Everyday adumbrations of folderol in the Lilliputian Karoo

Everyday adumbrations of folderol in the Lilliputian Karoo

The “Oudtshoorn flying circus” story in last month’s Noseweek has attracted much comment, not all of it rational. The story, lest you’ve forgotten, was about how some residents of Oudtshoorn are upset that the peace and quiet has been destroyed by a flying school that trains Chinese pilots, but that like all things Chinese these days, appears to be untouchable.

On 28 November the Acting Municipal Manager, one L Prins responded with a cracker of a media release which began:

The Oudtshoorn Municipality is discombobulated by the angle…the story clearly mimics a Lilliputian cadre of Oudtshoorn soi disant rich and famous… not a velleity of correct information for several country miles of this little gem. And that’s just the first line… surely such a spectacularly unfortunate opening line adumbrates folderol to follow…

At roughly the same time that Noseweek’s story came out, an article on the flying schooll appeared in the Mail & Guardian. Titled, “Chinese Cadets take to sunny skies and braais”, it told in a puff what sort of article this would be.

The M&G article did,however, contain one thing that we found interesting:

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Submitted by : Jon Pio of Pretoria on 2014-12-27 13:37:21
Noseweek's slant on this one is a little threadbare, the core point about no rent being paid is a red herring. Since WWII when this airfield was built, no municipality has been able to rent the facilities at a profit – and why do you think this crowd chose that field amongst many others? The chances of attracting business to the Karoo are bleak. The article also disparages the way the Chinese do business in Africa, they either build something big & immovable in the theft sense or they have full control of expensive assets like new aircraft. Like it or not their tactics are much smarter than those of the West, whose billions in aid have simply disappeared.

Editor's Note
Earlier municipal authorities appear to have run the airfield as a public service, not for private profit. What do you mean by "build something big in the theft sense"? Your drift seems to be that a smarter crook is to be excused and admired. – Ed.


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