SA becoming corruption capital – Jonas
South Africa was becoming a corruption and state capture capital, former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas said this week.
“Most of our state-owned enterprises are centres for money racketeering – if nothing else,” he added during an event at the University of Johannesburg this week on state capture, white monopoly capital and radical economic transformation.
“We are seeing the rise of short-termism and popularism. The masses are not blind to poverty, inequality and state capture,” Jonas said.
State capture results in “highly racialised” politics “without substance”, he added.
“The 1994 consensus is unviable and will unravel if not combined with a new economic consensus. We require a new economic consensus.
“There is a need for a more sober debate about the problems that we are confronting.
“The other reality that we must accept is that South Africa remains locked in a highly capital and energy intensive ... growth path ... It reproduces self-serving and rentseeking old white foreign-owned and new black-rentier classes.
“We must avoid replacing white rentseeking with black rent-seeking. Economic transformation is not just increasing black ownership of large JSE corporations ... It will not decrease inequality.”
Former finance minister Pravin Gordhan said state capture was the theft of state institutions by a small group of people whose only intention was to put money into their pockets or bank accounts in Dubai.
“State capture is a no-go area for us,” he added.
“It is about stealing at the end of the day,” Gordhan said.
“R5 billion to R10 billion stolen from the public purse can make a huge difference to housing, education, health services,” he added.
“Stealing from the public purse, as a result of state capture, impacts on every single citizen,” Gordhan said.
Eskom had been a major source of illicit funds for those involved in state capture, he said.
“There is no doubt that South Africa’s economy has not been transformed. There is no doubt that South Africa’s economy needs to be restructured.”
However, Gordhan cautioned that the country needed to be careful about slogans such as radical economic transformation. “What brings about change is hard, hard work,” he added.
Gordhan said there were too many fencesitters in government.
“If we keep quiet it is going to take us five to 10 years to recover from the disaster that we are heading towards.”