Friday, August 29, 2008

Robben Island ferry seized over non-payment

Remind me again, what are the ANC policies of replacing capable people with anyone of the darker hue meant to achieve?

The first obvious reason is vote buying. Check.

The second reason was rectifying the imbalances of the past. Ok, check that too.

The third is to stick one up whitey’s nose. Big check there. Payback and all that.

The consequences of those policies? Collapsing services, dysfunctional infrastructure, out of control crime and corruption, in short, anarchy.

No one argues that some measure of redress was necessary but the ANC has thrown the baby out with the bathwater, consequences be damned a la Zimbabwe. It matters more that blacks are employed, not that society functions properly.

Year after year as services wane and waste accumulates, as warning after warning goes ignored, the ANC continues to rumble forward like a runaway train, losing valuable skills and talent in the process. That's not to say that there aren't capable black people to do the work but as we witness the chaos around us, it is obvious that the best people for the job are not being employed. Can we afford to keep going like this?

As we begin to feel the effects of failed affirmative action policies, the ANC refuses to let go of the beast that has been so damaging to our country, both monetarily and racially. The races have never been more polarised.

The ANC mumbles conciliatory nonsense about "phasing it out someday" but that day will never come.
Sniff, sniff, is there an election in the air?

South Africa is the only society in the world where affirmative action is implemented solely in favour of the MAJORITY, not to a quota, but to the total exclusion of a race.

The story below is a case in point where people have been put in positions they should never have been entrusted with, the colour of their skin pigmentation being the only criteria - and we observe more taxpayer money being wasted.

We need to have a moratorium on affirmative action and/or a sunset period for the racist practice to end, say five years, which will have the effect of encouraging skilled people to plan a return to public service and/or to remain on and perhaps also persuade others to return to the country.

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Robben Island's new R26-million ferry has been attached over money owed to boat builder Farocean on the purchase price, the island's museum said.

However the attachment had not forced the cancellation of tours, said Carl Niehaus, the deputy chairperson of the museum council.

"Alternative arrangements have been made and tours continue as normal, weather permitting," he said in a statement. The twin-hulled Sikhululekile, which carries 300 passengers and has a top speed of 27 knots, was launched in February 2008, a year behind schedule.

Niehaus said the museum was working to reverse the attachment "which we believe was excessive and unnecessary". "At issue is the demand from Farocean ... for outstanding payment.

Rim [the museum] is dissatisfied with the number of significant defects on the vessel. "Despite numerous attempts to meet with them to settle the dispute, Farocean did not come to the party.

"As far as Rim is concerned it is state property and should not have been attached." Niehaus said the state attorney had also furnished security, so there was no need to continue with the attachment.

"There have been indications that Farocean is now prepared to meet with us and we await a response from them so that we can settle this matter speedily," he said.

The ferry was one of the key issues in a damning forensic report on the island's finances which surfaced this month. The audit found that the ferry did not even appear on the island's asset register.

Although the Sikhululekile was delivered a year later than scheduled, the contract, signed by now-suspended museum chief executive Paul Langa, made no provision for penalties.

The audit report queried the apparent payment of an extra R1,7-million for the vessel and missing details about the purchase.

Farocean managing director Peter Kuttel told the Mail and Guardian at the time the report emerged that his company had not been paid in full for delivering the ferry.

"The Rim keeps on saying that it doesn't have the money to pay me. I believe it will, though," he said then.

Langa is currently facing disciplinary charges. The island currently has three other ferries in operation, one of them a charter. At peak season last year the island received 1 800 visitors a day.

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