Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Aggressive young men in their twenties who swarm around you and solicit bribes in order for you to proceed through the formalities. The touts control the speed and progress of everything: the queues, the forms, the stamps and signatures, the customs inspections and the final scrap of paper, the gate pass, that allows you get through the boom and into Zimbabwe. Both of the travellers I spoke to said they simply found it impossible to proceed without giving in to the demands for bribes. Every time they got near the counters in the border post the touts and their customers would push in ahead of them with great piles of papers and none of the officials on duty were interested in intervening, not immigration, security, customs or tax collectors. Touts appeared to be making an average of 500 Rand, or 50 US dollars per customer - half the month's pay of a trained teacher in Zimbabwe.
SHOOT: Lawlessness in South Africa and Zimbabwe is growing. The fabric of society is becoming corrupt to its core.
Zimbabwe's unity government has been in place for six months but it is still the thieves, con-men, blackmailers and bullies that are manning the entry points into our country.
* Nearly 60 percent of Chinese men smoke and China consumes more than 37 percent of the world's cigarettes.
* 50 million Chinese children, mostly boys, will die prematurely from tobacco-related diseases.
* Tobacco use will eventually kill 250 million of today's teenagers and children.
* Nearly one-quarter of young people who smoke tried their first cigarette before the age of 10.
* Occupational exposure to secondhand smoke kills 200,000 workers every year.
SHOOT: One third of all cancers are tobacco related, and in the 21st century, 1 billion peope are projected to die of cancer. [That's 333 million from smoking. Do you plan on being one of them?
H1N1 in South Africa: 1 people in George had tested positive, four in Knysna, four in Plettenberg Bay and two in Mossel Bay
SHOOT: Guess that's why it's called a pandemic, because it spreads everywhere, to everyone.
Garden Route doctors have been inundated by people fearing they may have contracted swine flu, according to pathologists who have been processing hundreds of tests every day.
But Dr Daleen Brink, who conducts tests for Path-Care Laboratories in George, said yesterday that the number of requested tests had dropped off over the past two weeks after they asked doctors to examine only high-risk patients and not everyone reporting with flu symptoms.
“We were receiving between 600 and 800 test requests per day for the Western Cape,” Brink said. “Now, it has dropped down to around 200 tests per day.”
She added that about 20% of the tests were positive for the A(H1N1) virus.
By Wednesday last week, Brink’s tests showed that 11 people in George had tested positive, four in Knysna, four in Plettenberg Bay and two in Mossel Bay.
While a depressed immunity predisposes you to any infection, the full story is that this sickness also kills healthy people. That means, you may have no underlying sickness, and be relatively young, and you can catch the flu, and die. I think South Africans are starting to become a little concerned about it.
Monday, August 24, 2009
SHOOT: What these brands need to do is quit selling packaging to consumers, and sell us the contents. That is, after all, what we're buying, not pretty pictures. The brands that make these deprecating moves will survive those who insist on selling packaging and frills that consumers can no longer afford.
South Africans currently paying record-high prices at the till, Checkers is cheapest, then Pick n Pay and then Spar
SHOOT: I believe the time is not far away where we will see demand destruction take place, and suppliers will begin to change the inputs that go into things like packaging and printing costs. Because more and more will simply not be able to afford food in future.
Solidarity's research revealed that Checkers was "slightly ahead" of
"Our basket focuses on basic foodstuffs such as bread, milk, margarine
"Following the 16.8% food price increase last year, we still saw
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
WIKI: Stagflation is an economic situation in which inflation and economic stagnation occur simultaneously and remain unchecked for a period of time.
Economists offer two principal explanations for why stagflation occurs. First, stagflation can result when an economy is slowed by an unfavorable supply shock, such as an increase in the price of oil in an oil importing country.Second, both stagnation and inflation can result from inappropriate macroeconomic policies. For example, central banks can cause inflation by permitting excessive growth of the money supply.
Although large users of electricity like steel manufacturers, mines and smelters can all negotiate rates, smaller businesses will simply have to accept the price increases and hand this on to consumers.
ALEC HOGG: I spend a lot of time at the Rosebank Mall - not too much time, not like David with the coffee shops - and I've noticed there that the security presence is probably up 50% in the last couple of weeks
Listen to more here: http://www.moneyweb.co.za/mw/applications/mw/templates/2009_listen_audio.jsp?url=/mw/media_stream/mw/audio/090818-04.mp3
SHOOT: Crime is coming closer to us as financial conditions worsen for more and more people. Over 700 000 South Africans lost their jobs since the beginning of 2009.
SHOOT: Case dismissed?
Mokgadi Caster Semenya is a girl, and her birth certificate corroborates what her family, friends, neighbours, teachers and fellow pupils have always known.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
H1N1 vaccination strategy: "If you can stop it in the schools, you can indirectly protect grandparents, or co-workers without kids"
SHOOT: I'm not surprised; we're in denial about everything else.
Monday, August 17, 2009
South Africa needs at least 40 new coal mines to prevent shortages over the long term, Eskom operations head Brian Dames said in an interview published on Tuesday.
"While Eskom's demand for coal in the past few years has been increasing by 5% per year, coal production in South Africa has remained constant," Dames told Sake24.
"That is why it has become so difficult for Eskom to get coal cheaply. The demand is higher than the supply. In the next 10 years, big investments would have to be done in coal mines. South Africa needs at least 40 new coal mines," said Dames, adding that the investment could cost up to R40-billion.
Dames said further investment was required in the logistics behind transporting coal.
"Great volumes of coal have to be transported by road because there is no alternative. If the trucks stop running, there will be no more power. It is as simple as that," he warned.
Coal sources are far from coal power stations, exacerbating the problem.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
SHOOT: The banking business is going to contract even further in the future as autos and property markets dry up. Standard Bank didn't do to badly in comparison to its nearest competitor.
WSJ: Absa Group Ltd. (ASA.JO), South Africa's biggest retail lender, earlier this month said it expects to remain under pressure for the rest of the year due to rising arrears and non-performing loans. The bank, majority owned by the U.K.'s Barclays PLC (BCS), posted a 39% drop in its first-half net profit after impairments rose and business volumes fell.
SHOOT: Errr... after reading the clip below do you need any more?
When I lived in South Korea and H5N1 came out I remember people reacted in the same way. AIDS/TB/Malaria is 'much worse'. Of course, none of those sicknesses spread as effortlessly as flu. And while death tolls are low now, and virulence low, that can change. It might, it might not. Here's the common sense takeout: historically the greatest killer of our species isn't war - it is pandemic flu. It is the POTENTIAL that this flu has to kill millions that should keep us vigilant, and concerned. Our standards to health and fitness around the world are poor, and each person needs to re-examine their diets and activities, or lack of.