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Category Archives: Envioronment

Jacob’s reply to the Nkandla scandal


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In the last few weeks we have had the report issued by the Public Prosecutor’s office regarding the excessive amount of work done to Jacob Zuma’s private dwelling in KZN.
Apart from the ground not even belonging to the president, and being leased from the local tribal chief, it seems that an amount of over R260 million was spent on upgrading.
The president now claims he didn’t know what was being done to his private residence and therefore why should he have to pay any of the money back!
During my musings while travelling to and from work, I began to wonder how can it be that the person chosen by his political party to run the country, for the good of all citizens, cannot even keep track of what goes on at his own house?

I also thought it was pretty nifty of the president to state in Parliament that his family had paid for their own homes to be built. This is very noble of him. Yet it doesn’t explain how come the tax payers have had to pay for a visitors centre, cattle kraal and chicken run, swimming pool, amphitheatre plus a tuck shop for one of his wives. So the president makes a mistake and addresses parliament “in good faith” and conveniently forgets about all the other items that were being built.

The ANC as a liberation party was against the forceful removal of people from where they had lived for years. District Six is an example of this. Yet when Nkandla needed to be upgraded there were at least three neighbouring families that had to be relocated. The costs of relocating these families ran to R7.9 million!! For that type of money the State could have built a couple of houses for other needy people or even a much needed clinic.
And above all the relocation and setting up of some of the installations involved unlawful actions and constituted improper conduct and maladministration. These did not comply with section 237 of the Constitution.

Will the president stand up and with hand on heart declare that he was once again totally unaware that the very constitution that he swore to uphold, was being flaunted?

Now the president is saying that he should not be held responsible for the upgrade even though he tacitly accepted the implementation of all measures at his residence.

So, if the president doesn’t want to repay just over R240 million as “he didn’t ask for it”, why are we the motorists in Gauteng, expected to repay the funds that were wasted on the e-Toll system linking Pretoria and Johannesburg? The upgrade to the roads should have easily been covered by the BILLIONS that are made from the fuel levies for the purpose of funding road maintenance. The public has from the very start stated that they did not want the e-Toll system as it was not properly thought out and would hurt a lot of people when implemented. The Government has to get money from the e-Toll system as they need to pay back the pension fund the money that was used without obtaining the required permission to do so.

Another bit of my musing had to do with trying to reconcile how Zuma’s architect, Minenhle Makhanya, was paid R16.5 million. I cannot see anything that would justify being charged such a large amount of money. And now I hear he has got another government contract to do some more work for them !! This gravy train just keeps on steaming ahead with no sign of letting up.

 
 

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Pygmy Hippo


Pygmy Hippo

 
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Posted by on 28/03/2014 in Envioronment, Photo

 

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Lioness


Lioness 2

 
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Posted by on 28/03/2014 in Black and White, Envioronment, Game reserve

 

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photo mix


With winter approching it is now the time to get out there and take photos of the changing seasons.

This morning I passed a lane of trees with some brilliant colours but due to running late I had not taken my camera and missed that perfect moment when the light and everything just seemed to come together. I totally forgot that in an emergency I could have wipped out my cell phone (mobile) and hopefully have at least got something to show.

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peace

Tomorrow morning I want to go out and try get some shots in black and white. Could be interesting!

 
 

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photographs of garden birds


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Posted by on 11/05/2013 in Envioronment, Photo, South Africa

 

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Killing Fields of Africa


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While riding to work I do a lot of musing about so many things I hear, read or see that by the time I get to work I have worked out an entire blog. The only problem is that once I am at work I barely touch sides with meetings and JAD sessions taking up most of my time thus leaving me very little time to prepare a blog and upload it. But I suppose I owe my soul to the company and need to give them their pound of flesh J

In the past South Africa was in the forefront of conservation of our wildlife. Nature reserves were established all around the country and the management thereof was of such high quality that South Africa was one of only a handful of countries where the number of animals increased to a very healthy population.

And it is this that now turned our country into a target for poachers. The current focus has been on the slaughter of Rhinos for their horns. The retail price for a large Rhino horn can easily turn a person into an instant millionaire and there is a ready market out there to ensure that a network is set up to smuggle the horns out of Africa to the Far East. The concern now is that as the price of ivory keep increasing that the poachers will increasingly start focusing on slaughtering the herds of Elephants in South Africa.

photo by Ross Warner

photo by Ross Warner

 

In an article by Sheree Bega (Star newspaper) mention is made of between 25 000 and 50 000 elephants being slaughtered in 2011. In 2012 the conflict in various African countries has been the excuse for wholesale slaughter of thousands of Elephants.

As the Elephant population is decimated in the rest of Africa for the tusks that they carry, the poachers are increasingly starting to move south. There has been an increase in poaching in Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe and soon it will spill into South Africa.

Ivory is already being called “white gold” because of the high prices being paid for it.

Poaching used to be done by various populations purely as a means of surviving but those days are now gone. The estimated value of animal trafficking now exceeds R80 billion (R1 = approx. $8) which makes it a thriving business.

Once our population of Elephants has been wiped out the next animal on the list will the Lion population. No amounts of educating people that the various dried parts of a Lion are not of any medicinal value, will the killing of Lions stop.

 
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Posted by on 01/03/2013 in Envioronment, Game reserve, Photo, South Africa

 

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Photographs on Sunday


On Sunday morning I grabbed my camera kit and headed out to the Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary.

It is only 15kms from where I live but I dont get to go there as often as I would like to. The weather was constantly changing between sunlight and overcast which played havoc with my settings. There were quite a few people in the hide by the time I arrived. One lady who was visiting from Holland told me that she was very involved in setting up the sanctuary way back in the early 70’s.

Will upload more pictures later in the day

Whitefaced Duck (dendrocygna viduata)

Whitefaced Duck (dendrocygna viduata)

 

Southern Crowned Crane (balearica regulorum)

Southern Crowned Crane (balearica regulorum)

Knob Billed Duck (sarkidiornis melanotas)

Knob Billed Duck (sarkidiornis melanotas)

Egyptian Goose (alopochen aegyptiacus)

Egyptian Goose (alopochen aegyptiacus)

Blacksmith Plover (vanellus armatus)

Blacksmith Plover (vanellus armatus)

 

 
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Posted by on 25/02/2013 in Envioronment, Game reserve, Photo, South Africa

 

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