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The government to trim thousands of jobs in public service

Apparently, thousands of Government workers over the age of 60 will be offered a voluntary retrenchment by the government.  This is because the Government has again agreed to a new 3 year wage agreement that has gone over the budget by about R30 billion.  The Government say they will encourage early retirement by topping up pension funds for those who take retirement packages – which of course will cost us more immediately right now – and one wonders how many people will take up that package.  If they are over the budget by R30 billion over 3 years it means that they need to reduce R10 billion worth of salaries per year, and I don’t think they will get enough people to agree to give up good jobs working in the government with far less accountability than you would have in the private sector that would add up to R10 billion.  

I have written about this problem before in my blog – we have far too many government employees and the reality is they are overpaid.  Their salaries are eating into the funds that we need for education, policing, our courts and health services, so the next time you see somebody loafing around in the Post Office or asking you why you have come to the Post Office 20 minutes before closing time, as if that is a sin, remember how we have chosen to have that person in that job rather than another teacher or another doctor servicing the ill and the weak.  At the moment, the bills for government employees’ wages is one-third of the country’s entire annual budget and government wages have increase 10,3% annually since 2009 – far ahead of anything in the private sector. 

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Monday 30-Jul-18   |  Permalink   |  32 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It
Mandela’s daughters challenge Will

I was very disappointed to see the news that two of Nelson Mandela’s daughters are challenging his will.  They claim his will is unconstitutional and deprives their mother, Winnie Mandela, of a share in his home in Qunu.  I must say, I think at a certain point in life one has to stop looking for handouts and trying to play the role of a victim.  South Africans love to always blame somebody else for their plight, imcluding running off to the CCMA, but honestly, when it comes to one of the greatest men who has lived on this planet, I think that one should just accept his wishes, in the form of his will, and move on.  In other words, if he chose to leave the property to a Trust of his, that is what he chose and I think his wishes should be respected.  In fact, I think the wishes of most people in a will, unless they have lost their mind, should be respected.  

People’s money and possessions are theirs for them to choose to do what they want with and if two of his daughters, with the advantage of a surname like his and political clout, have not done well enough for themselves in life that they feel they need to now challenge his will I think that is particularly sad.  I understand that they have already lost the first court case and are now appealing to the Constitutional Court, but I don’t even see that there are constitutional issues to be raised.  I do hope that their challenge is dismissed and that the Constitutional Court respects the wishes of Nelson Mandela, as opposed to now saying that even his will was not constitutional!

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Friday 27-Jul-18   |  Permalink   |  39 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It
Yolande van Biljon starts at the SABC

I was quite interested to read about the appointment of the former Chief Financial Officer of the Road Accident Fund, Yolande van Biljon, to the SABC.  She apparently has been tasked with sorting out the financial situation at the SABC which posted a nett loss after tax of R977 million in the last year and only had R82 million in cash on hand compared to the previous year’s R881 million.  What she will manage to achieve will obviously depend on how much freedom she is given to do so – the SABC has in recent years, according to media reports anyway, been subjected to a lot of political meddling. 

I can only say, from dealing with her at the Road Accident Fund, she was extremely professional and fair.  I don’t think she is the type of woman who will tolerate “special deals” or people who believe their payments should be prioritised ahead of others and she is certainly an extremely hard worker.  When she was at the Road Accident Fund during the height of their cash flow crisis, she was always available to answer e-mails – and I am talking about e-mail replies that you would get from her at 10pm at night, even though the Road Accident Fund used to close its offices at 4.30pm.  So she is hard working, she has integrity and she has worked at cash starved entities before.  If she is given a fair chance, she will no doubt succeed.  

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Wednesday 25-Jul-18   |  Permalink   |  36 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It
The Eternal Road

The Eternal Road is an Indie film or independent movie that I recently watched during a film festival.  It deals with a forgotten part of Russia’s past and that is when in the time of Stalin workers from around the world were invited to come and join in the socialist revolution that was taking place in Russia.  The Russian government placed adverts in newspapers around the world encouraging the workers of the world to come to Russia for plentiful jobs and because there were no jobs in their countries, and they felt they could not look after their families, or because they believed in socialism, they took up those offers.  This is also very well covered in a book called “The Forsaken, an American tragedy in Stalin’s Russia” by Tim Tzouliadis.  The theme of the book is pretty much the same as that of the movie and I would strongly suggest to anybody, particularly those with Russian origin or Russian members of their family, that they watch the movie.  It relates to what happened to those people.  

Initially, and in the late 1920s America went through a terrible recession, life for those particular people was far better in Russia, because many of them were unemployed in America.  More than 10,000 Americans went to try out the excitement of the new experiment with socialism in Russia and many Finnish people went as well – the protagonist in the movie is Finnish.  They were put on collective farms, they even had baseball games and social gatherings in Russia, but a few years later, during the late 1930s, Stalin became paranoid of many of these people, especially when they start wanting to go back to America, believing they were Russian spies.  Their passports were confiscated and those that went to the American Embassy to try and make arrangements to get back were picked up by the secret police of Russia as soon as they left the Embassy and never seen again.  The vast majority were shipped off, put on trucks and led to wooded areas where they were executed, one after another.  That is where the title of the book comes in, because they were forsaken and in some instances their children were adopted by other Russians and given a new life, but more than 10,000 Americans and Finnish people as well as people from other countries of the world were simply executed.  

It is a good reminder, while capitalism is not perfect, that communism and socialism have not worked in other countries and it was not just 20 million Russians who were killed during this time, but other people from all over the world who went along to genuinely take part in a political system that they thought was much better and had equality for all people, also got executed.  For some reason or other the political systems that allege equality between people almost always end up, not only in disaster, but killing anybody along the road that dissents with them, disagrees with them or is even considered to be too intellectual for the system.  The first to be killed are normally the lawyers, the Judges, the writers, the thinkers and many of those who were not executed learned very quickly to give up any job of any prestige at all and quickly become a labourer, farmer, etc.  

Unfortunately for the Americans and the Finnish, who were largely working on farms as farmers, they just got executed.  Movies and books like this often never make the mainstream with the result that most people, including most Russians, would not even know this history of their country because it is largely being covered up and forgotten about.  

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Monday 02-Jul-18   |  Permalink   |  30 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It

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Johannesburg based attorney specializing in personal injury matters including Road Accident Fund claims and medical negligence matters. My interests include golf, reading and the internet and the way it is constantly developing. I have a passion for life and a desire for less stress!
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