SOUTH Africa has lost about R540-billion worth of potential investments because of the uncertainty caused by the "useless” nationalisation debate led by the ANC Youth League for the last four years, political analyst Justice Malala told businessmen in Port Elizabeth yesterday.
Despite the continuous noise about land expropriation without compensation, the ANC would never fiddle with property rights because it did not have the muscle to change the constitution and furthermore it knew the potential investment collapse that would come with land grabs, Malala said.
Speaking at a conference of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Summerstrand, Malala said the ANC never changed the constitution when it had the needed two-thirds majority and with its voters on the decline it did not have the numbers needed to change the Bill of Rights.
Quoting Stanlib chief economist Kevin Lings, Malala said companies were sitting on a R540-billion cash pile which could create much-needed jobs for the economy, but the money was not being invested because of the insecurity caused by the debates.
"We have spent four years debating nationalisation that was never going to happen. The consequences of that useless debate are that we were downgraded by the Moody’s and Fitch agencies. But for me the biggest consequence is the R540- billion that has not been invested. Imagine the number of jobs that could have been created with that money.”
Analysing the possible outcome of the ANC’s elective conference in Mangaung in December, Malala said President Jacob Zuma was almost certainly going to be at the helm of the party after the conference.
"Zuma already has [the support of] the Mpumalanga province, the Free State province, KZN, Limpopo is about 50/50 for now, the Eastern Cape is still in play but with those numbers I believe Zuma has got it.
"Forget what the ANC is telling you, Zuma, [Deputy President Kgalema] Motlanthe and [Human Settlements Minister] Tokyo Sexwale are campaigning to lead the ANC in December.
"Tokyo was in this province two weeks ago making all sorts of nice noises. Zuma is in the Eastern Cape every week because he wants this province. They both understand how important it is for them.”
Telling the story of an ANC that had drastically evolved in its 100 years of existence, Malala spoke of ANC founder Pixley Ka Isaka Seme who at 31 years old in 1912, came back to South Africa from studying law in England, and together with other intellectuals, started a movement that would change the lives of Africans.
"Now, 100 years later, I went up to Mangaung in January to celebrate the ANC’s centenary. I get to Bloem and the first thing I see is flashy cars, driven up and down the street by people who want to be seen. I get into a club, Cubana, and there are ANC members partying, drinking French champagne and not even from a glass but from the bottle so that it can be seen that they aren’t drinking some old sparkling wine. That was sad for me.”
Malala warned that like many liberation movements in Africa, the ANC would in years to come lose its power because the younger generation was more concerned with "fixing potholes and university residences than a history of political struggle”.