SA be­com­ing cor­rup­tion cap­i­tal – Jonas

CityPress - - Business - JUSTIN BROWN busi­ness@city­

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.”

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