The die is cast
‘Radical economic transformation’ will lead South Africa to bankruptcy. Then comes the IMF and the World Bank crisis loans as well as structural adjustment programs (which are nothing but an attempt to shield irresponsible governments from the consequences of their actions). The IMF and World Bank will then be blamed for the social unrest that will inevitably follow as civil servants lose their pensions, some are laid off, as well as the cuts to the social welfare budget.
The government will then probably capture the Reserve Bank in order to print more money as a way of easing the pressure off themselves. This will, of course, lead to hyperinflation and even worse poverty – possibly even famine. We’ll continue blaming the West as those are aware of what’s really going on try to leave the country. Government repression will increase and our constitution, as we know it, will go out the window.
The poor will become poorer, the rich will immigrate to where there is more economic freedom, and we’ll all be much worse off. Out of desperation, government will implement price controls, exchange controls, and productivity will crash. After all, what idiot would continue busting their back for ever-diminishing returns?
We’ll add more groups to the category of “people to blame for all our problems”, and this, of course, will mean taking rights away from more people. Our relatively-independent judiciary will need to go, too, as we can’t have anyone stopping our glorious economic project, after all.
The sad thing will be that we did it to ourselves – but most of us will never acknowledge that; always seeking a new bogeyman to blame. The social justice left in the West will blame corruption and their own governments, but no one will ever think that maybe – just maybe – spending more than you have, while making your productive industries unproductive, is a really bad idea.
This is going to happen and it has started already.
The only thing that could stop South Africa’s collapse is an honest assessment of the problems government has caused and taking immediate steps to resolve them. This would include selling state-owned enterprises, doing away with restrictive labour laws, firing some public servants (it would be a good idea to start with those who aren’t very good at their jobs), progressively cutting the pay and benefit packages of those who remain, cutting expenditure on social welfare, eliminating the budget deficit and begin paying off our debt, cutting taxes and regulations to allow the economy to be productive and absorb the people who lost their jobs and their government welfare.
That won’t happen, however, because it would require not voting for your local Marxist-socialist. It will require voting for a party committed to fiscal sanity, such as the DA or the IFP. It will require citizens to exercise their right to vote rationally, and it will require the abandonment of myths like ‘white monopoly capital.’
I write this knowing that it won’t make a damn bit of difference, but I write it nonetheless. Maybe some part of me wants to have the cold comfort of knowing – as I stand in a line waiting for the next USAID food parcel – that I tried to warn them.
Author: Mpiyakhe Dhlamini is an important person to his two friends on Facebook. He is also a web developer who has recently developed an unhealthy obsession with Angular, a front-end web framework.