So we have old war-monger Bush threatening with another war. Mandela eventually spoke out condemning Bush, and other leaders are coming out in support of "no war". It is a bit weird to see (at this stage) only Bush and Blair wanting to "klap" Iraqi over what seems to be 'spitefulness'. But there's more to the story, not just oil.
The American government got a lot of flack after September 11. Now the poor sods have proof that Hussein has been very busy collecting all sorts of strange and wonderful 'things' like Anthrax. The government needs to act. But without disclosing all the information, how can they expect support from the people? The world has had enough of wars. Spill the beans Bush, or the world might just turn against you and your nation!
The ICC ruled today that all matches will go ahead as planned. Those in Kenya as well as Zimbabwe. Big chance they're taking. Mugabe might well be very knowledgeable about cricket, but believe me, we're going to see some brown stuff flying in the days to come. Zimbabwe's government said that they cannot guarantee the players' safety. With the Poms in Zimbabwe with Mugabe and Tony Blair in the UK, the stage is set for a nice showdown. Will Mugabe try and get a stab in at Blair? Will the people decide to take drastic action with some protests, or even worse - kidnap some players to get the world to notice their plight? Time will tell. Let's hope for the best. Whatever happens in Zimbabwe, it will make or break the ICC (and especially the South Africans involved).
One David Malatsi from the NNP has been accused of accepting bribes for the construction of a multi million Rand golf course in the Western Cape. Serves old Martinus van Schalkwyk right for pelly-ing up with the ANC! Malatsi is the most senior black politician in the NNP and (was) Deputy Minister of Social Development. He finally tendered his resignation today - in order for him to clear his name. Sounds familiar? At least he resigned where other corrupt politicians get transferred to more lucrative positions in government. Suppose if he was ANC, this would've been the case. In the meantime the golf course is being built in Plettenberg Bay.
With the strong performance of the Rand against the major currencies we were hoping for a cut in interest rates early this year. Between Tito and his mate, they shot us down. The Reserve Bank decided that they will keep it where it is until at least June. Maize prizes are coming down due to international price cuts, but that's the only reason. A 2 liter Coke will set you back just under Ten Bucks (depending on where you buy) with cigarettes up to R11.30 a pack of twenty. Richelieu Brandy used to be around Twenty bucks a 750ml not that long ago, now it's more than double. I won't even mention whisky and wine prices. Houses have seen a big increase in value over the past two years. But though you can sell and make a tidy profit, you won't be able to afford your next house. With the economy as it is, there are few people who can afford the 'trading up' scenario.
Local governments have 'stumbled' upon another money-making scheme. Something everyone needs - water. Water prices have gone up in Cape Town by three times the inflation rate from mid 2001 to mid 2002. The 6 000 kiloLiters offered free to consumers must be paid for by someone! The trick to the 'free water' scheme is that you're not allowed to use more. If you use less, you don't pay for it. If you use more, you pay for everything! Cape Town wasn't the only one, East London saw an increase of 52% and Durban 30%. Of course there are further increases in the pipeline (no pun intended).
Back to Cape Town. 3.2 Million people live there with 6.4% earning less than R 352.00 per adult per month. The average household income is R 976.00 per month. Last year half a million foreigners visited the 'Mother city', spending about R4.7 billion during the festive season. That's that for quick fact.
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