SA needs genuine black entrepreneurs

South Africa has a strong democratic culture, with a free press, an independent judiciary, a feisty trade union movement and a large middle class.

South Africa has a strong democratic culture, with a free press, an independent judiciary, a feisty trade union movement and a large middle class.

There are too many checks and balances for it ever to succumb to crude tyranny of the sort so common north of the Limpopo river. But the fact that the ANC faces no plausible electoral challenge is worrying.

The government is not particularly corrupt, but it could become so. If it remains in power for too long, the ANC could evolve into the kind of patronage machine that has so damaged virtually every other African country.

Probably most of South Africa's black tycoons have links to the ANC. Cyril Ramaphosa, one of the richest, was the party's secretary general, and the man who first promoted the idea of "empowerment charters".

Looking further ahead, South Africa needs more genuine black entrepreneurs: People who build up their own businesses from scratch, rather than parlaying political connections into a chunk of a firm that someone else built; people who actually create wealth. Currently whites pay most of the taxes, but their number is in long-term decline. Someone will have to take up the slack.

Vistance Tamata Nhombelani Village

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