The unwelcomed arrival of the debilitating Covid-19 pandemic at the beginning of 2020 exposed the frailty of South Africa’s economy.

The fatal cracks have been showing for quite some time, as more people lost their jobs.

The crippling impact of the hard lockdowns and the appearance of those who have access to power and politically connected greedy thieves revealed how the almost normalised culture of graft concentrated on amassing wealth for a chosen few instead of aiding to build all-encompassing economic success.

This a challenge that has reared its ugly head for a long time. What further intensifies challenges faced by millions of South Africans, is the government- steered plundering.

From national, provincial and local government, high-ranking officials and their political masters are pilfering funds from an economy that is already in the Intensive Care Unit.

The growing socio-economic inequalities require leaders who are decisive and more importantly, they must have balls of steel to craft and implement policies and strategies that will create a favourable environment for economic growth.

The heart-breaking truth is that South Africa’s economy is unlikely to grow when the theft from the state coffers is piloted by the very individuals whose real job is to serve the citizens.

As a country, we come from an era when untold damage was done to blacks over many generations through institutionalised racism and socio-economic injustice.

The apartheid regime swung the wealth pendulum to one side, which happened to be white. It will become even more difficult for the nation to move forward, if we do not put some semblance of balance back on the pendulum.

It is nauseating that those tasked with leading the country forward appear to think the balance will be brought about by raiding the state coffer for their own nefarious needs. They do not seem to care that their thievery is a sure-fire way to completely collapse the country’s economy.

Numerous views from various experts and some politicians say the only way for the country to get out of this current economic quagmire is through entrepreneurship. This is plausible as a solution, but the problem is that it is easier said than done.

Entrepreneurs, especially in the townships and rural areas, are faced with a number of incapacitating obstacles. It is almost impossible in many parts of the country to start an entrepreneurial undertaking when there is no income, lack of support, being far-removed from the economic hubs and scanty access to services.

For any enterprising person to kick-start a successful business, they need unencumbered access to funds, business insight, access to markets, training, a facility that is suitable for enticing clients and a stable customer support.

Corrupt and arrogant bureaucrats seem to have a devil-may-care attitude. They twiddle their thieving and filthy thumbs while entrepreneurs, who can create jobs, are burdened by crippling problems.

Also, the fact that small enterprises that do business with government never get paid on time is problematic.

We have a Department of Small Business Development. What does it really do?

That said, is there a chance that business and government leaders can give support to people who have ideas, skills and the drive to contribute to economic growth?

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