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- A Stuijt
- Retired South African medical journalist, ex-Sunday Times of Johannesburg.
BRITS, South Africa. Every one of the 283 municipalities in South Africa is in dire straights – mainly caused by the widespread fraud and mismanagement of their ANC-appointed managers. A well-run municipality is indeed a rare phenomenon these days, writes Dolf Dreyer, editor of the Madibeng Pulse in Brits near the Hartbeespoort dam.
For the past eight years a cabal of no more than ten people have caused the present problem, he writes: “From the time Madibeng Council took over from the former Brits and Hartbeespoort municipalities, the rot started setting in. Those who didn't see the signs earlier, at least could have read MadibengPulse, to know that the municipality has been careening full force to eventual collapse for the past eight years. Yet, while all energies was focused on profits while such were still relatively easy to make, nobody seemed to have taken much notice of the degradation of municipal life – not only in water, roads, sewage processing and all the visible signs of decay all around us, and against which a few right-minded people fought lone battles in vain attempts to stem that decay.”
The local business community – faced with widespread rioting by angry residents and a looming ratepayers’ revolt – has now lodged a request with the government to put the municipality under administration and appoint a manager to run everything. He writes however that ‘there’s also an irony in this belated approach (by industries, businesses and mine companies in Brits) to ask for (this) government intervention. The very people to whom the petition were addressed, are those politicians who initiated the cleanup in the ANC at all levels of government as well as in the party structures in July last year.”
Competent and honest managers no longer exist:
And, he warned. ‘to ask for the municipality to be put under administration, is to ask for a highly skilled manager who does not exist. To ask for the invocation of Section 139, )to be placed under administration) is to also ask for a likely list of competent, as well as honest CEOs, to be pulled out of a hat. And where will you find them" ?
He warns that the mere removal of a handful of officials and councillors and their replacement with honest officials will already make a significant difference in a very short time.
- “In the current cleanup process in Madibeng, two of the three main causes responsible for the deficiency in service delivery have already been removed; there's one more to go, with some minor fellow travellers who abet, but do not have real power.”
- Since 2006 when we started publishing, MadibengPulse picked up that Madibeng Municipality was run by a cabal of no more than 10 people, who ran the town as if it was a proprietary limited company. This cabal consisted of Councillors and a few senior managers in the Municipality, who manipulated their ANC fellows, the honest municipal officials, who are far in the majority , as well as the town’s residents.”
He said that over the past four months significant changes have been made – although this cannot yet been seen ‘in the most visible causes of discontent such as water, sewage and roads’. However there now finally is cooperation between municipal officials, the Department of Water Affairs and Environment, and a community organisation such as the HCF. He in fact believes that this ‘new cooperation’ was directly responsible for a turnaround of the sewage disaster in Hartbeespoort in a matter of days last month.
“Presumably Brits industrialists and businessmen include many with intelligence and wide experience. If they face a similar business problem, they would analyse the situation in no other way than they do daily with business problems - thus: identify the culprits, get rid of them and invite the community to assist with advice, which would be willingly given once they know that they are dealing with honest people, who may need training and experience.”
He said that in a letter to the government from the Brits Business forum, it quotes an auditors report – and focuses on the remark that ‘Madibeng has no financial viability.’ Dreyer points out that this had been the case for the past four years and that this was noted in the Auditors’ Report throughout that period. “Where had they been all this time?” he asked.
He warned that the invocation of Section 139 was a magic wand to bring Madibeng out of intensive care, it would be shortsighted not to implement it. However – experiences at other municipalities just recent showed that administrators were appointed who were incompetent and dishonest. “What’s on show now at all three levels of government in South Africa, is all the ANC has (to offer),” he warned.
“And even if a capable CEO can be found, with the correct profile of requirements for the job, it will take him many months -- before moving towards service delivery -- merely to master the organisational dynamics of Madibeng Municipality. We’ll guess that few, if any, of the members of the Madibeng Forum have experience in managing an organisation as politically wired as Madibeng Municipality and Council are.”
He warned: “it would be unwise to disturb the existing organisational dynamics once not more than a handful of corrupt officials as well as councillors had been shown the door. Anybody who has taken the least interest in the Municipality and its inner workings know who the culprits are. To get rid of them combined with the generous contribution in terms of advice and experience residents of the municpality can and will contribute, will make it a viable task to turn the town round in a relatively short period.”
He said that the Hartbeespoort Community Forum has established a model for such cooperation.”And it’s our guess they will be willing to share their experience in that respect with the Brits industiralists and businessmen”. He also noted that in 2000/1 members of the Brits Industrialists Forum already foresaw the problems likely to arise and then already offered to give municipal officials and councillors all the guidance they may need.
Back then however the “senior municipal managers had different agendas - self- enrichment being foremost - and this soon caused the effort to collapse by (them) merely staying away from the meetings. “However now for these senior managers and councillors of Brits have a changed reality: “ - for them it’s also a matter of adapt or die.” http://www.madibengpulse.co.za/?Task=system&CategoryID=29335&HeadingText=News+250210+brits+business
Business Report writes that the so-named Black economic empowerment (BEE) verification “industry leaders” this week slammed the state-run “Association of BEE Verification Agencies” (Abva). This governing body and its 29-member ‘verification companies’ have only one goal: getting paid by private companies for ‘BEE-certificates” which allows them to stay in business as long as they have the correct percentage of white workers – preferably none at all.
Picture: A nasty row is brewing around the chaos inside this ‘private industry’ mainly because of one mini-empire-builder: Andile Tlhoaele, left, the chairman of Abva – who lately sets his own rules without consulting the oversight agency: the Department of Trade and Industry. Picture source
One BEE-certification company trustee, Mr Corrie Vermeer, told Business Report on 1 March 2010 that “ it could not be part of an association that followed interpretations that were not gazetted by the Department of Trade and Industry”. Abva, Vermeer said, had ‘unilaterally amended its own constitution to enable its chairman (Tlhoaele) to make certain policy decisions: one of these unilateral initiatives is aimed at setting an interpretation standard for the industry's codes of good practice."
- Vermeer said ABVA had sent a document to all its 29 member-verification agencies on 15 January 2010, in which they ‘strongly urged an adjustment in its codes”; and that this “ would incorporate issues in the interpretive guide that were not covered by the codes”, adding this would encourage transformation. “
Code-words while conducting an ethnic-cleansing campaign:
As can be seen from the above-mentioned gobbledegook these ‘BEE-certification officials’ use a lot of fuzzy code words designed to create instant boredom: for instance “transformation” is their code-word for kicking out ‘previously advantaged members of the population’ of the job market...
What raised the ire of Vermeer’s and other such agencies was that ABVA’s chairman had changed his own constitution so that private international companies such as the Goodyear Tyre Company could also be admitted as members. And the more members, the richer and more influential the agency was becoming: thus its chief executive was also building himself a powerful mini-empire – and these companies meanwhile enjoy the luxury of being able to issue their own BEE-certificates…
And he is getting a lot of help from his ANC-comrades – for whenever verification-companies complain about his unilateral decisions to shift the goal-posts once again… or as stated in their code-speak, to ‘undergo the true transformation of the South African business environment’: the Competition Commission and the Department of Trade and Industry reject these complaints as unfounded: http://www.beenews.co.za/archives/competition_commission_not_to_refer_complaint_against_the_dti_abva.php
Keith Levenstein, the chief executive of another verification company: EconoBEE, said “Abva had arbitrarily set up rules aimed at protecting its own interests for years. We even raised a complaint to the Competition Commission over one of the issues”; that this commission had ‘also received an undertaking from Abva that it would not condone further actions of the sort we complained about," Levenstein said. He said Abva had never had the authority or power to set up rules and interpretations, yet it had continued to do so.
In 2007, Abva had set another new rule all by itself: stating that ‘the only verification certificate that would now be acceptable was the one produced by its own members who had applied to the SA National Accreditation System” -- and that any other certificate would be rejected. Without those BEE-certificates – which basically entails a headcount of the ‘correct percentage of white employees’ in each company -- also is very important as it allows South African companies to stay in business.
Pictures: Even the best-skilled Afrikaners are increasingly poor and living in squatter towns without any hope for the future while
BEE-officials continue their ethnic-cleansing campaign of South African industries and state-departments.
Levenstein said that by suddenly moving the goal-posts – by disallowing other organisations to also issue such certificates -- constituted an ‘unfair business practice’: “at the time they were gazetted; these codes had also allowed other non-alligned organisations to also issue certificates,” he said. And of course whenever member agencies complainedfor instance about this ‘ungazetted decision’ in August last year; their formal objections were rejected by the Competition Commission and the Department of Trade and Industry as “unfounded.’ http://www.beenews.co.za/archives/competition_commission_not_to_refer_complaint_against_the_dti_abva.php.
The Business Report article also noted that it was “ understood that Abva membership has been extended to companies such as the international tyre manufacturer Goodyear.” In other words: Goodyear and other ‘new members’ can now issue their own BEE-certificates to verify that it complies with its own employment practices as far as the hiring of whites is concerned.
Business Report writes that last year Abva had ‘opened up various categories of membership to corporates and BEE consultants”. It said in its unique code-speak that this was “aimed at promoting an environment where agencies, consultants and corporate clients had a forum within which to consult and discuss the intricate issues of broad-based black economic empowerment.” Tlhoaele said: "We are an industry association that has the right to set verification standards. This is in the codes."
However Nomonde Mesatywa, the well paid chief director in charge of BEE-oversight at the Department of Trade and Industry, claimed that ‘the department had engaged with Abva this year and had insisted that such decisions on policy were to be taken only by this department: "We … have told them that they cannot introduce new principles and cannot pronounce on policy issues," Mesatywa said. He didn’t however say anything about insisting that Avba then also remove those illegal unilateral codes from its constitution – so the empire-building can still continue.
The majority of white English-speakers don’t have similar problems of finding jobs in this oppressive atmosphere: traditionally they have always worked at the higher-executive level in South African industry -- and thus also belong to the ‘white’ population group which the ANC-regime claims ‘still own 60% of the wealth’.
Levenstein said “it was becoming more urgent for the Department of Trade and Industry “ to address the issue of interpretations and gazette updates.” More codespeak: what he said in more understandable language was that Abva ‘s chairman must be called to order and must stop making up its own codes as it went along. http://www.iol.co.za/widgets/rss_redirect.php?artid=5371929&setid=0§id=552&url=busrep&vne=1&nl=13&nld=2010-03-01&em=205034a13a20100301&ft=h
- My album of Afrikaner Poor on Digital Journal: http://www.digitaljournal.com/album/110976
On white poverty and BEE also read:
South African writer Sean Ross “The net result (of BEE) is an ever increasing community of poor white South Africans, predominantly Afrikaans, and predominantly former government or semi-government employees, living in poor conditions. Statistically, unemployment amongst white South Africans has doubled since the end of apartheid, with around 450,000 (equivalent to 10% of the ‘white’ (English- plus Afrikaans) population of 4.5 million) deemed too poor to live in traditionally white working and middle class areas.” By 2008 Solidarity trade union recorded some 800,000 of these poor-white squatter town dwellers as Afrikaners (The Afrikaner population is around 3 million). The result (of BEE) is that most of the country’s poor whites now feel they have been overlooked by the state and not afforded an equal opportunity to compete for government-paid (my comment: and also private-industry) jobs. Increasingly, they are being forced into white squatter camps on the periphery of the country’s cities and towns their forebears had founded – and where accommodation is cheap but opportunity minimal.” http://www.southafricalogue.com/travel-tips/poor-white-problem-back-to-haunt-afrikaaners.html