LETTER: Zimbabwe needs South Africa

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SA – As a business traveller I experience plenty of sub-Saharan Africa, from Luanda’s beautifully rebuilt palm-lined harbour boulevard, to new five-star hotels in Lagos, and the message is consistent: Africa is alive.

There is vibrancy on the streets, the very best consumer goods are easily found, and people taste success. There is hope, aspiration and vision.

And then I travelled to Harare. There is no hope or aspiration to be found on the streets. Instead, squalor and despair permeate the air. It feels as if the people are exhausted and sucked dry. There is no vibrancy.

Sure, we hear positive business news, and there are luxury cars on the decrepit roads. But you need to look at the man on the street; it is there you will find the true spirit of a nation, and Zimbabwe has none — its spirit has been eroded.

It is a disgrace SA has allowed this to happen. Zimbabwe is our neighbour and we share a common history. Zimbabwe needs a flood to wash it clean, and we as South Africans have excess, we have so much to give. What Zimbabwe needs is for SA to open the floodgates and revive it.

Gideon Vos

Johannesburg

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