OUT TO LUNCH
I’m not quite sure what to make of the Zondo commission and, more particularly, its timing. Here we are just a few months away from probably the most significant general election since 1994 and the ANC are revealing themselves to be not a basket of deplorables (to quote that woman from the USA) but more a container ship of deplorables. Is there anybody in the highest ranks of the ANC or amongst their deployed cadres who hasn’t had his or her hands in the till?
And we’re not talking petty larceny here; a laptop “accidentally” removed from the office for personal use or the occasional fake expenses slip. These are serious crimes they are accused of and it would be reasonable to expect quite a number of people being led away in handcuffs and leg irons before too long. Which, given the lethargy for which our prosecutorial services are well known, is not going to happen.
So what is the point of Zondo? Is it a ploy by the ANC to “come clean” ahead of the election and treat the whole thing as a sort of mass confessional, with the people of South Africa playing the collective role of confessional priest. And once their manifold sins and wickedness have been confessed are we then supposed to forgive them their trespasses because they have erred and strayed from their ways like lost sheep and vote them back in for another five years of looting and pillaging?
Is it part of Cyril’s famed “long game” to call out all the rotters ahead of the election so that he can get rid of them and start with a clean government. In which case we can look forward to a very small cabinet before too long.
Or is it simply a case of the comrades giving us a big fat middle finger and taunting us with what they have stolen from the country so far knowing that it will only annoy a very tiny percentage of the country’s citizens, probably the 4.9 million who apparently contribute 97% of all personal tax. That leaves about 52 million people who don’t have skin in the game and really couldn’t care less.
The sheer, jaw dropping scale of thievery carried out by the ANC and their cronies over the years beggars belief. In a normal democracy it would block them from ever forming a government again. In China the problem would have been swiftly sorted out by public executions in front of a firing squad. But we like to do things differently down here on the southern tip.
Thanks to the lamentable state of our education system the majority of our “learners” (a wonderful lefty term for kids who don’t learn very much) face a hopeless future of continuing poverty in a country with an inexcusable youth unemployment rate of over 50%. Every five years the ANC will come to them and feign concern for their poverty in the hope of grabbing their uneducated vote. They will tell them that there is going to be land expropriation without compensation and the poor saps will think this means they are finally going to be able to move into a five bedroom house in Constantia with a couple of cars in the garage. How will they afford to be able to live there? Easy. All water, electricity and municipal services will be free.
The education system is really nothing more than a production line for future voting fodder. If you have a 30% matric pass education you’re not sufficiently educated to question who will ultimately be paying for this largesse. All you understand is the party generated propaganda that the whites came and stole the land, raped your women and killed your forefathers and now it’s payback time. The curse of colonialism is the gift that keeps on giving, particularly when the whole dangerous myth is endorsed by members of the reviled main stream media like Max du Preez.
We have heard much about the “new dawn” and the hand picked task team that is roaming the world looking for new investment. The reality though is that new investors are not really interested in throwing money into the R450 billion hole at Eskom or any of the other bankrupt state enterprises.
Foreign investors are looking for a return on capital which is why they are called investors and not donors. They aren’t encouraged by calls to nationalize the Reserve Bank because they know full well that a “captured” central bank will be told to print more money to feed the ravenous monster of government corruption.
They know that our labour laws and bureaucracy make it almost impossible to operate a competitive start-up and that the government will tell them who they have to employ and how many of them they have to employ.
They know that we have militant unions here who are politically connected and not averse to setting fire to businesses if they don’t get their way because they know there will be few consequences.
Finally, they know that to do business in South Africa they will almost certainly need to grease the palm of somebody in power. Apart from significantly adding to the cost of doing business this is almost certainly going to put them at risk of a prison sentence in their own country.
So let’s not get too excited about the tsunami of new investment that is about to hit us. If we show that we are serious about cracking down on corruption and jailing the guilty and confiscating the proceeds of their criminal activities then we may change perceptions. But, as we know, the legal process is lamentably ponderous (often by design) in this country and open to political interference.
The harsh reality is that South Africa is governed by a vast criminal enterprise with fingers in pies too numerous to mention. Should we ever again be governed by a real political party things might slowly improve but I wouldn’t hold my breath for that outcome.
Follow David Bullard on Twitter @lunchout2
If you like what Politicsweb does, and would like to continue to read this sort of feature in the future, please consider becoming a supporter through our membership programme, run through Steady, here.