Day 133 – One from last night

Old news here now, but I felt that this one needed to be preserved for posterity.

The official SA Government twitter account shared this amongst other things last night.

(Here it is with the original URL)

I mean, as Freudian slips go…

They (the government) have launched a task team/commission/ministerial committee to root out corruption and looting of Covid-19 relief funds. But then you look at who’s going to be doing the rooting out and you just sigh.
Let’s just say that they might not even have to leave their bedrooms if they have a mirror.

Same old, same old.

Still – love the image above. Some humour in dark times and with sick, sick people.

Day 117 – Really?

In a country where everything – everything – gets touched by the thieving hands of Government corruption, it’s good to know that someone is finally standing up and fighting corruption. That someone is… [checks notes] er… [checks notes again] er… apparently, it’s… The Government.

This image, appended to the bottom of this tweet:

Government remains committed to building an ethical State in which there is no place for corruption, patronage, rent-seeking and plundering of public money. Report any suspected corrupt activities. #AntiCorruption #FightingCorruption Read more: gov.za/anticorruption

reminded me of [an analogy I decided not to use*] or the Pope encouraging people to come forward and root out Catholicism.

It’s literally everywhere (corruption, not Catholicism) (although…) from the President’s office down.

 

They say a fish rots from the head, but there’s smelly sludge all over the gills, fins and tail in this case. (Can you tell that I never did more than basic fish biology during my studies?)

R4.8 million for someone to go door to door and tell people about Covid-19 – R2640 per person. A cool ten and a half grand if there’s a family of four at home when you call.

There’s R29.7 million “missing” in KZN.

The R500 billion coronavirus fund was obviously just too good an opportunity to miss:

So:

And I should probably just not mention the Eastern Cape Scooter Fiasco*.

These examples were not hard to find, at all. And one could argue that at least someone is documenting, recording and reporting them. But mostly, nothing ever happens about these cases, and even on the odd occasion when it does, the perpetrators are re-employed by their equally corrupt colleagues (and/or political party) soon afterwards anyway.

So where is the punishment?

So what is the point?

But then for the government – arguably the most guilty entity for both the enabling of and looting of public money – to tell us that “Fighting corruption is everyone’s business”?

I’ve honestly never heard such utterly hypocritical bullshit.

 

 

* 100 words in was just too soon to invoke Godwin’s Law. 
** I actually saw The Eastern Cape Scooter Fiasco on the Friday at Reading in 2007. Great drummer. Energetic performance. 

Mo’ money, mo’ corruption

Let’s preface this with a couple of statements setting out my stall, shall we?

I’m not one of those people that believes that I shouldn’t have to pay tax. I recognise that tax is necessary in order for this country to function and for services to be delivered to me and everyone else.

That said, I’m well aware that this country would function much better, and that more services could be delivered to more people if a percentage of that tax money was not going straight into the back pockets of corrupt individuals across the various sectors of government in SA.

The problem is that the consequent shortfall in revenue is dealt with in three main ways: borrowing more money, cutting back services, and thinking up more and more ways to tax the population.

None of these are good things.

What should be happening is that corruption should be being eradicated. But that’s not happening and that’s why I was even more annoyed to hear that the next thing to be taxed is my Adobe subscription.

South Africa has imposed a tax on e-services, which includes software subscriptions.

So that’s an extra 15% on my Lightroom and Photoshop – a subscription that is already more expensive because it’s priced in USD, and the exchange rate has disintegrated to utter crap because of the way that this country is being run.

“Cancel your subscription then,” I hear you exclaim, conveniently ignoring the issues that I am trying to raise here. And hey, I could, but then I wouldn’t be able to work, and I would pay a whole lot less tax.
That wouldn’t be good for the overall fiscus, but it would be better for me.

I wouldn’t be able to eat either though. And if I died, I wouldn’t be able to pay any tax at all (once my meagre estate had been divvied up, that is), so in the medium and long term, no-one benefits.

Least of all me.

Never mind that taxing of “e-services” is a massive own goal, effectively limiting access to literally thousands of services for those least able to afford them.

Look, I can afford this, but of course, I’d rather not be paying it. It limits my income, and I will have to pass on these costs to my employers when I next bill them. And they’ll pass that on to their customers, so the ordinary guy in the street loses out in the end.

I don’t have a choice about paying though – it’s imposed by computers way before the actual subscription gets to me. I also don’t have a choice about how it gets spent – or pilfered – and that irritates the hell out of me.

QOTD 24th July 2018

Quote of the Day. It’s from Paul Mashatile:

Member of the Executive Council for Human Settlements and Co-operative Governance in the Gauteng Legislature, as well as provincial chairperson of the African National Congress (ANC) in Gauteng province and ANC Treasurer General.

He’s reported to have said:

“The ANC can’t be seen as a corrupt organisation because it is not and was never a corrupt organisation. It’s people who join the ANC that get involved in corrupt activities.”

So there it is. It’s not the ANC that’s corrupt, it’s the ANC that’s corrupt.

Got it. Thanks, Paul.

This is a nice image

I spent a lot of time awake last night wondering about writing a blog post. It was to have been a contentious blog post, and would have required some defence against forces of ignorance and prejudice. I don’t mind stepping up to the plate for this sort of thing, but it does require time and effort. I really don’t have the time at the moment and the effort would have been mainly used up shouting at a brick wall. I have better things to do with my effort right now. I’m not writing that blog post.

Part of the post was going to relate to how the opposition party (and/or anyone else who criticises corruption in SA) cannot afford to bend any rules at all, even when it would clearly make good sense to be able to do so, for fear of losing the moral high ground. We’ve already seen examples of how this can hold us back as a community – for example, the protracted time for the tender processes for aquifer drilling and desalination plants. The blog post was going to feature another example.

For me, this is a sad situation which has been exacerbated by the rampant looting of the state over the past 9 years. In my opinion, Jacob Zuma has caused immeasurable damage to this country and set us back in so many ways. So this was a nice image to log on to this morning:

Yes, that’s our ex-President in the dock on 18 charges of Racketeering, Corruption, Money Laundering and Fraud. The likelihood of him ever going to prison for these crimes is, at best, slight. The wheels of justice may be turning, but they turn very slowly. There will be appeals upon appeals, and every legal delaying tactic will be used. That’s his right, and that’s how justice works.
In this case, it’s unlikely ever to be done.
We’re looking at years and years and years.

His court appearance today took just 12 minutes.

But it was very important that those 12 minutes took place.

This is a nice image.

 

Addendum: I’m getting a lot of interest in the subject of the original planned blog post. See here, and do the maths. Don’t @ me. 🙂