South Africa: Thirty Years On, South Africa Needs Another Reset

opinion

It's five minutes to midnight. Moody's is set to downgrade our credit to junk status soon after Finance Minister Tito Mboweni delivers his Budget statement later in February 2020. This will raise the cost of future borrowing and accelerate our decline, just as a loss of confidence in SAA has accelerated its descent. As it fell to FW de Klerk and Nelson Mandela in 1990, so it falls to President Cyril Ramaphosa now.

When FW De Klerk announced the unbanning of the ANC, SACP and other organisations on 2 February 1990 -- 30 years ago this week -- South Africa's "reset" button was pressed and a new era of political freedom ushered in. It required immense personal courage from De Klerk and Mandela, both of whom placed country over party.

But economic freedom did not follow. Instead, the number of unemployed has risen from 3.7 million then to 10.3 million now. This is a major national crisis and far worse is yet to come as Eskom follows SAA into a death spiral, battered by a corrupt, incapable state. Our economy teeters on the brink of collapse.

Looting, bailouts and mismanagement have spun national debt out of control, yet our government...

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