Time for reparations

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I’m no fan of Julius Malema but I have to accept that he has exposed the failure of the SA government to address the legacy of apartheid and is exploiting that failure to his own benefit. The uncharitable among you may attribute government’s failure to infighting and squabbling over the spoils of victory. And while there certainly does seem to be an element of that, I refuse to believe that this entire government is corrupt. There are too many people in the public sector – right up to ministerial level in some cases – who are quietly getting on with the job in difficult circumstances.

However, the fact remains that this government hasn’t done enough for the victims of apartheid. On that I agree with Malema but we differ markedly on the solution – but then my motivation isn’t self-enrichment. I’m not certain the same can be said for him. But I digress. The real point of this post is to highlight what I think is a brilliant solution to the reparations problem facing this government. I should note at this juncture that this post is an expansion of my editor’s note in the next issue of African Leader magazine, which role is one of my day jobs. More

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Lunatics to the left and right

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Colour me cynical but ever since they were caught red-handed corrupting scientific process to stoke the panic about “climate change”, I’ve been suspicious of the holier-than-thou green brigade – or, as my friend Ivo calls them, the ecomentalists. So when some of the usual suspects started making noises about “fracking up the Karoo“, I was suspicious.

Unfortunately, I haven’t have much time for personal crusades lately so I wasn’t able to ferret out the truth. Fortunately, Ivo did find the time and you can find the results of his investigation in his column about the subject on The Daily Maverick.

In typical fashion, the picture alongside misrepresents the situation by showing the fracking zones directly beneath underground aquifers. As Ivo points out: “Ordinary boreholes are seldom more than 100m deep. Major water supply boreholes may go to 300m. Drinkable water aquifers may occur as deep as 500m, but below this, the water is typically brackish.

“These shallow water supplies contrast starkly with typical shale gas operations at depths of 2,500m or more.”

But that’s not all that perturbed me this morning. In the other lunatic fringe here in Mzansi, we have the ANCYL, which released its “we want everything and we want it now” economic policy document yesterday. Steven Grootes has also written about it on The Daily Maverick.

Has the whole world gone crazy? I feel like I’m stuck in the middle of a song: “…clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you…”

Nuts. Between them, these idiots are doing their very best to constrain this country’s already limited growth prospects. With the “official” unemployment rate standing at 25% of the economically active population and the real rate estimated at around 44%, that can only end badly. We need to create jobs; We can’t do that without direct foreign investment. And if either of the lunatic fringes have their way, FDI is exactly what we’ll lose. I wonder how long it will take our people to lose their patience after that.