Pretoria - The majority of South Africans are today poorer than they were during the apartheid regime.
This was a view of ActionSA leader, Herman Mashaba, during an entrepreneur seminar with students at Tshwane University of Technology in Ga-Rankuwa campus yesterday.
He recalled that in the 70s and 80s the-then South Africa used to be short of manpower and that apartheid government would arrest people who were idle and not working.
“Today it hurts me deeply. When I go to every township, to every village (and) to every informal settlement, 12 million South Africans are unemployed,” he said.
Mashaba also recounted a story of his humble beginnings captured in his book called, Black Like Me.
He used to live in a two-room shack with his family, lost his father at the age of two, but he made it in life against all odds.
He said he made a conscious decision to use his privileged position to “make a difference in the lives of the South Africans who are today unfortunately poorer than they were during apartheid”.
Mashaba said he was grateful that he never left the country at the height of apartheid. “Imagine if I had left, I would probably be the minister of electricity.
“Because one thing I realise is that people who left were trained to really be corrupt and destroy, because they actually destroyed our country and they are as corrupt as you can ever get. So, God prevented me from being associated with criminals and corrupt people.”
He sounded an alarm that South Africa was heading towards becoming a failed state.
He urged the electorate to take advantage of the 2024 national election to unseat the ANC-led government.
“Come 2024, if this current government is going to remain in power, I can tell you South Africa will not make it to 2029. It is our last chance,” he said.
He said in the event the ANC would still be in charge post 2024, the 44% unemployment rate would rise to 60%.
“There will be no rule of law in South Africa. You can imagine just a few days ago how brazen these criminals can attack a police station.”
According to him, South Africa was almost at a point of becoming a failed state like Zimbabwe.
“Thirty years ago Zimbabwe used to be a breadbasket; they used to produce enough food for the entire Southern Africa. Today they can’t even produce a maize meal. This is not a joke. This is not a movie. This is not a play. This is real,” he said.