two noteworthy things happened today that affect my life. one more directly than the other. both are big problems, but i can only do something about the one. so, which is now the bigger problem?
there is a hole in my roof. about this i can, at some point after the rain stops, do something.
there is a hole in the cabinet. rain or no rain, i can do nothing about this one. other than living the moment.
l.r. and i had supper together tonight, and chatted about what happened in sa politics today. the biggest news by far was that trevor manuel, our finance minister, resigned in support of mbeki’s resignation. he was not alone – was in fact joined by 9 other cabinet ministers and 3 deputies. but his was kind of considered a “stability seat” – in other words that as long as he stays, the financial situation should be ok (especially in the eyes of the international community). i’ll admit that when i heard he had resigned, i felt uneasy for the first time since this whole debacle began.
the fact that an hour later he announced that he would be willing to stand for any position the new government might want him in, was reassuring. the markets liked it (and recovered a little), i was glad of it (and recovered a little bit) and the country seems to have liked it (and is still being as negative as possible).
i was reflecting on how we are living these moments in this instant gratification time. something gets announced, and we want as much info as possible, immediately. the markets react, the sms channels are filled with messages, the internet is filled with words. yet come 10, 20, 50 years down the line when this is taught in school history classes, that hour between trevor’s resignation and his “i’ll be available” comment will not even be mentioned.
think about it – when we were taught about changes in governments of the past when we were at school, it was generally the big things that were taught. like in this case it might be the request of the president to resign, the coming into power of the ‘great fear’ / ‘great leader’ (zuma) and the split of the anc into 2 separate parties.
i suspect that this will happen. and i think it will actually be a good thing. there have been 2 factions within the party for a long time now. one part is still revolutionary movement, and one part is playing grown up politics. the party has grown too big to be all things to all supporters and members.
i’m sure we will have a new party split off the old block. whether mbeki will play a leading role in this is not clear, but personally, i doubt it. we need this split, so that there is more opposition in government. less majority and more pressure to perform and deliver.
i’m collecting all the zapiro books that have been published – and of the 2 that i am missing, i found & bought one today – “the madiba years” published in 1996. i’ve enjoyed reading it tonight, seeing all the things that happened in ’94, ’95 & ’96. all the dirty tricks, all the fears we had. all the issues that needing dealing – and to see how far we’ve come in 13 years. and what we have overcome.
like the cartoon of trevor manuel as he became the first finance minister “from the liberation movement” – how people were afraid of that. and how he has become the longest standing finance minister in history. of south africa – and possibly the world.
we also chatted about how lucky we are to have had the chance to live through so much in our lives – from the fall or apartheid, the fall of the berlin wall, the rise of the internet, etc etc etc.
sure our parents and grand parents had similar things – but somehow it feels like there is more now. more happening. more international. more instant. more aware of the significance? or am i just being young and arrogant? J
anyway – i had a super late evening visit to t & c for a braai. had a lovely time just chatting around the fire, talking about this & that, catching up, telling jokes and relaxing. it really is so good to have awesome friends like l.r., t & c. they make it all worthwhile J
and now to get some sleep! it is a public holiday in sa tomorrow (heritage day) so i can hopefully lie in.
what bugged me today: this damn head cold!
what i learnt today: that the monthly instalment on the entry level model of a maybach is r78’000 a month… who, apart from the king of swaziland, pays that??
what i am grateful for: the interesting times we live in