Events and Life Politics and government

“The removal of Nene was ‘not breaking the economy’”

I think President Zuma pretty much hit the nail on the head when he said that his removal of Nene wasn’t the cause of South Africa’s flirtation with economic disaster in December 2015, at least in more general terms. I just read an article on BusinessTech titled “Economists can’t convince me I was wrong: Zuma” and a few quotes stood out for me, especially if you read between the lines (literally and metaphorically):

“People did not consider many things,” Zuma said. “The rand had been going down when Nene was there. It had been going down for months and months. It was not triggered by the decision (to remove Nene).”

Removing Nene certainly triggered a virtual collapse but if you look at the Rand’s performance over the last decade and a half, you can see the slide. It has been sliding down the hill since about 2012.

“The removal of Nene was ‘not breaking the economy’…People didn’t understand what was happening and they exaggerated the issue,” he said.

Perhaps, maybe everyone overreacted and blamed the market collapse on that one decision to remove Nene as Finance Minister. Perhaps they should have looked at the bigger picture.

Zuma told the SABC in an interview on Sunday: “He (van Rooyen) was going to come into a very effective, functioning department. I don’t know why people thought that when he comes in, the treasury is going to fall down. I don’t understand.

This is probably one of the most interesting statements the President made. If the Finance Ministry was (and, perhaps, is) a “very effective, functioning department” then the root cause is probably not the Ministry or the Minister (I’m oversimplifying). Perhaps the root cause is the person responsible for the bigger picture: Zuma himself. Perhaps someone should suggest he give his comments a little more thought, possible pass by a mirror … Do they have those things in Nkandla?

Just saying (somewhat sarcastically).

Image credit: Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan presents Budget Speech, 26 Feb 2014 by the GovernmentZA, licensed CC BY ND 2.0

Politics and government

Could the old Apartheid government have saved us from Zuma's ANC?

Someone I was chatting to after the 2014 elections, last week, made an interesting comment. He said that if the old Apartheid-era National Party had educated all South Africans better (and not just white South Africans), the ANC under Jacob Zuma would have had a more challenging time selling themselves with all the corruption in the ANC’s ranks.

Interesting argument but I suspect that if the old Nationalist government had education non-white South Africans better, that government wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did. We may have dodged the Zuma bullet if Apartheid ended sooner but then again, it probably wouldn’t have been necessary for the ANC to have become what it became to defeat the old regime.

Politics and government

Writing about the ANC's perspective on power

More equal than others

The ANC’s response to the Public Protector’s report on the Nkandla controversy highlights its twisted perspective on its position as ruling party. I had to express my outrage and did it on Medium in an article titled “More equal than others“. Here is how it begins:

If you have paid much attention to the ANC’s responses to controversies it has been embroiled in (usually due to its leader and current South African President, Jacob Zuma), it should be pretty clear to you that, with the ruling party’s reaction to the Public Protector’s report on the president’s Nkandla compound development, the ANC has left our reality and its claim to power seems to be based on a modern version of the ancient Divine Right of Kings.