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February 2021

Using taxpayers’ money for the benefit of select sectors of SA’s citizenry has become a routine modus operandi  for president Cyril Ramaphosa and his colleagues. One of the most glaring partisan examples was the refusal some months ago by tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngobane to give R50 000 to owners of a Pretoria bed and breakfast establishment because they hadn’t “transformed” their business enough. (“Transformation” is yet another ANC regime manoeuvre to move wealth from those who created it to those who consume it.)

This R50 000 Covid relief grant had been promised to “business people” by the SA president during a speech delivered last year. Given the presumed sincerity of the president’s words (remarked upon by many unctuous newspaper editors), it is significant that no mention was made of racial preference in his pronouncement.  What appeared to be a life-saving mechanism for hard-working citizens of all races in the tourism industry suffering under the government-imposed lockdown turned out to be a slap in the face for the industry’s non-Black Economic Empowerment(BEE) -supporting whites. The grant was only for blacks. (Thousands of tourism businesses in South Africa are family-owned by whites who started from scratch and whose margins are very slim. One will go a long way in South Africa to find a hotel, bed & breakfast, lodge, game park or fishing entity owned and run by black South Africans, where tax is paid and where start-up funds were raised through their own efforts. There are some, but not many.)

To add insult to injury, within the past few weeks, a R1,2 billion Tourism Equity Fund was announced by the president. The fund is for black use only.  It empowers them to “acquire equity, invest in or expand existing developments”. It looks like the same old poaching process, similar to the BEE principle of piggy-backing on someone else’s existing business. The fund includes R540m from the Tourism Department (taxpayers’ money) and, significantly, R594m from SA’s commercial banks. President Ramaphosa said the fund was to “address the challenge of creating a transformative and inclusive tourism economy by providing access to finance for black-owned commercially viable tourism projects”.


The R594m promised by South Africa’s commercial banks, as stated by the tourism minister, is arguably their clients’ money. Thus the role of these banks in this racially-biased funding should be taken up by bank clients: it is not the banks’ money to plough into a racially-discriminatory government process. All South Africans either save or invest in these banks. Why should white funds be used by Mr. Ramaphosa to discriminate against whites?

Government’s lockdown measures resulted in thousands of tourism businesses, mostly white-run, going to the wall as holiday travel virtually dried up. Months went by with no income whatsoever.  South Africa’s tourist enterprises are of first-world standard and they contribute significantly to 2,9% of SA’s Gross Domestic Product, and 8,6% indirectly.  The industry supports about one and half million direct and indirect jobs. Tragically, collateral damage sees these jobs being lost. The similarities between the government’s “transformation” of the tourist industry and its chaotic “land reform” program a few years ago saw more than 4 000 productive farms lost to production and thousands of black workers and their families cast onto the streets.

The very people whose skills and talents actually created the country’s successful tourist industry are to be thrown to the wolves, and tourism will suffer, as did farming.

Civil organisations Solidarity and Afriforum requested an urgent meeting with the tourism minister to discuss what can only be termed as a catastrophic move on the government’s part. But the discussions got nowhere and both civil organisations must now approach the court.

Significant is the media comment made by tourism minister Kubayi-Ngobane regarding the failure to come to an agreement with the two groups. She declared that her government was determined to go forward with “transformation on every front” and that those ”who know and understand the history of South Africa need no convincing that redress is a necessary mechanism in order to build a non-racial (sic) and inclusive (sic) society”. (“Non-racial” and “inclusive” are very much oxymorons – the ANC’s policies are both racial and exclusive.)


This reflects the tragic lack of any sense of South African history or the realization by the minister that the capacity of the ANC to successfully manage any facet of South African life is virtually nil, and has proven to be so. The minister declared that she used the meeting with the two civic organisations to declare her government’s “unwavering determination to proceed with their transformation agenda”, this despite empirical and undeniable evidence that “her government” has turned a once-functioning first world country into a third world morass. This is where ideology has morphed into a psychosis, a very dangerous situation indeed for South Africa.

The minister’s official take on history is alarming and totally without any basis in fact. Her department says the two civil organisations show “contempt for the history of South Africa”, followed by the hoary old chestnuts “previously disadvantaged individuals” and the “legacy of apartheid and colonialism”.

History for the most part is empirical and is based on the writings of the people who witnessed it. It is indisputable that when Europeans arrived in South Africa in 1652 and put up their tents, there was no civilization to speak of on the ground. Numerous writers since that time, sent from Europe by governments, churches and civil organisations, wrote about what they saw: rudimentary ways of life with no development in terms of the basics of any type of civilization – no roads, schools, transport, commercial farming, industry, homesteads, communication and education structures. What the writers saw and portrayed by way of reports and drawings are verifiable evidence of a true history. It is only by virtue of the influence of Europeans and, at a later stage, the Indian population of South Africa that development occurred in lockstep with the rest of the world. Everything that minister Ngubane has in her life and everything that the ANC depends on to run this country does not emanate from Africa. 

For thousands of years Africans walked the earth in this part of the world and did not think to create a wheel, or a written word. They fabricated nothing other than a rudimentary form of agriculture and the husbanding of cattle. Their activities in the main consisted of the plunder and conquest of other tribes. There is no evidence that they would have developed any further than they were before Europeans and others came to South Africa. So why the redress for the so-called “previously disadvantaged?  On the contrary, black South Africans were advantaged by the settlement of whites in southern Africa. It is the ANC that should be a tiny bit grateful for what they were handed on a plate in 1994 and which, to the country’s chagrin, they are now destroying. The minister has a strange take on a history which cannot be argued away by ideologically-compromised politicians.


Eventually South Africa’s goose that lays the golden egg – the taxpayer – will flee with his money. If it were not for the Covid pandemic, many would have left their beloved country for saner climes. According to Global Financial Integrity (GFI), an American think tank, South Africa lost more than R327 billion in 2017 through illegal transfers out of the country. Yearly, the average outflow figure is  R290 billion (at current exchange rates). This bleeding is attributed mainly to over-invoicing and false valuations of trade transactions to avoid VAT and customs taxes. South Africa is one of the world’s worst twenty countries regarding the illegal outflow of currency.

Taxpayers are taking advantage of loopholes resulting from the skills shortage at the SA Revenue Service (SARS), particularly blatant after the Zuma appointment of one Tom Moyane. Over the past ten years, proficiency dwindled as ANC acolytes replaced qualified personnel.  Thus funding to support yet another government “transformation” gambit such as that proposed by the tourism minister is shrinking. SA’s taxpayers have got the message- they are dealing with a bizarre clique whose actions make no sense in a sane world, and the golden geese are running for the hills. Less than 14 million South Africans out of 39 million of working ability, are registered as taxpayers. Citizens who earn more than R1 million a year pay more than 40% of the country’s tax.

South Africa’s finances are locked in a vicious circle. International credit agency Moody’s is very pessimistic about us – the country’s problems are self-made, says the agency,  and are only exacerbated by the Covid crisis. Three years ago Moody’s downgraded this country’s economy to junk status, yet the government continues along a ludicrous ideological path where even international organisations’ warnings are treated in a cavalier fashion. Lack of prudence by the regime will result in bankruptcy. They will then look around for money that doesn’t exist, similar to the mentality that collapsed local government. Use it all up and then what? There’s no sign of forward planning!

Sunday Times columnist Barney Mthombothi sums it up succinctly (ST 21.2.21): “After liberation, we thought it couldn’t happen to us”, he declares. “For more than half a century we had watched one African country after another gain its independence from colonial rule, only to immediately descend into a miasma of corruption, dictatorship and unfettered human rights abuses, with very little, if any, material improvement in the lot of ordinary people.”  Well it is happening to us. The ANC has never taken history into account. They don’t learn from it. When will they learn?