Category Archives: Africa

How your South African tax money is wasted by the ANC government

How your South African tax money is wasted by the ANC government

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The R247 million spent on Nkandla angered many South Africans, but this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to wasting taxpayers’ money.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released the Nkandla report recently, which showed that the estimated total cost of improvements to President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla home is R247 million.

According to Madonsela’s report, service delivery programs were negatively affected because money earmarked for these programs was used to upgrade Nkandla.

The public protector found that Zuma “improperly benefited” from upgrades “in the name of security”. She suggested that Zuma should repay some of the money spent on Nkandla.

The Nkandla saga continues to make headlines, but this is not the first time taxpayers’ money was wasted.

In the communications space millions of taxpayer rands have been wasted on ineffective projects and through mismanagement.

Here are some of the prominent communications projects where the Department of Communications (DoC) and other organisations blew money which could have been better spent elsewhere.

Paying consultants, contractors and outsourced services – R452 million over 5 years

Former auditor-general Terence Nombembe criticized government’s extensive use of consultants, saying that government is often paying for services which should be done in-house. This is particularly relevant with the Department of Communications.

In the 2012/2013 financial year the Department of Communications (DoC) spent R76 million on consultants, contractors and agency/outsourced services.

Here is how much money the DoC spent on consultants, contractors and agency/outsourced services over the past few years:

  • 2008/2009 – R108 million.
  • 2009/2010 – R151 million.
  • 2010/2011 – R44 million.
  • 2011/2012 – R72 million.
  • 2012/2013 – R76 million.

In the 2008/2009 financial year, the Department of Communications spent R82 million on 25 consultants alone. This included:

  • Paying R1.368 million for 1 consultant for 1 day for the ICT Achievers Awards;
  • Paying R14 million for 1 consultant (event organiser for WTSA) for 9 months;
  • Paying R5.8 million for 1 consultant for 2 months to train young graduates; and
  • Paying R1.724 million for 1 consultant for 1 month to train young graduates.

SABC – R1.5 billion

Times Live reported in September 2013 that financial mismanagement continues to plague the SABC, and that the state broadcaster failed to account adequately for R1.5 billion spent on consultants for services that could have been provided by its own staff.

The Times Live report also highlighted that “R106-million was spent irregularly as proper tender procedures were not followed”.

Gauteng Online – R 1 billion

In June 2013 The Star reported that the Gauteng Department of Finance has scrapped the Gauteng Online Schools Project.

In May 2013 it was reported that more than R1.3 billion was already spent on the Gauteng Online project.

Free State Online WordPress website development– R40 million to R140 million

News emerged in March 2013 that the Free State government had awarded a R140 million tender to have a new website developed for the province.

The Free State government disputed this figure and the National Treasury later confirmed that it was closer to R40 million for a number of sites related to the Free State government.

According to an eNCA report, Treasury called for criminal charges to be laid against anyone involved in the various tenders awarded to the same company that handled the Free State websites.

Durban 2010 website – R6.5 million

The Durban City Council paid R6.5 million for the development of the Durban 2010 website in 2009.

According to the Democratic Alliance (DA) the website could not possibly have cost more than R250,000, and may well have cost less than half of that amount.

Adapt IT, the JSE listed IT company which is developing and managing the 2010 Durban website, said at the time that most of the critics simply don’t understand the scope of the full project.

Wasting money on legal battles against competition – possibly millions of rands

In 2008 the late communications minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri was involved in numerous legal battles to try to stop Internet service providers and other companies from building their own networks.

Matsepe-Casaburri therefore used taxpayers’ money to fight against true competition in the South African telecoms and broadband market. The minister lost the legal battle, and it was not long before new networks started to emerge and prices started to fall.

In the 2008/2009 financial year, the Department of Communications spent the following money on legal costs:

  • R1 million for legal advisors to the minister for 2 months.
  • R2.276 million in legal costs to consultants.

Although all this money may not have gone to the legal battle with Altech, the legal battle was unnecessary and did not serve the needs of consumers.

ICT Indaba in Cape Town – reported R102 million

The Department of Communications (DoC) spent R102-million on an ICT Indaba held at the Cape Town Convention Centre from 4 to 7 June 2012. According to the DoC, the aim of the Indaba was to look at international models on how to boost the development of the ICT sector in Africa.

The Sunday Times later revealed problems associated with event’s finances, which ultimately lead to the downfall of former communications minister Dina Pule.

Ineffective telecoms colloquiums – million of rands

In 2005 the communications department hosted two telecommunications colloquiums at Gallagher Estate in Midrand to find ways to drive down prices for telecoms services in South Africa.

Then deputy communications minister, Roy Padayachie promised delegates an action plan after 8 weeks and the implementation to follow short afterwards. This never happened.

It is not clear how much money the DoC blew on these two colloquiums, but what is clear is that the money was completely wasted. The same talk shops were repeated a few years later to try to address the same problems.

Former communications minister Dina Pule and her romantic partner – amount uncertain

In December 2013 the public protector Thuli Madonsela found that former communications minister Dina Pule unlawfully extended her spousal benefits to her romantic partner Phosane Mngqibisa.

At the time Madonsela said that the amount of money spent on Mngqibisa had not yet been determined. She said that the communications department should be reimbursed every cent.

South African Post Office – billions of rands

The Sunday World reported in October 2013 that a “looting spree totalling billions of rands at the South African Post Office has been uncovered”.

The paper, which based its report on a forensic investigation, stated that:

  • During February 2007 and April 2008, 11 labour brokers were paid R1.2 billion;
  • R551-million a year is being paid for 228 unmonitored services for which there are no contracts;
  • Of the 2,312 Post Office properties, 1,763 are unaccounted for amounting to around R1-billion; and
  • a R30-million security contract was awarded to disqualified companies that submitted fraudulent BEE credentials.

More on the Post Office:

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Farm Murders in South Africa – How many more?

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So how may dead South African farmers does it take to ‘inspire’ South Africa’s ANC-government & the world to take action?

Such a simple question – it doesn’t require you to be a rocket scientist to understand this one line of the English language. However the world remains numb and it seems to remain a trick question!!!

Comments are welcome…

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Who is Naspers?

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The bewildered herd must be governed by a specialized class whose interests reach beyond the locality. (Walther Lippmann)

Who is naspers

Knowledge is power… and power is money. In order to make big money, you need big money.

The first big fund to invest in Naspers was Comerica Foreign Equity. This fund is run by World Asset Management, the investment arm of HSBC. This bank has its main (private) office on Tortola, the largest of the British Virgin Islands.

And guess where Naspers’s investment arm, MIH Holdings Limited, is located? Yes, in the exact same street of this tax-haven of the (mostly) British elite. Just think about the above every time you pay a small fortune to watch M-Net, SuperSport, DSTV, et cetera.

Now, HSBC is the world’s 3rd largest bank with $2.36 trillion in assets. Formerly known as Hong Kong Shanghai Bank Corporation, HSBC is one of the most unscrupulous banks ever. It has been the cash cow of the British elite since its inception as a repository for British Crown opium proceeds accrued during the Chinese Opium Wars.

Armed with a royal charter, Lord Shelbourne started the Chinese opium trade in 1783 with merchants from the East India Company. Shelbourne’s main spin-doctor was Adam Smith. The latter worked for the East India Company, which was formed from the slave-trading Levant Company and later became known as Chatham House. The latter is home to the Royal Institute for International Affairs (RIIA), the second most influential think tank in the world.

The RIIA was founded in 1920. Its American sister institute, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), was founded one year later. Walther Lippmann, the Pulitzer-Prize essayist, journalist and mass-media genius was one of the founding members of the CFR. But more about him later. Needless to say, these two organizations, the RIIA and CFR, work hand in hand.

Now, the CFR is run by some of the best brains in America. They are truly exceptional people. They basically run the State Department, the CIA and are connected to nearly everybody that matters in the business and academia in America, and globally.

The CIA operates under the cover of various organizations when it comes to furthering America’s strategic and economic interests. The Ford Foundation is one of the main fronts of the CIA (i.e. the CFR).

In June 1985, this foundation hosted the first ever meeting between the ANC and the Broederbond (i.e. the NP).

The conference took place in Glen Cove, Long Island on June 1st. The main players were Professor JP De Lange (Head of the Broederbond) and ANC officials, Thabo Mbeki, Mac Maharaj and Seretse Choadi.

This meeting did not produce the results the CFR were hoping for. So they summoned the (economic) artillery, David Rockefeller.

Along with being a CFR director for 46 years, David Rockefeller served as chairman of the board from 1970-85 and was the organization’s honorary chairman till 2001. During this time, he was also chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank.

On 31st July 1985, Chase Manhattan decided not to roll over South Africa’s debt. Apparently Pik Botha’s traitor heart nearly stopped beating: “I will never forget the night of July 31 when [Minister of Finance] Barend du Plessis phoned me … [He said]: ‘Pik, I must tell you that the country is facing inevitable bankruptcy … The process has started.’” (source).

The rest is history.

So what has this got to do with Naspers? Well, it just shows that Naspers is just another appendage of interest groups beyond the borders of South Africa. In other words, it does not serve the interests of South Africans. But then, neither do other media giants in South Africa.

Caxton/CTP’s chairman in the early 1990s was Van Zyl Slabbert, who also became the chairman of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Slabbert was the useful idiot of CFR member George Soros. The latter, through his Open Society Foundation, sponsored Slabbert and super-useful idiot Max Du Preez… especially with his anti-Afrikaner Vrye Weekblad newspaper.

So, every time you hear about the Davos Afrikaner called Koos Bekker, the big boss of the 33rd largest media company in the world called Naspers (worth R344 billion or $34,88 billion) just know that he is just another witting puppet on an Anglo-American string.

He is just like those rich Boer farmers who became hensoppers during the Anglo-Boer War… selling out their own people purely for profit. Nothing more, nothing less.

Meaning that the “Who is Naspers?” question is not really that interesting. The really interesting question is the “why” behind Naspers.

Answering this question will take us through the wonderful worlds of Baudrillard (e.g. see my article Mandela’s Empire), Noam Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, the Washington Consensus, Bretton Woods, Walther Lippmann’s Public Opinion… all the way back to Edmund Husserl`s phenomenology (e.g. see my article Why Mandela).

It is a fact that people can only make sense of Reality through “ideal meanings”. Those ideal “pictures in your head” prevent you, more often than not, to “… come to judgment by critical thinking” (Walther Lippmann).

Journalism is “intelligence work” and journalists are a link between policymakers and the public, according to Lippmann.

Meaning that journalists (and the media companies that employ them, e.g. Naspers) always sanitize the Truth at the behest of their pay-masters…

By Dan Roodt

Who is Naspers?

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