Blade Nzimande, apart from being a government minister, is still, as far as I’m aware, head of the South African Communist Party. It is thus his job to speak out for the country’s workers. It comes as no surprise, then, that he should speak out against projects like the Gautrain and E-Tolling which seem only to benefit the more affluent members of our society. As part of his tirade he (quite rightly for our leading communist) “urged the government to never again invest in any project if it would not benefit the poor”, according to News24’s report. Now I wasn’t there myself, but I cannot help but suspect that he has been misquoted.
My phone contract is due for an upgrade next week. This is always an exciting time. I pull out all the cellphone catalogues and see what’s out there, I compare reviews on the internet, and I daydream of going for the i-phone option with a “free” i-pad thrown in. and then I choose something affordable instead. Can you imagine how much more exciting it must be for our MP’s, then, when the time comes around for them to choose a new official vehicle? Picture yourself lying in bed, propped up on a pillow with the catalogues for Mercedes, BMW, Range Rover and Audi spread out in front of you, happily comparing all the little details. It must be such a rush. Aircon, ABS, MP3 player, GPS, tinted windows, leather seats, cup holders. It must be so hard to choose. But here’s the really cool part- affordability is not an issue! The MP’s don’t pay! We do.
When our friend Blade’s turn came around, he chose a stylish new BMW 750i, at a cost of 1,1 million. How many cup-holders do you get for 1,1 million? For those of you who like maths, if an RDP house costs about R60000, the head of the SACP and champion of the poor chose a car that cost the people of his nation the equivalent of 18 low cost houses. Wow!
So where does the poor reporting come in? He may have more chutzpa than any 5 lesser men, but I have never, as far as I can remember, heard him being accused of dishonesty. I simply can’t imagine that he “urged the government to never again invest in any project if it would not benefit the poor”. Surely he urged the government to never again invest in any project if it would not benefit the poor, unless the beneficiary was him.