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AZAPO Voice Volume 2 Issue Number 40

AUDITOR GENERAL’S FINDINGS REVEAL DEEPER MISMANAGEMENT OF THE ECONOMY

In a properly functional democracy heads would have rolled when AG Kimi Makwetu revealed in his findings on Wednesday that not one SOE received a clean audit.

Total government irregular expenditure has ballooned to R62 billion.

What is tragic is the fact that society is beginning to be numb and unresponsive to the news of corruption and mismanagement of the economy by the politicians and business people.

Despite all the promises of a “new dawn” by the “tax gatherers” of this world, the country is sinking deeper and deeper into economic gloom and hopelessness.

The AG tells the nation that 14 SOEs were guilty of irregular expenditure to the tune of R1.4 billion in the last financial year. The AG warns that the figure could rise as 4 SOEs did not make full disclosures.  They are Denel, SABC, SA Express and the SA Forestry Company.

This should be a cause for concern for the nation because it has become evident in the State Capture Commission that the SOEs are the milking cows of the ruling party corrupt politicians and their friends in the private sector.

The picture is not promising where the AG warns that the situation is such that these SOEs may not be able to run on their own without financial injection from government.

The ANC is a ruling party that should be ashamed about how it frustrated the trust of Black people who had expected better from it.

The shame should come from the fact that the DA, the party of white privilege, continues to do much better than the ANC when it comes to clean governance. While the DA-run Western Cape received a 79% clean audit, the ANC-run Free State received zero clean audit. No clean audit at all. For those who may have forgotten, the Free State is the Estina-dairy-corruption that was run by the then Premier Ace Magashule who got promoted into the position of the Secretary General of the ruling party.

Even more embarrassing, the province that is second to the Western Cape is the ANC-run province at 30% clean audit. What an embarrassment to the ANC as a ruling party.

As if this was not enough, the Provinces that have either regressed or stagnated in terms clean governance are those run by the ANC.

The Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Mpumalanga provinces have become worse.

We are making a big mistake if we think what is worsening is the statistics. No. What is worsening are the lives of the people who have lived for centuries as slaves under white settler-colonial rule. It is the lives of Black people who were dispossessed of their land by the white tribe of Europe.


AZAPO GOES TO NATIONAL CONGRESS

The Azanian People’s Organisation will be holding its 24th National Congress at the Great Daku Hall in Kwazakhele, Port Elizabeth, on 29 November to 1 December 2019.

AZAPO, which is the custodian of Black Consciousness and Biko, will use this mid-term Congress to review the organisation’s impact in championing the struggles of the Azanian masses as well as its electoral performance.

The organisations of the Black Consciousness Movement will be in attendance to deliberate on the strategic direction that the flagbearer of the BCM will take.

Various Papers that touch on Land, Economy, Labour, Health, Education, Gender & Femicide will be delivered.

Guests of honour include Cdes Nonhle Mbuthuma of Amadiba Crisis Committee, Zolani Mkiva of Contralesa and Norhi Manona of Project Inmate.

The Congress will be dedicated to the Memory of the late BC Stalwart Ngcobo Nguna. A Memorial Lecture will be delivered in his honour. Fallen BC Heroes in the Sonwabo Ngxale (EC) Province will also be honoured.

Congress will be held under the Theme: Land, Liberation and Dignity. The Sub-Themes will be Femicide and HIV & AIDS. Accordingly, there will be an Anti-Femicide March to Kwazakhele Police Station.

Congress details are as follows:

Venue: Great Daku Hall, Kwazakhele

Date: Friday 15h00, 29/11/2019 — Sunday 15h00,  01/12/2019

Let us come and witness the renewal and repositioning of AZAPO in the era of electoral politics.


A MAJOR PUBLIC RELATIONS COUP FOR NHI

The National Health Insurance (NHI), which is a government’s plan to radically transform the health system in the country, has secured a major public relations coup.

How? The AfriForum and Solidarity – the leading right-wing organisations that have unashamedly positioned themselves as the defenders of white privilege – have threatened to take the government to court in a bid to stop the implementation of the NHI.

For the record, the NHI is a funding model that enables all citizens to access health care in both private and public health facilities without paying at the point of service. When it is fully functional, it would render medical aid schemes redundant.

Those who make huge profits from selling healthcare as a commodity have maintained that the government should first sort out the mess in the public health care sector before interfering in the private healthcare system.  They argue that the reason why many ordinary citizens shun the public hospitals and clinics, some of which are free, and opt for private healthcare which is expensive is because they actually do not have a choice as they risk losing their lives, quite literally.

For the opponents of NHI, the argument is simple. The State must fix public hospitals. The State must employ more health professionals such as nurses and doctors, reduce the long queues, ensure adequate supply of medicines and ensure proper maintenance of health facilities. If they sort out all that is required to improve the quality of healthcare in the public facilities, people will use these and not be forced to travel from as far as Mthatha or Thohoyandou to a private hospital in Johannesburg.

For a long period now, the Department of Health has been struggling to convince the public that the NHI is the ultimate solution for the country’s health care crisis. They cite the fact that more than 50% of the money that the country spends on healthcare caters for only 16% of the population.  This minority of the population has medical aid and is able to use private healthcare, which is not accessible to the majority.

The Department of Health has also argued that the concept of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) has been embraced in other countries such as Britain and Canada.

The NHI will end the inequality in the provision of healthcare in the country as treatment would not be based on the socioeconomic status of the patient but on his or her healthcare needs.

The opponents of NHI have hidden behind cost, arguing that the country cannot afford the health insurance plan. But AfriForum and Solidarity have blown the cover. The opposition is really about maintaining white privilege. In a radio interview, AfriForum spokeswoman said while Section 27 of the Constitution talks about everybody having access to healthcare, the State is not obliged to provide healthcare to everyone.  This was the clearest indication that the main objection to the NHI has more to do with preserving white privilege than anything else.  This racist inspired objection has given much legitimacy to the NHI.


PROFIT AT THE EXPENSE OF PAIN

The language of capitalism is so limited that the only word in its vocabulary is “profit”. And it is profit at all cost.

This is what Old Mutual reminded us when it became cold and insensitive to the pain of the bereaved family who are its clients.

The Mhlongo family from KwaDukuza in KwaZulu-Natal had taken a funeral cover with Old Mutual for their uncle Sifiso Mhlongo (46).

Following the death of Sifiso, the family lodged a claim last Monday with an intention of burying this past weekend. In terms of its policy, Old Mutual generally pays such claims within 48 hours.

But the 48 hours expired without Old Mutual paying. The family was told the delay was due to some “assessment” that was being made.

When the money was still not paid by Old Mutual by Friday, the family resorted to drastic measures to force the company to make the payout. Old Mutual hid behind the “assessment”, which it claimed was still in progress.

Ntombenhle Mhlongo (36) and Thandaza Mtshali (30) approached the funeral parlour to release the body of the deceased, which they loaded in a body bag onto a van they hired. The van wheeled towards the Old Mutual offices where the brave two women offloaded the body and carried it into the scented and air-conditioned offices to help the company expedite their “assessment” by confirming that Mr Mhlongo was indeed dead.

The payout that was almost impossible in 5 days happened in less than 30 minutes! The Old Mutual had become so untrustworthy that the women refused to take the company’s word. They left the body at the offices while they went to draw the money. It is only when the money was in their purse that they returned to fetch the body for burial this past Sunday.

To some people the two women were either mad or uncivilised. Even though they would not be forgiving, but they would understand if it were men that carried the corpse in that manner.

Such people need to be reminded that it was women who bravely marched in the early hours of the morning to the grave of Jesus Christ. There were no men in their company because the men had run and forsaken Christ on the cross when he needed them most.

Put your “morals” aside and put yourself in the shoes of those two courageous women. They are jobless and poor. The policy was serviced through some grants.

Add to that the strain it takes to bury a relative in the Black community. The running to and fro a number of offices where you queue the whole day before you are told to come the following day. That abuse already swallows a huge chunk of the limited money collected to bury the deceased.

The whole week the mourners will be supporting the bereaved family. Those mourners have to be served with refreshments.

No matter how poor the family, in accordance with Afrikan spirituality, it is expected that a beast must be slaughtered to be able to conduct all the necessary cultural protocols.

All that was routine before the advent of colonialism and landlessness that came with poverty and starvation. The beast was retrieved from the household’s kraal.

Colonialism stole the land and livestock of the Black people and left the indigenous people with nothing to observe their spiritual protocols and needs.

The Black people are now condemned to rely on white people from whom they buy their stolen livestock. And the price is way beyond the small pockets of Black people.

Doesn’t that imply that even our culture and its protocols could have been colonised as well?

Some people don’t know what death means to Black people and their spirituality. Death is a passage from one life to another. This process is handled with the utmost respect as evidenced by the strict observance of cultural protocols. Nothing should be done to disturb the spirit of the deceased. During the mourning and grieving period, the family members even withdraw from the normal life and usual way of doing things as a sign of respect to the deceased.

The capitalists don’t care about all that. They are more concerned with stuffing their deep pockets with super profits. Making a payout to the Mhlongo family would dent the profit margins. Therefore, Old Mutual, like all other insurance companies, should try and find even the flimsiest of excuses to not pay.

It is against this background that AZAPO Voice salutes the two brave Black women, Ntombenhle and Thandaza.


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