Friday, 15 May 2015


Some figures released recently highlighted the very disturbing growth in the number of people who work for the state. And an even greater worry is the cost of this overmanned and inefficient work force. But deep in the list of civil servants there is a post which at first sounds likes the easiest job in the world. Parliament is advertising for someone to fill the vacancy of Inspector General of Intelligence. In fact it is a re-advertisement, because obviously no one has yet applied, believing this to be a joke. Closer reading however, reveals that the successful candidate will not spend their days searching the corridors of power for signs of sentient life. Rather he or she will be the South African equivalent of “M” the fictional British spy boss. There is a very high possibility that M will figure among the initials of the appointee – so that’s all good then.
It feels as if our poor nation is suffering another big upward leap in the level of socialist stupidity and obstinacy. This week a full-colour four page pamphlet has been published by the Department of Labour. In poorly written and seemingly unedited bureaucratic jargon it boasts  about the Department’s achievements in hampering any employer who might be so bold as to create and offer a job. It lists the numerous Acts, Boards, Institutes and Commissions that have been created to regulate, advise and punish the already worst performing market in South Africa.  It is a very disturbing document.
Next the government has said it intends to investigate if there is fairness in the retail sector. Don’t those clowns ever go shopping themselves? Not even natural selection is as pitiless as a consumer when it comes to boycotting and trashing a retailer they believe is ripping them off. There’s no need for a government, who on present evidence runs nothing at all either well or fairly, to spend our money to find this out.
But the most foolish piece of state-sponsored nonsense must surely be the 2015 Student Spending Report which revealed that “the average student in SA continues to prioritise instant gratification over saving”! Well how about that? Whoever commissioned this asinine research needs to be fired. Unless of course they can show that they never went near a bar and saved all their allowances when they were a student. In which case, they need to be fired for being boring.
As matters appear to be are getting ever worse at Eskom, the internet has lit up with reports and opinions that support and pander to our prejudices and suspicions. There have been a number of commentaries about the impossibly poor arguments and figures being used by the utility to support its claim for a 25% electricity price rise which will surely deliver a killer blow to many already struggling enterprises. This is the same outfit which reportedly has apologised to Soweto to cutting off its power for 10 hours as a reminder that they have paid for only a fifth of the power they have used. Allegedly almost R100bn is owed by various entities and people for utilities and services. This is a seriously big number – well beyond the capacity of most of us to grasp and certainly too hard for our president to say. It is doubtful if any of this debt will ever get paid and so it’s little wonder that estimates of the nation’s growth and creditworthiness get pushed down.
Those large and pesky Fijians really rained on out Blitzbokke parade in Glasgow last weekend. It will take some serious heroics as well as some luck if our lads are to win the Series. In the meantime all the Sharks team can offer their fans is the faintly silly reminder that the Stormers beat the Waratahs at home. Enough said.
James Greener
Friday 15th May 2015