Commissar Sihle Zikalala’s remarks eulogising 25 years of ANC rule (Mercury, February 15) mirror the brand of propaganda readers of Pravda had to endure extolling the virtues of totalitarian communism in the USSR.
In the true Orwellian style, Zikalala presents failure and neglect as achievements. First off, he boasts how the debt ratio to GDP of 69% in 1994 has been reduced to 53%. What he omits to disclose is that thanks to ANC –inspired international sanctions, disinvestment and its policy of making the country ungovernable, South Africa’s economy in 1994 was in a parlous state.
Citing the fact that employment has increased is meaningless when unemployment has tripled to almost ten million since 1994. Significantly he ignores that reality because it exposes the failure of the ANC’s socialist policies and BEE.
For Zikalala to proclaim the restoration of dignity is a gross insult. More people are mired in poverty than at any time in South Africa’s history. Having 18 million people on social grants reflects economic failure. Since the onset of ANC rule, informal settlements have mushroomed across the country. Impoverishment is a reality for all because of the reduced buying power of the Rand. At its worst before 1994, the rand traded at R2.25 to the US dollar. Now, on a good day, it manages just under R14 to the dollar.
Under ANC rule, not a single state department is capable of consistent, competent service delivery. Crime and corruption are rampant. Two-thirds of municipalities are bankrupt. Thanks to connections within the ANC over R500 billion has been siphoned out of the country as part of state capture.
Tourism prospers only because of the weak Rand which enables foreign tourists to afford a cheap holiday and to visit heritage sites and game reserves that were established long before 1994.
In premising his harangue on the claim that Mandela would have been proud of what has transpired under ANC rule, Zikalala is sorely mistaken. Mandela is on record as saying “while poverty persists, there is no true freedom.
Sent into The Mercury and published, 17 February 2019.