BULLET QUOTES from RW Johnson’s book How long can SA survive? (2nd edition)
“Ever since 1994 South Africa has lived in a sort of dream world in which it was possible to believe six impossible things before breakfast (quoted from Alice in Wonderland). We have seen all considerations of merit and ability disregarded in the cause of affirmative action. The highest good in this new society was ‘transformation’ in which people were pushed to the front of every queue on account of their gender, skin colour or political persuasion. Everything which could be termed ‘anti-transformation’ was racist, sexist or reactionary. Demographic representivity was seen as good in itself. No society in world history has succeeded on this basis.” – pp.240-241.
“Everywhere there is a huge amount of pretending. One has to pretend that people who are hopeless at their jobs are good at them. That South-South trade is a good thing, even though ithas meant the annihilation of the South African footwear and textile markets by the Chinese. That black economic empowerment was not just corrupt crony capitalism. That South Africa’s steady decline on every sort of index was due to ‘apartheid inheritance.’ That corruption under apartheid was just as bad as under the ANC. One had to refrain from pointing out that many cabinet ministers were obvious buffoons or thieves. One has to pretend that the dislocation of the black family is simply due to apartheid even though it has worsened considerably since the end of apartheid. One has to pretend that the state, the economy and the country were not failing.” -p. 241.
…y patronage, clientelism and concomitant looting and corruption. This has created a political regime which is incapable of managing and developing a modern state.” – p. 245.
“The South African state is already anaemic and rickety. The average calibre of cabinet ministers is extremely low. Many seem to suffer from acute paranoia; some even believe in witchcraft. There is very little coordination amongst the absurdly high number of ministries and really no strong drive from the centre. As Goolim Ballim, Standard Bank’s chief economist has noted: ‘It’s like a real life showing of Home Alone – there are no adults in charge.’ “ – p. 234
“Black majority rule in ANC hands has apparently proved correct all the dire predictions made about black government by the old white right.” – p 142.
“From a peak in 1993 labour productivity overall had declined by a stunning 41,2% by 2013.This trend – strongly encouraged by the ANC’s dependence on Cosatu – is simply disastrous. Nissan nervously notesthat despite all the subsidies paid by government, it now costs 20% more to make a car in South Africa than in Thailand.” – p. 159.
“Sadtu has been primarily responsible for the collapse of educational standards in black schools since 1994 but no president or education minister has been willing to confront the union. Instead the government does whatever Sadtu says and even appoints its leaders to the cabinet.” – p. 177.
“Similarly, the police have almost completely escaped from official control. Torture and maltreatment of prisoners in police custody have sky-rocketed to a level far worse than under apartheid…. all meaningful discipline has broken down.” – p. 177.[NB. Daily News, 4 March 2013: More than 4,000 people died in police custody between 2006 and 2011. Yet under apartheid between 1963 and 1985 the number of deaths in police custody was 74].
BEE: “BEE schemes effectively give away 26% of [a company’s] equity, thus diluting the holdings of all other investors….It is hard to imagine the effect of such policy on any rational investor. Similarly Zuma hasannounced that the government would use regulatory power to create a new class of black industrialists… nowhere in the world have industrialists been created in that way…” – p. 187.
DA: “Under Helen Zille the DA has moved more and more in an ANC direction and shown a heightened sensitivity to all the ANC’s bugbears. In such a guise the DA would simply lack the guts and nerve [to govern].” – p. 227
DA: “The government not only does not believe in appointment on merit: it actively denounces such practice as ‘racist.’ Worse still, the once-liberal Opposition DA agrees. One simply cannot run a modern market economy on that basis.” – p. 242.
“The tragedy is that under its present leadership the DA has abandoned its decades-long commitment to merit, not race. This betrayal of principle is likely to be harshly treated by future historians.” – p. 243