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A week in the life of Sunny South Africa

14 June 2014, 06:00
It's like watching a train wreck in slow motion, in a dream. You'd love to run in and help, but your legs just don't want to move, as person after person perishes.

That's what this week has felt like.

Water!

Firstly, the water supply in Bloemhof was found to be contaminated with E.Coli, which gives a clear indication as to where baby deaths due to diarrhoea originated.

Secondly, the water supply to the town of Phalaborwa was cut off, due to the accumulation of debt amounting to R200-m by that local municipality. How is it physically possible for a small town to build up such a tally? Don't answer that.

I wish the ANC would get it into their heads. Water is a biological imperative. Without it, life ceases to exist. Death due to thirst is apolitical, non-sexist and non-racial. It is the ultimate in non-discrimination. It gets everybody, their livestock, and their crops.

The Emperor of Nkandla

It was revealed early in the week, that His Spearness, the Fat Zulu, Msholozi Almighty, was "exhausted", and had been given time off. How utterly absurd. I wonder if Barack Obama, leader of the entire free world, who has fewer cabinet members to help him than bra Jake, took time off after he was re-elected?

Needless to say, speculation is that something much darker is afoot. Let's hope it's nothing trivial. Personally, I wager a tenner on a spot of HIV, and an adverse reaction to the ARVs. Oh how we long for the days when Manto would've prescribed some beetroot and garlic.

Be that as it may, MacDonalds Maharaj ("would you like lies with that?") says Number One has been at home working on his SONA speech. I wonder which computer program he uses? MS-Finger-Paint?

That Strike

Two weeks ago, the big, scary, new minister showed his teeth, by declaring that he was personally going to end the platinum sector strike. This week, he withdrew. Status? No change. Well thanks for nothing, minister. Seems you're just as useless a minister, as you were a premier.

But by Thursday, it appeared a breakthrough had been reached. Miners, courtesy of their shop stewards, were urging AMCU boss Joseph Mathunjwa to sign the agreement. Hurrah, we all thought.

But it was not to be. By late in the evening, and confirmed early on Friday morning, AMCU came out and said they needed to consult further, on a number of issues. How is it dear reader, that one man, who is magnificently wealthy on the backs of the poor and downtrodden who earn a living on the mines, can hold an entire industry, 70,000 workers, and an estimated 1.5-m indirectly dependent souls, to ransom? That man should be arrested and tried for crimes against humanity.

Fitch, Moody's, Standard and Poor's

And so, at the end of a long week, littered with the corpses of the governing party's failures, and on Friday the 13th to boot, the world's rating agencies confirmed what everybody has suspected for a while. Our national outlook has been degraded to Negative.

Practically, this makes it harder for the State and large corporates to borrow on the international capital markets. It specifically hamstrings entities like Eskom and Transnet, who are reliant on large loans to finance their infrastructure spend.

But more than that, it is confirmation that whilst Trever Manuel says the Arms Deal is "as dead as a dodo", the R70-b incurred by Tommy Taxpayer is certainly not. It confirms that load shedding is not ayoba. It places a question mark against the government's plans to produce economic growth.

More than anything, it negates entirely, the ANC's position that South Africa has a good story to tell. Quite eminently, our beloved country is going to hell in a handbasket. When Cyril stands up on Monday and tells the youth it's all good, please yell back that he's lying.

But this didn't happen in one fell swoop, did it? Of course not. I am reminded of an old adage. Throw a frog into a pot of hot water, and he'll jump straight out. Throw a frog into cold water, and slowly raise the temperature, he'll stay there, until he dies. We're that frog, and the ANC is controlling the stove.

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