A seedbed for turmoil

THE signs are not good. Crass materialism and conspicuous consumption are becoming a national pastime.

THE signs are not good. Crass materialism and conspicuous consumption are becoming a national pastime.

Those ministers who think that spending less than they are allowed to on their cars are doing it for the taxpayer just don't get it.

It is not so much about whether the state allows for them to buy the cars they bought - we know it does, just like it allows for the purchase of corvettes we don't need - it is about sending the right message to the struggling people of South Africa.

Zwelinzima Vavi saved Cosatu's blushes by speaking out when the labour federation spokesperson Patrick Craven had curiously opted to remain silent.

The problem in South Africa is not so much that there are poor people. The poor are to be found all over the world. Our problem lies in the inequality in our society. The rich are very rich and can afford all the trappings of wealth. The poor, on the other hand have to rely on their wits for their next meal.

It is an untenable situation. It is also a seedbed for an uprising by those locked out of the never-ending party.

The state needs to take a moral leadership. President Jacob Zuma's commendable decision to fly on the national carrier will remain a public relations stunt unless his ministers start striking a balance between what they are entitled to and what voters expect of them.

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