This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.
14 Mar 1996: Pahad, Essop
POM It's been quite a bit of time, I think nearly two years since I have talked to you last and your circumstances have changed quite a bit. Can you bring me up to date on what has happened to you post-election and the present position you are occupying in the Deputy President's office and what it entails?
EP Is it that long? As you know the elections in April 1994 led to a decisive victory for the ANC. I think if you reflect on what I said to you previously you will find that I was not that inaccurate about my assessments of the line up of political forces inside South Africa and the extent and depth of the support and strength of the African National Congress, so quite clearly the elections of April 1994 demonstrated that. Let me just add here one thing which very few people actually give us credit for. If the ANC had insisted on first-past-the-post system we would have won more than two thirds, but it is the ANC even before we got to Kempton Park which on its own and looking at the situation this country said that we need to have an electoral system that is inclusive and not one that is going to exclude smaller political parties and therefore we took a decision in the ANC to go for proportional representation. I make this point because it could have been relatively, I think, easier to argue for a first-past-the-post system because this is what they had here before. They didn't have a PR system. I am saying this because that position of the ANC, of having a political system to extend the electoral system is one that is inclusive rather than excluding, I think remains a policy of the ANC and that is then reflected in a whole number of ways in which the ANC act, one of them being, of course, obviously, that the ANC as an organisation and its alliance partners is absolutely committed to a multiparty political system which is now enshrined in the interim constitution and is going to be enshrined in the new constitution that we are drafting at this very moment in time.
POM Is it not difficult to have an effective multiparty system where one party so totally dominates the political landscape? You are hovering around 62%, 63% at the worst of times, at the best of times you will get maybe 66%, 67% or 70%. The opposition parties are so either weak or non-existent, the PAC or the CP are just simply withering on the vine.
EP What you want to look at is, what does one understand by a democratic process? If by a democratic process, if by a representative democracy or an all-inclusive democracy you restrict your understanding of the notion of democracy to merely the level of representation in elected institutions then I think your approach is too narrow. For me democracy is much wider. One, there are very many powerful groups outside of these elected institutions. I suppose in the United States or Britain you might call them pressure groups, over in the United States you might call them lobbies. Whether these are economic forces, big business, big capital, whether it's a labour movement, in this case the three or four rather large trade union federations that you have, but it is the broad civil society in which one would include NGOs, community based organisations, civics, that you have a multiplicity of social, political and economic forces, who each one independently of each other and sometimes together exert an influence, good or bad, is not what we are discussing now, but exert an influence upon the making of government policy. There is no way that the government can make economic policies in this country and hope to implement it successfully if it does not have at least the tacit backing of labour and business. So that's quite clear that you shouldn't restrict people to that in my view.
Secondly, I don't know then what is expected of us. Are we then to say as the ANC and its alliance partners, really the opposition is so weak what we should do is we should go and strengthen the opposition? I mean you're not in politics for that, nobody is. Obviously for us part of the involvement must be to say how do we increase our own strength relative to the opposition with regard to elected institutions?
The third thing is, and there is no guarantee with respect of this, but really to come to the first point I was making, is to so create the conditions in which democracy flourishes that you make it well nigh impossible for forces within the military or outside the military to want to take over and there are examples in the United States a beautiful book which was turned into a film, 'Seven Days in May'. There have been examples in Britain where army generals did get together and at least discuss theoretically the possibilities of staging a coup d'etat. I think in both instances what prevented these military officers from proceeding with their ideas, one of them certainly was the fear that such a coup would be unacceptable to the vast majority of the people. And I think in the long run it is creating those kinds of conditions which would best protect your democratic society than the whole load of other words about whether you've got 60% or 70% because that's the wish of the electorate. Lastly, I think it's wrong to make an assumption, except if you are Mexican I suppose, that a political party will for ever and ever be the only or the major political representative of your electorate. I mean that party has been power for that long. And I think that as long as the system allows, and must allow, for the possibility of change that becomes a central element of democracy. So it does not worry me that we are going to try to get a two thirds majority in 1999. It must worry the opposition parties.
POM Do you find, not criticism, what might be the right word, or the continuous pointing out on the part of either critics or commentators or whatever of the government, particularly in the media and in academic circles, that already South Africa is bordering on being if not a one-party state at least a one-party democracy? Do you find this irritating that they are concentrating their critique of governance on the wrong things?
EP Not so much irritating as disappointing. Disappointing in the sense that one is then not sure what is it that these people want. Many of them were not too unhappy with the National Party one-party state of the last 25 years in this country. Hermann Giliomee, for example, who writes quite a lot, OK Hermann was a bit of a critic of the National Party but I think Hermann is a conservative. That's fine, he has conservative ideas and therefore as a conservative he will move in a certain ideological direction where he can phrase it in all kinds of nice academic jargon, but basically he is conservative. I think basically a lot of the other commentators are politically conservative, which is fine, it is absolutely no problem at all because you need to have criticisms from different sides and different angles. But what is disappointing is that their approach seems to be, and I don't want to be unfair to them, but sometimes I read them to say, well you see now that these blackies are there you must be careful, we don't really trust these blackies, look what's happened in the rest of Africa. Blackies will be more easily prone to authoritarianism and all of this kind of stuff. Now they don't say that openly but I think there is a kind of hidden, I find anyway reading those pieces, a kind of hidden implication about these blackies and I think that that's sad because if these people were honest and honestly commentating and wanted a strong opposition force which is ideologically conservative, fine, go and argue the case, go and build the case. If you want to be a Pat Buchanan it's no problem, go and be a Pat Buchanan, find conservative ideas that you think will be attractive to the electorate whatever the colour of their skin . But they don't do that. They do something else, they write these kinds of approaches. Frankly, let me tell you this, it might have some kind of resonance in the conversations of the chattering classes. It doesn't have a resonance.
POM Sorry, of the which?
EP The chattering classes.
POM The chattering classes? We use that in Northern Ireland. That's our phrase.
EP Is that so?
POM We created that phrase.
EP Then I'm very glad I've used it, I'm even happier. But my constituency which is the North West Province, pretty rural area where in the local government election in the rural areas we got I suppose between 75% - 80% of the vote, they are not worried about this one-party state business, they are worried about simple basic things of life. So I don't know who these people are speaking for. The other problem is that instead of educating the ones who need educating most, and that's these very backward, basically backward, politically backward white population, never mind how much money they have and never mind how many academic posts and that they occupy, they are leading them in the wrong direction in my view. I think they would do a greater service to South Africa if they actually started trying to teach these people about democracy and non-racialism and non-sexism.
POM This is almost an aside, did you read Giliomee's address to the SAIRR where he talked about the future of liberalism in South Africa which was making the case that it's already verging on one-party democracy so liberals have to be particularly vigilant of maintaining and being the watchdog for liberal values?
EP Yes that's a problem.
POM Do you think they are all code words for, again, what you said?
EP Basically the code words for conservatism, Giliomee is certainly a conservative but nobody has the courage at this moment to stand up and say 'I am a conservative'. Everybody then wants to operate under the umbrella of this notion of liberalism. God knows what it means incidentally.
POM Is it dead?
EP I don't know what it means.
POM Neither do they.
EP It's been a phrase that's bandied about. Now there's a Liberal Party in England, on some of its policies quite close in my view to the Labour Party and on other policies not. But there are liberal parties in other parts of Europe that are pretty right wing, sometimes more right wing than some parties that are calling themselves conservative. There's a political label attached to this notion of liberalism but in its classical sense in which the individual is supposed to be far greater than the collective or the whole, what does it mean in South Africa? Your constitution protects and gives perhaps more protection in this constitution than almost any other constitution in the world to individual rights. Some people might regard it as a liberal value. Fine, but we think that that's a fundamental starting point for us, don't label it whether it's liberal or not liberal or social-democratic, whatever it is, but its fundamental that you proceed from that. But if you get stuck in that milieu I don't think you can move ahead, that's the first thing.
Secondly, if in South Africa the economic policies of those who call themselves liberal are basically around trying to reduce the amount of state intervention in the economy then obviously what you are arguing for is that the status quo should remain. So what is the status quo? Quite clearly the greatest amount of wealth and therefore influence in the political, economic, social sense is vested in a minority. So they get very upset when Tony Yengeni stands up in parliament and says that these whites got rich by stealing from the blacks. The fact of the matter is that the whites could not have had the high standard of living they enjoy without the exploitation, super-exploitation, of the majority of the people of South Africa.
POM Now how do you equate just what you said with the policy regarding privatisation? Did you ever see the day when you came back to this country that the ANC and the SACP as the parties of nationalisation and the parties that stressed the need for government intervention in key sectors of the economy would become the party that would advocate the privatisation of many of the companies and industries it previously said should be nationalised?
EP I'll come back to whether we are talking about privatisation or not and it's not just semantics. Obviously, as a communist and I think the South African Communist Party as a whole, following the collapse of socialism in the Soviet Union and in Eastern Europe had to have a re-think and we've discussed this before, about a number of given truths or what was assumed by many of us as a given truth, we did not really interrogate that because it was so true. Obviously that had to be re-examined and so it's not therefore surprising that what was perceived to be a very clear cut position that there is a change in understanding. That's the first element.
The second element, I would say that in terms of nationalisation inside the SACP, I mean there are different views as I think I did express before on a whole number of questions, and there quite a number of us who had been arguing from about 1990 already that the issue is not 'nationalisation or not nationalisation', the fundamental issue is the level and depth of state intervention in the economy. Secondly, the enormous extent of monopolisation of the South African economy by four or five of the big houses in this place and therefore even from a capitalist point of view competition was seriously lacking in this economy. So we were then arguing anyway that there was a complexity involved here that needed to be taken into account. Inside the ANC surely, of course, having a powerful, quite a strong ANC Economic Department, a lot of thinking was going on inside the ANC certainly around these kinds of issues.
Thirdly, of course, once you do come into government you are faced with a number of choices. It doesn't matter who is in government you are faced with a number of choices and in pursuing your policies you are faced with constraints and the fundamental constraint in South Africa is easy, there isn't enough money to do all the things you want to do. But people can be critical of government policy, that perhaps government policy concentrates too much on budget deficit, perhaps it interprets too narrowly the question of financial restraint and so on and so forth. But on the whole I think that people find that once you are in government there are these restraints placed upon you. But coming back to privatisation it is quite clear there is a lot of pressure on the South African government to privatise. For example, and I use the word privatise in this case, from the same South African monopolies who control this economy ...
POM That's the four or five big companies?
EP Yes, go and privatise tomorrow and what's going to happen? So on the one hand they unbundle and on the other side they will up the other thing and you will not have done anything to change the nature of your economy. Secondly, it's interesting that some very conservative, including leaders of the Conservative Party from Britain, who in discussions with the Deputy President did say, "Please, Deputy President, don't make the mistake we made in Britain, don't be in such a hurry. We say privatise because it's correct economic policy but don't be in a hurry, don't just go around privatising because you'll run into problems." I think in South Africa we've gone for another route which is a better route which we call restructuring of state assets. In terms of the restructuring of state assets you may possibly sell off something or parts of something but you're not selling them off in the sense of taking them and selling them off. If you take Telkom for example, it's quite obvious that Telkom needs a strategic partner to do a number of things and it cannot generate sufficient capital on its own to do that and if it had to go on to the market to borrow it's going to pay off for so long that it will have no hope of becoming really profitable. At the moment Telkom speaks about a million homes to be electrified.
POM Telkom or ESCOM?
EP No it's Telkom that's involved together with ESCOM in this. I mean a million telephone lines, not electric, telephone lines. Too narrow an approach because really what Telkom should be looking at is the totality of the information super highway. A million telephone lines are important but they can't be the be-all and end-all of your approach to this fantastic explosion in the information super highway thing, with fibre optics and all of these things. No, once you say that then you're talking investments of billions, billions of rands, ten, twenty, thirty billion rand. But is has fantastic spin-offs. You have an information super highway in this country you immediately transform the distance learning programmes in this country for a start. You make all kinds of things accessible to the remotest rural areas which need it most. So what I'm really saying is that that's restructuring of your state asset. OK, it's not selling off anything but it's actually expanding and bringing somebody in so you haven't sold anything but you need to do that.
Two, restructuring also means changing the bloody management patterns in this country. Right now we're about to change the law, the chief executives of some of these parastatals like Transnet did not even have to get the permission of the board to play with state money, the major stakeholder being the state need not be consulted by this chief executive in order for this person to do his or her work. It's a ridiculous state of affairs but the National Party wanted it because they wanted to concentrate it in the hands of those people who are now at the moment chief executives of these parastatals. We are going to change that now, we are going to empower boards, not the government, to intervene. You set up an independent board in whom you have confidence and trust to run this. In the end they must be accountable to the major stakeholder which is the government. So that's what you call involvement of the labour movement in the entire process and then ultimately in the running of these parastatals. That's restructuring. So restructuring is a very broad concept.
POM So if you had to distinguish between on the one hand the Conservative Party's (in Britain) conception of privatisation or whatever and the concept here, what would be the main points of contrast and difference?
EP First of all conceptually. There conceptually it was taking a public utility and selling it off. They might have said we'll sell off and people can buy shares and everything else, the fact of the matter is that it was sold off, the state no longer has any stake in those things and if it wanted to in ten, fifteen years time, buy it back, they are going to pay one hell of a lot of money for it. So what the Conservatives have done is sold off this family silverware, as MacMillan put it, and you are never going to get it back until you become super rich and then you can buy it back as antique pieces at twenty times the price at which you sold it. I think it's wrong.
Two, I don't think there was enough discussion with the labour movement in Britain. Indeed the labour movement was hostile to it, the TUC. And so the whole management structure even in this privatised thing is basically anti-union, part of Thatcher's union-bashing measures.
Thirdly, frankly when I lived in England, I haven't lived there now for some years, I haven't seen the service has improved any, but the charges certainly went up. So if you took gas and electricity and your central heating wasn't working and you called somebody there you had to pay them 25 pounds or 30 pounds just to come and knock on your door. The charges went up. You are paying more and not necessarily for a better and more efficient service. So I am not sure in my own mind what the privatisation has done except that for a given moment in time it gave the British Conservative Party government an additional sum of money to play with. But once you've bought your toys that money is gone. These are resources of the state by and large and I think they should be protected as such.
And lastly there are a number of things one has to weigh up whether they are just pure commercial ventures or are they essential for the improvement of the quality of life of our people in this country, unlike maybe the United Kingdom, what becomes critically essential? Just access to clean water, it's not a matter for privatisation to get some private water company. Why should they be interested in whether or not an African woman in the rural areas must walk ten kilometres to get water for her daily needs? But we would be. Not only we would be but we must be because that's why so many of us entered this political struggle in the first place, not to come and sit here as an MP or to sit here to be Parliamentary Counsel to Deputy President Mbeki, but because we were genuinely driven by this tremendous feeling that we had to be involved in trying to improve the quality of the lives of our people. So it's quite clear the same would apply to electricity where such a large part of our population is denied access to electricity.
POM So when COSATU initially raised hell about privatisation was that a misconception on their part?
EP No, no, no, it wasn't a misconception on COSATU's part as such. Where COSATU was right was that a process had begun in NEDLAC where the trade union movement was being consulted on these questions and unfortunately the government publicly announced its package without this process of consultation with the trade union movement having completed its course and obviously COSATU and the other unions were very angry, quite rightly so, thought what is going on, why is the government acting in this odd manner? We are engaged in a series of negotiations, those negotiations hadn't been completed, and here now they go and declare all of these things without first telling us. So there was quite clearly a mistake, in my view, on the part of government. So the mistake was not in Cabinet making a decision, that's Cabinet's independent right to make its own decisions, but having made the decision to go and announce it without first going to the trade union movement and discussing it with the trade union movement, so I don't think COSATU was, in my view, wrong. I don't think, similarly, in the view of the Deputy President, he understood why COSATU took the position that COSATU took.
POM One would think that there are people around the Deputy President who have the political sensitivity to point out that making a statement on such a sensitive issue as anything to do with privatisation or restructuring of state assets without adequate consultation with the unions was going to immediately raise the red flag with the unions.
EP No, let me say that the Deputy President did pose the question to the Cabinet ministers in which he asked, "Is everybody on board? Is there something that we haven't done?" and everybody said, no it's fine. Now where criticism should be directed I think is at everybody in government, not to single out any particular person or department, that having made the decision, and this is my personal view, then perhaps a little bit more thought should have been given, or a great deal more thought should have been given before going public, to say well have we really finished all our consultations because it's true we are consulting with COSATU, it's true we have said we will go back to COSATU on this thing but are COSATU expecting us to go back to them before we make our announcements, must this become detailed information? But they actually have quite important repercussions. So if there is blame to be apportioned I would apportion it to government as a whole, not to any specific individual land not to any specific ministers or anything.
POM Now there's this ongoing consultative process with COSATU regarding the nature and extent of what you call the restructuring of state assets and it will be a programme that will be executed with the consent of everybody being on board?
EP Well of course that's the hope. I want to come back to what I said earlier, that in present South Africa you cannot hope to implement economic policies without having at the very least the tacit support of labour and capital. It's not possible. So once you understand that you then understand that government is obliged to do a number of things. I would say in the case of the ANC it's not a matter of obligation, it's a matter of proceeding from our own understanding of what is necessary that you want to do, that therefore you eventually got NEDLAC in place because our own understanding showed us that this becomes necessary. I think that's the approach and I don't think one should be misled by organisations like SACCOB and all of these things because it's OK, Raymond Parsons and them can pontificate and shout, Raymond Parsons who is the Director General of SACCOB. But the real big boys in the end just have very realistic assumptions to make and approaches to what is going on. Lastly, let me say that I think not in the last 25, 30 years has so much confidence been shown in the South African economy, with all our problems and they are large, because I think by and large people are convinced that at least we in South Africa are not easygoing, spending or throwing money around like confetti, that we are quite serious about an approach which is consistent with fiscal discipline. We would have had a budget that would have been popular but led to greater government borrowing. We didn't. I don't know if you read yesterday's budget speech or heard about it?
POM I sat through it.
EP Oh you did? Well you see quite a balanced budget, quite a realistic budget. I think if anybody wanted to know what the ANC is serious about doing the budget in itself was quite a good expression.
Now I've got to rush but let me say something, we didn't answer your question about how I feel. It's very difficult to describe how one feels because once one got into it I can tell you, you didn't have time to think about it. I am Parliamentary Counsel to Deputy President Thabo Mbeki. We have taken the thing basically from the British system where they have a Private Secretary for the ministers but here in our country they didn't want to call us Private Secretaries so they decided to call us Parliamentary Counsellors, but in essence the task is the same, but in South Africa only the President and the two Deputy Presidents are entitled to have a Parliamentary Counsel. The principal task is to be his link between his office, himself and parliament itself and members of parliament, to keep him abreast and informed about developments in parliament, about what's going on, what's going on inside in fact, can know about it, inside our own organisation, inside other organisations. He has got other advisors and together with other advisors one gives advice.
POM How has your moving from the Marxist, which you were very steeped in, I would assume at one point Marxist philosophy and thinking, to your thinking today, how has your thinking changed and evolved and do you still find an internal consistency to it or has it fundamentally moved in a different direction? That's a nice one for early in the morning!
EP I hadn't actually thought about it in that way, but let me say this, that anybody who knows Marxism and knows it properly and not a caricature, in my view actually understands dialectics and what Marx called dialectical materialism. I think it's a very theoretically and philosophically enriching methodology. But I don't sit here and say, right OK here's a problem, now just tell yourself how would a Marxist dialectician approach this problem. That's foolish. But there's something there which I think, I hope anyway in my own case, helps me to understand some problems a little more deeply than I might have otherwise. That's as assumption I'm making, it might not be true.
POM That is the framework.
EP Yes, but it is for somebody else to judge whether that framework has been correct, but I am talking for myself. So I think there is no inconsistency with that. The second point is whether one interprets Marxism and a whole lot of other revolutionary writers that have appeared in a dogmatic manner or one again uses the framework, the methodology to try to take as critical an approach to issues as is possible and not be hidebound by what one might consider to be some ideological stereotype.
POM By some ideological stereotype?
EP Well from an ideological stereotype you see.
POM Yes, OK.
EP And therefore I don't find that inconsistent with my Marxist understanding but it may be that my Marxist understanding is very low so I'm not making a judgement on that. Thirdly, I as a Marxist am not a pragmatist, not a pragmatist who just thinks merely because it's a good thing to do at this moment in time or it's a good thing to do because I am going to benefit. No, I think that, at least my own thinking I hope is informed by an approach which says, well it may be a good thing now but what are possible consequences tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. So it's more than just a pragmatic approach to issues and I think that's what Marxism has helped me to do, to try to always look at, if I can, again I must emphasise I'm not at all sure that I succeed in this, it's all theory but that's how I would approach it so there's no inconsistency in my view with regard to that.
The fourth element is that fundamentally I think if one understood Marxism properly it would be to say one had to be realistic in understanding the given context, circumstances and conditions in which one operates. That to me is fundamental to Marxism. Now when you do that you are not just being pragmatist now. You are actually being realistic to say, OK in this given set of circumstances, conditions, contacts, what is possible, what is not possible. We would like to have full employment in South Africa tomorrow. I would love it. I think all of us would, but the reality is that it is not going to happen. The reality is we're facing a huge problem of 40% - 50% unemployment in this country. The reality is that the vast majority of our people are poor, destitute. So the reality is, as I say, they might want access to clean water which is a far cry from saying I want a Toyota Camry silver grey.
POM Did you often find just in that context that living in Cape Town or in Pretoria or in Johannesburg that it takes one out of touch with the real realities of the country?
EP I think there is an inevitability to some extent and the British system of constituency-based elections partially only addresses that but I think the members of parliament in Britain face a similar problem as they do all over the world, not because you don't want to but because the nature of the work is such that if you are in Britain and the House of Commons is sitting and you are an MP for Aberdeen there is no way you are getting to Aberdeen except on a Friday afternoon and maybe having a surgery on a Saturday. So quite clearly, yes, that is that. So that is just a sheer problem of time which creates a serious problem. I have a constituency office in Klerksdorp, I am going there tomorrow. That means I must go from Cape Town to Johannesburg where my family is and I have to say hi and then off I am to my constituency office, but that's my constituency office, but the entire constituency how do I service them? It's very difficult. We have tried, we employ field workers and others who have to go out into the field, interact with all of the different organisations, come back to us, bring their problems and all of those things. So, yes, there is an inevitability of that kind of problem. There is an inevitability in terms of just finding the sheer time.
POM I mean in terms of the contrasts, that this is a cosmopolitan first world scene.
EP Well yes, you see previously, before, the very nature of our work meant we had to go to them all the time. Now the nature of our work means sitting in this office, going to parliament. I now have to leave you because I've got to go to a caucus meeting of my North West Province. After that I go to the general caucus meeting of the ANC and after that I have to have a lunchtime meeting of our secretariat looking at constitutional issues. After that I must go and sit in parliament and then in the evening I must leave for Johannesburg so that I can go to Klerksdorp tomorrow morning. That's life.
POM Two very quick questions. One is, what constraints does a government of national unity put on what the ANC in government can do at the moment, and, secondly, what should the ANC be doing in government now, in your view, that it's not doing?
EP Well the constraints are in any case you have to interact with other parties. There are other parties who run ministries and of course people run ministries in the way they think best, but I don't want to get involved in discussing any individual minister, not until after 1999 then it should be OK but I think right now it would be unfair. No, I think that in terms of government I think everybody accepts that there were quite a number of things that could have been done better, could have been done more efficiently but none of us knew what it was. There was a theoretical understanding, we all read these books about what you do in government, but once you're faced with this problem it's just the sheer task, the size of the task, never mind the complexity of the task of taking decisions is immense. In South Africa we have a culture of consultations and sometimes they just go on endlessly. We go on talking, talking till you're blue in the face but you haven't actually implemented anything so we've actually had to learn very quickly, you must consult but there must be also a period that these consultations stop and you do something because otherwise you can go on talking endlessly. I think that's what many ministers have learnt.
Thirdly, we haven't changed the civil service. We have brought a few blackies in, that's fine, but basically the civil service is what it was before. I think there are some very good people from the old civil service who are genuinely interested in serving the government of the day. There are others who are lethargic, there are others who are hostile but we have inherited that civil service and we have inherited just about the most corrupt system in the world. I mean corruption is rife here. Now you think we have an election in April 1994 this corruption is going to stop in May 1994, of course not. If they were corrupt before April 1994 they remain corrupt now in 1996 but they are there in their jobs. I mean take this police force at the present time, every time you're looking for a car hijacking ring or something, murders in KwaZulu/Natal, there are policemen involved, sometimes police in leading positions. What do you do? So there are many of these things.
I'm sorry, I've got to rush. You can phone my Secretary and ask her for another appointment.