Sunday, November 16, 2008

500 police cars standing idle

The problem with South Africa is not the lack of resources or manpower, it's the lack of brainpower. As my brother-in-law likes to say, we've put MOW-rons in positions that is simply above their paygrade. That's affirmative action for you. Affirmative action if it were to work properly involves taking two EQUALLY qualified candidates and picking the person of the darker hue. That would continue until a balance existed which represented the demographics.

What's happened in South Africa is that the ANC has shunted qualified, experienced whites to the kerb and plopped any old (blacker) body in their place, thereby losing skills forever. "Now do the job", Sipho is told.

What must frustrate blacks and the ANC is that whites, despite being marginalised, shut out and discriminated against in all spheres of life since 1994 continue to progress full-steam ahead while they seem incapable of performing the most basic of tasks.

I believe policies like AA and BEE which were meant to catapult blacks into positions of wealth and power overnight have backfired because what you have now is the blind leading the blind. The skills cupboard is bare. Forget money, forget power, forget influence, the most precious commodity is skills - most countries understand this - hence the skills poaching which has become an industry.

Until and unless affirmative action is abandoned, where people with skills irrespective of colour are left to do their jobs and see out their careers, allowing them to mentor and transfer skills in an orderly manner, the lives of blacks will continue to deteriorate and the highly lauded so-called black middle-class will be mere window dressing, all show and no go.

Can anything but affirmative action be the cause of the stupidity as witnessed below?


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With the festive season fast approaching, the Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department's roll-out of a fleet of almost 500 patrol cars is not going as smoothly as planned.

The vehicles cost taxpayers R88-million, and were bought to beef up a beleaguered department run by Robert McBride until he was placed on special leave and later fired.

But instead of hitting the streets, they stood idle for more than four months - a delay described by one councillor as a "disgrace".

For the cars to be put to use they had to be marked, registered and fitted with sirens and police lights.

After The Star exposed the bungle, Ekurhuleni Municipality vowed "the majority" of the fleet would be operational by the first week of November, in time for the "hectic festive season".

The Star returned to the Primrose parking lot - where the fleet had been parked since May - and found that while things looked different, there were still dozens of cars not being used.

Metro spokesperson Zweli Dlamini confirmed this, saying that of the 493 cars bought, 97 were "running on the streets". "We are expecting 100 more by the end of the week, branded and all," he said.

"Then we hope to release 100 per week." At that rate, all cars should be out by early December.
Dlamini said the municipality was not to blame for the new delay. "We were under the impression that the service provider would be able to deliver … the delay is external."

At the end of last month, a new controversy hit the roll-out when community safety councillor Michele Clarke claimed the process had ground to a halt because of in-house bureaucratic fighting.

She said the task team set up to speed the project along had been ordered to back off. This was a worrying development, as crime tended to spike in the build-up to the December holidays.

Clarke said: "Residents' lives are at stake." The municipality denied these claims.

In the wake of The Star's initial coverage, the political head of the EMPD, Aubrey Nxumalo, launched an investigation into what had caused the delays. He conceded that plans had been canned to hire cars - at a cost of R350 000 per month - while the cars the municipality had bought were readied.

The cars are destined to the following units: highway patrol, speed law-enforcement, intervention unit and public order policing.

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