Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Service Delivery or Emotional Baggage

Today I'm commenting on a M&G article that you can read here


And another here


Some of the land transferred and ear marked for development is in affluent areas and has an extremely high value (particularly the land in Constantia).

It boggles my mind why such land would be used for low cost housing. The biggest issue in providing low cost housing is budget, why not sell the expensive land to property developers and use the proceeds to build even more houses in less affluent areas.

This would also have the effect of increased stimulation of the building industry. Instead of having "x" low cost homes built in the affluent area they could build "x" with the original funds and "y" low cost homes with the proceeds from the sale, as well as the property developments in the affluent areas paid for by investors (call them "z"). "x" + "y" + "z" = more jobs in the building industry then "x" alone. Not to mention that "z" are larger and would result in more jobs than the low cost homes.

So, in conclusion selling the expensive land and building more houses on cheaper land results in more houses and more jobs, two problems being addressed.

The only reason I can think for not doing this is the emotional argument of "why do only rich people get to live in Constantia?". Obviously that's worth more votes to the politicians than more houses and more jobs!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Oh My Fuck

This is unbelievable, actually it's not really.

The following are extracts from two IOL articles:

In dramatic action on Wednesday, more than 400 protesting metro cops blocked the M2 highway that rings the city, bringing thousands of peak-hour motorists to a standstill

Shooting erupted when SA police in riot gear arrived with metro police (JMPD) using live ammunition and police firing rubber bullets.

On Wednesday, motorists watched in amazement as, around them on the M2 motorway, police took on police, trapping civilians in the crossfire.

The gunfight came after hundreds of protesting metro police blocked both lanes of the M2 highway going east and west.

But it all turned ominous when the SAPS arrived. They brandished shotguns and wore body armour. Some were clearly game for a scrap.

They were taken aback when they noticed the metro cops were armed and loaded.

"We've also got guns," was the chant, which didn't sound good.

Just after 6pm, SAPS officers clad in riot geared moved in and tried to get the JMPD officers to disperse. They refused and forced the two dozen or so police officers to move back.

Minutes later, a Nyala rolled towards the chanting protesters. A policeman popped his head out of the vehicle and threw a stun grenade. Police then opened fired, using rubber bullets.

Scores of metro cops drew their service weapons and shot back while they fled. As stunned motorists hit the ground, some rolling under their stranded vehicles, the shooting continued, with SA police driving back JMPD officers.

On Wednesday night SA Municipal Workers' Union organiser Vincent Vena, speaking from metro headquarters in Loveday Street, said there would be no metro police on duty on Thursday.

"Obviously it (the stayaway) will hit the public hard, which is not our aim," Vena said. "Nobody will die on the roads if the traffic officers are not there."

Asked what effect this would have on crime fighting, he said: "Whether we are on the streets or not, it won't deter criminals from their wrongdoings."

You can read the full articles here and here

All I have to say is WTF? Protect and Serve?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

What was, is, and might have been

A few days short of a year ago I was getting ready to play in Africa's biggest poker tournament, I was going to be there because of a mistake.

You see I'd been told that there were plenty of people interested in going through to the AAPT that would gladly jump at the chance to win a seat for a considerably smaller sum than the actual buy-in (in poker we call this a satellite). Now because seating for this event was strictly limited and in very high demand I ponied up the R20k upfront about three months before the time.

Then when I tried organising the event no one was interested. It totally sucked, here I was with 20k that I'd invested looking to turn a small profit and it looked like I was going to be out of pocket. To add to my misery demand for the seats was at an all time low with the organisers still sitting on more than a few and no waiting list to gobble up my unwanted ticket.

20K was a lot of cash for me back then and it still is now. For nine rather interesting and highly unusual months over the past year 20k didn't mean very much to me, but that's a story for another post.

So what to do? Well I thought I could sell the seat if I offered it at a heavy discount. I contacted a few people in the poker community but either they were waiting to see if they would win an online Sat or they were waiting to see how low my price would eventually drop.

However, during that period I played some spectacular poker and cashed in every single live tournament I played. I was on fire and hitting it like a mofo. I made enough cash to cover the cost of the seat and, in moment of ecstatic hubris, decided that I was well capable of playing with the big boys. I took the plunge and set in motion event that would change my life.

The full extent of said change is still to be determined, but I live in hope.


Why am I reminiscing about this now? Well I about to play live poker again, something which hasn't happened in more than three months. It's a ten player R150 buy-in single table tournament, far cry from the 120 players with more than R4m in prizes. Baby steps.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Well Done Ryan

I loved "Jaggered Little Pill" when it was first realeased. Alanis rocked, hard. Here was a chick with great talent who took shit from nobody. The tone of the album was angsty and very, very angry. Alanis became a sensation and an instant star.

Then it all went to shit, big time.

Obviously fame brought cash, friends and love to Alanis because all the rest of her music has been crap about going to fucking India and loving your brother. Watery whimisical shit. I commented to people all the time that what she really needed was a good disapointment and some real anger to reproduce her earlier greatness. Well thanks to Ryan Reynolds this is now a possibility.

Not only is Ryan a great comedic actor but apparently he is responsible for putting pain and suffering back into Alanis' life. Thanks Dude!

I don't know if it's going to be enough to pull Alanis out of the pit of soppy goo her music has becom, it might be too little to late. But I'm willing to give it a go,

Friday, May 09, 2008

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is this Sunday and it's going to be pretty hard to beat last year's gift, a large black dustbin for my mom's kitchen.

So I've decided not to give a gift this year and rather cook a three course meal for my family. This is the menu that I have planned.


Welsh Rarebit on Home Made Bread

Main Course

Toad in the Hole

Pea Fritters

Butternut Batons


Queen of Puddings

As you will no doubt notice I've gone with a traditional British theme. While I've done variations on all of the above I've never actually cooked any of it before, with the exception of the batons. I'm really looking forward the Queen of Puddings. It's a crème-moulée based base with a fruit compote layer topped is soft meringue, mmm yummy!
Wish me luck.