In­vestors won’t be im­pressed

The Star Late Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS - Ge­off Hughes is an emer­i­tus pro­fes­sor for­merly with Wits Uni­ver­sity.

IMAG­INE a VIP ar­riv­ing in South Africa with in­ten­tions to in­vest, just be­fore the State of the Na­tion ad­dress.

Watch­ing the TV cov­er­age from his ho­tel room he would wit­ness the pomp and cer­e­mony out­side Par­lia­ment, fol­lowed by the an­tics of the praise singer in­side the cham­ber.

He would then watch the steady dis­in­te­gra­tion of par­lia­men­tary or­der (and the TV sig­nal) as the Op­po­si­tion raised points of or­der be­fore be­ing vi­o­lently ejected by the white shirts.

He would then watch the pres­i­dent’s unin­spir­ing and te­dious ad­dress.

The fol­low­ing morn­ing, ex­pect­ing some in­formed com­men­tary of the per­for­mance, he would be sur­prised to find the same pres­i­dent given hours of un­crit­i­cal cov­er­age on state TV dis­cours­ing on his speech and other top­ics.

Switch­ing to ra­dio, he would find even more of the same. If the VIP came from Europe, he would be re­minded of the old Com­mu­nist Party mo­nop­oly of the “news” by the state broad­cast­ing or­gans.

He would hear the head of state dis­miss­ing the op­po­si­tion as “an­gry young peo­ple with no poli­cies”.

“Democ­racy is not just about an­gry young peo­ple,” he re­it­er­ated, seem­ingly un­aware of the irony that mil­lions of “an­gry young peo­ple” are los­ing pa­tience with him and his party.

GE­OFF HUGHES

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