It is ironic that what the ANC failed to achieve when it was in ‘struggle’ mode it has succeeded in accomplishing since 1994, namely, making the country ungovernable.
It’s a remarkable achievement considering the establishment of infrastructure and institutions, which were the hallmark of a functioning South Africa, was the product of more than 80 years of development and enterprise.
On the basis of that signal achievement, which the ANC is seeking to embellish further through re-election in 2024, a brief outline of that trajectory seems timely.
- Of the bloated 37 national government departments, only Sars functions efficiently but on a diminishing basis. Since 2015, 914,000 taxpayers have left the country (Daily Friend, July 8).
- All state-owned enterprises are financially crippled with Eskom being the worst.
- Law and order has been eclipsed by lawlessness. With more than 70 murders per day, crime is at record levels. Between 2018 and 2022, 1, 300 detectives resigned from the SAP.
- As reported on June 28, only 9.97 million people are employed. Yet, unsustainably, there are more than 18 million recipients of state welfare grants.
- 60% of the 257 municipalities are insolvent and dysfunctional in many respects. 85% of all municipalities meet the Municipal Finance Management Act’s criteria indicating critical shortcomings.
- Payment of state debt accounts for 74% of GDP. Yet the expenditure of up to R6 trillion is envisaged to achieve “a just transition” to decarbonisation.
- Despite the shortage of 18,804 doctors and medical personnel and the dysfunctional state of many aspects of hospitals, National Health Insurance is being pursued.
- Billions are spent on an effete military establishment most of whose equipment is non-functional.
- The unreliability of energy generation, transport and port operations has negatively impacted the industry to the point that Ford is considering relocating to Thailand. VW and Toyota have also indicated their discontent.
- Corruption, incompetence and inefficiency taint every aspect of public life. Even the ocean along Durban’s beachfront has become a health hazard because sewage treatment by the cadres is sub-standard.
- Promises of housing for all have turned out to mean the proliferation of informal settlements.
- State capture which saw up to R500 billion looted, occurred under the very noses of those who still hold office and others who have yet to be convicted and jailed.
Of course, the ultimate accolade regarding the ANC’s stellar achievement in crippling the country is the observation made by Professor Bonang Mohale, Chairman of Business Unity of South Africa: “We are not a failing State, but a failed state,” (Business Report, February 17, 2023).
In the real world, re-electing the ANC is a no-brainer.