Our August 2015 Newsletter carried the above pictures and was based on the idea of divergent Scenario Outcomes discussed by Dr Frans Cronje, CEO of the Institute of Race Relations (IRR). Dr Cronje, in 2015, stressed that the South Africa of the future could be an extremely positive place. He pointed to the massive changes that occurred from 1985 to 1995 to highlight this possibility. He conceded that Government would need to make a concerted shift in policy and like the Nats of ’85 may not currently be open to it – but with increasing disenchantment and discontent and the groundswell of an engaged, active and concerned population the environment for change was fertile.
That 2015 newsletter ended with the concluding paragraph: South Africa in 2025 will be shaped by active citizens and a Government that learns from the past and embraces the South African resilience and appetite for positive change. The history of this country has shown that the will and desire exists to do what is necessary to create a better South Africa for all. 30 years ago, in 1985, the positive outlook that was reached in 1995 was bold and unimaginable to all but the most positive and dynamic. The scenario we reach in 2025 will be the one we collectively strive for.
Early 2018, roughly two and a half years on, and much has already changed in our beautiful land that can provide hope for a 2025 worthy of striving for.
Zapiro’s decisively sharp pencil summed up a disastrous, divisive and dividing 9 years as “An end of an Error!” Trying to be positive in 2015, just the start of a second term, with the Gravy Train rolling unchecked and seemingly unstoppable down the slippery slope of corruption to the final desolate station of full state capture was not easy to envisage, but with increasing disenchantment and discontent and the groundswell of an engaged, active and concerned population the gradient gradually altered and the slope became an incline. Greed and blatant theft had robbed the Engine of its own resources to fuel itself and the Gravy Train was running out of puff.
All South Africans owe a huge amount of gratitude to the Legal system, the Opposition Parties, active and courageous Civil Society Groups and importantly the brave and resourceful Investigative Journalists and respected Individuals that took a stance against a tide of evil and deceit that was attacking the very soul of the people.
South Africa is by no means out of the woods yet! There is a huge amount to be done to reach a 2025 worthy of aspiration.
Unfortunately, the damage inflicted during this 9 year “error” leaves us with a number of festering wounds that need immediate attention. The first of which is the significant Fiscal Deficit and populist desperate call for Free Higher Education.
Emanating from a tricky Budget was the concerning statistic that 3.7% of income tax payers will be carrying 40% of the income tax burden! “National Treasury notes that this year there will be no fiscal drag relief. As a result, an effective R14bn extra tax burden will fall on those earning over R410 000 a year. Subsequently, 270 000 people will generate 40% of SA’s personal income tax.” – Gareth van Zyl (Biz News)
The impact on tax payers is compounded by the increase in VAT that will spread the burden across the already stressed population.
The ruling party has new leadership and, seemingly, a will to alter the course of the country and the economy. The next few years will reveal the strength of this will to change and only total commitment from all role players will avert the calamitous trajectory that the South African Economy has been directed down by greed and wanton theft perpetrated by unprincipled leadership.
If any country can pull itself from the quagmire of corruption – South Africa can and must. There is simply too much at stake for complacency. Civil Society, Opposition Parties, Journalists and Respected Persons all need our collective support as they redouble their efforts to monitor, police, cajole and, yes, support all corrective efforts to the Ruling Party.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel! We need to ensure it is the bright future the country deserves and not another oncoming gravy train.
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