Wednesday, 31 December 2014

The South African Enclosure Movement

Just looking at the past 20 years.

I don't get it. I have so many neighbours who are not white. I work with so many people who are not white. Many of my closest friends are not white. There are whites living in townships. There are poor whites. This story doesn't sound any different to most other big cities around the world. Not that it makes it any better; it's just as bad. We just need perspective and perhaps The Guardian has forgotten about the elite in the UK and how it also (unfortunately) manipulates the system.

I do know is that many of these disadvantaged people now get many advantages that I am happy to pay towards, even though I myself am not entitled to them, except for the fact that about half of my payment is going to the new elite, the regime.

And I know many people who have positively used the education system to get somewhere, even people who started in townships, who made good.

Nelson Mandela himself became a lawyer in the Apartheid system and somehow people who benefited from the old system are forgotten. There has always been good and bad.

We need to try hard to focus on the good, especially the good of the past 20 years.

A 20 year old child has finally left teenage years and is starting life as an adult with adult responsibilities. South Africa is now at this stage ...

Some of the advantages that the "forgotten people" referred to in the article, get, are: free or almost free: housing, education (I can't help it that people sell these houses and then move back into shacks, but as the article says, at least they can trade from the shacks, and so there is an amazing black market operating in townships), medicine, hospitals, water, electricity, rates, transport, welfare grants, grants for adults and children, and incredibly the new IRT transport system whilst it has been built through my area to the poor areas around me, has had its number of busses serving my area reduced and some of my friends who were catching the bus are now driving to work. Incredible that these taxpayers are paying for the bus service, but again are not able to make use of it.

It all sounds like the Enclosure Movement which started in Britain and was part of the Industrial Revolution. And this has recently happened in Bangladesh where "poor" people who had all the food, housing, etc, they could ever need, have now been impoverished by the Tiger Prawn industry and now these "poor" people really are poor. They have nothing, not even ownership of their land.

Sounds pretty much like the way the whole world is, its just that in South Africa it was done under a name which separated blacks and whites, whereas in other countries it was done based on a separation between elite and other groups, who became poorer because of it, but even though they are poor, they still have things that the rich didn't have 200 years ago: separate bedrooms; hot water; sewerage; education; and much else.

Poor in the 21st Century is so different to in any other century. Yes it is bad, and we can still work towards making it better, really the only way to make poor people rich is to remove "enclosures", level the playing fields, allow everyone to compete in an even environment. And a way to kick-start this is with Renewable Energy, which naturally forces decentralisation, but that is against the current legal framework in South Africa, which moves more and more towards centralisation, but in the ANC and in the DA. Decision making which was by committee is now by minister, opening the way for even more discretion, and therefore even more corruption.

Well that's how it is. I still love living in Cape Town and I will work towards making it a better place. And I know that one thing that South Africa will always have, which is buried at the moment, is the Defiance Campaign, and I pray that soon, this will come to light again, in the way that Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela would like, peacefully, but with intent.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Happy New Year 2015: Tequila Christmas Cake Recipe

Dear all

I pray that everyone has the most incredible Festive Season and New Year 2015. I made a new year resolution this year "to find the good in everything that happens". Sometimes, e.g. when people have died, or when I've made a mistake, it isn't easy to do this (and one needs to meditate on it for days or weeks or months), but it has completely changed my life. I intend starting 2015 with the same resolution.

In the meantime, just a reminder about the Tequila Christmas Cake. Enjoy.



Just a reminder

Tequila Christmas Cake

Ingredients: 1 cup of water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup of brown sugar
Lemon juice
4 large eggs
1 bottle tequila
2 cups of dried fruit

Sample the tequila to check quality. Take a large bowl, check the tequila again. To be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink. Repeat. Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar. Beat again. At this point it's best to make sure the tequila is still OK. Try another cup... just in case. Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.

Pick the fruit up off floor. Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the lequita to check for tonsisticity. Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something. Check the tequila. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can find. Greash the oven. Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Finally, throw the bowl through the window. Finish the tequila and wipe counter with the cat.


Saturday, 20 December 2014

My Power Station - Embedded Generation

Dear all

Many people have disbelieved my writings over the past few years. Well here's one of the word's biggest energy companies, Alstom, saying the same thing!

I've been writing about Embedded Micro-grids for some time and renamed my company My Power Station a few years ago. Here is an example of a recent article that appeared in our local Cape Times newspaper in Cape Town:


Sunday, 14 December 2014

Become a Power Station!

7,843 people have signed a petition to stop poaching.

Only 226 people have signed a petition asking the South African government to Level the playing fields in the electricity sector. This will decrease our cost whilst improving our economy.

If we have enough electricity, we'll have enough jobs, and people won't need to poach!!

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Load Shedding and Power Failures Effecting You? Please sign this petition

To my friends:

I just signed this petition -- please will you join me?

South African Government: Level the Playing fields in the Electricity Industry:

To: South African Government

The petition is really important and could use our help. Click here to find out more and sign:

Thanks so much,