Back To Basics Economics

Sometimes the list of issues demanding comment is depressing at best.

Four such issues and a consequence illustrate the need for a radical re-alignment of government in the economy of the country.

IssuesPolitical interfere in medical matters,   Politics dash education hopes,  Politics fail health care,  Politics fail parastatals

Consequence:  Stagflation

There was a time when South Africa had a thriving economy and was largely self-sufficient in all but the needs of the highest technological level, and then not always.  In some fields South Africa led the world.  Today we are largely dependent on the world at large for most of our needs and we have moved from being a nation of producers to a nation of consumers, fed off by many nations whose only goal is to profit from their commercial and technological involvement with no care of how their dealings strip South Africa of its wealth and it’s capacity to be self-sufficient.  In fact it is this very lack of self-sufficiency that these nations wish to cultivate and the very wealth that they deliberately strip so South Africa can become a vassal state.

What nonsense this is?   How does one link the above issues to the above consequence?  I can just imagine the apologists outrage.

The truth is that while no one of those issues led to that single consequence, these four issues are symptomatic of the way the entire economy is run, into the ground.  Wherever you look, incompetent ANC appointees are making the wrong decisions for the wrong reasons, about everything you can imagine from animal welfare, through education, health care, public enterprise  to youth development

The Direct Democracy Forum have an integrated plan for the economic upliftment of every South African and it’s goal is to convert this ANC socialist vision of dependency into a South African vision of independence and pride. Under a DDF administration South Africa will become a nation of producers which employs South Africans and puts them first and the ambitions of the rest of the world back where they belong – that is back wherever they came from.  Look to DDF policies for evidence of the plan and the political will.  DDF policies consist of a back to basics for education, training, skills, employment and reward.

On the question of reward, the South African economy will handsomely reward every South African who merits reward, through diligence, persistence, creativity, endeavour and honesty and the state will not tax anyone beyond the application of TEAL.  

On the question of TEAL, TEAL will enable South Africa to achieve all its economic, industrial and social goals without recourse to unaffordable debt or dubious forms of taxation, such as but not limited to E-Tolls.

Then the naysayers will say that policy is worth nothing, but the truth is it is worth a world of achievement, because achievement can be measured against policy.  A government with no policy has no plan and without a plan there can be no achievement.  Policy and achievement are thus linked indivisibly.

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Baragwaneth Hospital is in pain

Baragwaneth Hospital, probably the largest hospital in the southern hemisphere and the third largest in the world, is in pain.  With some 3 200 beds and 6 700 staff members it has one broken X-ray machine that hasn’t been fixed, one broken CT scanner and one other CT scanner that is in the process of failure through work overload,  per this M & G on-line report.  Obviously this has a negative effect on patient care and staff morale.

Why do I have a sense of deja vu?  The reason is that No 1 Military hospital had a similar problem of equipment not being repaired.  These events may be symptomatic of the state of many of our hospitals and the state of their equipment and evidence at the very least, of a systemic functional break-down in some of our major hospitals.  Not very comforting.

The problem should not be one of money but probably is administrative in nature – things not being done, orders not being placed, inadequate follow up from inception to payment.  The CT scanner at Bara apparently is not being fixed because of an overdue account with the suppliers.  Why should they incur the cost of repair when they are not being paid for previous work?  This begs the question; why is the administration not functioning?  Why are accounts not paid?

The Direct Democracy Forum believe that these sorts of failures are top down in nature.  That is; if the minister of health does not expect the director general to do his or her job, who in turn does not expect his or her managers to do their jobs, who do not expect the executives of hospitals they are responsible for to do their jobs, there is no incentive for anyone to do their jobs, to see that accounts are paid correctly and on time.  It is insidious, like a cancer at work in the body of a patient, and the patient, in this case Bara Hospital, is in pain and is seriously dysfunctional.

A DDF administration will ensure that the whole chain of authority, from the minister down to the lowliest worker in every state hospital in the land, knows what is expected of them and will perform and be functional or be fired.  

Patient care cannot suffer from administrative dysfunction, whatever the cause.  A DDF administration will install a system where the patient comes first in the national health service, where equipment is maintained in a functional state, where orders are placed on time and medicines are available for medical staff to prescribe and dispensaries to dispense and where accounts are paid on time and where breakdowns are fixed in time, all for the benefit of the system’s patients.  Because serving the patient base is the only reason for the existence of a national health system any part of that system which does not deliver on that obligation no longer has a reason to be a part of the system.

DDF health policies outline DDF commitment to the National Health System patient base.

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The buck stops at the ballot box.

SA’s Economy: DDF versus the ANC.

A hard look at the ANC led economy paints a grim picture for 2014.

By contrast a Direct Democracy Forum administration will both liberalise and discipline the economy with emphasis on economic fairness, including but not limited to:

Out the window will go patrimony, nepotism, graft and corruption.  While the DDF cannot guarantee the absence of these practices in the market-place and in the public service, what the DDF can guarantee is that any evidence of such practices will be pursued timeously, diligently and to the full extent of the law, irrespective of whomever is involved.

Look at DDF Policies to see how they can help you.

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SA Education Authorities wear Blinkers

The habit of the ANC government to see only what they wish to see and hear only what they wish to hear is shooting South African children in the foot by denying them a proper education and then expecting them to perform in a competitive manner in a competitive world.  This is just another example of the ANC’s Messiah complex in action.  The Direct Democracy Forum have expressed this sentiment before but will do so again.  This is tantamount to criminal fraud perpetrated on the school children of South Africa and one day those responsible will be held to account, but by then the damage done to millions of South Africans who have passed through the South African education system these past 20 years, will be very difficult to undo.

Two reports on the Annual National Assessment results, ANA results are not comparable and Critics slap down Motshekga’s confidence over ANAs absolutely slate the manner in which the tests were conducted and the Minister’s interpretation of the results.  Either the Minister believes her own propaganda or the Minister is fully aware of the implications of the results and is simply lying to the people.  Both alternatives are totally unacceptable.

DDF education policies, backed by DDF TEAL policies  are the only chance on the current political horizon for South Africa’s crippled education system, and then it will be a long haul over decades to set the matter to rights.

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South Africa’s Hospitals from Hell

We made the point in our gender equality post that political equality was worth nothing if you die early from poverty and ignorance.

Just how serious the situation is, particularly for our rural women, is brought home by this alarming report in the M & G on-line about maternal mortality in Mpumalanga hospitals.

The Direct Democracy Forum have comprehensive health care policies that will broaden access to health care throughout the land and institutions and practitioners who failed to provide appropriate and effective health care for their patients will not be allowed to continue their practices, while institutions and practitioners who did provide such care would flourish and prosper.  DDF health care policies will provide affordable and quality health care for everyone in South Africa, irrespective of their wealth or lack of it, or their position in society.

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1 Military Hospital

What image does one have when 1 Military Hospital is mentioned? Top rate medial facility, probably the best in the country.  That’s what I would have thought, until I read this Mail and Guardian report on 1 Military Hospital.   Now I wonder?  Is the country’s flagship hospital in the same state of disrepair as the rest of the country?  What a shame.

The Direct Democracy Forum cannot imagine the circumstances under which an emergency communications system in an elite hospital escapes repair over two years but that would not happen under a DDF administration.  The DDF would make sure that the skills and resources needed are made available to make every state medical facility fully functional.  View the DDF health care policies for a glimpse of what is possible. 

The buck stops at the ballot box

 

Responsibility and Accountability in the Economy

This M & G report highlights the failure of the major players in our economy to play nicely together and the effect it has on ordinary citizens, such as Busisiwe and her commute companions, and on you and I and every citizen in South Africa. 

The Direct Democracy Forum have every intention of making the players play nicely together so that capital and labour and society at large, benefit from a functioning economy.  Contrast the picture portrayed in the above report with the prospects of a stable and thriving economy where all players are winners as reflected by DDF policies on education and training, job creation, the economy and so on, and in previous posts in the blog, notably here and here  and in our goals.

The buck stops at the ballot box

Just when you thought it couldn’t be worse

Just when you thought it couldn’t possibly be worse you discover that indeed it could be and is worse for some.  This is a sad tale of a sad school that can only have been unforgivably ignored.  Try visuallising that for your child!

It is easy to utter platitudes about the failure of South Africa’s public school system (said to be almost the worst system in the world) and easy for the ANC to complain about underinvestment in black education under apartheid, but come on, zero percent pass rates when we are formally 2 decades out of apartheid and segregation, and formal discrimination in education is some 3 decades past.  The Direct Democracy Forum are convinced that these failures are symptoms of present failures to deliver to our beleaguered youth and bad policy decisions right from the start of the post-apartheid era and are not symptoms of apartheid neglect.  The neglect is in not identifying every at-risk school in the land (what would that be, most schools?) and deal with them on a worst-case-first rotation.

It requires some out-of-the-box thinking and the political and fiscal will to turn these disasters around and the DDF are not being glib and populist and mouthing off in the expectation that they will never be required to put their money where the mouths are.  A DDF administration will exercise the necessary political will and allocate the necessary funds to end these tales of despair.  What else could we do?  Let this state continue?  Not a chance.  A DDF administration would be too ashamed to allow that to happen, as should any administration.  DDF education policies reflect DDF determination to put an end to this sorry misery.    

The buck stops at the ballot box.

Health Care – Getting it Wrong

Here is a sorry tale about Eastern Cape’ medicine non-delivery system.

What is it about South Africa and the the Eastern Cape in particular, that we can’t get our act together?  We previously posted on the poor delivery of education in the EC , Teachers Without Jobs, Children Without Teachers, to mention just a few topics, and now, since May 2013, medicine delivery is also failing in the Eastern Cape.

It does not seem to matter enough that children are not being educated and the sick are not being medicated that they tolerate delivery systems that don’t work.  It is all a sad and shocking state of affairs that suggest the country is falling apart at the seams while the vultures circle and pick up choice profits that are going for doing business with government and not being held accountable.

A Direct Democracy Forum administration would not tolerate any of this, not for one moment.  We could not in all consciousness tolerate such poor delivery results and such sad consequences.  The DDF can only point to DDF policies and stress that when we say we will deliver, we mean exactly that.

The buck stops at the ballot box. 

If Only

In our previous post we bemoaned the lack of adequate funding for our educators and the education system.  The topic is a huge one which begins with the appropriate application of existing funding and proceeds to appropriate funding for all academia.  We mention this because South Africa actually spends a high proportion of its GDP (about 18%) on education.  But we simply are not getting the results. 

  • Step one is to apply the funds that are needed where and when they are needed (books on time, teachers where there are pupils) and so on.
  •  Step two is to identify areas of need that are not adequately funded and see that these areas are properly funded, without stealing from existing recipients.
  • Application of TEAL by the Direct Democracy Forum will ensure such theft is not needed

Two critical areas of need are adequate funding for tertiary education and for research and development.  Imagine, only 1.5% of our working population are employed in Research and Development.  A gifted person obtains an advanced degree in research and development and can’t find employment.  That should not be.

Yet South Africans are a resolute people.  In spite of the sad state of support for R & D and for Tertiary Education, our youngsters still acquit themselves on international platforms, as good as any and better than most, and in this particular case, as the best in the world.

If only we supported all our achievers in all areas of endeavour with the same resolve as we support our sportsmen and sportswomen.  Imagine then what we would accomplish.

Well, dreams precede accomplishments and a DDF dream is that South Africans are counted as amongst the best in the world wherever they compete.  A DDF administration will empower and enable everyone to be their best at whatever they doDDF policies will turn that “if only” wish into reality.

The buck stops at the ballot box.

Unhealthy Health System

In February 2013 the Direct Democracy Forum was told that the Yeoville Clinic had been without power or water since 14th December 2012.  The DDF was also told that the municipality had obtained a quotation for some R50 000 to rectify the matter but did not have the budget for that expenditure.  As recently as a month back the the DDF were told that the Hillbrow clinic was unable to supply risperdal and generics, commonly prescribed anti-psychotics, and other commonly needed drugs, because the municipality had not paid the suppliers.  Although the DDF tried to alert the press that there seemed to be something systemically wrong with the finances of the municipal health services, that effort seemed to be like pouring water into a bottomless well.

Then came this report “Why has Gauteng run out of ARVs?”.  The report is so shameful on so many levels as to be unbelievable.  But sadly it seems to be believable and to vindicate DDF concerns about the possible systemic collapse of Johannesburg municipal health service finances. 

As with the DDF post on the R100 Million Deals,  the DDF have multifaceted policies to bring municipal finances under control through the application of DDF policies on TEAL and to make municipalities more accountable to their constituents through  DDF Local Government Policies.  In addition, comprehensive DDF Health Care policies will broaden access for everyone to quality health care,  so patients will never be turned away from the provision of adequate care, anti-retroviral drugs and other desperately needed medications.

The buck stops at the ballot box