2021-07-24:Leaders 终结非国大经济

Saving South Africa 拯救南非

End of the line for ANC economics终结非国大经济

More than two decades of corruption and misgovernment have led to crisis二十多年的腐败和弊政造成了这场危机

Jul 24th 2021 |

THE FLAMES of burning warehouses, shops and factories have at last been doused. In front of shattered malls, local residents wearing luminous yellow or orange vests stand watch like an army of school-crossing wardens. Crowds of volunteers—white and black, young and old, sometimes singing together—sweep up the broken glass and ashes after the week of riots instigated by allies of the tainted former president, Jacob Zuma, in a vain effort to reverse his recent jailing for defying the Constitutional Court. In the clean-up, the optimism and generosity of spirit of the rainbow nation re-emerged, a reminder of the miracle that enabled a liberal democracy to be born, against the odds, 27 years ago, after the brutality of apartheid.

仓库、商铺、工厂中燃烧着的烈火终于被扑灭。本地居民穿着黄或橙色发光背心,守卫着被损毁的商场,像一队监督学生过马路的协管员。污点重重的前总统雅克布·祖马的盟友们,妄图推翻法院最近对其藐视法庭做出的入狱判决,煽动了一场为期一周的大骚乱。骚乱结束后,大批志愿者——既有黑人也有白人,既有年轻人也有老年人——打扫着碎玻璃渣和灰烬,他们有时会一边打扫一边高歌。在清理行动中,彩虹之国的乐观和宽容精神重新显现,使人们再次回忆起27年前的奇迹:残酷的种族隔离制度结束后,尽管困难重重,自由民主制度成功诞生。

Make no mistake, though. The riots were nothing less than a violent attempt by a pro-corruption faction within the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to overthrow the democratic order. And the fires sparked by Mr Zuma’s allies took flame so fiercely because of the anger generated by more than two decades of misgovernment and graft. This has been largely to blame for one of the world’s highest unemployment rates, which stems from a growth-sapping mix of crony capitalism, fossilised state-owned industries and laws that discourage businesses from hiring new workers.

但是可别搞错了。这场骚乱无疑是非国大(ANC)内部一撮支持腐败的派系试图推翻民主制度的暴力图谋。祖马的盟友煽起的几星火花,最后变成了熊熊烈火,是因为二十多年来的弊政和贪腐令人们怒火中烧。主要症结就在于,南非是全球失业率最高的国家之一,而这是因为裙带资本主义大行其道,国企陈腐僵化,以及法律抑止企业雇佣新员工,制约了经济发展。

Start with crony capitalism, which in South Africa goes by the euphemism “black economic empowerment”. The idea behind it seemed laudable enough—to right a historical wrong. Under apartheid the country produced white titans of industry such as the Oppenheimer family (owners of DeBeers), while making it hard for black South Africans to own businesses. The ANC felt it only fair that there should be black billionaires, too. To give them a leg-up it insisted that mining companies should hand at least 26% of their shares to the “historically disadvantaged”. Mining companies (as well as banks and insurers) did so willingly, diluting existing shareholdings when they transferred stakes to the likes of Cyril Ramaphosa, now the president, along with Patrice Motsepe, his brother-in-law, and Bridgette Radebe, his sister-in-law.

首先是裙带资本主义,在南非人们委婉地称之为“黑人经济赋权”。 这背后的理念似乎很值得赞许——为了拨乱反正。种族隔离制度下南非出现了一批白人工业巨头,比如奥本海默家族(戴比尔斯公司的所有者),而黑人则很难拥有自己的企业。非国大认为,南非也要有黑人百万富翁,这才显公平。为了让黑人占得先机,非国大要求矿业公司应将26%的股份转给“历史上处于不利地位的群体”。矿业公司(及银行和保险公司)于是心甘情愿地稀释了现有股权,把股份转给了现任总统拉马福萨,其妹夫帕特里斯·莫特赛比,以及其小姨子布里奇特·拉德比之流。

If these handouts had been a one-off tax, their harm would by now have been forgotten. But once the new black shareholders had sold their holdings, the government drafted regulations to repeat the process. And so capital investment in mines fell by 45% between 2010 and 2018, with output falling by 10% and employment by 50,000—a tenth of direct employment in the industry in 2010.

若这类股权转移只是一次性的征税行为,其危害到目前应早已无人问津。但只要新的黑人股东出售其股份,政府就会制定法规来重复稀释股权。因此矿业资本投资在2010年到2018年之间下降了45%,产出下降了10%,就业人数减少了5万人——这相当于2010年该行业直接就业人数的十分之一。

The ANC has magnified this harm by insisting that the state keeps control of some 700 companies including Eskom, the electricity monopoly, and Transnet, which runs all the ports and railways. Mismanagement, corruption and a lack of investment have made them drags on growth. Some economists reckon that South Africa’s exports could have been 50% higher during the commodity boom that peaked in 2008 if its mines, railways and ports had run smoothly and had obtained the electricity they needed. Mr Ramaphosa initially sought to clean out corrupt managers. It was a start, but will do nothing to provide the competition needed to make these firms improve.

非国大还执意要求由政府控制艾斯康国家电力公司,铁路与港口垄断公司德兰斯尼特等约700家企业,导致危害加剧。弊政、腐败、缺乏投资成为经济增长的绊脚石。一些经济学家认为,若矿山、铁路和港口能平稳运行,所需电力供应有所保障,2008年在大宗商品繁荣的巅峰期,南非出口额本应可以增加50%。拉马福萨最先寻求把腐败官员扫地出门。这是个起点,但无益于促使企业改进。

Perhaps most pernicious have been laws that discourage firms from hiring, by making them jump through hoops when taking on staff, and even higher hoops when trying to sack them. The government has also actively destroyed many thousands of jobs. Since 2009 it has forced hundreds of small clothing firms employing tens of thousands of workers to close, because they did not pay wages as high as those agreed to in a deal between unions and big factories. The government fails to keep the lights on. Yet it blithely puts people out of work.

也许危害最大的是阻止企业雇佣新员工的法律,企业招聘员工要越过千难万难,解聘员工时还要越过更多障碍。政府也主动摧毁了数千个工作。自2009年以来,南非政府已强迫数百家小型服装企业(雇有上万名员工)关停,只因为这些企业的工资达不到工会与大工厂协议达成的水平。政府无法正常运作,却轻率行事,导致一大批人下岗。

Little wonder that the number of unemployed (including those who have given up seeking jobs) rose from 5.4m to 9.2m in the ten years to 2019. Almost the only group of people who have prospered because of ANCnomics, apart from billionaires, are those working for the state: their pay went up by about two-thirds in real terms between 2007 and 2019.

因此也难怪截至2019年的十年间,失业人口(包括已经放弃找工作的人)从540万增长到了920万。除了亿万富翁,还靠着非国大经济发家致富的几乎唯一一群人就是政府工作人员:2007到2019年间,他们的工资按实际价值计算增加了约三分之二。

Since the riots, NGOs and trade unions have called for a basic income grant to reduce poverty. Mr Ramaphosa says he is looking at these proposals. But the state already pays welfare to 31% of the population, making it the second-largest budget item after education. Mismanaged South Africa cannot afford so vast an expansion of support.

暴乱爆发以来,非政府组织和工会都呼吁应发放基本收入补贴以减少贫困。拉马福萨称正在研究这些提议。但目前全国已有31%的人口享受着政府福利,这是继教育之后第二大政府财政支出。本就管理不善的南非政府根本无力负担如此巨大的一笔额外补助。

In power, Mr Ramaphosa has made a start by acting against the crooks in his party and government. But if he is to save his country he cannot just throw out the ANC’s bad apples. He must throw out its bad economics too—and change the system that made him and his family rich. If he fails to do that, the country must throw out his party. ■

拉马福萨执政期间,打击党内和政府中的不良分子,已经开了一个头。但他要是想拯救南非于危难,就不能只是铲除非国大里的老鼠屎,还要抛弃坏的经济学,改革体制(这套体制让他及家人发了家致了富)。如果他做不到这些,那么国家就得把他的党派踢下台去。

这本书怎么样?

点击星号为它评分!

平均评分 0 / 5. 投票数: 0

到目前为止还没有评分!成为第一位为此书评分。

评论0

请先

没有账号? 注册  忘记密码?
'); })();