The new South African finance minister, Nhlanhla Nene, has announced that the government will print billions of dollars worth of the national currency and hand it out to poor black people so that “everyone will be rich.” What could possibly go wrong?
Mr. Nene, who made a dramatic return to his former position as head of National Treasury in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s new Cabinet, has spoken on a array of issues, but it’s his startling plan to “fight poverty” by forcing the reserve bank to “print more money” that has led many analysts to compare his plan to that of a 4-year-old child.
“South Africans are continuing to be poor when we can print more money to ensure that everybody has it. Our people are poor because there is a shortage of money in the country. It’s not the shortage of jobs that makes people poor, it is the shortage of money. We have paper and ink, so we will print more money and give it to the poor, and make all of them billionaires if that is possible.” Nene said.
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The minister did not say how much more money will need to be printed. But he did reveal that this plan will be executed in in the next two months or so, and that every South African will be rich.
Mr. Nene may be correct in stating that everyone in South Africa will be a billionaire. However they will be billionaires in a currency that will have collapsed to the point of worthlessness.
The eyebrow-raising announcement follows hot on the heels of another disastrous policy announcement by the new government of South Africa. Last week the government announced that white land will be confiscated without compensation and handed to black South Africans.
The government announcement is the latest move that matches the failed policies of neighboring Zimbabwe under deposed dictator Robert Mugabe, who also confiscated land from white farmers, and printed so much money that the national currency became virtually unusable because of extreme hyperinflation.