16 October 2017
Far too little notice has been taken of a recent statement by the South African Reserve Bank that "the 2010s will be the second-worst growth decade in South Africa's post-war economic history."'
Recorded in its Monetary Policy Review published earlier this month, the statement amounts to a damning indictment of the management of the economy by the ruling African National Congress (ANC). The economy is "stagnant" despite "strong" global growth and easy financing options. Domestic growth has stalled because of "political and policy uncertainty" which has "depressed confidence". As a result, "investment is contracting" and potential growth is "very low".
Taking into account growth since 2011, and the bank's expectations over the next few years, the current decade will probably see average growth of 2% or lower. The worst decade in our post-war history was the 1980s, during most of which PW Botha ruled the roost.
That was the decade in which violence flared up in response to Mr Botha's plans to introduce the tricameral parliament, representation in which was confined to the white, coloured, and Indian minorities. The ANC and its allies launched the "people's war" designed to make the country ungovernable. People were burnt alive by being "necklaced". Images of policeman sjambokking demonstrators had foreign television audiences riveted, states of emergency were declared, and thousands were detained.
South Africa was also at war in Angola against the MPLA and its Russian and Cuban allies. When the Commonwealth sent its so-called "eminent persons group" in an effort to bring peace to the region, the South African Defence Force torpedoed the mission by attacking ANC targets in Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.