OUT TO LUNCH
I admit that I may not have been washing my hands with soap and water for exactly the recommended 20 seconds. Sometimes it was a quick rinse under the tap, maybe 10 seconds. On other occasions, lost in rapturous thought, it may have been 25 seconds or even close to a minute.
And then there were the face masks. I couldn’t get along with the cloth ones, particularly in hot weather, because I found it almost impossible to breathe in them. And I also couldn’t be bothered to wash them every time I used them so I resorted to paper surgical masks. Yes, I know we were told not to use them because there was a massive shortage and real medics wouldn’t be able to get hold of them if I had a pack of 100 disposable masks stored away in my guest bathroom but it was a simple case of being able to breathe or not being able to breathe while I cruised the fresh veggie aisle in my local Woolies.
On the whole though I have been a model citizen. No more visits to Mavericks with the boys. No more all night drinking sessions in unsuitable company. Minimal contact with other human beings and no gatherings for the past seven months of more than eight people. I have been bumping elbows with friends and rushing home early whenever possible to sanitise my entire body and avoid the dreaded coronavirus.
So it was with some degree of alarm that I found myself short of breath last week and breaking out in sudden sweats. Had all my COVID avoidance been in vain I wondered? Not wishing to have a swab stuck up my nostril I phoned my local medic who duly turned up in a HazMat suit and carried out the usual tests. Body temperature was at 36.3 degrees so all good there. After a thorough examination and a lengthy questionnaire about my current mental state a diagnosis was reached. No, I hadn’t contracted COVID. I was, instead, experiencing a state of high excitement at the announcement by Pres Frogboiler that all our economic woes are over and billions in new investment is about to pour into the country. Hence the shortage of breath no doubt.
It is remarkably easy to feel a sense of all pervading gloom if you live in South Africa these days. But that is only if you stubbornly concentrate on what is actually happening and ignore what is possible.
I admit that I have, on occasion, been a tad pessimistic about the future prospects for this beautiful land but that was almost certainly because I had a white supremacist mentality and hadn’t embraced the full potential of our new dispensation. Now all is well as the scales have fallen from my eyes and I can fully appreciate that we are one of the most attractive investment opportunities in the universe.
This was the third South Africa Investment Conference and it’s quite understandable that Pres Frogboiler could barely contain his excitement as he reeled off the long list of companies who had pledged to pour billions of rands into our deserving economy. All this despite the fact that the government may seize their property without compensation, that they will need to cut an ANC cadre in for a large share of the profits, that they will be told who they can employ and how much they must pay them and that they may not have access to a constant and reliable source of electricity. Oh yes….and there’s always the possibility that their factories might be burned to the ground by the odd malcontent protesting about service delivery.
White racist supremacists would have you believe that these are all impediments to foreign investment but that’s clearly not the case judging by the billions about to flow into our economy.
I was over the moon at the news but just as I was extracting the cork from a celebratory bottle of Krug some bloke called Azar Jammine, the chief economist from Econometrix, was interviewed on Bruce Whitfield’s money show and said that the Reserve Bank figures didn’t support the previous claims of vast investment inflows into the SA economy. In fact, foreign investment had been flowing out of SA faster than it had been flowing in.
I guess there’s always going to be someone who wants to piss on the parade so I weighed up the situation. Do I believe Jammine or do I believe Pres Frogboiler who, let’s face it, is at the coalface every day and doesn’t need to ask the Reserve Bank what to think. Besides, weren’t most of the mainstream media (Whitfield excepted) telling us how terribly exciting this all was (“Good News for SA economy” gushed Eye Witness News) and how the good times were about to roll? So I went with the Pres because, let’s face it, we all need some good news in these troubled times.
And it was exactly as I was about to order another case of Krug to celebrate our glittering economic future when two ill informed, white owned ratings agencies, stubbornly blind to the tsunami of great economic news, dropped us yet another notch from junk into super junk. At which point my breathing became rather laboured again.
The Brackenfell United game against the Red Rabble Rousers (RRR) last Friday played out pretty much as expected except for the fact that hardly anybody from Brackenfell United turned up for the game. The referee had given permission for the RRR to field a squad of 100 players but, not surprisingly, on the day of the match more than ten times that number turned up.
Various explanations have been given for this and the least kind is that the RRR are not good with numbers and can’t really count beyond ten. More likely though is that this provided a great day out for team members and a chance for a bit of thuggery. Let’s face it, sitting at home unemployed doing nothing constructive all day must become a bit of a drag so the invitation to get into a sponsored bus to trundle off somewhere to throw bricks at the cops and hit people must be an attractive diversion from the usual tedium.
Add to that the promise of meeting the commander in chief himself and you can understand why so many would wish to brave the high temperatures to be in the presence of the great one. Sadly the great one didn’t make it to Brackenfell, presumably because he checked the news wires and decided that things were getting a little too hot for comfort. This must have been hugely disappointing for the party faithful. On a par with a cancelled Justin Bieber concert in fact.
Fortunately Marshall (Slap-happy) Dlamini was there to keep the crowd amused with his speech outlining the promising economic future under the EFF. Well paying jobs for all, land for everyone, free everything and, best of all, no more whiteys. The crowd lapped it up and broke out into spontaneous song before beating up a white man who had strayed dangerously close to the stage.
However, the surprise star turn of the day was a well scrubbed young white lad called Jack Markovitz who may or may not be head of the EFF at UCT depending on which garbled news report you read. Resplendent in his brand new EFF jacket he explained to the TV cameras that he was a privileged privately educated kid from a loaded family who run a large business managing luxury resorts and hotels. He didn’t mention the name but a quick Google search reveals that a Mr Neil Markovitz runs a very successful luxury resort management company called Newmark so one might reasonably assume some family connection.
Markovitz junior eloquently explained his reason for joining the EFF explaining that racism is instilled in the bones of all whites. He was rather disparaging about the good people of Brackenfell, sneeringly referring to them as poor whites and implying a feral viciousness that goes with white poverty. Apparently they use neighbourhood watches, WhatsApp and private security to uphold apartheid in their neighbourhood.
Warming to his theme and his fifteen minutes of fame Markovitz expressed the view that the EFF need to be doing more. “I think we need to take these protests to Clifton and Houghton Park where the R20 million houses are. We need to take it where the rich people still have money and they are still making money off that land, which is all generational wealth, passed own from their parents. I believe the DA is a white supremacist party (Grandaddy Leon Markovitz was a former DA MEC and fund raiser in the Western Cape) and I’m trying to rectify the situation here today. We need to transfer the generational wealth and land to the disenfranchised people of this country.”
It’s going to be interesting to see how the Markovitz family propose to dispose of their vast generational wealth to the poor and disenfranchised. I would have given anything to be a kosher fly on the wall at the family’s Friday night Shabbat.
The SABC saga drags on but an end could be in sight. The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has threatened to close down all SABC operations unless its demands are met. Which is precisely what corruption weary tax payers have been asking for all along. Not usually a fan of union action I find myself backing the CWU 100% on this one.