South Africa is hosting the Soccer World Cup in 2010. This phrase is not news to anyone who hasn't been spending the past year in a coal mine on the far side of the galaxy (or isn't American), but does somehow provide the locals with a slight case of heeby-jeebies. What gets more fascinating by the day is the rush and shambles to construct or renovate the massive stadii that need to play host to the spectacle that billions around the world watch (or hope to watch, we should almost fearfully say). It's impossible to put a price tag on these renovations, it seems, as newspapers around the country continually quote varying figures (and venues!) for the world cup showhouses. Where on earth this money is to come from, is always an interesting debate. Us yaks decided to contribute, by coming up with a way for the South African government to make R2.5 Billion.
Now, bear with me. I use my coins to pay car guards (an interesting, and brilliantly South African phenomenon, generally looked upon as philanthropy on the part of most wit mense). But the going rate for even these sometime useful, generally discomforting services is now a lot higher than a mere copper (nickel, bronze, whatever) coin. And it probably goes up as you jump tax brackets, and your conscience can't let you get away with having buffalo leather seats and not afford to give a dude who's clearly not at the top of the happiness (read: money) pile a buck or two.
This brings me to the smaller denominations. Those that even car guards shun. What, for example, can we do with one cent coins? They are too small to even find on the floor when you drop them (and certainly not worth the time to retrieve). They are NEVER used as legal tender, partly because if you do have them they hibernate to the far corners of wallets and pockets where they make molecular bonds with the material and are impossible to retrieve, and partly because nothing ever costs R2.01. So why bother. Even the mint hasn't minted one of the things since 2002. The yak's proposal: Abolish the things! Now here's why:
In the US, the National Association of Convenience Stores has estimated that handling pennies (one cent coins) adds on average 2.5 to 3 seconds to the time of a cash transaction. Now, the yak has proven himself inept mathematically on the very pages of this internationally acclaimed site, but that's useful information. If we assume everyone makes one such transaction on average a day (excluding Sandtonites from the mean because they are just ridiculous) the average South African presently earns around R36 000 per annum, or 0.5 cents per second. Stuffing around with one cent coins therefore costs you R5.48 per annum. Multiply that by the national population, and you get just over R2.5 Billion.
Once again, a pleasure.Oh, and to all of you in Cape Town wondering just what on earth is happening with the stadium, and where it is going to be built, the Yak heard first hand last night from one of the contractors that the stadium WILL be built on the premises of the metropolitan Golf Club. Yep, no Greenpoint renovation, no Newlands do-up, and no more Met. Apparently the golf club will be given new land. Use it, don't use it
Posted by the yak on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 at 4:24 AM | Permalink | Comments