Privatising our patrimoine

In 2007, our “democratising the economy” Government introduced the Aquatic Business Activities Bill which would have paved the way for the privatisation of our coastal lands, lagoons and inshore waters. Our friends at Kalipso ferociously opposed this legislation and it was shelved. However, its essential elements were sneaked into law as part of the Finance Act 2008 (Miscellaneous Provisions). Finance Acts are supposed to be for annual budgetary measures, but this one amended the Fisheries and Marine Resources Act (2007) to permit vast tracts of sea to be leased for aquaculture.

The privatisation of our collective heritage continues apace with the construction of ever more hotels to chase the self-destructive dream of 2 million tourist arrivals per year. Our challenge to the Ministry of Tourism about this suicidal policy remains unanswered. First, the northern islets were leased at heavily discounted rates to concessionaires (who just happened to be the ruling parties’ political agents) and now they are being gifted with areas of public beach on the mainland.
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If not you, who? If not now, when?

The Voice of Youth Project is the jewel in the crown of We Love Mauritius. Our philosophy is simple: the young people of Mauritius will out-live parents and politicians, therefore they should have the right to decide the future of their country. As we look around the world we see an economic melt-down which seems to have many components. The picture is complicated, but there is a common thread: debt.

  • Easy loans to poor people caused the housing bubble in the US, which inevitably burst when they couldn’t keep up the payments.
  • Irresponsible borrowing by European politicians, who were bribing the public with unsustainable wages and social services, is killing the Euro.

The sad fact is that the so-called “mature” adults who run our lives have no long term vision. Nearly all governments are running a budget deficit: they are borrowing money now which will have to be paid back in the future. That means by YOU!
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Let’s go retro!

Have you heard anything recently about the MID consultation exercise led by Prof Francois Odendaal? Neither have we so we sent an email to the good professor about the matter. While we eagerly await his response, permit us to enlighten you about something that the government appears to have (conveniently?) forgotten.

In 1994, Vision 2020 – the inspirational product of a ground-breaking exercise in national collaboration – was largely complete. It was not made public until 1997 due to the change in government. We are well over half-way there in terms of time, so what have we achieved in terms of results? Let us remind ourselves how we saw the future some 16 years ago. Continue reading