Don't flash your cash, says government

2014-09-21 06:00

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Don’t flaunt your wealth, says the government.

This directive is contained in its latest five-year development plan and suggests that keeping your fine clothes, fast cars and fancy footwear on the down-low will help “build a socially cohesive society that is balanced”.

In its Medium-Term Strategic Framework 2014-2019 (MTSF), the government has lambasted as “offensive” those who show off their wealth in the face of high levels of inequality and unemployment.

This echoes concerns initially raised in the National Development Plan (NDP).

Josephilda Nhlapo-Hlophe, outcomes facilitator for the presidency’s department of planning, performance monitoring and evaluation, said: “This criticism is meant for everyone. That is why government has led the way with Treasury introducing austerity measures to curb unnecessary spending by the executive and government. That statement is meant to help transform society and build a socially cohesive society that is balanced.”

Nhlapo-Hlophe wrote the social cohesion section of the MTSF document.

But she had especially harsh words for those whose fancy cars, designer clothes, luxury watches and other visible signs of wealth seem to come from nowhere.

“Many times we see people who we know do not work or have any access to income and suddenly, the person is driving a flashy car. The question people will ask is: ‘Where does that person get this money from?’

“This person might not be a good role model for young kids who think getting flashy things is more important than hard work and the contributions they are making to society. We are trying to build a citizen who knows you get rewarded for working hard.”

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