NO LAUGHING MATTER: ANC could be either slapgat or platsak


Mense, this is the message you’ll see when you type in - the African National Congress’ official website - on your browser.

It’s been like this for at least a week now. Seriaas.

What this means is either the ANC’s finance department has been slapgat in paying their bills.

Or, and this is the worst case scenario, the debit orders haven’t been going off because the ruling party is platsak.

According to reports, Cyril Ramaphosa’s party owes their internet service provider about R32 million.

After you’ve had a lekker chuckle about it, let it sink in for a few minutes. See, it’s no laughing matter at all, it’s actually very worrying.

This is the sad state of affairs, not only at the ANC but at the government.

If you didn’t know, the ANC Youth League was declared bankrupt by the Johannesburg High Court earlier this year, after they failed to pay outstanding legal debts to among others, Helen Zille.

But that’s small potatoes, it’s at the state-owned enterprises where the serious financial horror stories are coming out.

A quick government department audit shows:

  • In March this year, SAA reported a loss of R5.7billion. Deputy Finance Minister Mondli Gungubele in April told legislators that the national carrier would require R12bn in bailouts over the next three years.
  • Over at the SABC, bean counters reported a net loss of R622m for the 2017/18 financial year.
  • Eskom posted a loss of R2.3bn in 2018, after declaring R19bn in irregular expenditure.
  • The board of the Prasa for its 2016/17 financial statement showed a devastating loss of R928m.
  • Meanwhile, the taxman, who is usually the most efficiently run of departments, showed a R48.2bn collection shortfall in 2017/18, and Treasury said this was the reason for the one percent VAT increase this year.
  • The SA Post Office (Sapo) continues to bleed, reporting a financial loss of R978 million in the last financial year. Eina.
  • Total South African municipal debt, which includes monies that cities owe to municipal lenders, suppliers and other creditors, amounted to R225.8 billion in 2016/17.
  • Telkom, in contrast, reported profit of R4.9b for the year ended March 2018. What sets the telecom company apart from the rest is that it’s only 40% state-owned.

And that says something. If the ANC can’t do the job, perhaps it’s time to privatise the lot.

Look, the numbers don’t lie. The ANC are well aware that they have run state companies into the ground.

And their rule has become synonymous with mismanagement, incompetence and - let’s not forget - corruption.

We haven’t even touched on State Capture here, which some say has cost the country upwards of R100 billion to date.

This is the image the ANC is struggling with.

President Ramaphosa knows he’s going to need to need a tamaai groot besem to clean up government - and undo all the damage done under Jacob Zuma.

He’s already made some headway in the State Capture hearings, with Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan, as they set about trying to clear out the rot.

But they’re going to have to do a lot more to convince a disillusioned public, who want to see the corrupt fat cats locked up.

They have lost support in recent polls. But, like them or not, the ANC is likely to govern for some time to come.

So while they’re in power, we desperately need them to clean up their act.

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