SA could walk the same road as Greece

2015-08-27 06:00

GREECE, with a population of 10,5 million people, owes the European Central Bank (ECB) $360 billion. Why would a country borrow such exorbitant sums without a strategy to service such debt?

The money borrowed was intended for specific projects, which should have generated income channelled to repaying the debt. This did not happen. Instead, they borrowed more. Maybe it’s time countries’ borrowing were subjected to financial statements, as are businesses applying for credit. Liabilities can be scrutinised to help countries manage debt repayments. This will avoid countries having to implement austerity measures and stringent economic reforms, which have a detrimental effect on citizens.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane says South Africa is following the same trajectory as Greece, with a pervasive culture of corruption. When the politically connected are implicated in crime, the perception is they will be protected from prosecution, as this has happened on many occasions.

Unlike in Greece, tax collection in SA is efficient. However, there have been dismissals and resignations of senior SARS personnel, some to prevent investigations into the tax bills of the connected. If SARS loses its independence, SA will walk the same path as Greece.

SA cannot blatantly ignore the signals that led to Greece becoming almost bankrupt. SA has to concentrate on creating more entrepreneurs to create jobs and expand the economy.

Impediments to entrepreneurship must be eliminated.

VIJAY SURUJPAL

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