Radical economic transformation in SA: a cloak to hide more looting

As South Africa limps through its most delicate political, economic and social crisis since the end of apartheid, it is painfully clear we are all deeply immersed in this mess. Either we come out of it together, through serious action for change — not just words — or fall into the abyss together, rich and poor, black and white, women and men.

When the institutional and social foundations of a society break down, they can’t be fixed as if they were a car, computer or refrigerator. It takes an immense amount of social energy and collective leadership to rebuild a broken country — much more than is required to maintain it in good shape and infinitely more than is needed to break it in the first place.

While political and economic elites can be responsible for maintaining or breaking a society, the process of building a new one requires the entire population. This is a gigantic and often impervious task, paved with unknowns and immense risks.

Because of the sense of urgency growing across society, a team of South African academics known as the State Capacity Research Group has compiled a detailed report on the crises we are experiencing.

The report, which is due for public release on Thursday, is aptly entitled The Betrayal of the Promise and provides a wealth of information as well as a conceptual framework to make sense of the mess. The report is of extreme importance, not only because it gives us a coherent picture of the scale of corruption and financial flows involving politicians and their business “friends”, but also because it highlights the political dynamics that have led to this state of affairs.

 

Read the full article in Business Day: https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/2017-05-25-easy-fixes-and-hard-corruption-will-not-give-us-sa-we-were-promised/

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