Big shout out to Andrew Sokolic, apparent head honcho at the WATER SHEDDING WESTERN CAPE Facebook group, who, it would appear, has chosen to copy and paste this popular post from my blog and pass it off as his own work to his 59,000 followers, thus:

(…and so on)

Well, they do say that shamelessly ripping off other people’s work is the sincerest form of flattery (or something), don’t they?

The good news is that everyone seemed there to like it. So if you’re in his group, why not drop a comment on the post, telling everyone where you saw it first? You can even point him (and them) to this post.

Thanks. And have a great day.

UPDATE: A ‘credit’ has appeared at the bottom of the post. It wasn’t there before. You can click the little drop down menu on the post and click “View Edit History” to watch it appearing, about an hour after the original was posted.

Thank you for all the fuss you guys kicked up. It’s been fun. 🙂


UPDATE 2: And now:



h/t Richard for the heads up.

Should have seen it coming

The Sun newspaper has done an investigation into the £40m Psychic, Medium and Clairvoyant industry in the UK:

There have been numerous reports of people being ripped off by charlatans who claim to have abilities they do not.
All over the country mediums are charging anything between £30 and £200 for a one-hour session.

Of course, having read their damning report on this fraudulent, rip-off industry which preys on the most vulnerable and stupid members of society, if you still wish to contact a psychic, you can do so via, er… The Sun newspaper’s own “Mystic Meg”:


And at £1.53 per minute, that’s “just” £91.80 for an hour of complete bullshit psychic insight.

I predict that a lot of people are going to continue being ripped off.

Ashanti in World Cup u-turn

It seems that Ashanti Lodge, whose exorbitant 309% World Cup price increase we noted in January and who still hadn’t sold their rooms for the tournament just a couple of weeks ago, have had to rethink their pricing strategy for June and July.
Their rates page now has a little note for the dates over the duration of the World Cup:

Price on application as match days have different rates to non-match days.

The cynic in me wants to suggest that this is just another ploy to rip off fans traveling over to SA for the football.
And he’s probably right.

What Ashanti don’t seem to have realised is that fans attending the games at the Cape Town Stadium will still have the opportunity to fly out after the matches, as the airports will be running for pretty much 24 hours a day during the World Cup. And with greater numbers of cheaper flights being announced all the time, it will surely be more tempting to head “back home” to wherever you’re based, that to pay rip-off prices in Cape Town.

All of which augers well for businesses in the Mother City.


Kortbroek goes probing

News in this morning’s Cape Times that Marthinus Christoffel Johannes van Kortbroek, South African Minister for Tourism has demanded a probe into allegations that some accommodation providers are hiking prices excessively for the World Cup.

“We have noted allegations that accommodation establishments in the tourism industry are not responsible, and are inflating prices excessively,” van Schalkwyk said.

Well done, Marthinus. The rest of us only noticed that fact a few months back. It’s good to see that you and your department have got your collective fingers so firmly on the pulse of what is going to be the biggest tourist event this country has ever seen.
My faith in the Government is restored. Unfortunately.

He said the survey would help safeguard the reputation of the tourism industry since South Africa is known as a “value-for-money destination”.
“Price-hiking could damage the reputation of our tourism industry. However, it must be kept in mind that June and July will be high season in South Africa, and tourists should not expect the normal low-season prices,” he said.

Absolutely correct, Minister. However, nor should tourists expect to pay mark-ups of over 300% as we recently noted at the Ashanti Backpackers Lodge in Gardens.

Grant Thornton has been commissioned to conduct the survey, which is expected to be completed in three weeks.

…leaving the Government with very limited time to do absolutely nothing about it. Meh.

This article prompted me to give Ashanti a call, just to see if they have any rooms left for the World Cup. I didn’t even have to fake a British accent, since I still have half of one of those.
“Plenty,” was the reply.

Goodness me. I wonder why?

Peter Delmar – Greed killing our World Cup prospects

Following on from my Ashanti Lodge post (and their manager’s “charmless reply“), this from Peter Delmar in The Times yesterday:

You can stay at the two-star B&B for under R600 a night per room, including breakfast, which is about as much as it’s worth. But, the proprietor told me, she was doubling the price for the World Cup.

“Oh,” was all I managed to say in response. I wanted to ask: “Why?”

Why double the price just because of the World Cup? Did she have any bookings for the soccer? Not yet.

Just about everyone else is up to the same jiggery-pokery: jostling with their snout in the trough to milk fans, who are all supposedly as rich as Croesus, for six weeks or so. And now their chickens are coming home to roost. We’ve realised with a nasty shock that even the Germans, the richest soccer fans in the world, can’t afford us.

The greed-mongers are not only shooting themselves in the foot, they’re shooting the poorest of the poor as well.

None of us particularly likes our airline industry and it hardly came as a surprise to learn it was being investigated for collusion on pricing during the World Cup. The only real surprise was that it took our somnambulant competition authorities so long to twig to what was going on.

I’ve been to a few world cups in my time. Admittedly, none of them were soccer-related, but at all of them the profiteering was kept within limits. Or wasn’t even noticeable. But not South Africa 2010, it seems.

It’s not too late to tell the world: “Sorry, we got a bit carried away there for a moment and thought you okes were much richer than you really are.

Good points, good sense.

Are you reading, Sue?