Business Report

ROOTS OF THE JOBS’ CRISIS  -  posted 16 April 2019

Sadly, Moegammad Nackerdien and Derek Yu’s insights on the job crisis that has been worsening for the past 25 years (Business Report, April 15) fail to touch on the chief underlying cause of unemployment.

Like so many others who have attempted to discuss this subject, they tip-toe around the elephant in the room. Inflexible, restrictive labour legislation along with unbridled union influence constitute the greatest stumbling block to the expansion of the job market.

Race-based policies which coerce business to prioritise skin pigmentation ahead of competence, serve only to limit employment opportunities on the grounds that once hired, the difficulties posed in dismissing personnel discourage an open approach to employment.

Then there is the Byzantine thicket of regulations regarding B-BBEE. Independent research by Moeletsi Mbeki and John Kane-Berman of the Institute of Race Relations has shown that B-BBEE has not only failed to reverse the unemployment trend but that it has added up to 30% more in costs for  tendering with B-BBEE compliant businesses, enriched an elite to an obscene degree and discouraged foreign direct investment.

It’s time academics like Nackerdien and Yu extended their thinking beyond the economically stifling parameters in which the ANC government has bound our economy. Only by abolishing the above noted strictures will the crisis of unemployment be eased.

 

The Witness; also The Mercury

MARITZBURG'S MUNICIPAL MELTDOWN

It is difficult to perceive a sentiment of sincerity in local government MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube’s  lambasting of her comrades for their part in the municipal meltdown of Pietermaritzburg (The Witness, April 10).

After all, the governance shambles in the capital city is precisely the result of ANC policies which prioritise cadre deployment and demographic representivity in place of competence. For months the mismanagement of Pietermaritzburg has been obvious, yet Dube-Ncube and her ilk denied the situation.  Given her position as the overseer of local government and as a former Speaker of the eThekwini council, the question that should be asked is why she took so long to intervene.

Pietermaritzburg’s plight is reflective of the state of the majority of municipalities in South Africa, all of which have been hobbled by ANC misrule. Placing Pietermaritzburg under administration may serve to rehabilitate the city but it will not cure it of the flaw in its governance. The fact that it is the second time in less than ten years that it has been placed under administration is proof of that.

Unless cadre deployment, B-BBEE and demographic representivity are abolished and merit is made the sole criterion of employment, shoddy governance and corruption will return to afflict municipalities like Pietermaritzburg.

..

The Mercury, Star, Daily News, Witness

OPPOSING THE ANC IS NOT AN EXCLUSIVE CAUSE  - posted 6 April 2019

In claiming that a vote for a smaller party is a wasted vote, the DA simultaneously displays contempt for multi-party democracy as well as political amnesia.

To date our electoral history shows that through coalitions, opposition parties, irrespective of size, have succeeded in wresting power from the ANC. Famously, Helen Zille became mayor of Cape Town in 2006 with a one seat majority. That single seat was provided by a councillor representing the Freedom Front Plus.

In questioning the worth of a party with only one or two elected representatives the DA conveniently forgets that in many areas its representation is no greater than a single, solitary councillor – lone rangers, as the DA calls them – who acquit themselves well.  The DA's predecessor, the DP, had only two representatives in the 81 seat KZN legislature until the 1999 election.

Therefore, it is politically irresponsible  to rubbish smaller parties by claiming they are spoilers which deny a larger opposition party like the DA a clear run in opposing the ANC. Opposing the ANC is a cause that is not exclusive to one party. Thus, coalition-building among opposition parties with fairly common policies is the sensible and democratic way to challenge the ruling party. Helen Zille proved that in 2006.

The Editor

The Mercury   [also sent to STAR, DAILY NEWS, WITNESS]

MALEMA RULING: HRC HAS EXASPERATED RACE RELATIONS  [posted 30 March 2019]

In ruling that Julius Malema’s advocacy that white people be “slaughtered” at some future time does not legally qualify as hate speech, the Human Rights Commission has made a mockery of sections 10 and 16 of the constitution.

With reference to human dignity, section 10 states that “everyone” has “the right to have their dignity respected and protected.” By advocating death to white people, Malema flagrantly violated section 10.

Regarding freedom of speech, section 16 (2) (b) declares that freedom of speech “does not extend to incitement of imminent violence.” Section 16 (2) (c) prohibits “advocacy of hatred based on race….that constitutes incitement to cause harm.”

The constitution is clear and unambiguous on those issues. Yet the HRC claims that its ruling on Malema is based on a “societal and historical context” which takes into account “hundreds of years of marginalisation and exclusion based on race.”

Nowhere in the constitution is there any such provision made. On the contrary, the constitution is very clear (section 9) that everyone, irrespective of race, has “the right to equal protection and benefit of the law.” The HRC ruling, therefore, defies the constitutional rights of white people and sets a wrong and dangerous precedent.

Equally ludicrous, shocking and inept is the statement by HRC so-called legal expert, Shanelle van der Berg, that what constitutes hate speech depends on the racial identity of the person. So much, then, for equality before the law and the principle of non-racialism. Not only is the HRC’s credibility now worthless, but by allowing Malema to get away with his incitement to violence against whites, the HRC's ruling has exasperated race relations.

 

DA POLICY PREMISED ON RACE   -  posted Feb 22, 2019

DA national spokesman Solly Malatsi’s attempt to defend his party’s B-BBEE  policy (Business Day, February 15) fails to discredit the assertion made by Frans Cronje of the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) that there is little to distinguish between the DA and the ANC on B-BBEE.

Although Malatsi is at pains to point out that the DA favours a bottom up approach to B-BBEE rather than the ANC’s  top-down one, the fact remains that while the DA  may have different means, the end objective is no different, namely “to grow black equity.”

Equity has no place in the hierarchy of competence. Thus the unadulterated emphasis on a particular population group is blatantly at odds with the DA’s motto of “freedom, fairness and opportunity.” It is also at odds with its election slogan to” build one South Africa for all” when one considers who is being left out of the building process.

By unpacking the details of the DA’s B-BBEE, Malatsi amply vindicates the IRR’s assertion that the ideology of race has become the premise of the DA. That is obvious from how the DA would implement its B-BBEE policy. Blacks would be the beneficiaries of mentoring, internships, training and bursaries; black entrepreneurship would be identified, incubated, financed and nurtured.

After 25 years it is unacceptable that other populations groups are denied such benefits. Never slow to condemn the job reservation of apartheid, B-BBEE is no different. Thus, Malatsi’s claim that the DA’s version of B-BBEE is a “credible alternative” to that of the ANC is nonsense. It’s merely a fine-tuned variation of the same thing that is discriminatory in the extreme.

he Editor

The Mercury

ORWELLIAN  PROPAGANDA   - posted February 17, 2019

Commissar Sihle Zikalala’s remarks eulogising 25 years of ANC rule  (Mercury, February 15) mirror the brand of propaganda  readers of Pravda had to endure extolling the virtues of totalitarian communism in the USSR.

In true Orwellian style, Zikalala presents failure and neglect as achievements. First off, he boasts how the debt ratio to GDP of 69% in 1994 has been reduced to 53%. What he omits to disclose is that thanks to ANC –inspired international sanctions, disinvestment and its policy of making the country ungovernable, South Africa’s economy in 1994 was in a parlous state.

Citing the fact that employment has increased is meaningless when unemployment has tripled to almost ten million since 1994. Significantly he ignores that reality because it exposes the failure of the ANC’s socialist policies and BEE.

For Zikalala to proclaim the restoration of dignity is a gross insult. More people are mired in poverty than at any time in South Africa’s history. Having 18 million people on social grants reflects economic failure. Since the onset of ANC rule, informal settlements have mushroomed across the country. Impoverishment is a reality for all because of the reduced buying power of the Rand. At its worst before 1994, the Rand traded at R2.25 to the US dollar. Now, on a good day it manages just under R14 to the dollar.

Under ANC rule, not a single state department is capable of consistent, competent service delivery. Crime and corruption are rampant. Two thirds of municipalities are bankrupt. Thanks to connections within the ANC over R500 billion has been siphoned out of the country as part of state capture.

Tourism prospers only because of the weak Rand which enables foreign tourists to afford a cheap holiday and to visit heritage sites and game reserves that were established long before 1994.

In premising his harangue on the claim that  Mandela would have been proud of what has transpired under ANC rule, Zikalala is sorely mistaken. For Mandela is on record as saying “while poverty persists, there is no true freedo

The Witness

STUDENT ANARCHY - posted 10 Feb 2019

Nicola Jones’ scathing review of the demands and conduct of those who call themselves students (The Witness, February 8) must resonate positively with all bona fide students and graduates.

A tertiary education is not an unqualified right. The halls of higher learning are not the place for hooligans and arsonists. Having a degree is no guarantee of a job or of a particular lifestyle. Yet the seeds of such expectations have been politically sown and are now fomenting violence and anarchy.

The root cause of all that is wrong in this country is excessive tolerance. Perpetrators are seldom punished for their wrongdoing. The result is that an ‘anything goes’ culture has evolved which is headed in one direction – anarchy.

The situation calls for draconian action to salvage appreciation for the culture of learning on our campuses.

 

The Star,  Mercury, Witness, Daily News

 INTERNATIONAL HYPOCRISY TOWARDS ZIM REPRESSION  - posted 23 January 2019

International indifference to the brutality of the Mnangagwa regime in Zimbabwe invites comparison with the international condemnation and sanctions which were applied more than 50 years ago to what was then Rhodesia. The glaring difference between the two is double standards and hypocrisy.

Whatever criticisms one could make against white rule of Rhodesia, it never resorted to the following: indiscriminate shooting and beatings by police, arbitrary arrests and a complete media shutdown. People were not subjected to jackboot repression for protesting against conditions which included no fuel, no medical supplies, unaffordable and unobtainable food supplies, a worthless currency, irregular electricity and water supplies and rampant unemployment – which runs at 90% in Zimbabwe.

Yet world sanctions, disinvestment and political pressure drove Rhodesia into submission by 1980. In the years that followed, despite the ethnic cleansing the Mugabe regime inflicted on the Ndebele, the demonization and marginalisation of opposition and the violent expropriation of white farmers, international opinion never mobilised against black human rights oppression in Zimbabwe to the extent that it clamoured for the termination of white rule in Rhodesia.

If international opinion was consistent, it should declare the Mnangagwa regime outlawed, despatch an international caretaker administration – like the British did when they sent Lord Soames to Rhodesia in 1980 – prosecute the Mnangagwa regime along with Mugabe and the rest of the ZanuPF human rights violaters, institute a Marshall Aid programme and set a date for properly monitored elections within a year.

Unless matters are remedied in that sort of fashion, there is no hope for the people of Zimbabwe. With the army fully backing Mnangagwa, repression and tyranny will prevail indefinitely. The question is: does international opinion give a damn? Oppression of blacks by blacks apparently is not an issue.

The Mercury

NO JOB CREATION THROUGH TRANSFORMATION  - 23 January 2019

Articles like the one by Brian Mahlangu (Mercury, January 22) proclaiming radical transformation as the key to job creation, serve only as an attempt to divert attention away from the ANC’s inability to shrink the ten million-strong army of unemployed.

In trotting out the myth of monopoly white capitalism, which he blames for the high unemployment rate, Mahlangu seems oblivious of the fact that money knows no colour. Thirty eight percent of the stocks on the JSE is foreign-owned; 46% is owned by corporates. Only 16% is owned by private individuals.

As with other experts on our sputtering economy and its high unemployment, Mahlangu carefully avoids mentioning the role of stringent job-inhibiting labour laws and BEE prescriptions along with the demands of militant socialist trade unions in hobbling economic growth and employment opportunities.

In appealing for radical transformation, Mahlangu claims it will lead to non-racialism. But as most informed people are aware, transformation is simply a cover term for majoritarianism. The only way non-racialism can be achieved is by the application of the principle of merit which ensures that competence prevails rather than demographic representivity.

Equity has no place in the hierarchy of competence which is crucial in the generation of wealth and its corollary, job creation.

he Mercury

DA’S SHABBY ATTEMPT TO SHARE MANDELA’S AURA  - posted 16 Jan 2019

It is difficult to have any sympathy for the DA’s chagrin over being denied the use of the Mandela capture site to launch its election campaign details.

Already sharing the ANC’s views on affirmative action, BEE and demographic representivity, which the DA semantically terms ‘diversity,’ its attempt to appropriate the aura of the Mandela legend is shabby but not surprising.  For no matter how the DA chooses to spin its commonality with Mandela, historically he belongs to the ANC.

In claiming that it shares Mandela’s values, the DA would do well to appraise them more closely. Much is made of Mandela’s conciliatory role, yet he never renounced violence during the negotiating years leading up to the 1994 election. In his book titled The Prince and I, the late IFP MP, Mario Oriani Ambrosini, listed the following  in his deconstruction of the Mandela myth (pages 265-268):

·        Although a civil war raged in KZN, Mandela delayed meeting Chief Buthelezi for a year after his release from prison. When they did meet, Mandela failed to implement the agreement to hold joint meetings to pacify violence-torn areas. As a result a further 1,000 lives were lost.

·        In 1995 Mandela admitted giving the order to shoot unarmed Zulus gathered outside the ANC’s Shell House HQ in Johannesburg on March 28, 1994. Fifty Zulus were killed and 180 injured.

·        Mandela allowed the ANC to defy a court order on behalf of the families of those killed in the Shell House massacre.

·        While Buthelezi was a minister in his cabinet, Mandela requested former SADF General Constand Viljoen to prepare a plan for the army to take military control of Ulundi and impose martial law in KZN. Viljoen declined the task.

·        The controversial arms deal began during Mandela’s presidency.

·        He never presided over a single cabinet meeting. They were run by Thabo Mbeki.

So much, then, for Mandela’s style of politics and values.

USINESS REPORT

 UNEMPLOYMENT ARTICLE: PATHETIC HUMBUG   - posted 11 January 2019

In lamenting the fact that unemployment stands at almost ten million, it is amazing that Kabelo Khumalo (Business Report, January 9) fails to question the reasons unemployment has tripled since 1994.

Down the years numerous studies have pointed to ANC economic policies as being the root cause of unemployment and sluggish economic growth. BEE in all its evolving forms has failed to generate meaningful employment prospects and instead produced a small elite at the expense of the working class. Along with affirmative action, BEE  has deterred foreign investment and hobbled economic growth.

Prescriptive labour laws allied with politically powerful trade unions have further discouraged economic growth and investment. Of course, ideology is the bedrock of the hobbled state of our economy. Socialism is historically unregenerative, yet the ANC  adheres to it by way of bloated government and rising national debt. Indeed the only answer the ANC has produced to unemployment is social grants on which 18 million people now rely. As the saying goes, “subsidise poverty and you get more of it.”

It does not say much for Business Report’s objectivity that it  can publish an article which claims to address unemployment yet ignores the fundamental causes of the situation and tamely suggests that the panacea of our woes is simply to make a “concerted effort to lend a hand and make a difference.” What a load of pathetic humbug!

 

The Mercury
REALITY OF LAND REFORM AND OWNERSHIP - posted 10 Jan 2019
If the response of the minister for Rural Land Reform, Maite Mashabane, to a question tabled by Freedom Front leader Dr Pieter Groenewald MP was widely published, then distortion of the facts concerning land reform and ownership, which is serving to fuel emotions and populist agendas, would diminish.
Central to the highly-charged debate on the issue is the claim that whites still own 72% of agricultural holdings and that only four percent are in black hands. But as an analysis in Politcsweb on January 8 points out, those statistics are disingenuous because of the context in which they are presented.
The contrast of 72% to 4% holdings refers to individually owned, non-urban classes of land. As statistics they exclude all state-owned land, community-held former homeland territory and land privately purchased by blacks through trusts, companies and closed corporations.
The minister’s response noted that 12,1 million hectares had been transferred in terms of land restitution – 3,5 million directly to beneficiaries; 2,9 million concerned those who opted for financial compensation; 4,9 million acquired by the Government for distribution along with a further 822,388 hectares. What is missing from that statement is that, at the outset, the ANC inherited 16 million hectares of the former homeland territories.
Thus, the extent of land restitution and redistribution between 1994 and 2017, although pedestrian- paced, is actually greater than what is commonly believed.