Final thoughts on the Economic Situation in South Africa.

It is evident that the general consensus of the government is: LARGE room for improvement. But what does that even mean? In which areas? In which departments? What aspects of it? Accountability? Capacity? Well, sometimes there is no answer. The vast differences between the Western Cape to Limpopo, goes to show how important local municipalities governments’ role is within the area. This is not new information. 

Where is all the money going?

This is one of the most fundamental basic question for the public to ask the government. Where is their had earned tax monies going? The South African Airways did not even produce their 2011-2012 Annual report. Most other departments lack the capacity to spend their budget allocation. This means that there are millions of people in need of these funds, that are just lying in a bank account somewhere. As saddening as that is, it is a fact. People overseas sometimes think that by giving money to South Africa will help the country, however, the fact is that South Africa DOES have the funds to help herself, but she lacks the capacity. Do not mis interpret every aspect to be negative. I have had the chance to work multiple facets of the South African government to know that there are so numerous people who genuinely care and want to make a difference. But the flow of funding is usually not accounted for, or trickle down effectiveness of decision making just does not occur. So how can an economic policy be effective if the government does not have the capacity to make implementation effective? It is all well and nice to profess to the public, to pass a bill through parliament that would take from the rich and return it to the poor. However, how can that be effective, if local councils are corrupt? Well, I would say that corruption is not even the main problem. It is the lack of intention, the lack of motivation to fight for anyone else but themselves.

Culture Bred Government

Perhaps this may be a far fetched argument, but a possibility nonetheless. I strongly believe that one of the biggest issue is culture within South Africa. The policies that the government implement are the opposite of the apartheid. But what is the effectiveness? For instance, there is a policy that companies must hire 90% blacks. Is this feasible for a country that has a low skilled black majority? Isn’t that fast tracking many middles steps that are required before such a policy can be successful? Business will seek to move elsewhere because of such volatility in the system, which causes brain drain. Moreover, these type of policies will fuel the minds of the people to thinking that the government owes the people a living. This will ultimately lead to the general public relying on external factors to get them through life, instead of seeking efficiency, productivity and education. As such, this will become a form of laziness.
Perhaps this is a farfetched theory, but this is what I have learned from talking to numerous people, from the working sector, government and unemployed locals.
“…give a man a fish and he will starve, teach a man how to fish and he will survive…”