Blaming Game Revisited #ThinkWaterCT

Via Whatsapp “By Bart Henderson
– leading Author, lecturer, analyst and columnist. Responsible for major fraud investigations.


I’ve been asked a few times. So I’ve taken a bit of time to answer to save airtime and circumvent the inability to do so adequately on whatsapp or Twitter

So let me get this straight. #Drought #WesternCape #DayZero : This has taken me quite a while to figure out. Cape Town is facing running out of water. A major metropole. The implications do not affect Cape Town or Western Cape. The implications affect the whole nation.

Granted the citizens on the coal face are Capetonians but make no mistake the citizens of South Africa will feel the pain.

The Cape is a material contributor to the national economy. There are millions of citizens around the country who have family, relatives and friends living in the Western Cape.

What is staring a major metropole in the face is a reflection of what is and has been happening in increasing numbers of small and large towns across the country.

This latter fact has been largely ignored. Out of sight out of mind. Its out in the open now.

This water crises is about BULK water supply and who controls it.

That’s it, nothing more.

It’s about power.

Under law the Western Cape government can NOT supply BULK water. This means under law Western Cape Government cannot build dams or engage in any activity related to making provision for their own future water security.

Bulk water supply is the exclusive purview of the National Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation (DWAS) under a Minister in the ANC Government and this purview extends to every drop of water stored and supplied in BULK (Dams and one day DESALINATION PLANTS) in the whole of South Africa.

As recently as 14 December 2017, the Minister of Water Affairs sent a letter to Hellen Zille instructing the Western Cape Government, or advising if you prefer, that Government had appointed Umgeni Water out of Kwazulu Natal to come solve the problem by building a desalination plant in Cape Town.

The directive goes on to reference a site at the V&A Waterfront, the exact site earmarked by the Western Cape Government months ago in their emergency response to the looming catastrophe.

However in the case of the Western Cape Government response, their plans are in a far advanced stage, with EOI and tenders in some instances concluded.

Changing course now will delay the building of this desalination plant by months.

So what gives?

Well Umgeni Water is where Government redeployed Dudu Myeni after she brought SAA to its knees.

She is a master of obfuscation, dishonesty, deceit and deception.

The Ministers directive is meant to portray Government taking charge and coming to the rescue, when in fact it’s about who controls the capital expense and who gets the tender.

In October 2017 newspaper reports indicate Umgeni Water might soon be in need of a R3billion bailout.

Newspapers also ran stories regarding an interim Board being appointed at ’embattled’ Umgeni Water by Minister Nomvula Mokonyane.

Newspapers reported a letter to Mokonyane, lawyers acting for asset manager Futuregrowth accused the minister of illegally appointing Msizi Cele as both Umgeni’s acting chief executive and accounting officer; illegally replacing Cele with Thami Hlongwa in both positions; and giving herself the power to appoint chief executives.

Futuregrowth holds Umgeni Water bonds as Asset Manager for Old Mutual.

So let’s get this straight.

You have a patently tainted SOE dispatched with alacrity to solve a water crises by a Minister in a patently tainted Government controlled by a patently tainted Zuma cabinet in a Province controlled by an opposition party, in the greater interests of its citizens who voted against you.

A province that already has the distinction of having the only major metropole with its entire main line shut down. Another service under the exclusive purview of National Government provided by SOE Metro Rail and Transnet.

Imagine the SOWETO main line being shut down indefinitely.


I don’t think so. But that’s another story.

It’s about many, many things.

But really it’s about the HIV/AIDS pandemic and Government response under Mbeki. When we turned to beetroot and cabbage remedy mentality in response to a catastrophe that many suggest claimed 300 000 lives.

I strongly suspect it was the realisation of money to be made that shifted government policy from beetroot to condoms and ARV’s hence their obsession with the supply of former and latter with safer sex campaigns almost non existent today.

It’s about the demonstration of total contempt for the value of human lives.

It’s also about gross mismanagement, gross inefficiency, gross negligence, gross incompetence, gross ignorance, gross shortsightedness, ostrich mentality and State Capture.

Which in turn are all about who has the power and who controls the water once it starts flowing again because they will control the revenue and the province and with that a leverage of power.

Which point to deliberate and consequential political, economic and industrial sabotage on a devastating scale by the ANC central Government against the entire people of the Western Cape.

If you think of the current national government as some benevolent uncle you are deeply mistaken as mistaken in thinking National Government is dealing with the crises with any genuine intent, appetite or desire much less honesty, transparency or genuine concern for its people.

Do you really believe after years of scandals, of corruption, ineptitude and plunder the Government has all of a sudden turned some invisible corner?

After being fed a daily diet of bile, a diet of abuse of power, abuse of state, abuse of resources and revenue, of patronage, State capture and haemoraging economy by National Government are you still going to suggest this crises belongs anywhere else whatsoever other than on the shoulders of those who own it?

I think not.

If you think Provincial Government are getting any bi-partisan co-operation, to resolve this crises from Zuma”s government you’ve got flies in your brains.

The Western Cape is the potential trigger point for a hoped for and intended national disaster I am increasingly coming to strongly suspect.

Business Day, 29 January 2018 – “Cape Town risks having its municipal bonds cut to junk by Moody’s because of its water crisis.

“Two of Cape Town’s main industries, tourism and agriculture, are likely to decline [because of the water crisis], reducing employment, gross value added and tax income,” Moody’s associate analyst Daniel Mazibuko wrote in a research note released on Monday.

“Other effects include threats to public health from poor sanitation and, more generally, to social order, which is significant given Cape Town’s marked income inequality.””

What this is saying in a nutshell is that Cape Town as ground zero is potentially the epicenter of potential civil unrest which will start among the poor and spread to engulf the entire pininsula and beyond.

If ever the time and opportunity were present to fan the flames of anarchy, dissention and revolution in this country for the many being primed to hate by a post Mandela ANC, this is it.

It has the potential to prove the ideal recipe for state intervention leading to a state of emergency, the imposition of martial law and very possibly lead to wider civil unrest and even civil war.

All of this while Zuma remains in power and ultimate control of the ANC Government and supported by a minority by smallest of margin of most those belonging to the ANC Political Party.

So when next you read or talk about the crises in Western Cape ask your self who stands to lose most by not finding a solution and who stands to gain most by one not being found.

Then ask yourself who has the power to do something.

If the one with the power to do something also happens to be the one who benefits the most from infrastructure, service and delivery collapse, it stands to reason they have a conflict of interest.

It is a conflict that arises naturally out of the conflation of Party and State, where the political party sees itself as the State because they are the majority party in Government.

Which of course they’re not because we are after all a multi party Democracy.

The ANC furthers the aims of its supporters and State furthers the aims of the people.

There is not a shadow of doubt in my mind that the crises unfolding in the Western Cape is in great part attributable to a corrupt and dysfunctional ANC.

There is little to sweet bugger all Western Cape Government can do about it except try alert people and do whatever they can to get people to use less water.

This in the face of social media campaign’s of ‘unknown’ origin openly encouraging the grand scale wastage of tap water to push the City of Cape Town over the brink and into total anarchy.

In my mind this is no more or less just another opportunity to open a new front in a political, economic and ideological war steeped in race based dogma and hate.

The sooner the people of the Western Cape realise how much they are despised and resented by their ANC government and the sooner they realise what their elected Provincial government is up against the better.

So thank all of you who’ve been asking for my analysis of late of the situation in the Western Cape.

After many attempts to answer on the fly and time it takes I decided to write it down so you and others who want can read it at your leasure.

Please if you think my analysis or hypothesis have merit please send to your friends.

Finally, vasbyt. Be kind to one another. Stand together and help anyone you can. Above all SAVE WATER as if your life depend on it. Start petitions and demand Central Government release your taxes to Western Cape Government to build desalination plants now and to fund other measures.

If it’s about control, Province can build it and allow Government to buy it back.

So stop shouting at Province and start shouting at Government.”

My comment:

A badly researched article and clearly biased.

He mentions Metrorail, a system that had worked rather well until student protests aka #FeesMustFall or #RhodesMustFall ruined it by burning more than one hundred carriages to ashes. Premier Helen Zille never even paid attention. When she did, it was to beat the victim, Metrorail, with a stick. She never did anything to help.

Such a pity Patricia de Lille said, less than a year ago, there was “no dire crisis.” Irresponsible conduct by the Executive Mayor.

Helen Zille realised the crisis by November 2015, ran to ANC Government in Pretoria, asking for money. At the time, who would have taken her seriously as there were not even water restrictions implemented at the time.

The pot calling the kettle black?

Gross negligence, even reckless management at all levels of Government. Did they plan this together?


It Is NOT #Metrofail

People vote for your future and mine, they make choices based upon opinion and not fact. This is what scares me about democracy – that reason sometimes have to yield so that delusion may flourish.

Free speech is a right, not a duty. It has to be used with circumspection.

Human nature is to be negative, destructive. It takes civilization, evolution, self-control, not to become destructive savages. Some people are just that – savage, if only with the tongue.

Discrimination abounds, one fifth of the nation live with some form of disability or another and suffer a most terrible silent discrimination.

If all were of a specific race, would that still have been the case? Yet a top provincial leader openly used them as a political pawn and went on to call me “clueless” on Twitter. So I proved her wrong and did the job she was called upon to assist with. Former Minister Dipuo Peters, Prasa ACEO Mthura Swartz shone in reaching out to the forgotten, voiceless sector of the community. They stepped in where the private sector, in this case the Golden Acre, dismally failed.

So much for the Prasa critics. It is so easy to gang up the Earl September and Brett Herron, even Helen Zille, way and be outspoken hypocrites. To such, I say: get your act together as you are part of the problem and by no margin a way to a positive outcome.

Show some real, pro-active leadership and be selfless.

It was easy to be oblivious, to not seem to notice, to allow harm to be done while looking the other way. Terrible leadership, whitewashed with a sudden zeal to prosecute the perceived offender into submission. Failing to realise who the victim is. Just another proof that discernment is in deficit at the top.

It would take a commoner without any social standing to see truth.

Central government’s disinvestment over three decades, their passivity in funding and protecting our essential services, was followed by an arrogance at provincial and government levels. When it was time for leaders to employ the troops when #FeesMustFall or #RhodesMustFall spilled over, resulting in arson, sabotage, looting and common vandalism, they remained mum.

The hooligans found unexpected support in the form of passive onlookers who seemed blissfully unaware of the micro civil war raging between the lines. Railway lines.

When these leaders finally woke up, it was to beat all and sundry going by the name of Prasa, fiercely into submission. Did they ever realise that it were their own communities, not even Metrorail, that were the real problem? That they gave licence to this radical culture of destruction by being passive onlookers, or just even just passive. For onlookers are prone to notice.

Society follows the bad examples set by said leaders and influencers, then replicate. Negativity abounds in the city of Whineberg.

Did Zille, De Lille, Herron or September bring forth anything constructive, did they bring positive news of rebuilding our railways?

No! They want to take control yet cannot even properly manage their own heavily subsidised, often-failing service. Perhaps if Brett Herron sees in the blind spot of his own Jo-Hari window, the beam my be less obfuscated.

I have on good authority that tabloid “journalist” cum activist Earl September travels on a FREE monthly Metrorail ticket but bites the hand that feeds him. It is disgusting to see how a journalist can harass, pester, to get attention drawn to himself. It reminds of the transport manager with toilet paper holding his buses together.

People make public displays of their own importance. If only they were as diligent in getting a real stitch of work done.

If people took themselves out of the equation, did not try to score political points but really attempted to benefit society through fair and just, also diligent, service delivery, perhaps we could see a turnaround in Prasa, especially in Metrorail.

We are South Africans. We, not government, own all national assets. These are given to government to manage on our behalf. Political leaders are public servants whose duty it is to manage our communal property for our benefit. They are servants, not masters. The aforementioned, egotistic “leaders” are in positions well above their pay grade. I have, in the past, proposed to them the idea of leading by example, in showing others how to resign.

Meanwhile, we have basic and essential needs to address. Cape Town has 700,000 commuters to transport every day. That equates to 8,750 buses, yet absolute idiots even in leadership positions ask Metrorail: “Why don’t you provide buses instead?”

Imagine that. A magic wand and abra kedabera, 8,750 buses appear instantly. Of course, in the minds of the delusional free speakers, this won’t affect the already congested roads at all. This kind of logic reminds of the travel guru who said that Voëlvlei was 500m deep.

Such people vote for your future and mine. Such people become public servants by the grace of such votes. A few instantly morph into despots, dictators, autocrats. Who gang up instead of teaming up.

So, can we fix Metrorail?

Loot the stores of Shoprite every day, kill their staff, set their stores on fire. How long will you have food?

Metrorail is still providing a rail service, despite rolling stock badly vandalised, staff constantly having to duck to avoid being hit by flying objects, verbal or material. A tenacious lot, these Metrorailers.

There is a spark left, kindle it, nurture it, bring it on, let the fiery passion of the #RailLoveRevolution grip your heart.

Stand up for Metrorail.

Stand up for what is yours.

Hungry Shark 

Franchise food usually comes in a nice package, maybe with nice music and some catchy corporate theme. It also comes, usually, at a price sustained with preservatives, chemicals and enough packaging to build a new floating continent in mid-ocean. 

Back to our roots we go, to a good old fish & chips shop, that also sells Gatsby’s (this is awethentiq Cape food!), burgers, hotdogs, jaffles. Jaffles? Sure, they even have that, come educate the kids. The jaffels are divine, we love it. 

While really a take-away, there are two sit-down tables ultimately seating eight hungry sharks. 

There is an African Grey parrot, one that doesn’t swear yet, a fish tank and hand-built model tall ships. It is clean but rather basic, the way it should be. 
Here at Hungry Shark, you can eat to your fill and some more at a fraction of what the snazzy franchise would have charged you. It is like a real sit-cafe in a dusty village out there, yet right here in Goodwood, 52 Voortrekker Road, seven miles from Cape Town central and accessible via Metrorail, Golden Arrow bus service, any of many minibus taxis that will drop you right on the doorstep. Or on foot, or by road if you are 

Go do something different for a change. So many combo specials, family meals, divine fish cakes, you name it. 
Call them on 063 157 2050 to order. 

I Am A #PermaTourist In #lovecapetown

We were at a world renowned precinct, visited by 24 million people annually. It is called the V&A Waterfront, a working harbour with several shopping malls, roughly eighty restaurants, museums, cinemas, offices, residences over and above helicopter flights and ocean cruises from local sunset trips to ocean cruises, including the world’s largest liners. Tourists asked me if there was a travel agency and I said “NO.” They were taken aback, then I asked them to just look around them, saying “we are here already, where do we need to go to?”

I live in Cape Town, South Africa, one of the five most scenic cities in the world and the top travel destination in Africa. I am here to stay. Tourists sometimes ask me where I am from and I am quick to point out that I am a local tourist. That confuses them, so I explain that I must have a few thousand photos of Table Mountain alone. To do what with? Well, it was fun taking them! When asked if I travel, I say “of course!” When asked where I travel to, my answer is “Cape Town.

Let me explain: one an be born here, live here, see a new thing every day and still miss out on so much by age 85! The other day, a young tourist from Europe wrote on Facebook that she spent two very boring days in Cape Town….she must be very unimaginative as the world’s most scenic coastal rail route already was worth a day out on a Tourist Pass costing less than three United States Dollars? Nothing to do? Did she even put down her phone, detox from social media and noticed where she stayed – in beautiful Hout Bay where one won’t get bored for weeks on end, too much to do!

So, photos we take, things we see. Just yesterday, we discovered a very nice hotel hidden in plain sight right in the centre of the Mother City, as Old Cape Town is fondly known. Views from a rooftop garden on the ninth floor cover from Devil’s Peak to Lion’s Head. The rooftop is an ideal party venue, honeymoon suite with a great setting for wedding pictures. Or a rave with your young mates, or a corporate conference venue. That is where a sign advertising morning coffee at seventy US cents led me….nothing boring there!

Architecture, museums, action activities (well over a hundred!) plus so much more. I don’t need to travel abroad to see wales as we have our whales here 😀

Gosh, how can anyone become a couch potato in such vibrant surroundings?! If anything, cape Town can become an indulgent sensory overload, not that the young adventurer made herself guilty of that.

I travel every day, from Cape Town deeper into Cape Town.

I never get enough.

I coined the term PERMATOURIST to describe myself.

Follow me on Twitter @awethentiq

Magic Carpet Ride on The Blue Train

Our reservations were confirmed via email and we were also sent Guest Information Forms to complete and return to the friendly bookings officer. They ensure that they can contact your next-of-kin or anticipate medical conditions, food allergies, etc. Special dietary requirements are taken care of individually. Impressive efficiency.

A few days later, we made our way to The Blue Train Lounge where butlers awaited is, greeting us friendly, welcoming us to The Blue Train, while taking care of our luggage. A soft carpet bearing The Blue Train’s logo led us into the lounge, where we were registered at the Concierge Desk, by two very friendly and helpful ladies. We then were invited to take our seats in the plush lounge area, tastefully decorated.


A gentleman called Collen appeared and offered us coffee or juice, or we could have had some sparkling wine if we so desired. Soon, the ever friendly F&B Manager Leon came to greet us; we have met before as this wasn’t our first journey on The Blue Train. Also, Financial Manager of The Blue Train, Mr Francois Geldenhuys, came to greet us as also he was no stranger. Friendly faces, a hearty welcome. Africa is renowned for its hospitality; The Blue Train certainly is a window to the soul of Africa.

We were the first to arrive and had a second coffee while guests trickled in – our own group consisted of six guests including my wife and I. Our journey would be short as we were here to expose stakeholders from the tourism industry to the superlative service on board The Blue Train. Next to arrive was Siphelo Guwa, a videographer who agreed to film our journey – this also wasn’t his first experience of The Blue Train, having been part of a film production team on board this magnificent train some time prior. The social media marketing guru’s arrived next. They are Marinda Holtzhausen and Marius De Vos of Cape Town Bookings, who also own the contracts to market various regions of the Western Cape. Finally, Richard Valentine of the Fish Hoek Valley Museum joined our group. He is involved in promoting tourism in the South Peninsula and is an accredited tour guide as well.

By the time that all guests had arrived, we were formally welcomed to The Blue Train, by Train Manager Lethabo Vilikazi. She explained the “house rules” and then we were taken in groups by our assigned butlers to our suites. Our butler was Angela; she was our butler on our first journey as well and there was a good reunion with this impressive lady.

I made my way to the Observation Car at the rear, hoping to take video footage of our departure from Cape Town Station. Great was my surprise when I noticed that we were already under way. The movement of the train only became perceptible as speed gradually increased. Table Mountain, followed by Devil’s Peak, sailed past like silent ships on the ocean.

Of course, our group are all active on social media and we took to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter almost right away – and a little frenzy ensued. Before long, the shock and surprise of friends elsewhere made room for their inquiries: “How do we book to travel on The Blue Train?”

She gracefully wafted through the northern suburbs of greater Cape Town, found her way through the vineyards, orchards and dairy farms until we slipped past Simonsberg to the right, Paarl rock to our left, where wider spaces welcomed us with open arms as we skirted the edges of the Swartland, home to wheat and sheep farms. We passed a few Anglo-Boer War blockhouses and the wind turbines at Gouda, from where the train made her spectacular passage through the Nuwekloof en route to the Wamakers Valley and the Witzenberg range of Tulbagh, on to Wolseley where we soon crossed the Breede River, flanked by two more of the historical British blockhouses.

Guests indulged in an array of snacks and treats, to suite even the most discerning palate. Even so, it soon was time for brunch, something we sincerely enjoyed as Master Chef Bobbie Wessels and his team are renowned for performing magic in the kitchen. Already, a less opulent cousin of The Blue Train goes by the hashtag #GoodFoodTrain. What shall we call this delightful dining experience, progressing almost imperceptibly yet at 56 MPH across the southern reaches of Africa. I have thought of the title #GlamTrain but, then again, the timeless class of this train is more of an understated thoroughbred.

I will rather show you photos of our meals as words won’t do justice. My crumbed Camembert with Cranberry Sauce was followed by a hearty soup and then the main course arrived, beef sirloin hiding a little blue rock cheese surprise to tantalise the taste buds. During all this time, our eyes feasted on the beautiful Boland mountains, vineyards, we passed Sedgwicks, home of the famous Old Brown Sherry as well as no less than five different brandies. Wine cellars, horses, farmsteads passed us silently as we enjoyed our dessert – mine was a sticky toffee pudding with ice cream. All too soon, our journey came to and end at Worcester, where we were given lovely certificates of remembrance and a rather nice ballpoint pen each, with The Blue Train’s logo inscribed on it. We thanked and greeted Lethabo and David – he is the manager in charge of the bedroom suites.

Our magic carpet ride was over and we made our way back to #LoveCapeTown

Practical Travel Tips – ShosholozaMeyl

Here are a few really practical tips for travel on South Africa’s tourist class Shosholoza Meyl trains. We are seasoned travelers and share our experiences with you.
Prasa operates two long distance trains:

  • Premier Classe, a luxurious travel experience
  • ShosholozaMeyl, a tourist class train

These travel on rails owned by another company, power comes from yet another. Sometimes, there are delays caused by power failures or speed restrictions. Also, freight services are given preference and this is not the fault of Prasa who operate passenger trains only.  It is no different from aircraft delayed for hours because of operational variables. Please be considerate, take this into account.  Also see the media statement from the Minister of Transport.

An Italian friend, Giulia Raciti, is a seasoned traveler and tour guide who hasn’t seen home for seven years. She has experienced public transport – buses, aeroplanes, ships and trains – in numerous countries. She views a train delay of three hours as international average. 

Go with the flow. Don’t pack the go. Sit back, relax, you will get there. 

Read more here




ShosholozaMeyl in Nieuwekloof Pass

Video Killed The Radio Star

“Video Killed The Radio Star”

Nothing can be further from the truth. Here in South Africa with its 55 million people, we just  love listening to the radio. We love radio drama, actuality, documentaries, news and,of course, music. 

If you like music from the 80’s, 90’s & now, click on the link above.