From riches to rags – that’s South Africa

South Africa's corruption index has been steadily climbing. We have actually become a world leader in corruption.


It is sometimes difficult to understand what has motivated our government to destroy the country and its economy to make sure South Africa can become a failed state.

There are surely some smaller good things, but they pale when compared with the bad things – and there are many.

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Yet, as recently witnessed, the president likes to boast of the small things, while ignoring the bad and shocking things his administration is doing to ruin the country and its citizens.

Let’s not even start on load shedding. It is apparent that the president has no clue what is currently unfolding and his ministers and advisors are, likewise, disconnected with reality.

The incredible damage this has done to our economy, the growing lines of unemployment and the desire of businesses to leave for pastures where there is electricity has passed the government by.

Our failing infrastructure is likewise of no concern, as was recently voiced by the Gauteng transport MEC, who intimated that our roads are just fine.

It seems those who have complained about potholes and lack of maintenance are just liars.

Maybe if all of us liars were all issued with taxpayer-funded SUVs, we wouldn’t mind driving through potholes.

In some areas, it may be better to drive next to the roads instead of on them.

WATCH: ‘I give you my word, end of load shedding is in sight, the future is bright’ – Ramokgopa

Our corruption index has been steadily climbing. We have actually become a world leader in corruption.

This despite the president claiming that his administration will increase its anti-corruption efforts in 2024.

This undertaking rings hollow when so many implicated senior officials are still firmly entrenched in their offices – when they are at work – or in their fancy SUVs.

With SA’s debt servicing costs already exceeding R1 billion per day, when will the senseless spending come to an end?

Or is the plan to tax citizens to death while our so-called leaders sit on couches stuffed with money?

Our mining industry, once the backbone of our economy, is in ruins. Following SA’s independence, our gold mining output has declined by more than 80% over the past three decades.

It is just another example of the utter failure of government. Our independence has steadily been turning into a dependence on others.

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According to the auditor-general – and as a result on continued irregularities, noncompliance and suspected corruption and fraud – our municipalities have managed to accrue staggering losses exceeding R5.2 billion.

No doubt, crime in SA is a lucrative career – as it government service.

Our lives are interrupted on a daily basis with protests, the likes of which our country has never seen. This is an indication of many failures in basic governance and service delivery.

Instead of spending money to fix the mess, the government’s approach is to recruit more “police”, many of whom idly watch protests and marches turn into destruction and looting sprees.

And to rebuild all that has been destroyed or damaged, where will the money come from?

For some time now there has been a decline in taxpaying citizens, as many have left our failed state. This has impacted negatively on tax collections. It has also scared off many investors.

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Under this administration, along with the projected longterm government debt, it was recently reported that “the National Treasury has increased the issuance of government debt by R2 billion to over R14 billion per week”.

And as our people become even more impoverished, food prices have risen by more than 50% in the past few years. Instead of creating a climate of employment, the government must increase the amount of people getting social grants.

Making false promises that load shedding will soon be something of the past, that corrupt officials will face the full might of the law – which law? – that job creation is in full swing and that our economy is growing, are platitudes to pacify and increasingly angry and despondent populace.

This can only lead to more anger and frustration. Instead of the government trying to poke its nose in the business of others, it should rather fix the disaster it has created here.

And for a government spokesperson to label, in parliament, the work done by government this past year as “inspiring”, shows the sign of an increasing and complete government-citizen disconnect.

• Mashaba is a political analyst

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