Sometimes we're so out of the loop when it comes to world events and even local events. We don't have a television (haven't had one for 15 years, in fact) and we don't often listen to the radio. News filters in via e-mails from family and friends (did you hear ... that so and so died? Or about the snowstorm in Boston or the hurricane in the Carolinas?) and what we see on the newspaper headlines as we walk into town (Poodle Saves Toddler from Croc) or what we pick up on the internet … when we have internet. Being in port, we're a bit more attuned to what's going on. Here's a sample of local news for you.
ZUMA'S SALARY INCREASE APPROVED
Jacob Zuma, president of South Africa, has just received a 5% salary increase of just over R130,000, meaning he’ll now be earning over R2.7 million a year (about USD$225,000). The ministers and members of Parliament also received increases and the increases were opposed by the opposition parties. By comparison, Barack Obama makes $400K/year, plus expenses, of course. The last US Presidential salary increase was in 1999. The Queen of England also got a 5% “sovereign grant” increase this year. She gets a whopping £37.9million from the sovereign grant fund, in addition to the privy purse estimated at about £12.9million. I make no comment on whether increases are justified, I just want to say that politicians worldwide do tend to take care of themselves.
NEW VISA RULES HAVE HURT TICKET SALES TO SA
“JOHANNESBURG - The South African Tourism Services Association (SATSA) says new data from the International Air Travel Association shows ticket sales to South Africa were down by 20 percent year on the year in May and are down 32 percent year on the year for June. It’s also predicted that ticket sales for July will be 28 percent down.” We know about difficulties in renewing visitor permits or getting temporary visas first hand. Once again … no comment on this other than the more difficult you make it for visitors, the fewer visitors you'll have. There are so many other places in the world to go. Duh!
SA OFFICALS ACCUSED OF BRIBING FIFA
FOR 2010 WORLD CUP
Here's one story: “South Africa has denied paying a $10m bribe to secure the 2010 World Cup, in the wake of a US inquiry into corruption at world football body FIFA.” Here's a counter argument: “Chuck Blazer has admitted in court he conspired with fellow FIFA executives to accept bribes during the process to choose hosts for the 1998 and 2010 Soccer World Cups.”
And in local news …
CHAPPIES CLOSED FOR WEEKEND
“Chappies (Chapman's Peak Drive)will remain closed this weekend. Clearing the road of mud is going well but lots of work to be done to clear the catchment fences. Please be patient while we make the drive safe for all road users.” We were planning to drive this scenic route recently and only found out it was closed due to mudslides when we approached the gate. Sigh!
CAPE TOWN LP SUPPLY UNSTABLE
When David went to fill the propane tanks the other day, there was a long, long line. Why? It seems there's a propane shortage in Cape Town and perhaps throughout the country. Woodstock Gas, our local vendor, seems to be one of the few suppliers with any LP left and they were dispensing only 5kg per customer in order to serve as many customers as possible. They had no idea when a new shipment of LP would arrive. Glad our tanks are full. Economists here also warn of petrol and diesel shortages in the near future. And then, of course, there's load shedding …
And the most important news of all …