13 December 2007

Tokyo Surfs the Tsunami

With the biggest of big-business blacks, Tokyo Sexwale, riding it, and Zwelinzima Vavi claiming 1.9 million followers swimming in it, and Msholozi himself with all his appeal swelling it, the unstoppable tsunami is about to hit the coast!

Whatever else it may be, this campaign has been a master-class in tactics, coalition building and sustained momentum, all within the confines of bourgeois-democratic electoral politics. The first linked item below is one report of the stupendous Engcobo rally, and of Cde Tokyo’s now unequivocal identification with the Zumista cause. Note that Tokyo is no longer available for National Chairperson, opening the way for Baleka Mbethe.

The photo is from the Eastern Cape Herald. In their article about the Ngcobo rally they said: “Sexwale was so relaxed that he even had time to share a joke. ‘Where is my T-shirt?’ he asked in reference to T-shirts worn by his supporters earlier this year that said ‘Tokyo for President’.”

IOL reports as follows: “Mbeki made his first "public apology" for the country's power problems related to Eskom's load-shedding. ‘Eskom was right and government was wrong,’ Mbeki said, after indicating that government was asked earlier to invest more in electricity to keep up with the country's growth.” (The other photo shows TM in Bloemfontein this week, with Beatrice Marshoff.)

And yet, these incompetents are about to benefit to the tune of THREE BILLION RAND (that’s just their cut – the full bill is much more) of taxpayers money as a direct consequence of their being asleep on the job, that has brought to South Africa the era of “load-shedding” – i.e. what are called “power cuts” everywhere else in the world. See the second linked document (it contains two short articles).

Let’s just run through that again. The mess that Thabo Mbeki has admitted and which makes us all suffer, results in the demand for new power stations. Who gets the profits from the tenders for the new power stations? Why, it’s the very people who caused the mess in the first place. Is that merely a mess, then, or is it more like a rip-off, or even a crime? Think about it during your next “load-shedding”.

Back to the “succession”. Sipho Seepe writes: “The other concern of late is whether Mbeki should remain as national president for the remainder of his term. A notion is advanced that the removal of Mbeki from office would be undemocratic. Yet the biggest danger to democracy is the continuation of Mbeki. No leader who has lost the confidence of his own party should be allowed to govern. At the best of times he has been unrestrained in using state organs to frustrate his political opponents. If he suffers humiliation in Polokwane, he would pose a far greater danger.” See the full linked article below.

Between the massed ranks of the organised working class on the one side, and the vast and varied hinterland of the organic society of the poor on the other, there exists a narrow strip that has achieved fame out of all proportion to its numbers. This crossover territory is populated by funded NGOs and CBOs, and a few academics. It calls itself “Civil Society” or “Social Movements”. One of its prominent organs is the “Social Movements Indaba”, which had its Annual National Meeting earlier this month. Mondli Hlatshwayo gave a very long report there. Linked below is the concluding part of that report, which summarises the tasks of the SMI, as envisaged by Cde Mondli.

Last, and certainly least, is Finance Minister Trevor Manuel’s whitewash of the miserable history of GEAR. He is proud of it. Nevertheless he wants to saddle its parentage on its victims. This kind of apologetics is what got Manuel where he is, and it keeps him there. If he needs to, he will claim that GEAR is pure Zumismo, trickle up is trickle down, Coega and Gautrain are profitable, and that power cuts are better than motherhood and apple pie. He should be sacked, immediately after Polokwane.

Click on these links:

Sexwale hitches wagon to Zuma star, Xolani Xundu, The Times (391 words)

No light on Eskom Hitachi tender, Sibongile Khumalo, B Report (649 words)

Chance for SA to recommit itself to democracy, Sipho Seepe, B Day (849 words)

Mondli Hlatshwayo, Outgoing Secretarial Report to SMI, excerpt (1752 words)

Gear definitely not a capitalist plot, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel (853 words)

1 comment:

  1. Is it possible that if there was a second or third or forth company that was competition to Eskom, then perhaps they would not have been powercuts, but sustained power delivery?


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