A SMAC in the Face #61: The SA (Mis)Advent(ure)Calendar

In the nigh on 30 years of ANC misrule, it desperately tries to convince everyone and itself that it has done a good job.  The two main metrics they quote are that they have rolled out electricity and water to virtually the whole population.  True, but they are both running sores and for similar reasons – corruption, incompetence and cadre deployment. 

Yes, they rejigged the racial distribution of wealth but mainly by making a few black people fabulously wealthy and giving a multitude of overpaid sinecures to black people in government while unemployment rose to amongst the worst in the world.  Our consistently world beating GINI ratio changed from reflecting the black/white wealth divide to reflecting those who got to eat at the trough and those who missed out and are jobless and rely on a variety of grants.

By most other metrics, SA is a failing state.

Unfortunately, SMAC can offer no solace and only a cynical view of what will be a cheerless Christmas for many as they face a bleak time with nothing but Cyril’s platitudes to sustain them.

Christmas celebrates the birth of the baby Jesus.  Well, he had to have been a baby, hadn’t he, otherwise the whole virgin birth thing would have been even more improbable.  As a carpenter’s son, he spent the next 30 years or so learning to be a carpenter.  After all, he wouldn’t have been doing the dishes or polishing the cart’s wheels. He eventually toured Palestine doing good works.  Miracles were his stock in trade but he also preached revolutionary ideas like forgiveness until the authorities gratuitously did him in.  According to Christian doctrine, he died for our sins.  Well, for SA, he must have died the death of a zillion cuts.

To be sure, the ANC inherited many legacy issues from the Apartheid days and for 29 years they have milked that.  But compared to the rest of Africa, they did inherit the most technically advanced and financially capable country with the largest economy, many world beating skills and top-class universities.  The road and rail networks were the largest in Africa and ESKOM produced more power than the rest of Africa combined. 

They flattered to deceive for the 1st decade as we were the darling of the world.  Investments, easy money, trade deals and treaties poured in as SA was seen as an African beacon of hope.  Since then, we have become the murder, assault, robbery and rape capital of the world and we are routinely subjected to aggressive protest action, a carry-over of ANC ungovernability tactics in Apartheid times.

Staying with the religious theme, the ANC have proved to be grandmasters of most of the 7 deadly Christian sins:  pride, envy, wrath, gluttony, lust, sloth, and greed.

Over 29 years of misrule, it proved to be unequal to the task of running the country, let alone making it a winning nation.  We have deindustrialised.  ArcelorMittal is shutting large sections of its remaining iron ore facilities and all our heavy engineering is history. 

The less said about that suppurating sore of Eskom, the better.  The Metro Rail system is running at two or three percent of what it was 10 years previously and long-distance trains have only recently been reintroduced on 3 routes, once a week.  Transnet cannot get our mining exports, a key money earner, to the port due to lack of engines.  Our main harbour of Durban has more than 50 ships at anchor facing a backlog of over than three months. SAA has become a flag carrier rather than a people carrier and was only saved from a terminal stall by a massive capital injection and slashing it by over 80%.  SABC is in financial freefall and the only thing that the Post Office can do is to post huge losses. 

Through its incompetence, self-interest, greed, criminality and misguided policies, the ANC has overseen the country devouring itself and, indeed, has actively taken part in that process through omission and commission.  The cupboard is now bare of goodwill, skills, capital and industrial capability.  The country’s debt is blowing up, the tax base is shot and unemployment is staggering. 

They say, life is an adventure – enjoy the ride.  I’m not sure that this is a ride you want to be on as the country descends through the nine ANC circles of hell.

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