CR’s mask fell off: lives are less important than empowerment

Johannes Wessels

There is an increasingly high risk that South Africa will not by 2025 have recovered to its pre-lockdown levels of GDP. In a research report – Vaccines and re-opening: Covid-19 risks to the 2021 recovery – HSBC, one of the largest banks in the world, indicates that South Africa will not recover as quickly as most of the emerging markets.

HSBC places South Africa in a cluster of countries that will not by end 2022 regain their pre-Covid GDP levels. This list also includes France, Italy, Spain, the UK, Mexico and Argentina. According to HSBC’s estimates the rest of the Eurozone will have recovered by end 2022, with Germany reaching that target by the first quarter of 2022.

SA on the bus to Argentina

Continue reading “CR’s mask fell off: lives are less important than empowerment”

Neither Red Riding Hood, nor Tito Mboweni believes CR’s statements

Johannes Wessels

The statements of the government and the ANC are as unrealistic as the famous stories of Baron von Münchausen: both are so far from reality that they belong to the genre of heroic fantasy. However, the differences are also glaring. Von Münchausen’s tales are creative untruths, entertaining its hearers because of the skilful transition from reality to absurdity. The ANC’s untruths are serious policy statements, parading absurdity as real truth.

Whereas Von Münchausen’s tales emanate from a witty brain, the ANC’s tales emerge from an institutionally entrenched delusional disorder.

Baron Cyril von Ramaphosa

The very first paragraphs of the January 8 declaration suggested the following reality:

The January 8th Statement… gives inspiration and encouragement…

“The people of this country have entrusted the ANC with the responsibility to… building a better life for all. Over the course of its history, the ANC has lived up to this responsibility.

“In government, the ANC led the reconstruction of our society from the ashes of apartheid misrule. 

“Prior to the onset of the global financial crisis, our policies contributed to the revival of our economy, the creation of millions of new jobs, the stabilisation of our public finances and the reduction of poverty.

“(T)hese achievements earned the ANC the confidence and trust of the South African people.”


JSE’s head of equities voices his despair

  • The ANC has lived up to the responsibility of a better life for all: not even Red Riding Hood will believe that.
  • The government has stabilised public finances! Not even Tito Mboweni believes that (and if he does, Fitch, S&P and Moodeys don’t).
Continue reading “Neither Red Riding Hood, nor Tito Mboweni believes CR’s statements”

The SA Cabinet Stakes for the Worst Minister of the Year Cup

Johannes Wessels

The last-rounds-of-the-year-get-together at the local oog last Monday stimulated discussions on several topics:  Covid 19, lockdown, loss of jobs, closing businesses, no sport to watch, matric exams, the Zondo commission and Ace Magashule.  

It was the normal crowd:  Dooswyn Dekker, Paleface Mokoena, Trevor Emmer the Second, Koos Kwadraat and several other characters that each in themselves would warrant a David Kramer song.  We ended the evening with a toast to our wives whose curfews were not as strict as those introduced by the National Corruption Coordinating Committee of the Republic of the State of Disaster.

Back home, I sneaked in and decided it would be better to settle on the couch which contributed more to peace than the antics of numerous winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. I was still mulling over the last discussion about what we have missed most this year. The weeks without sales of liquor and cigarettes were brushed off with a “we never were without the goodies”. Of the things caused by the Religion of Lockdown, the shortage of key sport events and the abundance of walking around being muzzled by damn masks, were the two things that generated consensus in our group as being the worst.

I was still struggling to decide which of the two things irritate me most, when I dozed off…

The Bookmakers’ Betting Board

Suddenly I find myself at Greyville Race Course where the SA Cabinet Stakes are about to be run.  The trophy – Worst Minister in a Bad Cabinet – is on display in front of the main stand. It’s the final few minutes for placing bets. Looking at the Bookmakers’ Betting Board, the favourites (jockeys in brackets) are at:

  • 2 – 1 Burning Trucks (Fearfokol Mbalula), Disruptive Governance & a Disastrous State of Affairs (Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma) and The-beach-is-banned-and-SAPS-can-close-businesses (Bheki Cele);
  • 5 – 1 State Control & Umpteenth Regulations (Braampie Patel), Cutting Tender Corners (Antie Patricia);
  • 8 – 1 Snailpace Digital Transformation (Stella Foot-in-the-mouth Ndabeni-Abrahams) and Flattening the Curve (Zweli Mkhize).

They are followed at 10 – 1 by We’re-more-productive-when-we-strike (Senzu Mchunu), We can Riot but not Write (Angie Motshekga) and Unemployment is Our Pride (Walter Nxesi).      

The horses that are clearly not favourites are To Hell with the Taxpayers (Pravin Gordhan) at 33 -1, No-Abalone but Polluted Rivers (Dallas Creecy) and Forward to the Fiscal Cliff (Tito Mboweni) at 50 -1 and My Fellow South Africans aren’t all ‘Our People’ (CR) at 80 – 1.

See who are the sponsors

Continue reading “The SA Cabinet Stakes for the Worst Minister of the Year Cup”

Elastoplast for the knocked-out economy

Johannes Wessels

Just as a heavy punch on the side of a boxer’s head can disrupt his brain’s neurovascular coupling processes causing him to fall like a log, the lockdown blow had disrupted the intricate flow of funds in the economy. BankServAfrica’s figures for Black Friday confirmed consumers are still on the canvas: turnover declined by a whopping 52% and there was a 30% decline in the number of in-store card transactions.

The pockets of the majority of individuals and a substantial share of businesses now resemble those of the state-owned enterprises.

People are hesitant to spend with unemployment dramatically higher than before lockdown, due to the government turning off the income tap for most enterprises for at least 3 months, declaring them non-essential (in the case of the hospitality sector almost 8 months). The government has thus achieved not only the lengthening of the jobless queues but also driving the rest of the population closer to poverty.

It was a cruel knock-out blow by the government

The religion of the developmental saviour

The subconscious neurovascular coupling process ensures oxygen supply in nano-seconds through blood flow to the brain segments most active at that split second. A boxer can recover from a knock-out if there was no rupture of arteries and quick restoration of normal flow of blood in the brain. If not, there can be permanent brain damage, even death.

Our thought processes depend on continuous uninterrupted subconscious processes. Likewise, an economy depends on the continuous uninterrupted flow of funds that is totally unregulated in the sense that no entity controls or directs the trillions of individual transactions by billions of consumers (both individuals and enterprises) buying their daily requirements and selling their products and services, either worldwide, or at a lower scale in different countries.

The Bleak Friday data indicates the government’s lockdown punch caused chronically reduced demand.

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The waves societies choose to ignore at their own peril: face masks are the new ‘Heil Hitler!’

Johannes Wessels

In the last months of the Year of Covid-19, the world experienced a massive resurgent wave. It wasn’t a wave of deaths by coronavirus, but a lockdown tsunami engulfing individual and civil liberties. The excess deaths caused by governments’ decisions to relegate non-Covid health issues to the realm of non-essential treatments, also became more visible for those who had eyes to see…

Another heaving wave – poverty due to the swelling unemployment and enterprise demise that the lockdown measures and the autocratic disruption of economic life brought about – also gained momentum. The impact thereof is certain to dwarf that of the virus itself.

If the worldwide death toll of 1.359 million attributed to Covid-19 is divided by the daily average global death toll of 158 085 (for 2019) and one fills the annual calendar according to deaths by cause, the feared pandemic with its vicious waves is closer to a ripple than a tsunami. EOSA developed a Cause of Death Calendar that shows:

Continue reading “The waves societies choose to ignore at their own peril: face masks are the new ‘Heil Hitler!’”

The fight is really against the ‘lockdown virus’ – help PANDA

Businesses in South Africa are launching a fundraising campaign today, to crowd-fund R250 000 by 15 November. This fund aims to make South African-based advocacy group, Pandemic Data and Analytics (PANDA) the world-leading organisation against lockdowns. 

The crowd-fund comes at a time when several European countries are reimposing lockdowns and in the same week as South African Minister of Health, Zweli Mkhize, mooted new restrictions locally. 

Piet le Roux, co-ordinator of Business for Ending Lockdown, says “Lockdowns are proving to be contagious. Despite deaths due to Covid-19 being at least an order of magnitude below what was initially used to justify lockdowns, several governments around the world are now bringing them back. We need PANDA – as an interdisciplinary advocacy group – to counter this second wave of lockdowns now inflicted upon many countries and the increasing talk of a ‘new normal’. It has become evident that the return to sound health management and economic stability requires international co-ordination and there is no organisation better placed for this than PANDA.” 

“With their own money and time, PANDA have become the number one advocacy and research organisation against lockdowns in South Africa. They took it to the next level in recent weeks, when they recruited top experts from Oxford, Harvard, Stanford and around the world. They are now the top team globally.” 

“To kickstart their internationalisation, they need R250 000 by November 15. Naturally, this will not come close to going all the way for what needs to be done, but it will give them the foothold they need to turn the tide against lockdowns on an international level and in South Africa. It will cover initial operational, research, logistical and communications expenditure.” 

The crowdfund is hosted by Business for Ending Lockdown, a group of prominent business organisations in South Africa. Business for Ending Lockdown’s demands include ending lockdown, lifting the state of disaster, and converting all regulations to voluntary recommendations. Its signatory organisations represent more than 50 000 businesses, with several thousand more having signed up individually. For more on Business for Ending Lockdown, or to donate, visit

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