Friends & Friction: Time to look past our pot bellies and save SA

Muzi Kuzwayo
Muzi Kuzwayo


Nobody hears anything.


Nobody pays attention. How could anyone pay attention? Everyone is holding the other by the throat.


The gold price has increased by almost 25% over the past nine months, and palladium has almost doubled in price. There is a resources boom, yet unemployment is rising.

So what is the problem?

There are three competing theories that have been brought forward. The first is the false dawn theory, which suggests that the new dawn is, in effect, a false promise that was coined to mislead.

The second is the fight-back theory, the idea that the losers of the ANC’s Nasrec conference in 2017 are fighting back, making it impossible for the president to serve our country.

The third is the dark cloud theory – that there is indeed a new dawn, but there are dark clouds hovering, making it impossible for the president to deliver.

The false dawn theory suggests that President Cyril Ramaphosa is a cunning and sinister politician. Knowing the character of the man, this theory must be discarded. Admittedly, it is a value judgement, based more on emotion than on facts, that he is the saviour we need on this side of the grave.

The fight-back theory must be dismissed on the basis that South Africa is a democracy and everybody has the right to associate with whomever they like and campaign for power. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

In fact, the day we lose that right, we will plunge into a dictatorship and the days of states of emergency will return.

The fight-back theory is bad because it gives an impression that Ramaphosa is a political novice who cannot hold his own in the heat of Luthuli House.

Former US president Harry Truman often quoted this proverb: “If you cannot stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

Ramaphosa is a seasoned politician, so he can deal with the heat.

This leaves us with the dark cloud theory, which implies that, somehow, there are natural impediments making it impossible for the first light to finally show itself. Dark clouds in the mornings can be a source of great disappointment.

There are too many old men in the Cabinet who have no new ideas and just swing their Viagra-pumped phalli around

Imagine a photographer who has lugged all her heavy equipment to the top of the mountain so that she can get the best photograph when dawn breaks. The sun rises as always, but there is no photo to capture. So she descends the mountain with a heavy heart and heavy equipment.

So what are the clouds that are blocking the new dawn? Why is it failing while the resources are booming?

The first and most obvious answer is that there are too many old men in the Cabinet who have no new ideas and just swing their Viagra-pumped phalli around. In the private sector, they would have been forced into retirement already. It is their big egos that have blocked the new dawn.

Belly Fat of black mens isolated on white with cli

The second problem is that South African media have become too parochial and oblivious to the big events that shape the world economy. The gold price has gone up because the world is in turmoil, yet the South African media are not reporting enough on that, thus obscuring the global view of opportunity for businesspeople.

The US and China are engaged in a trade war, but that is not big news here. Russia and China were recently engaged in joint military operations for the first time, forming a possible alliance against the US. That was not big news here. Iran has recently seized a third oil tanker in the Straight of Hormuz, but that is also not big news, even though we complain about petrol price hikes.

The resources boom will most likely pass South Africa by like a ship in the night because South Africans have lost the art of critical thinking.

The internal fights are fierce, and they are costing the country in a big way. It is time to look past our pot bellies.

  • Kuzwayo is founder of Ignitive, an advertising agency


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