Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Revolutionary Growth Plan

Dear Minister of Economic Development, Ebrahim Patel,       
          I spent 15 years at the University of Venda before I got my doctorate in African Finance at the age of 52 and I’m also now a Professor, so I know what I’m talking about.
          How about implementing something workable this year?
          The idea that you can create another 5-million jobs by freezing salaries of top earners until we have another World Cup in South Africa is the kind of thinking that got America and Europe into such financial sh …aving cream.
          Also it’s a bit rich that you and your fellow ministers should make such an absurd suggestion just after you have given yourselves a 5% increase on your salaries which are well over a million rand a year.
          How do you expect to implement a freeze on salaries over R550 000 a year? You can’t stop a bond in mid stream so all those showy rich guys and the odd woman of course who are bonded up to the hilt will have to auction their mansions in Johannesburg;in other parts of the country; on golfing estates etc and that will put a couple of million servants out of work for a start.
           Add that to the 20-million people, who are already on the bones of their huts, and you haven’t got a hope in hell of making the slightest dent in unemployment this century and that’s being optimistic.
          Can you imagine any Government Minister trying to come out on a measly half a million a year? You’d have a strike on your hands before you know it.
          Then if you freeze the salaries of all these high rollers where are you going to get the taxes to pay our President’s bloated cabinet and a Parliament with more sleeping beauties than the Mitchell’s Plain Police station or any pantomime.
          I see you’ve got a different plan for the ordinary worker; those getting around R20 000 a month. Their increases will be pegged to the rate of inflation.
          Doesn’t your team realise that is the rate of inflation. Economists who have never shopped at Pick n Pay or Checkers or turned their lights on for the last 20 years keep telling us that inflation is under control at something like 3%. But they never say 3% of what?
          They must ask my wife. She’ll tell them alright. A lot of food items can jump 30% in a week that’s how under control that sector is. But its good propaganda to keep feeding the masses with impressive inflation figures (much more nourishing than food) arrived at by leaving out the important things, like the cost of living.
          If only you had consulted me before you shot your mouth off in Parliament you would have got applause all round, even from the opposition. What’s the point in spending all that taxpayer’s money on my expensive education if you don’t make use of it in the Nation’s hour of need?
          Here’s my plan. It’s better late than never.
          First of all I would only allow the first R10 that is stolen from the state to be tax free. After that amounts up to R100-million would be taxed at 50% unless the person concerned could show he or she had a contact or relative in the right place. Anything above R100-million would attract the maximum tax of 100%.
          This would ensure that the state’s coffers would be overflowing in no time. And you and the other Ministers wouldn’t have sleepless nights worrying over how to justify huge increases for yourselves, because there would be so much money around nobody would notice whatever was approved.
          The second leg of my master plan would be to cut down on the length of time Ministers can stay at 10 star hotels at R15 000 a night to two years. There should be no justification for them to stay longer just because their Government house, which was perfectly adequate for the previous incumbent, is being refurbished to Arab sheikh standards. Solid gold taps should be restricted to the President and his Deputy.
          Thirdly all Government officials earning R2-million or more who get caught rigging tenders or defrauding the State in some other way should be suspended on full pay for a maximum of five years. After that they should be told to find a more lucrative job.
          The ones earning less than this figure, who are found with their noses in the petty cash, can pay off the amount over 15 years. We must allow this concession because you can’t blame them for following the example set by their superiors.
          No penalties will be imposed if they can convince investigators that what they did was part of their culture.
          And another thing; all union officials should be prevented by law from receiving a salary or any kind of income while their members are on strike. It’s only fair if they want us all to suffer that they should be prepared to take a bit of pain themselves.
          Lastly you should start printing, in a big way, tickets for the gravy train, just like you did for the World Cup. I suggest they should start at R15-million for the second class ones and go to R50-million for first class. And MPs should be allowed to claim this expense without disclosing their mode of travel.
          If you need any further help my new email address is
          Yours expertly,
          Jon, Crisis Management Specialist to 85 African Heads of State.
Correction: That was last week; 45 of them have been deposed in union coups since then because of widespread unemployment.

No comments:

Post a Comment