The committee that has absolved Jacob Zuma from having to pay for the so called non security additions to his Nkandla residence has left me cold. Any person who believes the findings of this “Crony Committee” is an idiot. I am assuming that most South Africans are not idiots so hardly anyone in this country should believe this report.
The justification given for the acceptance of the security upgrades is actually laughable. Maybe Leon Schuster should make a movie about this so that we can all have a really good laugh. A lot of comedy is based on facts bad or good and this should be a really good money spinner for Leon. I am sure he would have a field day over the swimming pool and chickens.
There are many payouts to failed parastatals CEO, s amounting to many millions at the taxpayers’ expense. These concern our favourite topics such as Eskom, SAA, Denel, SABC, Land Bank etc. Alan Mukoki of the Land Bank received a R7M severance package when there was a R2 billion fraud at this institution.
Our President is very adept at getting rid of opposition that develops within his own ranks. A situation has developed in quite a few instances where some of his appointed people are given “Golden Handshakes” for digging into his affairs. This is a nice way of earning you a very nice pension.
Some of these are:
Lawrence Mushwana R7M
Vusi Pikoli R7.5M
Dramat R20M? He must have a very big story to tell
Mxolisi NXasana has not yet happened but rumoured to be R7M
I wonder just how long the voters of this country will put up with the scheming of our president. I trust they are not idiots so we should be able to get rid of him. He is an embarrassment to our country.
Butch Hannan

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Butch on July 17th, 2011

Democracy Africa  Style.

I found the following meaning of the word” democracy” in Wikipedia which you can see at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy

Democracy is a form of government in which all citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal (and more or less direct) participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law. It can also encompass social, economic and cultural conditions that enable the free and equal practice of political self-determination. The term comes from the Greek: δημοκρατία – (dēmokratía) “rule of the people”,[1] which was coined from δῆμος (dêmos) “people” and κράτος (Kratos) “power”, in the middle of the 5th-4th century BC to denote the political systems then existing in some Greek city-states, notably Athens following a popular uprising in 508 BC.[2]

The first sentence gives a wonderful concept of what democracy should mean and be in an ideal world. As I get older, I am sorry to say that I am getting rather more cynical. Sadly,”Democracy African Style” does not encompass the original Greek concept of this word. What in effect happens in Africa is that the majority give the power to certain people to rule over them and in most cases not in the voters best interests. The individuals voted into power become a brotherhood for self enrichment of family and friends. Once in a position of power it is extremely difficult to get them out. I defy anyone to name one African country that has not followed this trend and sadly I include South Africa near the top of the tree.

More Africans have died at the hands of Africans in power than were ever killed by the colonial powers. Here again I defy anyone to prove me wrong. One of the root causes of this is plain tribalism which is still rife throughout Africa.

During the rule of the colonial powers in Africa the clarion call was to free the inhabitants of this tyranny. In my humble opinion the tyranny that exists in Africa is far worse and a great deal more sinister.

Most of us have read Alan Paton’s book “Cry the Beloved Country’’ which he wrote during the apartheid years. This book was on the banned list.  As a parting thought I wonder what the contents of his book would be if he wrote it today. The title would stay the same but the contents would in all probability be vastly different.

Butch Hannan

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Butch on August 22nd, 2016

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My geriatric mind tells me that South Africa is sitting with a failed education system. I would go as far as to say that a crime has been committed against the young people of South Africa. The standards to achieve a matriculation certificate are set at a very low percentage mark. I believe that this is the cause of the 85% drop out rate of the first year students at our universities. They are just not equipped to cope with the demands at university and I blame our secondary schools for this. Professor Jansen was not very popular over his utterances about this particular matter. It should not be up to the universities to have to get students up to speed so that they can further their studies.

The following summary of the requirements for obtaining a matriculation certificate (NSC) are as follows from this website: – http://www.parent24.com/Learn/High-school/what-is-a-matric-pass-20160106

There’s been a lot of hype surrounding the 2015 Matric results, but what does it all really mean?

Firstly, there are three pass levels:

  1. Higher certificate
    2. Diploma
    3. Bachelors Degree (which was commonly known as an exemption).

Here are the pass requirements for each of these levels

Higher certificate pass requirements

  • Must obtain 40% in your Home Language.
  • Must obtain at least 40% in two other subjects.
  • Must obtain at least 30% for three other subjects.

It is important to note that one of your languages must either be English or Afrikaans to qualify for a Higher Certificate.

Diploma pass requirements

  • Must obtain at least 40% for your Home Language.
  • Must obtain at least 40% for four other High Credit subjects.
  • Must obtain at least 30% for two other subjects.

Bachelors Degree pass requirements

  • Must obtain at least 40% for your Home Language. (60%)
  • Must obtain at least 50% for four other High Credit subjects. (60%)
  • Must obtain at least 30% for two other subjects. (50%)
  • The bracketed red percentages are what I feel should be the minimum requirements for university entrance!!

gap-year-teaching-south-africa

Which subjects are compulsory?

  • Home Language
  • First Additional Language
  • Life Orientation

What are High Credit subjects?

  • Languages
  • Accounting
  • Agricultural Science
  • Business Studies
  • Consumer Studies
  • Dramatic Arts
  • Economics
  • Engineering Graphics & Design
  • Geography
  • History
  • Information Technology
  • Life Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematical Literacy
  • Music
  • Physical Sciences
  • Religion Studies
  • Visual Arts

Low Credit subjects

  • Agricultural Management Practices
  • Agricultural Technology
  • Civil Technology
  • Computer Applications Technology
  • Dance Studies
  • Design Studies
  • Electrical Technology
  • Hospitality Studies
  • Mechanical Technology
  • Tourism

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There are plus minus 30 subjects that can be offered at the different schools. I believe that this has led to a grossly over loaded system. We need to ask the question as to whether these subjects really belong in our basic school curriculum. I believe that a lot of them need to be scrapped. They are consuming resources such as finances which could be put to better use. I would consider a lot of them to be extra mural activities which you would do in your own time.

Surely the time has come to reduce the choice of subjects in our schools. We need to get back to basic subjects. We had a choice of about ten subjects when I was in school and I do not believe I am any the worse off because of it. If you wanted to do a science degree at university you just knew you had to achieve a certain pass mark in mathematics and science plus your language. If you did not achieve the required standard you did not go to university. You just had to find another career. The Higher Certificate that is issued today with a pass rate of 40% and 30% is in fact a worthless piece of paper when looking for employment in the job market. Putting it crudely would you employ someone who only gets three correct out of ten.

When I see all the strife and turmoil that is happening at our universities, colleges and schools where some of the institutions are destroyed or damaged makes me very sad. I just cannot see why anyone would want to destroy the very institutions which help educate you for a better and more productive life. My tiny cotton picking brain just cannot understand this.

We have about a million students enrolled at universities at the moment. The Government aim is to have about 1.6 million enrolled by the year 2030. It has been said that our dropout rate for the first year is about 85%. This raises the question as whether these students should have been there in the first place. In my humble opinion this is an awful waste of resources in an already overloaded system. The actual teaching is being high jacked by the various perceived or otherwise wrongs of the past being dug up. Time would be better spent in the lecture halls learning than trying to deface or pull down statues of Cecil Rhodes. The question that is being asked is whether pulling down a statue of Rhodes is going to gave you a better university degree. I really do not think so. Time spent studying would be far more beneficial. We cannot go back in time and change the events that took place, so rather live in the present moment, work hard and carve out a better life for yourself.

Our Government is prone to always quoting statistics to show how well the country is doing. This has resulted in quantity being espoused rather than quality. Our primary and secondary school system needs to be completely overhauled. We need an end product that can either succeed at university, college or the chosen career. The bottom line is that a certificate with a pass mark of 30-40% is not acceptable. Sadly I believe the problem lies mainly in the teaching in most cases and not with the student. It is going to be more effective to fix the problem at source.