Sunday, 3 November 2019

The drug for a nation

As I sit here this morning, nursing a moerse baabelas, curtesy of a 22-man rugby team plying their trade in the Land of The Rising Sun, I wonder what a marvel it is to win a World Cup Championship for the third time. Then I ponder what it was like for the Brazilians to win the Football World Cup, five times.  The jubilation and euphoria compared to any other event is incomparable, given that football and rugby are the apex of global sports.  Knowing the Brazilian affinity to party and celebration, I think South Africans may come a close second. 

But what happens when the euphoria and celebrations are over, after the music had died, the barman retired, the guests had all left; what else do we have left but the pride of a 22–man squad that had overcome the odds of a rugby game?

Yet we had the pleasure of experiencing that THREE times.

So, in light of our unique sporting experience, has an 80 minute game of rugby really united a nation as the media would have us believe? If so, what happened in 1995, 1996, and 2007 when the Rugby World Cup, the African Nations cup and again the Rugby World cup, respectively, acceded to the talent of South African sport? Did those sporting achievements really have such an effect on our psyche that we can truly say; we really are a united, rainbow nation?

After the euphoria and jubilation had dissipated, what have you got, at the end of the day; What have you got, to take away; A bottle of whisky, and a new set of lies; Blinds on a window, and a pain behind the eyes……..but, scarred for life we will always be; because no sport will cure a lifetime of an economic hangover, pretentiously……?

Ok. So I stretched the point with a little Dire Straits classic…..but, nevertheless; what do we really have after the euphoria? Let’s unpack it a little from 1995…..don’t worry I won’t bore you with a long winded……ah fuck….whatever…..this won’t take long.

The 1995 Rugby World Cup win was a godsend from heaven for the nation’s populace (or so we believed).  We were literally trying to recover from the other moerse monumental baabelas  of the miracle of 1994, when suddenly we were bombarded with another (miracle) of epic proportions. If politics and sport were a drug at the time, we would be loaded with coke, heroin, dagga, and every other drug that was available, and life had fuck-all on us! We were invincible, as we took in the miracle of the transformation of our (new) country. We were the superhero of Hulk, Superman, Spiderman and every other Marvel character from Gotham City.

That’s what was portrayed to the world.

What was not as famous was the economic situation of the masses ignored by the Apartheid Monster. Again, let me not bore you with the details. But, what really came out of the 1995 victory was the unmitigated embarrassment of one Chester Williams (Bless his rugby soul) who couldn’t find decent employment in his field of expertise; let alone the despicable manner in which he was treated by his so called “team mates”, until the University of Western Cape “took him in”.

By the time of the other “miracle of 2007”, the national unemployment statistics had already jumped from 17% to 23%. How do I ask you, with tears in my eyes could this have possibly united a nation? By my unrefined logic, I would’ve thought that a job for all would make for a society equal and acceptable by all? But no, the government of the day had no such vision. The government of the day was lost in limbo. The Springbok victory of 2007 was the achievement and highlight of the year. FUCK THE PROBLEM OF UNEMPLOYMENT!

Fast forward to 2019, and the unemployment statistics have ballooned to a whopping 29,2%. And that is the “official” unemployment rate for Satafrika. Expanded unemployment, including people that have just decided “fuck this, I’m gatvol of even looking for a job”, has reached around 37%. So, from a “reasonable” employable base of around 20%, and,  I’m not sure what my point was supposed to be here, but anyone can see that coupled with the expanded unemployment rate of 37% and whatever other fucking statistic they come with for unemployment in this country would correlate my ambit of argument. I’m not sure if that really makes sense, but you know what I mean….or do you?

Winning a global sporting showpiece in this country is just another drug fix to the population that goes on a high for 24 hours, who is then brought back to earth by reality when that euphoric drug has worn off.  The millions are still unemployed, the cost of living is still sky high, society is still divided by wealth and status, and the DA has quietly shifted a little to the right….sneaky mutherfuckers, those.

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Are gay individuals really "Born that way"?

"One can fool some men, or fool all men in some places and times, but one cannot fool all men in all places and ages" – Jacques Abbadie, 1684 (stolen by Abraham Lincoln in 1865)

Family chatter of a close relative “coming out” hardly ever goes down smoothly.  In a “normal” functioning family (immediate and extended) the likelihood of this revelation is least foreseen; though one is expected to be open-minded and sensitive thereof. As expected, there was a sense of taboo and “don’t go there” approach. Suffice it to say, this being the first in generations of strictly heterosexual individuals enjoying (loving) heterosexual relationships; it naturally triggered some consternation and denial from the parents of said wandering youngster, because while growing up, he displayed no signs of homosexual behaviour. On the contrary, my recollection of his youth is mischief personified; a domestic terrorist if you will.  

So, out of concern for the child in question, myself, true to form hit the information highway,  to search for some legitimate medical/biological/environmental/cultural explanation for the attraction between same sex individuals; To vindicate skepticism of his affliction, the information discovered in the hunt for the truth, shed a new light (in my opinion) on the narrative that “homosexuals are born that way…”

[Sidebar] For the sake of sharing an opinion, please do not shoot the messenger……my message, to be clear, is to debunk the assumption that “being gay is a natural thing” or “people are born that way”. So to emphasize: THIS IS NOT A MESSAGE OF HATE OR RIDICULE FOR THE GAY COMMUNITY.  
(Although, I probably will be branded a homophobe, nonetheless).

The long held belief that homosexuals and Lesbians are “born that way”, is much further from the truth than what society would have us believe.  First, let’s be brutally frank about a few facts; (1) Human sexuality is binary, in that, gender is determined by a set of chromosomes, you are either male (XY) or female (XX); (2) Naturally, the primary purpose of intercourse  between a male and a female is procreation, that is, to ensure the survival of the human species; (3) Anal sex between two men is the abnormal act of Sodomy; (4) Sodomy has no natural purpose in life which, in a normal society, may be seen as sexual violence, or rape. Yet, in a homosexual relationship, it may be termed consensual Sodomy, which goes against society’s norms and principles; especially religious beliefs and practices.

Regardless of whether one is religious, atheistic or agnostic, the act of Sodomy is abnormal; at least (in Western Society) this was the general consensus up to the late 1960s and early 1970s. In the last decade or two, homosexuality and Sodomy has been romanticized to the extent that it is seen in the same light as heterosexuality, i.e. that it is a normal thing, because…… “Gays are born that way

How western society was duped

In 1968 a book entitled The Population Bomb written by Paul Ehrlich, an entomologist at Stanford University, sent shock-waves throughout the US with his predictions of an unmanageable global population explosion within 2 decades. Considering that his academic studies and profession had nothing to do with demography, his book was more a reflection of his experiences while on a visit to the overcrowded city of New Delhi. Nevertheless, some of the statements shared in his book had a telling impact on its audience that spread and inadvertently exploded country-wide. 

This gave rise to a slew of statements, debates and arguments on the subject from high profile politicians and academics which eventually led to several proposals and recommendations being tabled to control and manage the “problem”. If the below graph of global population growth is anything to go by, the policies to manage the population explosion “problem”, didn’t seem to have much effect. Notwithstanding the fact that there do not seem to be an astronomical population growth prior to 1960, according to this graph.
Source: World Peace Foundation, Tufts

In March of 1969, Frederick Jaffe, then Vice President of an organisation called the Planned Parenthood Federation of America compiled and published a memorandum (The Jaffe Memo) outlining strategies and methods for combating a [mythical] population explosion. Included in the list of strategies, was a proposal to “Encourage increased homosexuality”. In July of the same year, President Nixon addressed the US congress and reiterates that “population growth has become a serious concern and needs to be managed accordingly……”  

Another academic central to this policy development, a sociologist, Kingsley Davis put forward that along with methods promoting birth control, he endorses “unnatural forms of sexual relations”. As a result, and in conjunction with these policies, Preston Cloud, a Bio-geologist representing the USA National Academy of Sciences suggests to legalize abortions and the union (marriage) of same-sex individuals as a matter of urgency (US Congress, December 1969). These developments spark open debates between defenders and detractors for the normalization of the lifestyle; bearing in mind that it was openly discriminated in the early 1960s.

[Note]: Here the question must be asked, why such a provocative proposal would be considered, especially when only 1 to 2% of the US population was gay; apart from the fact that the population included a majority practicing a faith that absolutely rejected the homosexual lifestyle. One could easily assume that this small gay community was to be afforded special attention over the vast majority of the population. Why would that be?

Before these ground-breaking pronouncements, as stated, the subject of homosexuality was taboo, and broadly frowned upon.  Gay and lesbian bars were hidden from society where they were used by the gay community to exercise and practice their lifestyle far from the prying public eyes. Resistance from the gay community to frequent raids, arrests and vilification from authorities was sporadic with very little appetite for protest. Shortly after the policy recommendations were proposed by government and academic bodies, the attitude from authorities towards the gay community softened, with a political and public campaign to legitimize the homosexual lifestyle as a normal entity. 

In June of 1969, the famous Stonewall riots occurred in downtown New York City, and carried on for six days. Suddenly homosexuals were emboldened and retaliated as authorities were loath to use the force exercised previously to stifle their activities. In the weeks following the Stonewall riots, the LGBTQ movement exploded with radical groups, magazines and other propaganda publications pushing their demands for equality and the immediate recognition of their lifestyle, as normal.

The medical diagnosis and classification

Prior to 1973, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) classified homosexuality as a mental disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSMII).  In 1963, the New York Academy of medicine published a report in which it stressed concerns about the rapid spread of the homosexuality phenomenon in the US.  These concerns were primarily based on the distribution of startling literature (homosexual propaganda in media and entertainment) and the spread of venereal diseases. Studies have proven that the spread of venereal diseases are more prominent in homosexual than heterosexual relationships; confirmed to be a direct result of serial promiscuity. Historical data shows that long standing homosexuals would have been involved with more partners during their lives compared to heterosexuals.

The report also declares that “The homosexual is an emotionally immature individual who has not acquired a normal capacity to develop satisfying heterosexual relationships. Consequently, overt homosexuality may be an expression of fear of the opposite sex and of an inability to accept adult responsibility…” 
Homosexuality has been identified as a mental illness because of the impeded development of an individual’s psychological aspects for sexual arousal. Psychiatrists have attributed this symptom to a range of factors, including social, economic and environmental causes.  Furthermore, the American Organization of Psychiatrists has defined homosexuality as “abnormal personality development with persistent emotional and physical attraction to members of the same sex”. 

Despite the factors mentioned, scientists have zeroed in on the one factor contributing mostly to (said) impeded development; namely, family relationship dynamics. These include a wide range of psycho-social factors, including parental behaviors and relationships, family neglect, rejection, over-protection, fatherless homes, dominant mother, etc. They have thus concluded that homosexuality may be onset in the earlier stages of a child’s life, and their relationships between parents and siblings are highly significant.

 Birth of the Gay Liberation Front

Out of the ashes of the Stonewall riots came the Gay Liberation Front, adopted as an analogy to the National Liberal Front in Vietnam; ostensibly politicizing the gay movement and its assault on society. Through this organisation, the gay community put forth a list of demands as a prerequisite for social equality. Some were targeted specifically at the American Psychiatric Association;
  • The APA to review its diagnosis of homosexuality as a mental disorder.
  • Publicly declare that homosexuality is not a disease
  • Start a campaign to remove widespread prejudice on the subject, with legislative reforms as an end result.
  • Collaboration between the GLF and the APA to ensure reforms are implemented per demands.
Thus, starts the attack on psychiatry through a strategy of staged protests and riots beginning in 1971. Conferences are disrupted with violence and venues trashed. The authorities make little effort to crack down on the rioters; (a reason for the lack of action from them; the protests were faked by a few activists and actors creating a performance for the media to create public awareness.  Naturally this account cannot be proven without substantial evidence, although the bizarre non-reaction from authorities seemed out of character). Any Academic or practicing psychiatrist who persists in labeling homosexuality as a disease is targeted and threatened.

An expert on the subject of sexual relationships, Dr Charles Socarides laments (from his book Homosexuality: A Freedom too far), “Militant groups of homosexual activists launched a real campaign aimed at harassing specialists, promoting arguments against excluding homosexuality from the list of deviations; they penetrated conferences where problems with homosexuality were being held, staged debauchery, insulted and interrupted speakers”. These misdeeds were followed up with anonymous telephone calls and letters threatening violence on them and their families. The APA eventually relented and created a special commission to negotiate with the Gay organisations. The fact that this special commission consisted of only gay participants, didn’t seem to raise much suspicion, although the conflict of interest was blatant.

Depathologizing homosexuality : Putsch of the American Psychiatric Association

Alix Spiegel, granddaughter of the President-elect Dr John Spiegel (Who incidentally happened to “come out” in his later years) of the APA gives an extraordinary account of how a coup on the APA began in the early 70s, beginning with private meetings and gatherings at her grandfather’s home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. With a sub-committee for gay rights firmly entrenched in the APA, she details how these “Young Turks” planned on establishing a leadership structure that would be sympathetic to their demands. They cynically called themselves the GAYPA, a sarcastic analogy of the APA. Naturally, leading the group was none other than her grandfather, John Spiegel who was later voted onto the Board of Trustees.

This internal pressure from the (GAYPA) coupled with protests, riots, and disruptions of conferences took its toll on the APA. In 1972, through a referendum the APA Leadership was overhauled, with a majority of homosexuals in key decision making positions. The APA leadership now boasted a powerful lobby of proponents for homosexual ideology. A year later, in 1973, the final nail in the coffin of the fight for gay rights and equality would be enacted.  By a unanimous vote (13 out of 15 votes from the Board of Trustees of the APA), homosexuality as a mental disorder was struck from the list of mental diseases in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSMII) and redefined as an Ego-Dystonic Disorder. And so the decision to overturn a researched, scientific and documented medical condition was made by a simple cast of votes. No scientific evidence, testimonies, or conventional medical trials were referenced to justify the decision.

Dr Robert Spitzer, who authored the new definition for homosexuality in the DSMII manual, had this to say “I came up with a definition in 1973 that made it possible to argue that homosexuality was not a mental disorder. The gay activist has taken the viewpoint that, from a politically strategic perspective, they would do better if they can convince society at large that once you are a homosexual, you can never change. I can appreciate that this helps them politically, and I’m sympathetic towards their political goals. But I think that it’s just not true

Barbara Gittings, known as the mother of all gay rights movements openly admitted in the 1992 edition of “Making History, The Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Equal Rights”, (20 years after her appearance at the APA Conference in 1972), “This never was a medical decision and it is precisely for this reason that everything happens so quickly. After all, it was only three years from the time that feminists and gays first zapped the APA at a behaviour therapy session to the time that the Board of Trustees voted in 1973, which excluded homosexuality from the list of mental disorders. This was a political decision…..we were healed overnight by the stroke of a pen”.

A survey in 1978 sampling 10,000 US Psychiatrists, showed an overwhelming 68% of them admitting that homosexuality is pathology. A 2003 poll of International psychiatrists also concluded with 70% of them considering homosexuality to be deviant behaviour. In 1987, the APA secretly removed all classifications of homosexuality, without consensus or justifying its decision.  The World Health Organisation followed suite in 1990 (ICD10) and removed its classification of homosexuality as a disease.

Who’s WHO in the (Medical) Zoo

World Health Organisation
The APA and WHO (World Health Organisation), are not considered to be scientific institutions with binding authority on medical science and its practices. The APA is apparently a glorified trade union that represents the interests of US psychiatrists and contributes little scientific weight in the diagnosis of mental diseases. The WHO is an administrative body in the UN that coordinates the medical interests of autonomous organisations. The ICD10 (International Classification of Diseases) is an administrative document of the WHO, that defines a list of medical conditions through opaque coding. 

This declaration is taken directly from the “Bluebook” (pg-9) of the ICD10 Classification of Mental Disorders; “These descriptions and guidelines carry no theoretical implications, and they do not pretend to be comprehensive statements about the current state of knowledge of the disorders. They are simply a set of symptoms and comments that have been agreed, by a large number of advisers and consultants in many different countries, to be a reasonable basis for defining the limits of categories in the classification of mental disorders.” By this statement, one can reasonably conclude that the (ICD) classification of diseases (in this case, mental disorders) do not promote scientific or academic interests. The fact that homosexuality is removed as a disease bears no correlation to historic scientific data. Therefore, any reference to ICD10 for homosexuality classification has no merit, due to the absence of factual scientific data supporting its removal.

Desensitization of homosexuality

Prior to normalizing the gay community, around the mid-to-late-70s, the term homosexual was the general term to describe any individual in a same-sex relationship. From the 70s this gradually gave way to more socially appealing terms such as “gay” and “lesbian”.  This was the first step of desensitizing the wider population from the stigma of homosexuality. In 1987 an article, “Overhauling straight America” by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen appeared in a magazine called Guide that explicitly outlined a strategy to transform society’s approach into accepting the gay lifestyle as a normal entity and an equivalent to heterosexuality. These tactics included the following:
  • Talk about gays and gayness as loudly and as often as possible.
  • Portray gays as victims, not as aggressive challengers
  • Give protectors a just cause
  • Make gays look good
  • Make the victimizers look bad

This strategy was extended into media, entertainment and education. In 1989 the article was then developed into a book, called “After the Ball: How America Will Conquer its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90s”. The book was dubbed the “Gay Manifesto of the ‘90s”. As a result of this propaganda drive the mere mention of the gay lifestyle in a negative light would be seen as one being a homo-hater, or more succinctly, a homophobe.

The Link between Homosexuality and Pederasty (paedophilia)

The Old Oxford Dictionary defines Pederasty as the act of sex between a man and a teenage boy. In Ancient Roman and Greek cultures, this lascivious act was acceptable in society, seen as a normal relationship and no different to a heterosexual one. Today, proponents of homosexuality go to great lengths to separate the two and deny there is any link or connection between them. I’m not saying that all homosexuals are Paedophiles, but the LGBTQ movement would have us believe that homosexuality is far removed from paedophilia, which in retrospect is baseless propaganda. 

Extensive research has proven the exact opposite. Studies have shown that there are different levels of homosexual behaviour, from once off experimentation to full blown, in your face public pride and affection of “love” between same sex partners.  Paedophile behaviour, falls somewhere between serial promiscuity and developing an independent taste (sexual arousal) for young adolescents.

An independent study group of British researchers used evidence from a range of sources, including biographies, criminology, history and news reports to prove the undeniable link between homosexuality and paedophilia. The evidence shows that a very high percentage of known homosexuals and even higher percentage of homosexual activists, globally, are paedophiles. News reports and press coverage of entertainment and high profile public figures have been implicated in paedophile rings involving underage boys and girls. Of the most famous cases, Woody Allen, Roman Polanski and most recently, Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein, stands out. There are countless others who are worth a mention, but the point is made, nonetheless.

Homosexuality and Education

When teenagers go through the natural biological transformation at puberty, the question of sexuality is common. They are at their most vulnerable during this period of their lives, and it is the perfect time to blur the question of sexuality in the confused pubescent.

The campaign to introduce homosexuality in education started when the 1972 Conference of the Gay Rights Platform included in their “Rights for Equality”, a declaration for Government to support sex education courses, taught by gay men and women promoting homosexuality as a valid and healthy preference of lifestyle.  Other demands included the repeal of laws governing the age of sexual consent and encouraging the right for homosexuals to adopt and take custody of children.   

If one were to unpack the relentless drive (in the West) to include homosexuality as a subject in school and college curricula I would be writing a book on the topic.  Therefore to keep it short, school kids in the West (specifically the US and UK) are being brainwashed through education that homosexuality is a normal, natural thing and are encouraged to embrace it like they would heterosexuality. The result of which has confused millions of teenagers as to their gender. They are indoctrinated to identify as anything but a male or female. Facebook in the UK has 71 different gender classifications for the modern male and female.

In a nutshell.....

In an effort to overturn the scientific evidence for the case of homosexuality as a disease, various academics and others attempted to prove otherwise with their own tests and research. Most notably was the research done by Alfred Kinsey and Dr Evelyn Hooker.  Firstly, both of these individuals were gay; secondly Alfred Kinsey was a zoologist who had no academic studies in human sexual relations (sexologist), and his research was not ratified by the psychiatric community. Dr Evelyn Hooker was a psychologist, and hers also never made the cut.  The fact that the condition was removed from the DSMIII-R list of mental diseases without scientific evidence as justification clearly proves that the research by the individuals mentioned did not stand up to academic scrutiny.

The main reason the gay community succeeded in their efforts, and turned the tables on factual scientific evidence of homosexuality being a mental disease, was primarily due to high profile public, private and academic figures with very deep pockets advocating for its normalcy.  Currently a whopping $424M is spent on LGBTQ lobbying and transgender funding. The reason why the case was made initially is quite plain to see; very high profile individuals who have a sickening sexual attraction to young teenagers looking for a safe haven to practice their affliction. The gay community was the perfect host.

Every CONSENTING ADULT on this planet has a constitutional human right to sexual preferences. The gay community has every right to exercise those preferences within the boundaries of the law and within their own circle of influence. But when there’s a concerted campaign to enforce that lifestyle on other groups in society, and then have the audacity to coerce governments to literally brainwash young teenagers to adopt it, the future of western society is at risk of social decay, as values and principles are sacrificed for an ideology that is proving with time, to be degenerative.

Lastly, all teenagers experience diverse biological changes at the time of puberty.. The danger, at this transformation, is not only beating it naturally, but still being influenced by nefarious groups with an agenda. Hopefully its not too late for the parents in my family's case to rescue the situation. If they cannot afford the expensive costs of a reputable psychiatrist, a moerse klap and a good tongue lashing should straighten him out, followed by unconditional love and careful nurturing.

Sunday, 18 August 2019

The National Health Insurance Conundrum

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result each time. – (Allegedly) Albert Einstein

I’ve always wondered what really goes on in the mind of the South African politician. The blatantly senseless introduction of a National Health Policy which has been proven to be a complete failure during its Pilot phase, has given the (progress) naysayers enough political fodder to denigrate the ANC government until the next National elections.

While some would rubber-stamp the policy as an instrument for achieving equality in the healthcare sector, others see it as a waste of money and resources at a crucial time when the Government really don’t need to undertake additional senseless expenditure, suffice it to say, from non-existent funding.  Given the state of our healthcare system, I would agree with the latter group.  The NHI policy may have really good intentions and may be a ground-breaking piece of legislation in the history of our young democracy, but sadly the Bill is lacking in crucial detail and the timing is questionable.

The Public Healthscare Phenomenon

The Public Healthcare system is grossly underfunded and understaffed. The Health Facilities are old and dilapidated. Hospital and clinic Infrastructure is falling apart. Employee morale is all but non-existent.  The cold stares and subtle, sorry, blatant verbal aggression from staff would leave one with additional psychological scars after visiting a health facility. Anyone who has had the unfortunate experience of visiting a day clinic or a public hospital would know that their day is basically fucked, and they should know to pack a picnic basket and a blanket (in winter, one may as well sit outside in the cold, rain). The average time spent in a clinic for an average patient is nothing less than 4 to 5 hours, with moerse (sic) long queues starting long before the clinic or hospital doors open. It’s not enough that more than 80% of the population is subjected to such psychological torture, that they still have to endure the wrath of incompetent Health “Professionals”.

Most day clinics are staffed with a bunch of Interns let loose from their Academic Institutions to use the sickly poor as their lab rats. Whether diagnosis and prognosis are sound is neither here nor there. Their efficiency is measured by the number of times a patient may return for the same symptoms. The number of qualified doctors and specialists in the Public Health System are comparable to extinct animals. You just don’t find them as freely as you would find one in the private sector. But, can one blame these guardians of the welfare of the population? What with working long hours for a tenth of the remuneration his fellow professionals would get in the private sector. The lack of available resources and equipment to carry out his profession effectively, and the threat of crumbling infrastructure is enough to drive any healthcare public servant into the private sector, or as is the current trend, to greener pastures over there.

Then there are the various hospital tragedies where hundreds of patients died from blatant neglect and corruption…….maybe I’ll discuss that on another day when I’m not sick to my stomach of just thinking about it. As a result, the National Department of Health is facing an array of Lawsuits which is being paid for by Government Funds meant for the delivery of Healthcare services; one innovative way to kill off more of the poor and poverty stricken, and so the cycle continues.

The Sound of Music
Source :

Conversely, the Private Healthcare system is purring along quite nicely with enough Surplus Funds to buy out the Public system. Any Private medical aid scheme that claims they are not making a profit, are only comparing their bottom line to the previous year, because they didn’t meet their target of increasing profits by another 20% (A bit of a stretch , but you get my drift).

Compared to heath facilities in the Public sector, when you walk into a private GP Consultation room or hospital, you’re greeted with lots of smiling faces and a Doctor whose behaviour and “Professionalism” can be compared to nothing less than saintly; it’s like walking into a scene from the movie, The Sound of Music.  You’re pampered and spoiled with air-conditioning in summer and heating in winter, complimentary reading material that is three years old and other small titbits of insignificance. But you KNOW in the back of their minds they’re relishing at the fact that they’re going to screw your medical aid, and go about it “Professionally”.

As a private medical aid member for the better part of 30 years, I took this privilege for granted and used and abused it to the best of my feigned health fragility (I was justified, given the huge chunk taken out of my salary every month). Yet, most times, the total yearly cost of my family’s medical expenses NEVER exceeded the yearly contributions. At times I wanted to level the playing fields by living a grossly unhealthy lifestyle, subject my family to the same, and hope, by way of more medical expenses, I would get my money’s worth. But these fuckers are tricky; they have this very cool “incentive”, called the medical savings account, where you as the ignorant member fall for the trick of having additional funds for emergencies or extraordinary medical expenses, although you are already paying almost 10% of your salary to cover those very expenses. When you eventually realise you’re being screwed, they’ve already taken the balance of your “savings”, which would be protected by a clause that says it cannot be carried forward (you know, like an accounting transaction) to the next year. But I digress.

The Private Healthcare system services just under 20% of the South African Population but accounts for 50% of the total National healthcare budget. The patient-to-doctor ratio is six times higher in the Public Sector compared to the Private sector. Over the last 10 years private hospitals have increased their tariffs by almost double the rate of inflation, hence the huge profits enjoyed by the biggest 3 Hospital Groups, i.e. Netcare, Life Healthcare and Mediclinic, with Discovery Health coining it in the medical scheme segment. The Private Healthcare system in South Africa is such a monumental money making machine, that International investors are falling over their feet to buy into it. Yet the 20% of South Africans using Private Medical care is none the wiser as to how they’re being ripped off in broad daylight.

The huge profits made in the Private Healthcare System are mainly attributed to:
  • Higher than inflation membership scheme contribution increases
  • Higher than inflation tariffs and other Hospital charges
  • Disproportionate distribution of benefits  per medical plan
  • Higher percentages of contributions going to non-healthcare costs
  • A lack of Competition in the Hospital and Medical Scheme markets
  • Member and Consumer apathy in relation to Scheme plans and Medical jargon
  • A lack of measurement data to assess Quality Healthcare from really bad Healthcare; (except between Public and Private Sectors, but not within the Private sector)

National Health Insurance for Dummies

So, now that we know the Public Health system is fucked beyond comparison, and the Private Healthcare system is rolling in billions from ripping off the Middle class, how would the NHI bridge this huge gap in equality? To answer this, here are a few thoughts which our esteemed Minister of Health, Dr Zweli “NHI will be implemented whether you like it or not” Mkhize has to offer.

Firstly, as mentioned the primary goal of the NHI is to bring quality, affordable Healthcare to every South African citizen, and to reduce the high cost of private healthcare. Suffice it to say that the access to free healthcare should be a Constitutional right, because after all, a healthy populace would ensure a healthy workforce, not so? If so many European and Latin American countries can do it, it shouldn’t be that much of a challenge? Right?

According to the National Treasury, the cost of the NHI Bill will be in the region of R256Billion, but this figure will be revised as the Project is rolled out. Some analysts have put the total cost in the region of around R450B, when taking into consideration the current costs of National Healthcare as a percentage of GDP. Right there is already a huge problem; when the Einsteins of a piece of legislation don’t even know how much said legislation is going to cost…..

Funding for the Bill, will be borne out of a series of Taxes; (and don’t take the phrase “born free, taxed to death”, lightly).
  • General Tax,
  • Medical Scheme tax credits,
  • Employee and employer payroll taxes, and
  • A surcharge on Personal Income Tax.

The Establishment of an NHI Fund, which would be a centrally controlled State-owned entity, (you know, like the many failed SOEs that we already have), will be introduced to manage and control payments into and out of the scheme, to ensure “transparency” and “Accountability”……right!

The services offered by the NHI have been touted to be basic comprehensive healthcare services; although, no definition of these services have yet been documented in the Bill. The bill states that a person seeking health care services from an approved health care service provider must be registered as a user of the NHI fund, and must present proof of such registration in order to use the benefits to which they are entitled; likewise with specialist services. Over time your medical aid will provide only health services that are not covered by the NHI. But, as mentioned, these still need to be defined. Once you are a registered member of the NHI fund, you cannot seek specialist services directly without consulting an accredited NHI Service Provider, who will refer you to a specialist if the required service is not covered by the Fund.

According to the Project timeline, and rollout, it is expected that full implementation should be completed by 2026, with a dramatic downscale in the number and size of Private medical aid schemes. Given the murky details and failures during the Pilot phase, the target date of 2026 is wishful thinking, as opined by analysts in the Sector.

And that, in a nutshell is what the National Health Insurance scheme is all about.

From A layman’s Perspective

There is no doubt that our (Public) Health system is in a bad state of disrepair. The fact that more than 80% of the population is subjected to it, makes the task of regulation that much more challenging. That less than 20% of the population enjoys quality superior healthcare, one could say, is a travesty of justice. However, dismantling the Private Healthcare system to accommodate the goals of this NHI scheme is definitely not the way to go. And on the face of it, this is exactly the intention. The adverse repercussions that would result from such careless legislation can only be destructive to the system as a whole. The Pilot Phase has highlighted crucial inconsistencies with many unworkable solutions. None of the highlighted issues have satisfactorily been resolved, but the first phases of the plan has already been launched in Provinces like KZN and the Eastern Cape. 

Any layman could see that the natural progression of achieving the goal of universal, quality healthcare for all, is simply to fix what is broken, and then apply legislative changes, in phases, to accomplish that goal; ensuring that all stakeholders are accommodated fairly. There are numerous examples of Global countries with efficient world class Healthcare Systems that can be used to model a system successfully. But contrary to a layman’s opinion, our esteemed leaders in government don’t really see it that way. They prefer the bulldozer approach to fixing shit.

Thursday, 25 July 2019

The Fourth Industrial Revolution - The future is here! Or is it?

What is the Fourth Industrial Revolution, referred to as 4IR?

The Four Revolutions

As the history books would suggest, the First Industrial revolution was the advent of the steam engine in the 18th Century, ushering in the Age of Mechanical Production. Steam was the primary source of power for everything from agriculture to manufacturing. The world became dependent on steam power and machine tools when steamships and steam engines (railroad) were the revolutionary way of long distance transportation. Through steam power, the agrarian life steadily gave way to urbanization, with the founding of the factory being the centre of community life.
With the factory being the driving force behind economic and social growth, Industrialization gave rise to a middle class of skilled workers. Cities, Industries and economies grew phenomenally with this new Age of Industrialization, as populations in US cities, for example, grew from only 6% in the 1700s to around 40% in the 1800s.

The invention of the petrol engine, telephone, and electricity in the 20th Century transformed the way people lived, as these new inventions expanded the labour workforce in cities. Production lines in factories began taking shape as the Ford motor company was the first to introduce the concept of the assembly line in factories. The explosion of scientific and Industrial inventions in the 19th and 20th Centuries ushered in what would become the Modern World of today. The Age of Science and Mass Production thus became the Foundation for the exploration and expansion of Science and Technology in Industry.

The age of the Digital Revolution in the late 20th Century saw the invention of the semi-conductor; transistor and microprocessor introduce Digital computerisation in mainframes and Personal Computers. Devices like TVs, wireless, telephones and other analogue appliances were replaced with digital electronic technology. Industries mostly impacted were Information Technology, Telecommunications and Energy, as antiquated analogue Infrastructure mutated into high-speed digital telecommunications, and advancements in the Energy Industry saw the development of Nuclear energy as a (cleaner) source of energy over traditional coal powered (dirty) energy production. Another Industry highly impacted was the Media, where the Internet (Network) gradually became a primary source of information as Media houses converted their products into electronic formats, and used the Internet as a more efficient channel of delivery. The Digital revolution transformed most Industries worldwide and changed the way people would live, work and communicate.

Today we have the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or simply 4IR, the name and definition as branded by Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. Technological developments such as Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), and Virtualisation has set the tone for the age of Cyber-Physical systems. Cyber-Physical systems are characterized by a fusion of technologies that integrates the physical, digital and biological domains. Mechanical automation through robotics in Industries like Construction, Manufacturing, and the Service sector has become a sobering reality. Breakthroughs in Biotechnology have enabled the possibility of genetic sequencing and editing in the drive to cure diseases like cancer, leukaemia, Androgenetic Alopecia, etc.

Block-chain technology (an Algorithmic Distributed Ledger), the platform from which Cryptocurrencies were launched, are increasingly being used in supply chain and tracking Industries. Cryptocurrencies were developed as an alternative to Fiat currencies, and has effectively made trading between two entities more secure, with an explicit aim of removing the middle man, i.e. Banks. Exchange trading markets for Cryptocurrencies, have already been established in parallel with the traditional stock and derivative markets.

As more and more electronic devices are Internet enabled, the demand for cyber information space has skyrocketed.  By 2018, a total of 23 Billion devices were connected to the Internet, with this number increasing daily. IoT devices range from a light bulb that can be switched on through a smartphone app, to smart cities with public enabled sensors that collect valuable data in an effort to improve communities and to better understand and control the environment. Other ground breaking technologies like Artificial Intelligence and 5G has already been inducted into Asian and European Societies as the benchmark for the future.

There is absolutely no doubt that the amalgamation of 4IR into Societies and economies have untold benefits and endless possibilities. It can raise salary bands, improve the quality of life and decrease the cost of trade. Through Automation, production processes and product delivery in manufacturing can be streamlined with a higher level of accuracy, quality and efficiency. 3D printing can potentially increase productivity and market growth by approximately 40%, as advanced robots can program multiple product designs, speedily manufactured by efficient 3D printers.

The development of a number of Smart Cities in the Far East has already embedded the Fourth Industrial Revolution into mainstream society across South East Asia. In the United States, this trend is spread through various states, like Colorado, Pennsylvania, California, Kentucky, etc.  What sets these advanced cities apart from the rest of the world? They all have stable and fast growing economies, a robust world class infrastructure, and a highly skilled workforce. Therefore, the Fourth Industrial Revolution as an enabler of smart cities was a natural progression.

Sadly, not in South Africa. So let’s get back to reality!

4IR in the South African Context

The huge challenges we face in the Social and economic spheres alone, is enough for the majority in this country to forget about the dream of living in a 4IR world. The economy has contracted by 3,2% in the first quarter of 2019, with a very low outlook for the second quarter. The unemployment rate has been steadily increasing over the last 5 years from 25.5% in 2014 to 27,6% in the first quarter of this year (2019), as more companies downsize their workforce to cut costs. Youth unemployment (25 to 34 years old) is at 34% and a staggering 55,5% for 16 to 24 year olds. These age categories are where the skills for 4IR should be exploited and developed, yet the economy is not strong or stable enough to absorb them.  

South Africa is well known for being the most unequal society in the world, where 10% of the population earns more than 50% of total household income in the country. The poorest 40% earns less than 7% of household income.  The significance of this indicator is the reflection of how many unskilled and semi-skilled people there are in the mainstream economy earning minimum wages. With the development of Automation in 4IR, these are the very people whose jobs are targeted. The Industries already impacted, as mentioned, are Agriculture,Manufacturing, Construction and the Service Sector, where most unskilled and semi-skilled individuals ply their trade. The effect this could have on the current Inequality gap would border on criminality. The already marginalized, would not only be excluded from access to the benefits of 4IR, but would also be removed from the labour force driving it!

Blight on Education and Infrastructure

A low Matriculant pass rate (compared to the number of grade 1 students through twelve years of primary and Secondary Education), followed by an even lower (entrance) submissions to an institution of higher learning poses interesting challenges to the skills development required for the Science and Information and Technology Fields. Currently there is a drain of scarce skills required in the Coding and App Development disciplines of Information Technology. This is directly attributed to the low numbers of Students registering for Study in the field of Science and Technology, which is a result of the low numbers matriculating with the required exemption in the Mathematics and Science category of subjects. We find a similar trend of scarce skills in the fields of Mechanical, electrical and Civil engineering, where these make a significant contribution to the infrastructural fields of 4IR.

As Industry evolves, a disruption in labour trends is inevitable. The last three revolutions have proven that various job skills were phased out with new professions replacing them. The downside of this transition is that the number of job losses through automation and other disruptions, is not proportional to the number of new jobs and professions created. The trend of new job creation through Industry disruptions has been significantly downward. Currently, only 0,5% of the US workforce is employed in Industries that did not exist before the 21st Century, compared to 8,2% of the workforce in new Industries in the 1980s and 4,4% in the 1990s. In addition, the type of jobs created required a higher level of education and skill, compared to the skill levels required for the jobs that were lost. In other words, most Blue-collar jobs are affected.

In South Africa, currently only 15% of the population has access to or can afford Broadband Internet technology. Yet, 50% of the population are connected by smart phones through mobile data access, which have become a daily necessity. It’s anticipated that advanced IoT applications are being developed for the 5G Telecommunications Infrastructure. Our Broadcasting Infrastructure has not yet been migrated from analogue to digital broadcasting, which is required to free up frequency spectrum for mobile data connectivity and to expand the access to broadband Internet for the rural market of smartphone users.

Notwithstanding all the challenges mentioned above which are crucial to the successful rollout of a 4IR South Africa, the most fundamental challenge we face is the problem of keeping the lights on. Our energy supply from Eskom is stuck in the second and third revolutions. Ageing and outdated coal powered plants, have proven to be an Achilles heel for the survival of the South African economy. More than 90% of our energy generation is supplied by failing power plants, which have reached its expiry date years ago. If that is not enough, the Power Utility has all but gone bankrupt with Treasury continuously bailing it out with loans which it may not be able to repay. The successful funding and rollout of IPPs around South Africa has made very little difference in the constraints of energy supply. Unless the energy sector is radically transformed and regulated to meet the current requirements of our economy, 4IR for the majority of South Africa will be nothing but a pipe dream.


In the last fifty to seventy years, the pace of change in Industry and thus Society has quadrupled compared to the pace of change of the first two revolutions. The number of inventions and discoveries in Science and Technology more than doubled in the space of a few decades compared to the period (approximately two Centuries) between the first and second Industrial Revolutions. The next revolution may only be a few years away as Millennial innovation radically change the Social and Economic landscape. Through the process there will be winners and losers, though historically, the most vulnerable of Society become the losers. In a race to patent, market and sell a new invention, businesses tend to forget or conveniently forget the implications and repercussions a new invention may have on Society, focusing mainly on the advantages it will have to the few who may be fortunate enough to gain access to it. 

In Africa and specifically South Africa, whose economy is still an “emerging” one, would the 4IR be a justified necessity, where only a handful of the population would benefit from it? 

Sunday, 24 March 2019

The Zuma Elite is alive, kicking and seemingly have played with an open hand.

Image result for Zuma and Ramaphosa
Source: EWN

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle." - Sun Tzu, The Art of War.

My thoughts on the Opinion piece by Mark Swilling, The Zuma Elite is alive, kicking and preparing to replace Ramaphosa, as published on the Daily Maverick Website.

Firstly, I comprehensively agree with Mr Swilling on these points,
  1.     . Retaining Zuma’s “Man of the people” image;
  2.       Consolidate his power base in KZN;
  3.       Rounding up the various PEC executives in Zuma’s favour; 
  4.       Weakening the voter turnout against the ANC and;
  5.       Nullifying the State Capture Commission

However, his opinion on the Russians/Embassy-cum-military bases/global expansion may be far-fetched for an Academic of Mr Swilling’s stature.  The problem with these statements, firstly, is that Nuclear Energy build for peaceful Civilian purposes is conducted under supervision and inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to ensure the Nuclear Build processes are not manipulated for military purposes. Therefore the possibility that the Russians are using Civil Nuclear Power plants as a cover for an Embassy/Military base, could only occur if they (Russians) were not a signatory of the NPT, and were therefore under no obligation to allow IAEA inspection of their nuclear plants. Notwithstanding the fact that Mr Swilling neglects to provide some clear examples of said Embassies-cum-military bases.
Secondly, the point of the Russians using their Civil Nuclear Sector to expand their global ambitions does not mean that the Russian Federation has plans to control global nuclear energy proliferation as Mr Swilling is clearly implying, because they ALREADY control approximately sixty percent of nuclear energy trade globally, see here
Mr Swilling then suggests that South Africa would have become “….another Russian-controlled failed state held together with violence and fear”. I’m rather sceptical of the suggestion, because I’ve never heard of a Russian-controlled failed state, and am extremely disappointed Mr Swilling failed to provide an example of it.   Coupled with this he suggests, and again without providing the evidence, that “There is now more than enough evidence to suggest that the Russians want Ramaphosa out….” Mr Putin has suggested many a time that he is prepared, willing and able to work with any State leader under mutually beneficial terms, but will not allow terms to be dictated to the Russian State.
This Analysis and this Opinion piece, provides a comprehensive definition of how the Russian Federation and its leaders conduct their affairs of State. Suffice it to say, there remains the scepticism in the West that the Russian Federation is the USSR of old, because they believe that nothing has changed since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the subsequent collapse of the USSR. Nothing could be further from the truth, based on the articles mentioned above.

Coming back to the game being played by Zuma and his cohorts, I agree that there definitely is a huge fightback from the Zuma cartel. I also agree that there is some serious transformation needed in the ANC as the ruling political party. There definitely need to be some “Big Hitters” taken down and imprisoned for these changes to be effective.

However, while the Zuma cartel is busy showing their hand and being as predictable as anyone would be, in their situation (i.e. facing long term prison time), who is to say that Mr Ramaphosa is just sitting back and watching all of this unfold without having a Strategic plan of his own? In the lead up to the Elections in May, I think it would be expected from Mr Ramaphosa not to make any significant changes that may give the Zuma cartel a hint of his (Mr Ramaphosa’s) plan.  Therefore, appointing various Commissions of Enquiry was expected, a new NDPP was almost overdue, firing one or two Ministers was necessary. These were the basic non-negotiables Mr Ramaphosa needed to enforce in the period from being sworn in until the elections. We have to bear in mind that Mr Ramaphosa’s victory at Nasrec was too close for him to make sweeping changes across his Administration, which may have shortened his tenure as ANC leader.

For all intents and purposes, Mr Ramaphosa is in the most advantageous position given that he can predict what the Cartel has next on their agenda. Conversely, the Cartel could not know what Mr Ramaphosa’s response may be because he’s not showing his hand. There are various reasons why Mr Ramaphosa should be playing the long game. The most crucial of them is that the ANC needs votes come election time, and a premature counter attack from Mr Ramaphosa now, may have a worse impact on the ANC election result than what is currently expected.

Global stakeholders are watching and waiting to assess post-election Economic and Foreign policy, the resulting manoeuvres from State Capture and other Enquiries, and the fight against corruption from the Ruling Party, for their own interests.

The electorate can only hope and pray that Mr Ramaphosa IS playing the long game and have his game plan ready for some post-election surprises. Failing which, we all may have to pack our bags and head for the exit in an Exodus-like stampede.