mikewof

South Africa headed to economic implosion?

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I'm no monetary expert, more of a financial dimwit, and even I can tell that the warnings about South Africa's plummeting economy are on target.

If South Africa goes under the way Greece did, or worse, will there be a European-style bailout? CAN there be any kind bailout when surrounded by countries that largely struggle too other than maybe Kenya? I can't see Nigeria or Egypt helping in a bailout.

Unless they can turn that ship around, I suspect that their economy is going to shortly be based on cell phone credits and ethereum, which means the most desperate people there are going to be in real trouble.

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A lot will depend on the secret ballot today and if they can somehow dislodge Zuma.  He's a nut but he's also a symptom.  They look like they're bent of following the "Zimbabwe Blueprint" at this point.

 

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We spent several months in SA on our circumnavigation and really liked the country and people. It is a shame that it has such a useless government. The fundamentals of its economy are strong but the management has been corrupt and ineffective. The fundamental political problem is that the population support the ANC and its leader because it is the party that brought majority rule. Mandela must be turning over in his grave to see what the ANC has become. What is happening now, that is very hopeful, is that an increasing number of voters are too young to have an unthinking commitment to the ANC and will look at their options more objectively.

Zuma is not worse than Trump on a day-by-time basis, although he beat a rape trial and is corrupt, but he has been president for eight years. Can you imagine the state of the US after eight years of Trump 'leadership'.

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3 hours ago, Bristol-Cruiser said:

We spent several months in SA on our circumnavigation and really liked the country and people. It is a shame that it has such a useless government. The fundamentals of its economy are strong but the management has been corrupt and ineffective. The fundamental political problem is that the population support the ANC and its leader because it is the party that brought majority rule. Mandela must be turning over in his grave to see what the ANC has become. What is happening now, that is very hopeful, is that an increasing number of voters are too young to have an unthinking commitment to the ANC and will look at their options more objectively.

Zuma is not worse than Trump on a day-by-time basis, although he beat a rape trial and is corrupt, but he has been president for eight years. Can you imagine the state of the US after eight years of Trump 'leadership'.

I think you're right that the fundamentals are there. But it seems that Zuma is willing to accept any loser, flea-infested policy to get his ex-wife to run the ANC. I can't imagine what kind of dirty photograph she could own on her ex-husband to have him pull for her like that. 

Anyway, how was it to cruise that coast? Did you explore a bit, or was it a resupply in Capetown and then off?

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45 minutes ago, cmilliken said:

Zuma survived the vote and the RAND is down down.

 

Economic immolation?

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7 hours ago, mikewof said:

I think you're right that the fundamentals are there. But it seems that Zuma is willing to accept any loser, flea-infested policy to get his ex-wife to run the ANC. I can't imagine what kind of dirty photograph she could own on her ex-husband to have him pull for her like that. 

Anyway, how was it to cruise that coast? Did you explore a bit, or was it a resupply in Capetown and then off?

Oh, no! Diverting from PA to talk about sailing. We entered the country at Richard's Bay and made the usual stops at Durban, Port Elizabeth, East London, Mossel Bay, and Simonstown - for the winter before going to Cape Town for a weeks before heading to Namibia. We did most of our land travel from Richards Bay, two weeks to look at animals (mostly) and battle sites and then one week with a 4WD pickup into Lesotho where I had volunteered for several months after retiring.

Sailing down the coast was quite easy and pleasant. You know where you are going next, there are only the few major ports with nowhere to anchor until quite far west and even then the anchorages are not that good. The weather forecasts seemed excellent and there is a radio net run by some locals who know there stuff and can interpret the local weather well. It was fun getting out in the Agulhas  Current and seeing your speed go above 10 knots. Getting to SA from Mauritius is another matter entirely. We had relatively good conditions with good wind direction but speeds in the 30 to 45 knot range for days. The big problem is getting through the Current. Depressions spin off from the big lows passing to the south and you get wind into current issues (the Agulhas is substantially more powerful than the Gulf Stream). The sailing directions talk about 20 m (say 65 feet) waves. The Peri-Peri Net guys at first told us to slow down to let a depression go through. Twelve hours later they were saying that the depression had slowed down and wondered if we could speed up to beat it to Richards Bay. We did so and had a glorious sail with whales broaching and fast speeds. Eight hours after we tied up in the harbour it was blowing 50 offshore. We had friends with a smallish boat (Pacific Seacraft 34 I think it was) who were hove-to for six days waiting to cross the Current.

The rand is trading at more than 13 to the US dollar. Not many years ago it was less than eight and even then it was a cheap place to be a tourist. It would be a real bargain now and well worth a visit by sea or air.

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18 hours ago, random said:

Really?  Is he worse than Trump?

He gets 1000 points from lefties for being black.

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It isn't so much the printing, it is the fucking greedy shits who start giving printed money to themselves and eventually horde so much of the unbacjed fake shit, everybody else's money becomes worthless. 

The fact there are now multiple billionaires is a very very bad sign. 

There are now many people paying more for a dinner than others with full time jobs earn in a year.

When  the minimum wage workers finally realize the managers who claim they cannot pay more are staying in $10,000 a night rooms, and putting both $400 drinks on the company expense accounts...

maybe

just maybe

unions will make a comeback 

 

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1 hour ago, random said:

Oh looky over there something really shiny!  I think it's a President worse than Trump in Africa!

And even though all the economic indicators are only half as bad as the USA, South Africa is in the verge of economic destruction!  Go figure.

It's about the size of the economy. A $300 billion economy doesn't have a lot of capacitance to handle dunderheaded policy the way an $18 trillion economy does.

They're at nearly 30% unemployment, U.S. unemployment is nearly as low as it can go, transitional rate, less than 5%.

An economic collapse in South Africa would consume hundreds of thousands of lives and millions of futures. Sometimes it ain't Trump, y'know?

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48 minutes ago, random said:

Yeah, I get it now Mike.  107% of GDP debt in an 18 Trillion economy is no where near as bad as a 42% GDP debt in a smaller one.

Another view of the 5% Mike

One area of concern in recent years has been the labor force participation rate, which measures the portion of the population that's either employed or looking for work. The participation rate has fallen since the recession, likely due to demographic shifts like baby boomers retiring.

Some economists also think that workers are feeling discouraged and not actively seeking work. Others think there are more cyclical factors and even changes in the nature of the economy at work.

In October, the participation rate fell slightly, to 62.8 percent.

You think you get it, you think this is about politics. 30% unemployment isn't politics, it's a fast-developing catastrophe.

Struggling and failing economies consume lives. Not First World pissed off guys like you and I, but people who rely on social services to get to their dialysis, or to get better quality medicine for their kid's asthma, or have a slightly-better than starvation wage job to afford some fresh fruits and vegetables rather than welfare to get food that comes out of a plastic bag.

South Africa's unemployment is now worse than Greece's was at the worst of it a few years ago, they're closing in on Haiti's rate, which is as bad as any Developing Nation in the world. You want to parse nuggets about participation rate vs. transitional, have a ball, you're missing the point though; South Africa doesn't have infrastructure everywhere ... water, sewage and vector control (i.e. malaria) is already unstable there in some areas, plopping a service failure on that could consume a million lives or worse. And unemployment causes crime to rise, what do you think would happen in Lesotho? Their homicide rate is already one of the highest in the world.

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Trying to compare US and SA is largely pointless. My fear in South Africa is that things will not be improved by Zuma and his ilk and conditions continue to deteriorate until there is a revolutionary response in the country. There is already a growing part of the younger population that are leaning that way since they see no potential for improvement through the political process. I fear for the future of the country.

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I have sadly in my lifetime seen African countries that have every resource needed to be relatively wealthy screw themselves over and over and over ...........

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1 minute ago, kent_island_sailor said:

I have sadly in my lifetime seen African countries that have every resource needed to be relatively wealthy screw themselves over and over and over ...........

Indeed so - the populace gets so used to generational repression that they abandon hope of anything other than being ignored by the powerful, corrupt few who pillage resources for their own personal enrichment.  That is abject poverty, and it's a difficult thing to witness. 

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I was on my way to Somalia when the office of the company I was going to work for was attacked and the contract was ended. Part of my interview was "Do you get upset seeing people get killed*" :o I was going to fly medivac for mine clearing :o :o

 

* how the hell do you answer that? Yes = no job and No = you are a psycho...........

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4 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

I was on my way to Somalia when the office of the company I was going to work for was attacked and the contract was ended. Part of my interview was "Do you get upset seeing people get killed*" :o I was going to fly medivac for mine clearing :o :o

 

* how the hell do you answer that? Yes = no job and No = you are a psycho...........

I understand - the right answer would be that " I don't like it, but, understand that it's part of the job".   We get "interviewed" w/similar questions before we're accepted to do deployments to certain things in certain areas.   Did ya get that gig? What A/C were they going to have you flying?  I've not been in Somalia, but, have been right on the northern border in Djibouti.  Ethiopia was a fun place in comparison, actually, Addis Ababa was an enjoyable stopover. 

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I was going to fly a C-208. The contract ended because of increased fighting in Somalia, so no job there. The last guy quit because of seeing kids step on mines :o

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3 hours ago, Moderate said:

Shamelessly stolen from AR15.com

Let Africa Sink

 

Kim du Toit May 26, 2002

 

When it comes to any analysis of the problems facing Africa, Western society, and particularly people from the United States, encounter a logical disconnect that makes clear analysis impossible. That disconnect is the way life is regarded in the West (it's precious, must be protected at all costs etc.), compared to the way life, and death, are regarded in Africa. Let me try to quantify this statement.

 

In Africa, life is cheap. There are so many ways to die in Africa that death is far more commonplace than in the West. You can die from so many things--snakebite, insect bite, wild animal attack, disease, starvation, food poisoning... the list goes on and on. At one time, crocodiles accounted for more deaths in sub-Saharan Africa than gunfire, for example. Now add the usual human tragedy (murder, assault, warfare and the rest), and you can begin to understand why the life expectancy for an African is low--in fact, horrifyingly low, if you remove White Africans from the statistics (they tend to be more urbanized, and more Western in behavior and outlook). Finally, if you add the horrifying spread of AIDS into the equation, anyone born in sub-Saharan Africa this century will be lucky to reach age forty.

 

I lived in Africa for over thirty years. Growing up there, I was infused with several African traits--traits which are not common in Western civilization. The almost-casual attitude towards death was one. (Another is a morbid fear of snakes.)

 

So because of my African background, I am seldom moved at the sight of death, unless it's accidental, or it affects someone close to me. (Death which strikes at strangers, of course, is mostly ignored.) Of my circle of about eighteen or so friends with whom I grew up, and whom I would consider "close", only about ten survive today--and not one of the survivors is over the age of fifty.

 

Two friends died from stepping on landmines while on Army duty in Namibia. Three died in horrific car accidents (and lest one thinks that this is not confined to Africa, one was caused by a kudu flying through a windshield and impaling the guy through the chest with its hoof--not your everyday traffic accident in, say, Florida). One was bitten by a snake, and died from heart failure. Another also died of heart failure, but he was a hopeless drunkard. Two were shot by muggers. The last went out on his surfboard one day and was never seen again (did I mention that sharks are plentiful off the African coasts and in the major rivers?). My situation is not uncommon in South Africa--and north of the Limpopo River (the border with Zimbabwe), I suspect that others would show worse statistics.

 

The death toll wasn't just confined to my friends. When I was still living in Johannesburg, the newspaper carried daily stories of people mauled by lions, or attacked by rival tribesmen, or dying from some unspeakable disease (and this was pre-AIDS Africa too) and in general, succumbing to some of Africa's many answers to the population explosion. Add to that the normal death toll from rampant crime, illness, poverty, flood, famine, traffic, and the police, and you'll begin to get the idea.

 

My favorite African story actually happened after I left the country. An American executive took a job over there, and on his very first day, the newspaper headlines read: "Three Headless Bodies Found".

 

The next day: "Three Heads Found".

 

The third day: "Heads Don't Match Bodies".

 

You can't make this stuff up.

 

As a result, death is treated more casually by Africans than by Westerners. I, and I suspect most Africans, am completely inured to reports of African suffering, for whatever cause. Drought causes crops to fail, thousands face starvation? Yup, that happened many times while I was growing up. Inter-tribal rivalry and warfare causes wholesale slaughter? Yep, been happening there for millennia, long before Whitey got there. Governments becoming rich and corrupt while their populations starved? Not more than nine or ten of those. In my lifetime, the following tragedies have occurred, causing untold millions of deaths: famine in Biafra, genocide in Rwanda, civil war in Angola, floods in South Africa, famine in Somalia, civil war in Sudan, famine in Ethiopia, floods in Mozambique, wholesale slaughter in Uganda, and tribal warfare in every single country. There are others, but you get the point.

 

Yes, all this was also true in Europe--maybe a thousand years ago. But not any more. And Europe doesn't teem with crocodiles, ultra-venomous snakes and so on.

 

The Dutch controlled the floods. All of Europe controls famine--it's non-existent now. Apart from a couple of examples of massive, state-sponsored slaughter (Nazi Germany, Communist Russia), Europe since 1700 doesn't even begin to compare to Africa today. Casual slaughter is another thing altogether--rare in Europe, common in Africa.

 

More to the point, the West has evolved into a society with a stable system of government, which follows the rule of law, and has respect for the rights and life of the individual--none of which is true in Africa.

 

Among old Africa hands, we have a saying, usually accompanied by a shrug: "Africa wins again." This is usually said after an incident such as:

 

a beloved missionary is butchered by his congregation, for no apparent reason

 

a tribal chief prefers to let his tribe starve to death rather than accepting food from the Red Cross (would mean he wasn't all-powerful, you see)

 

an entire nation starves to death, while its ruler accumulates wealth in foreign banks

 

a new government comes into power, promising democracy, free elections etc., provided that the freedom doesn't extend to the other tribe

 

the other tribe comes to power in a bloody coup, then promptly sets about slaughtering the first tribe

 

etc, etc, etc, ad nauseam, ad infinitum.

 

The prognosis is bleak, because none of this mayhem shows any sign of ending. The conclusions are equally bleak, because, quite frankly, there is no answer to Africa's problems, no solution that hasn't been tried before, and failed.

 

Just go to the CIA World Fact Book, pick any of the African countries (Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi etc.), and compare the statistics to any Western country (eg. Portugal, Italy, Spain, Ireland). The disparities are appalling--and it's going to get worse, not better. It has certainly got worse since 1960, when most African countries achieved independence. We, and by this I mean the West, have tried many ways to help Africa. All such attempts have failed.

 

1. Charity is no answer. Money simply gets appropriated by the first, or second, or third person to touch it (17 countries saw a decline in real per capita GNP between 1970 and 1999, despite receiving well over $100 billion in World Bank assistance).

 

2. Food isn't distributed. This happens either because there is no transportation infrastructure (bad), or the local leader deliberately withholds the supplies to starve people into submission (worse).

 

3. Materiel is broken, stolen or sold off for a fraction of its worth. The result of decades of "foreign aid" has resulted in a continental infrastructure which, if one excludes South Africa, couldn't support Pittsburgh.

 

Add to this, as I mentioned above, the endless cycle of Nature's little bag of tricks--persistent drought followed by violent flooding, a plethora of animals, reptiles and insects so dangerous that life is already cheap before Man starts playing his little reindeer games with his fellow Man--and what you are left with is: catastrophe.

 

The inescapable conclusion is simply one of resignation. This goes against the grain of our humanity--we are accustomed to ridding the world of this or that problem (smallpox, polio, whatever), and accepting failure is anathema to us. But, to give a classic African scenario, a polio vaccine won't work if the kids are prevented from getting the vaccine by a venal overlord, or a frightened chieftain, or a lack of roads, or by criminals who steal the vaccine and sell it to someone else. If a cure for AIDS was found tomorrow, and offered to every African nation free of charge, the growth of the disease would scarcely be checked, let alone reversed. Basically, you'd have to try to inoculate as many two-year old children as possible, and write off the two older generations.

 

So that is the only one response, and it's a brutal one: accept that we are powerless to change Africa, and leave them to sink or swim, by themselves.

 

It sounds dreadful to say it, but if the entire African continent dissolves into a seething maelstrom of disease, famine and brutality, that's just too damn bad. We have better things to do--sometimes, you just have to say, "Can't do anything about it."

 

The viciousness, the cruelty, the corruption, the duplicity, the savagery, and the incompetence is endemic to the entire continent, and is so much of an anathema to any right-thinking person that the civilized imagination simply stalls when faced with its ubiquity, and with the enormity of trying to fix it. The Western media shouldn't even bother reporting on it. All that does is arouse our feelings of horror, and the instinctive need to do something, anything--but everything has been tried before, and failed. Everything, of course, except self-reliance.

 

All we should do is make sure that none of Africa gets transplanted over to the U.S., because the danger to our society is dire if it does. I note that several U.S. churches are attempting to bring groups of African refugees over to the United States, European churches the same for Europe. Mistake. Mark my words, this misplaced charity will turn around and bite us, big time.

 

Even worse would be to think that the simplicity of Africa holds some kind of answers for Western society: remember "It Takes A Village"? Trust me on this: there is not one thing that Africa can give the West which hasn't been tried before and failed, not one thing that isn't a step backwards, and not one thing which is worse than, or that contradicts, what we have already.

 

So here's my solution for the African fiasco: a high wall around the whole continent, all the guns and bombs in the world for everyone inside, and at the end, the last one alive should do us all a favor and kill himself.

 

Inevitably, some Kissingerian realpolitiker is going to argue in favor of intervention, because in the vacuum of Western aid, perhaps the Communist Chinese would step in and increase their influence in the area. There are two reasons why this isn't going to happen.

 

Firstly, the PRC doesn't have that kind of money to throw around; and secondly, the result of any communist assistance will be precisely the same as if it were Western assistance. For the record, Mozambique and Angola are both communist countries--and both are economic disaster areas. The prognosis for both countries is disastrous--and would be the same for any other African country.

 

Africa has to heal itself. The West can't help it. Nor should we. The record speaks for itself.

Some good points in the lead up to the last few paragraphs but then ... The PRC is all over Africa now building highways here, railways there, a hydro-electric project somewhere else. They are not doing this because they are great humanitarians rather they see two inter-connected benefits for them - profits, last time I was in Lesotho they were improving and paving roads all over the country in return for the right to build a diamond mine (Lesotho produces extremely high quality gemstones). At the same time they are building their geopolitical influence there. There are no Kissingers to point out that while the US spins its wheels internationally the Chinese are stealing their lunch. BTW, the economic growth rate in Africa in recent years is higher than that of any other continent. This is not to say that most of the economic benefits are finding their way down to the average person. It is the elites that are benefiting, which is why the continent's countries need better leaders. In SA it is shame that Mandela did not assume power ten years sooner when he would have had more time to establish a powerful political legacy and groom good successors.

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18 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

I have sadly in my lifetime seen African countries that have every resource needed to be relatively wealthy screw themselves over and over and over ...........

This seems like a coincidence?

Have you noticed what happens to African countries which do have a decent crack at getting into the "1st world"?

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South Africa is slowly slipping down to the stereotypical African state: bankrupted by corruption and incompetence, crumbling infrastructure, riddled with poverty, crime and AIDS, a slow-motion collapse.

Sad truth is that Africa is fucked. Most of the humanitarian and state aid billions that get pumped in ends up in the bank accounts of evil assholes in power and their nearest cronies and relatives.

 

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5 hours ago, Battlecheese said:

This seems like a coincidence?

Have you noticed what happens to African countries which do have a decent crack at getting into the "1st world"?

Yup.

First Europe, and now Asia sees the ripe cow that is much of Africa, jammed with resources and willing labor, profit at every turn, if one is willing to embrace their inner Satan and just set up sufficient system to have the locals fight between themselves while the Hamburgler sneaks around the back.

Africa is still subject to the maw of Britain's cartographic divide-and-conquer.

So now Zuma is trying to gradually nationalize some portion of Africa's industries, and we all know how miserably that ends up, from Lamumba to Savimbi. He's going to get Ajaxed. Zuma is a bit corrupt it seems, but no more so than twenty other major world leaders who don't have to see their economies picked apart by Client-State buzzards.

He could turn it around by just conceding that you can't fight industry, regardless your intentions. And he needs to drop the idea of getting his ex-wife installed into the ANC. He can even come right out and just admit defeat to the Client-State, the job machine would kick into overdrive and kids with jobs and paychecks and a beat-up Toyota with a national flag on the hood, don't tend to kill each other too often.

If nothing else, admit defeat in mining and see if Fiat is willing to expand manufacturing in Jo-berg and Lesotho in exchange for a tax gift. I think that corruption isn't the main thing holding back Africa, but rather pride ... people would rather vote for a guy like Zuma who tells industry to get in line, then they would swallow their pride and have lots of jobs and comforts. Africans don't conform the way Asians and Europeans do. As Americans and Australians, we should jump at that national characteristic as something close to our own heart ... they'll make us all happy if we let them run their own show and just sell us what we need. Nobody has ever denied the prowess of the African businessperson, they're very good at what they do, except that their talents are currently being squandered on two-bit scams and yessirism.

We didn't set up this mess, Britain's Crown set up this mess. Nobody else should have to deal with the consequences.

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Well, as of Thursday last week Zuma is gone, Cyril Ramaphosa is our new president and the new broom is already sweeping clean. The gratifying thing is that civil society, a free press and a steadfast, independent judiciary achieved this by relentlessly confronting a venal, corrupt president and finally got rid of him. Zuma's Indian partners in looting, the Gupta family, are on the run along with Zuma's son.

President Ramaphosa is everything Zuma wasn't: highly intelligent, thoroughly modern in outlook, well respected by labour and business and a man driven by ideals,  not self-interest. There will be a lot of very good people returning to government soon, and the future looks far brighter. This country has a way of confounding the critics and will continue to do so.    

And Kim du Toit can piss off. Oh, ok, she already has, a long time ago.

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6 hours ago, knucklehead said:

Well, as of Thursday last week Zuma is gone, Cyril Ramaphosa is our new president and the new broom is already sweeping clean. The gratifying thing is that civil society, a free press and a steadfast, independent judiciary achieved this by relentlessly confronting a venal, corrupt president and finally got rid of him. Zuma's Indian partners in looting, the Gupta family, are on the run along with Zuma's son.

President Ramaphosa is everything Zuma wasn't: highly intelligent, thoroughly modern in outlook, well respected by labour and business and a man driven by ideals,  not self-interest. There will be a lot of very good people returning to government soon, and the future looks far brighter. This country has a way of confounding the critics and will continue to do so.    

And Kim du Toit can piss off. Oh, ok, she already has, a long time ago.

Congratulations on Ramaphosa and shitcanning Zuma. And I agree with your bolded bit there, there isn't an industrialized city on the planet that could take the impending Day Zero in stride the way you folks have.

If that was planned in L.A., Sydney, Houston, Brisbane or Sao Paolo, the riots would be long and legendary.

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10 hours ago, mikewof said:

Congratulations on Ramaphosa and shitcanning Zuma. And I agree with your bolded bit there, there isn't an industrialized city on the planet that could take the impending Day Zero in stride the way you folks have.

If that was planned in L.A., Sydney, Houston, Brisbane or Sao Paolo, the riots would be long and legendary.

Well, speaking as a former Sydney resident, the Govt actually would have (and did) put in place a contingency for this in the form of a desalination plant. As it has turned out, *so far* it hasn't been necessary, but I really sincerely doubt any govt in Australia would have allowed a city to run out of water like the Day Zero scenario.

And I have a very low regard for politicians, but they have a high regard for their hold on public office, so one can trust in their own self-interest. I suspect the people making the decisions in SA simply are untouchable and therefore weren't going to wear the consequences. Which is a failure of governance.

Or - the city population has so far outstripped infrastructure that they're fucked and going to stay fucked.

FKT

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The Day Zero seemed to creep up on them, I followed it for a long time through the industry trades. They have contingencies for desal and new ground water, but they also did exactly what a government should do in my opinion with water; force rations, and if the rations aren't adhered, then cut off nonessential services.

New drilling is a stop gap, and desal is often done so poorly that the brine discharge poisons prime reef and aquaculture. 

Yes, Capetown has outstripped their water resources, but so has Sydney and L.A., the main difference being that those two cities have secured water rights from the backs of others.

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6 hours ago, mikewof said:

The Day Zero seemed to creep up on them, I followed it for a long time through the industry trades. They have contingencies for desal and new ground water, but they also did exactly what a government should do in my opinion with water; force rations, and if the rations aren't adhered, then cut off nonessential services.

New drilling is a stop gap, and desal is often done so poorly that the brine discharge poisons prime reef and aquaculture. 

Yes, Capetown has outstripped their water resources, but so has Sydney and L.A., the main difference being that those two cities have secured water rights from the backs of others.

I don't know enough about the back story for LA but as I said I grew up in Sydney and at one stage 30+ years back I was one of the people running the surface water database system with all the stream gauging records going back into the 1800's. That department had very competent engineers and scientists looking at projected water demand etc.

Sydney's water supply is getting a bit marginal if there's another multi-year drought, I'd agree rationing will be back, but given enough political will & cheap energy it's something that can be managed. Except we're pissing away our cheap & reliable energy. OTOH the price of PV panels seems to have taken another hit and desal might well be one of those things that isn't totally time-dependent, so - I dunno.

Fortunately these days I live in Tasmania and have my own water supply - 50 tonnes of it in a concrete tank under my house fed off of the house roof, and I still have 200+ square metres of workshop roof to use if I need it.

FKT

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How could South Africis be going broke? Every Seath Efrican I meet in Australia is a multi millionaire back home. They just can't get the money out but will pay you back as soon as they can. They all trialed for the Springboks as well. How can you tell if a South African is speaking Bullshit?

Their lips are moving. 

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3 hours ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

I don't know enough about the back story for LA but as I said I grew up in Sydney and at one stage 30+ years back I was one of the people running the surface water database system with all the stream gauging records going back into the 1800's. That department had very competent engineers and scientists looking at projected water demand etc.

Sydney's water supply is getting a bit marginal if there's another multi-year drought, I'd agree rationing will be back, but given enough political will & cheap energy it's something that can be managed. Except we're pissing away our cheap & reliable energy. OTOH the price of PV panels seems to have taken another hit and desal might well be one of those things that isn't totally time-dependent, so - I dunno.

Fortunately these days I live in Tasmania and have my own water supply - 50 tonnes of it in a concrete tank under my house fed off of the house roof, and I still have 200+ square metres of workshop roof to use if I need it.

FKT

Desal is getting cheaper, I think the most recent is US$0.45 per cubic meter. But it's still way too expensive for any non-rationed scheme. Still, we do it here, there are lots of people in Tampa Bay and L.A. who are in fact watering their lawns and taking full-on soaking baths with highly subsidized desalinated seawater. And yet, the open secret of this fast-developing mess is that we are in the 1920s, in a regulatory way, about brine. I think it isn't even regulated by the EPA yet. It's mixed in a half-assed way and reinjected, often to poison ecosystems and potentially damage tourism sources. Reinjecting brine the right way is very difficult work, mathematically, it's called a "card shuffling" problem.

And good on you for your rooftop collection. That was illegal in my state until recently, they finally changed the law to allow us two 55 gallon barrels maximum of rain collection. In some way, water (and the lack of it) controls politics West of the Mississippi. And we seem to be headed into another drought, we've had fuck-all snowpack this year so far.

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I don't use municipal water in my house - it's a combination of well point and rainwater collection, at work we are using chemical toilets, no showers and at the yacht club we have a host of measures to reduce water consumption from waterless urinals to flow reducers on all the showers (which are closed from 9am to 5pm), no fresh water supply to the marinas other than for one hour twice a week, no fresh water flushing of outboard motors, grey water flushing of toilets, push button taps, etc. We turned down a proposal to site a desalination plant at the club due to concerns around brine disposal (we're a Blue Flag marina) and lease restrictions around running a commercial operation from the club. The cost of desalinated water is roughly 10x the cost of municipal supply. It's remarkable how little water you can get by on if you have to, with minimal inconvenience.

The city used to consume about 1.2 billion litres of water a day, it's now down to 527 million litres a day. It's the new normal. And "Day Zero" just moved out another month to the first week of July, the start of the winter rainfall period.    

 

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1 hour ago, mikewof said:

And good on you for your rooftop collection. That was illegal in my state until recently, they finally changed the law to allow us two 55 gallon barrels maximum of rain collection. In some way, water (and the lack of it) controls politics West of the Mississippi. And we seem to be headed into another drought, we've had fuck-all snowpack this year so far.

That's cool.  I didn't know they had tweaked it. 

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1 hour ago, knucklehead said:

I don't use municipal water in my house - it's a combination of well point and rainwater collection, at work we are using chemical toilets, no showers and at the yacht club we have a host of measures to reduce water consumption from waterless urinals to flow reducers on all the showers (which are closed from 9am to 5pm), no fresh water supply to the marinas other than for one hour twice a week, no fresh water flushing of outboard motors, grey water flushing of toilets, push button taps, etc. We turned down a proposal to site a desalination plant at the club due to concerns around brine disposal (we're a Blue Flag marina) and lease restrictions around running a commercial operation from the club. The cost of desalinated water is roughly 10x the cost of municipal supply. It's remarkable how little water you can get by on if you have to, with minimal inconvenience.

The city used to consume about 1.2 billion litres of water a day, it's now down to 527 million litres a day. It's the new normal. And "Day Zero" just moved out another month to the first week of July, the start of the winter rainfall period.    

My take on Capetown from the water trades journals is that you guys are doing what many of the rest of us are going to do in another ten years or so. It seems that South African and Israeli water conservation technologies are going to be major exports soon enough. But it's a shame that Madagascar is suffering so much from their drought with little help. The drought news out of Madagascar is disturbing.

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The new President of #SouthAfrica used his first State of the Nation Address to promise the seizure of white farmers' land without compensation. EFF leader Julius Malema called anyone opposed to this an "enemy of the people".

 

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2 hours ago, the_abandoned_brane said:
 

The new President of #SouthAfrica used his first State of the Nation Address to promise the seizure of white farmers' land without compensation. EFF leader Julius Malema called anyone opposed to this an "enemy of the people".

 

Do you have any non-twitter links to this?  Fake news?

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My oldest daughter is in Durban on an exchange program from her school in SoCal. I know I'm doing my part for their economy.

 

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20 hours ago, mikewof said:

Desal is getting cheaper, I think the most recent is US$0.45 per cubic meter. But it's still way too expensive for any non-rationed scheme. Still, we do it here, there are lots of people in Tampa Bay and L.A. who are in fact watering their lawns and taking full-on soaking baths with highly subsidized desalinated seawater. And yet, the open secret of this fast-developing mess is that we are in the 1920s, in a regulatory way, about brine. I think it isn't even regulated by the EPA yet. It's mixed in a half-assed way and reinjected, often to poison ecosystems and potentially damage tourism sources. Reinjecting brine the right way is very difficult work, mathematically, it's called a "card shuffling" problem.

And good on you for your rooftop collection. That was illegal in my state until recently, they finally changed the law to allow us two 55 gallon barrels maximum of rain collection. In some way, water (and the lack of it) controls politics West of the Mississippi. And we seem to be headed into another drought, we've had fuck-all snowpack this year so far.

What is " brine ". ?   Are there any economicaly valuable minerals in this brine ?

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3 hours ago, slug zitski said:

What is " brine ". ?   Are there any economicaly valuable minerals in this brine ?

It's the concentrated shit left over from desal. Regular seawater is about 3.5% salt, so when you pull out half of that batch of water that is 0.01% salt to drink, then you have a second batch that is 7% salt. Pull out another batch of drinking water and you have 1/4 of the original batch that is 14% salt. That's that brine, and it also has leftover biocide in it, tiny chunks from the osmotic screens, lubricants from the energy recovery system, etc..

Yes, it has valuable stuff in the brine like lithium, rare earth elements, some precious metals. If you dry out the brine you obviously get sea salt that has a little value. But getting the valuable parts out of the brine isn't easy, you have to reduce the entropy which takes energy. That makes the water more expensive, even if you sell the lithium, it's still usually cheaper to just dump the whole mess back out in the ocean, especially since it's still rarely regulated. But when you dump high salt brine over regular ocean water, the concentrated stuff tries to sink while the natural stuff tries to rise, which makes a saline inversion. The fish that can, swim away, most of them can't handle high salt. The stuff that can't swim away like reef creatures, just die.

Unfortunately, folks too often blame global warming for reef die-offs, often the heating is due to saline inversion and contaminants. Instead of tightly controlling what goes back into the water, we just throw up our hands and blame global warming. 

I love desal, love the shit out of it. But honestly, it needs to be a last resort method. Capetown is doing the right thing, forcing conservation, rather than just running to desal like the USA, Oz and the Middle East.

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The brine has also lost its entrapped oxygen, so even if it is mixed with raw seawater before being dumped its oxygen content is lower than the surrounding sea water after it is returned to the sea. And there are chemicals added in the process to keep the screens clean.  

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Yah,..i can see that nothing is perfect, everything has consequences.

the water shortage in Cape Town will need somekinda drastic solution .

what will it be ? 

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On 2/20/2018 at 9:43 PM, 2slow said:

Do you have any non-twitter links to this?  Fake news?

Half-fake, at least.

There's a full transcript of the SONA here:

https://www.timeslive.co.za/politics/2018-02-16-in-full--read-cyril-ramaphosas-first-state-of-the-nation-address/

in which he does discuss expropriation w/o compensation:

This year, we will take decisive action to realise the enormous economic potential of agriculture.

We will accelerate our land redistribution programme not only to redress a grave historical injustice, but also to bring more producers into the agricultural sector and to make more land available for cultivation.

We will pursue a comprehensive approach that makes effective use of all the mechanisms at our disposal.

Guided by the resolutions of the 54th National Conference of the governing party, this approach will include the expropriation of land without compensation.

We are determined that expropriation without compensation should be implemented in a way that increases agricultural production, improves food security and ensure that the land is returned to those from whom it was taken under colonialism and apartheid.

Government will undertake a process of consultation to determine the modalities of the implementation of this resolution.

We make a special call to financial institutions to be our partners in mobilising resources to accelerate the land redistribution programme as increased investment will be needed in this sector.

But a search for "enemy of the people", or even just "enemy" returned zero hits.

 

Thinking they might have mistaken the SONA speech for the response to the SONA debate speech, I dug up a transcipt of that also:

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.za/2018/02/20/full-transcript-president-ramaphosas-response-to-the-sona-debate_a_23366323/

in which he again discusses expropriation w/o compensation:

This commitment we all made must inform the debate we need to have on all fundamental measures of redress that we need to undertake to heal the divisions of the past in order to establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights.

The return of the land to the people from whom it was taken speaks to precisely how we can heal the divisions of the past.

We need to interrogate the statement that the expropriation of land without compensation is incompatible with a growing, flourishing economy.

We need to respond to the view that what we propose represents a violation of the spirit and intent of our democratic Constitution.

There are few in our country who would contest the fact that dispossession of black South Africans of their land contributed fundamentally to the impoverishment and disempowerment of the majority of our people.

This morning, while walking in Gugulethu, I met Mr Cedric Alberts, who was forcibly removed from District Six in 1969.

His family's story illustrates in vivid terms the pain and damage caused by the former rulers of this land.

The expropriation of land without compensation is envisaged as one of the measures that we will use to accelerate the redistribution of land to black South Africans.

We will need to determine, collectively, how we can implement this measure in a way that promotes agricultural production, improves food security, advances rural development, reduces poverty and strengthens our economy.

For it to serve this purpose, we will need to locate this measure within a broad and comprehensive land redistribution and agricultural development programme.

This is a profound responsibility that has been given to our generation.

We owe it to our ancestors and to our children to ensure that we fulfil it.

In dealing with this complex matter, we will not make the mistakes that others have made.

We will not allow smash-and-grab interventions.

We will handle this matter in the same way we have handled all difficult issues our country has had to handle.

We will always seek to do what is in the interests of our people.

This includes, Honourable Buthelezi, how we will handle the Ingonyama Trust issue.

No-one is saying that land must be taken away from our people.

Rather it is how we can make sure that our people have equitable access to land and security of tenure.

We must see this process of accelerated land redistribution as an opportunity and not as a threat.

We must see it as an opportunity to free all of us from the bitterness and pain of the past.

 

But a search for "enemy of the people", or even just "enemy"... again... returned zero hits.

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It's time to let Africa die a natural death. 

https://citizen.co.za/news/1838271/anc-supports-principle-of-effs-motion/

The ANC supported the EFF's motion, which means it could be implemented after amendment of the Constitution in the wake of a series of public processes.
Parliament has agreed to the motion on the expropriation of land without compensation tabled by EFF commander in chief Julius Malema, with 241 parliamentarians voting yes and 83 voting no.

During the debate on the motion today, newly appointed Minister of Water and Sanitation Gugile Nkwinti said in the National Assembly that the ANC supports the principle of land expropriation without compensation motion tabled by the EFF and only differs on "modality".

Nkwinti, who was shifted from the Ministry of Rural Development and Land Reform during President Cyril Ramaphosa's Cabinet reshuffle last night to his current portfolio, further said his organisation is committed to implementing the policy, which is a resolution that was taken at the party's 54th conference last year.

Nkwinti added that the ruling party as the government would pursue the expropriation of land without compensation with the aim of increasing agricultural production and ensuring food security is not compromised and that land is redistributed to those who were dispossessed of land during colonial times.

He said in 2017 the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform conducted a land audit which revealed the following ownership patterns of farms and agricultural holdings across races:

72% of land is owned by white South Africans;
15% is owned by coloured people;
5% is owned by Indians; and
4% is owned by Africans.

The minister added that the audit further divulged that there are institutions, trusts and companies that own land in the country but this is kept under wraps, and so it was recommended in the outcomes of the audit that a land administration commission should be established

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White farmers in South Africa will have their property seized under a new law backed by Julius Malema, the revolutionary socialist leader of the country's opposition party who once chillingly declared he was "not calling for the slaughter of white people -  at least for now."

On Tuesday, the National Assembly of South Africa voted 241-83 in favor amending the Constitution to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation

https://www.newsmax.com/t/newsmax/article/846194?section=newsfront&keywords=south-africa-white-owned-farms-property&year=2018&month=03&date=01&id=846194&aliaspath=%2FManage%2FArticles%2FTemplate-Main

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45 minutes ago, the_abandoned_brane said:

White farmers in South Africa will have their property seized under a new law backed by Julius Malema, the revolutionary socialist leader of the country's opposition party who once chillingly declared he was "not calling for the slaughter of white people -  at least for now."

On Tuesday, the National Assembly of South Africa voted 241-83 in favor amending the Constitution to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation

https://www.newsmax.com/t/newsmax/article/846194?section=newsfront&keywords=south-africa-white-owned-farms-property&year=2018&month=03&date=01&id=846194&aliaspath=%2FManage%2FArticles%2FTemplate-Main

Malema talking like an asshat is nothing new.  It's what got him kicked out of the ANC, after all.  And EFF isn't the main opposition party, it's behind the DA.  Perpective: Malema's group controls 25 (out of 400) seats in the assembly.

But as to the larger question of land reform in SA  -  does anyone know how many of the farms in question were "acquired" by their current owners, through/after the mid-20th century "forced removals"?  I know 3.5 million people got moved, but not sure how much of that was farmland, as opposed to urban neighbourhoods. 

I just know that if government troops came & evicted my family & forced us to move to some different area, 50 years ago, just because they'd arbitrarily decided that was our "appropriate" ethnic enclave... I'd sure as fuck want my land returned to me by now.  And I wouldn't GAF if the current occupant got paid anything for it. 

 

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