Category Archives: Welfare

Black Education

A bridge too far?

On Thursday last week there was an interesting article in News 24 in which Rabelani Dagada, a lecturer at Wits Business School, and a Programme Director for ICT Governance and Risk Management, told a debate on affirmative action that the apartheid-era Bantu (Black) education was far better than what is now being taught under the new post-apartheid government (ANC).

I went to my good friend Google and Linkin to see who this Wits academic is and from what base he is making these statements. Needless to say I found a man who has walked the walk and is in a position to make this assertion without fear of contradiction or favour.
I have quoted from the news article by News 24 and added some of my own comments in italics.
“It was far better in terms of quality than the education that our kids are receiving nowadays. That is where the problem is”.

And we now have these children finishing school and university with an education that is not up to standard. Pass rates have been dropped to such low levels that you only need to know less than a third of a subject and that okay to pass you. Here in the workplace we have graduates who can barely put a paragraph together in a coherent manner that have English as a subject that was passed in Matric.

“Affirmative action should be about empowerment. The best way to empower is not to take from those who have and give to those who don’t have. It won’t work.”

This statement in various guises has been bandied around for a long time and in various countries. Yet the ANC has seen it fit to ignore this warning and taken as much as they possible could from those who had and kept it for themselves. They didn’t even take the time to consider that there many who had worked very hard to get where they were without the help of the previous government. By giving those who didn’t have, a push through the education system, we have skewed the education which is necessary to take our country into the future.

Dagada said South Africans could only be empowered through proper education.
“After 20 years of democracy, the education levels have plunged. It’s worse than the so-called Bantu education. The best way to do transformation, empowerment is to provide quality education.”

And from Pik Botha at the same function:
Former foreign affairs minister Pik Botha said South Africa, under the ANC’s leadership, had moved away from former president Nelson Mandela’s principles. He said the country’s affirmative action policies were mainly hurting the black majority.

“How much further down must all of us go before we say this is enough now? Our education is far behind, it is the worst in Africa, [but] it has the highest per capita expenditure.”

Botha said Zimbabwe’s education system was better than South Africa’s.

“When is this going to change? At state hospitals black patients must wait for three years for an operation.”
Botha said when Mandela became president, he was careful not to lose skilled white people.
“He said we must not lose the proficiency of the whites. They must not leave the public service, but they should help us to train people to achieve that same proficiency,” said Botha.
“They have now removed all those people.”


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Waiting for children



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


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I was told my blog is far too long and nodody reads long articles, but I just dont know how to trim it without losing the jist of what I was musing about…..

I must firstly say I have never been abused or abused anybody else in my life. This is why I am battling to understand how a person can keep going back into a relationship that is just so wrong.

In the last year I have seen a well-educated lady become involved in a relationship which everybody else around her said it was heading straight for a disaster.

Family and friends tried to talk to her but to no avail. She even went so far as to say that she would drop all her friends to be with this other person. From the beginning of this relationship everybody told her that it was totally wrong. The other person was married and had a family that he was supporting yet he pursued this lady with a passion and promised that he would divorce his wife and marry this lady as soon as it was possible.

This relationship was on and off quite a couple of times with some serious verbal fighting taking place. The male involved constantly verbally abused this lady calling her every bad name under the sun. Then while they are “broken up” she is inclined to tell anybody and everybody all the sordid details of their affair. I wonder if anybody really wants to be around her anymore.

Yet after every break up we find this lady contacting this male once again, and then they get together again and the whole process starts all over again. At every break-up the abuse gets worse and worse.

Here at work everybody now knows what is happening and why her work is suffering. Her social circle also knows of this sordid affair and how she is being abused.

Yet with everybody telling her to get out and start enjoying her life, she still continues in this abusing relationship seeming to be addicted to it. She just keeps going back no matter what he calls her. He keeps talking of loving her, but after a night of passion, he goes straight back to his wife.

Now – I know there is a vast difference between IQ and EQ but when it comes to total stupidity I have a serious problem with people who keep banging their heads repeatedly against a wall coated with steel knobs in the hopes that the very next time somebody would have put a pillow in the way. All that happens is that sometime or the other there is going to be serious pain and lots of blood all over the place. I’m not even talking about the possible loss of her job when the bosses decide one day that they can no longer put up with all the side-shows and emotional outbreaks at work, or the number of days that are being taken due to “not feeling well”.

Please give me your views on this as I am totally at a loss, yet I feel I cannot just turn and walk away.


Posted by on 05/05/2013 in Musings, Welfare


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Doesn’t the government look after the people first then themselves?

For those who don’t want to read anything long, skip down to the bottom for a bit that sums up the situation as it currently is.

I was under the impression that most governments that are voted in democratically, are there to govern the country/people on behalf of the people, that voted them into power in the first place

Since the ANC came into power here in South Africa they have built up a culture of spending money as if there is no tomorrow. Prior to coming into power they had to depend on the rest of the world to fund them as they claimed not to have any funds to keep operating.

The Mangaung conference (Bloemfontein to us older folk) cost the ruling party’s conference more than R100m. Most of this had to be paid upfront in full as many businesses had not been paid for the ANC’s centenary celebrations held there earlier in the year.

The spending on the Mangaung conference was equal to what the party had spent on its year-long centenary celebrations which means that a total of R200m had been spent purely on the ANC and not on the people they are meant to be representing.

Apparently the following vehicles were seen at the parking lot for the conference (this could not be confirmed but comes from a source normally pretty reliable)
106 BMW X5’s,


211 BMW 5 or 7 series sedans,


103 MERCEDES BENZ sedans,



Now using the low side of averaging prices for these vehicles it comes to a staggering R351m!! Not bad going for the previously disadvantaged is it? I wasn’t previously disadvantaged according to the government, yet I couldn’t afford most of the cars that were there. Not even a second hand one!

It was your and my taxes that ultimately paid for these cars as well as the luxury accommodation, decadently luxurious and excessive food and drinks (all free!!), wives, spouses, lovers, friends and family.

And only a peep is heard from the people that they are unhappy.

So we continue with the old refrain that the government doesn’t have money for  RDP (matchbox houses at R50 000 each) houses, proper medical facilities where patients don’t die due to lack of care/medicine, an education system that has failed the pupils where the pass mark is artificially manipulated to ensure a good pass rate, a police force that is rife with corruption due to low salaries and improper training, subsidies for old age homes and other care facilities no longer happens, sewerage plants round the country no longer working, water and electricity supplies erratic due to no funds for maintenance. We have people dying in the rural areas due to lack of food/water. The number unemployed has long ago passed the 25% danger point.  And the list goes on……


“The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”  — Margaret Thatcher

The folks who are getting free stuff, don’t like the folks who are paying for the free stuff, because the folks who are paying for the free stuff can no longer afford to pay for both the free stuff and their own stuff.
The folks who are paying for the free stuff want the free stuff to stop, and the folks who are getting the free stuff want even more free stuff on top of the free stuff they are already getting!
Now…  The people who are forcing the people to pay for the free stuff have told the people who are RECEIVING the free stuff, that the people who are PAYING for the free stuff, are being mean, prejudiced, and racist.
So…  The people who are GETTING the free stuff have been convinced they need to hate the people who are paying for the free stuff by the people who are forcing some people to pay for their free stuff, and giving them the free stuff in the first place.
We have let the free stuff giving go on for so long that there are now more people getting free stuff than paying for the free stuff.
Now understand this: all great democracies have committed financial suicide somewhere between 200 and 250 years after being founded.  The reason?  The voters figured out they could vote themselves money from the treasury by electing people who promised to give them money from the treasury in exchange for electing them.  Thomas Jefferson said it best:  “Democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not”.
The number of people now getting free stuff outnumbers the people paying for the free stuff.

 We have one chance to change that at the next election will we?  


The following was received from a black colleague of mine who I considered very pro-ANC.

A Nation of Sheep Breeds a Government of Wolves!
Zuma:     Gone!
Schooling: A decent pass rate not a manufactured one!
Culture:  Western Standards not 40 wives cared for by the tax payers!
Corruption Free; No one with a criminal record has a position in Government! (and that includes most of those now warming the benches in Parliament!)
We the people are coming. Let’s take a stand!!!

Now it is becoming very interesting.


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Unlawful Mining

I have on previous occasions blogged about how the mining companies are raping of country. Since the news of the possible mining broke way back in 2001 we have seen how greed has paved the way for the mining company to get away with breaking a plethora of laws and getting away with it.

And because we are allowing them to flaunt the laws, other mining companies all across South Africa are saying to themselves: If they can get away with it, so can we. A glaring example of this is the fracking debacle taking place in the Karoo.

Here is a copy of the mail I received. Especially for those of you living along our pristine (at the moment) beaches – take note of what is possibly coming your way in the future as they work their way down the coast.

And don’t say in a few years that you were not warned!


SOS Mtunzini Conservancy

Our Beautiful Natural Heritage


Dear Friends of Zululand and the environment,

Imagine our natural heritage in KwaZulu Natal – preserved in parks like Umfolozi, Hluhluwe, and Mkuze to mention a few. Think of the incredible privately owned game parks also conserving our natural heritage and underpinning the tourist industry. Picture how these preserves of biodiversity combine with the rural landscape, agriculture and forestry to produce the unique landscape that is KZN and that sustains the tourist industry. But then imagine an opencast mine for 20 years next to a Zimbali, next to Umfolozi, next to Mkuze Game Reserve. What would the impact be on these iconic places, of a development that must destroy everything to extract the minerals required for our flat screen TVs? What would the impact be of such an altered landscape on tourism in KZN and the jobs provided by these national assets?

Is it possible that in KZN, a game park or tourist lodge could suddenly find itself gazing into the void of a mining pit, or looking up at the blunt profile of a tailings dam instead of the natural tree line, while at the same time being buried in dust? Sadly, as things stand at the moment, the answer is yes, and for some the nightmare may be real! In fact it is about to happen to the picturesque coastal town of Mtunzini and to Twinstreams, the oldest environmental training centre in South Africa.

How is this possible in an area where regional and municipal planning have identified agriculture and tourism as the key drivers of development and growth? Well, it is certainly possible in a country where mining often appears to trump all, enabling it to avoid answering the tough questions that the various authorisation processes are intended to tackle. In the end result, authorisation is seldom turned down and is often a box-ticking exercise, and a mine is seldom held to account for the damage it causes.


The pressure to mine is real and it is growing. Currently there is prospecting on the sea bed off the north KZN coast for minerals and oil, and opencast mineral sand mining all along the east coast on the primary and secondary dunes, and now even further inland next to the Ongoye forest west of Mtunzini. Such rampant unplanned expansion of mining has the potential to ruin the eastern seaboard of South Africa and reduce it to chaos. The potential for sustainable job-creating industries like agriculture and tourism will be lost to short term open cast mining projects.



The proposed TRONOX KZN SANDS Fairbreeze mine is a massive open cast mineral sand mining operation situated only 100 metres south of the picturesque coastal village of Mtunzini, and immediately east and west of the N2 freeway – the gateway to Zululand. This open cast mining process is a very destructive, unsightly process with uncertain prospects for rehabilitation post-mining.

It is well known that the Save Our Sands (SOS) Mtunzini Campaign is opposed to this mine in particular, and to open cast mineral sand dune mining in general, on the eastern seaboard of South Africa – with its high population and potential for tourism and agricultural industries. The SOS Mtunzini campaign is currently participating in all the authorisation processes currently in progress with respect to the Fairbreeze mine. Our objective is to get TRONOX KZN SANDS to do a full Scoping and Environmental Impact Assessment, something that the law requires for this scale of activity, but which Tronox has avoided up to now. We believe that only then will there be a transparent and comprehensive evaluation of the project, which will result in it either being stopped, or modified to be less destructive to the environment and amenities of Mtunzini and a wider Zululand.

TRONOX KZN SANDS appears however, to be determined to mine at all costs and as soon as possible. The authorisation processes conducted by TRONOX KZN SANDS appear to be characterised by a lack of transparency, a propensity to take short cuts, and avoidance of the expected legislated process, so denying stakeholders administrative justice and severely prejudicing stakeholder rights – your rights. These are complaints that we have raised at every juncture in the authorisation processes.


TRONOX KZN SANDS has recently started construction of the Fairbreeze mine before all the authorisations are in hand, and before the environmental appeal process has been completed. It contends that in respect of the bulk of the mine, it requires no planning approval, since it “commenced mining” in 2002. What it in fact did in 2002, was a sampling exercise, which it described as such in a public notice at that time, stating that mining would only commence some years later. It thus seeks to avoid any planning scrutiny of the vast bulk of the mine, on the basis that because in 2002 no planning approval was required, and because it “commenced mining” then, it is exempt.  We contend that their interpretation is wrong, both in law and in fact. Since, however, Tronox has unilaterally started the mine, and clearly has no intention of stopping, we are required to interdict it until these authorisation processes are completed. Failure to do so will result in a fait accompli, because by the time the processes are completed, the mine will be up and running, and most of the environmental harm will have been done.

There is of course a much wider issue than just the plight of the Mtunzini community. Mining development without planning approval has profound implications for the future of KZN and other provinces. Municipalities are required to have clear development plans for their areas that spell out the future trajectory of development. If the mining industry is not subject to municipal planning and expects to be able to come and go as it pleases, what are the implications for local investment? Tourism is a long-term investment, and eco-tourism is critically dependent on the underlying environmental assets. It is simply untenable that mining – or any other enterprise for that matter – should have carte blanche to cut across long-term planning strategies, destroying a carefully crafted planning vision for the area, without subjecting the proposal to detailed planning scrutiny. We therefore say that this mine should in its entirety be subject to planning scrutiny before it starts, and any attempt to circumvent that – as TRONOX KZN SANDS is seeking to do – cannot be allowed.


At a Crossroads

We are therefore at a crossroads. It is sadly true that unless we as civil society act now to force TRONOX KZN SANDS to comply fully with the law, no-one else will. TRONOX KZN SANDS seems to have taken the stance that it will simply start mining, and continue unless someone stops it. If we don’t act who will? To do this we need to raise about R300,000 to interdict TRONOX KZN SANDS and compel it to stop mining until all the authorisation processes are complete. We believe the outcome of these processes will have a material effect on whether, or in what form, Mtunzini will have to endure this mine.

SOS Mtunzini request for your financial support

Please help us by giving us the financial support we need to ensure that the powerful mining industry complies with the law and follows correct municipal planning procedures. In order to meet our goal and raise the R300 000 we need, we ask that supporters of our cause donate R250 or R500 or R1000.

SOS Mtunzini (Save Our Sands) is the joint campaign of the MRA (Mtunzini Residents Association) and the Mtunzini Conservancy to address the proposed sand dune mining to the North and the South of Mtunzini. The Mtunzini Conservancy (Reg. No. 2007/006455/08) is a Section 21 company. The Mtunzini Conservancy has Section 18A tax status and can issue tax certificates for donations made.

Please make your donations to:

The Mtunzini Conservancy at any branch of First National Bank

or via the internet to:

First National Bank
Sort Code: 220130
Account number: 62093027475

Please use your business name or surname and initials as a reference and fax to + 27 86 512 6476 or email to the following information:

  1. Proof of payment
  2. your full name
  3. postal address
  4. E Mail address and your telephone number

For donations from outside South Africa, the details for the bank and bank account are as follows:

First National Bank
Empangeni Branch
PO Box 13, Empangeni 3880
KwaZulu Natal
South Africa
Sort Code: 220130
Account number: 620 930 274 75

If you have any problems, you can contact the Operations Manager at First National Bank, Empangeni:

Mrs Reeva Cornelius
Telephone: +27 35 772 6763
Fax number: +27 35 7922591

The Mtunzini Conservancy (Reg. No. 2007/006455/08) is a Section 21 company (Non Profit Organisation).

The Mtunzini Conservancy has Section 18A tax status and can issue tax certificates for donations made. Our auditors are:

Hills Howard & Associates (Pty) Ltd.
PO Box 585 Empangeni 3880
Tel: +27 35 772 6611

Thank you for supporting SOS Mtunzini.

Yours faithfully
Barbara Chedzey
Chairperson Mtunzini Conservancy

SOS Mtunzini Committee members

Stan Whitfield: 083-655-8983
Barbara Chedzey: 083-326-0699
Doggy Kewley: 083-630-1839
Wendy Forse 082-722-3333
Jim Chedzey 083-326-0698
Bruce Hopwood 083-301-2958


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