Ajay and Atul Gupta. Photo: INDEPENDENT MEADIA

By this time next week, we may all be on the verge of celebrating one of the biggest drops in the petrol price this year.

But we are all still nursing the hangover of the VAT increase in February and the subsequent increases in just about everything.

But it turns out our collective suffering may have been caused by a handful of individuals.

Now my economic analyses are overly simplified at the best of times, but I have still not found anything that proves my fundamentals wrong, so here’s another.

The cost of state capture under Jacob Zuma is still being calculated, but every now and again, figures are thrown out by people who know about these things.

Some economists estimate the Guptas looted around R50 billion from our coffers, while Pravin Gordhan put the figure closer to R100bn.

Treasury is doing an actual calculation, which it plans to give to the state capture commission soon.

And now it has emerged when Zuma sacked Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister in 2015 (allegedly at the behest of the Guptas), it cost SA over R370bn and 148 000 jobs.

Assuming each of those people supported four others, then you can estimate over half a million South Africans were affected.

Under Zuma’s watch, the Guptas led a feeding frenzy on government departments and state-owned enterprises that all of us are consequently forced to keep funding and bailing out with our taxes.

The fact that our economy continues to struggle, that there’s no funding for infrastructure, crime fighting or VAT and petrol subsidies, is as a direct result of their actions; and the insatiable and ferocious greed of our leaders - in whose hands we place the wellbeing of our economy.