Tuesday, October 20, 2009

President Zuma Meets With All Municipalities As Problems Escalate in South Africa

Zuma to meet with all municipalities as mayhem escalates

October 19 2009 , 5:59:00

The state of the country's 283 municipalities is set to receive the highest political attention tomorrow. President Jacob Zuma is hosting a top level meeting with the all the mayors of the nation's municipalities. Several Cabinet ministers and all premiers are to attend the meeting as well.

Rafts of protests at grassroots level have been the order of the day in South Africa and reasons for the discontent have varied. From the slow pace of service delivery to allegations of corrupt municipal officials and factionalism within the ANC.

President Zuma is stepping in and analysts say decisive leadership is required. Local government expert, Fanie Cloete, says it will all depend on Zuma’s commitment as the head of State and the head of government and his willingness to throw out the bad people, bring in better people and then provide them with sufficient resources to do what they are supposed to do. The meeting is also set to address the skills shortage in rural municipalities.

Meanwhile, classes have come to a halt at the Boresetse High School at Mataleng Township near Barkly West in the Northern Cape. A large group arrived at the school this morning and forced pupils to join in a protest. Local residents are protesting against poor service delivery and want the Mayor of the Dikgatlong Local Municipality, Marta Louw fired. The entrance to the township was blockaded with burning tyres and other objects. But police burst through the blockade and fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.

The community members then vented their anger on shops belonging to foreign nationals. Residents say they will resume the protests as soon as police leave the area. But the police say they are not moving. Five people have been arrested for public violence and are expected to appear in court soon.

In another service delivery protest, police had to use rubber bullets to disperse protesting residents as violence flared up again at Mataffin - the site of the Mbombela 2010 stadium in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga this morning. Eight people were arrested for public violence. Last week, 54 people were taken into custody when a police vehicle was set alight after protests turned violent.

Work at the 2010 stadium came to a halt as protesting residents prevented workers from entering the site. Residents are demanding that the two schools be demolished to make way for the stadium to be rebuilt. They say government gave the assurance that the schools would be built concurrently with the stadium. That has not happened.

For the past two years pupils have been attending classes in make-shift structures. Government says the schools will be rebuilt but cannot say when.

1 comment:

Suzie G said...

When you use the phrase "labor shortage" or "skills shortage" you're speaking in a sentence fragment. What you actually mean to say is: "There is a labor shortage at the salary level I'm willing to pay." That statement is the correct phrase; the complete sentence and the intellectually honest statement.

Employers speak about shortages as though they represent some absolute, readily identifiable lack of desirable services. Price is rarely accorded its proper importance in their discussion.

If you start raising wages and improving working conditions, and continue doing so, you'll solve your shortage and will have people lining up around the block to work for you even if you need to have huge piles of steaming manure hand-scooped on a blazing summer afternoon.

Re: Shortage caused by employees retiring out of the workforce: With the majority of retirement accounts down about 50% or more, most people entering retirement age are working well into their sunset years. So, you won’t be getting a worker shortage anytime soon due to retirees exiting the workforce.

Okay, fine. Some specialized jobs require training and/or certification, again, the solution is higher wages and improved benefits. People will self-fund their re-education so that they can enter the industry in a work-ready state. The attractive wages, working conditions and career prospects of technology during the 1980’s and 1990’s was a prime example of people’s willingness to self-fund their own career re-education.

There is never enough of any good or service to satisfy all wants or desires. A buyer, or employer, must give up something to get something. They must pay the market price and forego whatever else he could have for the same price. The forces of supply and demand determine these prices -- and the price of a skilled workman is no exception. The buyer can take it or leave it. However, those who choose to leave it (because of lack of funds or personal preference) must not cry shortage. The good is available at the market price. All goods and services are scarce, but scarcity and shortages are by no means synonymous. Scarcity is a regrettable and unavoidable fact.

Shortages are purely a function of price. The only way in which a shortage has existed, or ever will exist, is in cases where the "going price" has been held below the market-clearing price.