State Capture VS Radical Economic Transformation

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It’s all about who owes what and how much of it as well as the colour of the owner – and a deep rooted grievance which still has to be settled.

Gerhard Papenfus, Chief Executive of the National Employers’ Association of South Africa (NEASA).

1994 gave us temporary reprieve – but the Rainbow experiment has come to an end – and we’re all to be blamed for it. In 2007 the so-called second phase of the National Democratic Revolution was adopted in Polokwane. It was advanced in 2012 in Mangaung. Business did not take any of that seriously – they thought (perhaps hoped) that things would remain the same. It didn’t.

In recent years the propaganda against white monopoly capital increased. Then came the most recent slogan: radical economic transformation. It’s all in line with official ANC policy as articulated in the National Democratic Revolution. It means only one thing – take from whites and give it to already privileged and politically connected previously disadvantaged individuals, although, off course, it is sold in a manner that creates the impression that everybody, except whites, will benefit.

When President Zuma eventually dismissed Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, there were voices all round that he had overstepped the boundaries and that the end of his presidency was in sight. It clearly wasn’t. The President knows his party all too well; he knew all along that they will always put personal interests above the national interest – career politicians desperately queuing at the trough. There are off course exceptions, remarkable individuals swimming against the current.

He also knows that for those he relies upon to stay in power, the national interest is of less importance than seeing whites being dispossessed and eliminated from economic life. President Zuma has emerged stronger from the Pravin Gordhan debacle – he made his most daring move, until now, and came out on top, at least within the ANC – and at least for now.

Those already at the trough and those pushing and elbowing to benefit, was initially a bit offended by the President not involving them more directly in implementing his unique form of radical economic transformation – besieging Treasury (one remaining obstacle to complete his drive to capture South Africa) with almost unlimited access to our resources to enrich himself and his allies. Somehow the dissidents in the ANC are no longer offended; they now fully understand his blatantly crooked motives. How this metamorphosis transpired, only they will know. They have humbly apologised for offending the President, undertook to never do it again and declared themselves ready to move on – silently overseeing rapid state capture and the demise of South Africa.

They, and the millions educated in the art of entitlement, will now continue with the much bigger project of their version of radical economic transformation. This is not a type of transformation which will take South Africa forward – bringing about change that will lead to improved service delivery all round, improved education and skills, work ethics and productivity and consequently increased levels of employment – the type of transformation that will lead to economic growth, the type of radical transformation that all sober-thinking South Africans would support.

In contrast, the ANC’s type of radical economic transformation will lead us down the path of accelerated decline, towards the equal society they strive for, not equal in relative prosperity, but in the equal sharing of misery. This is simply so because the different races and ethnical groups within South Africa, which are meant to complement each other, are pretending that we don’t need each other – my race included.

This radical economic transformation-venture is designed to redistribute wealth through various means, but aimed at taking away from a few in order to give to many, in a manner that will eventually benefit only a very few, but which will steadily eliminate a race group that makes a very substantial economic contribution – but this is the motive after all.

Their version of economic transformation will not create anything new, it will simply take from some and give to many, but unlike the case with the five loaves of bread and two fish, the loot will not multiply. It will be a never ending process (which the National Democratic Revolution calls a seamless transformation), always aimed at the obvious and easy targets, going down the race and eventually the ethical hierarchy. With a population that is steadily losing the ability to care for themselves, coupled with envy and hatred, the thirst for redistribution cannot be quenched. As resources become scarcer, even the initial perpetrators will become the victims.

The current dispensation is not sustainable – very few will deny that. However, radical economic transformation will only exacerbate an already dire situation. To erode the ability of a particular minority to play a part in the building of a better South Africa, because of historic events, will inevitably cripple South Africa.

The danger of President Zuma’s access to the South African purse is immense; the danger of race orientated radical economic transformation is even larger. State capture combined with a radical erosion of the tax base is a quick recipe for disaster. This, however, is exactly what the revolutionaries aim for.

In light of this, are we hopeless? Not in the least. There is abundant grace; and consequently abundant hope. Rightminded South Africans will not only take note of what they do, but respond appropriately and with courage. We will also focus more on doing what is right. Instead of withdrawing we will continue to occupy our space; now only with more determination.

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