State Capture Shock Waves: Time to consider the youth

Corruption A

The only ones who still deny the harsh facts of State Capture, are the Rip van Winkles of the 21st Century.

One must ask how years of corruption and looting is impacting the South African youth.  A significant number of South Africa’s population are under the age of twenty-five[1].  They seem to face a future of little or no hope.  How can anyone, who benefited or still benefit from illicit deals, look the youth in the eye and say that their crooked ways brought a new deal for the youth?

Deprived of Tertiary Education Opportunities

Some sources say that R 100 billion was lost due to State Capture[2].  Past and present commissions of inquiry could add another R 500 million or more to the State Capture Invoice[3].  Last, State Owned Enterprises seem to think that the feeding troughs are still overflowing[4].

If one accepts a number of R 100 billion as the final cost of State Capture and if one selfishly assumes that said evaporated funds could have been used to pay for tertiary education, then 2.7 million of South Africa’s youth are deprived of a tertiary education; thanks to a rotten few[5].

Possible Impact on the “Free Education” Mantra

Given that NSFAS is already under pressure to fulfill commitments for the 2017 and 2019 academic years, where would the funding for 2019 come from?  Stopping the tide of State Wastage is not going to happen overnight.  Second, the tax base is already so overloaded that there is little or no room to left to milk already thin tax cows[6].  Clearly, the State cannot borrow themselves out of a very deep pit anymore – especially when there is a very slim chance to avoid another credit downgrade[7].

Call to Accountability

The State owes the youth an answer.  For a long time, the youth were told that other factors are the reason why they are deprived of access to tertiary education opportunities.  Now that the ugly truth has shown the tip of its very ugly horns, who will the State think of to blame?

As the facts emerge, there very little room to hide.  It is very clear that the clever tales spun by Bell Pottinger are being exposed for what they were.

Moving Forward

State Capture has evoked emotions and hard words from many sides.  For the youth of South Africa to regain confidence in the State and its doings, much depends on the rhetoric that is going to play out over the next couple of months.  It will be counter-productive for the State not to acknowledge the fallout of State Capture and not to take harsh steps against the culprits.

Since State Capture has deprived many of a better economic life, we can no longer talk about the Missing Middle.  It becomes more a case of the Missing Many.

And, for the next 30 years or more we have to look today’s youth in the eye, explaining what could have been amongst many “should haves”.

Appendix: Assumed number of students deprived of Tertiary Education

Conservative cost of State Capture 100 000 000 000
Average annual cost of Tertiary Education 36 000
Number of students deprived of tertiary education                         2 777 778





[5] See Appendix 1




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