My normal Sunday evening routine of laying on the couch, ignoring everything but the most mind-numbing entertainment I can found on television has just been interrupted by our new/old president.
He’s just started his new term in office, so obviously he needs a new cabinet. Good idea. A bit of reshuffling is always good. It keeps the people in charge on their toes. If you don’t perform, you’re out of a job and now is not a good time to not have a comfortable job in the top echelons of government. The new Mercedes S-Class has just been launched in SA and everyone who’s someone has to have one.
It’s quite a cabinet the prez has assembled for himself. There are 35 or so in total, which means the accountants at BMW, Mercedes and Audi all have a huge smile on their face right about now. That’s 35 new high-end vehicles that’ll soon be ordered.
Pravin Gordhan put an end to spending on such vehicles recently, stating that the money is better spent elsewhere. He limited each of the ministers to “something like a BMW 5 Series.” Not that that’s a reasonable indicator, as the 5 Series range stretches from the frugal 520d, all the way to the maniac M5.
None of this matters, however, because Gordhan has been replaced. Ministers are once again free to spend whatever they please on company cars.
Personally, I’m a bit peeved at this choice, because, other than the stupid e-tolling system, he did an okay job. I actually applauded the television as he cut the spending on ridiculously expensive company cars. I agree that the people at the top should have a car that screams “look how important I am,” but some of the company cars and the modifications made to them have been slightly preposterous.
Give all of them a 520d, I say. Specify it with the optional satellite navigation and crash preventing radar detection. That way they wouldn’t mow down and upset so many people on their way to a meeting. By doing this, the infamous blue light brigade would also be rendered useless.
One thing I am very happy about is the new Minister of Police, Nkosinathi Nhleko.
Under the guidance of Nathi Mthethwa and his infamous predecessors, the police have become a feared entity. When one gets pulled over by a police officer these days, one can’t help but feel uncomfortable.
There have been far too many cases of alleged police brutality and something has to be done.
Bribery has become a common occurrence and non-speed related traffic offenses have been side-lined in the pursuit of making as much cash as possible from the motorist.
Let’s hope this new minister realises the importance of visible policing on the roads. Let’s hope this is the minister who will finally bring down the death toll on our roads.
The other person responsible here is Dipuo Peters in the transport ministry portfolio. She’s been allowed to keep her job, for obvious reasons.
She hasn’t been in charge for that long, so it would be unfair to fire her for poor performance. I’m also a big fan of what she has done so far. The December death toll didn’t decline, but I’ve never seen so many officers on the road over that time.
Given enough time, I’m hoping the above two people do something about road safety. Together they really can make a drastic change to the current state of affairs.
I know the prez is currently busy revamping the telecommunications industry and that it’s a noble cause, but, speaking as a motorist, road safety feels more important.
Not all of us can afford the brand-new S-Class with all the safety gadgets as standard and I hope that they remember that while they’re deciding whether to go for black or cream leather seats.