9 October 2000
Army Blues, Elections & AIDS
As I mentioned before, seems our once proud Defense Force has now officially seen it's backside. The integration of the various "armies" was now officially called a total failure. No discipline, no budget and a lot of so-called racists abound. How did the government expect any of their freedom fighters to accept the discipline (under a white officer) that's a trademark in any modern army?
You can take the man out of the bush, but it's a problem getting the bush out of the man. Over and above this, it seems there were certain issues concerning bribary and corruption with our Millions of Rands defence contract with Sweden. Now I suppose the replacement of our ancient fighter and training aircraft will have to wait a while.
Seems there are a lot of white officials who decided to join our gravy train. We have municipal elections coming up soon. Again Mbeki is promising what he can't deliver. Basic services will be free! Damn, our hospitals are in neglect, our police can't cope and the justice department keep on releasing prisoners. The poor taxpayer is becoming poorer and government subsidised housing is being sold for beer (or as little as Two-Hundred Rand).
This is the latest - blacks are getting housing for next to nothing, just to sell it for even less. Can government stop this trend, do they want to?
Coming back to Mbeki, the HIV / AIDS issue is still far from over. Seems that government has stopped certain organisations from distributing the AZT drug (administered to rape victims and pregnant women in the prevention of AIDS). Reasoning behind this is that this drug (and other similar medication) has not been approved for usage in South Africa.The only strange part about this is that the government appointed medical aid prides themselves in the administration of AZT to government and other state officials. Mbeki's biggest concern currently regarding AZT and related drugs are the drug companies. According to the state these guys are making way too much money out of this class of medicine. Government can't afford to provide this as a service to it's people. Hell, it can't afford the upkeep of Ninety percent of the hospitals!
It is a known fact that you do not go to a government hospital at all! Without medical aid on your side, you're stuffed! And medical aid does not come cheap.
Fuel prices up again, though this time the poor Diesel user's are at the short end. Diesel cost about the same as normal fuel. Paraffin users are also paying more - this of course includes the disadvantaged who use this fuel for cooking and heat.
Thank goodness summer is here again. Been having a lot of rain lately with a shift in weather pattern quite obvious. I wonder how much of this can be blamed on our poor environmental controls. People are dying, animals have to be shot and in general KwaZulu Natal is in a bad state. First it was Foot in Mouth disease, then a major Cholera breakout. What next? I won't even mention crime, that goes without saying.
Typical South African story: Mbeki goes on a state visit to a small African country in the middle of the continent. At the airport he's met by the local Minister of Harbors. Mbeki realises that this is absurd for a country that is landlocked to have such a post. Upon meeting the president he inquired about this. The president asked Mbeki "Why do you have a minister of Law and Order?"