Scary shit!

The ANC is currently finalizing plans to implement a National Health Insurance scheme in South Africa. Offhand this seems a good idea: too many people cannot afford private medical aid. However, the question is what we're going to use instead of money in order to finance this caper.

I often listen to Classic FM while driving, and between 6 and 7 in the evening they have a one-hour program on business and economics, in which leading business people and economists comment on recent developments. Just now (before I came home) I heard one of them mention some figures that are downright scary. I have no links to use as reference right now, so you'll have to take my word for it.
  • South Africa has more than fifty million citizens (that's not counting the illegals of course which are estimated to run into about ten million or so) but at the same time there are less than five point one million tax payers.
  • For every tax payer there are two point five people on welfare.
  • Less than 40% of the adult population works.
  • The Rand is over-valued, which hampers our economy and in turn seriously hurts tax revenues, but nothing is being done to curb that problem.
  • South Africa has the second highest interest rate in the world, yet two out of three people have debts and are unable to pay for them - during the last quarter the number of foreclosures and liquidations has increased by 38% compared to the same period last year.
  • The costs of the NHI plan will run into hundreds of billions of Rand per year.
Yes, I really have to see how the tax payers (including your's truly) are going to cough up this money.

Yet there is little chance that the NHI plan won' t be implemented. It has been made public, which generally means that it's already a done deal.

We'll see.


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