South Africa became irrelevant among international investors – Sygnia founder

Magda Wierzycka

Sygnia founder and CEO Magda Wierzycka said South Africa is a failed state which has become irrelevant among international investors.

Speaking to Newzroom Afrika, Wierzycka said South Africans could no longer fool themselves by thinking they are not living in a failed state.

She said citizens are forced to accept an incompetent government actively sabotaging businesses and destroying jobs.

Considering the corruption and incompetence of the government, she asked how people could even talk about South Africa not being a failed state.

“I was at a function with international investment professionals, and we spoke about South Africa. They told me South Africa was irrelevant,” she said.

“It has become so small that it does not even feature on their radar screens, and they moved on to another topic.”

The Sygnia founder said President Cyril Ramaphosa is a bitter disappointment who let the country down.

“I was hugely enthusiastic about President Ramaphosa. I thought he was a force for change. However, look where we are today,” she said.

“He has been hugely disappointing on an enormous number of levels. It includes being indecisive and not strategic.”

Despite having all the power to appoint ministers, issue commands, and make changes, he cannot make hard decisions and take people in the party to task.

Ramaphosa’s poor leadership and the incompetent government have resulted in collapsing infrastructure at a national and municipal level.

As such, Wierzycka expects increased social unrest due to poor service delivery, including a lack of water and electricity.

No light at the end of the tunnel

Wierzycka previously said municipalities, which form the backbone of South Africa’s government, cannot provide basic services like water and electricity.

She said 45% of water in South Africa is lost within municipal water systems due to poor infrastructure, poor maintenance, and illegal connections.

Many people hope the 2024 general elections may result in a change, but Wierzycka said this optimism is misplaced.

Even if the ruling party loses the elections and makes way for a coalition government, it is unlikely to improve things.

“If the municipal elections are anything to go by, we are looking at complete chaos of coalition governance,” she said.

She added that the prospects of a DA/ANC coalition – which many analysts have pegged as the best hope for coalition governance to succeed – are incredibly slim.

“I don’t want to say I’m negative about [South Africa], but I am negative about it,” Wierzycka said.

“I don’t want to leave this country; I love this country. But I am out of ideas regarding what we must do to fix what we are facing right now.”

“When I look at the mess which has been created, I cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel.”


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