Marvel comics meets SONA

David Bullard | Jun 23, 2019
SONA II proves that the more promises of change there are, the more things are likely to stay the same.

You know how it is….you put on the dress suit you last wore two years ago for a black tie function and find a couple of R100 notes tucked in the back trouser pocket. Or you’re shifting the cushions on the TV sofa to vacuum up the potato crisp crumbs that slipped down the back last night and, hey presto, there are your missing krugerrands. Much the same must have happened to the ANC, because they have suddenly found R230bn to throw at Eskom. Or maybe Cyril had a lucky day at the races. Either way, it’s a rather different solution to the one we were led to believe would take place after SONA1 back in February. What happened to the talk of splitting Eskom into bits and trying to find a buyer for the less toxic parts? Oh yes, I remember now…the unions intervened and ruled out cost cutting and job losses. So are we just going to throw money at Eskom and hope for the best (or is there a greater plan for the future of our power utility?) And where will these extra billions come from meanwhile? You’ve guessed it….your pension fund in the form of prescribed assets. 

Last week’s SONA2 was a somewhat surreal affair, rather like being trapped in a Gary Larson cartoon. Nothing that should have been tackled was tackled and much of what was said by the President was sheer political puffery. Let’s take the creation of 2 million jobs over the next ten years. Well, for one thing, if you are a member of the unemployed youth now you will be approaching middle age by the time these promised jobs come around, if at all. But let’s not be put off by details, because the ruling party never are. 

The President lamented the fact that youth unemployment is so high, even among those who hold degrees and diplomas. But whose fault is that? Our post 1994 education system is the laughing-stock of the world, and the only people who recognise most of our university degrees these days are the woke lefty lecturers who make a dishonest living out of fooling young people that they are going to find gainful employment after four years of Gender Studies or some such nonsensical subject. With a high percentage of school kids (I refuse to use the PC term “learners”) barely able to read or make intelligible conversation, one wonders what sort of people are being fed into our universities. Well, after the Matric exam papers are marked down to allow the government-approved quota of previously disadvantaged candidates to go forth and receive a free tertiary education, the answer is: exactly the same sort of people, with the only difference being that they are now bigger and more belligerent. 

What seems to be missing from a university education is the vital message that, unless you have a skill to sell and some personality, the workplace really doesn’t need you. Nobody is going to pay a stroppy little shit who drones on about land theft a monthly salary just for turning up every day. Which means that the stroppy youth either has the choice of becoming a successful entrepreneur or hanging out with his similarly economically unviable buddies on street corners waiting for something called “service delivery”.

Let’s assume that our education system miraculously improves, to resemble similar standards found in China. That means that we will only start producing productive members of society in around 18 years’ time. Can we wait that long?

Cyril’s mention of a bullet train from Johannesburg to Musina caused much mirth among opposition MP’s. Quite why anybody would need to get to Musina with such haste is mystifying although one could quite understand why one would want to get out of Musina with some speed. The brutal reality is that we can’t even run the railway system we have with any semblance of efficiency, so fantasising about a bullet train is rather like me fantasising about wild, torrid sex with the 20 year old Helen Mirren. 

Then there was the one about building a brand new city (presumably off grid) with skyscrapers, schools, universities and hospitals: unlikely for the very simple reason that, in 25 years of democracy, the ANC hasn’t built a city. An old grouch like me might say, why don’t you get the ones you already have working properly, but that would be to miss the point: that in a vast construction project like this there are lots of potential tenders to be awarded. “Are you with me ladies and gentlemen?” as Sir Les Patterson is wont to ask with a telling nudge. The fact that this brilliant plan for the future came after a conversation with Xi Jinping among others should in no way be construed as a sign that we are selling out to the Chinese, by the way. It might also be worth noting that of the ten most polluted cities on the planet, seven are in China with Beijing being one of the worst. So may I suggest East London as a possible site for the proposed Wakanda Heights?

What might have been a better idea for Cyril would have been to borrow from Winston Churchill (racist, colonialist and land thief that he was):

“I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering”.

That at least would have been more honest than the Marvel comic version we got. But time will tell. Maybe our economy is about to surprise the cynics and record a 5% annual growth rate. Maybe unemployment will fall from 27% to 6% by 2030 and maybe Wakanda Heights will be built without any hint of corrupt practices. In the meantime, I advise you to keep your bedroom windows tightly shut at night. There seem to be a lot of flying pigs around. 


David Bullard is a columnist, author and celebrity public speaker known for his controversial satire.


The views of the writer are not necessarily the views of the IRR.


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