If only SA really were run like a spaza shop

Ideas

If only SA really were run like a spaza shop

Unlike most ANC ministers, the people who run these businesses actually understand how money works

Columnist

This week, as international relations and cooperation minister Naledi Pandor admitted that her department spending R118m on a hovel in New York was “an embarrassment”, it was once again reported that MPs have accused her of running her department like a “spaza shop”. This is obviously incredibly unfair to the owners of spaza shops.

It’s also fantastically dickish of the MPs who used the analogy. Indeed, if I were Desmond Moela, an ANC MP who used the spaza analogy, and I were sitting in parliament drawing a fat paycheck from the party strangling SA’s economy to death, I like to think I wouldn’t be so callous as to mock hardworking, job-creating South Africans who, unlike my colleagues in government, know which end to hold a spoon.

Then again, perhaps Moela, being in the ANC, was speaking out of ignorance. Perhaps he doesn’t know that, unlike most ANC ministers, spaza shop owners actually understand where money comes from and how it works. Unlike Moela’s government, they know how to grow a business. And unlike Moela and his colleagues, they make their money by working hard instead of extracting taxes from the public...

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