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We stay this poor by choice because of the leadership we elect, Bonang Mohale says

Date: 3 November 2017 | Author: Sunita Menon | Category: News


The ultimate prize for state capture is the Treasury, according to Business Leadership SA (BLSA) CEO Bonang Mohale.

Speaking at the Small Business Indaba in Fourways, Mohale said: "Had we not squandered the 23 years of democracy, and transformed, if you looked at business you know it would be broadly based on the demographics. It would have made it easier to defeat state capture."

He said the Treasury would be the next target.

Making reference to the Guptas, Mohale said: "They are not happy that they are drinking from the tap; it’s too slow for them. We might emerge with a new ANC leadership and they want to drink from the firehose."

He said the rot started in state-owned entities (SOEs) and had been deliberate.

"State capture, on the other hand, is insidious. It is systemic and systematic, chronological and methodological. It has a framework. For three years the Gupta family just watched to see who was for sale. You see it by the repurposing of SOEs to benefit Zuma and the Gupta family," Mohale said.

"They don’t even care about this economy. It is the entrenching of parallel but nonetheless weak governance," he said.

Mohale also said that state capture did not thrive where there was good governance. "Poor governance in Eskom and Transnet is not a mistake. It is purposeful, conscious and deliberate."

Turning to the medium-term budget policy statement, Mohale said SA was clearly at a fiscal cliff: the government had run out of money.

"This government personally [and] consciously chose to use our money to bail out SOEs. These SOES are behaving like unrehabilitated alcoholics coming back for more."

Mohale added that SA was in the same place as it was in 1994 when it inherited a technically bankrupt economy.

"Elements present during the Arab Springs are here, present and imminent in our country today. That is the spot of bother we are in. There is no reason South Africans should remain this poor but we are poor by choice because of the leadership we choose to elect."

Published on BusinessLive.co.za (02 November 2017)