Then fix it, dear Henry
In the national press a few days ago: “SA will reach ‘a point of no return’ if the government enacted damaging populist policies that destroyed hope of restoring investor confidence, warned Neal Froneman, CEO of SA’S largest gold and platinum mining company.”
The policies Froneman was alluding to include the emotive issue of land.
Last week Health Ombud Malegapuru Makgoba released a report with so much ferocity against whistleblower Dr Kiran Sukeri that it floored employees and community members. Makgoba’s report went beyond just stating that there were no problems at the hospital, to flaying Sukeri, as well as portraying the media as sensational and irresponsible.
We have stayed on this story because we believe patients and their families have the right to be heard. The Press Ombud has been effective in sanctioning inappropriate or unethical reporting and their contact details are below.
Those privileged to have our voices heard have a special responsibility. That includes public figures, academics, journalists and community leaders.
In these pages, the Dean of Grahamstown (Makhanda), Andrew Hunter replies to a well-regarded Rhodes academic over an earlier article questioning the Church’s stand on land.
Some South Africans have to live by a higher standard in certain debates. These include those in positions of responsibility (especially with the ability to influence others through traditional or social media), as well as through policy proposals to government.
Those debates need deep and extensive research – not more fuel.
Makana Municipality’s overtime bill is among the ongoing items that comes up repeatedly in council meetings. It was raised in this month’s Infrastructure and Technical Services committee meeting, with councillors noting that one department had claimed close to R1 million in overtime in three months.
‘They are milking this overtime to earn a second salary. There is no money for service delivery but there is money for overtime!’
The outrage would be encouraging if this weren’t a recurring theme.
Like the broken vehicles affecting staff’s ability to respond to technical problems (only two vehicles in Water and Sanitation were operational) excessive overtime is like that ridiculous circular song, ‘There’s a hole in my bucket, dear Liza’.
Liza responds, ‘Well fix, it dear Henry.’ In a string of complaint-and-answer interactions, Liza provides solutions to each problem Henry comes up with, until in a terrible circle of inaction and unresourcefulness, Henry gets back to his original complaint: ‘There’s a hole in my bucket.’
Two, three, four years after the excessive overtime problem was first raised, there’s still a hole in the bucket.
Because most problems have been attributed to the lack of a permanent accounting officer (ie no continuity), the pressure is now on the new municipal manager to fix the hole in that bucket.