Read­ers’Views

Sunday Times - - Business | Opinion & Bits -

Zuma and his fol­low­ers refuse to swal­low the bit­ter pill of re­al­ity

The de­press­ing news that South Africa’s growth this year will be low has clouded the op­ti­mism over Cyril Ramaphosa’s pres­i­dency, which has moved us from ICU to high care as we re­main be­dev­illed by po­lit­i­cal un­cer­tainty.

This has been cre­ated by the ANC’s pol­icy of con­fis­cat­ing land with­out com­pen­sa­tion, unions de­mand­ing in­creases be­yond in­fla­tion and the wi­den­ing di­vi­sions within the rul­ing party.

Ramaphosa’s am­bi­tious cam­paign to at­tract $100-bil­lion in for­eign in­vest­ment could be a for­lorn hope, be­cause cer­tainty and sta­bil­ity are surely ab­sent in the near term.

What is ob­vi­ous is that Ja­cob Zuma’s sup­port­ers care lit­tle for the coun­try’s fu­ture. De­spite ev­i­dence of mas­sive cor­rup­tion and mis­man­age­ment un­der his ad­min­is­tra­tion, they are un­will­ing to swal­low the bit­ter pill of re­al­ity, which will help rem­edy our eco­nomic ills.

In­stead, they seem di­rected by a spin­ning com­pass tak­ing us to a stand­still. Ramaphosa needs to take de­ci­sive ac­tion. He will have the back­ing of the coun­try and most of his alliance part­ners. If he fails, the precipice beck­ons.

Ted O’Con­nor, Jo­han­nes­burg

Home af­fairs ex­pe­ri­ence not bad

It was with in­ter­est that I read of Fe­rial Haf­fa­jee’s ex­pe­ri­ence at home af­fairs in Rand­burg, “Home af­fairs holds back the econ­omy. Here’s how” (June 3), which seems to be, to a great ex­tent, dif­fer­ent to mine at the Wyn­berg branch re­cently.

While I agree that more photo booths would be a huge im­prove­ment (there were three, of which two were in use), as this was the great­est source of de­lay, the process was oth­er­wise well co-or­di­nated via the num­ber sys­tem. The screen on which an­nounce­ments are made could have used larger script and kept the num­ber on the screen for longer, and the voice could have been a lit­tle clearer, but, on bal­ance, the sys­tem worked!

To crown it all, I have just been told that both my new pass­port and smart ID card are avail­able for col­lec­tion, only a week later, hav­ing been told it could take up to 23 work­ing days.

The sen­ti­ments be­hind Haf­fa­jee’s ar­ti­cle are cor­rect, but I have to say that my ex­pe­ri­ence was not a bad one at all, and the staff were all very friendly and cour­te­ous.

Ku­dos to the new-look, pa­per­less home af­fairs.

But it would be a good idea if the home af­fairs web­site was cleaned up and made it clear that no forms or pho­to­graphs are needed. I took both! An­thony Wil­liams, by e-mail

I have great re­spect for Fe­rial Haf­fa­jee as a jour­nal­ist and thor­oughly en­joy her col­umn ev­ery week.

It was with sim­i­lar re­spect and en­joy­ment that I read the re­sponse to her col­umn from home af­fairs spokesman May­ihlome Tsh­wete, “De­spite the scep­ti­cism, home af­fairs is not sit­ting on its hands” (Read­ers’ Views, June 10).

Well writ­ten, sir. I sin­cerely hope that Haf­fa­jee takes up your in­vi­ta­tion to visit home af­fairs.

Les­ley Bre­denkamp, Jef­freys Bay

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