SARS war - the battle lines have been drawn in public. And its a good thing.

Daniel Silke, Political Analyst and Director of Political Futures Consultancy says yes.

If you take the view that a crisis can have a positive outcome, when your back is against the wall, when the issues are flushed out into the open rather than being obfuscated behind closed doors, then yes one could see this as positive.

Daniel Silke, Political Futures Consultancy

Without SARS there is no source of revenue for government to do the work it must do - especially for the poor.

SARS is fundamental to to economy. 400 billion rand alone is collected in personal income taxes. It is the one efficient government agency, and without it the country would come to a stop.

Daniel Silke, Political Futures Consultancy

That's really one of my critical points about the whole episode. Its philosophical. SARS is critical to us as a functioning economy and keeping it beyond reproach reflects on our well being collectively as a nation.

Daniel Silke, Political Futures Consultancy

Silke says the danger is when we see agencies of the state becoming politicised.

Given the statements of Pravin Gordhan, it would seem that his view is that there is some sort of proxy war being fought between those who want to apply ethical policies to finance in South Africa and those perhaps who could broadly speaking be called crony capitalists - those who use patronage to get further.

Daniel Silke, Political Futures Consultancy

But it can have a positive spin off says Silke.

In times of crisis as long as the issues are resolved in a positive way, we can in fact take some heart from the stand that Pravin Gordhan has taken over the past few months.

Daniel Silke, Political Futures Consultancy

It has got to be flushed out and it has got to be flushed out fast because we know the consequences - a ratings agencies downgrade, a higher cost of capital, a higher inflation rate and a weaker rand. I think the penny has dropped in government - or at least in parts of government - that something needs to be done. But its touch and go to see which horse wins.

Daniel Silke, Political Futures Consultancy

This article first appeared on 702 : SARS war - the battle lines have been drawn in public. And its a good thing.


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