Thursday, February 23, 2006

how to not be competitive

For the past week Cape Town (the city and outlying suburbs) has been continuously subject to power failures, for hours on end. Imagine the impact on life, business, teaching, just about everything. The worst I am told, and am led to understand, is the lack of information on when the situation will be remedied. See the articles:
Light at the end of the tunnel , and Power cuts cripple hospitals, industry . The notion of being a competitive nation, or in this case region, surfaces, hence the title of this blog. And after all, what´s bad about the event is not the event in and of itself, but eventually the tardy official and seemingly technical response.

This brings me to another point. In Spanish the word ´mampara´ designates something as mild and unexciting as the notion of a screen. In South Africa, a mampara is a fool of the worst degree. For instance, each week in a Sunday paper, a columnist awards the "mampara of the week" award to a someone (a public figure usually) who has said or done the absolute stupidest thing that week. (Something along the lines of the onion award that may be familiar to you.) So who deserves the epithet mampara in the blackouts across the Cape Peninsula?


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