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Maria Roth

Maria Roth

I agree with very nearly everything you write with one exception The government is not the state. The people and their institutions are the state. The executive (government) are merely the people elected to run the affairs of the state. They are supposed to be the paid servants of the people, not monarchs. In the normal course of events elected officials are afforded respect because in a normal society one finds that primarily they serve the aims of the state, while in South Africa that is a foreign concept and most of the people in Zuma's cabinet believe they have achieved divinity and constantly conflate the government of the state with the state itself. The legislature in parliament are so ignorant of their duty to us, that of oversight of the president and his cabinet on our behalf, they imagine they have ascended to Olympus and feast with the man they are supposed to control. As for the independent chapter nine institutions like the Public Protector and the National Prosecuting Authority they have become creatures of the executive and no longer function on behalf of the state.

07/11/2017

Tony Fisher

Tony Fisher

In addition, the editorial staff at Biznews fell for it as well. Journalists often claim to do a bit of fact-checking before publishing.

30/10/2017

steuart

steuart

This article is easy to write and is typical of what appears in US newspapers as they avoid writing about their own failed promises and intentions while their nation remaines ravaged by poverty, racism and inequality. It would be helpful if this writer started off by defining poverty. The Economist defines poverty as 'a wretched and short life where people lack education, healthcare, proper clothing, access to fresh water and shelter, and enough food for physical and mental health - these people subsist below US$ 1.25 per person per day". I submit that 55% of South Africans do not live in this space. People are poor, but poverty levels in this country have declined significantly since '94. In South Africa to-day 90% of the population have access to fresh water and electricity, 80% of households are formal dwellings (13.5million), 83% own cell phones, 89% of households own a colour TV, schooling is free, 4m houses have been built, and 17m are the beneficiaries of Social Grants. Statistically there maybe 5 - 8% living in extreme poverty, with 40% ‘poor’ or living in ‘relative’ poverty, given our Gini co-efficient of 6.5. Extreme Poverty is not measured by income levels alone. Definitions are important in this critical debate rather than citing three or four examples to descibe and tarnish the circumstances of a whole nation.

30/10/2017

Fred Balt

Fred Balt

In this country it's easier to hate, blame and treasure the past more than the future than to build up the country. If the ANC government can't uplift their own people and do what they promised, how can ordinary poor citizens uplift themselves?

29/10/2017

Sonia

Sonia

You mean a deliberate "mistake", don't you?

29/10/2017

Sonia

Sonia

Well said John Milton, well said

29/10/2017

SloopJB

SloopJB

The original article in the NYT mentioned R220/day, 2 days a week. Mr T.Sithole felt this wasn't enough suffering so the truth had to be embellished..

28/10/2017

Scott Gordon

Scott Gordon

As per a comment below ....did anyone force people into Barca? Just urbanisation , where did they live before ? Apart from our 'imports' ? Promises from the anc to garner votes , we will build houses , and give you 'grants' ! Just where were those houses going to be built anyway ? As Maria Roth comments below , corruption and mismanagement dwarfs what the Guptas have stolen . If I read between the lines , SARS is bankrupt . Cannot 'pay back the money ' !! Another bailout ? If you think things are bad now ....just wait till the kak really hits the fan . Not if , just when . A ratings downgrade is just around the corner , after the non event during the week . At least prior to a plane crash , one is told to brace for impact ....we might have to put our heads between our legs and kiss our a.s goodbye . The 'gimme' syndrome is not new , I heard from children on the Wild Coast over 30 years ago .' Gimme sweets , gimme cigarettes , gimme money ' Yes , the majority want 'land ' , fine , and what has the govt done ? Zilch . Am not talking about taking land from the 'whites' either . So what can be done ? There is no tax revolt , just no money . Only through the ballot box . Can one man make a difference , we might see . Before my back is against the wall , I will be approaching the High Court in G/town to get my vote back ...after 23 years . Not just for me , for all the other 'Permanent Residents ' , who just pay tax and have no say .

28/10/2017

MADOBA

MADOBA

BEE/AA/AABBEE/...confirms that 92% of the population are scared of having to compete with just 8% of the population who have the skills to bring them most of what they dream of. So if you "deploy" a comrade to a responsibility he knows nothing about the outcome is preordained. Anyone who still votes ANC and is not on the patronage list deserves to have what they have-very little

28/10/2017

winston jackson

winston jackson

Agreed however I believe apathy is too soft a description for a continent like Africa

27/10/2017

winston jackson

winston jackson

Agreed all the way. and am so relieved to finally gel with someone whom is like minded Was it just yesteryear or is it this year that it's cool to be liberal

27/10/2017

Ingrid Luyt

Ingrid Luyt

LOL! Wim Kotze...if Hilary's vile misdeeds yet to be prosecuted ( please, let there be a God!!) did not persuade you to investigate "the lesser evil" in a 2-horse race, then surely ceasing to read the long-discredited NYT in favour of the plethora of "alt-media sources" on you-tube will. The truth is out there, hardly an excuse not to go find it these days? Trump's doing just fine, believe me. Read what he is reported to say....then go watch what he actually said. Chalk and cheese...almost amusing.....from afar.

27/10/2017

KCsaffas

KCsaffas

I agree with the sentiment of your comments definitely. Helen Zille was completely right to point to the example of Singapore that SA could follow. What an amazing country for succeeding. But, of course politicians know it all and have to do it "my way". And then every politician needs a BMW or Mercedes and 20 body guards, extra security on their homes, they need to fire a few DG's, replace all the experienced staff (Tom Moyane), spend productive time fighting real and phantom enemies and blaming everybody else, appoint numerous advisors, and, and ......

27/10/2017

Chris Gordon

Chris Gordon

I thought that it was a bit scratchy as well. If the first paragraph had stated that a domestic worker earns 220 a month and spends half of this on transport I wouldn't have bothered to read on.

27/10/2017

Titanic Redux

Titanic Redux

Nope. Just a real-world example of the consequences of accepting a 30% maths pass mark. T.S. probably doesn't know the difference.

26/10/2017

Cerando

Cerando

The one thing that raises hope is the fact that South Africa has some of the most intelligent people on Earth, all included. They were the seekers and the adventurers. Also reason for the general hardheadedness and the intractability. You should have seen Portugal in the 1970's when the commies were kicked out. Headless chickens, but they learned. The born frees are evidence of that. Factually speaking the old men all have to die off first before real change comes in. Thanks heavens of the lack of longevity in mankind. Talk about endemic evil! Looks like there's method in the madness.

26/10/2017

Cerando

Cerando

Animal Farm. Some are more equal. The horse dies working. BEE is just another colour of begging bowl, but it works rather well, now doesn't it?

26/10/2017

Cerando

Cerando

The money wasn't the deciding factor, the will was or maybe better the difference between philosophies. Creating or distributing said wealth. But you illustrate the point just nicely.

26/10/2017

Thembalani

Thembalani

Thank you for pointing out that I was not reading the original artical, only some extracts!

26/10/2017

Wim Kotze

Wim Kotze

Thanks. The N.Y.Times can almost persuade one to be a Trump fan.

26/10/2017

Ingrid Luyt

Ingrid Luyt

Wim Kotze....knowing the NYT , assume the latter! LOL But, well spotted!

26/10/2017

Ingrid Luyt

Ingrid Luyt

winston jackson: how about not confusing asheep with an ash heap? And getting behind Helen Zille who said exactly what you did, which is of course the unadulterated truth. in under 140 characters. blown out of the water by mullah maimane. Who makes pretty speeches but is clearly a fool. Well, anyone who advocated the retention of the vile ANC-induced racist / quota systems via BEE et al would have to be one , not so? Of course, in current climate, relativism becomes tantamount.

26/10/2017

Andrew Newman

Andrew Newman

Get you point but Europe and Japan were rebuilt using American money. Marshall plan for Europe. During the cold war is was American policy (still is) to aid democratic governments versus communist governments, Hence the massive disparity between North and South Korea. A good example of you point would be Singapore. Good governance is the first step for a country to fight poverty, without it, failure is assured. The problem is the apathy of many African countries and its peoples that allow or even expect bad governance to be the norm.

26/10/2017

Ingrid Luyt

Ingrid Luyt

BL, succinctly stated. How many others were shocked to discover that the advent of agreed to "democracy" post 94 also included the notion of retained tribal kingship, witch doctors and the like.....so they wanted the best of a thriving Western system but insisted it be infused with the worst of their lowliest base traditions? And expected that schizophrenic mishmash "to work" ???? This was a con from day one. Vile ANC. Unholy Alliance. OUT! Damned spot!

26/10/2017

upyourbum

upyourbum

Africa has a long history of bad governance, with not one really successful African-run democratic country on the continent, did New York think South Africa will miraculously be different just because it sounded like a nice fairy tale? In the end it still astonished me that they'll avoid commies like the plague themselves, but they forced them on us, and are now surprised at the result.

26/10/2017

John Milton

John Milton

The latter.

26/10/2017

John Milton

John Milton

Exactly. This is a vaguely described figure to produce an emotive response.

26/10/2017

Human7002

Human7002

Don't come speaking the truth here, no one here wants to hear it. All it would do is prove them wrong and they can NEVER be wrong.

26/10/2017

Human7002

Human7002

I would love to give you a different back drop, but then again that does not support your shortsightedness so you would just exclude it, for the mind does not except what they eye refuses to see.

26/10/2017

BL

BL

".....economy in the past nine years through theft and mismanagement and state capture is money that belongs to the state." I can't agree. It's actually money that belongs to the constituents of the country. The Gov are merely the custodians of said money. Again, I think Zuma is only part of the problem. It started way back in the early years of the ANC with the arms deal. The bottom line is that the ANC believes the country can be run like a monarch or tribal system which it cannot. There is only one way this country can begin to recover and it will take a very long time to redress the oppression that the ANC have imposed on the people of South Africa, and that is for another party to govern. ANC must go!! End of story. .....but I'm being picky...

26/10/2017

Dr_Zeek

Dr_Zeek

let's be frank: NO ONE GIVES A $HIT

26/10/2017

Mo Haarhoff

Mo Haarhoff

Surely a domestic worker earning R220 a month is only working two days a month, at most? Is this a kosher-type fact?

26/10/2017

jps2705

jps2705

Purely a result of a 'give me, give me' society. One has to take responsibility for change to take place. How on earth can a society allow such practices as 'one pass, all pass' and lowering of educational standards to take place but of course it is never ever their fault. Silly me.

26/10/2017

Herman Hanson

Herman Hanson

Very good point - how many middle class South Africans can afford two households, let alone the poorer people.

26/10/2017

Izz Thatso

Izz Thatso

My domestic worker owns 4 RDP houses:2 in the W.C. and 2 in the E.C.

26/10/2017

Surveyor General

Surveyor General

Two truths which have been left out of the matter equation are that every shack dweller has a house which he own back on SA Development Trust land which means that the shack dweller mow own two properties, viz his shack and his homestead in the sticks. Recently Stats SA referred to the population of SA to be in the region of 60 mil, however it the truth be known one would probably find it is nearer to 100 mil due to the illegal immigrants accommodated in this country! Stats SA is renown for its inaccuracies, especially those which relate to inflation, economics and populations!!!

26/10/2017

Mark Label 2

Mark Label 2

winning

26/10/2017

John Milton

John Milton

Terrible article, filled with factual inconsistencies and bias.

26/10/2017

John Milton

John Milton

Government provided opportunity by way of BEE. I am very glad for you, Marcus Moloeli - hopefully you didn't gain your wealth by way of certain BEE tender deals where the taxpayer has to fork out R250 for a lightbulb, for example. Hopefully you aren't one of those tenderpreneurs. Hopefully your children will not toi-toi and burn our universities (again, at our expense) when they arrive at our socialist universities and start jumping on the oppression bandwagon. Hopefully you can retire at 45, while the majority of South Africans still struggle to keep head above water, those not "privileged enough" to know a politician. Looks like "white privilege" doesn't buy much these days, but I am sure the discussion will continue about how it remains the enemy of South Africa, while people like you plan your golfing retirements. Enjoy.

26/10/2017

Jon Quirk

Jon Quirk

The reality of the lot of the average poor person in South Africa is writ large and repeated throughout Africa. The hope, or perhaps dream is a more apt word, is that South Africa, bestowed as it was at the time of Nelson Mandela's release in 1990, with a robust manufacturing sector, the most powerful mining and extractive industries economic engine, a functioning civil service and a dynamic pool of managers, accountants and engineers, might grow from this, and provide not only an example to the rest of the continent but also be an engine so powerful that it might also play a leading role in uplifting the whole continent. Instead rent-seekers, cadre deployees, BEE appointees have eaten away at the economic engine and left it little more than a carcass and made it all the harder to now lift significant numbers out of the poverty trap. As Gigaba so clearly now grasps, judging by some of his words at yesterdays budget speech, growth is at the heart of, and the solution to, everything.

26/10/2017

Ursus Formidinis

Ursus Formidinis

Overall a worthy comment! "Constant threats, poor governance, corruption and government sponsored racism has caused instability and capital flight, unemployment stands at 28% and many who are self employed are barely making ends meet and certainly do not earn enough to pay taxes." But let's just call it what it is - State institutionalised extortion on the basis of race. Reverse Apartheid = pendulum effect. The large and medium corporates pursue BEE goals to no avail because they are still forced to deal through small to medium black-owned companies set up to capitalise on tenders without adding anything to the value or outcomes. So why bother with BEE in-house? To boot, the State institutionalised extortion adds anywhere from 25% - 300% or more to the costs of regular procurement to keep the wheels turning while introducing scope for irregularities in supply chain management. Double whammy. 28% unemployment is an irrelevant statistic that evokes memory of Churchill's "lies, bloody lies and statistics". The people classified as self-employed are, as you say, for the most part only "treading water" to stay alive but are otherwise "unemployed" and so they cannot contribute to the tax base, but instead become an extra burden on the State. Consequently, the more relevant figure is 35% and even that doesn't seem to reflect the anecdotal evidence out there. If we look at an example of the ultimate outcome of this, Zimbabwe, we see a figure of around 90% with half the populace out of country, but the elite certainly don't care, they're leading "la dolce vita" at least, besides, there's less competition that way. The new move to raise the minimum wage is also likely to be counter-productive because it seeks to impose a target without addressing how it will be achieved. We need a flourishing free market! That's when you get what one Zambian minister once called "an outbreak of money".

26/10/2017

Wim Kotze

Wim Kotze

The New York Times article writes: "working two days a week as a domestic helper for a white family in Cape Town, earning 220 rand a day — about $16." In this rewrite by Tulasiswe Sithole says "a domestic worker who earns R220 a month". Is this just an oversight, or a deliberate misrepresentation?

26/10/2017

Ian McGill

Ian McGill

South Africans have been poor always in the past. What did a Zulu warrior own? Transformation is all about the early Iron Age culture giving way to 21st Century norms. Such as individual property rights, Democracy lah de dah. The only thing we can shape is the future. Get on with it and stop moaning!

26/10/2017

Wim Kotze

Wim Kotze

Add South Korea.

26/10/2017

Brett Nortje

Brett Nortje

I am amazed Chris Bateman would take his name to this deception.

26/10/2017

Brett Nortje

Brett Nortje

About your backdrop - how did Judith Sikade come to occupy that land?

26/10/2017

kleptuma

kleptuma

Very well said. Your response should be printed in the New York Times, as it is a far more accurate assessment of SA

26/10/2017

winston jackson

winston jackson

As by way of example two cultures we can learn from, Take Japan and Germany. Decimated about seventy years ago. Today and for many years already they have lifted themselves from the asheep Two superpowers. Any examples on the African continent ? (just asking) There clearly is a problem but they don't see it when they look in the mirror. Now lets see,where should we begin......

26/10/2017

Maria Roth

Maria Roth

The global recession did less to hobble the economy than the constant changing of finance ministers. The corruption is endemic and the billions that have been drained out of the economy in the past nine years through theft and mismanagement and state capture is money that belongs to the state. Trevor Manuel had more money from taxes than he could use, yet Gigaba has half of what is needed. The South African Revenue Service, was one of the last properly run departments, has been taken over by rent seekers and connected individuals. We are told that they are having to contend with public disobedience with people not rendering returns or paying taxes, while my suspicion is that there are fewer people earning or involved in business as a result of the Eskom depredations and the number of bankruptcies caused by consistent random power cuts has affected industry and commerce. It is very easy to blame the shrinking white minority, but that is a false narrative. There are many social problems that increase poverty, the number of children born to single mothers contributes in no small measure. "Research conducted in the past five years by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and the South African Race Relations Institute (SARRI) found that 60 percent of SA children have absent fathers, and more than 40 percent of South African mothers are single parents." Constant threats, poor governance, corruption and government sponsored racism has caused instability and capital flight, unemployment stands at 28% and many who are self employed are barely making ends meet and certainly do not earn enough to pay taxes. The people would be better served if the houses they have rented for years were given to residents to enable them to have an asset that could be used to negotiate loans. Exceptionally poor basic education is also to blame and discarding the apprenticeship system and teachers training facilities and trade schools has dealt a blow to skills development. More than half the students in tertiary education do not graduate in the time generally allowed to attain a degree which places students and institutions under severe stress. The article is inclined to follow the government narrative and while one understands the frustration of people who have been deprived of hope they should look at the resident of Nkandla for the author of their problems.

25/10/2017

Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison

The relentless poverty will continue and get worse under ANC-Mafia rule. But that is clearly what the voters want. The masses understand now that you cannot vote yourself rich, and does not care to vote anymore. The ones that vote are connected to a politician who promises them part of the loot. Yep, the Zimbabweficatian of SA is almost complete.

25/10/2017