South Africa is a failing state as the government cannot address the multiple crises it is facing, creating an environment where crime goes unpunished, and citizens are increasingly dissatisfied.
This is according to former statistician general Dr Pali Lehohla, who told Newzroom Afrika that the government is losing control of crime in the country.
Lehohla said the recent attacks on trucks nationwide are a symptom of government failure.
“When you have multiple crises, such as load-shedding, Transnet, unemployment, and now attacks on trucks, you know then that you have a failing state.”
The former public servant also rubbished the government’s claims that these crises result from economic sabotage.
“The government is sabotaging itself. What we are seeing are symptoms of government failure,” he said.
“There is no sabotage. The government’s policies lack any attention to appropriate economic policies and design.”
Lehohla bemoaned the government’s lack of urgency in addressing structural issues with the economy and its inability to govern the country.
A weak government allows crime, such as attacks on innocent truck drivers, to run amok in the country.
“I would lay this at the doorstep of the government. It is a matter of loose governance that creates an environment where such attacks can occur.”
CEO of the Road Freight Agency, Gavin Kelly, agreed with Lehohla, saying that these attacks highlight the collapse of the country’s security apparatus.
South Africa’s intelligence services and police have been unable to prevent or contain these attacks.
Even when suspects are arrested, they are often not prosecuted, which leads to a belief that there are no consequences for engaging in acts of violence and sometimes murder.
Kelly also placed the blame squarely on the government. “The roots of this so-called economic sabotage lie with the government’s decisions.”
Both Kelly and Lehohla said that the government is excellent when making declarations or policies but is poor when implementing or following up on its promises.
Lehohla said, “It is mere exultations, like reading the Bible. It requires action.”