Tax revolts and other political sentiments

While South Africa continues to support Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro, the Trump Administration is ratcheting up pressure for him to leave. The White House has issued new sanctions on Venezuela, banning all oil coming from state-owned PDVSA. The ban is expected to hit the Maduro regime for $11 billion over the next year, something that National Security Advisor John Bolton implied could be lifted should Maduro step down and Juan Guaido assume the presidency. It is rather ironic that the ANC, a party that started off as a liberation movement, now endorses a dictator who is running his country into the ground.

Former SA Airways chair Dudu Myeni received R300 000 a month from Bosasa, allegedly for the Jacob Zuma Foundation, the company’s former COO Angelo Agrizzi told the State Capture Commission on Monday. That prompted Helen Zille to call for a tax revolt if those implicated in corrupt dealings and state capture were not prosecuted soon.

The sentiment of many law-abiding, tax-paying citizens is that they want to help the less fortunate. They are more than willing to pay their taxes if the money will benefit the poor and improve the country. They want to support the 17 million beneficiaries of social grants and assist the government in creating jobs, but currently their money goes to corrupt politicians and their cronies in SOEs and other enterprises like Bosasa.

Many commentators are also shining the light on the devastating policy of BEE over the past 25 years, which meant unqualified but politically-connected people were put into senior positions and became obscenely rich while contributing nothing. We have seen to what extent the government under the Zuma leadership could hijack a country and plunder it, hurting the people who elected him most of all.

But before we all despair and give up, we have to remember that people reap what they sow. Those who destroy, will be destroyed in time. Those who lie and steal, will be exposed and shamed.

South Africa is still the same vibrant, fun-loving, sunny, beautiful place it has been since the beginning of time. We only need to remove all the deeply-rooted weeds and take care never to become like them.

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