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NKC predicts economy shrunk in first quarter

According to News24 NKC African Economics believes South Africa’s economy shrank in the first quarter of 2019.

“South Africa started the year on a disappointing note, with the return of sporadic load shedding, higher fuel prices, a higher tax burden, the strike in the gold mining sector and a moderating global economy all weighing on much-needed improvements in household and corporate confidence levels,” News24 quoted the group as saying.

They also revised their expectations for South African growth downwards – they know only expect the economy to grow about 0.8%.

We will only for sure whether this is the case in June when Stats SA release the official figures, but it is not looking good.

My Take

Over this past weekend I got to talking to a plumber, who was complaining that with the poor economy not enough people could afford his services, and because of mass unemployment his business was being undercut by people who were really looking for odd jobs.

He was talking about possibly selling his house in Johannesburg and moving to a smaller town, because property values and the cost of living are much lower if you do that.

You know the economy is in bad shape when the plumbers are struggling. That’s one of those industries where there will always be demand, because well, feces will always run downhill.

So what we’ve got is an economy that is struggling under the ANC and normally that would mean regime change.

Regime change is not a bad thing, it is in fact what democracy is all about – a system of constantly changing regime without the chaos that comes from civil war.

We have seen that the current regime isn’t working. We have massive corruption in government resulting in a situation where the basic work of government isn’t getting done, and yet we’re paying to get it done ten times over.

This isn’t a simple matter of the ANC being bad, this is that the ANC was allowed to get this bad over a period of decades in unquestioned power.

And it is something we should learn for whoever follows the ANC – that when they start to degrade in the same manner, we will boot them out too.

Honesty happens when honesty pays – people will in general work to their own benefit. That doesn’t mean people are inherently bad, because to our own benefit can be to the benefit of all.

We need to make that the best option for our politicians, to increase the cost of dishonesty in government such that the bribe just isn’t worth it.

And this is part of why I oppose the EFF so vehemently. Parties degrade with power.

The EFF has a culture of corruption we see reflected in the likes of Floyd Shivambu.

Another story on News24 is all about how Shivambu was Whatsapping Lawrence Mulaudzi asking for his “intervention” – code for cash.

Thembinkosi Rawula recently resigned from the EFF claiming that its leaders were dipping into party funds according to the Mail and Gaurdian.

And the EFF are denying this and suing him, but if it is already starting out like this at 7% of the vote, it isn’t going to get any better when its got the entire nation’s finances to play with.

On Wednesday we vote, and I hope it is for a new government, a fresh government that can spend a few years doing the work we need it to do before we change it too.

We’ll probably end up with the ANC winning this election on promises it hasn’t kept for the last two and a half decades, but there is room for that hope of change.

Go out and vote for that change, because if you don’t vote, you’re voting for nothing and that’s what you’re going to get, vote for something, and maybe it won’t achieve anything but at least you’ll have tried.

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