Sunday, October 18, 2009

Full marks to Cosatu on new "arms deal scandal"

By Michael Trapido (Richmark Sentinel)

"Cosatu has called for a full investigation into the A400M military transport plane deal, which will reportedly cost the taxpayer an extra R30 billion.

Spokesman Patrick Craven said on Friday the trade union federation was outraged at what he called "another arms deal scandal" which could cost South Africans R47 billion.

"The deal, negotiated by the Armscor parastatal in 2005, under (former) defence minister Terror Lekota and (former) public enterprises minister Alec Erwin, was for eight A400M military transport aircraft from Airbus at the already exorbitant price of R17 billion," said Craven.

"It has now emerged that no tenders from other companies were sought, and that Armscor has failed to budget for maintenance costs over the life of the aircraft, which have now added R30 billion to the bill."- (Sapa)

While I have problems with Cosatu's approach to many issues I applaud their take on the latest "arms deal scandal".

In it - as with their attack on Eskom - they have demonstrated that their concern for their constituents comes before political loyalties.

At a time when South Africa is reeling from 2 major areas of concern ie lack of service delivery and crime, a major part of the solution to both is being overlooked in the name of expedience.

If we accept that corruption, negligence and mismanagement far outweigh any impact that the global economic crisis is having on government's ability to deal with crime and deliver on promises made at the election then we are on our way to finding the solution.

"Shoot to kill" and calling out the police and troops on protesters are - at best - short term solutions to both of these problems and are not only unfair but in my humble opinion dangerous.

The people that they are being directed at are, in the main, the masses of this country. Many outraged victims of their belief that the government would deliver on promises made to them prior to the election. Some have turned to crime out of sheer desperation while a tiny minority are simply that way inclined.

What are they confronted with? : (This is just a tiny sample)

- Billions upon billions lost in the first arms deal with a point blank refusal to come clean. In other words for big criminals impunity, for them "shoot to kill".

- Horrendous mismanagement of Eskom which results in massive increases being passed onto them and the middle class. Subsidising the electricity of the few that have it while the price of everything they need to survive soars is not protecting the poor by any stretch of the imagination.

- Local government that is totally unaccountable to it's constituents with corruption rife and officials unaccountable sucking up billions upon billions in funds designated for the poor. In Sakhile - not even the tip of the tip of the iceberg - R30 millions just goes walkabouts without an answer as to why nor any soution to the problems facing these people.

Our people.

Instead it's shoot to kill" for the criminals and heavy handed policing for the rest.

Apparently very little initiative when it comes to sorting out the problems and genuine concerns of the residents of this township. Perhaps this was all used up while selecting multi-million rand motor vehicles.

The path to finding the solution to crime and delivery has to start in making people accountable for corruption, negligence and mismanagement. Stopping their successors from carrying on in the same way.

If we don't you will spend billions on persecuting the victims of the major crimes in this country and that is unacceptable.

You will also lay the foundation for something far worse than a bitterly fought election - no elections. In Sakhile already we are seeing the mob dictate who holds office in their neighbourhood.

Hopefully people will start to see sense before this becomes a national trend.

As I repeatedly pointed out during the rioting surrounding xenophobia, the criminal element is not the problem - They are merely taking advantage of circumstances on the ground. The reality is that our masses are living in abject poverty while fat cats are looting everything.

This has got to be stopped.

In this case Cosatu's demand for a full investigation and accounting it is to be endorsed and welcomed.

So too wherever the calls come for accountability and transparency.

We often see it from the opposition and the ANCYL with the YCL and Cosatu also demanding answers.

At his inauguration President Zuma called for criticism which is to the benefit of us all as South Africans.

It's time to assist the President by pointing out the problems and demanding real action to the material concerns.

Make "shoot to kill" and the need to resort to our armed forces redundant.

1 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

Great post!
The more I think about it, the more I feel that White Africans "backed the wrong horse" so to speak. I don't mean "white" big business in SA, but rather the great majority of whites! If we'd backed the SACP/Cosatu after '94, it would've been damn near impossible for the foreign finance/ANC alliance to use us as the scapegoat (target) of the masses here in SA.
Maybe it's not too late, after all, we lost far more of our people fighting imperialism than the tri-partite alliance or even the independent Bantu Nations ever did! Wha's to stop us kicking that stupid Zille's Party out and starting a new Party that will nationalise the mineral wealth (give it to the Bantu Nations) on condition we get a decent sized region of farmland and oher natural resources that will sustain at least one city and a number of towns where we can live in safety!