Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Eskom: No more power cuts?

Que?

For months we've been told that it was insufficient production capacity that triggered the blackouts.

That is, Eskom simply had not planned for the future and built enough power generation units to supply the country.

The gubbermunt even admitted it.

It was blamed on a lack of insufficient foreward planning but also because the economy was being run so efficiently that the "rampant growth" was sucking up too much energy.

Mbeggi then contradicted this statement, finding it necessary to apologise to the nation that the actual reason was a lack of planning by his sorry troupe of gubbermunt munistas.

Now we get more news, eish, eh soiree, all a big misunderstanding, the power cuts were part of a 'plan to save energy'. That's right, those nights you've sat in the dark was part of a 'plan'. Your gubbermunt working for you.

Who is telling lies here?

In the 'new' South Africa', seeing is believing and with winter on the way, the gubbermunt wants to ward off what is sure to be hell unleashed on their asses by the people, when all those heaters get turned on (then shut down) making an already bad situation even worse.

Hell will freeze over before I believe a word from the ANC gubbermunt and the Eskom clowns.

Question: Can someone tell the difference between 'load shedding' and 'rolling power cuts'?

- - - - -

South Africa's troubled power utility Eskom announced on Wednesday it was to indefinitely suspend its controversial programme of power cuts.

"We have said from the beginning that load shedding is not our preferred option to achieve the 10 percent savings the nation needs," Eskom's chief executive Jacob Maroga told the SAPA news agency.

"Recent savings, particularly from industry, have shown that it should be possible to achieve this objective sustainably through a concerted and committed effort by all of us... and we hope that the 10 percent target will be met so that it will not be necessary to reinstate scheduled load shedding."

South Africa has been suffering daily power cuts since the start of the year with Eskom failing to meet rising demand. South Africa's economic capital Johannesburg is particularly badly hit.

Eskom earlier announced that it did not plan any blackouts this week as South Africa celebrates three bank holidays but it had been expected that the programme of rolling power cuts would resume next week.

Seven days without power

[THIS IS INTOLERABLE! How can you folks manage? We outside the country can only imagine the hell you must be going through.]

SEVEN DAYS WITHOUT POWER!

Lack of electricity is taking its toll on Kempton Park residents who are entering their seventh day without power.

Ekurhuleni metro municipality spokesperson Zweli Dlamini said power was to be restored on Monday.

Residents were left without power after a fire at a sub-station.

For Kobus Stevenson and his family, the past six days have been nightmarish. "This is unbearable. Our lives have come to a standstill," he complained as he made his way to a nearby shop to buy something to eat.

"There is not much in the shop. Most of the delicate stuff is getting rotten.

"If you buy milk you have to finish it the same day. This is so awful."

Lack of electricity has made it impossible for Stevenson to go out at night.

"It's too dark and scary. The alarms are not working. We just have to go to bed early".

"The problem is that my two sons do not understand why they have to sleep early - they want to play games."

Domestic worker Maki Masana said she had been using fire to cook and heat water to bath, and for her three-month-old daughter's bottle.

"I have to collect wood every day. What can I do? I have to make sure there is hot water for the babie's bottle.

"This is becoming a big problem for me. I cannot afford a gas stove. Whenever I make my daughter's bottle I have to make the fire."

Masana pointed at her two-year-old son's dirty feet - "I have been unable to bath him thoroughly.

"The little hot water I get, I have to save for important things. I can't bath him with cold water, I just wipe him with a wet towel."

On Sunday traffic lights were still out and most of the restaurants were deserted. The only visible activity came from generator-powered shops.

Paying for Eskom's incompetence

Eskom wants us to pay a lot more for electricity so that it can pay for unbudgeted new power stations, right? Wrong. Eskom needs the money because its managers got their sums wrong.

After months of badly managed load shedding, and facing a long, cold winter, desperate consumers are angry but mostly resigned to Eskom's demand for 53 percent electricity price increases to cover the costs of new power stations.

Nobody disputes that new power stations are needed. Fast.

But a look at Eskom's own documents makes it difficult to understand the urgent need for extra money. Instead, the documents indicate that the real problem is Eskom management's failure to budget properly.

Who knows how much a power station costs to build? Well, apparently even Eskom didn't know.

Eskom's five-year budgets have increased substantially. Budgets jumped from R97-billion for the five years to 2011, to R150-billion for the five years to 2012, to this year's announcement of R343-billion for 2008/9 to 2012/13.

But what's being built hasn't changed enough to explain the huge cost increase.

What is apparently going to cost the most is the base-load power stations: coal-fired Medupi, due to produce at least 4 500MW and be finished in 2015; coal-fired Project Bravo, which will provide 3 200MW by 2015; hydro scheme Ingula, which offers 1 332MW by 2013; and new hydro scheme Project Lima, intended to supply 1 500MW by 2014.

We're told that a project the size of Medupi will cost about R80-billion.

But these projects aren't new. They've been on Eskom's planning log for years, so why hasn't the budget been planned before the last-minute scramble this year?

Medupi, originally on the drawing board as Projects Alpha and Charlie, has been around so long that the first sod was dug in August last year. Bravo, still unnamed, is mentioned in Eskom planning in November 2006 as ultimately providing 5 400MW (40 percent more than it now will) by 2011 (four years earlier than now planned).

Ingula started off as Project Hotel and is listed in Eskom's November 2006 planning as being at "build" stage, with the same generating capacity and deadline as it has now. Feasibility studies for Project Lima were finished in November 2000 and the government approved it in October last year - its planned capacity has increased 500MW since 2006.

Two gas-powered stations totalling 2 100MW have been at build or almost-build stage since 2006.

Even the nuclear power stations being touted this year are not new.

Eskom has said up to another 20 000MW - the equivalent of about half of its existing total generating power - will come from new nuclear stations. But this has been in the planning cycle for years.

In November 2006, the first nuclear station was at "pre-feasibility" stage and expected to provide 2 000MW. By mid-2007, it was planned for 3 000MW and now it's up to 3 500MW.

It's not a project that Eskom dreamt up in January.

And as for all those smaller projects, like rebuilding the old, closed-down power stations, they have been at "build" stage for so long that surely Eskom has figured out by now how much they'll cost and how long they'll take to fix?

In November 2006, Eskom's "capacity project funnel" planning for new power stations and transmission lines listed 43 projects, 41 of them generating plants and two transmission-line projects. These included 23 power stations somewhere between the "feasibility", "business case", "contract conclusion" and "build" stages (with projects in South Africa to provide 22 500MW), while the rest were still in "pre-feasibility", "opportunity identification" and "research" stages (SA projects planned for 13 400MW).

By July last year, about 12 000MW of generating capacity was reported as being at "build" stage in SA and about 12 500MW more at the "pre-build" stage.

Didn't this planning include proper budgeting?

The R150-billion budget, split over five years, for all of this is in Eskom's 2007 annual report.

In April last year, Eskom gave the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) a new capital expenditure budget - the same one it's using now to back up its request for those nasty price hikes. The current budget plans to spend R343-billion over five years.

How is this justified if all the things being built have been on the planning list for years? Even more extraordinary is that all the big (and presumably expensive) stuff is running way behind schedule.

Are these delayed because Eskom got its sums wrong and is now desperately doing fundraising?

In January, the government told us the electricity price was only 22,1c per kW hour, but the cost of producing it was double this. Interestingly, Eskom's 2007 annual report records the cost of producing electricity as R160,90 per MW hour - that's the equivalent of 16c per kW hour.

In December, the 14,2 percent electricity price increase Nersa granted Eskom meant an average tariff of 22,61c per kW hour for this year, which Nersa said included the new build's cost.

Eskom now wants to replace that 14,2 percent increase with a 53 percent increase. If Eskom gets its way, we will all be billed more to cover up for its incompetence.

Eskom: Lies, Lies, Damned Lies

Eskom is lying to consumers to convince them and the national regulator of the need to implement an astronomical 60 percent tariff hike, according to economist Mike Schussler.

Schussler told an audience at a congress on the electricity crisis in Pretoria on Thursday that Eskom did not supply the cheapest electricity in the world.

"The average Eskom residential tariffs are 274 percent higher than those charged by Eskom for power sold to our neighbours," he said.

The congress was held at the launch of trade union Solidarity's institute for constitutional and labour law, which will serve as a platform to protect the constitution.

Schussler tore into a commonly used Eskom graph, compiled from research conducted by London consulting group NUS, used to show that South Africa's electricity was a whopping 75 percent cheaper than the next country, Canada.

Eskom has often claimed that South Africa has the cheapest electricity in the world.

"South Africa does not have the cheapest electricity in the world - a carefully selected group of industrial countries was used rather than any developing countries," he said.

Schussler said 10 other countries out of a survey of 55 countries had lower household electricity tariffs in dollar terms.

These countries included developing countries such as Argentina, Russia, India, China and Paraguay.

Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica recently said that should the proposed electricity price hike be finalised, South Africa would still have the cheapest electricity in the world.

Not so, said Schussler.

"South African household rates are in the bottom third of international rates, but if electricity tariffs are implemented, we may end up having some of the most expensive electricity in the world, even more expensive than France."

Schussler said that in the 27 EU countries, coal - the cheapest form of fuel - composed only 22,5 percent of all primary sources when generating energy.

He said natural gas and nuclear sources were the more commonly used sources of fuel.

Schussler said this was because the world was moving to cleaner energy sources, despite those costing more than coal.

"However, on average, fossil fuels (coal) comprise 93 percent of the resources used to produce electricity in South Africa," he said, explaining why those countries paid so much for electricity.

Schussler said that according to Eskom's 2007 annual report, the price of electricity sold to both industrial and international clients were below the cost of production.

"For more than 11 years Eskom has sold electricity at below cost to international customers."

Schussler said that according to Statistics South Africa, household electricity prices for metropolitan areas went up by 9,8 percent over the last year ending in February 2008.

This meant that yet again electricity price increases exceeded the average inflation rate in South Africa.

Solidarity spokesperson Jaco Kleynhans said that in those 11 years when Eskom sold electricity at below cost there was a loss of R3,3-billion, which South African consumers paid for.

"These figures prove that South African households have been subsidising Eskom's other clients for years.

"This is unacceptable and Solidarity will do everything in its power to oppose any electricity price increase higher than the inflation rate.

"This means that no additional increases must be approved for this year, since an increase of more than 14 percent has already been granted," he said.

Independent engineer and former Eskom employee Andrew Kenny said the reason for the electricity crisis was simple: Eskom and the government failed to build power stations when it was obvious that the country would need them.

Kenny said the immediate cause of the problem - which was seen at the start of the year - was problems with the coal supply.

"Coal supplies ran dangerously low to please Eskom's financial manager."

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

SA has failed people of Zim as told by a Black man

In 1991, a prominent African leader stood up against injustice in a neighbouring land. “The cry for freedom, as well as the cry for justice, stops at no border,” he declared.

That leader was Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe. He was speaking in Harare, opening the Commonwealth meeting that would decide to begin lifting the people-to-people sanctions that had been imposed against South Africa.

“As you stand on Zimbabwean soil,” President Mugabe said, “only a stone’s throw away from South Africa, the world expects us to spare no effort in helping to achieve an outcome there which will bring comfort to the oppressed people of South Africa”.

It is now well past time that South Africa returned the favour. Quiet diplomacy is dead. One of Africa’s brightest hopes has turned into the continent’s most dismal failures. In an era in which our continent is meant to be embarking on an African Renaissance, Zimbabwe is both an obstacle and an embarrassment.

President Thabo Mbeki’s policy of “quiet diplomacy” in Zimbabwe has finally been denounced as a disaster by world leaders. The criticism has extended beyond muted signs of displeasure to condemnation.

Senior ANC leaders have urged Mr Mbeki to alter his stance, while MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has expressed a desire for South Africa to be replaced as mediator in the crisis.

It is worth examining what effects this policy, which has led Mr Mbeki to claim there is no electoral crisis in Zimbabwe, has had on the country.

Zimbabwe, once one of the healthiest economies in Africa, has been plunged into a crisis that worsens every day. Inflation stands at over 100,000 per cent, and is predicted to hit the 1.5 million per cent mark by the end of the year.

Its healthcare system has failed, with many children orphaned by an Aids crisis, which Mr Mbeki refuses to take seriously. Political violence, intimidation and corruption remain endemic. None of this has been ameliorated by South Africa’s diplomatic efforts.

This policy has resulted in strengthening Dr Mugabe’s regime and other countries’ desire to effectively address the plight of the Zimbabwean people.

By indulging Mugabe’s insistence that the criticisms levelled against him are part of a neo-colonial plot, President Mbeki has granted the man a legitimacy that he would not otherwise have.

It is never quite clear to anyone precisely what quiet diplomacy is meant to accomplish. Is it supposed to bring about a fresh round of elections — free and fair this time round? Is it meant to bring about a transfer of power to the MDC or within a “reformed” Zanu-PF? Is it meant to bring about some kind of government of national unity?

South Africa’s treatment of Zimbabwe’s opposition has been shameful. President Mbeki’s public embraces of Mugabe and his Zanu-PF cronies contrasts sharply with his studied avoidance of Mr Tsvangirai.

The ANC’s unswerving loyalty to its fellow liberation government has undermined any claim it might have wished to make as to the even-handedness of its approach. This, of course, reflects the ANC’s attitude towards political opposition more generally.

The tragedy has been that it is in the interest of all to stand firm in condemnation of the actions of the Zimbabwean government. It lacks the economic and military clout to seriously threaten its international critics.

There is everything to gain in pragmatic terms by supporting reform in a country that has demonstrated such economic potential, and a moral mandate to criticise Mugabe’s corrupt despotism.

A far better response would have been the more robust one. Standing up to the Zimbabwe government would have limited their ability to manoeuvre diplomatically and politically, making it harder for them to acquiesce in the current crisis.

Had South Africa been firmer from the outset in dealing with the regime and challenging its actions, it might have been able to limit the machinations of Zanu-PF and the generals now lining up to try and succeed Mugabe.

A tough stance that refused to indulge Mugabe’s delusions might not wake him up to reality, but his isolation would afford him less political protection than he currently has.

This is not to advocate a US-style hawkish diplomacy against Zimbabwe. That would be entirely inappropriate for the situation and the country, and would have a very dubious prospect of success.

Rather, to stand up to Zimbabwe would involve stronger words supported by resolute action, a refusal to indulge Mugabe’s fantasies, and joining the rest of the world in the sanctions they have placed on the regime.

The world currently awaits the results of this most contentious of Zimbabwean elections. A change of stance from President Mbeki might go miles in delivering a resolution. Let’s hope it’s not too late.

The South African government should tell Mugabe that the human rights abuses, police brutality, arbitrary arrests and beatings of opposition politicians have to stop. These actions should remind South Africans of the worst days of apartheid.

Story by Donald Mogeni

Monkeys at the wheel

We know that under ANC rule, criminals in South Africa have free reign and few places are safe, but when the top of a freaking MOUNTAIN is not safe, how bad does it need to get before the pathetic morons wake up!

This is the reality of the ‘new’ South Africa, Mandelatopia, the liberal West’s love child, where the grand scheme of a black utopian society was pushed into existence kicking and screaming, the premise being that, given the chance, blacks could create a glorious ‘rainbow nation’, a model democracy, on par with white majority countries.

After all, liberals maintained, blacks are equal to whites in every way. Wrong!

Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not talking about skin pigment, I am referring to cultural parity.

Liberals believe African and European cultures are/were equal. That is just stupid. To expect people barely out of the Stone Age just 300 years ago to be on par with whites culturally and mentally is like saying a donkey is the same as a horse 'cuz they kinda look the same.

Whites were thousands of years ahead, culturally, emotionally and intellectually, had already achieved great technical advancements and reached a far higher level of enlightenment. At that exact point, blacks were in loin cloths, hadn't invented the wheel, the bow and arrow or even a written language to name but three things.

Perhaps, those technical achievements were a task too far. How about knives and forks then? Even the Chinese had chop-sticks.

So what happened?

Through the 70s, 80s and 90s, being an anti-apartheid activist became a fad and eventually through sanctions, propaganda and misinformation, the white regime finally conceded power. A competent government (not without its faults) was forced out and replaced with a terrorist, communist, Marxist, racist, black nationalist party. Yeah, that was a better plan.

Now, like anybody knows. You can take a monkey out of the bush but you cannot take the bush out of a monkey.

What the last 14 years of South African history has shown is that the Great Liberal Experiment has failed and instead an exercise in “How to take a functioning First World country and turn it into a shithole in under 14 years” was accomplished.

It is noteworthy to add at this point, that many of those liberals and anti-apartheid activists have disappeared, left the country, or turned against their former pet project, the ANC and the 'Rainbow Nation". Twenty thousand people a year die for their error in judgement.

You see, while you can dress up a monkey and train it to drive a car, the monkey doesn’t really understand what a car is and where it is supposed to go.

That’s where we are today. The monkey has driven off the cliff and has no idea how to put things back together.

SA ups Table Mountain security to fight crime

Fifty murders per day fails to stir a response from the ANC gubbermunt.

But, a few tourists being mugged on Table Mountain, now, eish, that’s seriaass.

To the ANC, the argument is simple. No tourists = no money. Hau, not good.

And because tourists mean mo’ money for the gubbermunt, no expense is spared in ensuring their safety.

Too bad the locals are not worth the same effort.

There are even calls for ‘deploying the army’ no less. The army is good enough to protect visitors but too expensive to protect the locals who pay for them to play pretend soldiers when they could be put to good use manning road-blocks, searching cars, or guarding neighbourhoods. There is no method to the ANC madness.

- - - - -

CAPE TOWN - Authorities are boosting security at South Africa's Table Mountain to fight crime that has caused a drop in tourist numbers, a Cape Town city official said on Thursday.

Councilor Simon Grindrod said the mountain's Signal Hill area -- popular with lovers seeking a secluded spot or tourists wanting unparalleled views across Table Bay -- will have 24-hour security in place from May 13.

The new measures include foot patrols, closed-circuit TV, panic buttons, motion detectors and increased lighting.

"South Africa is at the cusp of its biggest tourism draw card in its history, the 2010 Soccer World Cup," Grindrod said in a statement.

"It sends the wrong signal when we pack up and leave an attraction simply because of the threat of crime. Let us stand up and find a solution," he said, adding private security companies Chubb and Fidelity would provide their services for free as part of the new plan.

Some 1.5 million people visit Signal Hill every year, but increasing crime has seen access curbed significantly. Viewing will now be extended to 1:00am, Grindrod said.

South Africa, which has among the world's worst statistics for violent crime outside a war zone, is battling perceptions of being an unsafe destination ahead of the 2010 World Cup.

Crime on Table Mountain, with hikers and cyclists providing easy pickings for muggers, has prompted calls for the army to be deployed.

Only 0,1% ever return

Between 12 000 and 13 000 South Africans move to Australia each year and more than 750 000 have relocated to London.

The number of South Africans wanting to move abroad has risen sharply this year, according to emigration consultants -- and they say Jacob Zuma and Eskom are to blame.

South Africa is afflicted by the world's biggest skills exodus and has the worst skills shortages of 55 countries, according to last year's Competitiveness Yearbook and Productivity SA.

The country is particularly short of engineers, ranking last in this category and not all those leaving are white, the manager of Afriforum's "come home" campaign, Alana Bailey, says.

A third of emigrés who have contacted her organisation about returning to South Africa are black. Last month more than 11 000 South Africans flocked to the Opportunities Australian Expo at Gallagher Estate in Johannesburg in search of greener pastures. The expo was designed to put skilled South Africans directly in touch with Australian employers.

Four emigration companies said the numbers seeking their services had more than doubled over the past month.

"The Eskom crises and Zuma being elected president of the ANC are the main causes of people's uncertainty about the country's future," said Bruce Sherman, general manager of Immigration Unit's South African branch.

"We recently had seminars in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg attended by hundreds of people," Sherman said. "At the Johannesburg seminar we had to turn 100 people away because the venue was too small for all those that showed up."

Gary Chapman, MD of ACN Consultants in Johannesburg, said the number of would-be emigrants who had approached his company had doubled since the beginning of the year.

Chapman, an Australian-qualified immigration lawyer, said he had detected a new sense of urgency among clients. "Normally people just want to find out about the process of emigration at first. But lately people are adamant -- they've decided, and as soon they get their visas they're gone."

Australia is the number one destination for South African emigrants, with between 12 000 and 13 000 people moving there permanently or temporarily each year, Chapman said. Only 0,1% ever return.

Australian government statistics estimate that 75 000 South Africans permanently relocated to Australia between 1995 to 2005.

The South African Marketing Research Association has described Australia as the biggest threat to South Africa's skilled workforce.

The Australian government has launched various campaigns in recent months to recruit skilled South Africans, including a specific campaign to poach police officers in October last year and a drive to recruit engineers on the mines.

Statistics released by the South African High Commission in the United Kingdom indicate that in 2006, between 750 000 and 1,4-million South Africans were living in London alone.

There are no recent government statistics on the number and categories of South Africans emigrating, but the Engineering Council of South Africa said about 300 qualified engineers leave South Africa every year.

A Centre for Global Development study, published last year, indicated that about 65 000 African-born medical doctors (about 20% of total) and 70 000 African-born professional nurses (10% of total) were working abroad in developed countries in 2000.

The skills shortage has a crippling effect on government. A Centre of Skills Development and Training report last October indicated more than 320 000 vacant positions in local and provincial government in December 2006 - 28% of the government workforce.

South African Man and Woman are Top Earners in Australia

South Africa-born Allan Moss, who heads up Macquarie Bank - is now Australia's highest paid CEO, having earned more than A$33m (R195m) in 2007.

Moss is widely credited with having turned Macquarie Bank from a minor player into an international powerhouse.

Such is the respect Moss has accrued over the years that he has acquired the title "Sage of Sydney", some labelling him an Australian Warren Buffet.

He is known for his humility and "bumbling professor" image, but underneath all this is a business genius who has managed to outwit many an international competitor.

Another success story is
South African born Gail Kelly, who has now become the most highly paid businesswomen in Australia and is ranked by Fortune magazine as one of the top 50 most powerful women in the world. She is also the first woman to head a top-ten listed Australian company.

Kelly immigrated to Australia in 1997 to join the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and worked her way through the ranks to the point where she will be taking over as CEO of Westpac Bank in February next year.

According to Oz-LifeStyle.com agency head, Mike Stowe, individuals such as Allan Moss and Gail Kelly represent the pinnacle of South African immigrant achievements, but they are not alone.

"In fact, the average 457 Visa skilled migrant's salary of A$70 000 (R413 000) indicates that the typical South African immigrant is likely to be an above average performer when it comes to earnings. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average Australian salary is A$57 000."

Faced with growing skills shortages - combined with an unemployment rate of approximately four percent - Australian businesses have increasingly sought qualified South Africans. Australia's robust economy, high GDP growth and low inflation and public debt, have meant that there are simply not enough Australians to fill job vacancies.

"South Africans are sought after by Australian firms because they possess a high standard of education along with a good work ethic, proficiency in English, and excellent industry or corporate training.

"Australian employees also know that South Africans adapt well to the Ozzie lifestyle and culture. Our warm climate, geographic beauty and diversity, suburbs, shopping centres, world class education and medical standards - are very similar." says Stowe.

Employment agencies throughout Australia offer countless job opportunities for South Africans, especially in "priority" fields.

"These 'priority' jobs are identified in Australia's immigration program. At present, there is an urgent need for people in IT (project and design programmers), retail (management and supervisors), the medical field, mining (engineers and surveyors), defence, industry (abattoir supervisors and workers, project and electrical engineers) and all trades." says Stowe.

The Australian Department of Immigration & Citizenship (DIAC), announced earlier this year that people with trade skills were needed most, but also listed chartered accountants, medical professionals, welders and hairdressers as other skills that were in short supply.

Souf Efriken Vernacular: Lesson #101 for foreigners

Now that so many Saffas are residing overseas, the locals may seemed perplexed when overhearing some of our strange vernacular while we talk around a braai, er, I mean..barbie..er, barbeque.

Being in Aus, I have enough of a hard time accepting ‘trainers’ to mean takkies, and a ‘ute’ to mean a bakkie. Damn, don’t these Aussies know how to speak proper English?

I must say though, their terms are quite colourful too. The Aussies refer to a man’s swimming costume (the Speedo kind) as 'budgie smugglers'. Too much info there buddy. We, Souf Efrikans, on the udder hand Darren, call ours ‘ostrich smugglers’, ifyaknowhatimean.

In the interests of promoting international harmony and facilitating assimilation of all of us one million Souf Efrikens into those foreign societies, a list has been compiled below which should help the locals begin to understand our lingo.

- - -

Ag: Pronounced like ‘ach’ in German. Clear your throat when you get to 'g'! "Ag, no man" - sign of irritation. Many purposes. Like reading this post, ag nee, man.
Aikona
: No, never, not on your life.
Babbelas: ('Bub-be-las'). A hangover. Normally referring to a pretty damn bad hangover!
Befok: Wild, crazy, excellent, great! This is used in two ways: "He went befok" (he lost it completely!) or "that's befok!" (that's awesome!).
Bliksem
: Strike, hit, punch. "I'm going to bliksem you!" Can also be used as follows: "Bliksem! (Damn!) That was a good game of rugby!". A popular term.
Boytjie
: Little boy, or can be used as in: "He's quite a boytjie" - (he's quite the guy!)"
China: A friend, buddy, mate. Very popular term. Can also be used aggressively, as in: "Are you giving me kak, china? - are you giving me shit, mate?"
Dinges
: ('Din-gus') a thingamabob, a wotzit or a whatchamacallit.
Doff
: Stupid, idiot. It can also be used as a noun. "You doffie" - you stupid ass!
Dop
: An alcoholic drink.
Dwaal: To be blank, a state a person gets into sometimes, walking around like a zombie. He’s in a ‘dwaal’.
Eina (ay-nah): Ouch! Widely used. Derived from Afrikaans. Said usually a lot after stubbing toe.
Gesuip
('Ge-sayp'): Drunk.
Graze
: Means “to eat"! "Let's go get something to graze".
Howzit?
(or hoesit?"): A greeting, equate with the Aussie “G’day”.
Izzit?
: Used in place of "is it really?"
Just now: An immense source of amusement for foreigners - it means "very soon", "eventually", or "never". If someone says he will do something "just now" it could be in 10 minutes or tomorrow. Or maybe he won't do it at all.
Kak
: Shit. And used in the same way.... "Don't talk kak - Don't give me kak".
Klap
(klah-p): A slap - "Give him a good snot-klap if he gives you kak".
Lekker
: An Afrikaans word meaning ‘nice’, this word is used by all language groups to express approval.
Lightie
: a youngster.
Mampara
: A fool.
Moffie: A wimp, pansie, naff, weakling, a queer, a gay person.
Oke
(or ‘ou’): A guy, chap, bloke.
Park off
: To chill out - sit down and relax - "Let's go park off at the beach tonight.
Robots
: Yes, it's our term for traffic lights! In my view the correct term. 'Traffic lights' is too long.
Rock Up
: To show up, to arrive - "What time should we rock up?"
Snot-klap
: A bitch-slap, to hit someone very hard.
Scale
: To steal.
Shame
: Very common and highly confusing to foreigners: A hugely popular South African expression. "Ag shame, look how cute that baby is!" or "Shame, that's really sad".
Slap chips
: When French Fries are thick and long and don't go crispy in the oil - they are soft and stodgy.
Stroppy
: Being in a bad mood.
The moer in - (roll the ‘r’): Very angry - "You make me the fokken moer in!".
Voetsek: Get lost, buzz off.

Skilled professionals are deserting in droves

As Mbeki tries to bring a sense of direction to the issues troubling South Africans, it has emerged that large numbers of skilled professionals are considering leaving the country.

This was confirmed by estate agents, removal companies and immigration consultants.

One of them, emigration lawyer Eden Joubert, said people inquiring about quitting South Africa were "split across the race spectrum".

Many of them were highly qualified professionals, including engineers, who had a potential to start a new life in another country with ease.

Robert Wakeling, of the 4G consulting and international technical recruitment agency, said demand for South African engineers in the international market had doubled in the past five years. "The skills pool in the country is getting smaller," he said.

The Seeff Properties Group had experienced a rush of people looking for evaluation of their properties this year, according to chairperson Samuel Seeff. His company had received 50 percent more inquiries compared to the same period last year.


"I believe there is a negative sentiment brought about by uncertainty of what the future holds," said Seeff.

Ronald Ennik, managing director of Pam Golding Properties, said the company had seen a rise in evaluations in the market in 2008 - "but we cannot say this is because people want to leave the country".

Joubert said many of his clients had lost confidence in the government. "People are worried about the future of their children, their properties and generally about their lifestyles," he said.

Carla Rodrigues-Schoeman, co-ordinator of Master Movers International, said that since 2004 the company had issued over 700 quotations to clients wanting to move abroad. "Most of these people are skilled, middle to upper class. Some are doctors, veterinarians, boiler makers and engineers - mostly whites."

King International Movers general manager Rolf Lamers concurred. "Things have suddenly picked up in the export shipments. We are currently doing four times as many jobs as we did in January of the past year," he said.

Lamers added that many of his clients had cited the current power crisis as a major contributing factor. "It is a story of doom and gloom if you look at who these people are," he said.

"Although all my clients are overwhelmingly English-speaking white folks, there are coloureds and Indian professionals moving abroad as well."

But Martin Westhuizen, managing director of Pickfords International Moving and Relocation, said people were increasingly moving abroad for better opportunities and lifestyles. "A number of these people ... keep their properties and are still returning home," he noted.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Racism alive in South Africa

Ok, ok, I saw the title above roll across the Newsreel today and thought, bah, same old same old.

But I was tempted to see whether this liberal-of-most-liberal uber crappy ‘news service’ could be objective for once and tell it like it is.

After all, it has been 14 years and things must have changed, right?. They’ve been spewing the same old anti-White shite for years and I thought, maybe it's my lucky day, let’s have a peek.

Well, the first clue should have been the author's name, a Mohammed Allie (had to laugh..no, not related to the boxer), obviously non-white and sticking to the well-worn mantra. Blame the Whiteys. The Whiteys are at fault. The Whiteys cannot accept change, blah, blah.

Sending in old Allie to comment on racism is akin to asking Exxon-Mobil if there is still oil in Alaska. A fait accompli.

He mentions two incidents: the fellow who quite rightly chooses whom he will allow on to his property and the UFS pissing video. Hmm, one wonders, where’s the mention of the Black Journos Forum meeting for blacks only’? Where’s the mention of affirmative action and BEE which is the purest form of racism? Nope. Not our Allie. It is Whitey’s fault. Whitey refuses to 'transform'.

If you can stand to read his crap, click on the title above. I'm going to find a bucket.

Truth 0: BBC Bias Against Whites 1

They speak 'boer' Down Under, don't they?

(Click on image to enlarge)

That's right. The ability to speak fluently in Afrikaans will earn you 5 points towards your entry points tally into Australia.

You may not be appreciated in your land of birth but it seems the Aussies understand the value of the Afrikaans culture.

Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying

JOHANNESBURG - A South African union was holding a public conference protesting against the country's power crisis on Thursday when the lights went out.

"It was symbolic," Solidarity union spokesman Jaco Kleynhans said.

The Solidarity trade union was hosting a briefing on its possible class action suit against troubled state utility Eskom over job cuts when it was reminded of South Africa's power woes.

Delegates were left in the dark when Eskom implemented its daily blackouts that have caused traffic chaos and darkened homes.

South Africans are seething over a power crisis the government has warned could take years to resolve.

Eskom produces about 95 percent of South Africa's electricity and is spending billions of dollars to expand its generating capacity as it struggles to cope with rising demand from the country's growing economy.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Half SA's medics want to leave

Almost half the health professionals questioned in a recent study say they are likely to leave South Africa in the next five years, and one quarter want to leave within two years.

"Emigration is set to continue and even accelerate," concludes the report by the Southern African Migration Project (SAMP), of which the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (Idasa) is a member.

"There can be few professions where practitioners are as unhappy with their government department. The level of dissatisfaction is such that it may seem difficult for government to know where to begin. Certainly, it could begin with itself."

The migration project is an international network of organisations researching migration in southern Africa. Other than Idasa, which released the findings yesterday, members include the Centre for Social Research at the University of Malawi and the faculty of social sciences at the University of Botswana.

The researchers questioned doctors, who made up 44 percent of the sample, nurses, dietitians, psychologists, pharmacists and dentists.

About 29 000 people on a medical database were invited to respond by email, so the survey was biased towards those with Internet access. Information about 1 702 professionals was collected.

About 70 percent of the respondents were white, a legacy of how apartheid favoured white people in the training of health professionals, says SAMP. The "extreme" levels of dissatisfaction cut across race and gender, however.

Australia and New Zealand topped the list of countries respondents named as places where their lives would be better, with 77 percent ranking these first, alongside North America, also named first by 77 percent. Europe was favoured by 72 percent, while the Middle East found favour particularly among dentists and nurses.

Most respondents across all race categories said they would go to Australia or New Zealand as a first option, followed by Britain, Europe, and the US and Canada.

Almost one in three black respondents also felt they would do better in other southern African countries than in South Africa.

The researchers found that "in sum, it is alarming that South Africa's health professionals find satisfaction in little except their interaction with their colleagues".

"While their views of living and working in South Africa are negative, they hold positive opinions about other places."

(Read more here)

Canada: Doors slam shut

Skilled workers lose big under recently announced 2008 immigration plan, while temporary residents gain new chances.

Recently Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Diane Finley tabled her annual report with parliament announcing that Canada will be accepting between 240,000 and 265,000 new immigrants in 2008.

Although Minister Finley acknowledged our aging and shrinking population in her report, she will not be bringing in any more immigrants than we have in the past.

Her target is pretty much the same number that we let in last year, i.e., 251,000, and is not too far off of our 10-year average of 225,000 new immigrants.

However, what makes this year’s numbers interesting is the distribution of those immigrant visas, the way that immigrants will be chosen, and by whom.

Clearly, the big winners will be those who apply under one of our provincial nominee programs. These applicants are not chosen by the federal government, but by a particular province based on its own selection criteria. In 2008, their numbers will rise dramatically from 13,336 to as high as 22,000. This suggests that the feds are becoming more comfortable with the provinces choosing our future citizens. Winners will also include up to 2,000 more nannies and up to 7,000 more sponsored spouses and common-law partners, etc.

At whose expense will these visas be issued?

Losers will include parents and grandparents of Canadians who will miss out on up to 2,000 visas. Refugees who are landed from within Canada may drop from 15,892 to 9,400. Those accepted on humanitarian grounds will also feel the hurt when their numbers drop from 10,223 to as little as 6,900.

Surprisingly, the absolute biggest losers will be the professionals who apply under our federal skilled workers class. They could see their numbers drop from 106,000 to as few as 67,000. This hammering of 39,000 skilled workers is contemplated at the same time that the minister declares that “immigration will be a key source of labour growth in the future.”

The department will partially offset this drop through the creation of a Canadian experience class, which will allow up to 12,000 individuals with Canadian skilled work experience, or with a combination of Canadian work and studies, to apply for permanent residence from within Canada. No additional details are available.

This shift from our points-based system, which attempts to predict the employability of an intending immigrant, to a system that relies on actual Canadian employability may be the wave of the future. If so, that would suggest we will be increasingly turning toward our foreign students and foreign workers already here as our pool of future immigrants.

If this is what’s planned, this would be a good thing. Let’s wait and see.

Torn in the new South Africa

In January 2004, expatriate Bronwyn McIntosh wrote an Internet article entitled Dangers Of South Africa: Fear Of Crime.

That October she was denounced as a racist by President Thabo Mbeki in his weekly column.

Now she is writing a book based on the correspondence that ensued with hundreds of people around the world.


"I will always be split in two - did I make the right decision? And I will ever have a life that straddles the ocean - a foot on each continent. I will not ever be completely whole again."


These were my words written in an article four years ago. I wrote of feelings personal to myself and my experience, never for a moment thinking it would trigger an emotional deluge.

The passage is the one quoted by most expats who correspond with me. It aptly communicates feelings that never leave them. A continuous stream of e-mails arrive weekly for me, from all over the world. The ebb and flow depends on the time of year and events on the political and economic stage.

In four years, this has never stopped.
Many describe intense emotional upheaval upon leaving South Africa (and the experiences that led to their decision). They feel torn at "having" to leave and their families are torn apart by their departure.

Others remain in South Africa (and want to leave) but describe their ambivalence - they ask me for help and guidance with their decision. Their desire to leave is triggered by a fear for their future.

Fear fuels most of the departures. The major fear is crime - most people have experienced violent crime and been touched by it in a myriad of ways. They tell me that these days, the fences are higher, the steel bars and safety doors have multiplied and are stronger and the criminals are becoming cleverer. Despite all of that, people feel that it's simply "a matter of time" before crime will affect their family and they want to stay ahead of the statistics.

South Africa draws a passionate response from people. Students, tourists, businesspeople who've visited the country for a short period of time write about how deeply the visit affected them and, in some instances, changed their life path. These people want to return.

Others write and thank me for changing the course of their life because they read my article and decided not to go and live in South Africa. Do I feel good about that? No. That was not my intent.

When I receive letters asking for information about visiting the country, I encourage them to go and see South Africa. I explain that I haven't lived there in six years and I cannot give them advice about safety. I also tell them that South Africa is a unique country and culture and they will fall in love with it.

(Read more here)

Afrikaans to be taught in Dubai

South African children in Dubai will soon be able to do Afrikaans as a subject.

When the new school year starts in September, the Scholars International Academy, a new school, will open its doors to children of all nationalities - and they can take Afrikaans as a subject.

There will also be four South African teachers, including one who will introduce rugby and cricket to the youngsters.

Manda Hamman, public relations and marketing officer at the new school, was in Pretoria on holiday.

She said there were about 50 000 South Africans in Dubai. So far about 100 children have enrolled at the school, 15 of them Afrikaans-speaking.

"It is an international school which an Indian woman, Aparna Verma, has built on seven acres. It is on the border of Dubai and Sharjah.

On the first day the parents will plant palm trees on the school grounds and a plate with each child's name will be attached to the trees," she said.

Using a UK curriculum, they believe in mother-tongue education. However, every pupil must also study Arabic.

And they will be able to have two periods a week of Afrikaans as a subject.

Hamman said there would be a beginner's level, where the young ones (children have to attend school from three years of age) will learn Afrikaans rhymes and songs. From Grade 1 they will be taught how to read and write it.

Older non-Afrikaans speaking pupils will also do the entry level, but the Afrikaans teacher will give additional classes after school.

Hamman said there was so much pressure from Afrikaans parents to have the language as a subject in schools that the Scholars International Academy realised that a need existed for it in this Arab country.

"Every nationality represented at the school will also get a special day where they can introduce the other children to their culture. They can perform songs, dances, eat traditional food and wear traditional clothes," Hamman said.

Two of the South African teachers will be class teachers, another will teach drama and the fourth, a male, will teach physical education, rugby and cricket.

The school has even distributed pamphlets in Afrikaans.When Hamman went to Dubai with her husband eight years ago, she never expected to become an "Afrikaans matriarch".

Two years later, she and a friend started the South African Women's Association, helping other South African women adapt and make friends.

Two years ago, Hamman and an Afrikaans dominee started an Afrikaans church. It has now grown from 14 members to 300.

Maoris 'planned war on whites'

Now, imagine the 'outrage' if the heading had said "Whites planned war on Maoris". Oh, the indignation.. and the white-guilt tripping that would follow.

But, since double-standards are the norm for the main-stream media and liberals, in this PeeCee-gone-mad-world, it is ok for these people to be racist because only Whites can be racist, remember? Tut, tut. Try and keep up with the program.

- - - - -

Wellington - Activists arrested during an anti-terrorist sweep across New Zealand were planning a war in which white people would die, according to documents released on Wednesday.

Police arrested 17 people on Monday and recovered several weapons during a series of raids targeting Maori and environmental activists.

At a bail hearing for one of the arrested men, Jamie Lockett, prosecutors said he had sent a series of text messages saying he intended to launch a war.

The messages, intercepted by police, were said to include "White men are going to die in this country" and "I'm declaring war on this country very soon."

Lockett was described in court as an active participant in a group that had the potential to make a violent impact on New Zealand society.

Prominent Maori activist Tame Iti was also preparing to declare war, according to police documents reported in the Dominion Post newspaper.

The documents, disclosed by police to lawyers for the accused, showed authorities had been monitoring Iti for 18 months, videoing his training camps and intercepting text messages, the newspaper quoted a source as saying.

Iti was said to have stated three months ago that he had stopped all his other activities "to make war on New Zealand".

The source described the movement as "comical" and "amateurish" with the group buying military uniforms from an army surplus store.

Police Association president Greg O'Connor said the operation was "triggered by credible intelligence of a serious threat to New Zealand's safety and security.

"We need to realise there are fringe elements in our society, as in all others, that draw inspiration and encouragement from extremist activities overseas that most of us would find horrifying."

Police spokesperson Jon Neilson said although weapons and "other armaments" had been seized during the raids, police would not go into specifics nor confirm media reports that a napalm bomb was among the contraband.

Most of those arrested face firearms charges.

African Index confirms SA is unsafe

Gee whiz, who wudda thunk it, huh? A report puts us at numero uno, as the most dangerous place in Africa outside war zones.

- - - - -

South Africa being the third least safe place out of 48 countries on the African continent, indicates that SA is critically unsafe, the Democratic Alliance said.

The party's spokesperson on Safety and Security MP Dianne Kohler Barnard said that the Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance, which ranked SA as third most dangerous after "war zone" countries Sudan and Burundi indicated that what citizens of this country had been crying out for years, was the truth. [Well, exclude the "war zones" and we are Number One. Yay, go SA!]

"South Africa's safety and security performance is utterly abysmal. The fact that we are just 30 points above the most dangerous country in Africa, and right now, probably the world, must act as a loud wake-up call to the Minister of Safety and Security." [He is busy sleeping "getting cleverer". Sshhh...]

She added that countries including Congo, Angola, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Liberia were far safer in terms of safety and security. [That's right. Even Zimbabwe with Mad Bob and his militia running wild, Zim is "far safer". Way to go, ANC.]

"Although the government will continue to throw money at the crime problem, such an approach has had only limited success," Barnard said. [Start with the ANC. The problem will fix itself.]

She said it was likely that companies and individuals would continue protecting their own security themselves. [Well, the State won't. Everyone for himself. It irked me writing "state" with a capital letter.]

"This threatens to spawn a vigilante environment... if a spate of violent robberies and killings of foreigners is repeated during the 2010 Soccer World Cup, the negative consequences for future tourism and foreign investment will be severe." [D'ya figure? Can you spell "disaster"?]

Barnard said the DA had made suggestions to government to address the shortage of detectives, and to increase facilities and equipment for the South African Police, in order to combat crime. [Speak to the hand because the ANC face don't wanna hear.]

"ANC spin-doctors are already attempting to denigrate the Index, stating that there is this hullabaloo over crime, and that South Africa is one of the safest countries in the world - for the ministers and their cronies perhaps, but most certainly not for the rest of us," Barnard said. [Like Mbeki said, "Crime, what crime? His bodyguards haven't seen any crime?"]