Heading for bad times

President Kgalema Motlanthe has repeated what economists have been saying about how we are entering troubled waters in our economic lives.

Jobs are no longer secure and growth is plummeting, having been at close to 3% last year and the last quarter's figures coming in at 0,26%.

Things are dire and it seems it will get worse before it gets better.

So it is time that not only ordinary South Africans tighten their belts but also for the government, government departments and parastatals to be seen to be adopting thriftier spending patterns.

It too often happens that state organs, who by virtue of their not having to make money as their primary objective, tend to spend it on what amounts to bling spending having no consideration of the holes they leave in the pockets of taxpayers.

Too often state and quasi-state institutions are hauled over the coals for overexpenditure or failure to account for money. Hopefully President Motlanthe's counsel will reach those areas too.

Many ordinary South Africans already know how to tighten their belts. The high numbers of cars and homes being repossessed bear testimony to this. What we are waiting to see is how the state will tighten its own.

Only when the state does this will ordinary South Africans be convinced of the tough times that President Motlanthe is referring to.