Weekend news wrap up with Bob Mabena – 6 June 2016
Three stings stand out from this weekend going into the week; ANC at FNB, Muhammad Ali passing on, and the economic standing of our beloved South Africa. At a personal level I learned a lot about selflessness and standing in the face of adversity from the champ. When I was in my early youth, there were four men in my household who my uncles talked about with extreme pride, Ali, Mandela, Biko and Sobukwe. Each time these men’s names were uttered, I had a sense that there was hope for me yet; after all, they were in the same skin color as I was in and they symbolised Black Pride. As I grew older, I held on to what I was taught were the values that drove these men – at times what made them great was a myriad of things and I kept trying to memorise their quotes. With time I couldn’t quote them anymore but get this – I still believe that any and every black man MUST at least read any one of these men and try do like they did.
The FNB stadium was host to the ANC Gauteng manifesto launch this Saturday and what a spectacle it was. It was definitely a show of strength and I for one do not care if the ANC got to actually fill up the stadium to capacity or not. I actually don’t even care if the EFF filled Orlando stadium to capacity either. If you care to listen, I am really really looking forward to August 2017 because it will have been a year since you and I had nailed our colours to the mast. At that time, there will be no Twitter rants about who had the biggest audience or stadium; no comparison of which leader had more eloquence and kept their audience enthralled. All these elections theatrics will not matter. Let’s not get distracted by showmanship from ALL political parties. We still have a new Public Protector to choose, eTolls to fight, multitudes to feed, protection of the defenseless and a currency to save.
Talking about currency; our economy has at least for now, staved off the becoming of the Mvela league of economics like Jomo Cosmos. Sechaba ka Nkosi and Siseko Njobeni of the Sunday Independent report that the Rand firmed on Friday, after Standard & Poors affirmed the currency at a notch just above junk status. We were warned by this ratings agency about our low GDP as it puts Government’s social contracts with business and labour at risk. What do we make out of all of this then? To me, it’s a sign of guarded confidence but also a clear warning that if we don’t get our act together in mining, jack up our external demand and manufacturing output; we will be like Jomo Cosmos or Moroka Swallows. The rand opened Friday at R15.59 and closed at R15.31 at the close of business. May the force be with Pravin and his team and may Ntlemeza and Moyane seize and desist – AMEN!!!