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After stealing all eggs, ANC cadres now going after the chicken itself

SAA union members protesting outside OR Tambo Airport are blasted for failing to make their displeasure about conditions at the national carrier known when corruption set in.
SAA union members protesting outside OR Tambo Airport are blasted for failing to make their displeasure about conditions at the national carrier known when corruption set in.
Image: Michele Spatari / AFP

The circus currently unfolding at the South African Airways (SAA) is a microcosm of a bigger endgame of ANC corruption and incompetence.

Like other state-owned companies, SAA has been looted to the ground by a succession of ANC cadres. Ask anyone who has access to procurement information there, and you will be shocked by how much the airline has been paying for a simple bottle of water.

When corruption takes place, it first comes across as if it is a case of historically deprived ANC cadres benefiting duly from procurement processes that used to benefit white suppliers.

Those who complain about corruption are dismissed and projected as envious agents of white monopoly capital who are unhappy that black people are having their turn at the table.

When critics become louder, they are told to shut up and reminded arrogantly by the eating cadres that there was corruption under apartheid.

What the cadres don't tell the public is that, under apartheid, white people did not steal to the extent of collapsing institutions that were meant to serve their own people. It was theft with a conscience.

The ANC cadres are so primitive that after stealing all the eggs, they proceed to steal even the chicken itself.

The whole sordid affair is wrapped up in a stinky blanket written "black economic empowerment". Sometimes the blanket is written "affirmative action".

As the eating continues, in the name of black people, Statistics SA issues numbers that make it plain that the economic conditions of black people in general are worsening.

In the end, the real losers are black people themselves. Look around and ask yourself who are the victims of our generalised state collapse.

When education collapses, white people simply build private schools for their children. When hospitals degenerate, whites build private hospitals for themselves. And, by the way, nobody must blame them. After 1994, white people did not collapse any school or hospital.

The tragicomedy of the whole thing is that after looting from the state, ANC cadres take the money to pay for world-class services in the private sector, the same services built by white people.

The cadres send their children to white schools, and, when they are sick, the cadres go to white people's private hospitals.

In the case of SAA, the burden of corruption is now thrown on the shoulders of workers who where not invited to the table when ANC cadres were still eating.

The unfortunate thing is that ordinary workers are now made to appear as if they are making unreasonable demands to a company that has no money. People are not asking where the money has gone.

Somebody with a sharp investigative eye must go around looking for the assets of all previous SAA executives. Such a thorough investigation will most probably reveal that the 8% wage increase demanded by workers is a drop in the ocean compared to the cumulative money stolen by ANC cadres.

Workers cannot be absolved of all culpability, though. Where were they when ANC cadres were looting these state-owned enterprises?

Does anyone remember any trade union announcing the mother of all strikes against corruption?

The sad truth is that the South African state is now bankrupt.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced it in parliament this year, using the euphemistic phrase: "Our resources are now depleted."

It is now too late. It does not matter whether workers choose to stage a father or mother of all strikes; ANC cadres have stolen all the eggs and all the chickens. Workers should have staged protests when the cadres were busy stealing the eggs before they turned to chickens.

The problem with public discourse in South Africa is that it always focuses on parts, not the whole picture. The whole thing now is projected as if it is an SAA problem.

The bigger truth, though, is that SAA is a small manifestation of the endgame of a generalised ANC corruption and incompetence.

Behold, the grand collapse is afoot. As things continue to fall apart, expect more gimmicks in the form of investment conferences that make pledges while more and more South Africans lose their jobs.

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