A huge pig! Called Maurice! But of course!
I wonder what Chris has in mind for Caro’s next birthday?
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Hugh Paxton’s Blog knows how Noah feels!
FW: If Noah was a South African – brilliant!!!
Another one for you Pax.
PO Box 9665 | 6 Trift Street
Windhoek | Namibia
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Fax | +264 237 252
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In the year 2011, the Lord came unto Noah, who was now living in South Africa , and said, "Once again, the earth has become wicked and over-populated, and I see the end of all flesh before me.
Build another Ark and save 2 of every living thing along with a few good humans."
He gave Noah the plans, saying, "You have 6 months to build the Ark before I will start the unending rain for 40 days and 40 nights."
Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah sweeping in his yard – but no Ark.
"Noah!" He roared , "I’m about to start the rain! Where is the Ark ?"
"Forgive me, Lord," begged Noah, "but things have changed. I needed a building permit. I’ve been arguing with the inspector about the need for a sprinkler system. My neighbours claim that I’ve violated the neighbourhood zoning laws by building the Ark in my yard and exceeding the height limitations. We had to go to the Metro Council for a decision.
Then ESKOM demanded a bond be posted for the future costs of moving power lines and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the Ark ‘s move to the sea. I told them that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear nothing of it.
Getting the wood was another problem. There’s a ban on cutting local trees because the Nature Conservation authorities say it will upset the balance of the local ecological system.
I tried to convince them that I needed the wood to save us all from extinction – but no go!
When I started gathering the animals, the SPCA prosecuted me. They insistedthat I was confining wild animals against their will. They argued the accommodation was too restrictive, and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space.
The traffic authorities said it would take six months after completion of the ark to plan a route to the sea. I told them also that the sea would be coming to my back yard. They threatened to have me committed.
Then the Department for Environment ruled that I couldn’t build the Ark until I had arranged and conducted an environmental impact study on your proposed flood.
I’m still trying to resolve a complaint with the BEE group on how many affirmative action persons I’m supposed to hire for my building crew.
The Department of The Interior has insisted that I provide them with a list of the people who want to work so that they can check that they are not from the non designated group.
COSATU say I can’t use my sons. They insist I have to hire only Union workers with Ark-building experience.
To make matters worse, SARS seized all my assets, claiming I’m trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species.
So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least 10 years for me to finish this Ark. "
Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow stretchedacross the sky.
Noah looked up in wonder and asked, "You mean you’re not going to destroy the world?"
"No," said the Lord.
“The SouthAfrican Government has beaten me to it!”
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Hugh Paxton’s Blog thanks Brigitte for the latest batch of “Oh Gawd! Surely not?!!!???” images from Africa. If you have been there you’ll have seen this sort of thing before. If you haven’t, isn’t it about time you went there and had a look for yourself? I’ll be reacquainting myself with Namibia at the end of next month. It’s going to be good! Mustn’t forget my camera!
Cheers from Bangkok!
From: Brigitte Alpers
the Funny side of Afria …
Hugh Paxton’s Blog thinks the following from Brigitte is just about as good as her Pick gets!
and in Africa
She has a Ph.D. from a Zimbabwe university of which her Husband and President for Life, Robert Mugabe, is the chancellor.
Dr. Grace is aiming to succeed him as president, she obtained this degree within 2 months………….
Hugh Paxton’s Blog is bored rigid with this Ebola thing. It’s West Africa, health workers, volunteers, kind people, primitive death rituals, washing the dead, monkey and ape hunting, and it isn’t romping around the world.
My daughter, this morning, informed me that Ebola was in Phuket.
Yes! She said.
No! I said. Annabel is a clever girl but doesn’t read newspapers or follow news.
I have picked up a cold from one of her infectious little friends. I noticed her watching me with alarm.
“Is your nose bleeding? Why do you have the tissue by your nose?”
“I don’t want to sneeze into your breakfast!”
Ebola! She thought I had it!
She was worried! Dear Gawd! And now there are a lot of travel bans and arguments and some idiot came on the TV saying that travel restrictions will damage tourism to West Africa. Who wants to go there at the best of times? If you want to meet Nigerians go to Paris. Or Venice.
I would suggest everybody calms down.
There are many more diseases to worry about and ebola is just a new kid on the block. If the West Africans hadn’t been killing and eating endangered primates they wouldn’t have this plague.
This is a self inflicted wound and perhaps they will stop poaching primates and raiding national parks. People learn when things go wrong.
Hugh Paxton’s Blog suggests that if you like photography, deserts and naked women this is definitely worth a look!
Hugh Paxton’s Blog thanks Brigitte and Moeletsi Mbeki for this critique of the Rainbow Nation.
Now this is an extremely intellectual and true piece of writing; read all of it below this excerpt…pity this guy is just a journalist and not the president.
by Moeletsi Mbeki: Author, political commentator and entrepreneur.
I can predict when SA’s "Tunisia Day" will arrive. Tunisia Day is when the masses rise against the powers that be, as happened recently in Tunisia. The year will be 2020, give or take a couple of years. The year 2020 is when China estimates that its current minerals-intensive industrialisation phase will be concluded.
For SA, this will mean the African National Congress (ANC) government will have to cut back on social grants, which it uses to placate the black poor and to get their votes. China’s current industrialisation phase has forced up the prices of SA’s minerals, which has enabled the government to finance social welfare programmes. The ANC is currently making SA a welfare state and tends to ‘forget’ that there is only a minority that pay all the taxes. They are often quick to say that if people (read whites) are not happy they should leave. The more people that leave, the more their tax base shrinks. Yes, they will fill the positions with BEE candidates (read blacks), but if they are not capable of doing the job then the company will eventually fold as well as their ‘new’ tax base. When there is no more money available for handouts they will then have a problem because they are breeding a culture of handouts instead of creating jobs so people can gain an idea of the value of money. If you keep getting things for free then you lose the sense of its value. The current trend of saying if the west won’t help then China will is going to bite them. China will want payment – ie land for their people and will result in an influx of Chinese (there is no such thing as a free lunch!)
The ANC inherited a flawed, complex society it barely understood; its tinkerings with it are turning it into an explosive cocktail. The ANC leaders are like a group of children playing with a hand grenade. One day one of them will figure out how to pull out the pin and everyone will be killed. …and 20 years on they still blame apartheid but have not done much to rectify things – changing names etc only costs money that could have been spent elsewhere.
A famous African liberation movement, the National Liberation Front of Algeria, after tinkering for 30 years, pulled the grenade pin by cancelling an election in 1991 that was won by the opposition Islamic Salvation Front. In the civil war that ensued, 200000 people were killed. The ‘new’ leaders are forgetting the ‘struggle’ heroes and the reasons for it – their agenda is now power and money and it suits them for the masses to be ignorant – same as Mugabe did in Zim. If you do not agree with the leaders then the followers intimidate you.
The former British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, once commented that whoever thought that the ANC could rule SA was living in CloudCuckooLand. Why was Thatcher right? In the 16 years of ANC rule, all the symptoms of a government out of its depth have grown worse.
- Life expectancy has declined from 65 years to 53 years since the ANC came to power; – a leader who did not believe that HIV causes AIDS (Mbeki) and another who believes having a shower after unprotected sex is the answer and has 5 wives and recently a child out of wedlock (Zuma). Great leaders for the masses to emulate!!- not!!
- In 2007, SA became a net food importer for the first time in its history; Yet they want to carry on with their struggle song ‘kill the boer(farmer)’ and stopping farm killings does not seem to be a priority. They do not seem to realise where food actually comes from.
- The elimination of agricultural subsidies by the government led to the loss of 600000 farm workers’ jobs and the eviction from the commercial farming sector of about 2,4-million people between 1997 and 2007; and – yet they want to create jobs and cause even more job losses – very short-sighted thinking.
- The ANC stopped controlling the borders, leading to a flood of poor people into SA, which has led to conflicts between SA’s poor and foreign African migrants. Not much thought was given to this – their attitude was to help fellow Africans by allowing them ‘refuge’ in SA. Not thinking that illegals cannot legally get jobs but they need to eat to live. I believe that most of our crime is by non-South Africans from north of the borders. They need to do something to survive! Remove the illegal problem and you solve most of the crime problem.
…but is it in their interest to solve crime? There are whole industries built on crime – each burglary, car hijacking etc results in more sales of product and contribute to GDP. What would sales be if crime was down? I do not believe that anyone has worked out how much electricity is consumed a day because of electric fencing and security lights at night. Reduce the need for this (crime) and Eksdom (Eskom) would probably have a power surplus. – or if they charged our African neighbours the correct rates at least make a decent profit to build more power stations.
What should the ANC have done, or be doing?
The answer is quite straightforward. When they took control of the government in 1994, ANC leaders should have: identified what SA’s strengths were; identified what SA’s weaknesses were; and decided how to use the strengths to minimise and/or rectify the weaknesses. Standard business principle – but they too busy enriching themselves. People who were in prison or were non-entities 20 years ago are now billionaires – how? BEE??
A wise government would have persuaded the skilled white and Indian population to devote some of their time — even an hour a week — to train the black and coloured population to raise their skill levels. This done by lots of NGO’s but should have been more constructively done by the ruling party.
What the ANC did instead when it came to power was to identify what its leaders and supporters wanted. It then used SA’s strengths to satisfy the short-term consumption demands of its supporters. In essence, this is what is called black economic empowerment (BEE). …and put people in positions they could not cope with making them look stupid where if they had the necessary grounding could have been good in the position at the right time. You cannot ‘create’ a company CEO in a couple of years. It takes years of work starting at the bottom of the ladder – not in the middle. Only some things can be learnt in books – experience is the most important factor and this is not found in text books or university corridors.
BEE promotes a number of extremely negative socioeconomic trends in our country. It promotes a class of politicians dependent on big business and therefore promotes big business’s interests in the upper echelons of government. Second, BEE promotes an anti-entrepreneurial culture among the black middle class by legitimising an environment of entitlement. Third, affirmative action, a subset of BEE, promotes incompetence (what I said above) and corruption in the public sector by using ruling party allegiance and connections as the criteria for entry and promotion in the public service, instead of having tough public service entry examinations. Nepotism is rife – jobs for friends and families who are nowhere near qualified – and then hire consultants to actually get the work done – at additional cost of course!
Let’s see where BEE, as we know it today, actually comes from. I first came across the concept of BEE from a company, which no longer exists, called Sankor. Sankor was the industrial division of Sanlam and it invented the concept of BEE.
The first purpose of BEE was to create a buffer group among the black political class that would become an ally of big business in SA. This buffer group would use its newfound power as controllers of the government to protect the assets of big business.
The buffer group would also protect the modus operandi of big business and thereby maintain the status quo in which South African business operates. That was the design of the big conglomerates.
Sanlam was soon followed by Anglo American. Sanlam established BEE vehicle Nail; Anglo established Real Africa, Johnnic and so forth. The conglomerates took their marginal assets, and gave them to politically influential black people, with the purpose, in my view, not to transform the economy but to create a black political class that is in alliance with the conglomerates and therefore wants to maintain the status quo of our economy and the way in which it operates.
But what is wrong with protecting SA’s conglomerates?
Well, there are many things wrong with how conglomerates operate and how they have structured our economy.
- The economy has a strong built-in dependence on cheap labour; With tight labour legislation they are preventing people from getting jobs. For some industries minimum wages are too high resulting in less people being employed. Because it is almost impossible to get rid of an incompetent employee without it costing lots of money in severance people rather do not employ – run on minimum with no incentive to grow the business – or alternatively automate. Result – more unemployment and employment of illegals at more affordable wages.
- It has a strong built-in dependence on the exploitation of primary resources;
- It is strongly unfavourable to the development of skills in our general population; Gone are the days of the artisan – no more structured learning to be artisans over a period of time. Try to fast track everything resulting in little on the job experience to be able to do the job. That is why Eksdom has sub stations blowing up and catching fire – lack of skill and maintenance. A friend told me about 5 years that this would start happening after Tshwane (Pretoria) started qualifying electrical engineers who were not up to standard.
- It has a strong bias towards importing technology and economic solutions; and – at a higher cost
- It promotes inequality between citizens by creating a large, marginalised underclass. Who depend on handouts that cannot be maintained into perpetuity.
Conglomerates are a vehicle, not for creating development in SA but for exploiting natural resources without creating in-depth, inclusive social and economic development, which is what SA needs. That is what is wrong with protecting conglomerates.
The second problem with the formula of BEE is that it does not create entrepreneurs. People do not develop necessary skills when being fast-tracked into a position and being given a free ride.You are taking political leaders and politically connected people and giving them assets which, in the first instance, they don’t know how to manage. So you are not adding value. You are faced with the threat of undermining value by taking assets from people who were managing them and giving them to people who cannot manage them(what I said earlier above). BEE thus creates a class of idle rich ANC politicos.
My quarrel with BEE is that what the conglomerates are doing is developing a new culture in SA — not a culture of entrepreneurship, but an entitlement culture, whereby black people who want to go into business think that they should acquire assets free, and that somebody is there to make them rich, rather than that they should build enterprises from the ground. Agree!
But we cannot build black companies if what black entrepreneurs look forward to is the distribution of already existing assets from the conglomerates in return for becoming lobbyists for the conglomerates. All companies start from the bottom – when they are ‘given’ these businesses they are usually run into the ground because of inexperience. And when they are given loans to buy business the loans invariable are not repaid and the businesses go bankrupt.
The third worrying trend is that the ANC-controlled state has now internalised the BEE model. We are now seeing the state trying to implement the same model that the conglomerates developed.
What is the state distributing? It is distributing jobs to party faithful and social welfare to the poor(what I said in different words). This is a recipe for incompetence and corruption, both of which are endemic in SA. This is what explains the service delivery upheavals that are becoming a normal part of our environment.
So what is the correct road SA should be travelling?
We all accept that a socialist model, along the lines of the Soviet Union, is not workable for SA today. The creation of a state-owned economy is not a formula that is an option for SA or for many parts of the world. Therefore, if we want to develop SA instead of shuffling pre-existing wealth, we have to create new entrepreneurs, and we need to support existing entrepreneurs to diversify into new economic sectors.
Make people work for their ‘handouts’ even if it means they must sweep the streets or clean a park – just do something instead of getting all for nothing. Guaranteed there will then be less queing for handouts because they would then be working and in most instances they do not want to work – they want everything for nothing.
And in my opinion the ANC created this culture before the first election in 1994 when they promised the masses housing, electricity etc – they just neglected to tell them that they would have to pay for them. That is why the masses constantly do not want to pay for water, electricity, rates on their properties – they think the government must pay this – after all they were told by the ANC that they will be given these things – they just do not want to understand that the money to pay for this comes from somewhere and if you don’t pay you will eventually not have these services.
And then when the tax base has left they can grow their mielies in front of their shack and stretch out their open palms to the UN for food handouts an live a day to day existence that seems to be what they want – sit on their ar$e and do nothing.
Mbeki is the author of Architects of Poverty: Why African Capitalism Needs Changing. This article forms part of a series on transformation supplied by the Centre for Development and Enterprise.
Interpol again! Hugh Paxton’s Blog is delighted to share their latest with you!
From: INTERPOL Environmental Security Sub-Directorate [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2014 11:59 PM
Subject: Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda Unite Efforts to Combat Illegal Timber Trade in East Africa
INTERPOL’s Environmental Security Sub-Directorate is pleased to share with you a media release by the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD). UN-REDD announced today, in a collaborative effort with INTERPOL and key East African nations, an initiative to tackle the illegal timber trade that is stripping East Africa of one of its most valuable natural resources.
The announcement took place this morning at UNEA, the United Nations Environment Assembly, in the presence of high-level government representatives from Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania; Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator; representatives from FAO, UNEP, and UNODC; as well as the head of INTERPOL’s Environmental Security Unit, David Higgins.
INTERPOL and its partners remain committed to combatting the illegal timber trade, which is estimated to cost the world economy between USD 30 and 100 billion annually.
Please do not hesitate to contact the Project Leaf team at environmentalcrime for more information on this and other environmental security initiatives.
Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda Unite Efforts to Combat Illegal Timber Trade in East Africa
Coordinated Approach Set to Curb Trade that Costs World Economy US$30-100 Billion Annually
Bags of charcoal wait by the side of the road to be loaded; Logged terrain in the Mau Forest of Kenya – Photo: UNEP, Photographer: Riccardo Gangle
Nairobi, 26 June 2014 – High-level government representatives from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania today, at the first United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), announced their intention to work together, along with INTERPOL and UN agencies, to curb the illegal timber trade that is stripping East Africa of one of its most valuable natural resources.
The East Africa Initiative on Illegal Timber Trade and REDD+ represents an innovative cross-border, multi-sectoral effort that will create a powerful deterrent to Africa’s illegal timber trade.
Illegal logging degrades forests, causes economic loss, destroys biodiversity and livelihoods, promotes corruption, and funds armed conflict. The economic costs of illegal logging are staggering. Including processing, an estimated US$30-100 billion is lost to the global economy through illegal logging every year, making the trade in illegally harvested timber highly damaging to national and regional economies.
Well-managed forests are a vital economic resource that supports the livelihoods of 1.6 billion people. Ecosystem services from tropical forests alone are estimated to be worth, on average, US$6,120 per hectare each year. Africa’s forest cover is estimated at 675 million hectares, or 23 per cent of the continent’s total land area continent. Between 2000 and 2010, 3.4 million hectares were lost annually to illegal logging –equivalent to an area 322 times the size of Paris, or 5.1 million football pitches.
In addition to facing the challenges of illegal logging within their borders, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda are also used as transit countries for timber illegally logged in other countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The Tanzanian strategy to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+), the on-going Kenya REDD+ governance project and the Uganda REDD+ readiness plan highlight the importance of strengthening law enforcement and forest governance to address the illegal timber trade as one of the key drivers of deforestation.
These countries recognize that illegal logging must be mitigated, and forests managed sustainably, in order to reduce emissions from forest loss. As such, a key goal of the initiative is to curb illegal logging and trade in East Africa as a way to address deforestation and subsequently reduce emissions from forests.
The government of Norway, a strong global supporter of tropical forests and those that depend on them, has announced its intended support for this important collaboration.
“I am very enthusiastic to learn that there is great interest from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda to tackle illegal logging and trade,” said Tine Sundtoft, Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway. “We know that these illegal activities constitute an important driver of deforestation and forest degradation in the region.”
“Due to illegal logging, countries are deprived of substantial revenues from the forest sector, and the income from this trade often ends up in illegal networks, fuelling crime as well as conflict,” she said. “Norway is committed to supporting this initiative and congratulates the countries, the UN and INTERPOL, for coming together and announcing their dedication to work together on this important initiative.”
The East Africa Initiative on Illegal Timber Trade and REDD+ provides an opportunity to build on each country’s experiences combatting the illegal timber trade, and brings in the specialized expertise of INTERPOL and each collaborating UN agency. The five agencies will assist the governments of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania to address a different facet of the illegal trade in timber: from economic drivers, and corruption, to law enforcement, customs control, and monitoring.
“Safeguarding the world’s forests is not just the most cost-effective way to mitigate climate change: well-managed forests also generate multi-trillion dollar services such as reliable water flow, clean air, sustainable timber products, soil stabilization and nutrient recycling,” said UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.
“We cannot afford, economically or environmentally, to allow the continued wholesale destruction of one of our planet’s most valuable resources,” he added. “That is why UNEP applauds the East Africa Initiative on Illegal Timber Trade and REDD+ and the firm commitment of the governments of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda to help ensure the responsible management of one of the most important sources of inclusive and sustainable economic growth available to us.”
Given the multi-sectoral negative impact of the illegal timber trade, the initiative will receive strong implementation support from INTERPOL, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
“This initiative demonstrates the UN’s strong support to Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda in tackling illegal logging and trade, and our appreciation to Norway for leading this process,” said UNDP Administrator Helen Clark. “Moving forward, leadership and agreement on the need to act is critical, and co-operation remains essential.”
A key element of the initiative’s strategy is to support countries in addressing the illegal timber trade from source (illegal logging) to export. This will focus on increasing accountability, transparency and developing the technical capacities to deliver effective enforcement and verification.
“Wildlife and forest crime demands a global solution that offers international cooperation founded on joint operations, intelligence sharing and strong and compatible national legislations,” said Yury Fedotov, Executive Director, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). “We can do nothing less. This is our shared planet; wildlife and forest crime is our shared responsibility.”
Enforcement plays a critical role in the process. The apprehension and prosecution of those involved in the illegal timber trade and in illegal logging reduces the perceived rewards of taking part in these illegal activities. For this reason, the initiative will also include, with the support of INTERPOL, and with the engagement of police forces, strengthened exchange of intelligence and communication across borders.
“We remain committed to developing and maintaining networks of cooperation like the one we see here today between UN agencies and INTERPOL,” said David Higgins, Head of INTERPOL’s Environmental Security Unit. “Through collaboration and coordination, we are building an unprecedented approach to address illegal logging and trade in East Africa.”
The joint UNEP-INTERPOL report, The Environmental Crime Crisis, which defines the cost of environmental crime which is threatening security and development, can be downloaded here: http://www.unep.org/unea/docs/RRAcrimecrisis.pdf
General photos of the timber trade and logging (not specifically illegal or in East Africa), are available here, with full photo credits required: http://bit.ly/1lbcMmk
About the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA)
UNEA is the highest-level UN body ever convened on the environment. It enjoys universal membership of all 193 UN member states as well as other stakeholder groups. With this wide reach into the legislative, financial and development arenas, the new body presents a ground-breaking platform for leadership on global environmental policy. UNEA boasts over 1200 participants, 170 national delegations, 80 ministers and 40 events during the five-day event from 23 to 27 June 2014 at UNEP’s HQ in Nairobi, Kenya. www.unep.org/unea
Python Swallows a man in KwaZulu-Natal
Hi guys, here’s a bit of a shocker for those of you who like wandering about in the bush or unexplored routes and roads. Look after yourselves . It took 8 men to load this python on to the truck. It swallowed the man after it found him drunk and sleeping next to the N2 road in Mkhuze,Kzn on Saturday. Had it not been spotted,the python would have remained on the same spot for up to 8 months while it digested every piece of theman’s body,including the skull n every bone.
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The message was checked by ESET Endpoint Antivirus.