With the moral rot having firmly set in at all levels of government, the public service and local authorities the question needs to be asked – how will it end?
It is impossible to open a newspaper today without being appraised of a few more incidents of political corruption and wasteful spending of public funds. At the top of the spectrum we have the political heavy-weights shamelessly stealing from the public purse via intricate schemes involving housing projects, newspaper sponsorships and arms deals and using this to fund their private homes and lavish lifestyles often in a symbiotic relationship with dodgy bottom-feeders in private enterprise. At the bottom end we get the public official taking bribes at the roadblock or the stealing material out of the municipal store for his private electrical business. The people who we elect and employ to serve us and make our lives better are in fact a bunch of parasites who are sucking us dry and are seemingly un-touchable in doing so.
The situation is clearly not sustainable – the public purse is not a bottomless pit of money and the few people who fund it do not have an unlimited capacity to provide or an infinite source of patience regardless of the innovative ways our rulers find to extract more money from our pockets – e-Tolls, radical Eskom tarrif hikes and the like. Something has to give. It has to end somehow. There are a few scenarios:
- We wake up one morning to the news that the well has dried up, the country is bankrupt and that our political masters have legged it with their foreign bank account PIN’s on a commandeered SAA aircraft to enjoy the protection of one of their despotic friends in another country. We then need to rebuild from the bottom up and are set back decades in economic terms.
- At some point the electorate wake up to the fact that our parasitic government is no longer worthy of our vote and that we can do a whole lot better. A few problems with this scenario. Firstly, the only plausible opposition we have are not likely to get the votes of the vast majority. Secondly, the majority of the electorate are un-educated and therefore less likely to question what is going on around them and far more likely to go with those who can throw in some cool dance moves to a catchy struggle tune. Our rulers have ensured that this status quo will remain through a dumbed-down education system with a success criteria so low that it appears to be functional and normal. Thirdly, if they are voted out – it is unlikely they will leave peacefully given all that they stand to lose. The best scenario – but highly unlikely.
- An Arab-Spring situation develops as it did in many parts of North Africa, where the rulers have to flee a popular uprising or risk being torn apart in the streets. Some will make it – some will not. It will be ugly but hopefully more effective than is has been in Eqypt.
- Foreign military intervention is required to deal with a humanitarian crisis which has slowly developed after years of corruption and a slow steady erosion of an independent and fair justice system, freedom of the press and basic human rights – an IRAQ situation if you will.
- We end up with Zimbabwe style hyper-inflation with the have’s losing everything acquired through a lifetime of hard work and moving to another country to live out their remaining years where their masters do not prey on them – the country losing a valuable tax source in the process.
Our government officials and public servants are clearly not interested in serving us. They are interested only in ensuring where their grubby paw is located in the cookie jar, ever mindful of the fact that their mates are competing for the same spoils hence the need to get as much out in as little time as possible. Diligence at their mandated public service jobs is clearly counter-productive in this scenario. It has to end somehow – either the cookie jar will run out, fall onto the floor and shatter or someone will come in and shoo the thieves away, hopefully while there are some cookies left. Who knows. Either way we are in for a bumpy ride.