This weekend, my friend Andrew is hosting one of the strangest events I have ever heard of.
He owns a pub in Roodepoort and has issued a challenge to his patrons: why run the Comrades if you can drink it?
“When the starter’s gun is fired at 5.30am on Sunday morning, we open our first beer. The aim is to finish 24 of them before the winner crosses the finish line.”
Yes, it’s a stupid and an infantile contest to participate in, I know. And if I was a drinking man, nothing would have kept me away from Andrew’s bar counter on Sunday morning.
Why? Probably because the lovely Snapdragon is right when she so often tells me: “You’re an idiot. Everything in life must always be a competition to you.”
In my defence, I have to point out that I’m part of a nation of competitive idiots. Not everyone is an idiot, of course. Some of my fellow South Africans are intelligent, responsible people. But all of my countrymen are competitive. With the possible exception of the Proteas, we all tackle life as warriors who aspire to win in everything we do.
And while Snapdragon’s label is well deserved by me and a large majority of my compatriots, I have identified one man who has earned the right to be my brother in arms more than anyone else – Bra Ace Magashule.
Ace shocked financial markets on Wednesday when he – apparently without the blessing of government or the ANC – called for “a task team to explore quantity (sic) easing measures to address intergovernmental debts”.
The rand, already under pressure after the news that the SA economy shrank by more than 3% in the second quarter, immediately plummeted.
Hmmmm … creating money out of thin air? Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before? Simply print more money to pay government’s debts. Ingenious …
Undoubtedly Uncle Cyril will see a challenge.
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni immediately denied plans for quantitative easing and Enoch Godongwana, chair of the ANC’s economic transformation committee, said Magashule’s comments were “inaccurate”.
Bra Ace, it seems the people have little appreciation for your ideas on economic reform. But I’ll listen over a few beers between comrades while we watch the Comrades on TV.