Chris Moerdyk

How can we stop government killing our kids?

2013-08-12 08:08

Chris Moerdyk

So, according to the SA National Health Nutrition and Examination survey, our children are the world's fattest. And our immediate reaction is to blame fast foods and sugary cold drinks, which we are told now cost the same as good healthy food you can buy from a supermarket.

I reckon its actually parents who are to blame for unhealthy diets causing their kids to be fat. What is even more worrying, though, is the number of children who simply aren’t getting enough to eat.

That same survey has shown that in one of three homes where you find kids between the ages of 10 and 14 , there is no food for breakfast. Almost one out of five kids don’t have anyone to help them make lunch to take to school. And even worse, the occupants of one out of every four households go to bed hungry because there is not enough food to go round or even no food at all.

So, while we are justified in getting hot under the collar about those kids who are gutsing themselves on fast foods, that problem is minute compared to the millions of kids who go to school hungry, who go to bed hungry and who will be extremely lucky to achieve adulthood without being a human wreck.

One has to wonder at how many  of our kids are eventually dying simply because they are not getting enough to eat? The figure must be frighteningly high. And we have to wonder whether government actually cares?

Because the reason so many kids don’t get enough food is simply because their parents just don’t have enough money. And the reason they don’t have enough money is because government clearly doesn’t give a damn that things like e-tolling that have a knock on effect in terms of an increase in the price of food. As does the escalating price of petrol and diesel. Now the taxi industry has announced that fares will go up. And where will passengers find the extra money for taxi fares? Well, most of them will just have to do with less food.

It seems to me that government just keeps sticking to completely insane policies that have a domino effect in terms of increasing the cost of living. Just the fact that so many children are not getting enough food should force government into taking a decision not to do anything more  that can lead to food price increases.

E-tolling is a classic case and much as government will say it cannot do anything about the petrol price, it can if it puts its mind to it. It is, in my opinion, almost criminal that Sasol prices its oil from coal at the same price as the global market. So, when the oil price goes up to the detriment of all South Africans, Sasol just makes more money. In most other oil producing countries, domestic petrol prices are subsidised but not here - all that happens is that a bunch of fatcats get fatter. It wouldn't be so bad were it not for the fact that Sasol was built out of money from the pockets of our citizens.

We are also told that South Africa doesn’t have the most expensive petrol in the world, which is nonsense because you can't just make comparisons based on  exchange rates.

If one took the South Africa cost of living in real terms then I reckon our petrol price is pretty much the highest in they world. Just like our cellphone charges.
I am not suggesting for a minute that we become a communist state but what I am suggesting is that it is time government started looking at doing something to help poor people feed their kids properly.

Unintended consequences don’t seem to have any impact on government, which has been proved by their attitude to employment. On one hand they spend billion trying to create jobs while on the other they make insane decisions that end up costing jobs.

It is beyond me how our fat-cat politicians just cannot see the consequences of continually increasing prices when one in four households goes to bed without food at night.

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