Chris BishopBy Chris Bishop|January 10, 2022|3 Minutes|In Editor's Desk

Editor's Desk

"No to corrupt poison – yes to entrepreneur spirit. "

Sure, Africa will have the lion’s share of the world’s young and enterprising population in the decades to come.

The continent will have a population of more than a billion and a golden opportunity to use its rich resources to carve out a good position in the world economy.

That is why I could weep when I read the current batch of stories coming out of South Africa with the headline State Capture – the country even has a name for it ! – in short, the systematic looting of the country’s fragile coffers.

It beggars belief when you see leaders who fought for their country through years of struggle are faced by evidence  – sifted by respected judge Justice Zondo. It paints many of them as little more than avaricious criminals . Can so many have some so far, through years of prison and torture, for so little?

The Zondo Commission lays it out, line-by-line, how political cadres  went into state owned companies with the very intention of looting it.

 In a climate of fear, structures were swept away, money and contracts funnelled billions into private bank accounts. The guilty intimidated brave whistle blowers who tried to tell the truth. On top of that actually employing people to assist in the process of siphoning public money into private pockets. Disgraceful.

Where did those billions go ? Most likely  into consumption goods: cars, luxury houses , holidays and such.  Just think of all the schools, hospitals, roads , rails and bridges that were meant to be built with that money.

All of this looting of hard-working taxpayers’ money at time when the once mighty South African economy is facing a decade of austerity where unemployment is expected to increase to 50 %. It is now up to President Cyril Ramaphosa to make good his promises to crack down on this.

In my despair, I have vision of a better world where that fortune could have been lent, instead,  to serious entrepreneurs in Africa to invest and create jobs.

Remember, the world’s biggest employers, from Ford Motors to Apple began with an entrepreneur and an idea.

Now I purposely said “serious” entrepreneurs – those are the people who concentrate solely on building and investing in their business. They have no time for corruption as they – being smart – know that it always comes back to bite you. How today’s all-powerful friends in politics can quickly become tomorrow’s powerless pariahs.

Let’s hope President Ramaphosa has the resolve to make this so in South Africa – to salvage the integrity of the government and give hope to honest, tax paying, entrepreneurs.