You'd think mega-business entities would have someone constantly vetting and screening their websites for broken links, bumps and glitches.
But soooo often I come across bloopers like this one on the Standard Bank Internet banking site. Not good. Read the bottom of the frame: "Please note that there is (sic) additional costs for payment confirmation." Eina.
Several topics have been (some, not without justification)
'done to death' in the media over the last few months. Notably: Polokwane (now
a household name if not exactly a sought-after tourist hot-spot), Zimbabwe, Zumagate, Xenophobic attacks, the ANC 'Youth League' (ANCYL) Conference of bare-bum notoriety and more recently, the broedertwis in the judiciary. (Can someone explain the bizarre ANCYL web URL?)
I'm not going to suggest Eurocentric perspectives or solutions to these various
scenarios. Rather, I observe with mounting dread, that they're symptomatic of
the final death-throes of the once much-vaunted African Humanism, or Ubuntu. Many of the born frees (born post 1994) don't even know what Ubuntu means. Recent surveys indicate
they don’t tolerate well, people outside of their own social or other ‘groups’.
They're thoroughly entrenched in the conspicuous consumption trap of I, Me and
Mine (IMM as I call it). It's all about their latest bling and baubles. They
can perhaps be excused, or forgiven for their cultural disenfranchisement.
But for older black South African people, I'm beginning to think that what
really prevailed was the dictum of 'The enemy of my enemy is my friend'. People
were superficially united in their resistance to the common foe of Apartheid.
With that tenuous thread gone, what we're seeing is actuality. A complete
abandonment of any pretense at being our brother's keeper. Instead we persecute
the brother (and sister) and cast him or her out.
Just yesterday I read the ultimate absurdity. An African 'thinker' is blaming
the likes of Bob Geldof, Bono and former US President Bill Clinton for the
failure of (at least part of) the trillions in aid that's gone down the plug in
Africa in the last 50 years. Rather than accept that corrupt African
politicians, intermediaries and individuals have plundered and pillaged such
aid packages, so little of it has reached the people (to use the de rigueur
phrase in Afri-English) 'on the ground'.
'This, I believe, is the nub of Africa's problems. There's
always someone else to blame. The Colonial powers, Apartheid, the donors, the
United Nations (UN), Chinese enterprise, there will always be a new villain. So long
as people don't accept responsibility for their destiny and do something about
it, the pantomime will continue and the wicked witch of the west will
perpetuate her evil.
Stop protecting, endorsing and collaborating with evil, simply because the
perpetrator of the evil is black. It's OK to stand up and vociferously condemn
wrong, regardless of who is involved in it. That will be the first sign that
the ANC, as a collective, has grown up and matured emotionally.
A simple thought, for Africa in general and the ANC and its allies, in particular: Divorce in your heads, any
connection between criticism and disloyalty. Those who criticise you may have
your interests closer to heart than those who act as your Imbongis
(praise singers). Think about it.
Whew! Just when you think there's no decent service left in the country, you have two experiences from one service provider - both of which leave you slightly amazed because nothing goes wrong.
I've moved home and home office twice in the last two years. Having had (to put it mildly) catastrophic experiences previously with some of the big names, I decided to give the non-aligned and independent Biddulphs a shot. It was a great experience from beginning to end. Prompt attention, punctual arrival, polite workers, no breakages, delivery to new premises on time. Both times I gave each of the workmen involved a hefty tip, in appreciation of a work-ethic and standard seldom found these days. Take a bow folks!
My Oh my! (I'm not any longer allowed to say damn, bugger or anything like that. I was taken heavily to task by a puritanical female reader. So in future I shall have to stick with larny phrases like 'alimentary', 'execrable', and the like).
But - to the point of this post. South African Environmental and Tourism Minister, Marthinus van Schalkwyk a.k.a. 'Kortbroek', (he who sold his soul and the New National Party of which he was - real misnomer - 'Leader', to the ANC), would probably have been shot by his compatriots in the Anglo-Boer War. Declared a 'hensopper' (literally one who surrenders to the enemy with hands up in the air). Turncoat, quisling, toady, other terms might apply equally well in the minds of his betrayed constituents.
Having to suckle daily at the bosom of ANC ideology, I can just imagine how his pseudo-emotional intelligence and behavioural versatility have been stretched. Having to be pleasant to and accept instructions from, people that you once implied you detested, must really take some doing.
But hey, little gets in the way of rabid ambition, for the likes of our Kortbroek. In case you didn't know, the moniker fits with his schoolboy naivete and his freshly scrubbed visage. And perhaps too, his eagerness to obey the teacher. So, having sold his party and electorate down the river in exchange for a Cabinet position, he proceeded to implement (or was told to) some quite sensible environmental legislation.
But click on the article from today's Sunday Times and see if there is indeed a message between the lines. Marthinus van Schalkwyk (pictured alongside) is all too ready to sell his soul for a mess of pottage. Of course, in the face of big business, plensch money, political patronage and the peddling of influence, who could expect the environment, morality or our Kortbroek to stand in the way?
This article didn't get banner headlines. But it reflects an insidious, almost daily, erosion of civilised, democratic consultative processes. I think Robert Mugabe's secretly authored a manual entitled Dictatorship by Stealth - and it's become required reading for the few ANC members who don't sleep their way through Parliament.
The way to handle your obesity is to do something about it. There's a limit to what pin or even chalk-stripe suits can do to create the illusion of a svelte girth. If you haven't got the sense-control and self-discipline to do something about your self-indulgent tongue and taste buds, then at least don't turn yourself into a figure of ridicule - a la our Governor of the Reserve Bank, Tito Mboweni (pictured).
He appears, from all accounts, to have developed a paranoia about photographers snapping him while he mops sweat from his fevered brow. (Could we call it a 'fiscal melt-down' one wonders?) Somewhat reminiscent of Shakespeare's Falstaff, whom the Bard depicted as, 'larding the earth', en route. This latest little tantrum, including asking an event organiser to 'protect' him from a photographer, is nothing short of absurd.
The desperate irony is that the business pages of the Times this morning ran a pic of our camera-shy Gov, taken as a screen shot off - yes, you guessed it - a wide-screen TV. How evil is that? ;-) He's now halfway to being a Zapiro caricature of even his usual plump self.
Get thee to a dietician Tito! And go for counselling about your vanity.
Read the newsie article below about SA Express Airways. Then add to that, the fact that on my flight SA 1702 from Walvis Bay to ORT on 28th May 2008, amid awful thunderstorms, we were told by the Captain, 'Ladies and gentlemen, just to bring you into the loop, we can't get the landing gear down.' That was after we bypassed ORT and started flying large circuits over what appeared to be the Cullinan area. OK, so having watched Aircrash Investigation more times than I care to admit, I knew they could crank the wheels down manually, unless there was a total disaster.
Scary thing is, I have a sneaking suspicion the same Bombardier-Canadair Jet series (approx 50-seater - couldn't find decent res pic of the local one - but this is the same beastie) had experienced a similar event a few months before.
Just too many things going wrong. Is this another Nationwide Airlines in the making? I sincerely hope not.
Maybe the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) needs to probe a bit.