Brewer's Droop #243

8 commentsPrintTweetShareEmail


I suppose I should add my voice of admiration for the students who succeeded in getting those dumbos in parliament to accede to their request for zero increase in fees.

But someone has to point out to them (as I’ve done on other platforms) that, whilst they think they may have won, and they may even get free education eventually, they surely must know that nothing, repeat nothing, is free. Everything comes at a price.

I am terribly afraid that our universities are going to suffer. Equipment will become out of date, teachers will resign and move to Australia, desks will collapse and they’ll run out of chalk.

That standards must, and will, drop is a given. You simply cannot crowd more students into a space that is diminishing. It’s simple mathematics.

Universities will close, those remaining will be under-subsidised and standards will diminish so that a degree from SA becomes a bit of a joke.

There’s also an Elephant in the room – and that relates to those students who will (if they get their way) get free admission to university yet have NO intention of getting a degree – just having a three or four year jol.

Drop out rates are already high, so imagine how much higher they’ll be if it costs nothing to get in?

Nevertheless, I absolutely agree that ALL education must be free – and our government might make it so (although I doubt it).

The problem is that our government does not know how to govern.

Take the visa crisis for a start. Home Affairs has known for months and months that these crazy regulations will reduce tourism – and it has. Instead of the government creating more jobs (and more tax revenue) it’s actually put another 9,000 + people out of work (so far) and denied SA about R1.5billion in tourism spending here. And what does Gigaba and the rest of Zuma’s motley crew do? They think about it.

THINK? Are you all completely mal?

Just dump the idea completely. Admit you were wrong and, for goodness sake, start making the weak Rand work for us all – advertise to get more tourists to come here with their dollars, euros and pounds. It’s a heaven-sent opportunity.

But they don’t see it.

They still hire private jets (when the future King of Britain flies BA and the Prime Minister uses the tube while the mayor of London rides a bicycle). They just love those blue light brigades, surround themselves with ‘heavies” and drink Blue Label at “meetings” in a distant 6 star hotel.

Their way of dealing with miners who want an increase is to shoot them.

The e-toll saga is far from over because the people who are targeted by this are the same ones who will be expected to fund the shortfall in education.

As Magnus Heystek said in Moneyweb Today last Monday;

The mystery of the 36 000 ghost workers

“Our media is barely scratching the surface when it comes to the thievery and gross incompetence at local government level. All the North West municipalities, for instance, are under administration. It has become so common that reports of theft and maladministration do not even receive a mention anymore.

“Last month trade union Solidarity released a report on the ‘ghost workers’ of the North West province, highlighting that at least 36 000 ghost employees have been drawing a combined amount of R19 billion in salaries in this province alone. R19 billion! This report received barely a mention in the media and one battles to find any discussion on it.

I feel like shouting: There’s the money for #feesmustfall!”


Meanwhile, I really hope this quote is genuine (if not then it should be): “What I fear is that the liberators emerge as elitists…who drive around in Mercedes Benzes and use the resources of this country…to live in palaces and to gather riches.” Chris Hani, 29 October 1992

Personally speaking, it’s very sad that the ANC I used to support (when they were exiled) has shown itself to be, at best, incompetent or, at worst, a bunch of thieves.

It’s time for them to go…and maybe the student activities in recent weeks will be the catalyst to make this happen?


I don’t like the speed at which technology is advancing much and it comes as no surprise to me that there is plenty of evidence to support the fact that it’s actually killing itself!

It amazes me that the original Domesday Book can still be read on paper but, until recently, NONE of the digital copies could be opened.

And they keep saying digital will make paper extinct? Pffft!

In 1986, to mark the 900th anniversary of the iconic 1086 publication, the information was stored on two virtually indestructible interactive video discs. But by the 1990s these could no longer be read by computers. It wasn’t until 2002 that a team at Leeds University managed to create software that emulated the obsolete Acorn Microcomputer system. So, for more than 10 years this vital piece of history was “lost” (except that the original still existed).

The Domesday Project has become synonymous with the problems of digital preservation.

It’s really important that we have accessible paper archives. We risk a lot of information being lost without adequate paper copies.

Print is always going to provide an alternative, safe backup. Much better than computers.

Unlike books, digital archives face the threat of continual technological change. Floppy discs have become obsolete, replaced with CDs, Mini-discs and MP3s. Software from companies like Microsoft and Apple undergoes such rapid upgrading that many files can no longer be opened in later formats.

Thousands of software programs common in the early 1990s are now extinct and unavailable. So even if data is kept, it may not be readable by machines of the future.

Google has already warned internet users to print out treasured photographs or risk losing them forever.

So the moral of the story is don’t let your library card lapse yet – we’re going to be reading real books for a very long time – from now until domesday actually.

Which is a reassuring thought, I’m sure you’ll agree.

[Rant ends here]


Filed as:


  1. I still have over R100,000 in student loans that I’m repaying. If the “free education” goes through do you think I’ll get any of what I’ve paid already refunded?

    • You should try stand-up comedy!

    • You have as much chance of that happening as Jacob Zuma going to court to defend himself on all the charges against him.

  2. Don’t be silly Chris! The money for free education will come from the ‘wealthy’. That’s you and me and the other five people in South Africa at the very bottom of the inverted pyramid who pay tax. Jokes aside, I agree that school education should be free, but I fear that university education will lose its perceived value if it costs nothing at all.

  3. You are absolutely correct. Who is going to lower themselves to try and educate potential thieves and rapists? The law is the worst joke in history. Dear taxpayer just do not even think of avoiding income tax. then the hobnailed boots will be quick to kick your door down.

    • Well, the students did it Wally, even if it was only a pyrrhic victory. Will be interesting to see what happens next year.

      But how long can this government keep squeezing the few taxpayers? That’s the interesting question.

  4. Good one, Chris. Interesting about the technology bit as even data in the cloud has its limitations in the future if there is not attention given to software compatibility.

  5. My good old grandfather always reminded me that when one gets something for nothing – that’s what it is worth.


Leave a comment