery is terrifying. Most of us are appalled by the lack of arrests and charges for what seem to be a large number of obvious law-breaking activities. The response in parliament was almost nil with irrelevant squabbling and score settling while the country burns in darkness. Oh how badly we need a leader to understand that only private sector entrepreneurs like the ones being hounded from their shops and homes can ever create the jobs that are so badly needed.
The student rabble at UCT has found that life is pretty much unchanged even though their demands to have a statue on the campus removed were met. They still have to work to get educated but now have reached the conclusion that the university is not hiring the best teaching staff available and in consequence their studies are compromised. Without access to the history and records of their lecturers the indignant students have made their claim on the very basis they are supposed to reject - the race of the individual.  Indeed now that skin colour has once again been legislated into prominence for appointing people, critical posts remain vacant for years merely because there are suitable applicants of the “right” hue. News this week that SA is at the very bottom of maths and science skills rankings confirms that it is not going to get better quickly. Future job seekers will be unable to complete even the knowledge and ability sections of the application form. Students and pupils throughout the system should be making the best of the lecturers and teachers that they have now. How’s that project to offer Mandarin as a school subject getting along?  Has the department sourced any black skinned teachers of that language?
The Sharks and Formula 1 are both in trouble. Both are really boring and losing fans. Also in trouble will be the Proteas man who this week confirmed that the government selected the team for the semi-final at the Cricket World Cup last month. And being ignorant bigoted racists they selected an unfit off-form player. And we lost. It’s likely that a similar stupid and divisive intervention awaits the ‘bokke during the Rugby World Cup in October. How many small boys and young men will in the next four years have moved to Canada and taken up ice-hockey? There is simply no understanding of those who think that international sport is about anything other than having the best possible team and winning.
James Greener
Friday 17th April 2015 (no thanks to Eskom)