Have some sympathy for Cyril

David Bullard says it can be no fun running a collapsing country, especially given the President's alternatives


Let me ask you a question. Imagine that you’ve managed, to your perpetual surprise and amazement, to have accumulated a personal fortune of over R6 billion rand over the past twenty-five years. This, according to Forbes magazine, makes you richer than Mick Jagger who has spent almost twice that amount of time as the front man for a world famous rock band.

You, on the other hand, haven’t had to put up with the rigours of touring, listening to Ronnie Wood’s jokes, keeping groupies at bay (well, maybe not) and singing the same old songs over and over again (well, maybe you have on that one).

You haven’t even had to start a business from scratch and gradually build up wealth as the business prospered and grew. You make the likes of Brian Joffe, Raymond Ackerman and Adrian Gore look like real slouches by comparison. For you it’s been wealth creation by osmosis thanks to being the right person of the right colour at the right time.

You’ve built yourself a mansion on one of the best pieces of real estate in DA run Cape Town with a stunning view of the Atlantic ocean…. a perfect, multi storey retirement pad with luxury finishes for a guy approaching his seventieth birthday. You’ve chosen Cape Town rather than somewhere like Ballito because you perceive it as less volatile plus the place seems to be well run, unlike the rest of the country.

In short, you’ve landed with your bum well and truly in the butter. So why would you want to spend all your time running a collapsing country? Could your heart really be in the job when you consider the extremely tempting alternative of trying to chew through at least half of that personal fortune living the high life?

Surely being called Mr President and having to give Sunday evening lectures to the rag-tag multitude of the unemployed, the lackadaisicals, the disillusioned and the terminally corrupt is no substitute for buying a yacht, a private jet and a football team.

I have often wondered whether Pres Frogboiler’s heart is in the job and the last two weeks suggest to me that he has given up on this being President malarkey and just wants to chill with his prize Ankole cattle and enjoy the view from the balcony of his mansion during the summer months.

I can’t say I blame him. If your business and political life has been all about “dancing on eggshells” then you’re probably not the sort of chap we need to crack down on an insurrection, or even be able to correctly identify one.

Pres Frogboiler’s praise singers in the lefty media have bored us to death over the past couple of years by assuring us that he plays something called the ‘long game’ and that we should all be patient. In other words Doc Morrow, don’t be alarmed to see people pushing looted electrical equipment in stolen supermarket trolleys past your house and please don’t fret about the threats to personal safety, the chemical spill in the ocean and the nightly gunfire.

Everything is fine because it’s all part of the long game to create millions of new jobs, build smart cities near Lanseria, give every learner an iPad and have bullet trains whizzing across the country.

The many useful media idiots pushing this bullshit are also obligingly anti Democratic Alliance and never waste a chance to put the boot in to either John Steenhuisen or Helen Zille, whether in print or on social media.

The fact that the Western Cape is, at the moment, the only province in South Africa that is stumbling along despite coping with its own horrific odds seems lost on the white, woke wowsers, many of whom live in and enjoy the comparatively superior service delivery of a city like Cape Town yet constantly scream for a new administration. Who on earth do they have in mind?

So how long is this long game then and what’s the denouement? Could it possibly be that there is no long game and we’ve all been taken for complete fools yet again? Or is the long game so long that we’re only halfway through it and all will be revealed in the end as the ugly South African duckling becomes a swan? Can we afford to wait?

If Pres Frogboiler had really wanted to unite the nation and create jobs to grow the economy would he really have gone out of his way to alienate the white population? The popular ANC narrative that all whites are almost certainly racist, haven’t embraced the new dispensation, are the descendants of land thieves and slave traders and have a lackadaisical attitude certainly hasn’t done much for inter racial relations.

When KZN fell a couple of weeks ago there was much jubilation on Twitter (including from RET loving whiteys) that this was the much needed attack on white monopoly capital. From now on things would be different.

Except that when the pharmacies ran desperately short of medication and the shops needed basic foodstuffs who stepped in? It certainly wasn’t the ANC led government was it? They were busy wondering what the hell had happened while they were dozing. It was the dreaded white monopoly capitalists who mobilized and tried to sort out the problem. The very people who had their shops looted and burnt out in this orgy of anarchy.

Judging by the official reaction from the ANC thus far it seems increasingly likely that what happened in KZN was facilitated by some of the very same people who now pretend to be looking for the 12 instigators.

It would certainly fit in with the official party policy of destroying the ‘white dominated’ economy, seizing or destroying foreign owned assets and ushering in the brave new world of a Venezuelan economic utopia.

It’s also a lot easier to expropriate land without compensation when you’ve chased the current occupiers off by refusing to protect them against violent attack. Behold the Marxist revolution you hoped you would never see in this country. ___STEADY_PAYWALL___


Those who have debts will have been delighted that the Reserve Bank left the repo rate alone last week. As most people know, the repo rate governs the interest rate at which banks lend to customers. The flip side of this is that when the repo rate goes down then so do the deposit rates on which so many retired people depend to survive and 300 basis points in the past year was a killer for many.

The reason for the repo rate remaining stable is that apparently headline consumer price inflation is stable at 4.2% but might shoot up to 4.5% by 2023 (if we still have a country that is).

How can this be when the price of electricity has just shot up by 15%, when petrol is at it’s highest price ever, when food is ever more expensive and when municipal rates are rising. Nothing in my world has gone up by 4.2%.

Like most people, I can watch inflation in action every week as I shop for food. The cost of a rotisserie chicken at my local Woolies is creeping towards R100 and fresh veggies have gone up by at least 10% in the past twelve months.

So where do the Reserve Bank get this wonderful figure of 4.2% which justifies a prolonged period of access to cheap money (particularly useful for a profligate government eager to borrow as much as possible as cheaply as possible)?

Well the trick with inflation it seems is to neglect to measure anything that goes up sharply in price. So if the goods in your inflation basket don’t go up in price you can tell the public with a straight face that inflation is under control. Just another lie the government feeds us.


Last week’s Economist magazine pulled no punches when it came to describing the situation in South Africa. In a piece titled “End of the road for ANCnomics” the events of the past two weeks in KZN are laid out in detail followed by an explanation that this was fomented by a “pro-corruption” lobby within the ANC.

The article goes on to explain the disastrous reign of Jacob Zuma and how BEE is simply a euphemism for crony capitalism. Our appalling unemployment numbers come under the spotlight as does the sharp drop in capital investment in mining, falling 45% between 2010 and 2018.

Our absurd labour laws are described as “pernicious” and blamed for discouraging new investment in the country. The article concludes “…if he (Ramaphosa) is to save his country he cannot just throw out the ANC’s bad apples. He must throw out its bad economics too – and change the system that made him and his family rich. If he fails to do that, the country must throw out the party”.

Since Ramaphosa is on record as saying that the wellbeing of the ANC comes well ahead of the wellbeing of the country I wouldn’t be betting heavily on a happy outcome for South Africa.