“This is not the best time to travel to South Africa with the aim of looking for a better life,” Mr. Viljoen says.
He explains, “What many people don’t know is that South Africa is no longer the country it used to be 20 years ago. Many neighboring countries that have suffered from decades of conflicts are way better than South Africa. Even before COVID-19, South Africa’s youth unemployment was at 70 percent.”
“South Africa is a country in serious problems,” the DHPI official further asserts, and adds, “The country today is a mere illusion of past development. The only thing that makes us look like we are doing well is the country’s infrastructure that was built many years ago. But that too has deteriorated and money meant to improve the infrastructure such as public roads is misappropriated. Even foreign investors have been withdrawing owing to corruption in the country.”
The DHPI official expresses concerns about the violence that has already reportedly claimed 10 lives saying it may spread further and cause more damage if not handled immediately.
He urges South Africans to refrain from violence saying, “It is okay, and provided for constitutionally to protest against poor governance. This should however be done in an orderly manner. The ongoing looting, burning of cars and buildings and looting is therefore uncalled for.”
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Meanwhile, the DHPI Director has expressed optimism that the jailing of former president Zuma provides a lesson for other African leaders who have brought their countries to their knees because of corruption.
“Many African countries are very poor because of corrupt leaders. We hope that the jailing of Jacob Zuma is only the beginning of a process that will see suspected corrupt leaders booked to answer for their actions,” he says.
Mr. Viljoen adds, in reference to the insecurity in Cabo Delgado, “In Mozambique, for instance, gas company Total was giving the government money to support soldiers who were fighting militants. But when the company discovered that the money meant for soldiers was being misappropriated and that the soldiers were no longer fighting, it withdrew its support.”
“We hope that South Africa isn’t just fighting internal political battles with the jailing of Zuma. We pray that this time, the war is against corruption,” the Director of DHPI says.