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Only xenophobia has the potential to take the X out of Xmas

Only xenophobia has the potential to take the X out of Xmas < News < Bet On Markets

The festive season. Great. Anybody feeling festive yet? Me, I’m just tired. There are still a million things on my to do list and much less time to do them in.

It may not be the 12th day of Christmas just yet, but to conjure up just a wee bit of festive cheer, I thought about my 12 wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

I wish the rand would just sit still. Maybe at R6 to the dollar. I know industry wants it at R7 to the dollar, but R6 is so much more appealing for holiday-goers and it is holiday season after all. And a predictable rand, at any level, is all you really need.

I wish the SA Reserve Bank would cut interest rates again. Now this may be purely selfish because I would like my bond repayments to come down, but so would most readers, right?

And I also happen to think there is room for another cut.

I wish our gross domestic product (GDP) figures would continue to grow, to shoot the lights out. More growth means more for all. If GDP booms, then maybe more jobs can be created.

I wish jobs were a massive priority. The government says they are, but does not always act that way and big business could not seem to care.

How often must it be said — if there aren’t jobs there isn’t economic prosperity. Without economic prosperity, there isn’t enough to go round.

Without enough to go round, there will always be lots of very poor people.

And lots of very poor people means South Africa will always be mired in the Third World.

I wish someone would come up with a cure for HIV/Aids.

I wish Harmony’s bid for Gold Fields would fail. I have nothing against Harmony, in fact I admire the company, I just happen to think Gold Fields has a good business that deserves to stand on its own.

I wish empowerment was working. I think it is in some areas and maybe I am too impatient, but I get the sense that it’s like a CD stuck on repeat.

We are not moving forward with empowerment.

I wish our president, Thabo Mbeki, would stop using his party’s website as his personal soap box.

His tendency to lambast public figures is getting worse. Good sportsmanship in a debate demands a right of reply, but none of his victims are afforded the platform he has.

Also, surely the citizens of this country should be able to express themselves without fear of public ridicule by the president?

I wish people would drive better. The psychology of people behind a wheel is fascinating. It’s the inverse of crowd psychology. Alone and feeling powerful behind a beast of an engine and individuals turn into Attila the Hun with knobs on. Stop it!

Having been in one awful accident, I can honestly say it is never worth taking the risk.

While we are on the topic of cars, I wish manufacturers would stop making such ugly cars. Have you noticed?

We are living in the age of the bubble top car, the jelly tot on wheels look. It’s just horrible and people should not drive them because aesthetically they are just wrong.

I wish someone would eradicate Parktown prawns. I know that’s an environmentally dodgy thing to say, but what purpose do they serve but to scare the hell out of people as they come rumbling across the floor like an insect’s answer to Frankenstein?

And finally, I wish there was no such thing as racial tension or xenophobia. That would be my greatest wish for this country.

I think it may be the root of all our economic problems in the past, the present and the future. Given that it is, after all, the season of sharing, let’s give that some thought this month.

By Renée Bonorchis

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