Not much to be proud of

2016-03-23 06:00

ANOTHER definition of democracy is “the right to be wrong”.

In the no-confidence motion that was debated in Parliament recently, the Minister of Small Business claimed that the ANC has a proud record of improving the lives of the people.

She referred to the thousands who have been provided with electricity, water, housing, etc. That is one side of the coin. The other side is that the non-payment for electricity and water amounts to many billions of rands. As a result, Eskom is short of funds and finds it necessary to ask for a 16,5% increase in tariff. Then Nersa allows it a 9,4% increase - 50% higher than the inflation rate. The non-payers still do not pay, and the problem escalates.

Several state departments owe municipalities billions of rands and ANC-controlled municipalities fail dismally to collect outstanding debts from both the state and residential communities.

If the ANC wants to claim credit for having improved the conditions of the poor, then it should provide evidence of how it has improved the economy so as to create more productive employment.

Surely it cannot be proud of the “formal” unemployment rate of more than 25%, which does not include the unregistered millions who have given up hope of finding any employment.

Surely it cannot be proud of the extremely high crime rate and the endemic corruption in high places.

South Africa’s problem is not President Jacob Zuma, it is the gatekeepers who keep him there.

V.A. VOLKER

Via email

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