When overzealous politicians go South

immigrationoverhaul

The South African (ANC) government has introduced some neat legislation over the course of twenty years which most people are happy with. Over recent years however, they seem hell-bent on tipping the scales with a plethora of mind-numbingly dumb laws, such as The Protection Of Information Bill.

Recently the idiot politicians (beats the hell out of me why they are referred to as lawmakers) in charge of Home Affairs, dreamt up some silly rules to govern Immigration, among other things. Journalist Peter Delmar of Times Live has written a very witty column about it, and because I could not in my wildest dreams have said it better, I’ve decided instead to steal it whole and post it here. I’m sure he won’t mind.

Impressionable minds at the Department of Home Affairs have been watching too much CNN.

If you’re a foreigner married to a South African, congratulations: we really are the very nicest people in the world to be married to. Too bad, though, that you will have to go back to wherever it is you came from to prove that you really are you – even if you’ve been living in this country for years, happily producing broods of little half-South Africans.

If you’re, say, a rocket scientist, a bio-molecular astrophysicist, or a newspaper columnist (one of those scarce and valuable skills we need more of if we’re going to grow our economy), you’re going to have to jump through a whole heap of hoops to convince our Department of Home Affairs that they should let you in. And genuine foreign investors can jolly well stick their money and their factories in any other country if Home Affairs doesn’t like the look of them. This because, nowadays, Home Affairs takes security very, very seriously.

(The new-found security obsession of what used to be considered the world’s worst government department does rather bring to mind that phrase that has to do with horses bolting and locking stable doors. Until very recently our borders were beyond porous and South African passports could be bought at any old flea market almost anywhere in the world.)

But not any more, not since tough guy Malusi Gigaba took over at Home Affairs a few months ago. Now we have a department of paper shufflers determined to keep us all safe. About time too (the police gave up long ago on the business of keeping people safe and secure).

But the regulations that Home Affairs’ blunt-instrument law-drafters have come up with are not exactly winning them friends and influencing people.

Most recently it was the airlines that were up in arms over Home Affairs’ brilliant idea that nobody should be allowed to travel to South Africa with a child if that child did not have an unabridged birth certificate.

All over the world millions of very nice people with nice steady jobs they have worked at for 30-odd years have been saving all their lives to come on holiday to South Africa so that they can point their Nokias at our crocodiles, get a suntan and drink cheap beer.

The problem the airlines have with this unabridged birth-certificate story is that Kenya also has cheap beer and lots of sunshine.

And crocodiles. In fact, thanks to that carefully stage-managed annual migration lark, Kenya’s crocodiles are much more famous than our crocodiles. (A big drawcard for nice rich foreign people with steady jobs used to be our rhinos but, well, we’re sort of running out of those .)

Last week the mandarins at Home Affairs agreed, in the most grudging tones, that they would deign to speak to the meddling, protesting airlines, which wanted the unabridged-certificate wheeze postponed for a year.

This is good news. Perhaps Mr and Mrs Airline can explain to the aunties at Home Affairs how things work: “We fly in lots of foreign tourists who spend lots of money in our country having a wonderful time. The money these nice rich people spend creates jobs.

“All of the people looking after them – the hotels, the bus operators, the B&Bs, the restaurants, the shopkeepers the grandchildren buy ‘Hello Kitty Goes to Kruger’ T-shirts from, even the brewers who make the beer – pay things called ‘taxes’.

“And those taxes keep you lot at Home Affairs in your jobs.”

Now I wonder which government department will try to top this act of lunacy. There sure are plenty of them, and they keep growing after every election.

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Today in Politics: Roasting #03

Tyranny is typically a male-dominated pass-time. So one wonders why South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma wants to get mixed up in it.

Having just failed in her bid to be elected chair[women] of the African Union Commission, Dlamini-Zuma intends standing for election again in six months. Perhaps this will give her more time to hone those despotism skills so valued in the African Union.

Now how about this attempt by a South African diplomatic official to rationalize Dlamini-Zuma’s failure to secure the majority vote against her opponent,┬áJean Ping of Gabon?

It was a vote of no-confidence in his [Ping] leadership. African countries were clearly unhappy with an AU that was ran from Paris. This provides us an opportunity to elect someone from a country which does not have neo-colonial hang-ups.

So how is the failure of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to secure a two-thirds majority, also not a vote of no-confidence?

…………………………………………………………..

Meanwhile back home the bitter feuding within the ANC escalates on an almost daily basis.

The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Thandi Tobias-Poloko publicly rebuked Public Enterprise Minister Malusi Gigaba for allegedly “undermining unity within the ANC by publicly discussing internal issues.”

Listen up dumb-asses, you are all public officials and the public have a right to know what the fuck is going on in government. We have earned this right by paying the taxes that keep you dirt-bags ensconced in the lap of luxury, while a large part of the population still don’t have running water and housing after 17 years of ANC incompetence and thievery.

In case you think we don’t know about the so-called “UNITY” in your party; we fucking do. We know that it’s all about jockeying for positions at the feeding trough.

So stop fucking thinking that your dirty laundry is still a big secret.