Seventh Edition 17th June 2010Group Areas Act Jabulani’s uncle contacted the UTASA Bulletin’s Editorial office quite peeved. (Regular readers are acquainted with this mischievous, randy, venerable, politically wise “gentleman” who has been absent from our pages for some time now.) This timer is, to put it mildly, pissed off. “To hell with FIFA, SAFA and the rugby board!!” blurted out Jabulani’s malume (uncle). We had to patiently get malume to calm down and express his frustration, anger, irritation you name it! The only way to get this timer to calm down, as suggested by the malume himself, was to get something acceptable down his throatwhich of course in his words is “the mlungu’s firewater”. Believe me not just any firewater but top of the range brandy seeing that malume is not paying!! Probably drinks meths, or some shebeen concocted hooch when he has to buy. With the bottle sitting on the halfway mark, malume relaxed with feet out of boots that belong at the local dump and socks that can stand on their own or literally act as stands, we had to open all windows in this cold weather to ensure that the staff did not collapse from the odor that had suddenly engulfed the office. Jabulani’s uncle (malume) unperturbed and glowing from the relaxing effect of the premium brandy related his supposed concern. “Tish Fisa and sofa feetbull people and govement and rougeby people together with govement (sic) are bringing back the Group Areas Act. Perplexed we enquired how so?? In translation, (malume is now slurry and barely intelligible), and not to quote verbatim, malume’s complaint is that the Blue Bulls have been forced to relocate to the township (Orlando Stadium) and next all the whites, maboere, will be moving into Soweto. So where the hell does Fifa, Safa, Sarb and the ANC expect the residents of Soweto to move to!! EISH!! Realizing the futility of attempting to explain to malume in his present state we promised to look into the matter and get back to him. In the interim we suggested to malume that any maboere currently resident in Soweto should be educated in the township lingo, toyi toying and location of all malume’s favourite spots and sixteen valves (young ladies). BIG MISTAKE!!! This only served to infuriate malume and have us all hopping to pacify him. We managed to get a taxi, bundle malume in with a promise to send in the army and SAPS to clear out these invaders. PHEW!! Make a mental note never to pull this geezers leg again. Speaking of leg, we had to hastily contribute fifty rand each to a brave soul, Oom Koos, who on weighing up the kitty volunteered to carry malume’s boots into the taxi. Enough of malume, we will check this geezer out some time in the future. World Cup The World Cup ignited the nation and triggered a wave of nationalism and unity on a scale and manner that no political party could even dream of achieving. Let this spirit and unity live on long after the final whistle is blown. We should not allow the dismal performance of our national team to damper our spirit. Let us show the world the beauty of our Rainbow Nation and take pride in our diversity of language, culture and colour. One Entry Point The corporate world, governmental bodies, insurance companies and Joe motorist seem to be of one mind in dealing with the towing industry. All favor the concept of dealing with one entity and not a multitude of personas. Evidence of this is the awarding of contracts to a large towing company who in turn subcontract nationally. The reasoning behind this is simple and practical and therefore begs the question why the associations do not follow a similar route. The associations have the membership, call centre, invoicing and payment infrastructure and better relationship with the service providers, putting them in a position to offer an inclusive service to any and all. Recourse in the event of any dispute would be immediate and also improve the location of vehicles after an accident or mechanical breakdown. Captured on the database of the associations are all the relevant details of the service providers including their banking details. The association can easily and efficiently manage spend, in the process also paying the contractors on time. Payment to the contractor is currently erratic with many contractors complaining of having to wait up to one hundred andtwenty days. With the association managing the process payment could be made within fourteen days of receipt of invoice then the associations bill the relevant corporate. Many call centres currently confirm membership with the associations before authorizing any tow so why not allow the association to manage the process by the call centre logging the incident with the association call centre??? The leadership within the associations owes it to their members to deliver a competent and reliable inclusive service. The current situation where our members are driven by circumstances to subcontract to the AA and FAM at ridiculously low rates should be addressed by the representative bodies. These companies realistically did not conclude their respective contracts at the rates offered the towing fraternity; understandably they have to realize a profit and in the process squeeze the towing contractors. INDABA An urgent meeting with our business partners is needed to address the foregoing and also agreement amongst the contractors and associations as to uniformity of process. Our business partners have to be made aware of the advantages associated which they may already be aware of and aremaybe awaiting for us to take the initiative and make the presentation. We have to keep in mind that we are not really out of the recession contrary to what the experts are punting. It may look good, it may feel good, but is it really as good as what we are made to believe. Ask Greece and looks like Spain is about to follow. We are supposed to have escaped lightly because of the sensibly measures taken within our country?? Tell that to the millions unemployed, and ask yourself whether we do not run the risk of Greece and Spain after our World Cup euphoria is over. There are also questions being asked of the Chinese economy. In our miniscule environment let the leaders take charge and address the procurement and payment issue relevant to our industry. ENJOY For the duration of the World Cup let us enjoy and live the moment, welcoming our guests with true African hospitality. Tourism may just be our saving grace in the future so let’s give them our best with a view to them returning. Now could the weather just behave??? European weather in Africa, EISH!!!