David Van Wyk : My take on the Zuma debate

There is a whole lot of BS going on in the debates around Jacob Zuma. I think that it is necessary to dispel some of the misinformation being pedaled.

1) Corruption is something new under the Zuma administration.

This is nonsense, corruption has been there under every administration since 1994. More than that corruption is endemic to this country, as it is in just about every country on the planet that is a market economy, and more so if it is dependent on extractives. South Africa has been an extractive economy since the mid-1860s and therefore corrupt since then.

2) State capture is not something invented by the Zuma administration.

Every administration in this country since Cecil Rhodes became the prime minister of the Cape Colony have been captured. Perhaps the Mandela and Mbeki administrations were just more sophisticated. Under the National Party the state was entire captured by the Broederbond which even made decisions about all state appointments down to school principals, talk about ‘political deployments’.

3) Regarding the downgrades by ratings agencies, and the impact on the poor.

Yes, it is true that the poor will pay for the shenanigans of the politicians in parliament and the factions in the ruling party. Yes, interest rates will go up. However, the beneficiaries of interest rate rises are the monopoly banks. They will not laugh all the way to the bank, because they are already in the bank.

4) Yes, there will be inflation, because those who companies having loans from the banks, will simply redirect the interest rate hikes onto consumers, among whom the poor will be the worst hit. Higher prices mean increased income for the owners of the means of production, the mines, farms, factories, banks etc.

5) So regardless what happens in the economy the business elite and corporations will laugh all the way to the bank.

Especially because a devaluation of the Rand means lower input costs. The mines and export manufacturers are set to make a killing, lower labour, electricity and other local costs.

6) Much as I often disagree with Jacob Zuma, I must agree that towards the end of every president’s term in office we have seen mounting media and opposition pressure on the incumbent. More interesting is that this time the DA and business champion in the ANC for the next president, Cyril Ramaphosa, is being welcomed by the media and business instead of being dreaded.

The intersectio+*-n of colonial, Apartheid, class and race interests is underpinning a lot of the nonsense going on. Despite the shortcomings and alleged corruptness of Jacob Zuma, it is not Zuma who is the problem, it is capitalism, especially monopoly capitalism in a highly concentrated economy that is the problem and the neo-colonial state that evolved on the foundation of this economy since 1994.

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