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South Africa is a beautiful, beautiful country, and the people are kind, courteous, curious and interested in a better life for themselves, and a better future for their country.  There is much promise here in South Africa. I reconfirm this fact, every time I return to the country — as I have again this week. But there are also many serious problems here. Here I address both.

The core of this problem, is actually fairly simple.  And it is this.

There are approximately 52 million people in South Africa, but there are only approximately 5 million tax payers (the official numbers are between 2.8M and 8M tax payers).    Respectfully, it is not more complicated than this.

The problem in South Africa is not race, it’s poverty, and you cannot have a country — or at least a sustainable country — with 50M plus population and growing, and less than 10% paying taxes.

What South Africa needs now, is the same thing the African continent needs overall: a generation of taxpayers.  And tax payers have jobs.  And jobs come (principally) from private enterprise.  And every big business was once a small one. I am talking about pursuing the 21st century, new definition of freedom: self determination.

What South Africa needs now is a bold new generation of entrepreneurs, small business owners and what I call ‘self employment projects.’ If you cannot find a job, then create a job (for yourself).

All of this, produces a tax base.

With a tax base, you can build a quality infrastructure, pay for education and public services.

When you do this, you create more prosperity for all.  And a growing South Africa, with opportunity for all, solves a whole lot of societal problems.

And importantly, this future growth should come from all aspects of society, and not just from the top.

Operation HOPE will contribute. We be bringing its nonprofit software for human development to South Africa, in the name of Project 5117.  Stand by for our plans here.

Okay, let’s go…

John Hope Bryant

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