Critical evaluation of the three main political parties’ capability to steer successful land expropriation in post-2019 South Africa: Part 3-The ANC in perspective (12: Prosperity)

Title: Critical evaluation of the three main political parties’ capability to steer successful land expropriation in post-2019 South Africa: Part 3-The ANC in perspective (12: Prosperity)

Gabriel P Louw

iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6190-8093

Extraordinary Researcher, Focus Area Social Transformation, Faculty of Humanities, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, South Africa (Author and Researcher: Healthcare, History and Politics).

Corresponding Author:

Prof. Dr. GP Louw; MA (UNISA), PhD (PU for CHE), DPhil (PU for CHE), PhD (NWU)

Email: profgplouw@gmail.com

Keywords: Analyst, confidence, desperate, expropriation, journalist, perspective, political party, traumatised, violence.

Ensovoort, volume 40 (2019), number 11: 3

1. Background

Many poor, marginalised and desperate black South Africans  regularly support leaders and parties whose policies and behaviour on the face of it run counter to their own interests, only worsening their poverty  and marginalisation.

Supporting populist leaders has been shown in many African countries, such as Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, to have caused more suffering for the poor because populist rhetoric, corrupt behaviour and inappropriate policies crash economies and lead to mass starvation, societal breakdown and violence.

In SA, a case in point is of course the desperate voters who elected leaders such as former president Jacob Zuma; they voted to continue their own poverty and underdevelopment.

The irony is, black poverty increases partly because of the actions of populist leaders, be they in the ANC or EFF, and because much of the support for such leaders comes from the poor, wider poverty means more votes for the populists, even though they act against the interests of their own supporters.1:18

1.1. Introduction (Continued from Article 11)

Article 12 is a continuation of the previous article (Article 11, entitled: “Critical evaluation of the three main political parties’ capability to steer successful land expropriation in post-2019 South Africa: Part 3-The ANC in perspective (11: Introduction)”. The research forms part of a project consisting of 10 articles, offered in sequence which started with article 11 on the ANC. The intention of is to analyse and discuss further the arguments, opinions and viewpoints on the integrity and the ability of the ANC effect land expropriation successfully as reflected by its CVs and Attestations, starting with article 11 and to be continued in this article (12) and the next article.

1.2. Aims of article 12 (Continued from Article 11)

The primary intention of this project (Part 3 on the ANC) is to continue the reflection on the three main political parties by specifically describing the profile of the ANC on the same basis as was done with the previous two articles (Part One: Article 9 on the EFF and Part Two: Article 10 on the DA).

Our primary aim here is to evaluate the ability of the ANC to take care of the land expropriation matter in terms of the empowerment as ruler it received from the 8 May 2019 election. The focus will be on the party’s leadership to detect poor personal and political integrity.

2. Method (Continued from Article 11)

The research has been done by means of a literature review. This method aims to construct a viewpoint from the available evidence as the research develops. This approach has been used in modern political-historical research where there is often not an established body of research, as is the case regarding the abilities of political parties to do successful land reform from 2019 onwards. The sources included articles from 2018, books for the period 1944 to 2018 and newspapers for the period 2017 to 2019. These sources have been consulted to evaluate and to describe the facts that must guide us in the making of an evaluation on the suitability of the ANC as the ruler of South Africa to effect successful land reform from 2019.

The research findings are being presented in narrative format.

3. Results and discussion

3.1. Overview

The manifestos, self-descriptions and public referees of the ANC have already been partly reflected, evaluated and described in the previous article (Article 11), entitled: “Critical evaluation of the three main political parties’ capability to steer successful land expropriation in post-2019 South Africa: Part 3-The ANC in perspective (11: Introduction).”

The public referees of the African National Congress will be reflected, evaluated and described in the under-mentioned division 3.3: The African National Congress: Perspective 1994 to 2019.

3.2. The Louw Appraisal Checklist

The Louw Appraisal Checklist to Assess the Leadership Qualities of South Africa’s Executive Political Leaders and Regimes: 1652 to 2018, will again be used for the quantitative classification and measuring of the political records of the ANC.2 The 82 selective items of the checklist on leaders and governments, quantified in terms of its bad-versus-good-classification, was again applied to all information collected in the literature review of the party’s manifesto and  the writings of investigative journalists, political commentators and political analysts and interpreted as the researcher sees applicable.2

3.3. The African National Congress: Perspective 1994 to 2019 (Continued from article 11)

3.3.1. South African prosperity

The concept prosperity, either in general or specifically, must and can only be read  within the context of the utmost political, economical and social stability. This approach to analysis and to describe prosperity is applicable to the country as a whole, as well as partial terms as to sub-regions, districts and provinces.

Prosperity does have clear markers in governance, such as the specific presence of good to excellent economics, education, law-abidingness, healthcare, governance, employment, financial sufficiency and independence, safe living and working environments, quality housing and service delivery, equal rights before the law, sufficient and safe public transport, an effective and working police force, an effective and working prosecuting and judicial system, a trustworthy and effective government, law-makers and state officials, equality in wealth and opportunities, the spreading of wealth to and the uplifting of the poor, the presence and promotion of a system of stable family life, etc. These markers, identifying good to excellent actions of a government, bring a clear differentiation between prosperity (goodness) and adversity the (badness). To evaluate and decide on a government’s political integrity, its accountability and responsibility to the voters and the citizens — and thus to evaluate and to decide on the basis of the Louw Appraisal Checklist if it can successfully implement land reform — requires an in-depth analysis of the regime’s daily workings; preferably to be studied over a period of ten years and more. In the case of the ANC, we have a comprehensive archive at our disposal, produced by a large contingent of able and skilled political analysts, political commentators, and investigative and crime journalists, published over 25 years and more.2

Reading the ANC’s and Ramaphosa’s May 2019 election manifestos, it may leave the impression in the average reader’s mind that South Africa is a prosperous state and that a predictable prosperity awaits us all in post-2019 South Africa. But, reading on the other hand the reflections of some critical political analysts and commentators, the contrary seems to be true. Prominent among their criticism is a picture that reflects an ANC characterised by poor integrity, lacking the intention to do “good” to all the people and to bring prosperity in all areas to South Africans, notwithstanding President Cyril Ramaphosa’s sincere promises and undertakings since 2017. Barney Mthombothi3, one of the most experienced senior political analysts in South Africa, sees the party rather than the man when he posits3:19: “We know what kind of animal or monster it is, even with Ramaphosa at the helm.”

On the supposed prosperity of present-day and future South Africa, Saunderson-Meyer quotes an anonymous Canadian journalist4:12:

A Canadian journalist friend used post-1994 to say that South Africans were the most absurdly optimistic people that she had ever met. That optimism is shrivelling, turning sour on the vine.

This negative opinion is supported by other political analysts. The post-2019 ANC, as the pre-2019 one, has become also for them an animal, a monster, an uncontrollable beast, which is going to gobble up the country, including even Ramaphosa, before the end of 2024. South Africa’s so-called post-2019 prosperity-in-waiting is a hoax to them.4-7

In light of the above negative reflection on present-day prosperity in South Africa under the ANC regime it is needed to look comprehensively at those businesses still successfully functioning, the status of the economy, the presence of crime, the state of law and order, the workings of government, in general and specifically, under the iron hand of ANC control, etc. This will be done in the following subsections.

3.3.1.1. Business, finance and economic perspective

Conflicting opinions by the business community on the ANC’s practice and management of the economy, as well as the status of the country’s finances, have been seen since the May 2019 election.

For instance, the international ratings agency Standard & Poor (S&P) believes that the win of the ANC and Ramaphosa in the May 2019 election has ensured growth and that it can be expected that a doubling of growth to 1,6% can follow already before the end of 2019. S&P is of the opinion that the Ramaphosa administration will continue with policy “reforms” and that the country is better off post-May with the so-called “reform-minded united majority ANC-party” than what rule by any of the other 47 parties which competed in the elections, could bring. The Bureau for Economic Research at the University of Stellenbosch underwrites in some way S&P’s view and also believes that the ANC will go on with reform.  Hereto Moody’s is more neutral and allows the ANC space to prove themselves during the rest of 2019.8

But the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is far more pessimistic and, other than for instance S&P, points out the ANC’s broad unclear political policy constantly brings uncertainty. The IMF has cut the country’s growth for 2019 from 1,4% to 1,2 % and classified the ANC as a “less stable” regime.8

On the growth prospects of South Africa, Moody’s Investors Service said in the June 2019 Global Macro Outlook report that South Africa’s economy could experience a technical recession in 2019, while Capital Economics cut the growth forecast for 2019 to 0,5%. Nedbank was likely to reduce its growth forecasts for 2019 from 07% to 0.6% or even 0.5%, writes Brown9:3. George Glynos10 of ETM Analytics reports that the long-term decline in the performance of the South African economy is stretching as far back as 10 years and that the contraction of the economy would likely mean that tax revenue would remain under pressure, while the budget deficit would expand from 4,5% to 5% of GDP.9,10  Mpiyakhe Dhlamini10:4 emphasises that in 2018 the South African economy grew only 0,8% (with the last growth of more than 3% in 2011).

One of the best indicators of a crawling economy and a lack of prosperity is the level and numbers of liquidations. Anderson11 states that the total number of liquidations recorded in the country skyrocketed: it went up by more than half in April 2019. Anderson11 shows that liquidations rose by 53,1%, following year-on-year declines of 12,6%, and 9,6% in February and March 2019 respectively. In this respect, the National Credit Bureau reported for the fourth quarter of 2018 a decline (as a percentage of the total number of credit-active consumers of good standing) of 1,9% quarter-on-quarter and 1% year-on-year, while the number of consumers with impaired records rose to 10,16-million during the quarter. Investec is expecting a GDP growth of about 1% in 2019 and 2% in 2020.11

In terms of the use debt (and getting into it) South Africans are indeed debt-enslaved. The October 2019 statistics of the National Credit Regulator (NCR) show South Africans are over-indebted, writes Ngalonkula.13:19 During the the first quarter (Q1) of 2019, new credits increased by more than 5% to over R134 billion in Q2. One million applications were received for more credit (with nearly 60% turned down). There are 25 million active credit consumers with 10,23 million (40%) behind with their payments. The account-average per customer is 3,5, with the impairment of at least one. There are 80 milion debt accounts in South Africa, with 21 million in arrears by three months or more. Of these customers 12,7% have adverse listings against their names, while 5,1% have judgments and administration orders against them, reports Ngoako Mabeba13 of NCR. Ngalonulu13 mentions that a 2019 financial-reality survey by Debt Safe indicated that 67% of the 1 020 participants were indebted due to the tough economic climate, preventing them from buying basic necessities, 38% were indebted due to education and school expenses for themselves, their children and other relatives, while 29% were indebted due to unforeseen circumstances.

The Ramaphosa-regime is clearly out of touch with ever-growing numbers of poor people in South Africa, currently at 30 million, because of the tough economic conditions which prevent them from buying basic necessities, as well as people saturated with debt which they cannot escape or pay back. It spells a warning that a greater and more devastating “New Marikana violence” awaits us soon. The editor of The Citizen14, commenting specifically on the present-day mass of indebted miners who are constantly sinking deeper into financial chaos with their families as a result of the ANC regime’s permanent, ongoing economic failures, writes14:23:

SA’s mining sector has been particularly hard hit.

Two-thirds of the industry’s 450 000 workers have had unsecured loans and spend an average of 48% of their wages paying off debt.

In 2012, miners’ extreme indebtedness was seen as a root cause for violent labour unrest that culminated in the massacre of 34 strikers at Marikana.

To understand the immense ill-distribution of life chances and the absolute lack of sufficient resources in our cities, suburbs, informal settlements, neglected townships and shanty towns (which have seemingly been missing since 1994 from the observation of the ANC elite), it is important to understand the “normal” lifestyles of many of the unfortunates there.  The comprehensive research and in-depth personal experience of Dr. Chris Jones16 of the Unity for Moral Leadership of the University of Stellenbosch, who lived and worked for a certain time in the neglected township of Lavender Hill on the Cape Flats area, offers an excellent lifestyle audit and description of the conditions there; conditions which require enormous long-term socio- economic, educational and personal uplifting and constructive spending (instead of a waste of money on the  4IR there which will make no impact or serve an immediate goal). This audit, with the specific focus on how the issues of chaos, poverty, extreme crime and social disorder — stretching over a very long period and that are still continuing — shows why the extraordinary remedies planned by the Ramaphosa regime there (as 4IR) are unaffordable, unavailable, inapplicable, unviable and unsustainable. Jones’s observations are worthwhile to quote because they tell us how the basis of revolutions has been laid many times. More than that: they convey to us the possibility of a coming revolution.15-17

Jones16, reflecting on these tragic conditions which involve thousands and thousands of people who cannot easily be socio-economically and emotionally rehabilitated in their lifetimes, writes16:8-9:

Ek het onder meer vir so 90 minute per dag by Farikhaan in sy hout-en-sink-aanmekaar getimmerde winkeltjie deurgebring. Mense kon staan daar met enkele (koper-) muntstukke in die hand. Hulle koop byvoorbeeld R1 se suiker, R2 se koffie, een aartappel, een ui, of een stukkie Weetbix. Hierdie blokkie Weetbix word gedeel tussen twee mense, gemeng met water, omdat hulle nie melk kan bekostig nie.

Ek het gesien hoe mense net vel en been in Lavender Hill rondloop, nie net van honger nie, maar ook van al die pyn wat hulle saamdra. Afgetakel in liggaam en gees. Oë dof van ellende. Vasgevang in ‘n afgryselike, benouende, stik-donker put van ellende en magteloosheid met sy seepgladde wande van armoede, werkloosheid en uitsigloosheid. Hoe gaan hierdie mense hulself ooit hieruit ophef? Hoe “maak” kinders dit wat hier grootword?

The lack of social stability and prosperity can be traced back to the presence of many negative elements in the South African economy and society, such as joblessness, population growth, poverty, poor education standards, unstable family life, gangsterism, crime, etc. The fact that the childhood of South Africa’s youth is described as “not easy” — conditions stretching back decades — must ring a bell of concern when politicians speak of South African prosperity in 2019. Saba18 writes in the Mail & Guardian of 7 June 2019 using the data of STATS SA 2018 [as compiled by the M&G Datadesk from STATS SA 2019 (using the 2018 Figures)] on the “no easy Childhood of SA’s youth” wherein the Black child stands out as the main sufferer. This research shows, profiling the state of family life for the total Republic in terms of the country’s averages, that for the category of “who children are living with”, only 33,8% children are living with both parents,  3,3% living with a father alone, 43,1% living with a mother alone and as many as 19,8% living without a parent. In the Eastern Cape the absence of both parents in the home is as high as 33,1%. It is only in the Western Cape and Gauteng that the presence of both parents is high, namely respectively 53,7% and 48,9%. Many of these instabilities are the outcomes of single-parent births, but many result from the need for the parents to generate an income far away from home as the Eastern Cape statistics reflect.18

Looking specifically at the economics around childcare in South Africa as one of the barometers of prosperity in the country, the writing of Absolom19, based on the South African Food Sovereignty Campaign’s finding, shows that 14 million people go to bed hungry daily, with 53% (29 million) of the nation’s inhabitants experiencing food insecurity, the absence of prosperity. Based specifically on reports published at the end of 2018, more than six million of South Africa’s children regularly go hungry. Shining a further light ont the chaos around the economics of childcare, is a report by the Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action which states that already in 2017 it cost R578,45 a month to feed a child aged between three and nine years a nutritionally complete diet. Although the government supports some children of unemployed parents by providing a support grant of R380 a month per child, this money is far too little to make up the R578,45 minimum needed. Moreover, not every unemployed parent qualifies for the grant and some of these grants are only temporary.19

Besides this collapse of stable family life due to the poor finances of the country, there is also the threatening implosion of state-run businesses such as Eskom,  as well as those of the private business sector and their ordinary customers. Many economists and analysts note that there is a lack of sincerity by the ANC regime to fix anything, especially the corrupted state-owned enterprises  (which already cost the taxpayers billions of rand and, notwithstanding this, are mostly on the brink of going bankrupt). Prominent in this regard, is the failure of the ANC regime to deliver basic, essential services to the poor.9, 20-26

At least one economic outcome of such disorderly governance, caused solely by the ANC regime in charge of the country, is the contraction of 13,2% in the first quarter of 2019 in agriculture, which has historically bolstered GDP growth. The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s business confidence index for May 2019 reflected a slump across most major sectors, while for the same month the Absa-sponsored purchasing managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 45,4 index points (1,8 points down from April 2019). The IHS Markit PMI also shows that the private sector across the economy has slipped back into contraction territory, reports Speckman25:5. He further states that fixed investment, which already declined in the first quarter of 2019, is expected to show muted growth and that in most other sectors there was a “complete and utter” lack of confidence in the economy; essentially because the ANC regime apparently does not understand the principles of a sound economy and does not know what to do to create a stable economy.25

In line with the evidence of an all-over slump in business confidence, Dhlamini10:4 states that between 2008 and 2016 (eight years) the country’s position on the Fraser Institute World-index for Economic Freedom dropped from 82 to 110 (down 28 places; meaning a decline in total of 26% or 3% per annum), reflecting the curtailed economic policy of the ANC, which is more and more rooted in its Marxist-Leninist principles and further strongly and negatively driven by the radical trade unions.10

Tony Leon27:20 writes on 28 July 2019 on the failure of the Ramaphosa regime’s economic policy and vision. Instead of facing the immense economic, social and political crisis, Ramaphosa himself has acted aimlessly and without drive. This is essentially because he has been forced into a small corner, permanently subject to the ANC politburo’s overseeing of his actions in terms of the ANC’s democratic-centralism, and of course, being forced to support the ANC’s unity on broad politics, including economics. Leon states that at the end of July 2019 the IMF forecast a dismal growth rate of 0,7%, two thirds lower than the rosy Treasury forecast. Every indication is there that within five years our current unsustainable debt levels will reach stratospheric heights of around 70% in relation to our anaemic GDP. Notwithstanding the economic decline, no fundamentals of policy will be reviewed in the future by the ANC, such as reforming or dropping BEE. On the contrary, it will be intensified, ostensibly permanently, until the ANC’s music ends.27

3.3.1.2. Stagnant job market and growing unemployment

In line with a troubled economy, there is evidence that the job-market is moving further into a phase of devastating job cuts, as the June 2019 cuts at the major corporations confirm. For instance, the following lay-offs will take place (with the number of employees in brackets): sugar producer Tongaat-Hulett (5 000), miner Sibanye-Stillwater (3 450), pay-TV producer MultiChoice  (2194), miner Impala Platinum (1 500), bankers Standard Bank (1 200) and Absa (827), diamond miner Alexkor (238) and construction company Group Five (3 000).28,29

Many economic and political analysts and strategists are seemingly ignoring that the ANC has created chaos in the life styles and standards of the overwhelming part of the South African population, with the result that there are more than 30 million poor citizens (out of a population of 58 million), while more than 17,5-million people, because of their extreme poverty and unemployment, are forced to live as beggars on social grants. When comparing the 2018 total tax revenue of R1 216 464 000 with the social grants paid out for that year at R155 264 000, social grants represent a burden of 12% on gross income. (Then there are also further grants indirectly paid to provincial governments which are not included here). Moreover, this unfortunate and poor contingent of people in need of social grants is constantly growing as a result of the growth in unemployment, rise in living costs and population increase. The statistics reflect that social grants have grown from 2017 to 2018 by 8%, while the growth in gross tax revenue for the period was only 6%.31

The utter failure over 25 years to create jobs by the ANC regime and which directly causes joblessness and extreme poverty, has negatively impacted other outcomes, such as gangsterism, robberies, unrest, public violence, anarchy and other crimes. Another barometer in this context to identify prosperity or despondency is to look at the official statistics: for 2017 to 2018 there were officially 890 523 job seekers registered, but only 21 076 (2,3%) were placed in jobs or internships. This leaves nearly 100% of the applicants still in the cold. Excluded from those still registered jobless of 869 447 in 2018, are the mass of jobless people who are not registered and who have lost hope to ever obtain any kind of work, forget a decent permanent job.32

This failure of the ANC at job creation must be to some extent be attributed to its populist streak, which Makhanya33:2 says forces the ANC to “set unachievable targets and give false hope to the people”. On the other, dark side such outrageous promises may represent a planned, delinquent misleading of the voters, like for instance the regime’s promise in June 2019 to “reduce unemployment from 27.6% to 14% in the next five years”, notwithstanding an economy that is expected to grow an average of 1,3% in 2019, 1,8% in 2020 and to reach at most 2,4% in 2023. Reality is seemingly simple absent from some of the ANC elite’s minds. On the other hand, it seems as if some of the ANC leaders are just not able to deliver on their rosy forecasts, simply because they are incapable, irresponsible and lacking in accountability.33

Professor Hardus van Zyl28 of the University of Pretoria agrees on the failure of the ANC’s economic policy and that the country under the ANC-regime is reaching the end of the road, financially as well as socially. The present-day chaotic job market undoubtedly reflects an excellent example, not only as to the absence of prosperity, but also political instability. He writes on 28 June 201928:23: “The country’s job market is horrible. I am concerned about youth employment; that, for me is really going to nail us.” In this context of ongoing and growing chaos, he seriously warns: “The time to talk is over. If we do not start being reactive now, we are going to have a crisis of incredible proportions in the next two to three years — we are going to see socioeconomic chaos.”

The reality is that there are not enough jobs on all levels for the ordinary citizens outside cadre deployment and BEE intervention, because the economy planned and created by the ANC is in crisis. Van Zyl28 is adamant that the failed economics of the ANC is a direct result of the ANC’s own chaotic job planning and their dogmatic, uncreative politics. He is especially concerned about the fact that the country’s youth counts for almost 66% of the total number of unemployed people. Here, in establishing a cause for the ANC’s economic failure, he points out that the ANC regime28:23: …“is bloated and cannot create jobs”.

The ANC’s “intended” efforts to better South Africa for all its people — mostly built on empty promises — never realised in the past. This was well reflected by Ramaphosa’s failed Work Conference in 2018.  Raymond Willemse31, head of Beeld’s metro projects, refers to the ANC politicians’ many promises “of work to come in the future”, but at the same time “acknowledged themselves their absolute failure to create it in the past”. A jobs plan for the the youth (who represent 55,2% of the latest jobless statistics) to alleviate their growing poverty, is absent. Nor is there any strategy for those 9,4 million South Africans who are unemployed (against 16,3 million in work) out of 38,4 million people of working age between 15 and 64 who  in some way qualify to be employed but aren’t.31,34,35

Ramaphosa’s foolish dream in his Third Sona to save South Africa with a comprehensive effort of mass job creation, especially seen against his inability to bring prosperity to the youth, is well illustrated when he pathetically said on 16 June 2019, on Youth Day31:3: “Moenie hoop verloor nie en moenie dat die die son oor jul drome sak nie”. The fantasies of Ramaphosa and his twisted economic and political views are nothing else than a lot of “Ramaphosa pies in the sky”. The Black youth know it well after 25 years of ANC rule. They know just too well the ANC’s leadership’s “talking without the walking”.31

Referring to the tragedy of youth joblessness within a so-called “South African prosperity” – a prosperity which in real life is confined to those with exclusive capitalistic bonds to the regime and the legitimated favouring of fewer than 10 million South Africans living in a “totally other South Africa” than the one inhabited by more than 30 million poor Blacks, Willemse writes31:3:

…as ‘n mens die SSA [Statistiek Suid-Afrika] se syfers sien oor die groot persentasie jong mense wat ophou werk soek het, die skool verlaat het en nie juis enige planne het om verder te gaan studeur nie, is dit duidelik talle jong mense het reeds hoop verloor en ophou droom. Vir hulle het die son van geleenthede reeds gesak.

Dié realiteit kan waargeneem word in gemeenskappe waar jong mense sonder geleenthede op straat rondrentel. Werkloosheid bring voortdurend maatskaplike en sosiale probleme mee wat nie gaan help om misdaadsyfers te verlaag nie.

Dit is ook ‘n klad op Suid-Afrika se naam wanneer graduandi by verkeersligte met ‘n plakkaat en curriculum vitae in die hand staan op soek na werk.

It is thus understandable why as many as 6 million eligible voters under the age of thirty (forming part of a total of 9,8 million eligible registered voters) did not register for the May 2019 elections. It also explains why there are another 9,1 million registered voters who did not make an effort to vote. The answer is obvious: They have written off the ANC as a legitimate regime; one which is lacking the integrity to ever bring prosperity to greater South Africa.31

3.3.1.3. Fourth Industrial Revolution

Reflecting further on the need for job creation and the unemployment problem as to both youth and adults, it is important to note how the ANC regime tries to distract the attention from their failure to offer constructive solutions and actions on these two matters. It needs to be reflected on, because of the danger which these two populations pose for the country’s stability and greater economy.

It is significant how much the Ramaphosa regime’s leadership, specifically President Cyril Ramaphosa and his Vice President David Mabuza, are misusing unrelated phenomena and situations to cover up the ANC’s failures. One very contradictory strategem they have found is to blame unemployment on the advent of digital technology which is decimating traditional jobs; at the same time, however, they hold forth that the use of information technology and the internet will solve the unemployment problem as part of the “fourth industrial revolution”.28

Outstanding here is their earlier suggestion that the advent and the growth of digital technology is one of the reasons for joblessness. Their arguments are extremely opportunistic and holds no ground. Facts show that digital technology is not involved in the kind of work that most of the jobless people are doing or will be doing in the future. Neither did digital technology force the employed worker into unemployment. Most of the unemployed persons’ training and education simply do not make them part of the various technological job categories. It seems a false argument by Ramaphosa and Mabuza, well-used by them, to escape from the realities of joblessness and their incapacity as leaders to solve the matter. Professor Hardus van Zyl28, specifically on joblessness, said that the ANC-regime allowed two problems to develop: firstly28:23: “…a structural problem of unemployment where ‘we have a huge skills gab, underpinned by, on average, low productivity, which makes the country vulnerable to high unemployment”. A second problem is cyclical unemployment which is caused by an “economy that is not growing”, indicating the truth: South Africa’s economy is in chaos. Ben Scully of Wits agrees on the fallacious scape-goating of digital technology as one of the so-called “creators” of joblessness, making up the “Ramaphosa-Magashule-theory” which regards digital technology as one of the reasons for the present South African joblessness and contributing to the possible growth of joblessness in the near future.  Reflecting on these false arguments, pointing to the real reason for the growth in unemployment, he states28:23: “…it’s a popular sort of idea that a company can use as an explanation when business might not be doing well because of the economy.”

We have already commented that making digital technology a scapegoat as being the cause of the present South African joblessness, Ramaphosa — as happened with many of his other hot-air political statements and opinions — later contradicts his initial suggestion on digital technology.  Most recently, Ramahosa has propagated that digital technology is going to be the “cleaner” of the country’s unemployment problem and as such must be supported and be promoted by government, notwithstanding evidence that the unemployment problem will not be solved and that most of the jobless people will not benefit from the exercise. He insists that 4IR is a vehicle to bring prosperity to all South Africans. The false, ongoing rhetoric regarding 4IR’s benefits is so intense that it seems to have replaced the ANC’s Radical Economical Transformation (RET) as part of its radical political rhetoric. For the objective analyst, the propagating of 4IR is nothing but an opportunistic ruse par excellence to distract the public’s attention from the real issues around extreme poverty, namely poor education, inequality and the lack of opportunities. Moreover: these specific negative determinants are going to block the transfer of 4IR to the mass of poor people. Critically viewed, it is folly to present 4IR, which is part of the “Silicon Valley model”, as a reality that will occur in South Africa. The argument that the establishment of advanced innovation and technology are going to solve our unemployment or other socio-economic and political problems, represents arrogance in the extreme.15,28,36,37

The ANC’s “Silicon Valley plan” is inapplicable to present-day chaotic South Africa and tantamount to wishful thinking37:25: the country’s lack of good basic and high school education and training, together with a failing economy in which unemployment is central, makes it a delusional plan, writes Molopyane. 4IR should not be a current priority. What should be priorities are economic development, foreign investment, job creation, improved education and training. The lower level of the potential labour force must first be developed and empowered by basic skills and work opportunities before the advanced 4IR may be introduced. Within the current conditions, 4IR is going to benefit a very small, already well-educated, trained and economically stable group37.  Ramaphosa’s remark37:25 ,“The digital revolution is an opportunity to build an entrepreneurial state, where government’s own appetite for risk and innovation inspires large-scale entrepreneurship and unlocks economical potential”, is fake news par excellence and tends to mislead the public for political gain.

No-one doubts that 4IR is going to have an impact, but, as said, only on a small group of already advantaged socio-economic and political beneficiaries, leaving the mass of poor still in the doldrums. 4IR spells more poverty and inequality for the mass of poor Blacks.36-39

Rossouw17 shows that the sound existence of sustainable industrialisation (and thus 4IR) depends on the presence of two primary elements. Firstly, it needs the maintenance and further development of basic technology (the so-called “family-lines of rising development”). The start here is the creation of a much-needed basic technology foundation, to be improved and to be extended in complexity during the immediate next phase, followed by another phase of improvement and complexity17:7: “Jy kan nie digitale netwerke en tegnologieë suksesvol instel en bedryf sonder die voorafgaande tegnologie van elektrisitet nie”. Secondly, ongoing or sustainable industrialisation needs constantly rising levels of literacy and numeracy. 4IR requires the education of new generations to understand and use old and new technologies through a functioning teaching system, together with the maintenance of the existing levels of industrialisation. These two prescriptions are missing in present-day South Africa, simply because of the  ANC regime’s failure over 25 years to bring development to poor South Africans. In this context, Rossouw posits17:7:

Ongelukkig is nie een van laasgenoemde twee vandag in Suid-Afrika teenwoordig nie. Onder ‘n regering wat gefikseer is op verbruik pleks van vervaardiging is verskillende nywerheidsorganisaies aan ‘n orgie van plundering en aftakeling onderwerp. Eskom is die uitstaande voorbeeld onder vele meer.

Kortom, dit wat van industrialisering en die beheersing van simboliese stelsels in die land teenwoordig was, is die afgelope 20 jaar en meer stelselmatig afgetakel. Dieselfde mense wat die voorwaardes vir deelnae aan volgehoue industrialisering vernietig het en steeds vernietig, kom bak nou mooi broodjies oor hoe die land moet deelneem aan die “vierde nywerheidsomwenteling”.

Nullifying Ramaphosa’s views and propaganda (the transfer of so-called “facts” back to myths) on the advent and/or existence of 4IR, Roussouw writes17:7:

By nadere beskouing is die ‘vierde nywerheidsrevolusie’ eintlik niks anders nie as bloot nog ‘n fase in die industrialisering van die bewussyn (robotte, kunsmatige intelligensie) en gepaardgaande simboliese stelsels (die kodes onderliggend aan nano- en biotegnologie).

On how the foolish and misleading concept of “4IR” established itself overnight in the mindsets and speeches of many South African university managers and politicians — including ostensibly Ramaphosa — and has became extremely misused and propagated by certain spokespersons and leaders, Rossouw explains17:7:

Eenvoudig: Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa, wat die laaste jare gereeld Davos toe is om die krummels van die tafel van die neokoloniale meesters van die wêreld te eet, het sy meester, [Klaus Martin] Schwab, se papegaai geword [*Schwab, ‘n ingenieur en ekonoom, is die stigter van die Wêreld Ekonomiese Forum (WEF) en lid van die Bilderberg-groep (BG). Die WEF en die BG is hoogs omstrede en het ‘n groot aandeel aan die ekologiese krisis, ekonomiese ongelykheid en die huidige wêreldwye politieke onstabiliteit].

Nog voordat jy “Kophou” kon sê, het die term soos ‘n veldbrand versprei en net nog ‘n leë bestuurscliché geword. Dat politici wat die guns van die neokoloniale meesters soek hulle napraat, verras niemand nie, maar mens verwag meer van universiteitsbesture.

Aangesien Suid-Afrika se eie industriële organisasies en die bemeestering van simboliese stelsels die afgelope 20 jaar stelselmatig vernietig is, sal dit gek wees om hierdie tegnologieë nie met die grootste omsigtigheid te benader nie as ons ons nie bloot verder wil laat koloniseer om ons na die beeld van sinistere korporasies te misvorm nie.

The widespread presence of poverty and inequality in our current society is blocking and stifling any hope to create a comprehensive, inclusive digital economy. Angelo Fick36, the director of research at the Auwal Socio-economic Research Institute,  writes that technology is not necessarily the panacea it is made out to be36:21: “it is indeed de-skilling the under-skilled”. In this context he states that South Africans are suffering from skills deficits that are much more fundamental than the ones they are being urged to address ahead of the 4IR.36

Various authors write that histories of earlier industrial revolutions show that their outcomes were not associated with the interests of the working or under-classes, but were associated with the advancement of capitalism through the so-called “big class of technology”. This means that the 4IR’s outcomes will be the same for present-day South Africa: more poverty, more inequality, more ethnicity and racism, and more exploitation. The mass of the poor Blacks will be outsiders to the benefits of the 4IR and will be the victims because the new setup will exacerbate the existing social, economic and political inequalities, problems and conflicts. It will only, as the ANC’s cadre-employment and selective BEE-employment did, provide prosperity once more to the ANC elites (and possibly a state capture contract). The promotion and welcoming of the 4IR is again one of Ramaphosa’s distractions from the real problems responsible for the country’s backwardness, created and upheld by the ANC regime in many areas, such as education, job opportunities, etc.15,17,36,38

Both of the ANC regime’s two postulations, namely firstly that digital technology has led to people losing their jobs and thus that it creates unemployment, and secondly that 4IR is going to be a job creator and that it will remove the unemployment problem, are outright false.

South Africa’s jobless problem requires logical thinking, planning and doing. It needs the understanding of realities, and of course the acceptance of it. The basic fact, which Ramaphosa and his leadership missed, is that in order to accommodate at least 700 000 young people entering the job market on all levels every year, the country needs an annual growth rate of at least 10%. (In this respect the ANC regime could only manage a current growth rate of 1,5% for 2019, with at most 2,1% forecast for 2021!) Then, apart from this much-needed 10% growth for the more or less 700 000 youths coming onto the job market annually, there are the many other youths and adults already outside jobs because of the economic crisis.  These statistics, together with the mass of jobless, untrained and hungry people, confirm over and over the shameful failure of the ANC regime’s economic and population policies, nullifying the introduction of advanced programmes for digital technology and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) as a solution for the mostly under-skilled and undertrained poor. It will only, as the ANC’s cadre employment and selective BEE employment did, create prosperity for ANC insiders who constitute a small, selective group within the broader population. The promotion of 4IR by Ramaphosa, as a solution for unemployment, is again one of Ramaphosa’s distractions from the real problems regarding the country’s backwardness in many areas, such as education, work opportunities, poverty, etc., that were created by the failed ANC regime.15,17,36,38

3.3.1.4. Empty state coffers

Our state-owned enterprises’ financial health is in tatters (which is very much in line with the ANC’s general politics and their empty state coffers). There are the continuously failing Eskom, SAA, SABC, etc., as examples. How empty the ANC regime’s purse is, was well reflected in June 2019 by Denel’s announcement that it would not be paying full salaries at the end of the month. Although Pravin Gordan announced after this that a “lender” was found to pay Denel’s salaries, it the chaos within the South African economy and within a government whose day-to-day rule is characterised by constant borrowing.40

The extent to which the South African state under Ramaphosa is approaching financial bankruptcy and an empty treasury, is well illustrated by the recent jobs bloodbath wherein small business owners had to close shop, primarily because the state owes them a staggering R7,1 billion in unpaid invoices. (The amount was R0,6-billion on the national level and R 6,5 billion on the provincial level). The negative situation (and its serious consequences) was summed up by Statistics SA’s indication that unemployment in the labour force (private sector) had increased from 27,6% in the first quarter to 29% in the second quarter of 2019. This shocking figure was revealed by a Ramaphosa minister, the Small Business Development minister, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, in a written reply to Parliament. In this context, it was revealed that invoices of private providers for services rendered should be settled by the state within 30 days. Despite this official rule, the average age of outstanding official debt is several months. This has had serious consequences for the private firms and their employees, a situation which seemingly left the Ramaphosa regime unconcerned. Makinana and Umraw41 report on this chaos, created directly by the government, and its effects on employees and employers as well as their families and communities. They write41:4:

Small business owners who deal with the government have sad stories to tell about the unwillingness to pay them on time. An Eastern Cape based civil engineering firm owner said she had been sent from pillar to post for almost a year over outstanding invoices. ‘We are unable to pay our staff. There are outstanding salaries in our company for about six months. As a result, we are down to two staff members from 11’.

Ramaphosa too, in his parliamentary reply to his Third Sona, confirmed in some way the lack of money in the state coffers and the failure of the economy to generate cash under the present ANC regime. In an effort to escape the growing financial and economic fiasco — further showing up the ANC regime’s lack of business skills to restart the country’s collapsing economy by means of proper planning and management — Ramaphosa has gone on a second investment drive in 2019/2020 after his 2018 $100 billion investment drive was not a roaring success. Marrian40 describes Ramaphosa and Gordhan’s desperate borrowing spree to meet the state’s daily needs, like salaries (and thus to avoid more job cuts), as40:27: “…an illustration of the short-termism and lack of planning afflicting government.

As already shown in the above analysis, general economical stability and normality are lacking in South Africa. For big companies and capitalists, it does not meet the criteria of “prosperity”. It seems as if it is only the pro-Ramaphosa media and the ANC’s top brass who still “believe” in their own myth. Indeed, as already said, South Africa is on the brink of collapse. The unstable and deteriorating economic situation is contradicting the vestiges of South African prosperity. Our failed prosperity is debunked by the independent economist Thalbi Leoka.40 For Leoka40 the primarily reason for this chaos is apparently situated in the mindset of the ANC’s top elite at Luthuli House (which forms an important part of the ANC’s politburo). Luthuli House and the ANC’s politburo lack an understanding of the seriousness of the country’s economic situation: essentially they do not understand that there is such a thing as “good democratic capitalism” outside of the crooked socialism of their Marxist-Leninist convictions. In short: they fail to make a distinction between good and bad economic planning. As Leoka puts it40:4: “…the GDP figures indicate an economy in crisis, while the ANC seemingly speaks of prosperity”.

The CEO of Nedbank, Mike Brown42, also said in August 2019 that Ramaphosa and his regime are at a critical juncture and the country requires urgent action not to crash into an IMF bailout. In his outline of a failed economy, Brown also focussed on the ANC’s internal self-centred leadership struggle, leaving the affairs of the regime in tatters. On a question from the journalist Chris Barron42 if Brown42 believes Ramaphosa is capable of taking politically unpopular decisions which rectifying the business programme requires, Brown42, very tactfully responded42:6:

I’m not qualified to comment on the president’s ability to do these things. But we are left with no option other than to take these difficult decisions.

Immediate remedies to save South Africa’s twisted economy by means of South African private initiatives so as to rescue the country from a Venezuelan or Zimbabwean scenario, are being looked on skeptically for good reason. Any initiative where the ANC-regime is in a way involved to bring correction is doubted. The chaos, created over 25 years of ruling, is putting even an IMF-intervention and –interference, to can bring economical-correction, in doubt. The state-coffer is going to be for a long time on its emptiest ever.

In this context of private saviours coming in to “remodel” South Africa to regain economic and financial integrity, it is important to reflect on a public-private growth initiative project, announced in June 2019, ready for takeoff. The recent statement by the initiative that the first phase of 43 projects has been activated, as part of the so-called Public-private Growth Initiative, and which aims to inject R840 billion into the economy and create 155 000 jobs over the next five years, seems to be wishful thinking at this stage within the current South African politico-economic context. So far it only reveals a theoretical approach. It seems again to be part of the talking without walking politics of South Africa that has had the country  in its grip since 1994. The immense political failure over 25 years by the ANC and South Africa, has caused the international community to cool in its enthusiasm, other than in 1994 when they were eager to assist the ANC and South Africa after apartheid’s wrongdoing.  It seems foreign investors are leaving the ANC and South Africa on their own to see what next catastrophe will follow. Reflectin the difficulty to get foreign entities involved in present South Africa, the World Bank Index is a good place to start: where the country used to rank at number 32 out of 190 economies in those early days of ANC rule, it has now slipped to position number 82 (50 places, or nearly 30%, down).

De Lange43:4 states that the South African economy now may now be compared with the level where the country was in the 1980s when it had a large amount of debt.  South Africa under the ANC, writes Strydom46:3, is a shrinking economic entity in Africa and its growth prospects are much worse than the Reserve Bank’s forecast of expansion in GDP for this year (reflecting a paltry 0,6% against 2018’s equally insignificant 0,8%). In terms of its economic status in the world, South Africa has dropped from the 25th position in 1994 to more or less 35th position in 2018 (10 places down in 24 years). When comparing our economy with those of Poland, Israel, Ireland, Nigeria and Turkey, it has been left behind. Its ability to generate growth of more than 4% a year as was done from 2000 till 2007, is gone. Poor service delivery and constant unrest issues have broken the back of the country’s economy, making South Africa after 25 years of ANC economics “…no longer Africa’s largest economy, but hopefully only Africa’s most advanced economy”. Nothing more is present.17,43-46

3.3.1.5. Third State of the Nation Address (Sona)

An excellent example of the vacillation between political reality and unreality in the mind of Ramaphosa regarding present-day politics and economics was reflected by his State of the Nation Address (Sona). It was published in the public press on 23 June 2019 by Ramaphosa47 after he had delivered it on 20 June 2019. This reporting brings into perspective Cyril Ramaphosa the political talker-but-not-walker. It is based solely on the rhetoric of “we”, “us” and “our” in doing the walking, while there is a lack of “me” (Ramaphosa) to constructively drive the process until success is obtained. To understand the fantasy of the ANC politico-economics, and why the country is moving into collapse, the “Ramaphosa Sona” must be looked at. It reads as follows47:8:

As South Africa enters the next 25 years of democracy, let us proclaim a bold and ambitious goal, a unifying purpose, to which we dedicate all our resources and energies.

Let us agree as a nation and as a people united in our aspirations, that within the next 10 years we will have the South Africa we want.

  • No person in South Africa will go hungry
  • Our economy will grow at a much faster rate than our population
  • Two million more young people will be in employment
  • Every 10-year-old will be able to read for meaning
  • Violent crime will be halved

Let us make these commitments now, to ourselves and to each other, knowing that they will stretch our resources and capabilities, but understanding that if we achieve these 5 goals, we will have fundamentally transformed our society.

We set these ambitious goals not despite the severe difficulties of the present, but because of them.

We set these goals so that the decisions we take now are bolder and we act with great urgency.

Working together, there is nothing we cannot be, nothing we cannot do, and nothing we cannot achieve.

The ungrounded utterances — which frightens every wise investor, local or international — are very much in line with the foolish political utterances of the late President Hugo Chavez and the present President Nicolás Manduro of the failed Venezuela.

Political and investment analysts feel that Ramaphosa must be woken up from his Sona dreams when it comes to the practice of real economics and politics. It is plain foolish and nonsensical to speak and dream in the “last days of the South African economy” in the following manner47:8:

… the new city in the mist, high-speed trains to can travel the country from south to north and west to east, new employment for 2-million youths in a decade, tracking civil claims arising from investigation by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) of the state capturers, the doubling of the tourists to 21 million in ten years’ time.

The same awakening must be take place regarding his continuing empty promises, coming after the May 2019 elections, offering unrealistic economic growth as well as his fantastical halving of the crime rate!47-50

The editor49 of the Sunday Times reports on 23 June 2019 on this foolish mind-capturing of Ramaphosa, as follows49:20:

The problem, Mr President, is that South Africans are not living in 2030; they are living in the present. Their reality is one of extremely low employment, slow service delivery and dimmed economic prospects. A majority of our children go to schools that do not have the basics – no libraries, and with duplicated buildings. Some schools do not even have proper toilets or running water. Our public health system is in tatters; patients wait in long queues and are often treated by rude and uncaring staff. Crime levels are high. People do not feel safe outside their homes, or even inside them.

We are running out of patience, fast. How long must we wait for violent criminals to face justice? How long must we wait for proper roads to be built, for schools and hospitals to be fixed, for leadership that inspires economic growth so that we can start attracting investments and create jobs?

The editor48 of Rapport writes on the 23 June 201948:2:

‘n Mens moet groot droom, sê ons graag vir ons kinders. Maar die land se kiesers is nie kinders nie. Dis jammer dat ‘n president wat in sy kort tyd aan die stuur reeds só baie reggekry het die kluts in een toespraak so kan kwytraak.

Note that the Afrikaans phrase, “die kluts kwytraak”, means “losing one’s marbles”, which is quite a harsh judgment on Ramaphosa’s character and abilities.

Others have been equally scathing on Ramaphosa, the so-called “unique thinker and planner and great doer as statesman”, who has grabbed the minds of many South Africans since December 2017 because they believed he could bring salvation on his own. De Lange51 brings to us another, but strange dimension regarding the above extreme and visionary “dreaming” of Ramaphosa. He51 states it was not original, but a rehash of a much more comprehensive presentation made earlier by Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma at the ANC’s lekgotla in June at Irene.  More informatively, De Lange writes51:2:

Dlamini-Zuma het nie net gesê ons moet droom oor sneltreine nie, maar ook oor ‘n trein wat ‘binne twee uur’ die 2 000km van die Kaap na Musina kan aflê – wat ‘n snelheid van ‘n hele 1 000 km/h sal vereis [terwyl die wêreld se vinnigste trein in Sjanghai, China tans net 430 km/h haal]’.

The above leaves us with the worrying question: does Ramaphosa have any plan or vision of his own to better the stricken South Africa? This is a very important question after reading Heystek’s20 analysis of the negative Ramaphosa impact on the economy20:3:

Dis opmerklik dat die rand nou die afgelope 17 maande, sedert die verkiesing van pres. Cyril Ramaphosa as ANC-leier in Desember 2017 met bykans 33% teen die Amerikaanse dollar gedaal het. Dít tydens ‘n tydperk wat as ‘Ramaforie’ beskryf word.

3.3.1.6. Failed modern-day 1948 Marshall plan

Helen Zille52 considers the failure of the ANC regime’s economics since 1994, by comparing and contrasting it with the successful outcome of the 1948 Marshall Plan of the USA to rebuild 18 European countries’ economies after the devastating World War II. This financial assistance was $12 billion (more or less $100 billion or R1 507 billion in today’s money). The reasons for the success of the Marshall Plan were drivers that are outright missing in the ANC’s so-called South African economic reform. In this context Zille posits52:7:

Omdat dit goed deurdink en doeltreffend geïmplementeer is om lewensvatbare en volhoubare Europese ekonomieë te bou, eerder as om afhanklikheid te bevorder. En die institutionele meganismes (wat van nuts af herstel of herbou is) het ‘n verantwoordbare uitbetaling van fondsgeld verseker, wat enige moontlikheid verhoed dat ‘n klein invloedryke elite met politieke bande verryk word. Kan ons dieselfde doen? Ongelukkig het die resep ons tot dusver ontwyk.

On the financial input by countries outside Africa to the later “African Marshall Plan”, Zille52 writes on 9 June 201952:7:

Die jongste syfers wat ek kon opspoor, toon dat die top-tien lande wat amptelik ontwikkelingshulp aan Afrikalande verskaf in 2016 $50 miljard aan hulle oorbetaal het. Oor drie jaar gemeet (dieselfde tydperk as die Marshallplan) sal dit $150 miljard, die ekwivalent van een en ‘n half keer die Marshallplan, beloop.

In teenstelling met die Marshallplan is hulp en skuldverligting aan Afrika ‘n volgehoue en herhalende patron – nie ‘n eenmalige oordrag nie. Die totale hoeveelheid ontwikkelingshulp aan Afrika oor die afgelope drie dekades sou baie gekompliseerde Marshallplanne beloop.

On the failed economics of the ANC inside the “South African Marshall Plan”, Zille52 describes a shocking picture. She states52:7:

Sedert 1994 het ons $54 miljard van 21 lidlande van die Organisaie van Ekonomiese Samewerking en Ontwikkeling ontvang – meer as dubbeld die bedrag [$26 miljard in vandag se geld] wat die Marshallplan aan Brittanje (die grootste enkele begunstigde) gegee het en amper vyf keer meer as wat Wes-Duitsland [$11 miljard in vandag se geld] gekry het.

Per capita bereken, is die bedrag wat Suid-Afrika ontvang het selfs meer vrygewig in vergelyking met die Europese lande.

A prominent question is: why are there today at least 9,9 million jobless people against the 3,7 of 1994? This leads Zille52 to ask further52:7:

En hoe is dit moontlik dat ongelykheid binne ons swart bevolking nou net so groot is as tussen die rykste wit mense en die armste swart mense? Hoekom het al hierdie miljarde ons nie gehelp om ‘n inklusiewe ekonomie te bou nie, beleggings te lok en volhoubare groei te verseker nie?

The answer to our failed “South African Marshall plan”, coming since 1994, is quite clear toe Zille52:7:

Ons ken die antwoord: Beleidsonsekerheid, ‘n onbevoegde gekaapte staat, die amperse ineenstorting van ons strafregtelike regstelsel, ‘n swak openbare onderwysstelsel en die omvang van korrupsie en misdaad. Hierdie faktore, in kombinasie, vernietig die beleggingsvetroue wat nodig is vir volgehoue ekonomiese groei.

Matthys53 offers further insight into the issue of inequality referred to by  Zille above, particularly between members of the Black population. He reflects on our position in terms of the Gini coefficient and points out that South Africa is one of the world’s five most unequal countries. Moreover, South Africa is the number one most unequal country in the world with a coefficient of 63,4%! The other four most unequal countries are: Namibia (61,3%), Haiti (60,8%), Botswana (60.5%) and Suriname (57, 6%). This so-called “country association” of South Africa relative to the four under-developed countries referred to, clearly tells the story of how far gone our economic and social constitutions are at present [The Gini coefficient, the most commonly used measure of inequality, measures the statistical dispersion of the income or wealth distribution of a nation’s residents. A Gini coefficient of zero expresses perfect equality against a coefficient of one or 100% which expresses maximum inequality].53

3.3.1.7. South Africa’s failed 2012 to 2018 targets

The latest figures by the World Bank, Statistics SA, Trading Economics and CEIC,54 reflecting how South Africa is meeting its targets set for the period 2012 to 2030, show that the outcomes for the period 2012 to 2018 failed to reach any one of the set targets. The following summary shows it well54:4:

  1. Economic growth: 2012 – 2030 (4%) > 2012 – 2018 (1.5%)
  2. National savings rate: 2012 -2030 (25% of GDP) > 2012 – 2018 (14% in December 2018)
  3. Gini coefficient: 2012 – 2013 (0.6) > 2012 – 2018 (0.63 in 2014)
  4. Average income per person per year: R120 000 > 2012 -2018 (R88 000 in 2017)
  5. People with jobs: 2012 – 2030 (24-million) > 2012 – 2018 (16.3-million first quarter 2019)
  6. Unemployment: 2012 -2030 (6%) < 2012 – 2018 (27.6% first quarter 2019)
  7. Percentage of adults with jobs: 2012 -2030  (61%) > 2012 -2018 (42.6% first quarter 2018)
  8. Labour participation rate: 2012 – 2030 (65%) > 2012 -2018 (58.8% first quarter 2019).

Looking more closely at our missed targets for 2012 to 2018, it is clear that the ANC regime overlooked — or more correctly just blindly ignored — two of the primary factors creating poverty and unemployment: an oversized population, and the uncontrolled constant growth of the South African population.

It seems as if the ANC regime paid scant attention to the hard fact that the country’s population (the Black majority) had grown from 38,78 million in 1994 to 58,78 million in 2019 (representing a 50% growth or 20 million people). This indicatates that the country’s population is growing at 1,43% per annum against the world average of 1,08% per annum (or 850 000 more people per annum in South Africa). This population growth of 1,43% is more than double our present economic growth of ,.6% on a yearly basis.55,56 Saunderson-Meyer56 in this context reports56:12:

While the national fertility rate had dropped from 3,23 in 1996, to 2,67 in 2011 — above the replacement rate of 2.1 — it was particularly high among black Africans at 2,82 and coloureds at 2,57, while below replacement among Indians and whites (1,85 and 1,7).

The immediate implication of an oversized population is the overuse of our resources, high unemployment, a diminishing personal income and more people to feed in a shrinking economy. The end result is that South Africans have been getting poorer since 2014, as statistics show. Looking at our present annual population growth, it is estimated that the economy must grow by 6% yearly to successfully allow the more than 1 million new job-seekers into the labour market, as well as to erase in some way the already existing jobless numbers (note once more: our GDP growth is 0,6% at present). Part of these new-comers to the South African economy, directly and indirectly, is a strong contingent of children under the age of 15 years who lack proper nutrition. (These children are in addition to the fact that nearly 40% of the 58,78 million of population and six out of 10 in the age category under 35 are jobless). Undoubtedly this situation is fast overwhelming the government’s ability to meet the food needs of many children through social grants. Notwithstanding this growing crisis, the ANC regime has not tackled for the last five years any of adverse elements causing economic decline. The current promise of the ANC regime, that for instance the 29% unemployment will be halved in the next five years, is exactly the same unrealistic promise that the ANC made  in 2009 to fully eliminate informal settlements before 2014. The primary fact is that the GDP growth (and available state finance) has been trending downwards for years, while the country’s fertility rate shows a continuation above the average of what is considered the replacement rate.55,56

The ANC’s failed population-planning policy and practice is creating more and more chaos in the lifestyles and living standards of the overwhelming part of the South African population. The direct result is that there are more than 30 million poor citizens (out of a population of 58 million) while more than 17,5 million people, because of their extreme poverty, are forced to live as beggars on social grants. When comparing the 2018 total tax revenue of R1 216 464 000 with the social grants paid out for that year at R155 264 000, social grants stand out as a burden of 12% on the gross income. It must be noted that this unfortunate poor contingent in need of social grants is constantly growing: it grew from 2017 to 2018 by 8% while the growth in gross tax revenue for the period was only 6%.30,31

Smit55:11, in a short summary on the natural growth from 2004 to 2019 (births minus deaths), reports as follows:

2004: 409 2610;
2007: 509 974;
2010: 629 622;
2014: 639 791;
2019: 629 726.

He55 states categorically, based on the 2019 report of Statistics SA, that the population-growth tempo of South Africa increased from ±1% in 2002/2003 to 1,43% in 2019. This growth is strengthened by the decline in infantile deaths, the surge in immigrants from especially African countries, etc., making it clear that the growth is still to increase after 2019.55,56 The Whites, as Saunderson-Meyer56 points out, reached already in 1989 the replacement-border balance, with at the moment minus 0,4% growth (below the equilibrium level, meaning they are in the process of dying out.55,56

It is important to note that the ANC’s radical statutory policy, with its enforced BEE empowerment and other forms of affirmative action, etc., exclusively favouring a part of the Black population, prescribing that the demography of 80,7% Blacks, 8% Coloureds, 7,7% Whites and 2,1% Asians must be reflected in social life and in the workplace , has done enormous damage to the economy as well as race relations.55 The foolishness and irresponsibility around the use of racial quotas by politicians to rule South Africa because “they are our people” — notwithstanding that these quotas may bring famine, uncontrollable revolution and possibly death in the end — is well summed up by Smit when he writes55:11: “Die EFF-leier, Julius Malema, moedig swart vroue aan om meer kinders te hê ‘vir die revolusie’.” The ANC regime’s failure to decrease the above-average growth of the Black population since 1994 must be read in the same negative context as Malema’s utterances.

The prominent imbalance in numbers between South Africa’s racial groups referred to, read together with the various racial groups’ economic empowerment, spells conflict for the future and can be a driving factor for assets and land grabbing from Whites without compensation, as happened in Zimbabwe. There is also the hostility between Black and White, caused by the racial wealth-gap, which is growing because of the introduction of anti-white racism into politics by some political radicals in the ANC and the EFF. The often-ignored demography of South Africa may determine the fate of its various ethnic and racial groups in a future South Africa, either for the best or for the worst, writes Smit.55:11

One way to address the present poverty and joblessness (and undoubtedly the hunger of children), and thus to move the country upwards into at least a “low-level prosperity”, Saunderson-Meyer56 suggests in August 2019 that the ANC-regime become realistic, outside its futile politics, on the reproduction rate of its people. He writes56:12:

Government needs to do everything it can to grow the economy and slow population growth, even though the latter is likely to be a radically flammable issue.

What Saunderson-Meyer56 seemingly suggests to the ANC regime is: don’t use baby-making as a political weapon to empower you with votes. In the end you take the food out of the poor’s mouths after they foolishly voted for you and your false promises. It is already costing you dearly at the moment and is going to cost you dearly in the future. The only other alternative to our over-population, in relation to our chaotic economics, is a constant annual GDP growth of five times the present rate, which is just impossible to obtain in the ANC’s parliamentary term from 2019 to 2024.55,56

3.3.1.8. South African a clone of Venezuela

Looking at the apparent start of South Africa’s death dance (dodedans), is is important to note the death dance of Venezuela, which is now, in slow-motion, coming to an end in comprehensive chaos in that country. What is most worrying, is the fact that some of the ANC elite, like the convicted Tony Yengeni and the previous minister of state-security Bongani Bongo, failed to notice the Venezuelas death dance after they went there in March 2019 on a so-called “fact-finding mission”, supposedly to inform and assure South Africans of the “benificence” of Chávez-Madura-type regimes. Yengeni and Bongo, in describing their visit afterwards, said they had adored Venezuela for its “all-over excellence”.57 John Endres57 of the IRR describes the two’s responses as follows57:4-5:

Volgens hulle (Yengeni en Bongo) het hulle hulle ‘n wonderlike tyd by ‘n straatkarnaval gehad, ‘n opelug-musiekfees bygewoon en op die strand gelê.

Moving away from Ramaphosa’s dreams and now seemingly also Yengeni and Bongo’s dreams, the evidence coming out of Venezuela tells another, much darker story. According to observers,  between January and June 2019, one million of its population fled Venezuela, making that a total of 4 million people (out of a population of 36 million) that are living outside the country to escape hunger and political instability. The base of this poverty is a direct outcome of Nicolás Maduro’s failed socialist economics, his nationalisation of private assets and land grabbing from the rich, as well as his printing of worthless money after he grabbed the country’s Reserve Bank, the useless spending of state money (obtained through the selling of oil) in terms of the Maduro regime’s socialist policies on senseless housing projects, feeding schemes, education and health programmes, while state money was further misused to support extremely radical movements and parties outside Venezuela.

Evidence shows further that more than 50% of children in five of the seven Venezuelan states, under the age of five, suffer from malnutrition and that the average citizen has lost 10 kilograms in weight. Venezuela is the only country in the world experiencing hyperinflation (in 2018 it was 80 000%, rising to 165 000% in 2019), while the country’s GDP sank by more or less 50%. The Chávez-Madura elite internally undermined the Venezuelans’ political and civil rights. The extreme corruption and state capture by the Chávez-Madura elite (in full swing since 1999) further drained the state’s coffers. The fall in the price of oil in 2013, from $97 to $35 per barrel, and the rise of mass poverty, led to the nationalisation of private assets, and an economy policy which sent the prices of all products, especially food, sky-high, with unemployment rocketing.57 This confirms the well-known principle of revolutionary governments: to grab from others but never to create oneself. Endres,57 in an effort to bring some understanding to South Africans of a “similar” Venezuelan-style South Africa that might be coming, writes very comprehensively and in-depth on 23 June 2019 on the Venezuelan death dance as follows57:4-5:

…voorbeelde wys dat byna al Venezuela se ekonomiese probleme tuisgemaak was: sosialistiese idees soos onteiening, nasionalisering, prysbeheer en statsinmenging in die ekonomie. Die dalende olieprys ($100 per vat in 2012 tot $35 in 2013) het net die situasie vererger.

Maduro en sy ondersteuners pak graag die skuld vir sy problem op die VSA en sanksies, maar die feit is dat sanksies hoogs gefokus is – op die binnekring van die regime en die staatsoliemaatskappy, PDVSA.

Die waarheid is dat dit ‘n rampspoedige ekonomiese beleid is wat die ineenstorting van dié land veroorsaak het. Suid-Afrika behoort dié les ter harte te neem.

That South Africa is in a crisis, an immense one, has so far been kept successfully away from the public’s eyes by the pro-Ramaphosa media and of course Cyril Ramaphosa’s presidential rhetoric, echoing the political style of the telling stories as does Nicolás Maduro. Also the use of the word prosperity has become something of a “hate-speech utterance”. But prosperity, crisis and despondency are tripartite partners. They need to be brought into the present-day context of our economy.

Khumalo23, in a broader context, relates the present lack of true prosperity directly to the existence of a comprehensive crisis created by the ANC, as was done by the regimes of Chávez and Madura in Venezuela, which has spread its tentacles since 1994 out to all levels of the South African people. Khumalo writes23:2:

For far too long we have been in denial about the nature of the crisis. The cosmetic changes implemented — a job summit, adding the word “employment” to the ministry of labour — have done little to address the structural issues underpinning our stagnant economy. In the deliberation phase, the nation at large needs to acknowledge that the prevailing paradigms under which such contraventions have been contained — primarily the tense alliance between business, labour and the state — are no longer fit for purpose.

The future cruel socio-economics and politics awaiting South Africa, possibly in the short time of three years, as stated euphemistically by Khumalo23 above, can be read in the political analyst and investigative journalist, Qaanitah Hunter’s50 in-depth article: “Searching for the real Venezuela”, published in the Sunday Times on 1 September 2019 after her visit to the country. Parts of her informative writing and observations are reflected underneath. She writes50:11:

I travelled to Venezuela on a whim last month, prompted by curiosity to see what has been touted by ANC and the EFF as a blueprint for what SA could become.

In SA, the Venezuelan model has been romanticised and vilified in equal measure.

…when I landed at Simón Bolivar International Airport, with its exposed vents and dour concrete, the words of Bonani Bongo ringing in my head. Bongo, an ANC MP, led the party’s fact-finding delegation to Venezuela, and returned with a statement that the country’s problems were caused by “Western imperialism”.

It was important to me not to be swayed by any argument for or against the socialist regime, to fairly observe the reality of life for ordinary people, and to avoid politics althogether,

On my first day in Caracas I understood the appeal. The model of socialism espoused by President  Nicolás Maduro is enormously seductive to someone from a country with a wealth gap such as ours.

On paper at least, there is universal equality, free electricity, housing, water. Health care and education, plus a box of free groceries per household each month. There is also a national minimum wage.

But as one drives out of the capital in the direction of real life in the country, the paper crumbles.

The free electricity comes from derelict generation infrastructure and the country’s grid hangs by a thread. Power outrages last between three and 10 hours. When the free electricity is out, so is the free water. Locals are disparaging about the free education, and some corrupt officials now sell the state-supplied groceries, that should be free, at a premium price — which those on the minimum wage cannot afford. The free health facilities have barely any medicines.

With nothing to sell, many stores were simply shut. Others had two aisles stocked with whatever items – from toilet paper to maize –they had managed to import.

Large department stores, however, were full of Turkish-made snacks and Chinese-made clothes. Shoppers told me that the situation was far better than it had been all year – at one store a 2l bottle of Coke cost $8 (R121) — but still the shelves were bare.

We stopped at a well-stocked convenience store just outside Caracas where more than half the items cost more than the national minimum wage.

A box of digestive biscuits cost the equivalent of about R45 – which is the weekly wage. This was probably why two armed soldiers stood guard over the “luxury” items, which in Venezuela are Coke and ice-cream.

Hearing analysts speak on international news channels about the hyperinflation (80, 000% in 2018) is something entirely different to actually seeing how a sliced bread and fresh milk are luxuries most Venezuelans could not dream of buying.

Butter, for example, is such a prized commodity that one can only physically handle it once one has paid for it. The caps on each bottle of fruit juice are fitted with a lock that can be opened only once the item has been bought.

The national conversation is dominated by how great things used to be, and how bad they now are. People I met asked if they could travel back with me to SA. Warned about crime, they said they would manage it — and they were only half joking.

For those Venezuelans who can afford to buy basic foodstuffs, chances are they will not have the physical cash to do so.

Because the country cannot afford to print its own banknotes, they are now a commodity on their own. In the cities, coffee shops accept bitcoin and other crypto currencies as payment, while informal traders rely on mobile money apps because cash is increasingly scarce.

Also, the social dream is now being eroded by corruption, which is evident almost everywhere.

There e-tolls don’t work — the toll booths are abandoned because nobody has the money to pay. The roads, however, are hardy worth paying for. Instead of potholes they have pot craters.

But the roads traverse a magnificent country, which just over a decade ago was the richest in Latin America, thanks to its massive oil reserves. Now it appears to be on the brink of ruin, thanks to bad politics.

In 2016, ANC policy guru Joel Netshitenzhe, when reflecting on state capture in SA  and comparing it with Latin America, said opportunists simply seize openings created by bad governments.

After 10 days in Venezuela, I now better understand the appeal for the ANC and the EFF. The state has a firm grip on all facets of its people’s lives – from where they live and what they eat to how much they earn.

Venezuela’s socialist model requires a utopia to work. We adopt it at our peril.

I said above that the Venezuela model might only reach us in three years; I was over-optimistic. Looking at the 30 million of our population trapped in poverty — nearly 20 million living on social grants, more than 10 million official jobless, 7,8 million South Africans caught in a debt trap of R225 billion of loans without collateral, our huge and ongoing crime wave, corruption and state capture, and most of all, our enormous inequality, making it well-nigh impossible for the mass of unemployed and poor in the shanty towns and other informal settlements, to merely buy their daily bread, get basic education and basic healthcare and survive — Venezuela is already inside our psyche, our children, our homes and our futures. Is it wrong to replace in Hunter’s article the name Venezuela with South Africa, Caracas with Cape Town and Johannesburg, President Nicolás Maduro with President Cyril Ramaphosa, and socialism with Marxist-Leninist radicalism, to make Hunter’s article applicable to describing present-day South Africa?50,58

3.3.1.9. Zimbabwe in perspective

If Endres’s57 warning of a possible “Venezuelan South Africa” is not enough, it is also important to note the editorial in the City Press of 23rd June 2019, describing the present economic chaos in Zimbabwe. A country devastated economically by the actions of a madman in the mold of Nicolás Maduro, the despotic Robert Mugabe, who was recently given a hero’s tribute by both Thabo Mkbeki and Cyril Ramaphosa at his funeral in September 2019. This tribute reminds us of the many hero’s tributes to the despotic and failed Hugo Chávez of Venezuela at his funeral in 2013.50,57

Speaking volums on the present chaotic Zimbabwean finances and the ongoing seizure of the country by means of corruption, theft, mismanaging and human-rights violations since Uhuru (which includes land and other assets grabbed from Whites), is the current Zimbabwean president’s confession in June 2019 when he said59:3: “I’ve been in government for 38 years as minister and I can’t remember when you ever had a budget surplus”.

Notwithstanding the financial and political mess create by the Mugabe-Mnangagwa regimes themselves, created over decades, the Mnangagwa-regime still shamelessly harbours the opportunistic hope to obtain financing in 2019/2020 from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). They even hope for a Eurobond offering to service their state debt and to restart their struggling economy. But, it must be noted that most of these moneys intended to be borrowed is not going for the development of a post-2019 Zimbabwe, but mostly for bridge financing to clear about $1,2-billion (R17,2-billion) of arrears to the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the European Investment Bank. In addition, the Mnangagwa regime is still thinking up plans to restructure debt owed to bilateral creditors! All this money that the Mnangagwa regime wants to borrow must again be paid back, while the country in the meantime should be running, forget about development!59

How little insight and understanding the current Mnangagwa regime have of applicable and sound state economics and proper financial, social and political management of their country, is well reflected by the Mnangagwa regime’s minister of finance, Mthuli Ncube59. His ignorance for instance of the seriousness of IMF finance, especially IMF debt responsibility,  the political, social and economic empowerment of citizens applicable to IMF loans, the strict IMF debt/funding programme which entails the monitoring of government economic progress, etc., are cast to the winds when he says59:3: “Why not? We can only ask, they can only say no. But if we can get funding from the IMF, that would be fantastic. Just additional support on our balance-of-payments position”.  [Sounds very much in line with the economic thinking of the ANC-regime!]

If South Africans are worrying of a Venezuela to come to its shores, it must worrying far more of a Zimbabwe in waiting, especially the Whites: the land and asset grabbing in Zimbabwe under mad Mugabe is a blueprint for land and asset grabbing here. Radical Economical Transformation (RET) is still a temptation for some insanely radical politicians here.

3.3.1.10. Ramaphosa’s economic saviour-partners

It is would be a mistake to ascribe the Ramaphoria which grabbed South Africans after December 2017 — and which was maintained for some time by Cyril Ramaphosa’s promised New Dawn to bring a mass of Christmas goodies — to the person of Ramaphosa as the saviour of South Africa alone. Two other saviours are central to Ramaphosa’s political power and his ability so far to survive the infighting within the greater ANC: Tito Mboweni and Pravin Gordhan. Without his partners’ upport and controversial manoeuvring around the finances and economics of the country, Ramaphosa would have been unseated long ago. Their actions and roles in the present-day politics of the ANC, especially in the demanding in-fights around the Marxist-Leninist economic policy of the ANC, must shortly be commented on.99,20-26

Tito Mboweni

It is important to note the role of Tito Mboweni in our catastrophic economy; a person who is seen and lionised, together with Pravin Gordhan, by the pro-Ramaphosa media and a sector of the White capitalists, as the economic saviour of South Africa. What is at stake is Tito Mboweni and the National Treasury’s so-called “dramatic” proposal of privatisation with their discussion paper entitled: “Economic transformation, inclusive growth and competitiveness: Towards an economic strategy for SA” which is presented by the pro-Ramaphosa faction as a new guideline on future economic development, starting privatisation of state assets and the introduction of private capital into our state-run enterprises. The Mboweni plan is presented as a drastic changer of our future economics. The reality, like most of the ANC’s misleading plans and schemes, reveals a continuation of the Marxist-Leninist economic model wherein the rights of the members of the radical trade unions occupy a central position. The document is nothing else than an effort to revive the failed economic idea of Thabo Mbeki in the 2000s, which had fizzled out at the time because it lacked constructive plans to steer the economy into growth. The Plan was strongly criticised by an important sector of the business community as incapable of creating economic reform, on the hand. On the other hand, the Plan was criticised by Cosatu and the SACP for its lack of kick-starting the economy by means a radical, revolutionary approach. Essentially the Mboweni plan may be described as “an incoherent, ill-thought out and ultimately chaotic intervention”, should it be implemented. Speckman refers to its poor business and political intentions as another “jaws drop” of the Ramaphosa regime.60

Gumede65 describes the “intentions” of the so-ccalled “Mboweni plan” as inappropriate “grand economic experiments”. It is clear that the ANC regime, with this Plan, is again avoiding “real politics”, such as the scrapping of BEE, the stopping of support for dictators in Africa, the blind partnering with China, as well as effecting constructive interventions in curtailing corruption, etc. Instead the plan clings to strategies focussing on so-called “politically easier issues” and thus maintenance the status quo of the ANC’s already failed political and economic policies within its Marxist-Leninist politics. Central to the Plan is keeping the peace with the political radicals, Cosatu and the SACP that are threatening to bring the ANC regime down if the ANC had to introduce any structural capitalism. In practice the plan is a window-dressing exercise in the hope of attracting especially foreign investors and to keep Moody’s and other ratings agencies from demolishing the international economic status of the country. The Plan will  make no difference to our economy, besides temporarily freeing the ANC government from the immense pressure to immediately reform its economic policy by the political opposition, the ordinary public and the greater business community to.61-66

The above outcome in the ANC’s economics is exactly what Khumalo23:2 called “cosmetic changes implemented”. Political opportunism and a misled public, well anchored in a plan that does not address the structural failures underpinning our stagnant economy.23

The foolish element in the Mboweni plan, initiated by the Ramaphosa regime, is further pointed out by Duma Gqubule60, director at the Centre for Economic Development and Transformation, when he said that the even if the privatisation of Eskom realised, it was not going to immediately wipe out its R450 billion debt which is currently smothering the economy, while the whole process of privatising Eskom is not a “one-day clean-up”. It can stretch up to 15 years of direct/indirect involvement of the state at a very high cost. Neither is the Plan’s broader intention to create a total of 142 000 jobs in three years (basically unattainable within the present GDP growth of 0,8% a year). Secondly, the whole Plan’s contribution to job creation is nullified because the demands from the job market is too high in the light of the fact that every year the number of job-seekers are growing by 700 000, leaving in three years a labour force of 2 million looking for work (versus the theoretical growth of a total of 142 000 jobs).  Elsewhere Ted Blom60, an energy analyst, has showed that the Plan is marred by some serious errors and assumptions.

Gqubule60 comments on the confusion created by the Mboweni plan and its so-called “correction” of the economy, bringing us back to political reality when he writes60:4:

But to be frank, I don’t think it’s going to happen. What I heard is that nobody has heard about this report. He [Mboweni] dropped it out of the blue like a record, like a new release. Like Beyoncé.

This is a free marketer’s wet dream. It’s just unbelievable. This is definitely the National Development Plan repackaged in a new bottle.

Pravin Gordhan

On the other economic saviour of the Ramaphosa regime, namely Pravin Gordhan, it is important to note how GDP contracted by 3,2% under his oversight. It confirms how much the country’s economy is already in decline, notwithstanding Ramahosa’s stimulation package in September 2019 of R50 billion and the decade of other comprehensive stimulatory spending by the ANC regime since 2008. But it also reflects back on the much-praised “extraordinary” abilities of the Ramaphosa regime’s cabinet. In this context Mpiyakhe Dhlamini10 lays this economic decline over a decade at the door of Pravin Gordhan. Dhlamini10 points out that under Gordhan’s economic stewardship, bankruptcies, liquidations and joblessness are escalating, while exports have shrunk by 26,4% and fixed capital formation declined by 4,5%. On the ongoing chaos within the economy, predominant under the ANC regime of Jacob Zuma and now repeated under the Ramaphosa regime, Dhlamini writes10:4:

Suid-Afrika ly op die oomblik onder die gevolge van vrot regeringsbesluite. Suid-Afrika het nog nie herstel van die resessie van 2009 nie.

Dhlamini10 considers the instability around South Africa’s current economic failures, that may be traced back to 2009, and blames the Ramaphosa regime’s present inner circle when he writes10:4:

Gordhan, toe minister van finansies, het ons toe geneem op ‘n pad wat daartoe gelei het dat regeringskuld toegeneem het van 22.6% van die BBP tot die huidige 55.6%. Pleks daarvan om die ekonomie te beskerm teen die ‘nege vermorste jare’ het die plunder en ekonomiese stagnasie onder dié minister se neus gebeur, en10:4: Nou asof dit nie erg genoeg is nie, is daar steeds geen tekens van hervormings nie. Die regering bly verbind tot beleid soos onteiening sonder vergoeding in ‘n omgewing waar private beleggings reeds daal.

Zille further high-lights the role of Gordhan in the country’s chaotic economics and ascribes the reason for the absence of prosperity in today’s South Africa to the unavoidable devastation of our economy in future because the ANC’s various disciples will maintain their Marxist-Leninist ideology under its politburo throughout Ramaphosa’s term in office. Zille67 hits the nail on the head when she writes67:7:

Tog het een van ons slimste politici, Pravin Gordhan, die man wat (saam met Ramaphosa) geskilder word as die een wat die land moet red van die magte van duisternis, so onlangs soos verlede week nog sy verbintenis tot die ondersteuning, konsolidering tot die ondersteuning en selfs die uitbreiding van staats beheerde ondernemings bevestig – om in die proses die “tweede fase van radikale sosio-ekonomiese transformasie” te bevorder.

Dit is ‘n duidelike onderskrywing van die doelwitte van die NDR [Nasionale Demokratiese Revolusie].

Solank as wat mense glo dat ons die toekoms van Suid-Afrika sal verseker indien die “goeie ouens” (soos Ramaphosa en Gordhan) die stryd om die siel van die ANC wen , so lank sal ons ‘n land bly wat langsaam misluk.

Die “goeie ouens” is ongetwyfeld minder korrup as die res. Maar dit maak nie die ANC se beleidsraamwerk voordelig of implementeerdbaar nie.

3.3.1.11. ANC’s infighting

The infighting in the greater ANC and between the regime’s leaders, especially their many hostile and contradictory messages, including their open opposition to each other, is seen by many economists as one of the main reasons why the economy has gone into a tail-spin since pre-June 2019. The infighting may have contributed to the GDP’s contraction, by 3,2%. This contraction was the biggest decline in 10 years and is raising the fear of a recession, already in 2019. The political and economic confusion characterising the regime’s policy declarations and executions seem to be created by Luthuli House’s various factions, as well by the leadership of the various ministries within the Ramaphosa regime. This governmental tumult we see, as with the recent announcement of the Mboweni plan, jeopardises the decision-making privileges and independent functioning of the different governmental ministries and sectors. Internally, on a high level, it is seen and experienced as the open sabotage of other governmental institutions’ aims, intentions and planning.9,20-26,63,66

The conflict within the ANC’s top leadership about which faction is to steer the regime and who is the paramount leader (a struggle in which Ramaphosa and Magashule are the central figures) is counterproductive. It is hobbling the South African economy and is also seriously obstructing the proper functioning of the government of the day with often deliberately different and contradictory policies and declarations. From a general point of view, the ordinary citizen discerns an outright lack of sincerity inside the ANC elite when it comes to fixing the impaired and malfunctioning state-owned enterprises or efforts to get the country and its economy functioning.9,20-26

Possibly the economist Iraj Abedian25 tries to tell us something when he states25:5:

SA seems to have moved from policy paralysis to policy sabotage. This is the surest way to push the economy into a prolonged recession. The country has to have one centre of policy-making. A governing party can’t contradict its own government.

How far down the road the ANC as an assumed 100% party and a 100% regime is in October 2019, is well summarised by Malala68, in his perspective on the present-day ANC and its leadership, when he writes68:21: “I believe Ramaphosa and his team have a 55% chance of succeeding and turning the country’s fortunes around”. On the chronic illness of infighting in the greater ANC, but specifically between Ramaphosa and Magashule for the paramount-chief post, Malala responds68:21:

It’s the areas of politics and economics that seem to have led to total despondency. As the leaders continue to tear at each others’ throats for power and pull in different directions on economic policy, many have wondered who, in fact, is driving this thing called SA. Is it Ramaphosa or is it the dreaded Ace Magashule of the Free State? Ramaphosa has seemed eager to please his comrades, allowing Magashule to pronounce naively on everything from quantitative easing [nationalising] (a subject he knows nothing about) to who should be running the country (a subject he knows nothing about).

Ramaphosa has let the insults and acts of insubordination slide. That has consequences: everyone is left wondering who, exactly, is driving this thing. Their confidence dwindles when they realise that it is not: “Safe Pair of Hands” Ramaphosa, but “What’s My Cut” Magashule.

The extent of damage to the economy by an unorganised and poorly unified party, is leading to an image of South Africa in the eyes of the public and of the world with a stigma attached, that of a country characterised by poor political and economic integrity. More precisely, it is pictured as a country with a seemingly disturbed political mindset, clouded by confusion and disorientation: a regime not always accountable for his actions.25,63,66

Khumalo23, like Abedian25, describes the dysfunctional and unconstructive ANC leadership as “engaged in a chaotic civil war”. Their internecine struggles have undoubtedly caused the ANC regime’s failure to come to terms with its own political traumas and crises, and thus its inability to put the party on the road with a map again to bring prosperity for South Africans. The party’s paralysis is an outcome of the present unstoppable infighting around the leadership and power between Ramaphosa and Magashule. The two are caught inside the party’s democratic-centralism and its Marxist-Leninist ideology (a political setup that many people seemingly either do not understand or is unfamiliar with). Khumalo23 reflects in some way on the role of this ANC substrate as follows23:2:

SA has found itself plunged into a chaotic civil war involving economics, statistics and politics. But rather than adopting a line of march aimed at assuring citizens that there is indeed an understanding of the issues, the government plunged itself into a civil war reminiscent of the ANC’s factional battles of 2017 when secretary-general Ace Magashule said an ANC lekgotla had resolved to nationalise the Reserve Bank, amend its mandate and initiate steps towards exploring quantitative easing.

For Cyril Ramaphosa, the problem is that he derives his political legitimacy from the ANC itself, so its resolutions – however impractical they may turn out to be – are regarded as key performance indicators by the party. Unilaterally disowning them is not on the cards for him.

This dilemma has led to a paralysis where his voice been absent from the discourse. The vacuum was filled by market speculation, incoherent press releases and contradictory tweets.

Derby22 pertinently describes, in terms of a retrospective analysis, the present politico-economic mess of the country under the ANC regime as an old, ongoing strife to preserve Marxist-Leninist politics as a22:8: “circus run by their political class in search of the enigma of radical economic transformation”. But in this case it means precisely the ugly face of Marxist-Leninist politics: the execution of radicalism in all the spheres of socio-economic, political and personal life, which is of course beginning to manifest itself more and more clearly in the ANC’s thinking, planning and actions since December 2017.22

In this respect, the editor21 of the Sunday Times, on their foolish destruction of prosperity by the ANC top brass, describes them more elegantly as21:18: “…financially ignorant power-players”.

The above “financial ignorance” referred to by the editor21 of the Sunday Times is undoubtedly the behaviour, mostly exemplified by irrational plans and actions,  by the different ANC top leaders in their various self-centred economic power-plays, lacking knowledge of what is going on at grassroots level, meaning how the ordinary South African perceives and thinks of the ANC’s leadership. Prominent is here, in response the growing unrest of the Black masses, the recent  confession by Magashule of his own ignorance — and that of Ramaphosa and his regime — of what is going on at grassroot levels, when he says24:11: “These latest events underline the need for a government that is in touch with the people and responsive to their needs”. 

The immense failures of the ANC so far to serve  the people and their inability to make specific or general constructive corrections, seems to be catching up with the ANC after their 25 years of delinquent government of the people. Some of the ANC elite seems be grasping the reality, at last. There is no doubt that the revolutionary ANC, since its enthronement by the National Party (NP) and the international world as the sole ruler of South Africa, has never, similarly to the politburos of communist and delinquently socialist regimes in the Soviet Union, Cuba, Venezuela, etc., been really in touch with the mass of poor, landless Blacks. The ANC and its elite have been glorified since 1994 by the mass of poor Blacks South Africans as their saviours, primarily because they “were of us” and were against Apartheid, but not for what they truly did for the poor.  It is with honesty that the editor of the Sunday Times, together with Munusamy24, De Lange43 and Strydom46, can describe the ANC regime as a so-called “less successfull government”. The so-called “good” government of which Magashule above is speaking and dreaming of, can surely not be the ANC’s Ramaphosa regime!21,22,24,43,46

The hanky-panky in the present-day ANC is part of an ongoing, paralysing internecine conflict to crown a skilled Marxist-Leninist next year at the ANC’s national general council as paramount chief. Until then the country’s economy, as in the past 25 years, does not really count.

3.3.1.12. The IMF and Nationalisation

Notwithstanding the many indicators bearing out poor economics and politics, some financial analysts argue that an IMF bailout for South Africa is not needed or wise at this stage. For them, excluding the country from a place in the IMF basket is based on the recruiting of foreign investors, growing exports and the fact that South Africa’s balance of payments risk is safeguarded by its effective management of its balance of payments risk, which is buttressed by its $41 billion in foreign-currency reserves held by the South African Reserve Bank (which is equivalent to 5,8 months’ import coverage).19,69-74

It is important to remember that the ANC under Ramaphosa is desperate for money: preferably easy money without a risk of repayment if their “business” ventures go wrong (which has usually happened in the ANC regime’s history).  In this risk-taking to lend money to the ANC regime it is important to remember that an estimated R1 trillion from South African banks is already exposed to South African state entities and the public sector.72,75-81

The constant threat of the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank and other public and private assets, together with the country’s immensely growing debt and failed SOEs such as Eskom, SAA, SABC, DENEL, stagnant manufacturing and production, collapsing municipalities, a downturn in the world economy and an aversion by the West of the ANC’s politics, are increasingly undermining broad support here. Our constantly worsening governance, etc., can change the situation overnight for the worse. The loud drumming by a strong sector in the ANC who are hanging on to its Marxist-Leninist ideology as the only and primary economic solution for a future South Africa, together with the even louder revolutionary politics of the ANC tripartite alliance’s two partners, the SACP and Cosatu, has already shifted the country into an unreliable political state with an even more unreliable economico-political model.  The country’s post-1994 economics looks more and more gloomy, leaving a very, very small window open to escape International Monetary Fund (IMF) assistance, however much the pro-ANC and Ramaphosa prophets try to predict that such intervention would never occur.19,69-74

On the potential ending of the ANC’s much-heard “political music” (although the pro-Ramaphosas ignore the stuporous sounds and preach daily that South Africa is in a “perfect economic condition” and thus does not need IMF or any other intervention in the near future), Leon27 quotes Pieter du Toit27 who mentioned that Johann Rupert had said that South Africa would soon be knocking at the door of the IMF for a bailout, most likely within a year. (About the decline of the country, it is interesting to mention that Rupert recently said that all his children had already left the country because of its instability).  Efforts to discredit Rupert by some of the pro-Ramaphosa elements in the media about his warning, did not work. What it indeed confirms, is how strongly the pro-Ramaphosa clan has penetrated the media (as most communists, masked as “good” or as so-called “democratic socialists”, have done over the years) in their propaganda to falsely tell South Africans that their country’s dying economy is healthy. Indeed, it seems as if some of these pro-Ramphosas successfully mesmerised themselves to believe their own lies.27,42,74,82,83

To state that South Africa is far from IMF intervention and does not need it, is seen more and more as  part of the Ramamaphosa camp’s use of populism to obscure the reality. All the signs are there that the ANC regime will be forced within a year or three, if the economy continues to worsen, to knock on the doors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for structural-adjustment programmes. Although some economists believe the IMF can bring intense socio-economic constraints for the citizens, other economists see such an intervention as a saving grace which should happen as soon as possible. All that can keep the IMF away is how easily the Ramaphosa clan can loot the private and public pension funds.72,84

The Reserve Bank governor, Lesetja Kganyago72, described in August 2019 the intervention impact of the IMF well when he said72:3: “The IMF is so terrible. They give the patient such terrible medication that the patient dies. Only if the patient ate the vegetables, they wouldn’t need to take the medication”.

The ANC, as a revolutionary regime, does clearly not want to eat the IMF vegetables nor drink the terrible IMF medicine. They are looking for soft, easy money targets to defraud the owners. As soft targets — as a new form of state and private capture — the private and public pensions are ideal (to cure their failed SOEs and other financial disasters) instead of going for a strict IMF intervention and the IMF’s constructive control of the Ramaphosa regime’s socio-economics. (It must be noted that the assets of public pension funds in South Africa amount to about R4,2 trillion with 40% of that belonging to the GEPF. In total there is more or less R6 trillion controlled by private and public assets managers).71,75,77-81

The real plan already being prepared by the Ramaphosa regime is to expropriate in some way the R6 trillion of pensions, as was recently clearly indicated by Enoch Godongwa72, the head of the ANC’s economic transformation subcommittee, when he said the asset management industry (which includes pension funds, insurers and other investors) is sitting on R6-trillion and72:3: “…should lend some of this to the state”. What the word “lend” means in the ANC’s Marxist-Leninist politics is only one thing: grabbing without compensation. This delinquent intention of the ANC is  making even the radical Cosatu worried about its own members’ pensions. It was with good reason that Cosatu reacted as follows72:3: “What we want to see is assurance that the money is going to be used for its intended purposes and not corruption, and there will be guaranteed returns”. For the critical political analyst it is a clear case of money never to be paid back as has happened with the millions and millions of rand stolen during the state capture by the ANC elite and their intimate cronies.

Kgosana and Speckman72, alert us to the reality of the ANC’s immediate intention to “overpower” the R6-trillion in the very near future, when they write72:3:

The ANC’s economic policy guru [Godongwa] has reiterated the party’s desire for the government to raid private and public pension funds to raise money to rescue ailing state-owned enterprises  (SOEs) and meet its obligations.

Quoting further Godongwa72, they write72:3:

Why would you go to the IMF and the World Bank and go and raise money when we have sufficient savings in the economy which you can borrow, probably far cheaper, and probably with little exchange rate risk?

Bruce61, in his sometimes practical and simple approaches to serious matters related to the ANC-regime’s delinquent activities and unpredictability, steers us to the “large black hole” of debt that is (hopefully) worrying the ANC regime daily and which makes the prospect of gobbling up both private and public pension funds all the more appealing when he compares interest on state debt to monthly payments on a car61:14:

Every day, officials at the National Treasury have to find around R1bn to repay the interest on our national debt. If it ever happened one day that they couldn’t manage, then we would be, as a country, what you and I would be if we missed a car payment. Buggered.

So while Treasury boffins are busy making sure policemen, teachers and nurses get paid every month by the broken government departments they work for, it’d  be pretty normal for them to wonder why this all has to be so difficult.

De Lange77:4 reports that prescriptions on asset allocation usually come in when something is not working in the economy of a country: in South Africa it is essentially the failed economic policy of the ANC which is causing chaos and therefore the main reason for a further misuse of the tax-payers’ money by imposing prescribed assets (to stave off IMF intervention for a while). The looting of the prescribed assets is unlikely to boost the economy in the long term. But one thing is clear: after the pensions are gobbled up in three years’ time, what other money will be left as cash heist for the Ramaphosa regime to balance its daily budget? Nothing will be left by an Eskom, an SABC and an SAA far down in a large black hole. Can this be prosperity?

Andrew Canter72, the CIO of Future Growth Asset Management, points out that there is only one solution for the ANC regime’s failed economical management since 1994 (a system which pension grabbing and nationalisation cannot solve)72:3:

“There is no magic bullet with prescription, there is no magic bullet with the IMF, there is no magic bullet from anywhere except to run the government better”.

3.3.1.13. Bad Donald Trump and bad USA

The foolishness of Ramaphosa’s Third Sona not only echoed his lack know-how when it comes to constructive political thinking, planning and action to bring economic and political solutions to a country still mired in the “bad” ANC’s politics of the past, but also demonstrated his many shortcomings as a supposed executive leader. This is well borne out by the controversial policy on international relations he has adopted and practices blindly. One issue that stands out is his inability to solve xenophobia inside the country as well as outside our borders. As in many African countries marred by a revolutionary government, he terminated any prospects to create prosperity for present-day South Africa.

His approach to our relations with the USA can only be described as a major mistake, exemplified by his gratuitous criticism levelled against Donald Trump and his Administration for their stance and handling of the USA-China-Huawei matter.24,85-88

This curious international political stumbling by Ramaphosa persuaded Douglas Gibson85, the veteran politician, to write85:6:

Has President Cyril Ramaphosa been studying at the Zindzi Mandela School of Diplomacy?

His recent gratuitous insults to the US and his sucking up to China makes no sense against the background of his overriding aim of the New Dawn: focusing on the economy, attracting foreign direct investment, fostering growth and thus creating jobs for our unemployed millions.

Ramaphosa seems to display gross ignorance of diplomacy, given that he twice confusedly made statements at a world forum that: 1) “…the US is jealous that a Chinese company called Huawei has outstripped it when it comes to 5G technology” (G20 Summit), and: 2) “… the US has been unable to imagine a better future which goes beyond 4-plus-1G (referring to 5G connectivity) at the 4IR-conference. Besides his ostensible lack of an understanding of possible communication manipulation and espionage by China via Huawei, he does not take into account the profound and hidden struggle for hegemony as the USA and China compete for power. He missed out on the benefits of being good friends with both.85-90

However much some pro-Ramaphosa economists try to minimise the impact of such statements with counter-arguments, e.g. that the AGOA agreement has been by untouched by Ramaphosa’s negative rhetoric, the future outcomes of Ramaphosa’s verbal attacks on the USA will only be learnt in time. Other arguments in support of Ramaphosa’s clumsy rhetoric have been advanced, such as88:1: “China’s economy is forecast to surpass the USA in size and that the Chinese are probably more committed in terms of investing in South Africa than the USA”, but are unrelated to the matter. Those are purely political and opportunistic postulations as to a situation far away in the future. The Chinese, on the contrary, have already shown caution regarding South Africa’s unstable politics. In addition, China is an astute investor in Africa, making sure that its own interests in obtaining raw materials are placed first, so that many African countries have already become disillusioned with apparent Chinese largesse when it comes to investments.85-88

Gibson and other political commentators show precisely how Ramaphosa (undoubtedly noticed too by his loyal and pro-Chinese economists in the media and in politics) is committing a major error in selecting the correct country as a future partner to improve our economy (and is making a fool of himself in the Western countries’ eyes). The fact that must basically only count in the making and the upkeep of international relationships, is the trade amount between countries. Data show out that the total RSA-USA-trade for 2018 was as much as $18,9 billion, while between January and October 2018 South Africa had a favourable trade surplus of around R7,9 billion with the USA. This means we sold more to them than they did to us. During the same period South Africa had a hugely unfavourable trade deficit of R96,85-billion with China, meaning we bought far more from China than that they bought from us. Regarding investments in South Africa, the fact is that American investmens in South Africa total R129 billion as against China’s R89,9-billion.86-89

Ramaphosa’s rash attack on the USA forced Gibson85 to put forward the question85:6: “Is there a benefit, other than the ideological satisfaction of poking Trump in the eye?” Thankfully the seasoned politician Gibson, in enlightening us on Ramaphosa’s behaviour, supplies us with a good answer85:6: “But then, there is scarcely a dictator in the world for whom the government does not have a warm feeling and scarcely a democratic Western country that the ANC really like.” The ANC regime’s intimate association with BRICS confirms Gibson’s statement.85

The editor91 of the Sunday Times of 7 June 2019, seemingly also perplexed about Ramaphosa’s rhetoric, asks91:16:

One wonders about the game Ramaphosa is playing, given that the US remains a significant trading partner with SA. Also curious is the extent to which Ramaphosa seemed to be at odds with his own trade & industry minister, Ebrahim Patel  who seems to have adopted a more cautious and even-handed approach in juggling SA’s relations with the worlds two economic superpowers.

Thankfully it seems as if Ramaphosa’s Minister Patel has some political tact and diplomacy, and most of all economic knowhow and political intelligence, when he said that South Africa needed every partner in the world in order to deal with our many economic ills like joblessness.91 Also Ramaphosa’s special envoy to attract foreign investments, Phumzile Langeni87, shows excellent economic skills in circumlocuting Ramaphosa’s mumble when he said that South Africa was continuing to court the USA aggressively.

What Ramaphosa further overlooked in his attack on Donald Trump and the USA, are the benefits that the current African Growth and Opportunity Act (ACOA) of the USA, bring to South Africa. It is indeed a lifeline for South Africa. Any negative political signals to the USA could and would trigger negative actions, which could be devastating for many of our sectors that are benefitting under AGOA. It can bring serious socio-economical consequences. Although AGOA expires in 2025, it does not mean that the Trump-administration, in its growing protectionist stance and isolation of hostile countries, cannot act immediately against hard-line culprits. It must be noted that SA’s exports in industry and agricultural produce to the US have increased threefold since the implementation of AGOA in 2000. It seems to have passed Ramaphosa by that South Africa’s wine-exporting industry, which is totally intertwined with our tourist industry, has enjoyed the largest export growth to the USA under AGOA. Last year AGOA is estimated to have directly contributed up to R32,7 billion of our GDP and that as many as 310 000 jobs of mostly unskilled and semi-skilled workers are dependent of it. The 2018 biennial report on the AGOA implementation shows that the treaty is in our favour, such as the export of transportation equipment to the US which rose from $76 miillion (R1,12-billion at today’s rate)  in 2001 to $1,3-billion in 2017 while it added more than 30 000 jobs here.

Regarding China, Wandile Sihloho, head of agribusiness research at the Agricultural Business Camber of SA, said that South Africa was indeed a small player in Chinese agricultural exports. Our exports, standing at R9,5-billion, was only a 0,5% share of the value of Chinese agricultural imports in 2018. Chances are also slim that our agricultural exports would be increased to China in the near future. In the absence of AGOA or any other agreement, South Africa’s exports would face reciprocal tariffs in the USA as laid down by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in the form of Most Favoured Nation tariffs, warned Professor Nhlanhla Mbatha of Unisa’s Graduate School of Business Leadership.86-88,91

It must thus be noted, with specific reference to Ramaphosa’s attacks on the USA’s policies, both in his personal and public capacity as state president, that AGOA’s benefits and outcomes depend almost entirely on decisions of the USA and that it could be quickly reviewed following on his anti-American rhetoric. Indeed, there has recently been a review of the USA’s African development programme after questions were raised on hostile countries active inside it. The following sub-Saharan African countries do not currently benefit from AGOA: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (graduated from GSP), Eritrea, Mauritania, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Zimbabwe.

Although Ramaphosa’s term as President may be short-lived, the loss of AGOA’s benefits to South Africa before 2025 could be devastating, as many of the ANC regime’s other foolish actions since 1994 had brought devastating outcomes.86,91

Although it is speculated that the egregious anti-American rhetoric by Ramaphosa will not affect the AGOA agreement and that the September 2019 so-called “draft plan between South Africa and the US to develop Ramaphosa’s so-called vision” will assure fruits in terms of AGOA and the US’s new Prosper Africa initiative, only time will show. The statement, as formulated by South Africa and the US after they held their tenth annual bilateral forum (ABF) in September, ran as follows92:6: “Both sides agreed to continue to nurture the relationship.” Such a terse statement is far from a declaration of sincere brotherhood and trust and an agreement of sole cooperation without making the Chinese a third bed-fellow for the ANC in this already “unhappy” relationship.92 Neither does there seem to be any sense in the pro-Ramaphosas’ argument that China was more important than the USA to South Africa because “China’s economy is forecast to surpass the USA in size and that the Chinese are probably more committed in terms of investing in South Africa than the USA”. This Ramaphosa assessment lacks soundness and can come at a price for South Africa.88

The short-sightedness of the Ramaphosa regime flows from its lack of sound business principles. But it goes deeper: It reflects an insidious brotherhood with China and revolutionary countries which has poisoned its economic thinking. Moreover, increasingly present in the ANC regime’s mindset is a hostile anti-Western stance. Its lack of influence within countries that form part of the Western sphere of influence is already reflected by the Ramaphosa regime’s less than successful effort in 2018 to secure $100 million of investments without strict conditions for South Africa in the Middle East, in countries such as Abu Dhabi, the United Emirates, etc., that are all pro-Western and pro-American.44

The billionaire Johann Rupert44, quoted by Pieter du Toit44, author of the book entitled “The Stellenbosch Mafia: Inside the Billionaire’s Club”, has some incisive opinions on the stubborn folly and revolutionary thinking of the ANC’s top brass, stretching back 107 years, which had not only led to their failed $100-million call for “good” investments in 2018, but reflects a financial-investment failure continuing to this day. Rupert states44:4-5:

Wat die Suid-Afrikaners nie verstaan het op hul beleggingstoer na die Golf nie, is dat Ramaphosa se regering sal sukkel om vriende te maak met die VAE en Saoedi-Arabië as hulle voortgaan om die VSA, Brittanje en Israel swart te smeer.

Sonder die VSA se beskerming is die VAE niks nie. Hulle weet dit. So werk hulle saam met Saoedi-Arabië, Israel en die VSA teen Iran.

En nou kom ons, hoed in die hand, om geld by hulle te vra, terwyl ons die VSA en Brittanje soos vuilgoed behandel?

The Chinese, on the contrary, already show signs of reaching saturation point with South Africa’s unstable politics, labour unrest and violent protests. As alluded to above, China is usually the winner when it comes to its investments in Africa, and not the African states where those investments take place.

Ramaphosa continues to side with the BRICS countries (as Jacob Zuma did), which may in the end cost the country dearly. Ramaphosa’s actions start to reveal how the ANC’s concept of constitutional democracy reminds one more and more of the one superficially adhered to by leaders of Soviet Russia and Communist China. Since 1994 in South Africa, it has also been the “party” that is the “state” and which rules through a manipulated and watered-down electoral system and an even autocratic democratic-centralism. Power is concentrated in its politburo from where the secretary general and president of the ANC as two members of the Top Six and the eighty members of the ANC NEC determine the policy and implementation of the state affairs outside Parliament. The main reason for the country’s currently failing economy and a make-believe instead of a real prosperity is directly rooted in a quasi-democratic system that has been corrupted from within.93

3.3.1.14. Bettering the ANC-regime

For the “government to be run better” by the ANC regime seems to be a political analyst’s dream, but a nightmare for a bank manager at risk of losing other people’s good money as “loans” to the ANC in an attempt to better it. Schuitema94 sees the chaotic economics to be seated in so-called “takers” by specifically naming South Africans as a “nation of takers” — an internalised cognitive tradition which is not easily erased from a nation’s mindset. The misused and under-used status of our people — of which the Apartheid regime and even more prominently the ANC have been guilty — led to poorly developed people, wealth disparities and structural imbalances, together with an economy that could easily become the host for a parasitical political elite inside a revolutionary regime which presented itself as the saviours of the suppressed Blacks of pre-1994. Inside the post-1994 pseudo-democracy, with its misleading, opportunistic political aims and intentions, self-gain has overtaken the minds of the elite as well as the poor. This debased cognition is growing, turning into looting and avarice that are negatively impacting economic management, as well as causing social and personal misbehaviour. Such entrenched negative elements cannot easily be rooted out, in an effort to improve the economy. The fact is that these entrenched elements are permanent parts of the ANC’s established Marxist-Leninist ideology, which is maintained and implemented daily by means of the ANC’s democratic-centralism that does not allow the individual to deviate from his prescribed path and ideology, and which makes a rehabilitation of the South African economy nearly impossible, as long as the ANC remains in power.94

Helen Zille67 too, after studying the political system and economics of the ANC, postulates that the reason why  true prosperity has not been reached since 1994 in South Africa and why there can never be such prosperity in the future if the ANC stays in power, is be found in the ANC’s democratic-centralism and Marxist-Leninist political ideology, together with its dogma of the National Democratic Revolution (NDR) which it inherited from its close association with the South African Communist Party (SACP). Sustaining this ANC political inclination is its pyramidal or hierarchical power structurue with the ANC’s politburo (based on its Marxist-Leninist-ideology) exclusively in charge (on top). The politburo, consisting of the autocratic and despotic Top Six, the eighty NEC members and the secretary general, is the only executive body that may set policies and take decisions in terms of the resolutions taken at the party’s national conferences (attended by more or less 4 000 delegates from all the ANC branches countrywide). This politburo controls and manages the ANC party and every member, and by extension the ANC regime and the South African state.67

South Africa’ economic problems are a product of the ANC politburo’s power structure and its obedience to Marxism-Leninism. Focussing on the supposed prosperity and the false future economic growth as propagated to innocent and uninformed South Africans by the ANC’s top brass (politburo) during their daily promises of rehabilitating the South African state post-May 2019, it must be noted that its Marxist-Leninist politics never means allocating prosperity to the individual citizen but only to its politburo and thus the ANC elite. The Marxist-Leninist ANC started state capture in 1994 under Nelson Mandela and it was refined by the Jacob Zuma regime. It is still current practice by the Ramaphosa regime and Ramaphosa’s economic gurus such as Gordhan, notwithstanding their so-called “political virtue” and sweet-sounding “democratisation speeches”.67

That the Ramaphosa regime is still subscribing today to the ANC’s Marxist-Leninist politics is well illustrated by the ongoing appointment of incomptetent ANC cadres and tainted ANC top cronies in executive positions as required and prescribed by its politburo, clearly not with the intention to heal the economy or to deliver prosperity or to bring clean government. The ANC’s Marxist-Leninist foundation will never allow its political system to be changed or to be improved. It did not change under Mbeki or Zuma and will not change under Ramaphosa the Good. His many commissions on state capture, his fingering of Jacob Zuma as a kind of political and economic culprit or his cornering of the public protector as the perpetrator of improper “prosecutions” of him and Gordhan, represent short-term window dressings to keep the Marxist-Leninist ANC on track to rule South Africa. The ANC leaders, deeply marinated in revolutionary politics, know all too well that an ANC without a Marxist-Leninist foundation would be dead and so would their own political careers.

Inside the Marxist-Leninist tradition of the ANC (as showed by the history of the Soviet Union, Maoist China, Cuba, etc.) we find the primary concept: he who controls the economy controls the politics; and he who controls the politics controls the economy. Mandela knew it, Mbeki knew it, Zuma knew it, Ramaphosa knows it, Magashule knows it, Mabuza knows it and Gordhan knows it. All Marxist-Leninist disciples know it. Intertwined “political economies” as Marxists fondly call them, are the ideal for nation-states presided over by autocrats and despotic emperors. The ANC has nearly perfected this ideal, their dream.67

Zille67 presents an excellent analysis of how successfully the ANC’s leaders since 1994 have masterfully upheld a public image of democracy, while at the same time nurturing Marxism-Leninism in order to unleash at any time a full national-democratic revolution on the country. Undoubtedly our presently failing economy and governance are a direct outcome of the ANC’s planned national-democratic revolution, making any constructive bettering of our economy at this stage far-fetched. Zille writes67:7:

Al die ondersoeke en kommissies sal uiteindelik ‘n mors van tyd en geld wees as hulle nie die fundamentele ontwerpfout, wat aan die kern van al ons problem lé, uitwys nie: die NDR.

Dit is egter omwaarskynlik dat dit ooit sal gebeur en daarom sal ons aanhou om langsamerhand te misluk.

Te veel Suid-Afrikaners is verblind deur die oortuiging dat die goeie ouens die wa deur die drif kan sleep — gegrond op ‘n beleidsraamwerk wat dit onmoontlik maak. Dit is soos om te glo dat ‘n bevoegde vlieërnier ‘n Boeing 737 Max in vryval kan red. Selfs die wêreld se beste vlieëniers kan nie ‘n vliegtuig met ‘n fundamentele ontwerpfout in die lug hou nie.

Two indicators, or rather truths, are clearly related to Zille’s67 opinion above. Firstly, South Africa experienced from day-one with Mandela’s presidency the ANC’s Marxist-Leninist politics which would activate at the right time its national-democratic revolution such as the grabbing of land and the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank, etc. The radicalism of the Freedom Charter was watered down tacitly for politically opportunistic reasons by Nelson Mandela in 1994. Certain pre-steps were first needed, creating a slow, well-disguised descent into autocracy and a systematic sabotage of the economy and the administration of the country, to prepare the political terrain. Secondly, the process to activate the ANC’s national Marxist-Leninist revolution came out of the closet in December 2017 with the arrival of the ambition-driven Ramaphosa and Magashule, as well as their ANC’s instruction to finally implement the radicalism of the Freedom Charter.4,95-97

The ANC’s Marxist-Leninist organisational structure, derived from Soviet Russia and Communist China’s politico- economic system, persuaded the political-veteran Douglas Gibson93 to refer to the existing South African system as a crypto-party dictatorship intentionally set up to make a Western-style democracy and economy fail, while the favoured politico-economic system of the Marxist-Leninist ANC leaders is kept in place.93

Jones95 evaluated the prosperity of a country from a similar viewpoint as Zille (and thus the possibility to improve its economy when adversely affected) in terms of the driving of the economy by a democratic party under a community leadership versus a crypto-party dictatorship. To be able to do this, is it firstly important to compare true democracies which mostly reflect real prosperity and sound economic policies, with semi-autocracies to full autocracies which seldom show prosperity — or as in present-day Venezuela — hold up “pretended” prosperity as a front. Secondly, included in this analysis, one should look at the political alliances of a country with other countries as a clear barometer to confirm prosperity versus economic chaos. As a measurement instrument Jones uses an evaluation guideline on democracies versus autocracies in 2019, and South Africa’s position in it. Although Jones writes that democracy worldwide still rules, his evaluation bears out that since 1994 as many as 75 countries worldwide have moved in the direction of autocratisation. In 2017 alone, 24 countries became autocracies. In comparision, there are only 24 countries in 2019 showing positive tendencies toward democratisation, while 53% of the world’s total countries still qualify as democracies.95

South Africa’s association with BRICS shows how we are slipping away from democracy (notwithstanding how much we try to praise our so-called “good” Constitution and democracy) and our decline into utter poverty and a lack of prosperity. Jones’s95 article refers to research by two Swedish political scientists who currently see a decline in democracy world-wide:

In their fascinating new academic study, two Swedish political scientists, Anna Lührmann and Staffan Lindberg, point out that we are in the sixth chapter of the world’s democratic history. A third wave of democratic decline has hit us — the largest to date.

Among the many countries that have autocratised (in other words, slipped away from democracy) over the past two to three decades are India, Russia and Venezuela. Brazil could also be included.

Because of South Africa’s association with BRICS and countries that seem to form part of increasing autocratisation, we should take it as a serious warning of our imminent decline to the extreme junk status of a Venezuela or a Zimbabwe. Not only are the outward signs of prosperity in South Africa chimeral, but we might be on a precipice of losing even those vestiges of prosperity we still have. Jones95 quotes Anna Lührmann and Staffan Lindberg who sound the following warning95:30:

About a third of all autocratisation episodes … started during a democratic dispensation. Almost all of the latter … led to the country turning into an autocracy. This should give us a great pause in the spectre of the current third wave of autocratisation. Very few episodes of autocratisation starting in democracies have ever been stopped before countries become autocracies.

The innocent voter is mostly misled by the so-called “credibility of elections, the independence of courts and the freedom enjoyed by the opposition parties”, but there is much more to the issue that is not noted correctly. The loss of political and economical freedom take mostly time and is well-planned by the autocrat. Jones informs us95:30:

This shift away from democracy to autocracy is sometimes hidden because it does not necessarily take place overnight as, for example, with a coup. Nowadays, countries are gradually moving in this direction — often in a way that appears to be democratic.

Jones’s95 description of autocracy, strongly in line with Zille’s67 view of a Marxist-Leninist ANC at present ruling South Africa, is confirmed by our imperfect electoral system and our law-makers’ elections that bear similarities to the election process in many autocracies. (Recall again that the ANC regime of today was chosen in May 2019 as ruler by only 28% of the eligible voters, with 51% of eligible voters withholding their votes). South Africa is undoubtedly not one of the 24 so-called true democracies and it seems that the country has moved since 1994, together with as many as 75 countries worldwide, in the direction of autocracy.

Noting the growing autocracy in South Africa, driven by Marxist-Leninist politics, and pointed out by Zille67, Gibson85,93 and Jones95, it is clear why the country’s economy is running into serious trouble after 25 years. On the other hand, it is also evident that this economic approach is favoured and consonant with ANC power because it fits into its political planning for a future South Africa. Bettering, done in terms of Western capitalist principles, may therefore be ruled out.

In light of the above, Munusamy98 and Taylor99 are correct in writing that there are no easy paths to rebuilding or bettering our broken state and to change divisive attitudes in our society. Indeed, those ANC delinquents who are fighting attempts to clean up the corrupted state and set it aright, are all people attempting to escape prosecution and to keep their ill-gotten gains within the protection offered by the ANC’s Marxist-Leninist political model. These political crooks know how to attack the pillars of good and true democracy. To better our economy would need more than “cultured” democracy, it needs an equally robust defence in order to rescue South Africa from its current morass. Munusamy puts it clearly98:18:

“There is no such thing as an idealistic revolution [or an idealistic bettered economy]. Real change takes strong leadership and a bare-knuckle fight [for a clean regime]”.

Taylor99 writes on the absolute requirement to effect constructive changes to the economy, like the implementation of austerity (which also includes changes to the personal, political and social lifestyle of every citizen and most of all the ANC elite), all of which form part of a reality that the ANC desperately avoids. Within the current politico-economic chaos, the ANC has no plan or intention to change, essentially because the regime’s elite does not want to put the nation’s interests before theirs. Political reality is manipulated by the government through personal attacks and baseless declarations, reflecting firstly that lies became the truth for them, and secondly that they cannot and will not do anything constructive to the economy that would contradict their Marxist-Leninist ideology. There is no silver bullet that can re-establish the country’s economy besides a new, better government.

Perhaps because of Scandinavian financial and logistical support for ANC during its terrorist phase prior to 1994, it seems to look at the “Scandinavian model” of marrying capitalism and socialism, otherwise known as “social economics”. The journalist and researcher Ivo Vegter83 very successfully unmasks the ANC politburo’s rejection of exclusive capitalism in favour of so-called inclusive capitalism (or more correctly: their communistic socialism which never ever worked in the long term, as evidenced by Zimbabwe, Venezuela, the old Soviet Union, Cambodia, etc.). Vegter points out that the so-called “social economics” of Scandinavian countries (Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland) are far away from the ANC’s ideas. Scandinavian democratic socialism is just not in the ANC’s fabric. However much it tries, it just does not have the integrity to better itself in any way to be in the class of the Scandinavian countries.

Vegter83, referring to the findings of the Fraser Institute World-index for Economic Freedom, shows that the Scandinavian countries are at the top of the list of the world’s free countries because of their sound judicial and financial systems, protected property rights, balanced immigration and international trade policies, etc. (In comparison, on the Fraser Institute World-index, South Africa under the ANC dropped from 82nd place in 2008 to 110th place in 2016, confirming our impaired Marxist-Leninist economics).10,83

The “ideal” ANC socialist state (the model of the Scandinavian countries of which Ramaphosa undoubtedly dreamed many times in his Third Shona) is a sociopolitical model which the revolutionary and selfish ANC-regime never can or will master. Vegter points out in terms of the Fraser Institute’s report and guideline what it takes to top the list as the Scandinavian countries do, reporting as follows83:4-5:

Die verslag wys dat nasies in die boonste kwartiel van ekonomiese vryheid ‘n gemiddelde bruto binnelandse produk (BBP) per capita het wat ses keer groter is as dié van lande in die onderste kwart.  Die gemiddelde inkomste van die armste 10% van die bevolking in die vryste lande is sewe keer hoër as in die onvry lande s’n, en selfs hoër as die gemiddelde per capita-inkomste van die lande wat die minste ekonomiese vryheid het.

In die boonste kwart ervaar slegs 1,8% van die bevolking armoede, teenoor 27,2%  in die onderste kwart. In die vry lande sterf minder babas en leef mense langer. Politieke en burgerlike vryhede is meer in die ekonomiese vry lande as in die onvry lande. Geslagsgelykheid is groter. Mense is gelukkiger.

The question is thus: why is South Africa under the ANC not at the top of the list, most of its people poor, a government hijacked in so-called “state capture” and is the country waiting for its bankruptcy to be declared? Vegter gives us a clear, precise answer: Because these so-called socialist Scandinavian countries used their wealth constructively and with integrity to create and to establish comprehensive, healthy welfare-states that are functioning politically effectively and correctly.8

Dr. Frans Cronjé100, the head of the Institute of Racial Relations (IRR) attributes the significantly lower evaluation of South Africa by the Fraser Institute to the effects of one clear cause: the utterly bad leadership of the ANC that cannot by any means be improved. The Fraser Institute‘s ranking is simply confirming what we know already: the ANC’s appalling leadership, the evidence of its failed communist-style socialism, revolutionary, radical and delinquent thinking, planning and actions, as well as the dishonest inclination to self-enrichment by the ANC’s elite must lead to eventual economic decline. This entrenched delinquent mentality of the ANC  was again confirmed by the absolute praises sung by both Thabo Mbeki and Cyril Ramaphosa regarding the mass murderer, thief, and despot Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe at his funeral. They lionised him as a so-called good man, a man of integrity, a man who knew how to reign and a man who had benefited his people; notwithstanding undisputed evidence which contradicts and rejects such a view.83,100 The Fraser Institute knows the ANC regime and its post-1994 reign of South Africa just too well when it negatively evaluated it with the number 110 position on its list. As Cronjé muses100:6:

Dit is sekerlik nou vir selfs die grootmoedigste en redelikste waarnemers duidelik dat die ANC ‘n inherent bose organisaie is en dat dit die plig van alle ordentlike Suid-Afrikaners is om alles in hul vermoë te doen om hom van sy mag te ontneem.

Cronjé’s reference to the ANC as a so-called “inherently evil organisation”, redirects us to the many public and media requests that the ANC’s elite should improve the economy through better rule. But in this context the most basic question has so far not a single time been asked: is there a single soul in the ANC’s present leadership to better the ANC itself, let alone to better the economy of the country? If we are look at the failed presidential histories of Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma, the answer is no. Taking note of Cyril Ramaphosa’s indecisive presidential term so far, the popular narrative seems to be68:21: “…that the president is ineffective, isolated, out of touch and overwhelmed by the fightback in his party”. Taking into account the conclusion of Malala68 that reads68:21: “…Ramaphosa and his team have a 55% chance of suceeding and turning the country’s fortunes around”, it would be foolish to believe that the ANC can better itself, or the country. The ANC’s saviour, who should have a 100% rating, has only obtained more or less 50%. It means the last man standing, went down. There is no leadership in the present-day ANC to do good for itself or the nation. Above all, the reconstruction of the country should be a first demand and priority. Present arguments that it should be a requirement for the ANC regime to better the economy, because of its large parliamentary majority, are not persuasive72. The ANC is leaderless; its politics is too contaminated to let it loose in a future democracy. On the other hand, at this stage to oust the ANC from Parliament by a motion of no confidence or a coup is not feasible. But something must be done as soon as possible to create  a clean government to improve the country’s economy and the people’s quality of life, without a disturbance of the political and societal peace. For Professor William Gumede1 of Wits one of the best ways to install an effective and clean government which can guarantee prosperity, is to educate our voters with knowledge of their civil interests and rights and the mass empowerment they enjoy through their votes: meaning thus to vote the best lawmakers into Parliament and the best party to be the ruler.

Gumede1, on a “better government” that could improve the country’s economy and drag it out of its present despondency, indicates in some way how the mass of Black voters should change their behaviour in electing a government that would act in their interest, and not in the interest of the corrupt elite. What Gumede should have said to us is that the ANC is “irreparable”, a “misfit” as a political party and never intended to bring prosperity to the mass of poor anyway. There is no sense in trying to better it. All the pages and pages written on possibilities to “rehabilitate” the ANC, is inappropriate and inapplicable. There is only one solution to the matter: the voters must themselves reject the ANC at the ballot box. Only after that and under a new regime with integrity, can the process of bettering South Africa be started. Gumede writes1:18:

For the cycle of black poverty to end, poor blacks must stop voting for instance for independence movements and leaders just because of their past opposition to colonialism and apartheid or their current “radical” rhetoric, regardless of their record in government.

People will also have to stop supporting leaders purely because they are loudly against the hated “others”.

In the long term, quality mass education, societal opposition to false beliefs and better quality leaders and political parties are crucial.

Poor blacks should support black leaders because of their competence, behaviour and values. Within black communities, more imagination, maturity and forward-looking approaches are needed to tackle the enduring impact of the trauma of colonialism and apartheid, at both the individual and the societal level.

4. Conclusions

I flew into SA in the second week of spring. This time the new season did not herald hope and renewal. It was the spring of despondency. The country was plummeted into the foulest mood I had experienced among my fellow countrymen in decades. The crime statistics were horrendous. Economic indicators showed we are a country in crisis. The currency was plumbing new depths. — Justice Malala, Sunday Times, 20 October 2019

Studying prosperity in present-day South Africa, the mood reflected does not differ in any way from the one Malala met in September 2019 when he had arrived from the USA and had described it as despondency. All the indicators put forward in this article around the concept prosperity, varying from the availability of jobs, unemployment, business trust, political harmony, leadership, willingness to change, governmental international relations and alliances, etc., showed that South Africa was not going to get more prosperous. On the contrary, there are signs that current South African politics is mired in an autocratic political system whereby the ANC’s previously hidden Marxist-Leninist politics, is starting to steer its policies. The country’s economy has been subject to the ANC’s delinquent intentions as far back as in the days of Nelson Mandela. Here, as in Venzuela, the state is starting to have a firm grip on all facets of our people’s lives — from where we live and what we eat, to how much we earn. We are more in trouble than we think.

There are no signs that the pre-May 2019 election promises of Cyril Ramaphosa and his ANC regime have in any way rectified the ills of South Africa so far. The economy is still negatively impacted, while the ANC’s politics is indecisive. The country can indeed be described as being in a state of disarray, or better, as Malala described it, despondency. The presence of a Chávez-Madura-elite is here too, and the feeling of a Venezuela in the making, might be real.

In the forthcoming Article 13, entitled: “Critical evaluation of the three main political parties’ capability to steer successful land expropriation in post-2019 South Africa: Part 3-The ANC in perspective”(13)”, the ability of the ANC to take care of the land expropriation matter in terms of the mandate as ruler it received in the 8 May 2019 election, will be further evaluated.

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PEER REVIEW

Not commissioned; External peer-reviewed.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

The author declares that he has no competing interest.

FUNDING

The research was funded by the Focus Area Social Transformation, Faculty of Humanities, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, South Africa.

UNSUITABLE TERMS AND INAPPROPRIATE WORDS

Please note that I, the author, am aware that the words Creole, Bantu, Kaffir, Native, Hottentot and Bushman are no longer suitable terms and are inappropriate (even criminal) for use in general speech and writing in South Africa (Even the words non-White and White are becoming controversial in the South African context). The terms do appear in dated documents and are used or translated as such in this article for the sake of historical accuracy. Their use is unavoidable within this context. It is important to retain their use in this article to reflect the racist thought, speech and writings of as recently as sixty years ago. These names form part of a collection of degrading names commonly used in historical writings during the heyday of apartheid and the British imperial time. In reflecting on the leaders and regimes of the past, it is important to foreground the racism, dehumanization and distancing involved by showing the language used to suppress and oppress. It also helps us to place leaders and their sentiments on a continuum of racism. These negative names do not represent my views and I distance myself from the use of such language for speaking and writing. In my other research on the South African populations and political history, I use Blacks, Whites, Xhosa, Zulu, Afrikaners, Coloureds, KhoiSan (Bushmen), KhoiKhoi (Hottentots) and Boers as applicable historically descriptive names.