What are our corporate governors doing for their shareholders (read taxpayers)?

A Biznews reader likens parliament and its executive to a business entity, and proceeds to unpack just how similar and different MPs are to corporate executives in the private sector. It’s a reasonable and justifiable comparison and while you might argue that nowhere in the world does the former bear scrutiny when compared to the latter, it certainly should – or at least try and make – attempts to compare favourably. Perhaps Donald Trump will show us how to bring the thinking and operating style of the corporate world to State bureaucracy – he certainly intends trying and makes no bones about it. Like him or hate him (there seem to be very few shades of grey here), the stock markets are already reacting favourably to his mercurial and controversial style. Below, we hear one reader’s suggestions for our country – with some telling statistics thrown in, showing she’s done her homework. Certainly, food for thought… – Chris Bateman

From Biznews community member Linda Morkel

Hi MPs,

As a law-abiding proud South-African, I would like to thank you for representing the citizens of our great country in Parliament.

Let us take SA as a business entity with a Board of Directors in control. The citizens or voters are all shareholders in this company, since we are contributing by buying shares on a monthly (income-tax) and daily basis (VAT & sin-taxes) to grow this company. The shareholders will vote to put Directors in control; the Board of Directors and the CEO thus form the Cabinet in Parliament. We cannot willingly sell our shares, since we are forced to pay taxes. Therefore, at the rate this company is managed, it will be difficult, as shareholders, to vote for the existing management to carry the company forward. No dividend is paid to its shareholders in the form of safe living conditions, a growing economy or full employment.

Please allow me to reiterate the following which are currently in the public-domain:

You are paid a minimum of R1m per annum to represent the voters, who put you there in the first place. The voters are paying your salary through taxes.

To make up R1m by VAT only, R7 142 857 would have to be spent by the voters.

To make up R1m by income taxes at say 25%, R4m would have to be earned by voters.

Government officials earn on average R253,000 per annum and the Business Sector employees earn R191,000 per annum as per SA Statistics and Biznews.

Bearing this in mind, it is very unfair of Government to urge only the Business Sector to save the economy. Government is quick to mention income-gaps, skew economics and inequalities; but Government creates this by itself. The income-gap between the different race groups cannot be true, since Government employ according to the demographics.

Parliament must boost entrepreneurship in all facets of the economy and country; it will stimulate employment and growth.

May citizens and voters ask, “what are you doing at your office (Parliament) on a daily basis” to qualify to earn more than R1m per annum?

Some of you are absent from Parliament, others sleep, some giggle through Q&A sessions, while others disrupt the sittings. What do you actually get done?

SA’s potential economic growth is down at less than 2%; structural fiscal deficit is nearly 4% of Gross Domestic Product, while Government-debt has risen from 22% of GDP in 2008-09 to 44% in 2015.

At 33% of GDP, Government spending is already high for a middle-income country like South Africa.

SA’s Cabinet is five times the size of the USA’s, although the USA has six times the population of SA. Comparatively, our President earns more than any of the BRICS Presidents, Great Britain, Germany or the US President and is the fourth highest-paid President in the world. SA taxpayers carry twenty-three times more Cabinet-costs than the USA.

Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s president, looks at a document as he attends the annual budget speech at the parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. Photographer: Halden Krog/Bloomberg

Government cannot create revenue, but can only collect taxes from voters and business. Taxes collected should not disappear in a bottomless pit.

You can only blame yourself for the growth of the EFF, because their populist unrealistic pronunciations will be believed by the uneducated majority, since you did not educate the masses during the last 21 years during which you have reduced the quality of education to such a low level that it has become worthless.

Billions of irregular spending by Government Departments have taken place, as per the Auditor-General, and you have not called anyone to task.

Who pays for the salaries and court cases relating to Government’s irrational and unlawful appointments made and then set aside? Money is hereby irresponsibly wasted.

SAA costs the voters and taxpayers billions every year, although their competitors do make a profit.

Criticism in Parliament is only raised, but come up with solutions and what would or could the Opposition parties have done better?

Create a culture of thinking and not only criticising, complaining and moaning. Thinking means future-planning.

Does our President have a grip of some sort on you, in that you do not help him to make logical decisions?

Promises of employment and economic growth have not materialised.

The Nenegate blunder cut our economy by R171bn.

Please be so kind to stop running the country into the ground.

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