Refugees from ANC misrule

David Bullard writes on those fleeing to Cape Town and those fleeing from SA


These are the days of miracles and wonders according to Mr Paul Simon in his wonderful Graceland album. Mind you, that was released back in 1986 and, looking back, those might well have been the days of miracles and wonders.

The now ubiquitous cell phone which morphed into the all controlling Smart phone had yet to appear, social media was still a nightmare in waiting, people spoke casually of ‘global warming’ rather than climate change and most people meekly accepted that the bodies they were born with determined their sexuality.

Trains still had tracks to run on in South Africa, the roads were in pretty good shape and electricity was always available for those fortunate enough to be connected.

I spent the past weekend in Hout Bay. My niece was having a small party ahead of her marriage in September and I was carrying out chauffeur duties. She is a UCT educated medic and was a doctor here until quite recently.

I may be a trifle biased but I think she is a super smart young woman, who received multiple distinctions in her matric year. She then went on to study medicine at UCT (thankfully in the pre-Fallist days), qualified and willingly did her bit in public service while studying further for a Master’s degree to extend her skills and make herself even more employable.

She has already had wide experience and been a trauma doctor in a public hospital on a Friday night in Cape Town; certainly not something for the squeamish or faint hearted.

She has told me terrifying tales of having to fetch her own medical supplies and bandages because the unionised nurses on duty were “on lunch”. The sheer bloody minded bureaucracy all finally became too much and when her request for time off to get married was denied by management she decided to call it quits and will be transferring her considerable talents to a more welcoming country in the not too distant future.

She is not alone and other well disciplined, highly educated and hitherto dedicated young people who have spent years studying to be doctors are thinking along the same lines.

Even if the dreaded National Health Insurance (NHI) proposals (which have been kicking around for a decade at least) were not so obviously just another way for the kleptocratic ANC to get their greedy hands on yet more funds it would be almost impossible to imagine working under a medical scheme run by a government that can’t even keep the lights on or stop sewage from flowing in the streets. We really are in a dire place at the moment and one cannot blame young people with transferable skills for transferring them.

If NHI is ever introduced (heaven forbid) it will sound the death knell for reliable medical care in South Africa. The fact that much of it is privately funded medical care is irrelevant. If I had confidence that the state could provide me with quality medical care whenever I needed it I certainly wouldn’t be spending a large chunk of money on a medical aid scheme. But I don’t have that confidence. Just as I don’t have the confidence that the police will arrive when I need them and therefore have to spend even more money on private security.

The same applies to education although I’m happy to say that’s not one of my current problems. 

All this private expenditure on health, security and education is regarded as ‘privilege’ by the luxury car driving cadres of the ANC and must be done away with to make way for an equitable system which all can access.

Of course, the ANC honchos will still be able to fly out to Singapore or Moscow for treatment. The hypocrisy is sickening.

I mentioned that I was in Hout Bay and I stayed at the Chapman’s Peak Hotel which was an excellent choice. The staff are friendly, the rooms clean and comfortable and the Portuguese inspired menu always a pleasure.

On the wall of the larger bar there are several photos of the current owner’s father with some of the hotel’s past guests, including one of Ian Smith and his wife taken in 1985. Checking out the rest of the photos I came across this interesting shot of the young Frogboiler in happier times enjoying a bit of Capetonian hospitality in Hout Bay:

Back in those days there was no informal settlement, there was a large windmill opposite the Chapman’s Peak hotel called the Red Sails, a Cape Dutch restaurant called (if memory serves) Kronendal on the left as you entered what was, back then, just a small village from Constantia Nek and not much else.

The shopping centres had yet to be built and there was very little housing development. Crime was virtually unknown and there wasn’t a trace of litter. Now, as you drive towards Hout Bay from Constantia Nek the litter is everywhere as you approach the first major roundabout and the shack settlements seem to be creeping ever closer to the road and ever higher up the mountain. It’s not a place you feel comfortable walking around as one of my fellow guests commented.

That is our problem. It’s understood that people have to live somewhere but the population explosion in places like Hout Bay can only be due to residents of other provinces (and elsewhere) giving up all hope under the ANC and seeking a better life in the Western Cape and who can blame them?

But the harsh reality is that, even under a DA administration, there is only so much capacity to absorb newcomers and that capacity was reached long ago. The net effect of all this is that places like Hout Bay will continue to deteriorate and become less attractive to foreign visitors.

One of my fellow guests at the hotel was spending a few days in Cape Town doing some fairly energetic touristy things before embarking on a wine tasting next week. He’s in the country to collect his new 50 foot catamaran from the boat builders in Knysna before sailing it up to Madagascar to check whether it has any faults that need seeing to. If fault free it will then be sailed to Bermuda.

What do you do about drinking water I asked in my naivety? Apparently, there is a de-salination thingy on board which can produce about 100 litres of consumable water a day. There are also solar panels, lithium batteries and heaven knows how many other state of the art gizmos which allow you to stay at sea in a great degree of comfort for an extended period.

I checked the website to have a look at what a 50 foot catamaran might cost, fitted out with all mod cons naturally, and reluctantly decided that I may have to remain a land-lubber. Pity, because with options fast running out here the ocean seems the last sensible option.


We may now be leaderless in SA as Frogboiler desperately tries to come up with a plausible excuse for using his soft furnishings as a piggy bank but the poor Brits are surely in an equally grim position since Boris quit. The two contestants for the unenviable task of ruling the ‘sceptred isle’ are Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss. If I were either of them I would run a mile from the task of turning the UK economy around but political ambition is a strange thing and people are willing to risk all to make it into the history books.

Neither candidate is particularly inspiring but Sunak does appear to have more personality than Truss. On the other hand the surname Truss does suggest the promise of some much needed support. However, it’s early days and the leadership battle has yet to begin.

Judging by the internecine sniping we have witnessed thus far in the leadership race there is almost certainly more to come. The political mudslinging within the Tory party has virtually made the need for an opposition redundant.

Nobody could accuse the Conservatives of being a united party and that is almost certainly going to become a problem at the next general election. Then the question is who will Rule Britannia? But that’s a question we also have to face in South Africa and the choices here are far more horrifying than the prospects of a Lib Dem/Tory/Green coalition in the UK.