South Africa is a rich country. Unfortunately, most of her citizens are not. Moreover, state capture revelations toss quantities of stolen capital around. For example, what is the actual loss to South Africans with the Asbestos millions?
Asbestos millions squandered
Recently, headline news trumpets warrants of arrest for business people involved in the Asbestos scandal. Seemingly, the Freestate authorised a spend of R225 million to identify and replace asbestos rooves in the province. Shockingly, not one roof is being replaced. Furthermore, jaded citizens, too many of whom struggle to place food on their tables, cannot begin to imagine what R225 million can buy.
Moreover, this particular theft is a small drop in the ocean of billions stolen from South Africans.
What should R225 million buy citizens?
Actually, research on costings posted on government and private sites show R225million can buy South Africans any one of the following:
2036 Reconstruction and Development homes at a cost R110 thousand each.
1 x 150-bed hospital
16 brick and mortar schools at approximatelyR14 million each.
1500 police constable salaries for one year.
South Africans want punishments to fit the crimes
Now, South Africans are fed up with politicians and their politically connected families and friends. Moreover, taxpayers call for prison sentences to be meted out urgently.
— Alec Hogg (@alechogg) October 6, 2020
Importantly, OUTA (Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse) offers a reminder that the Asbestos theft is just the tip of the iceberg.
— OUTA (@OUTASA) October 2, 2020
Others, including the current Freestate Premier, saying the law must take its course.
Free State premier, @SisiNtombela says the law must take its course in the R255-million #AsbestosArrests corruption case. She says she has noted with concern damning evidence presented at the #StateCaptureInquiry in Johannesburg. #sabcnews
— SAfm news (@SAfmnews) October 4, 2020
Additionally, some tweets express concern that the thieves may get off and delay trials via lawyers.
I hope they aren't arresting them just for them to leave through the back door . 🕯🕯 #AsbestosArrests
— T W O L A N I (@ramsthulani_) October 2, 2020
However, some people think the grand-scale theft is not a problem. Fortunately, freedom of press ensures anyone may express their opinions.
If the ANC were to convene an elective conference now,the only person who would be re-elected in the top 6 is Ace Magashule.
The soul of the ANC is in the branches.
Hawks better do their job fairly and not be factional,we are watching them closely. #AceMagashule
— Marxist (@Kgomo389) October 7, 2020
However, overall, South Africans condemn the theft of public funds. Certainly, every rand stolen is stolen from the people who need it most.
What do you think? Have your say, South Africa.