It’s no surprise that ANC bigwigs are ducking and diving over recent reports that indicate that, financially speaking, the country is on the road to being a “basket case”.
Reports that the government is – finally – considering the bitter medicine of wholesale retrenchments in the civil service (to eliminate the horrendously expensive sheltered employment the ANC has provided to its loyalists for the past 24 years), have occasioned the response that it is “too early” to say what will happen.
Now that the ANC realises that laying off 30 000 government employees will potentially lose it votes, but also threatens its alliance with Cosatu and the SA Communist Party, the numbers are likely to be drastically reduced. And so, an opportunity to vigorously address one of our biggest economic ills will have been missed.
Likewise, Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, in her capacity as spokesperson for cabinet, said it was premature to comment on discussions about a R59 billion “rescue package” for ailing state-owned enterprises (SOEs).
These include the SA National Roads Agency (Sanral), the SABC, SAA and the SA Post Office. Sanral is reportedly due to get cash, as it can’t borrow any more; the SABC and SAA will get a government guarantee; while the SA Post Office will get money and guarantees.
All of these organisations have been brought to their knees by “cadre deployment”, which has seen ANC apparatchiks regard the public purse as their piggy bank, or have arrogantly believed they are not accountable to the people who pay their salaries – the long-suffering taxpayers.
It is time we started asking whether these bailouts are not throwing good money after bad and whether these SOEs should not be sold off.
The ANC is bankrupting the country. Its entire Cabinet should immediately be forced to undergo debt counselling and coaching on money management.