From time to time a few countries carry out what is in effect economic suicide. Four things destroy wealth in society — conflict, ideology, corruption and bad economic policy. Examples in recent history are many but notable ones would include Cuba, the Soviet Union and its European eastern bloc, pre-reform China, Lebanon, Zimbabwe, Syria and, at this very moment, Venezuela. What should not have to happen often does as states abuse of their monopolistic hold on power — all the more common in a dictatorship than in a democracy where the descent can be arrested. Partly due to institutional pushback, partly due to factionalism in the ANC ruling party, SA’s descent was stopped in December. The damage inflicted by the Zanu-PF dominated state has been far more severe in neighbouring Zimbabwe. Politically conspired wanton destruction of wealth has impoverished the vast majority of Zimbabwe’s citizens. This is the tragedy left by the Mugabe administration — the squandered resources and vast ...

Subscribe now to unlock this article.

Support BusinessLIVE’s award-winning journalism for R129 per month (digital access only).

There’s never been a more important time to support independent journalism in SA. Our subscription packages now offer an ad-free experience for readers.

Cancel anytime.

Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.