A sad Zimbabwean tweeted this week that his country was “topping the charts for all the wrong reasons”, following the news that inflation has just topped 300%. That’s the second highest in the world after the collapsing socialist paradise of Venezuela, where inflation comes it at around 80 000% per year.
While it would be easy to smirk about a failed state – or about the impact of the disastrous rule of former President Robert Mugabe, whose socialist policies were second only to his Zanu-PF’s grand looting and corruption on the scale of destruction – South Africans should pay attention to what is happening north of the Limpopo River.
Zimbabwean economic collapse means an influx of migrants headed our way, and that will hurt us financially. But, we need to have sympathy for these desperate people because their fate is not their fault.
Yet, SA should not ignore the warning bells.
For example, land redistribution implemented willy-nilly or unconstitutionally can destroy investor confidence locally and internationally. Corruption can become so rooted in a society – as in Zimbabwe – that those benefitting will be prepared to use violence to maintain the status quo.
SA must never allow its leaders to do what Zanu-PF has done.