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Donald Henderson
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Panic looms

22 January 2014, 12:16

Following months of unrest on the mines last year causing huge disruption to production there is still no hint of a plan to ease the troubles in the sector. And the rand continues its steady months-long decline in value making all imports, including fuel, all that more expensive pushing up prices for every consumer in the country.

Crime is rampant, there is corruption in the ranks of the police service, there are huge housing problems for the homeless and there is a desperate need for meaningful employment in the private sector – not adding to the huge army of civil servants – and the spokesman for Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe tells all and sundry “not to panic”. That is well short of a well-orchestrated electioneering plan; more like a “couldn't care less” attitude given that the party are guaranteed to win re-election.

That attitude sounds frighteningly close to the thoughts and deeds of the dark lord of the north, Mugabe, who has over the years destroyed a wealthy country with huge further potential. That alone will make investors particularly nervous and millions of South Africans worried. This country has great potential to better the lives of all its citizens. But this has to come from economic growth which depends on investor confidence, local and foreign. It will not come from taking from others as suggested by opportunists such as the red-beret brigade of Julius Malema.

And it greatly relies on a sensible government which is hell-bent on fulfilling its election promises by governing rather than ruling.

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