'The proverbial guns (and the real ones), billboards, hashtags and tweets are out for President Jacob Zuma. “Zuma must go” they all demand, even some in his own party (not least in Gauteng). The list of reasons they cite are long and many of them justified. Poor folk cry the lack of economic opportunities and bad service delivery, middle-class folk cry corruption, while the rich sigh at the price of Swiss chocolates in Dubai Duty-Free.'
'Is the state of the economy doings of Zuma alone? Let’s look at the facts:
In the Mbeki years (1999 – 2008) the economy grew by an average of 4.2% a year, and by 2.6% on a per capita basis (that’s relative to the population of the country). When he was kicked out of office, the official unemployment level sat at 22.8%, the broad rate – which counts discouraged job-seekers was 30.9%. The US dollar costed R7, 50. The government’s debt sat at 23.3% of GDP.
Then, enter His Excellency Zuma. Under him, the economy has grown by a paltry average of 2.4% a year. Per capita growth decreased to less than 1% a year. The official employment rate increased to 25% (broad is almost 37%). The US dollar costs more than twice it did when Thabo left the Union Buildings (R15, 45). Government debt has soared to 43.5% of GDP.
To your average Mmusi or Helen it would seem that Zuma is squarely responsible for this mess. And JZ’s deceptive detractors in the opposition and media would like to leave it at this – correlation must mean causality. But in first-year economics or statistics they teach that correlation does not equal causality. If two events occur at the same time – it doesn’t necessarily mean that that one caused the other. For example, if Herman Mashaba bought the KFC at Park Station, and then prices went up, the cuts were smaller, the chips were burnt and the Coke was flat, we’d be wrong to conclude that this was because of Mashaba’s poor management. We need to look at all possible factors. Perhaps in this time, the drought affected the quality of the chicken and potatoes, and the KFC franchisors increased the prices and coke supplier supplied old stock. Herman may have in fact done everything he could have to prevent a bigger disaster!'
What do you think. Speak up mzansi.