A few months after Lesetja Kganyago was appointed Reserve Bank governor, he invited editors for a round-table discussion on domestic and global economic matters.
In a modern democracy the rules governing the political system and the political system are regarded as legitimate. There is no reason for noncompliance, especially by those who are supposed to lead by example. But rules are updated from time to time to ensure that they keep up with developments.
In South Africa we have rogue elites that want to change the banking and financial regulations for their selfish interests. In the process of destroying rules and attempting to establish a lawless society, they rob citizens of the opportunity to enjoy the new democratic order.
Many South Africans are not sure whether to laugh or cry when they evaluate the state of the nation or the state of the country’s leadership. Constitutional democracy is in place, but the rules that underpin it are under threat from a new evil.
Most South African Politicians have privatised the national excitement. They don’t worry about the country and its economy. They have gone rogue, having fun,buying properties and enjoying themselves with Tax payers money . Their insatiable appetite for public money is numbing. Corruption turns them on.
These political elites are at war with state institutions that threaten to disturb their romance and dominance. Take the ongoing fight by the rogue elites for the control of the National Treasury and the attempts to weaken the South African Reserve Bank, for example. The rogue elites don’t care that these institutions were established by the constitution. Anyway, they see the constitution as a stumbling block to efficient looting.
We only have to look at Zimbabwe for what happens when institutions like the treasury and the central bank are weakened and re-purposed to serve political selfish interests. Zimbabwe is broke. It can hardly afford to pay civil servants their salaries. It doesn’t have a currency.
Zimbabwe’s economic collapse should scare us all. It should serve as a wake-up call. There was a time when the Zimbabwean economy was big and intractably linked with South Africa’s. Whenever economic policy changes were mooted in Zimbabwe the rand would react. But not anymore.
Robert Mugabe used to think of himself as the most prominent leader in Southern Africa. Now he has no political clout to speak of.
Only his Zanu-PF cronies take him seriously because he runs the country’s brief case that contains whatever little is left of the ruins that he himself caused. No amount of tired anti-imperialist rhetoric has helped him to generate wealth for Zimbabweans.
Economic growth needs strong institutions that serve the nation. Institutions work well when they are led by strong leaders. And strong leaders are those who respect the rules, the constitution and the electorates.
In Zimbabwe the strong leaders lost to the Mugabe-led rogues who transformed state institutions by tempering with the rules for short-term gain.
South Africa’s Treasury and the South African Reserve Bank have so far managed to repel the rogue elites because for years they were run by people who respect rules.
How one wishes the South African executive (cabinet) can respect its own rules of this our great Nation.