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19 December 2000
The Lottery & Communism

Fuel prices are coming down - thank goodness for that!

A cash-strapped consumer really needs this bit of good news. Seems our government is slowly but surely moving to turning this country's economy into a communist based economy. Been anounced that all mining rights will now belong to government. All existing mining houses will have to pay a "levy" to government after a license for mining has been applied for and approved, that is. Of course this will have a major impact on mining in this diamond and gold rich country.

White-owned conglomorites are going to have a tough time getting the neccessary permits - that's a guarantee already. I can see certain "affirmative action" principles being applied here by the ANC. They've been threatening for long enough now and passed certain laws already to support the "upliftment" of the previously disadvantaged. The problem here is that the top black Africans qualify for this and the poor will just get poorer. If you look at the amount of fancy, expensive sportscars on our roads and you take note of the drivers of these cars, you will know where I come from. 

Something that's knocked our country's economy quite badly has been the gambling joints that's opened up all over the place. Our national lottery has collected over Two Billion Rand since it's inception in March, of which charity organisations have seen none. Defies the object of having a national lottery as this was exactly the reason - to help charity organisations.

Another big money spinner for business have been cellular phones. Between Ten and Twelve Billion Rand has gone into the purchase and contracts on cellphones. This is quite scary considering there are only two (still) operators in South Africa - MTN and Vodacom. Four Billion Rand has gone to gambling making a couple of millionaires, but where does that leave the retail stores? With the mentality of the average non-educated person in this country, we are on a very dangerous road. And this includes black and white South Africans. Rather take a chance on winning the lotto than buying much needed groceries or paying the bills.
 What has six numbers and screws you once a week? Tata ma Million, Tata ma Chance (the lotto logo).

 What makes me dubious about the fairness of our lotto is as follows: There are two main computers that control the whole process. For weeks no-one wins the jackpot, once it reaches Thirty to Fourty Million, suddenly eight to twelve people hit the same numbers. How does that work? Some pro (at whatever - probably a mathematician) reckons that South Africans beat the odds at the lotto better than anywhere else in the world. I say, if the government allows it, that is. The worst of the whole lotto affair is that these guys owe their creditors millions for setting up the whole infrastructure. Once that debt is paid will the beneficiaries only benefit out of the whole shamble.

Before we had scratch cards which guaranteed charity organisations hundreds of thousands every month. Now they're all waiting for government to get their act together. No systems are in place for the proper control of distributing the money. No agencies have been appointed (nor screened) to manage this process. No guidelines for what constitutes a charity organisation has been drawn up. Makes you wanna puke! This whole issue was never thought through properly.

Government is sitting on the money while the intended beneficiaries are closing doors. This money is out of circulation which is hammering our businesses and hurting our economy. When are they going to catch a wake-up? It will take years.

In the meantime this country is going to the dogs.