Beg­gar’s eco­nom­ics

Sunday Times - - Business Opinion & Bits -

I ex­pect the rand to reach a R14.50 low against the dol­lar, even R15. Its fall has noth­ing to do with Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa but ev­ery­thing with the gov­ern­ment’s eco­nomic pol­icy.

Since 1994, the gov­ern­ment has been fol­low­ing a beg­gar’s eco­nomic pol­icy. That pol­icy has wiped out some South African in­dus­tries and weak­ened the econ­omy.

When the rand hits a R15 low and there’s an­other fuel price in­crease, South Africa will fall into a re­ces­sion and the Re­serve Bank will be forced to in­crease rates to dampen the “per­ceived” rise in in­fla­tion.

South Africans will be pun­ished for a sin they have not com­mit­ted.

All this does no good to our 38% un­em­ploy­ment rate (al­though the of­fi­cial rate is 27%, we know that ex­cludes other con­sid­er­a­tions).

The irony of the gov­ern­ment’s beg­gar’s eco­nomic pol­icy is that South African po­lit­i­cal lead­ers go abroad to seek in­vestors but the coun­try is bleed­ing money. Why don’t they stop this cap­i­tal bleed­ing first?

Nel­son Man­dela couldn’t solve the un­em­ploy­ment prob­lem, nor could Thabo Mbeki or Ja­cob Zuma. We don’t ex­pect Ramaphosa to do so ei­ther.

The gov­ern­ment is sit­ting with a huge prob­lem, and it is time to change its eco­nomic poli­cies.

Jeri Kekana, party leader, Build South Africa

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