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Polokwane. One of the latest cities to have a name change that is more suitable and acceptable to South Africa's new "administrators". For the uninformed, Polokwane was previously known and accepted as Pietersburg. This city is located some Three Hundred and Twenty kilometers from Johannesburg towards the East of the country. Pietersburg is where I went to secondary school and college. This is the town (then) where I started my first job.

So obviously this town (now city) is close to my heart and seeing that most of my family still lives there, makes me a fairly frequent visitor.

Yesterday I checked out a site called Jislaaik (for an explanation of this word, visit them) and found a little comment on their community forums about how much money is poured into South Africa by first world countries. Polokwane is one of the many cities in South Africa who participate in the distribution of above moneys and I hope to give everyone a good insite in how this is done.

The ANC government obviously need to address racial issues stemming from the past such as poverty, health services, education, etc. Similar to the old NP government the government services has become the single biggest employer of the previously disadvantaged. The government is currently hard at work getting rid of all the whiteys and replacing them with blackeys. Certain issues were obviously considered beforehand such as the fact that they can't just "fire" the white person in order to replace him/her with a black person. So now these guys have to wait until the white person retires (on this issue they're enforcing a retirement age of 55). That is not to say that the black person replacing the retired white person will know what they're doing though! Instead of concentrating on education before employment, the ANC decided to skip a couple of steps.

Back to Polokwane. Currently this city has two "town clerks", one white (waiting for retirement in about..., oh fifteen years or so), and a new affirmative action person with fake qualification documents. The new guy earns more than the provinces' premier. Bit of a shock? Not really. Polokwane has a further six positions filled by "retiring" staff and "new" staff. Both parties are earning their money (mebbe earning is the wrong word) - the old employees are earning their bucks, the new employees are collecting their pay every month (closer to the truth anyway). And of course, the city council still needs another eight new positions to be filled.

Bit of trickery going on here at the same time. Because someone is already employeed to do a job they cannot employ another person for the same job, right? So they just "create" a different job spec in order to employ someone else.

Polokwane does not have the finances to pay any retrenchment packages, nor early retirement packages, nor pension pay-outs. Yet, central government can bail them out after exceeding their yearly budget within the first three months of any financial year.

And do not think that this is the only region pulling stunts like that! It happens all over.

Another big money sucker are contractors / advisors. Typical case in Pretoria (now Tshwane) where consultants were paid Seven Million Rand for a 350 Thousand Rand tender. Story is such - Tshwane hired a consultancy firm to design the councils' management structure. The tender was worth R350 000. After the consultancy firms' work was extended 5 times, they ended up with a pay package of R7 million! Of course the extensions were approved by the ANC council. The really frightening part is that the consultants did not do the job they got paid for so much properly. Was this an affirmative action company? Is this the only such case?

There are numerous cases from past and present that confirms the old addage "don't give a poor man a fish, teach him how to fish instead". Handouts are too easy to obtain. With that all respect for the giver and the people who are supposed to benefit from it all dissapears.

Our gravy train is well and truly still running at top speed.