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Genesis 1, 28 says that we should "go forth and multiply, and replenish the earth." Not all Bibles have this "replenish the e...

Friday, December 29, 2017

Cape Town: the city that works for itself

My Letter in the Cape Times on 29th December 2015: This letter shows another reason why a "Water Levy" is misplaced:

"Ratepayers Ignored in City's Grand Centralisation Scheme"

I live in the City of Cape Town, so I will use the City of Cape Town as my example, but I believe this example to be applicable to Johannesburg and other parts of South Africa.

The City, which works for its corporate citizens, providing them with a "red tape to red carpet" special service that us mere mortals can only dream of, is implementing a massive growth strategy to increase square meters of office, conference, hotel and private living space in the Central Business District (CBD) and close to it. This makes the land in the CBD much more valuable, making billions for the property developers and hundreds of millions in additional rates annually for the city.

People are forced to travel into the city where in the rest of the word, cities are moving to decentralised "pod" offices as Shelley Childs wrote about in your newspaper recently.

At the same time, it has managed to change the signalling of the traffic lights near the harbour to such an extent that traffic now goes back many kilometers when the traffic should be free flowing.

This is also applicable in Claremont with its three traffic lights on the M3, which are completely out of phase, and in many cases after the third set of lights there is no traffic, whereas before the lights there is a long queue.

And this is applicable on Strand Street, where I can remember only a few years ago being able to drive the length of Strand Street with green lights all the way. Nowadays, invariably every light is red!

At the same time, the City has built its Integrated Rapid Transport (IRT) system, and in many cases the City has taken space from its citizens to build this transport system. Yellow lanes have been used for a third lane.

Many intersections that used to take two minutes to traverse now take upwards of six minutes to traverse because busses get priority, even if there are no busses when one gets to the intersections.

And then along these routes, the City has prevented the alternative bus and taxi services from operating, thus "forcing" people to choose; either a car or a bus.

So we have a special recipe that the City has developed:

1) Grow rates income as fast as possible in the CBD, even going so far as to ignore the Spacial Planning, Environment and Land Use Management Committee, its own planning body, and even riding roughshod over historical landmarks in its own interest of centralising everything.

2) Creating traffic mayhem by stopping proper traffic light signalling and taking one-third of the roadway for itself.

3) Creating its own special bus service, called the IRT.

4) Stopping alternative operators from using these routes.

5) Forcing people to choose between using their car or using the IRT.

6) And then finally, the nail in the coffin, adding e-tolls, which the IRT operators, owned by the city, won't need to pay. There will be other exceptions, for example mini-bus taxis and others, and 20 percent of the road users will pay 100 percent of the e-tolls.

The law-abiding citizen is being given a choice. Either use "our" bus to come into "our" city where there is work, or be forced to pay an exorbitant amount to use your car and "we" won't give you any alternatives. If the city wants me to get out of my car, then the very least it needs is competition along its IRT routes, for example the IRT, Golden Arrow and other bus services, minibus taxis, normal taxis, Uber taxis or anything else. Only with this choice will I be able to get out of my car.

And lastly, in every other city in the world e-tolls only work because there are alternatives. If South African cities wish to pursue their e-toll frenzy, then I suggest that the City builds a double-decker highway where the top deck pays an e-toll and the bottom deck is free. I believe e-tolls are illegal because the City is working for itself, even though I and many millions of others are paying high rates, high electricity, water, sewerage, and other costs, and I am being ignored whilst this City pursues its own grand centralisation scheme.

[Note on 29th December 2017: Note that I wrote about tolls, because the City was considering implementing them. We have been tolled in other ways, with high rates, water, electricity, sewerage, etc, increases.]

David Lipschitz.
Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance Exco Member, Milnerton.
[I was an Exco member two years ago. Resigned from the committee in 2016]

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas 2018

20 18.

18 is Chai in Hebrew. Life. 20 18 is the year that we choose to remain unconscious or we choose to become conscious. The year we choose to die or the year we choose to live.

20 is 2. One becomes Two, after conception. We are One with God. But there are Two of Us.

As we ponder God and Christmas, we consider our miraculous and precarious existence. Whilst we need to plan for 20 or 50 or 100 years time, we also need to plan for today, tomorrow and next week.

We have such a tremendous opportunity to fix our world. Our personal worlds. Our personal and family and community lives. To be saved.

Luckily in South Africa we live in a lawless society where everyone can do exactly as they wish. The laws are God's laws. They are the laws of respect and compassion and kindness and generosity and peace and wholeness and healing and love and being saved.

The government doesn't respect itself. It is ridden with corruption and crime against itself and its people.

It sees itself as absolute and everyone else as secondary. Well these secondary people can use the Constitution of South Africa, which is quoted by our government as being the world's best, to protect ourselves, our way of life, and our future.

You see, the time has come to listen to the National Development Plan (NDP), developed by a people of South Africa, protected by our Constitution.

The time has come to listen to the Constitution, developed by a people of South Africa.

"We, the people of South Africa Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity. The Republic of South Africa is one, sovereign, democratic state founded on the following values: (a) Human dignity, the achievement of equality and the advancement of human rights and freedoms. (b) Non-racialism and non-sexism. (c) Supremacy of the constitution."
We are a people. Each and every one of us is a people. We are each One. We are each Sovereign. And we Believe that can be One, Sovereign, People, and the Constitution provides us this right. If only we choose to Act.
From 1960 until 2017, the price of Photovoltaic electricity fell from $60 a watt to $0.50 per watt. A 99% drop in electricity price. Over that same time, governments and their utilities have put up electricity prices dramatically.

Look at the Green Renewable Energy Line Decreasing and the City of Cape Town Red Line Increasing.
At the same time desalination has dropped from $100's to $0.60 per kl. Whilst the peoples' water prices have skyrocketed. With an infinite increase from 2016 to 2017 in the first six kl of water given to the people of Cape Town. 6 kl used to be free. Now 6 kl is R31.20. And sewerage charges on top of this.

An example: A house of 4 using 87.5 litres per person per day, equating to 10.5 kl per month: Water price increase from R23.40 in 2010 to R118.42 now, a 500% increase in 7 years, whilst with inflation, our prices should be R30 per kl!!

Our government has told our business and farmers to use less than half the water they used two years ago, "before the drought." So our food prices will rocket even more than they have now, and there will be shortages, not only of food, but also water. And a shortage of water means a shortage of petrol and a shortage of electricity. And a shortage of brain power.

And yet, the 2011 World Cup report starts with "South Africa is a water scarce country." One would have expected the report to start with "What an amazing world cup".

Theewaterskloof was built whilst I was at school, 40 years ago. Because South Africa is a water scarce country. The "drought" hasn't even started yet. We are just low on water because we have allowed a population increase in Cape Town without an associated water increase.

All is not lost.

We know that we cannot depend on our government to fix our problem. All they want is for us to use less and less, and then they penalise us by an infinite increase in our water cost and then a levy to be added from February 2018. We are being disincentivised to save water at exactly the moment when people should be given every opportunity to get to that free water level.

A well run city needs water. The engineers who designed our cities depended on water to prevent disease, to prevent dis-ease. To allow for waterborne sewerage. To allow for crops. To allow for liquid refreshment. Rehydration. Oxygenation. Cleansing.

The engineers still exist. The scientists still exist. The NDP calls for "Active Citizens" to rally and to build the future. The future has arrived. The NDP calls for Communities to work together. Well I would like the people of Milnerton to work with the people of Joe Slovo & Phoenix to create an environment where we all benefit and where our cost of living is much less than it is today. I know many "Active Citizens" who collectively have a wealth of knowledge. We don't need to blame anymore. We don't need to sit back and say "the government" must do this or that. Collectively, we are the government. Let's behave like it!

In 20 18, will we take the opportunity that we have been given to have life? To have the miracle of life? To dramatically reduce our electricity cost, our water cost, our transport cost, our food cost, our housing cost, our clothing cost? We can do it. If only we believe.

Christmas gives us "The Christ". The Saviour. The opportunity for us to Save ourselves. By emulating The Divine.

God doesn't save us. He gives us the opportunity to be saved. If we work on ourselves. If we leave evil (live backwards), we get live. Life. If we leave unconscious. We get consciousness. If we leave apathy. We get self-actualisation.

The opportunity is here. Especially with Christmas starting the next phase of Creation.

We can grab it.


I pray that all of us have an incredible 18 חַי

The Chet חַ is the 8th letter of the Hebrew alphabet. 8 is infinity.  

God is the Infinite One.

8 is the musical octave. Let's make music together.

Yud י is the pointer, pointing us to a new future. The world is created by us every day. We can create the world the way we want it to be. We have this opportunity. We can do it. God has given us all the ingredients we need. And Jesus shows that we can work together to build an amazing future. With kindness, prayer, compassion, generosity.

If only we believe. If only we have faith. If only we want the best for each other.

Dream. Conceive. Believe. Achieve.

Joseph told Pharaoh (the King of Egypt) about the coming famine. Famine came because Egypt didn't have water. But Joseph used the seven years of plenty to put away stocks for the coming seven years of famine. And after the famine Pharaoh owned everything. Because the people gave up their lands for food. They gave up themselves for water. And became slaves.

We must not repeat the tragedies and plagues of the past. If we assume a "business as usual" approach, we are doomed. At we could just miss the moment when the peak of the mountain comes into view and God gives us the Wine and Bread we need to save ourselves.

Let us bake the most incredible bread together. And let's have a land flowing with an infinite amount of water. But let's not waste. Let's build. Ke nako. The time is right. The time is right for the people to make a difference. The time is now.

Keeping rainfall and water tanks clean


Thanks to the Australian Department of Health.

Note that the link I've sent takes you straight to the section on cleaning your water and tank.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

We have reached an unpassible point in Cape Town

The latest "Day Zero". It was 20th May 2018.

Just a reminder that the water consumption in a well run city is 400 litres per person per day.

We are currently at 87 "allowed".

We have halved our consumption in the past two years from 1,2 billion litres per day to 600 million.

Getting from 600 million to 500 million sounds easy, but when you started from 1,2 billion, each 100 million gets more and more difficult until it gets impossible.

And the City made 20th May 2018 "Day Zero" based on the unrealistic goal of 500 million litres per day. Forgetting about summer. Forgetting about the heat and wind. Forgetting about the visitors to Cape Town, one of the top cities to visit in the world. http://www.capetownetc.com/news/cape-town-top-city-telegraph-travel/

We are now at that impossible and unpassible point.

The city must understand that we cannot get below 600 million litres per day.

We need the water we need to use and we also need the water borne sewerage. As guaranteed in our constitution, water services act and South African Human Rights commission, and as guaranteed due to the design of modern cities.

This is the way the City designed our system.

It is truly their problem now.

No more load shedding will work, unless people actually defect in large numbers and just take responsibility for themselves.

The Western Cape Drought - a drought in our minds reflected in our environment - David Lipschitz's 2018 new year message

Dear all

Please note that this article is written entirely in my private capacity as a people. Representing myself as a sovereign. Not representing anyone other than myself.

Let me just say that I still believe that we have the time to do something about the crisis, before Cape Town runs out of water. Let me also say that the Private Sector needs to be 100% involved in the solutions and their implementations.

We are currently at Level 5 and Level 6 starts in January 2018: 87.5 litres per person and Agriculture reduced by 60% compared with pre-drought and business 45%.

This week, I spent three days at the 8th International Young Water Professionals Conference where 320 people up to the age of 35 spent their time looking at the way they do things in 52 different countries. There were also some oldies, like me, 53, luckily 35 backwards, and a few others, lecturers, professors, book writers, ministers, members of government. And although there was a session around Drought and Cities in Water Crisis, Cape Town didn't get more than a passing reference. Yes we have a drought. Yes we know that Day Zero is next year, actually in May next year. Yes, Cape Town might be the world's first major city to run out of water. Yes, if that happens, it might become impossible to live here. Yes, there might be a lot of disease and violence. But no, we cannot have a special session devoted to Cape Town, where 320 people with new worldwide experience can provide their inputs to solving our water crisis. In fact I became persona non grata with the conference organisers because I asked more than once for Cape Town to be pushed up the agenda. I was told that it is an international conference with an international agenda, which I appreciated, more than I can say. I just wanted an hour for Cape Town, amongst the approximately 70 hours of conference sessions.

Although conferences like this are planned years in advance, I do not believe in coincidences. And I do not believe in luck. I believe in Miracles. God helped these conference organisations and young citizens of the world come to Cape Town, where they missed a unique opportunity to provide inputs and solutions and maybe even stick around for six months to solve our water crisis. If I was in government I would have offered every one of them a job for the next year and said, "please help us solve our crisis".

You see, amongst these people were the current geniuses and future geniuses of the world's water environment. And R20 million per month salaries is tiny money compared with the R15 million per day that the City earns from selling water. Included in these people, many of whom are South Africans, are water finders, water collectors, water cleaners, water testers, water engineers, sewerage experts, people studying all aspects of water and sewerage management and diseases and anthropologies related to water. And I'm sure that Capetonians would have opened their hearts and homes to these people and offered them free food and accommodation for "their year off", their "gap year".

And it strikes me as mad that the Cape Town drought didn't have a more centre stage. I know that I will be attacked for saying this. And I care more for my fellow citizens than for the organising committee. I think that a City running out of water is an event that is so far from the minds of these water engineers and scientists that even they don't believe it. Whilst only 200,000 Capetonians are taking the situation seriously and making their own water. The rest are "paying up" and praying that the government will come to the rescue.

And even the 2011 report after the World Cup starts with "South Africa is a water scarce region". And not with "We play amazing soccer". So we know where we stand, officially and from a policy point of view, but as we heard at the conference, there is an amazing distance between policy and implementation. Our government says we have the best policy in the world. The best law. Perhaps true. But poorly implemented. Poorly managed. And never judged.

And coincidentally (note that I don't believe in coincidences) there is a rumour that the South African Cabinet is drawing up State of Emergency Regulations. I am not surprised. If four million Cape Town people run out of water some time in the next five months, then Cape Town will be a war zone. And even if the City invokes Level 7 restrictions and says "no agricultural water and no business water", we will still have a very bad time, with everyone being out of work in a very short amount of time, and all restaurants closing and no cappuccino's being available! And all this on a globe which has an abundance of everything, which the enclosure movement have taken for themselves. Ok, I get that. But in the past these enclosures have ensured that their customers, and taxpayers, still have food and water and clothing. But lately the enclosure movement in South Africa is ensuring that only the elite have everything. And the reason? The elite were trained in Communist Russia. And whilst Russia is not Communist anymore, many South African leaders are.

But all is not lost. Decentralisation and the ability of the private citizen to look after themselves is happening at a more and more rapid rate. You see, for the first time in history private citizens can make their own energy and they can make it faster and cheaper than they can buy it. Private citizens can make electricity and water and food and clothing and money cheaper than they can buy it from any national or international source.

There is a drought in the minds of the ordinary citizen. Until 100 years ago, which is recent in the greater scheme of things, private people looked after themselves. We created our own energy. We collected or stored rainwater. We built dams. We dealt with our sewerage. We made our own heat. We cooled ourselves. We lived in intentional communities where we had friendly societies that looked after us when we got sick, or when we couldn't work, or even when we moved cities, if we needed letters of recommendation, in a time before the internet, so that a new employer "knew" who we were. And friendly societies were created by the world's poor, not by the world's rich. And they were run and maintained and paid for by the "poor".

Who is poor, one might ask? In my mind, a poor person is someone not connected to the grids. The electricity grid. The water grid. The food grid. The transport grid. The tax grid. A self-sufficient person might be considered to be poor. But a poor person is not destitute. And we should not be moving people from being poor to being destitute in the interests of votes.

We had prosecution associations so that we could attack people who stole from us or who hurt us.

We looked after ourselves.

And if we couldn't look after ourselves, then people looked after us. We think back to the "good old days". And some people say those days were bad. If you were a serf living on someone's land, and that someone provided you with food, clothing, a place to live and in return you had to work for them, then that was reasonably good. You did an honest day's work for hopefully an honest day's wage. And if you didn't get paid properly, at least you knew that you had food, clothing and a roof over your head. And of course, water.

(I remember a company I worked for many years ago. It paid people a low wage. But it had more than 10 bonus systems. An attendance bonus for coming to work on time. A production bonus for producing what was required. A night shift bonus for working the night shift. A Christmas bonus, just because it was Christmas. A special bonus if the company could pay the employee's rent each month. An automatic 13th Cheque. A long term bonus, for being at the company for more than four years. Some who had been with the company for 12 years, got a 14th Cheque. A taxi to bring people to work and take them home. Anyone with more than four years experience earned substantially more than the minimum wage. Then the unions arrived, said that the company paid less than their minimum wage, unionised the place, and within 10 years everyone became the same. The bonuses were gone. The incentive to do quality work was gone. The business closed. 150 people were out of work. And their families destitute, in many cases. We cannot look at one variable in isolation. We need to consider the big picture. Just like we cannot look at water income and say it is falling and we need a levy. We need to look at the big picture. And if we tell people to use 25 litres of water a day and we have cholera, then what is the point? We have looked at a single variable and we have said "everything is like that." Note that I am not against unions. Unions got us to an 8 hour day from a 16 hour day. Unions got us a 5 day week instead of a 6 day week. Unions got women the same rights as men. I am just very against the minimum wage, when the big picture is not being considered.)

And then governments came along and over a period of only a few decades, they ruined us. They spoiled us. They polluted our minds, just as pollution in the atmosphere is polluting our air. The pollution in the environment is a direct reflection of the pollution in our minds and bodies. The corruption in our nation is a direct reflection of how dogma has changed the way we think; and we think "this is the way we have always done it" because rulers rewrite history to suit their own purposes, but the internet and global sharing ensures that this cannot happen anymore.

In just a few decades governments created utilities that have allowed everyone to have a hot shower or wash in hot water in the morning. In the past only sovereigns (usually kings and queens) and the super rich had this luxury. Hundreds of people had to plant forests, collect wood, make fires, collect and store water, heat it, pipe it, and then it came out of a pipe for the sovereign to bathe. And then this sovereign had a water closet where xe could deposit xis waste and the waste was magically taken away to a sewerage plant.

People are scared of robots, but there are already so many jobs replaced by "robots" called power stations and lakes and infrastructure, that we really don't need to worry about robots. Robots already make cars and much of the consumer durables we use. Robots print books. Robots mine in mines. Robots chew rock and spit out gold.

So we don't need to worry about robots. We need to worry about our inability to think in a different way so that robots can never keep up with us.

Governments spoiled us by taking away our need to look after ourselves. After all, for the past few decades we just opened a tap and cheap and abundant water came out. Or we turned on a switch and cheap and abundant electricity came out. Or we went to a petrol station and filled up with cheap and abundant fuel that got us wherever we wanted to go. But that has ended. Decentralisation and our ability to do it ourselves has made it possible for us to enclose ourselves in our communities with our own cheap and abundant resources, where we don't have to get up at 3am to make hot water for our shower or shave because we have electricity and hot water, made in the sun, the previous day.

The South African Constitution's Section 27(1)(b) states that everyone has the right of access to sufficient water. And it must be clean and drinkable and healthy to wash in and cook with. And it must be disposed of in a healthy environment of water borne sewerage.

And then the Water Services Act 108 of 1997 took the joint responsibility of collecting and managing and distributing water between citizens and their government, away from citizens and gave it entirely to government.

And South Africa's Third Economic and Social Rights report, published by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) in 2001, defines what "sufficient water means". 25 litres per person per day. And it says that it should be available within 200 meters of where someone lives. And it says that 25 litres is a minimum. Because a citizen has the right to be able to drink, wash and prepare food, with water, on a daily basis. And a citizen has a right to sanitation.

How can 200 central water collection points be created in the City of Cape Town next year be done so that they are within 200 metres of every citizen? And how will the average citizen be able to move the 25 litres that they are allowed to collect to their houses? And I'm talking about fit people. It is bad enough having to lug a 20kg bag around in an airport or a train or bus station. Imagine millions of people carrying 25 litre containers of water home from central collection points. People will simply steal the water from water carriers who have already collected their water. The government really hasn't thought this through. And whilst they are spending R40 per kl for water which they will only have for two years (because "the drought will be over in two years!"), they are missing out on the opportunity of spending R7.50 per kl for water they will have for twenty years. Cape Town needs 1.2 billion litres of water per day from desalination, regardless of whether our dams are full. In fact, at the end of winter, our dams should be full, our aquifers should be full, our pools should be full and clean, and a law should be passed that it is illegal to have salt and chlorine pools and that every pool should be a drinking water source to be used in emergencies. And swimming in oxygenated water is much better than swimming in chlorinated water, and anyone who has read anything about cancer knows that oxygen is a cure for cancer and many other diseases (taking other behaviour changes into account).

And all these documents are set in the context of international standards. But well run cities provide 400 litres of water for their citizens per day. And Cape Town? 87.5 litres. And then we wonder why we are in a drought. A drought where our economy is failing. Where we don't have enough food and water and electricity. Where people (rich and poor) take longer and longer to get to work, because the robots that show red, green and amber lights do not work anymore. They used to be controlled by a sophisticated program, but that was stopped in the interest of cost cutting. But actually the time wasted, the associated stress, the associated increase in petrol consumption and oil and pharmaceutical imports, actually so far outweigh the cities cost saving measures, that it is laughable that we even have people who think this way.

Even in our city we are told that we need a water levy? Why? Because water income is down? Why? Because we have been told to use 10.5 kl per month when in fact we were happy to pay for 40 kl per month, knowing that although we were paying a lot for our water, 10 other families get "free" water because of our water usage. And yet, whilst the City's water revenue is decreasing, their rates revenue has multiplied many times. Because of building; everywhere. Offices being converted into hotels and flats. New Conference Centres. Bigger airports. More suburbs. More townships. Higher home valuations. Higher cents in the Rand charges for rates. And amazingly all this without increasing water and electricity provision. And instead of the new suburbs being told "be self sufficient", the citizen who has lived in Cape Town for decades and who has paid for his infrastructure over and over again, is now told that there will be a levy because he isn't using enough water, because he cannot buy the water that he wants and needs.
And worse than this, in the 1960's architects were told that they could design buildings that use as much electricity as you need. Cheaply and Abundantly. Our city planners and designers, for decades, have designed our water and electricity and other systems to be massively wasteful, in the interest of making more money for themselves. And now they have made it our fault. And we have to pay a levy for their mistakes.
On a side note, in another mis-design, I just finished replacing all my amalgam fillings with white fillings. I started this process in February this year and just completed it today. Amalgam fillings contain mercury, silver, tin, copper. And who wants mercury in their body? I have also been doing a heavy metal detox for the past year and also colon irrigations and I recently did a liver and gall bladder detox. Note that historically amalgams might have been a good idea, but we don't need them anymore. And the same with coal and nuclear power. Historically we might have needed them, but today they are dinosaurs, part of the fossilised fuel industry.
Government has the responsibility to provide its citizens with safe water that is safe to wash in, cook with, clean with, and where the government also has the responsibility to take this water away in a safe sewerage system, and deal with it in an environmentally friendly way.

And citizens have the right to expect this from their government. It is in our Constitution. In our law. In our SAHRC documents.

And I as a citizen have the right to buy as much water as I want! Not the minimum and lowest common denominator of what I "need". If I only have 25 litres per day, I will die. Why? Because I live in a big city. And I need the safety and security of safe drinking, washing and cooking water and I need to know that my sewers and stormwater systems are working properly so that I don't get cholera, dysentery and other lack-of-water-based-diseases.

And I learnt at the conference that one should not store water from a hot water source for more than one day, and I know that I have been doing this in my house, where I now shower once or twice a week and only when the water for flushing the toilet runs out.

An official from our water ministry said that South Africans use on average 240 litres of water a day and that that the worldwide average is 170 litres of water a day and that 240 litres of water a day is too high!

This "fact" is misleading.

Two years ago, the average water use in Cape Town was 150 litres per person per day. Before the drought! And this 150 litres per person per day is about 1/3rd of the water use in a well run city. And Capetonians have halved their water consumption in the past two years, which is commendable and now we use 1/6th of the water of a well run city. But will the city survive if we have too much "grey" and "black" water in it? I know my toilet's cistern water already smells. And as mentioned, storing water that came from a hot source is actually a bad idea! And if you want to flame me, go ahead, but remember that you live in a big city and living in a big city is not the same as living on the land. We need water in our cities. Perhaps this is unfortunate. And perhaps one day we will be able to drink dew. But right now, our cities have been designed to use water to bring water to us, to keep fresh and to take sewerage away from us.

But at the same time as this, our government has condemned its agriculture and business communities and told them to reduce their water consumption. Agriculture by 60% compared with pre-drought and business 45%. Government has effectively told business to close!

In our race to the bottom and making everyone the same and equal in South Africa, the South African government (national and local) have chosen to do this based on the lowest common denominator based on ill defined "human needs" and world wide benchmarks that make them look good, rather than looking at well run cities and countries, and then seeing what they are doing and providing that as a benchmark.

And our government will achieve its objective. Soon the South African citizen will not have access to potable water. And that will make us all the same! We will all be the same as someone who has to walk miles to get water from a river. Except for one thing that has been forgotten. The rural person can get the water. The city dweller who relies on her government to provide the water will be dead. It will be impossible for her to get her "allocation" of water.

And four million people without water is a war zone.

South Africa's "poor" are already making illegal connections to the electrical system.

How long before they start making illegal connections to the water system? How long before the average homeowner, who doesn't have enough water, simply bypasses their meter and consumes and stores as much water as they can? Especially with thousands of new water meters being installed daily, that are faulty. Day Zero, currently the 20th May 2018, could actually happen in February 2018, if people decide to simply bypass the water measurement and payment systems. In which case the City has no income. And Cape Town has no water.

As it is, people have already been advised to stock up on water filters, because of the "coming shortages".

The National Development Plan makes 1/3rd of the responsibility for economic progression and growth the responsibility of Active Citizens. And this active citizen has offered many things to our government. 100 million litres of water per day pumped into the lower Steenbras dam at an affordable price. Electricity at night and at peak time, and free electricity during the day. Taking myself completely off the grid at a moment's notice at any time, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

I have made suggestions that people can "wheel" electricity across our electricity grid. And now I have started talking about water wheeling, where a buyer can offer to buy water from a supplier. Let's suppose I pumped 100 million litres of water a day into the Cape Town Water network. That is 100,000 kilolitres (kl) of water per day. And let's say I had customers in Cape Town who had ordered water from me. I could sell them water at R25 per kl, pay the City R5 per kl to "wheel" the water in their water grid (which I, and many other citizens have paid for over and over again) and have money to run my system, and enough to make a profit and supply free water to those destitute (not "indigent" as the city calls them) people who can't afford to pay.

So how has this government done its job?

It has given everyone electricity by closing the textiles industry, most of the smelters, and by telling its worldwide investment community to go elsewhere by bringing us to "junk" status. By doing this it has dramatically increased our cost of borrowing and our inability to pay our creditors. And when this happens, our creditors own us and tell us that we must buy Nuclear Power Stations and other things we don't need. And we can pay for this Nuclear Power by selling the gas in the Karoo, which our creditors need, and for which we will pay dearly, with fracking, with ill health, with a much worse water crisis and with untold additional pollution and chemicals in our groundwater.

And all the government's additional electrical connections were done without completing Medupi and Kusile power stations, which should both have long been complete and powering two million jobs and another 300 billion Rand for the fiscus.

It has given everyone water, without building new dams or providing new infrastructure. I have been in the "infrastructure business" for 10 years. Watching how our infrastructure is deteriorating, going to conferences where people have told us the huge maintenance backlog (R100 billion for Eskom alone a few years ago) that Eskom and other State Owned Enterprises have. And that almost nothing is being done about it. For a decade, I have listened to esteemed professionals like Anthony Turton telling us about the state of our water resources. And the government hasn't listened.

Since 1994, the South African governments have increased unemployment from 8 million (which was also unacceptably high!!) to 16 million people, in 2017. This might not be entirely accurate as this is based on 20% unemployment in 1994 becoming 30% unemployment in 2017. But I cannot find any reference to the number of people between 18 and 65 who are willing to work, but cannot find jobs. And I am unsure what "willing to work" means. Who really wants to work?

Our government says that it is an offence to use more water than you are allowed. Well
in terms of the South African constitution, it an an offence for government not to provide the water we need and want.
Taxpayers and water and electricity taxpayers are happy to pay more for their water and electricity and food, than they need to, because they know that "redistribution" is required. But they are only happy to pay this if they can actually get their water and electricity. And if they can't they will go elsewhere. And of-course "rents" should be low or non-existent. A client or supplier having to pay someone in a different company or a government department to do their job is a Communist type activity. It existed in the former Communist Countries. And it exists in South Africa.

And paying a levy in Cape Town is no guarantee that Capetonians will have water. A normal company has to invest and borrow and use investors to grow. So should the City of Cape Town. I will pay more for water if I can get it. I will not pay a levy just to have access to water, just as I will not pay a service fee for a connection to the electricity grid. I have already paid over and over for the infrastructure. I do not want to pay this again. And I don't want to pay for services that I won't use. As I have already said, I was happy to pay R1000 a month for 40 kl in summer when the city had water. Maybe you think this was reckless, but back then, the cost to the City was R1 per kl and the city had R960 of income from my water usage for destitute people!

The time has come where the Active Citizens of Milnerton can provide their own electricity and water and sewerage and food needs cheaper and more abundantly than they do now, and our neighbours in Joe Slovo and Phoenix can have free water and electricity and food, and the Milnerton Active Citizen's water and food and electricity bill will be lower than it is now!! And we will not ever run out of water and electricity and food. A community can cross subsidise its neighbour in the interest of health and security. It doesn't need a government for this.

My intentions (not in any order, mostly all happening at the same time):
  1. learn how to make the water under my house drinkable
  2. learn how to make my swimming pool into a drinking water reservoir
  3. create an electrical system to sustain my needs
  4. create a sewerage system so that I don't need to rely on government to take my sewerage away, bearing in mind that there won't be water to carry it
  5. create food gardens and spouting systems
  6. share and open-source all this knowledge
  7. share with my neighbours
  8. help someone start a class action against our local and national governments to remind them about the Constitution and the other laws they have enacted to protect us. One thing most people think is that the government will obey the Constitution. As we have seen, this is not the case. The people are protected by the Constitution, only if the people take those contravening the Constitution to the Constitutional Court. And once the ConCourt makes a decision, that decision is binding on everyone who is contravening that particular provision, because a lower court can use the ConCourt's findings as a basis for their rulings
  9. Rename Milnerton, Mandelaton, in honour of a saint, who saw a Rainbow Nation, for South Africa.
Why am I doing this?
  1. I want to live to a ripe old age? Why? That is a very long story that goes back many lifetimes and I can share it if you like.
  2. I am a sharer and a messenger. I bring hope and abundance. I am a trust-generator. I am the Generator at My Power Station. And I want to show the average Active Citizen that we can take responsibility for ourselves and retire soon, rather than in 40 years time. I can also write about my retirement paradigm if you like.
Thanks for reading. Let's make a difference.

Love and Regards,

PS and NB: I have written this on Friday 15th December 2017. Much of it is from memory. E&OE. Without Prejudice. © David Lipschitz, 2017

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Solving our water crisis

It's time to march!!

Our problem is that we aren't like the Americans or Germans or Israelis. These are the world's strongest democracies, hence why so many outsides hate them so much!

Reason: when the people don't like something they get together: they march; they lobby. After Fukushima, 100,000 Germans marched against Nuclear Power. And this invigorated their leaders to phase out nuclear by 2023 and their scientists and engineers and transport planners and so many others to find ways to solve the problems that ensue because of this decision.

But since 1994 and the end of the Defiance Campaign, South Africans of all cultures have forgotten what got us to our new (promised) land (where the wells are bitter - actually the wells aren't bitter, but just like the Israelites, the people are bitter, fighting with each other rather than working with each other).

We need this defiance campaign back, but not to destroy and not to hate, but rather for brothers and sisters to work together and "love" each other, just like we did in the Apartheid years where we ignored the "rules", sat upstairs on busses (us African whites) and taught in townships whilst we were at university, when we could have been having fun on the beaches.

What I'm saying and I've said it many times is that we don't trust each other and because we don't trust each other we don't work together and because we don't work together, our leaders work against us rather than with us.

Lets work together. Please. For the betterment of us all.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Play the cards right - David Lipschitz's Letter in the Cape Times on 1st December 2017

Much is being written about Eskom's failure and the reasons for it.

It is sobering to think that when Medupi coal power station was originally budgeted, it was forecasted to be complete by November 2015, and Kusile by April 2017. If this 9.6 GW was already on the grid, the fiscus would be earning R286 billion more per annum and another two million people would be employed. Instead of being "R50 billion under budget", as Minister Malusi Gigaba recently said, we would be R300 bn over-budget.

It is time for people to realise that you can tax the input side of the economy as much as you like, but it is the output side of the economy that will make you orders of magnitude more money in income, and also in savings due to not having to pay out so much unemployment benefit.