Being served a stale waffle with a dollop of syrup when you are famished for a substantial three-course meal is what the South African racing public and stakeholders were dealt today.
The public announcement disseminated this morning by our cash-strapped racing operator Phumelela on behalf of a group of hand-picked ‘significant stakeholders’, who bizarrely choose to remain anonymous, is the latest slap in the face for our troubled industry.
When are our leaders going to finally realise that schoolboy level fibbing, hot air, spin, mudcakes, smoke ‘n mirrors, and the rest of their treacherous egotistical fumbling will no longer work when the last race is run and the sheriff comes knocking for the boardroom tables to be loaded on to the truck to the auction yard?
A very good start to dealing with ‘the challenges facing the industry’ will be to get the numbers – ironically the solitary reference to any hint of ‘fact’ in their statement – closer to the reality.
Estimating that 120 000 to 180 000 are employed within the industry is a clear swipe in the dark and an insult to the intelligence of even the most disinterested civil servant.
A variance of 60 000 on a minimum of a 120 000 is a ludicrous indictment on it’s own that somebody is thumb-sucking.
And it is this very Harry casual approach to everything that will continue to compound the slide to racing’s day zero. That is until a real leader without any vested agendas and only racing’s best interests at heart, says enough is enough of this bull, and stands up.
Admittedly slightly dated figures sourced from an economic impact study and presented by present day NHA Board Member Robin Bruss to a 2013 Parliamentary Portfolio Committee hearing suggested that employment figures in horseracing, estimated at 100 000 in 1995, had plunged to just over 15 000 in 2009.
The industry has continued to shrink over the past decade – and besides the top heavy executive structures in certain offices who are staring down the barrel of a gun, how can they – these anonymous stakeholders – possibly consider the 180 000 to be a true reflection of the reality?
It’s easy to criticise and harp on one aspect. But frankly, there is no other substance in the communication.
And there is simply no time for the ‘additional due diligence, process and consultation’ that they suggest is required to create a ‘single body’, which they so disingenuously summise will be ‘crucial’ to the success. That has been the ignored call for a decade – scrambling the eggs now, may just be too little too late.
It won’t inform you of anything you didn’t know before you read it.
What a dreadfully sad anti-climax.
Click on the image below to read more