IT looks as if the ANC is on a roll with the opposition at sixes and sevens. For us this happened around 1985 – that is about when our slow decline began. Some may recall the gradual arrogance, the expensive quick-fix solutions to long-st
anding problems such as poverty and racial imbalances in housing, health, education and the means of production.
The solutions were based on political expendiency, delusions of having all the answers and the ignoring (and political exclusion) of any opposing views, as well as a reluctance to acknowledge what was really going on in most Eastern bloc countries.
There was a preoccupation with power to control, rather than power to enable, a preoccupation with quantity over quality (schools, cheap houses, government ministries and civil servants), and a dependence on taxation rather than facilitating the creation of wealth. Shortages and all manner of controls were visited upon us. The dollar began its decline, the budget deficit its ascent.
Some 10 years or so later we had become regulars in the queue at the IMF’s doors. Another five years or so after that, when the voters began to say “enough is enough!”, “democracy” went out through the window and we descended into lawlessness, violence, an economic topsy-turvy land and international isolation.
We wish our neighbours across the Limpopo well and pray they learn from our mistakes.