I’m not a regular visitor to casinos. However, like many South Africans no doubt, I have been lured at some time in the past to Sun City for some conference or another and found myself at a gaming table at one in the morning.
My visits to gaming tables tend to be very brief (although I did manage to extend my stay to over an hour at a blackjack table on one occasion) because I take the sensible view that the odds are always going to be against me and the sooner I lose my gambling money, the sooner I can go to bed.
Sun City was a favourite venue for financial market conferences back in the 1980’s when the futures market was in its infancy in South Africa. The choice of venue was an obvious one in that it tended to attract any budding wheeler dealer who believed he had a system that could beat the odds and return home substantially better off than when he had arrived. As the three day conference wore on, attendance at the various panel sessions dwindled as delegates tried to recoup their “investments” of the past few days and show a positive return. Sadly, it rarely happened.
Life, you see, is not like a James Bond movie. In a James Bond movie 007 sidles into a casino with a wad of big square chips. Not for him the one armed bandits or the blackjack table. If you’ve taken the trouble to dress up in a white dinner suit you need to play something the common herd don’t understand like chemin de fer. The big square chips are the equivalent of R200 notes in comparison to the normal, bog standard round chips which are the R10 notes of gambling. Clearly Mr Bond’s MI6 expense account was not activated during a Labour government. The other thing that dumps 007’s exploits firmly in the realms of fiction is that he always wins. He never gets up from the gaming table spitting expletives and wondering how he’s going to pay his hotel bill. That’s almost certainly why he ends up in bed with the gorgeous Russian agent in the dress with the absurdly plunging neckline too. But that was all in pre woke #metoo days and poor old Ian Fleming would have been outed on social media had he been writing such filth today.
As the ANC celebrates a quarter century of fooling the electorate with a 108th birthday party at Kimberley one cannot help comparing an ANC vote with a bad bet at the casino. Incidentally, what more appropriate venue than Kimberley could the ruling party have chosen? The fact that the capital of the Northern Cape boasts a huge hole and so does the Eskom balance sheet shouldn’t pass uncommented. An interesting aside is that Kimberley was the first city in the southern hemisphere to have electric street lighting in 1882. But that was during a time of colonial oppression and best forgotten now.
The question is why would anybody knowingly go into a casino to lose money? Most of us go in thinking we may have a chance of beating the odds and our hopes are kept alive by tales of those who have had a lucky night at the tables. So we know there is a chance that lady luck could smile upon us. But, after 25 years of thieving and corruption, isn’t it time those who vote ANC at every election came to their senses and realised that the only winners will ever be those lucky enough to make it onto the list of elected members of parliament.
With so many South African families of all races facing a grim 2020 with sporadic electricity supply and the inevitable loss of jobs that will lead to higher food and fuel costs, appalling health and education provision, and a crumbling municipal infrastructure (including Kimberley) isn’t it rather grotesque that the bling circus that is the ANC in party mode should swing into town in a cavalcade of tax payer funded luxury limos to quaff French champagne and pig out on free food? But that’s champagne socialism for you, my friends. As the promises of land expropriation and a wondrous new national health system for all ring in your ears, just look north to Zimbabwe and see how well champagne socialism has worked up there. Do any loyal ANC voters seriously believe that our best doctors are going to hang about and wait to be told where they can work and how much they can charge by a government that can’t even keep the lights on? Or that the much trumpeted matric results this year have produced a generation of bright young minds that will strike terror into the hearts of their South Korean or Chinese counterparts?
One cannot blame the ANC for promising millions of new homes and new jobs prior to last year’s election. That’s what political parties do and in mature democracies the electorate see through the ruse. Not even Labour’s promise of free broadband for all could win them votes in last December’s UK election. But in this country an election win is largely dependent on the litre of coke and the KFC zinger burger that is handed out at the final party rally. How long will it be before the ANC punters finally get the message that all their votes do is keep the party elite in the lap of luxury at the expense of the people they claim to represent? In the ANC vote casino the only winners ever are the house.
The views of the writer are not necessarily the views of the Daily Friend or the IRR
If you like what you have just read, become a Friend of the IRR if you aren’t already one by SMSing your name to 32823 or clicking here. Each SMS costs R1. Terms & Conditions Apply.