The government and the African National Congress (ANC) need to accept that they have been in charge of the country for some 26 years, and that its difficulties reflect in large measure the choices they have made over this period.
This message from the Brenthurst Foundation is contained in an article by director Dr Greg Mills and research director Ray Hartley.
Taking their cue from recent remarks by President Cyril Ramaphosa about the need for change and economic inclusion, the writers questioned his assertions.
‘The problem with this latest framing of the economic problem is that the state of the present is blamed on events that occurred prior to 1994 and on those since the advent of Covid-19. The intervening 26 years during which the ANC has governed as a super-majority are left out of the reckoning as if they did not exist.’
They went on to say that all major political decisions had been made by the ANC and those appointed by it. These included, unfortunately, a number of severely misguided policies, of which the politicisation of the state (and subsequent draining of its capacity) were arguably the most damaging.
The result was that that the country’s administration became a vehicle for patronage, and was ill-suited to addressing South Africa’s challenges.
They noted that government’s plans indicated a determination to continue with the current course.
‘Greater state intervention in the private sector, which is what Ramaphosa appears to be proposing, will further deter investment and weaken the economy. Ramaphosa is making a choice which goes against the advice of all serious economic policy institutions – which will result in greater debt, shrinking the space for business and decreasing the likelihood that jobs will be created. He must own that decision when its consequences come home to roost.’
The full article can be read here.
[Picture: Paul Weinberg, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26754876]