Brewer's Droop #267

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There are many, almost daily, changes on internet sites, mobile phones, Government rules, business forms – in fact for just about everything.

I’m fairly sure the reason is that young programmers and designers are given too much freedom to change the way we live. Their biggest sin is not understanding the market or, worse, their very own target market group.

Communication is rapidly heading towards “social” (which it’s not) media and instant gratification on computers and hand-held devices. It must be slowed right down. I appreciate that some change is required from time to time – but no change for change’s sake. Please.

However, I have a plan.

People under the age of 30 should not be allowed to change anything. I mean anything.

In a large corporation, bank or ad agency they should only be permitted to do these things:

Make tea/coffee.
Answer the phone.
Run errands.
Generally tidy up around the place.

That’s it.

I don’t care if you have a PhD in computer science or advanced economics – just make sure we don’t run out of digestive biscuits (chocolate coated of course).

The thing is that, until you understand the basics (in my day it used to be filing) you have absolutely no right to mess around with the company logo, its web site or its positioning statements. These took a great deal of highly qualified time and skill to establish. Respect that and learn the business from the roots up. Get down there with the workers. Go and mix with typical customers – but put the kettle on before you go and sort out the post.


There’s a strong possibility that the Government is going to spend about R59bn (for starters) to bail out SANRAL, The Post Office, SABC and SAA. It will soon be approved I’m sure.

The rescue of SANRAL (South African Roads Agency Ltd.) is the one that interests me the most. Broadly speaking, SANRAL has been shunned by the public. It had to write-off R3.6bn in unpaid fines last year because the majority of Gauteng drivers simply refused to pay them.

Well done to all of you who’ve done this. It’s a victory for everyone (except for those at the Roads Agency of course). Take a bow! Most of SA salutes and supports you. Respect.

Government should take very special notice of this because it shows that the people can only be pushed so far.

SAA and the SABC are lost causes and it’s about time Parliament realised that the people are getting seriously pissed off – with both those organisations and also with you, our MPs. So start worrying about your seat in the house after the next elections.

As for the Post Office, quite honestly I’d forgotten we even had one. Apparently however, they need more money to upgrade the social grants payment system. No mention of delivering mail you might notice.

You know, it was only a few years ago that SAA was, in my opinion anyway, one of the best airlines in the world. Now it’s a bit of a joke.

The SABC was an excellent broadcaster. We had the best cameramen in the world. We had intelligent and articulate presenters. Not any more. I often turn off my car radio because I can’t clearly hear what’s being said. I’m also told that they spend more money in catching those who don’t pay their licences than the value of the licenses themselves. Duh?

How the mighty have fallen.


Here’s a story doing the rounds and I expect it’ll go viral very quickly. I don’t know who wrote it and I’ve taken the liberty of changing a few words so that there can be absolutely no suggestion that it’s racial or politically incorrect in any way.

I have no doubt that the ANC Govt has given a lot of thought to the topic of Expropriation Without Compensation (EWC) however I think they might not have fully comprehended the consequences of such a policy. As a farmer I thought it might be useful to enlighten them as to the course of action I would take once my farm is targeted for EWC. Before I continue I would like to emphasize that this is not a threat nor delivered with the mindset of a saboteur, it is merely a description of the sequence of events that would unfold in the event of such a policy being enforced.

a) I would immediately identify all the moveable assets on my farm and start selling them or placing them in a suitable storage facility. I list these below simply to demonstrate to non-farmers what makes a farm functional and profitable. The first to go would be all the livestock followed by all the machinery including tractors, pumps, silos, centre pivots, electrical transformers, irrigation equipment, water troughs, implements and piping. I would strip the dairy and sell the bulk tanks, milking machines etc. I would take down all internal fencing on the farm and recoup what I could. All sheds would be disassembled and all houses and other buildings would be stripped of anything sellable, including their roofs.

b) I would disconnect/cancel the 5 Eskom points on the farm and obtain refunds on the deposits I’ve paid on them.

c) I would re-trench all my staff and pay them off in accordance with the Labour Act. I would then strip all the staff accommodation on the farm and sell what I could.

d) With the sale of all my livestock and cessation of the farming operation I would immediately default on the R5.5m I owe FNB but I wouldn’t worry as the farm is the loan’s security and I don’t really own anything else.

e) When the day comes to leave the farm I would hand the keys over to the new owners but I’m not quite sure what they would do as there’d be no roof on the farm house and there would be nothing to ‘farm’ on the farm. It would just be a piece of land, but that’s ok because the ANC says owning land makes you wealthy.

When you take the sequence of events described above and multiply it on a national scale you see another sequence of events unfolding.

f)The new ‘farmers’ arrive on the farm but there is no livestock, machinery or working capital to continue the operation.

g) They go to the banks to borrow money (A good farming habit) but the banks are sitting on a R160 Billion defaulted debt book from the ‘old’ farmers and won’t lend a cent to agriculture. They’re fighting for their own survival now.

h) The Govt doesn’t have the money, which would be far more than the R160 Billion mentioned above, to re-capitalise and finance all the farms so most of the farms either fall derelict or are farmed at a subsistence level.

i) There is a massive but short-term surplus of Beef, Sheep and Poultry products due to the sell-off by the previous farmers. This brings prices down drastically in the short term but eventually the meat runs out and there is nothing to replace it. Meat prices skyrocket.

j) Dairy products cease almost immediately after the livestock cull/sell-off and within weeks there is a critical shortage of all dairy products. Importing is impossible due to the Govt’s actions which have decimated the value of the Rand.

k) Maize lasts quite a bit longer and with careful rationing will endure until the next season but there is no crop in the ground for next year due to the new farmers lack of machinery, experience and access to credit.

l) All agricultural Co-Ops and suppliers very quickly cease operation and/or go bankrupt and re-trench all their staff. They cannot survive by selling single bags of seed and fertilizer to subsistence farmers.

m) All processors of agricultural products such as meat, dairy and maize cease operation due to lack of product and re-trench all their staff.

n) Rural Municipalities start to feel the pinch as there are no longer any farmers paying rates and the agricultural businesses in the towns have also sold up and left.

o) Smaller rural towns that depended on agriculture eventually collapse and rural communities are forced to travel long distances to major centres to find ever dwindling supplies.

p) Ironically the EWC movement creates more Urbanisation as the rural folk flee the agricultural desert that has been created.

q) All food dependent enterprises such as fast food chains and restaurants either disappear or are greatly reduced…along with all their staff.

r) With all the unemployed farmworkers, as well as those who have lost their jobs from other sectors, there is an unsustainable demand on the UIF system and it soon collapses.

s) The Social Grant system teeters as the ripple effect from the agricultural collapse enters all sectors and the tax-base is shredded.

• Food riots become common and genuine hunger and poverty widespread

The writer will, by then, be presumably living in another part of the world. Sad but pleased to get away from the idiotic government schemes in his country of birth.

Interesting concept/prediction don’t you think?

Of course, it can be avoided but I wonder if the new guys will be able to handle it?

Despite everything contrary to what I’ve written above, I personally remain optimistic but do admit that I’m starting to feel a little uneasy.


Footnote: By the way, I’ve had many requests to write news releases, opinion pieces, brochure copy and all manner of communications in the past – and declined most of them. But I’ve recently accepted a few commissions and feel I’d rather like to do more of them. So if you need something written then please give me a call on 082 551 1371. Would like to hear from you.

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  1. Bravo Chris,

    I think this your best so far this year!

    By the way, I’m one of those GP drivers who refused to pay – so thanks for the compliment!

  2. Chris, you say “Communication is rapidly heading towards…..instant gratification on hand-held devices.”
    Surely not the only activity in this day and age achieving instant gratification on hand-held devices!!

    Btw, bravo, another great Droop!

  3. Nice commentarry

  4. Brilliant, Chris. I am very relieved and happy to have emigrated to the UK.

  5. Flew SAA from Livingstone, Zambia, to ORT on 16 July. Cabin announcements were in English and Chinese.

  6. I love chocolate coated digestive biscuits and I have never paid a penny to SANRAL and I have every sympathy with the farmer!
    SAA, SABC and Post Office are cartoon material.
    What a good Droop!!


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