SA’s economy can’t afford another one of Zuma’s blunders
SA has clung perilously to investment status in the shadow of a growth rate which has clawed its way back to estimates of under 2% for the next two years.
President Jacob Zuma attends a luncheon for world leaders during the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly at the United Nations headquarters in New York, New York, USA, 20 September 2016. EPA/PETER FOLEY / POOL
The recall of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, from an overseas investment roadshow smacks of reckless presidential autocracy that bears little reality to the actualities of this country’s economic situation or, indeed, the parlous tigthtrope South Africa walks internationally.
On the local stage, it signals a contemptuous disregard to the niceties of national governance and clearly demarcates the side of the road President Jacob Zuma has chosen to walk down in an almost certain political high noon.
This, we would hazard, is not about national priorities but rather the stubborn insistence of one man and his cringing cronies to demonstrate that might is right, no matter the consequences.
South Africa has clung perilously to investment status in the shadow of a growth rate which has clawed its way back to estimates of under 2% for the next two years, a taxation shortfall of about R30 billion and an unsustainable level of unemployment of 27%.
These startling figures graphically illustrate where the prime consideration for our far-from-certain future should lie. It is not in the ineptitude and grasping self-serving which has marked our raddled recent history.
Zuma has also drawn a clear them and us line in the sand within the already divided ranks of the once monolithic ANC. This schism has accelerated to the alarming impasse now facing all of us square in the face.
You can pull your hat as menacingly low as you like and rehearse a quick draw over and over, but if global feeling is against you, you cannot conceivably hope to walk away unscathed.
And we assuredly cannot afford a shoot-out where innocent citizens become unwitting victims caught in the crossfire.