When the official weather service in South Africa gets it wrong, will its forecasters serve jail time?
The ANC government’s repressive clampdown on information continues – this time in the realm of total absurdity. Believe it or not, they are trying to control weather information! If you give a weather warning without written permission of the SA Weather Service you could be found guilty of a high crime and sentenced to as R10million fine or 10 years in jail.
These stupid provisions are contained in a new weather amendment bill (amend the weather?) – which of course has the rest of the world howling with laughter and derision.
How’s that for absurdity! The official weather service will gain a monopoly on weather information at the expense of all of us who need weather reports from all quarters as well as interpretations – including local warnings of tornados, flood downpours and so on. Consider that the SA Weather Service often issues weather warnings itself which turn out to be WRONG (eg warnings of severe thunderstorms which don’t happen).
Weather officials have defended this Bill by saying it is designed to prevent “panic”. Now tell me, when the weather service gets it wrong, will its forecasters also serve jail time?
It’s ridiculous, yes, but the more sinister aspect of this legislation is what it says about the ANC’s mindset and its “national democratic revolution” (NDR). A spectre is stalking South Africa – the spectre of Stalinism.
Once again we have the ANC introducing repressive legislation to protect the state and its bureaucrats. The weather bill forms part of the NDR which proposes that the state has complete control of information and everything else. This Act falls into a pattern of information control and propaganda both aimed to give the state a monopoly over information and prevent the media and others from drawing attention to the poor services provided by the state.
It is also anti-business and anti-free enterprise. What else could you expect from party minions trained up under the regime of Soviet leader Brezhnev and the nomenclatura who were impervious to glasnost (openness)? During the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown, officials got their own families out of the danger zone without informing the rest of the population what was going on. In precisely this way, information restrictions promote cover-ups and corruption (you want the information? bribe someone in office).
Also included in the Bill going before Parliament is a restriction on reporting pollution – in other words, reports of, say, sewage in the Vaal could be made illegal. We have to fight this absurd and sinister Bill tooth and nail and enlist as many supporters as possible. The next thing we will see is that the ANC takes over the role of God and actually controls the weather… this is merely the first step towards universal self-delusion.
Read on – here’s a case in point.
As I write this, a (small) cyclone has entered our weathermap in the Indian ocean. The picture comes from Kobus Botha’s excellent weatherphotos website, which is private and independent, and is the most popular weather service in South Africa. In the first 13 days of 2012 the site had more than 1 million hits.
The cyclone is likely to track northwards towards Mozambique but will probably affect weather in northern KwaZulu-Natal especially the Pongola area. This will happen midweek. The Tugela is likely to be affected by rains in northern KZN (Buffalo). The system could possibly bring rain to the Vaal catchment too.
If I were to issue this weather warning under the proposed proposed weather Act I could be found guilty of causing alarm face trial. Would the same happen to Kobus Botha for supplying me with the information?
Anyway, let’s make officials responsible for their weather forecasts – on pain of long jail terms!