Former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher said many years ago that “the problem with socialism is the fact that it eventually runs out of other people’s money”. Is this not exactly what has happened in SA over the past few years?

The great British statesman of the previous century, Winston Churchill, said: “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan said in a budget speech in parliament: “As long as the SA economy is not growing, the government will continue to curtail expenditure” and that “the government has set itself an expenditure ceiling”. But this has never happened, and living beyond our means has become the biggest threat to the economy and the country.

Gordhan also said it was “very important to bear in mind that government has been totally committed to safeguarding social expenditure”, but the available funds are very quickly drying up. 

The biggest problem with the economy in SA today is the fact that after 1994 the ANC government embraced a mixed socialist and communist ideology that cannot create economic growth, and rejected the capitalism that can. This was the starting point for the destruction of economic growth we are now experiencing. 

The market-oriented capitalist economic system has been successful in generating prosperity all over the world as it is the only system that can drive and create economic growth through the profit motive. Socialism and communism can only destroy economic growth and prosperity, and that is the main reason the government cannot reverse the economic destruction.

Communist China accepted capitalism a few years ago, and today it is one of the largest trading partners of the US. This is also the main reason China will become the world’s largest economic power in the near future.

Its economy has been growing by over 10% a year and has had to place restrictions on all new expansions in manufacturing capacity, which has increased twentyfold over the past 30 years, to cool down the economy. At the moment China is experiencing a weaker economic cycle but is still growing at 6% a year.

Fanie Brink