South Africa's parastatals are in a dire state. Instead of being the mandated sites of development and profitability, they are costing the public purse billions and have been abused.
South Africa has reached a critical point. If patronage politicians win the battle within the ruling ANC and complete the capture of the state, the country will slip from stagnation into the abyss.
MK, the army of the then banned ANC, electrified millions of oppressed people to rise against the apartheid regime. Today, its veterans are being used in factional battles within the ruling party.
South Africa's watershed local elections have resulted in upsets for the ANC in key metropoles. But will the new, minority coalition regimes live up to their mandate of providing basic services?
Some of the factors behind the riots by ANC supporters in Tshwane are not new. They include gripes within the governing party about its process for choosing mayors and divisions over Jacob Zuma.
Lobbying political actors to achieve particular outcomes is an acceptable practice in a democracy. But state capture, as is allegedly happening in South Africa, denotes holding the state to ransom.
Democracy resulted in a sea change in the governing ANC. In the past, only highly committed idealists joined the party. Today's splits and factions are about patronage and clientelism.
South Africa's governing ANC has to respond to public outcry about state capture or run the risk of electoral losses.