In the middle of another week in sunny South Africa, a slightly cynical French expression comes to mind – ‘plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose’. No mystery really – the more things change, the more they stay the same.
In the tribe of our great breeder – I’m sorry that should of course be our great leader – it appears that there is a little confusion over which scandal to whitewash or explain away first. Tricky that – the failed farm, the failed exams of those in charge at the national mouthpiece, I mean broadcaster, and the failing road tolling system all hold pride of place in the land of the king of Nkandla.
The principle which appears to be the driving force for most government bleaters, I mean leaders, is that of ‘the user pays’. Interesting images that particular principle throws up. Thandi Modise’s farm for instance – who used it? Nobody by all accounts – and she acquired a Land Bank loan to buy it, for a large amount of money? Doesn’t the principle of ‘user pays’ apply here– or is this only another example of ‘aikona mina’, it wasn’t me?
SABC – well there you go then, no prizes for guessing who the user is. The issue is a little ‘Cloudy’ though, so not possible to see clearly….. just saying.
E-tolls of course – user pays? Gauteng should be demanding redress from SANRAL and the Ministry of Transport for the appalling state of the secondary roads, and the slow and steady increase in prices, generally, as a result of e-toll costs, and job losses as small business go under due to rising costs of transport. The users of those secondary roads – Joe Public – are paying to use them, with vehicle repairs, delayed business meetings, missed deadlines and the rest. And so it goes on…
Given all of the above, what happens to the ‘user pays’ principle with regard to the palace of Nkandla? The last time I looked, the citizens of this country do not use it, did not ask for it and will never gain any benefit from it. User pays? Are you listening President Zuma ? Or, given all of the above, is this yet another example of some being more equal than others, with apologies to George Orwell, author of the often-quoted and extremely apt Animal Farm?