One would have thought that it is impossible to achieve a more insane appointment than Manto Tshabalala-Msimang in the national health portfolio. Turns out, not.
What is Aaron Motsoaledi thinking? And WHERE does he find the time to produce draft regulations LEGISLATING THE AMOUNT OF CAFFEINE IN DECAFFEINATED COFFEE? Proposed legislation would, apparently, make it mandatory for ground decaf coffee to contain “not less than 0.12 percent caffeine”.
This question rang in my head, like a crazy bell, the moment I heard Jenny CW mention it on 702 at lunch time. And then I read the story in the Star when I stopped at Vida for a take-away between Atlas Studios and Interbrand Sampson. And then I googled it when I got home tonight. And nobody, NOBODY has provided an answer. Is this an international standard? Does Illy’s water-method decaf actually contain that much caffeine anyway? You would THINK that any journalist worth their salt (WE ARE SO DEVOID, IT WOULD SEEM) would ask WHY?
WHY? WHY? (It’s on the front page of the biggest daily broadsheet in the country. You would hope that the story would get more attention than a 5 minute edit by a junior sub.)
How can this possibly be important in a country where the doctors are either on strike or filling in work application forms for Canada, where the public hospitals are a disgrace, where no working strategy for dealing with HIV and Aids have been put in place and where the concept of primary health care is, well, like… prenatal.
What does Aaron DO in Pretoria? He has devised an unworkable, unaffordable national health plan that has everybody with private health insurance queuing at the Canadian embassy right behind the doctors. Not since then-minister of Safety and Security Charles Nqakula told people to stop “whingeing” about crime or leave the country did the government inspire such horror in me.
Well, maybe I exaggerate a tad, seeing that not much has been heard of the NHI in the last few weeks. But still.
And now… CAFFEINE IN THE DECAF??? ARE YOU COMPLETELY INSANE? WHY?
The single article that has been doing the rounds today reports that consumers have until September to comment or object, or something. But not one word of WHERE this can be done. Where does one log on, write to, call? It is all very upsetting.
I am a big supporter of caffeine, don’t get me wrong. But the principle is so crazy. Why, Aaron, why? Time and resources… and just… sanity… dictate that you should spend your time… better.
I have to go to bed now. I will gather information. This is big. Bigger than Royal Canin and the cat sanctuary scandal. Maybe. And maybe tomorrow I will rework this piece and take out all the capital letters.