Mostly about technology and its application with occasional opinions on humanity and some of the people we have to live with. Not scared to comment but generally I am gentle with it.
We have all known for years that the name of the national side is intellectual property that is not owned by the National Team. The owners, who have benefitted financially from the teams success (sic), arfe prepared to sell it for a mere R33m. SAFA ist seems is not keen to purchase but rather would preger to change the name.
I don't have a problem and quitre the reverse to pay R33m for a name instead of spending it in the development of the sport would incur my displeasure.
Maybe we should name them after the appointed national emblems?
We could call them the proteas after the National Flower or even the Blue Cranes after the National Bird. The Yellowwoods after the National Tree has a nice ring to it and we could keep the same yellows in the strip.
Maybe we could even be so bold as to suggest the Springboks but that may result in open feud with another national side.
Of course we could be boring and follow the rest of the world and know them by the country of origin - South Africa,
Shell wants to extract fuel from under our Karoo using a process that will use our precious commodity, water.
While I accept that many would like to use it as a means of reducing the price of fuel as well as providing employment, I don't like our heritage being raped by anyone and certainly not by outsiders.
Lewis pugh put out this impassioned speech recently and I put it at the bottom as encouragement for all to dig in our heels and prevent it happening.
On Friday 25 March, environmental activist Lewis Pugh delivered a passionate call to action at a public lecture in Cape Town. He implored South Africans to stand up for our rights – particularly the right to water, and the right to a healthy environment – and take on corporate bullies like Shell. If you care about the Karoo, if you care about our country, keep reading.
Ladies and gentlemen, thank for the opportunity to address you. My name is Lewis Pugh.
This evening, I want to take you back to the early 1990s in this country. You may remember them well. Nelson Mandela had been released. There was euphoria in the air. However, there was also widespread violence and deep fear. This country teetered on the brink of a civil war. But somehow, somehow, we averted it. It was a miracle. And it happened because we had incredible leaders. Leaders who sought calm. Leaders who had vision. So in spite of all the violence, they sat down and negotiated a new constitution.
I will never forget holding the Constitution in my hands for the first time. I was a young law student at the University of Cape Town. This was the cement that brought peace to our land. This was the document, which held our country together. The rights contained herein, made us one.
I remember thinking to myself – never again will the rights of South Africans be trampled upon. Now every one of us: every man and every women – black, white, coloured, Indian, believer and non-believer – has the right to vote. We all have the right to life. And our children have the right to a basic education. These rights are enshrined in our Constitution.
These rights were the dreams of Oliver Tambo. These rights were the dreams of Nelson Mandela. These rights were the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi, of Desmond Tutu and of Molly Blackburn. These rights were our dreams. People fought – and died – so that we could enjoy these rights today.
Also enshrined in our Constitution, is the right to a healthy environment and the right to water. Our Constitution states that we have the right to have our environment protected for the benefit of our generation and for the benefit of future generations. Fellow South Africans, let us not dishonour these rights. Let us not dishonour those men and women who fought and died for these rights. Let us not allow corporate greed to disrespect our Constitution and desecrate our environment.
Never, ever did I think that there would be a debate in this arid country about which was more important – gas or water. We can survive without gas... We cannot live without water. If we damage our limited water supply, and fracking will do just that, we will have conflict again here in South Africa. Look around the world. Wherever you damage the environment you have conflict. Fellow South Africans, we have had enough conflict in this land – now is the time for peace.
A few months ago I gave a speech with the former president of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias. Afterwards I asked him: “Mr President, how do you balance the demands of development against the need to protect the environment?” He looked at me, and said: “It is not a balancing act. It is a simple business decision. If we cut down our forests in Costa Rica to satisfy a timber company, what will be left for our future?” But he pointed out: “It is also a moral decision. It would be morally wrong to chop down our forests and leave nothing for my children and my grandchildren.”
Ladies and gentlemen, that is what is at stake here today: our children's future. And that of our children's children.
There may be gas beneath our ground in the Karoo. But are we prepared to destroy our environment for five to ten years worth of fossil fuel and further damage our climate? Yes, people will be employed – but for a short while. And when the drilling is over, and Shell have packed their bags and disappeared, then what? Who will be there to clean up? And what jobs will our children be able to eke out?
Now Shell will tell you that their intentions are honourable. That fracking in the Karoo will not damage our environment. That they will not contaminate our precious water. That they will bring jobs to South Africa. That gas is clean and green. And that they will help secure our energy supplies. When I hear this, I have one burning question. Why should we trust them? Africa is to Shell what the Gulf of Mexico is to BP.
Shell, you have a shocking record here in Africa. Just look at your operations in Nigeria. You have spilt more than 9 million barrels of crude oil into the Niger Delta. That's twice the amount of oil that BP spilt into the Gulf of Mexico. You were found guilty of bribing Nigerian officials, and to make the case go away in America, you paid an admission of guilt fine of $48 million. And to top it all, you stand accused of being complicit in the execution of Nigeria's leading environmental campaigner, Ken Saro-Wira, and eight other activists. If you were innocent, why did you pay $15.5 million to the widows and children to settle the case out of court?
Shell, the path you want us to take us down is not sustainable. I have visited the Arctic for seven summers in a row. I have seen the tundra thawing. I have seen the retreating glaciers. I have seen the melting sea ice. And I have seen the impact of global warming from the Himalayas all the way down to the low-lying Maldive Islands. Wherever I go, I see it.
Now is the time for change. We cannot drill our way out of the energy crisis. The era of fossil fuels is over. We must invest in renewable energy. And we must not delay.
Shell, we look to the north of our continent and we see how people got tired of political tyranny. We have watched as despots, who have ruled ruthlessly year after year, have been toppled in a matter of weeks. We too are tired. Tired of corporate tyranny. Tired of your short-term, unsustainable practices. We watched as Dr Ian Player, a game ranger from Natal, and his friends, took on Rio Tinto (one of the biggest mining companies in the world) and won. And we watched as young activists from across Europe, brought you down to your knees, when you tried to dump an enormous oil rig into the North Sea.
Shell, we do not want our Karoo to become another Niger Delta. Do not underestimate us. Goliath can be brought down. We are proud of what we have achieved in this young democracy, and we are not about to let your company come in and destroy it.
So let this be a call to arms to everyone across South Africa, who is sitting in the shadow of Goliath: stand up and demand these fundamental human rights promised to you by our Constitution. Use your voices – tweet, blog, petition, rally the weight of your neighbours and of people in power. Let us speak out from every hilltop. Let us not go quietly into this bleak future.
Let me end off by saying this: you have lit a fire in our bellies, which no man or woman can extinguish. And if we need to, we will take this fight all the way from your petrol pumps to the very highest court in this land. We will take this fight from the farms and towns of the Karoo to the streets of London and Amsterdam. And we will take this fight to every one of your shareholders. And I have no doubt, that in the end, good will triumph over evil. DM
Lewis Pugh is a lawyer and environmental activist. He belongs to the Treasure the Karoo Action Group.
You can get more information here
Some months back I put a post up asking for people who worked in Datakor in the 1990's to be aware that there was a potential payout of surplus from the stripped funds.
This article was in the Saturday Star http://www.iol.co.za/business/personal-finance/retirement/victory-for-pensioners-who-lost-their-surpluses-1.1044072
It is great that finally the people affected by the stripping of pension funds are now seeing some return and that those guilty are being punished.
Well if you call some fines and suspended jail term punishment.
I believe that they have got off very lightly. Their actions affected many people some of whom are no longer able to benefit from the surplus payout.
If you do know of someone who did work at any of the affected companies then they are welcome to contact me and I will provide them with the details of one of the people administering the surplus disbursement.
Since its inception I have subscribed to the Eye Witness News Breaking news alerts.
Today being budget day I expected that I would be receiving the pertinant details of the Minister's speech and I was not disappointed.
However I listened to the speech this year and as usual the minister covered in the first half of the speech how he was going to spend the money including relief measures. The second part which started at around 2:40 pm centered on how he was going to get the money to pay for the expenditure and it was some time after that he indicated that the SIN taxes would be increased.
No surprise there except that I had an SMS from EWN at 2:32 with the details as follows:
death sticks up 80c a pack beer up 6c a 340ml, wine up 13c a bottle and spirits R2.86 a bottle.
Now I know that the speech is given to journalists under an embargo so the details would have already been know but sending the details out by SMS before the words are out of his mouth must surely be breaking the embargo?