‘SA not at tipping point‚’ says Mbeki‚ ‘but we should err on the side of caution’

South Africa is trapped in an economic crisis‚ which is a far cry from the period between 1999 and 2006‚ former president Thabo Mbeki said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the 2016 Sunday Times Top 100 Companies Awards‚ Mbeki said
that although South Africa was immersed in a crisis‚ “fortunately we have not reached a tipping point”.

He said this was an eventuality the country must avert at all cost.

“We must act now and do the right thing because time is not on our side‚” Mbeki said.

Mbeki said‚ over the years‚ some negative features have emerged in the governing party which the organisation had recognised.

These included the use of political power for personal enrichment.

He said a deeply disturbing result was the gradual loss of respect for and erosion of the authority of the state.

“This cannot but lead to social disorder and instability. It is a matter of common cause that our economy is experiencing great difficulty.”

Mbeki said when he delivered the State of the Nation Address in 1999‚ he remarked that the country was experiencing a growth path.

When he gave the 2006 address‚ Mbeki said that he told the nation it was going to take time before poverty was eradicated‚ but that there was optimism in the country.

“As you have seen I quoted statements I made 17 and 10 years ago. The statements spoke about hope and optimism about the future.

“However‚ the hard reality we face today is that our country is trapped in an economic crisis which has turned the age of hope into the age of despair‚” Mbeki said.

He said the country was experiencing slow economic growth and levels of unemployment remained high.

Mbeki said the African National Congress (ANC) had drifted away from ordinary working people.

“The ANC has spoken out about such negative features within its own ranks.”

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