Protest marches show SA in peril

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The article written by Ethel Hazelhurst, “Protests take their toll on the economy and the state” (Business Report, February 10), makes for alarming reading if one couples her figures of protest marches in Gauteng together with the front page reports in the daily press of similar marches in other parts of South Africa.

Her figure of 569 protest marches, with or without violence and vandalism, over a three-month period equates to six protest matches on average per day, which is staggering news.

Such figures would appear to indicate that South Africa is in a state of simmering revolution, which is scary to say the least.

The complete failure in partnership between the elected and the electorate would be the cause of such discontent. Unless the elected stop filling their pockets at every occasion and make an effort to take their snouts out of the troughs and take cognisance of the dire needs of those who elected them to office, the revolution will only become worse. What then?

Kevin Meineke

Hout Bay, Cape Town

Three questions for chairman Iqbal Survé

Following the latest Independent Newspapers gushing exposition (“The man who wants to change the world”, Business Report, February 13) on the thoughts of chairman Iqbal Survé, you asked for comments or questions, so here are three questions.

Why do you insult your readers and humiliate yourselves by running sweetheart profiles of your employer, or should one say owner, or even Brother Leader?

Did you know that Pravda (which ironically means truth in Russian) also regularly carried adulatory articles about its leaders?

Is it true that a picture of Survé showing his best profile is now mandatory in all the offices at Independent Newspapers and that all employees must wear an approved buttonhole picture of him , which must be transferred to that employee’s night attire so that it is carried 24/7?

Sydney Kaye Cape Town

Inquiry into private health care welcomed

We, the people, welcome the inquiry into the private health-care sector.

Following the pregnancy of a friend, I was shocked with the sector. Owing to complications, this friend could not give birth naturally; which meant she would have to have a caesarean section. Her doctor expressed little confidence in public hospitals, consequently referring her to a private one. The remaining months of excitement became moments of utter frustration and despair. Not knowing the full scale of her hospital bills, after holding that bundle of joy in my arms, I could not believe it had cost over R55 000 to bring him into this world.

It is true that health care is expensive. What shocked me is that we went to three different hospitals, which had similar pricings. This raises questions. Either the private health-care sector is rigged with monopolies that make it impossible for normal people to afford care, or (further) medical subsidies are really necessary.

The Competition Commission is leading an inquiry into the private health-care sector of South Africa. This is long overdue, and, if anything, the process should be expedited. Public hospitals are understaffed and generally lack enough resources to sustain the thousands of patients who turn up on a daily basis. This leads middle-class South Africans down the gluttonous road of private health care. Although it is “ideal”, the cost of service is outrageous.

The commission is right in probing the private health-care sector, and it is with much hope that we, the public, urge it on.

Mamokhele Sebatane VIA E-MAIL


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