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Opinion - Issac Mashaba - 20 March 2023

Demonstrators picket outside the Helen Joseph Hospital in Johannesburg, 6 March 2023, as part of the Nehawu strike action. Picture: Michel Bega/The Citizen

Whoever said one cannot break what is already broken never considered the current South African government and its deep desire to totally destroy what it has already broken.

Over the past three decades, the ruling party planned – and continues to oversee – the collapse and destruction of just about everything.

With great fanfare, they keep telling us that this is progress and a sign of a resilient democracy. We all know it isn’t.

The government has opted to make us an under-developing country – a title that aptly describes our current status and which fills them with immense pride.

This anti-development stance has been the creator of one of our greatest ills: unemployment. That been driven by another great ill: institutionalised corruption.

We have become the servants to our so-called political leaders. It is the country’s total lack of true leaders that has, instead, taken us down the road of destruction, doom and gloom.

And after so many years in power, the government still blames the evils of apartheid.

With infrastructure visibly collapsing around us, our economy limping along with signs of collapse, declining direct foreign investment, and the country facing a national blackout, our government appoints more ministers, at great cost to the rapidly diminishing tax base.

Solving this problem is easy: increase taxes and work hard to drive away investors.

Our economy is contracting and foreign investors are selling off their SA shares and bonds and fleeing the country in droves. They have become sick of trying to conduct business in a state driven by a failed government. And that is not the fault of apartheid.

Corrupt policemen at OR Tambo, despite being caught for numerous offences, are still in their posts.

The much-discussed Zondo report has resulted in no high-profile imprisonments.

The state-owned chicken producer has spent millions of rands trying to stop whistle-blowers exposing corruption there.

This doesn’t say much for our judiciary.

The contracting economy, largely as a result of constant power failures and uncontrolled criminality, is taking its toll on the country. But the policy the government has adopted to fix this is “better never than late”.

Opposition parties threaten with national shutdowns when they don’t get their way.

Daily strikes and protests by healthcare officials, the police and other critical services are escalating. Hospitals are shut down, trashed and patients are dying. Threats to shut down OR Tambo International Airport are ignored.

Evidence relating to corruption is stolen – no doubt at a cost.

This is not democracy; it is more akin to anarchy with leadership complicity.

Despite this chaos, the government still lays blame elsewhere.

The policy of forcing business practises to only employ certain people based on colour has contributed to the downward spiral. Let us be very blunt: B-BBEE (broad-based black economic empowerment) has failed – miserably. It has resulted in established companies closing their doors and creating more unemployment.

The skills exodus we are experiencing, results from the desire of entrepreneurs to conduct business elsewhere without constant government interference and attempts to take control of the business environment.

Anyway, why aren’t black-owned businesses forced to employ people of other races based on quotas?

Our government saw fit to dispose of the public sector skills we once had. People who understand public administration and services were replaced by people who have no clue – and many of them have fake degrees, as do some of our ministers and director-generals.

This has contributed to the collapse of our public service sector, whose members likewise go on strike when their demands are not met.

But leaders such as ours, who have managed to build nothing and who thrive on hate, can only destroy and lead us to becoming an under-developing country.

‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’


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