Issue 31 ~ August, 2020

Dearest Karoosters

We are in the one hundredth and plenty days of lock down and our economy is heading for a crash into a rocky shore and there are going to be plenty fatalities from this rough ending to the South African fairy tale ship. That we have an outbreak of smallpox amongst the crew and passengers of the Good Ship RSA is not helping matters, but it is not the cause of us heading for a terrible catastrophe. We have a drunken crew of misfits, brigands, thieves, and pirates who don’t give a rat’s ass about us, the passengers, who have in the main payed their fare in money or kind and expect a safe delivery.

None of us is a sailor but I would hazard a guess that among our ship’s population we have a considerable talent base from which to create an advisory task force of intelligent, skilled, educated, motivated, honest, experienced and credible people who can tell our totally incompetent crew just how to get out of the shit storm we have been placed in by our inept crew.

I think that we have the moral and spiritual fibre to redirect our Good Ship into better climes for all of us.

So we are calling upon each reader who has the time and inclination to drop us a line with a list of names of passengers and perhaps the odd good crew member who together might just be able to come with a plan as they say to save our bacon.

In my personal capacity I would include some of the following:
  • Adv Thule Madonsela | Academic
  • Judge Dennis Davis | Judge
  • Moeletsi Mbeki | Economist
  • Johan Rupert | Business Man
  • Elon Musk | Business man
  • Prof Adam Habib | Academic
  • Prof Jonathan Jansen | Academic
  • Tony Leon | Politician
  • Pieter Dirk Uys | Actor…….this is serious business!
  • Kglema Motlanthe | Politician
  • Frans Cronje | Scenario Planner
  • Mike Shusler | Economist
  • Bantu Holomisa | Politivvcian
  • Zwelima Vavi | Trade Union
  • Prof Raymond Parsons | Economist
  • Gerrie Nel | Legal
  • Jeremy Samson | Brand South Africa
  • Steven Koseff | Banker
  • Kgalema Motlanthe | Politician
  • Tito Mboweni | Finance
  • Trevor Manuel | Finance
  • Lesetja Kganyago | Banker
  • Dr Imtiaz Sooliman | Gift of the Givers
  • Wayne Duvenage | Civic
  • Bishop Desmond Tutu | Moral Leader
  • Adv Paul Hofmann | Constitutional
  • Chief Justice Mogoeng | Judge
  • Prof Ashwin Desai | Sociologist
  • Helen Zille | Politician
You will notice that I have not included many people from the present government….mainly because I think that most of them are pirates and don’t give a continental, as they have their life boats full of loot and are ready to set off just before we crash.

We are looking for a list of about 100 true, honest, and patriotic South Africans to help us.

August 6, 2020.

As a harbinger of the ground swell of popular opinion that our present ANC government is just unable and unwilling and moreover genetically incapable of de-corrupting itself, I heard on the news this  morning that Bantu Holomisa has called for a caretaker government to run this country until the 2024 National elections. I think that this is a very astute call and I believe that we must actively support this move to get on with the enormous task at hand. Is was not folly that Holomisa’s name was on my first list.

The government will of course say that this is total unconstitutional and an impossibility. But we the people will demand it. We have come to the sad state of affairs where the government of the day is no longer competent and no longer has the trust of the people.
South African is capable of another quiet revolution; after all the Nationalists, who had unfettered power in South Africa for 3 decades did voluntarily (some will argue this point but that is not the issue…the end result is the issue here) give up power for the greater good. No true South African patriot, as opposed to party patriot, can oppose this, surely!

Finally, we recommend our friend and volunteer worker H’s most recent post in PoliticsWeb: Banished from the Garden of the Woke | Hendrik Mentz writes on Jung, the cult of purity, and post-apartheid SA << LINK | It’s dense but we believe well worth the effort.
God Bless us, each and every one,

Forever BookBedonnerd

Peter Baker (co-director of Bookbedonnerd, alongside Darryl David)
Website: Booktown Richmond
We have a couple little articles following which might be of some interest if you:

The Boulangerie Baker is 30 Years Old

[SUMMER 2020] | By Geneviève Hébert

Nothing predestined Philip Baker to become a baker, except for his last name. Despite his father’s career as a university professor that led him to spend most of his academic life in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue and his university years studying agriculture at MacDonald College, Stanbridge East was always the place he called home.

So why baking? “Out of necessity,’’ says Philip, laughing. “And I liked baking bread!” Philip learned how to bake bread from his mother. “We always had homemade bread in the house! Standard white bread,” he explains. Today, Philip bakes around 12 kinds of bread. Through the years, he’s adapted to his customers’ needs.

In 1990, when his daughter was four, he built the bakery in front of his house where it still sits today. As business expanded, he built two additions to accommodate the demand. This spring, because of the pandemic, they cut out a service window and counter so people could pick up their orders without going in.

“Did you ever think your daughter would become your business partner?” I asked. “Only when she went on to study pastry and baking,’’ admits Philip. After studying Western Philosophy at McGill, Genevieve, his only daughter, decided she wanted to do something more hands-on. She came out of ITHQ about seven years ago. Since then, she has been a full-time partner. Even though she is not a sweet tooth herself, she has been baking all kinds of goodies for the customers: brownies, scones, cookies, etc. Lately, the reduced work week has given them time to put down the bread recipes on paper. Genevieve is learning how to bake the bread in the wood-fire oven, and yes, the oven is still fired by wood today, giving the bread its authenticity.

Authentic is probably the best word to describe the place, located off the beaten path on North Road in Stanbridge East. You’d never know it was there except for a discreet sign, discretion being the best word to describe both father and daughter. Indeed, the 30th anniversary of the bakery would have gone by just as discreetly, pandemic or not but I thought 30 years was worth writing about. The Boulangerie Baker is one of Stanbridge East’s institutions. Its owners don’t need to get the word out! Their customer base is loyal and they have no desire to expand. The bakery lets them both have time to do what they love. Cross-country skiing and running for Genevieve, agriculture and wood-cutting for Philip. Nevertheless, I just thought it’d be nice to put it out there – Happy 30th anniversary!

For now, the Boulangerie Baker is open Wednesday through Friday. Check out their Facebook page for their daily menu. At the time of printing this paper, they were still taking orders 24 hours in advance. But kept some spare for walk-ups!
You can access the original article here << LINK |

Statistics South Africa faces an existential threat called “Covid-19”, but really the threat is older and deeper. Here are some practical examples of why we need Stats SA to survive the Command Council.

Stats SA was once one of the country’s world-class public institutions, the “fact-finder of the nation”, but no more. According to Dr Pali Lehohla, former Statistician-General, StatsSA has been reduced to “the blind that should lead the lame”.

In part that is because of the recent decision not to run the Income and Expenditure Survey and the Living Conditions Survey this year. But the problems run deeper.

According to Professor David Everatt, chairperson of the Stats SA council, in February this year one in every five posts at Stats SA lay vacant as a result of a freeze on appointments and promotions. Everatt said that if this continued “Council will withdraw our support for official statistics, and resign.”

After that Treasury, under Tito Mboweni, promised to fill the funding gap, with allocations supposed to come into effect on 1 April. Since lockdown disrupted almost everything in March it is not clear whether these promises took effect, but Lehohla’s plea strongly suggests not.

Nor would this be the first time that promises around Stats SA were broken. According to Treasury’s proposed budget summary, R70 million was to be set aside in 2018/2019 “to conduct an income and expenditure survey as part of the household surveys programme to gain a better understanding of wealth inequalities in South Africa”.

However, when Stats SA released its November 2019 report, Inequality Trends in South Africa: A multidimensional diagnostic of inequality,the most recent income and expenditure data were from the latest such survey, in 2015. Whatever happened to the proposed 2018/2019 research?

The 2019 report, based mostly on data going up to 2015, was hailed in the Mail & Guardian and the Daily Maverick as the “first of its kind”, and was covered in every major outlet in the country with headlines like this one from TimesLive: “Whites earn three times more than blacks: Stats SA”.

Findings were obscured

This generated talking points that dominated radio and television punditry for weeks, largely hailed as proving “what everyone already knows” about “racialized inequality”. For all the coverage, arguably the Report’s most surprising findings were obscured.

According to the report, by 2015 black South Africans were earning 51.1% of all income, compared to 34.1% for white South Africans, a fact hardly repeated. This had shifted from 39% (black) and (48.2%) white in 2006.

The report further noted that 53.9% of all income was earned by the top 10% across races. The report drew attention to the fact that income inequality within races was highest among black people and lowest among white people, which seriously undermines the thought that BEE has worked for most black people. This can be seen by looking at the Gini Coefficient, a measure of inequality where the higher the value is the higher the inequality is.

So the largest intra-racial income inequality is amongst black people, but how much income does the black elite earn as a national portion? Unfortunately the report never combined data on inter-racial distributions with intra-racial distributions to compare, for example, the income of the black richest 10% with its white equivalent.

If one does this the following picture emerges.

Source: Stats SA, Inequality Trends Report

As you can see from the pie-chart above the highest earning black 10% gets the largest slice of income in the country, 2.5 times bigger than the highest earning white 10%. The white top 10% is only the fourth largest earner by race-class category — the biggest being the black 10%; then the middle 50% of black earners; then the middle 50% of white earners; and only then the white elite.

Think again

Why does this matter? Well if in 2020 you still thought that the economy was run by “white monopoly capital”, this might make you think again.

If you were the Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula, who said in 2017 it was a “fact” that “80% of our tax revenue” comes from “whites, this is a monopoly itself”, then the data above might make you think again.

If you thought, as the most powerful minister in the country still does, that “class suicide” might be a good idea (on the implicit assumption that destroying the top two income tiers would mean spiting the white) then this official data from 2015 might make you think again too.

If you thought, as the Chief Director of Labour Relations, Thembinkosi Mkhaliphi, does, that “over the last 21 years nothing has happened that should have happened and no real change has taken place” so that BEE regulations must be tightened to secure a new black managerial elite among the “middle-to-upper occupational levels” then this data might open your eyes to what has already been done.

And finally if you thought, as the President of the Republic does, that possibly the world’s most brutal, irrational, and arbitrary lockdown has delivered necessary blows to markets and industry which needed to fall because they operated in a “racist and colonial” economy, then the demonstrated fact that black people were already earning the lion’s share of income since 2015 might give you pause for serious reconsideration.

Sadly, the overlooked data also show that by 2015 the balancing of inter-racial income inequalities was not coming about in a productive way.

What should have happened is this. The overall share of incomes going to non-white South Africans should have increased via growth across all races, but with the highest rate of growth among exactly the non-white people who started off from artificially (and brutally) repressed positions. This is exactly what did happen in the Mandela-Mbeki era.

But since then white median household incomes dropped from roughly R140 000 in 2011 to R120 000 in 2015, while Indian incomes dropped by a similar proportion, almost 20%, in the same period, and coloured incomes stayed flat.

It is hard to find anything like the median income decline over four years in constitutional democracies anywhere else on the planet.

Not good enough

Only black median household incomes grew significantly at this time, around 10% from a low base of R9 800 to R10 800. Not good enough.

The “boiling frogs” strategy not of overall growth, but of slowly draining wealth from some race groups to another amid general contraction is economically unsustainable, politically inconsistent with our constitutional values, and inhumane.

This “boiling frogs” strategy has also been detrimental to the poorest 40% of black South Africans whose share of black income declined from 2006 to 2015 by nearly 20% (18.18%) and whose share of national income stayed flat.

No one could know that this is exactly what happened if it were not for Stats SA. Unfortunately, you cannot know exactly what has happened since 2015 (and neither can I) because no new data of this kind have been made available by the understaffed national factfinder.

Esoteric ‘asset scores’

Worse, no genuine wealth inequality data by race have been made available even in the “first of its kind” report, since it only provided esoteric “asset scores” rather than proper data to reckon with.

This reminds me of New World Wealth, a private consultancy which found that among South Africa’s 1%, aka high net worth individuals, aka dollar millionaires, black people in the broader definition were overtaking white people in 2015. New World Wealth continued publishing research about the 1% in the years since, but never again broke its data down by race.

In a country whose taste-making elite are obsessed with promoting “black excellence” there is something shocking about the lacuna of data about black dollar millionaires and top income earners. Race laws remain front and centre of the ANC-EFF coalition’s agenda; by one calculation there are tens of thousands in effect already, so facts about inter- and intra-racial income and wealth distributions must be brought to political debate.

We cannot rely on the private sector to generate all the relevant research. We need Stats SA to do the old-fashioned job of holding up a mirror to this republic that puts facts before mythological narrative. Instead of directing a few score million to that effort, a project in which every South African has a vested interest, over R10 billion has been pledged to SAA despite repeated promises this would not happen. Vanity beats truth once more. The “blind leading the lame” indeed.

If you like what you have just read, subscribe to the Daily Friend

Image by Paolo Trabattoni from Pixabay

You can access the original article here << LINK |

Please help us keep Bookbedonnerd alive

Unfortunately as the Northern Cape Provincial Government is not in a position to support us to the degree required for Booktown Richmond to keep up with its commitments to our various programmes, we are having to look to Crowd Support in order to maintain and grow our efforts in the village. We are firmly committed to seeing that Booktown Richmond survives and indeed grows.  We have, even at this early stage an extremely exciting line-up of speakers, entertainers and activities including the introduction of Spinning-a-Yarn, A Festival of Storytelling and Oral Traditions, a first in South Africa.

To ensure that we survive and indeed grow, the planning committee has launched a backabuddy campaign aimed at crowd-funding the event. Please support by spreading the word and, if at all possible, making a financial contributing. Booktown Richmond is in your hands. Forever BoekBedonnerd….

You will find the particulars here << LINK |.

BookBedonnerd XIII


October 28-31, 2020

A Richmond Community Development Foundation Project

Below is a list of writers that are headed to Richmond. Most have been confirmed, some are waiting to see if they survive the Corona virus😁. Or what their university commitments look like once Corona virus turmoil is over. Whilst a handful are on my hitlist whilst I search for their email addresses 🤭🤭. As you can see the list is quite well advanced, given that the SA INDEPENDENT PUBLISHERS AWARDS entrants are still to be factored in.
  1. Prof. Anton Harber's new book
  2. Pieter Louis Myburgh (t.b.c) Gangster State The Republic of Gupta
  3. Prof. Kathy Munro The Humble Post Card… and Karoo Heritage
  4. Prof. Ashwin Desai Wentworth and the Beautiful Game
  5. Carla van der Spuy Plaasmoorde Blood on her Hands
  6. Nico Moolman Russia in the Anglo Boer War
  7. Diana Ferrus TBA
  8. Gaireyah Fredericks & Jaja Binks Pedro. Kaaps oppie Richterskaal
  9. Hannes Visser. Die dag toe pa
  10. Steve Wimberley Adventures Of Dr Grumble
  11. Dorian Haarhoff Writing Workshops
  12. ATKV Schools Project/ Storytelling
  13. Prof. Carman Miller Anglo Boer War
  14. Antony Osler (t.b.c) Spinning a Yarn. Zen master storyteller of the Karoo
  15. Angie Butler  Shackleton’s Critic, the Life and Diaries of Eric Marshall 
  16. Terry Crawford Brown (t.b.c)
  17. Carina Stander Die Bergengel
  18. Gisella Ullyatt Die waarheid oor duiwe
  19. Sandra Shell (t.b.c)
  20. Andrew Pike The Oceanos Rescue
  21. Philip Kretzman (t.b.c) Vet Tales
  22. Thomas Mollet Annie Dewani Murder
  23. Antoinette Pienaar (t.b.c) Spinning a Yarn
  24. Christine Barkhuizen le Roux. My naam is Prins, ek slaap met die lig aan
  25. Anel Heydenrych. Die Afloerder
  26. Tania Smit . t.b.c
  27. Hedi Lampert. The Trouble With My Aunt
  28. Kevin Chaplan. Can Do
  29. Paul Weinberg. Photography
  30. Darryl Earl David / Sheritha David – Travel Memoir
  31. David Butler – Drama Performance
  32. Gert Vlok Nel – Poetry Reading / Concert

South African Independent Publishers Awards (SAIPA)


Call For Entries

The SA INDEPENDENT PUBLISHERS AWARDS, hosted by Booktown Richmond is the only such competition to honour the best self-published books in SA. We accept books in all categories, except educational textbooks. From comics to memoirs to fiction to photography, we eagerly await your entries. If your book defies categorisation, we will create one!!! There is no entry fee. All you have to do is post 3 copies of your book to DARRYL DAVID who will then distribute the books to judges. However, where judges are not Cape Town based, you will be required to post individual copies to judges.

Please see our write up about the 2019 SAIPA AWARDS. < LINK |

For further details kindly contact Darryl David on or 0813918689. We look forward to receiving your entries.

Postal Address. 
UWC Belleville Campus
Faculty of Education
Room 68B

Forever BookBedonnerd

Richmond Community Development Foundation
P.O. Box 1608, Parklands, 2121, Johannesbug, South Africa
33 Loop Street, Richmond, Northern Cape, South Africa
Registration number: 2008/00/1433/08

Copyright © 2020 Booktown Richmond, All rights reserved.

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