Wednesday, August 31, 2011

South Africa Misses Opportunity

By Grant de Graf

At a time that gold is spiking to all time highs, it is rather unfortunate that South Africa is left sucking the left over lollipop, when the country should be enjoying the fruits of mining exports, reminiscent of the 70s. Poor economic policy, questionable governance, high unemployment and an off the chart crime rate, have dogged Africa's largest economy.

Although the unemployment rate is officially 25%, high crime rates, the lack of housing suggest that  it is much higher. Little wonder that controversial youth leader of the ANC, Julius Malema, whose overtures to the electorate to nationalize major industry, kill all whites ("Kill the Boer") and rearrange government leadership, is gaining popularity. Any democratic country, which fails to solidify economic prosperity for the majority of its citizens, will always face electoral discontent.

As with the United States, South Africa needs a strategic free market solution to facilitate solid growth rates. Unless this can be achieved, the government will face strong political challenge. Seemingly, the ANC continues to embrace antiquated Marxist policies that talk the walk, but that do not walk the talk. On this score it is tragic that the majority of South Africans will miss out on the "gold rush". Even more tragic is the fact that they will become victims to politicians and their empty promises.  

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