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In the midst of the greatest health crisis yet faced by this country – and when the ANC government said the Covid surge is overwhelming hospitals because they don’t have enough beds and staff – more than 200 newly qualified doctors sit idle… because there is no money to pay them.
Yet, we have already spent hundreds of millions of rands on imported health “specialists” from Cuba. We paid the government in Havana for that medical help – it was not offered out of a spirit of revolutionary solidarity.
Now, we learn that Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has appointed 19 Cuban “education experts”, at a cost of R14 million (for far more per person than the average teacher here) to assist us with schooling.
What on earth can “experts” from a Spanish-speaking country on the other side of the world have that our own experienced educationalists do not? A similar question could be asked about the Cuban doctors, water engineers and mechanics who have been recruited by our government to do jobs well within the capabilities of our own people.
And, on top of that, it is costing South African taxpayers hundreds of millions of rands… money which could be betterused creating jobs for our own people.
Yet, this ANC infatuation with Cuba is not about practicalities; it is about revolutionary communist solidarity. It is some form of “payback”, supposedly, for the role Havana played in liberating South Africa.
That ignores the reality that, wherever Cuba has become involved in Africa – from fighting the then SA Defence Force in Angola, to attacking people in the Horn of Africa with chemical weapons – it has done so for payment.
While the ANC is stuck in the “glorious” years of the Cold War, this country’s people need help now. They, and not a worn-out ideology, should come first.