“Well, well, well here we are, nothing to do when you’re locked in a vacancy”. That was a cracker line from the #BreakfastClub, a movie that succinctly sums up my generation and a good way to describe the weight on my shoulders that I need to unburden on you, the loyal reader. It’s Friday; it’s time to #ScratchTheSurface of the news I read so that you don’t have to.
The biggest story of the week wasn’t the #HijackedBuildings or the #SARSFire, no, that was drowned out. Nor was it the #SpringTides and the images of towns drowning on the edge of the continent. This week’s big story was far more serious than that. It started last week and we were enraged, and to this day, twenty-two days later, #Postbank and the government have failed to address the lack of grant payments to the poorest of the poor. SA has been #Hijacked.
I have to roll back this story as it is a very strange one. I told you last week I thought the department had simply run out of money, but it gets more sinister than that. Remember #Lockdown and that ridiculous cost of living benchmark and stipend of R350? Turns out a great deal of that money couldn’t be dispersed. I say a great deal, and if you believe the papers, over six million who applied were never paid. This meant that the department had to return R15 billion to the Treasury. The department’s response was that not enough people applied. Are you kidding? Have you looked around you? Even if that was true, please take the cash and increase the ludicrous R350 to a slightly more substantial amount, I don’t know, maybe R1000? That might cover a couple of loaves of bread a day and only just. Two weeks ago, they started experiencing problems paying the pensioners. The Gogos, those who stand in snaking queues with somber faces, shuffling toward a bit of change that will go toward feeding the grandkids. More than likely, nothing will remain to feed the old dear herself. The Gogo’s, for some unknown reason, were told to go to #PostBank as that was now the preferred outlet for payments. Postbank? Last week we spoke about how that institution has been defunct for years and as for the post office itself, well, it doesn’t exist. Why would you use that facility instead of a major food chain? I believe it’s because the coffers have run dry after they had to pay Treasury a small fortune. They need to stall for a month at least, and they seem to be getting away with this hijacking. The department said that Postbank is not the Post Office (yeah right) and there were some “technical glitches” and some “hacking attempts” but that “everyone has been paid”. And, later, at a press conference, the Minister said that, to date, 95% of the beneficiaries have been paid. Seriously, what is going on here? Walk to any #PostBank, any one of them and, if you find one open, ask anyone in the queue, anyone, if they’ve been paid. Go on, I dare you. A journalist did it after hearing from several people that they were now waiting for October’s money because after 21 days they have given up on September’s money. She was forced to leave. One man said he felt lucky because he had R16 in his wallet. Tell me reader, what have you got to be grateful for today? #SAHijacked.
The #DA picked a fight they can only win by jumping all over this story and it’s perfect for John, because one thing John is really good at is jumping … and pointing fingers. They pulled in the #HRC, good move, and stomped, with feet of clay, off to court. Meanwhile the queues get longer and slower and bellies rage with hunger. Guys, if you want to help, take food and stop the #Hijack on our elders. There must be a special place in hell (Dante will guide them) for people who are fine with other people starving around them.
And where was our President? At the #UN of course, enthusiastically shaking #Zelensky’s hand as the Ukrainian leader told him what a positive impact #AfricasPeaceMission is making on World War III. Completely out of touch. Makes me wonder what the president pays R350 for? A bottle of still water perhaps? I wonder if it runs deep? #Hijacked. I will say this for him: at the #UN meeting he looked around, and with all the courage you’d need in a president, he said: “Where are all the women?”. It’s true, where are they? Why is the world run by grumpy old men? #Hijacked. You see, the President has nanoseconds of brilliance. You know what I’m starting to miss most of all guys? Hope. Hope in a hijacking…
That’s the top story and it certainly is worth your attention and your helping hand, if you are able.
This week has been busy, so much news, so many stories, so little time. I feel a little dizzy at the number of them, but here’s one that you probably all got a glimpse of: #KommetjieSubmarine. This was something straight out of the movies. Seven people in a sub tried to perform a “vertical transfer” with a helicopter. It sounds like, and I’m no expert, the crew had to get on top of the sub while it was on the surface and then arrange to get someone up into the helicopter. Amongst the crew was #GillianHector, the first female officer in Africa to navigate a submarine. So here they are, all on the surface of a sub in high seas – that’s pretty much the opposite of what you use a sub for – when a “freak wave” (that’s what the papers are calling it) knocks the entire crew off the sub and three people die. There’s no such thing as a “freak wave” guys, it’s the sea, she does as she pleases. The sea is indifferent. #NSRI did the best job they could, but there was only so much they could do. If you’re not going to help a Gogo, please help these guys: they save lives.
#PravinsOverhauls. Remember him, old Jamandas? He came out of hiding this week after Treasury sent a message to government saying they are facing “unprecedented (financial) challenges”. And so, the privatisation of South Africa has begun. #Eskom has started their unbundling. That’s a good thing, yet, as to date, there is still no CEO to replace turncoat #DeRuyter. The Department of Public Enterprises is about to be erased. #Transnet have given a private company a tender to move cargo and “allegedly” SAA (the airline that doesn’t exist but exists) is up for corporate SA to manage. Here’s something I bet you didn’t know: there are over 700 #StateOwnedEnterprises, that’s a massive number of businesses to fix. Step aside government and welcome corrupt corporate. Oh, the irony. Anyway, this is good news for us. We hold the private sector accountable even if among them there are crooks. We’ll bleat about these #Hijacks and use cancel culture and #Karens like a boss when the time comes.
WATCH TONYA’S TAKEOUT
Ready? Strap in because I’m about to rattle off the news you missed because you can. #Malema’s case rolled on and he’s going to get off – what else did you expect? #Swellendam was obliterated by violent protests about service delivery and #TshwaneStrike has brought the capital city to a grinding halt. There is #ecoli in Durban’s waters but according to the government, that’s just rubbish. Of course, it is. There was a brawl in #Klerksdorp so violent that one of the men died and the other is now on trial for murder. #Pistorius should be out of parole but no one got to him, and #Jooste told us he was “unaware of accounting irregularities at Steinhoff”. True story, I don’t make this up. There’s no water in many parts of Gauteng despite how often the government tells us that there is water. On the shelves perhaps. This is really a hijack isn’t it? I’ll tell you what a #hijack certainty is: 188 buildings have been “hijacked” in Joburg city centre and #KennyKunene’s #DestructionBoys never turned up with that promise to sweep clean. #CityPower has been on a mission, they even unplugged #MidrandEstate. At #JoeSlovo informal settlement three people died in a shack fire, one was twelve years old. The #TaxiStrike in Durban saw highways shut and then there was the strange story of the #ZimbaliShooting. Cops shot a robber, I think. It only happened yesterday so I’m sure we’ll learn more. #HijackCity.
Nigerian artist #BurnaBoy got badly burnt in SA, he couldn’t sell tickets to his gig here. The story changed but initially social media said that a mere 1500 tickets out of 90 thousand were sold, turning the concert into an embarrassing house party. South Africa rejoiced, saying that it would teach the artist a lesson as he is known to speak badly about SA and our xenophobia. Then the story took a twist and we now are led to believe that R10 million was stolen by the entertainment company and the concert was put on “permanent hold”, in other words, it was #Hijacked!
Across the ocean there were rumours of #Lockdown which sent shivers down our spines as India struggles with the #NipahVirus. #RusselBrand was annihilated this week for being #RusselBrand. There was a #1MllionMarch in Canada calling for the end to grooming and pedophilia that is hiding in plain sight. Staying on the subject of pure evil, whatever happened to our secret #SexOffendersRegister, you guessed it, yes, it’s still a secret! Can someone do something about that. I’m not going to stop banging on about it.
And then there was #Musk, he is about to destroy the platform he hijacked. He said this week that he wants to charge social media users to use the platform formerly known as Twitter. It’s apt that he named it “X” because that’s what we will all be. We don’t pay for social media, Elon, look at your competitors, we pay to get rid of ads. Side barr: Do you call it “X” or do you say “X Twitter” or do you say “Twitter X” or aren’t you an Xer at all? So strange (and this was pointed out to me) that you still go to twitter.com to get to X. Anyway, I digress and regardless, Elon is a chop. Twitter was a cesspit but it was also a truth seeker. Talk about killing freedom of speech. Thanks, you unhinged megalomaniac. I guess we need new threads. What a #Hijack.
I’ll leave you with this: just watch the ball as the #Springboks get ready to hijack the score boards against Ireland. I’m Tonya Khoury, I need to blow some bubbles and then scream like a delinquent at the television. Thank you for joining me to #ScratchTheSurface with Acumen Media.