Mis­guided crit­i­cism

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Christo Thurston via email

Ndu­miso Mokako’s crit­i­cism of Trevor Manuel’s re­sponse to Min­is­ter of Small Busi­ness Lindiwe Zulu (“Trevor Manuel is singing for his sup­per”, City Press, De­cem­ber 27 2015) would leave many a reader per­plexed.

As a na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­ber of the ANC Youth League, Mokako ev­i­dently sings to the tune of his po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tion by claim­ing that Manuel’s ar­gu­ment is clumsy. Yet Mokako’s ar­gu­ment is more per­fo­rated than the youth league’s rep­u­ta­tion.

He poses the ques­tion: “What does mar­ket sta­bil­ity mean, if any­thing [to the work­ing class]?”

One does not have to own mil­lions in shares and bonds, nor does one have to be for­tu­nate to be­long to the up­per class to have a ba­sic un­der­stand­ing of mar­ket forces and the econ­omy. Eco­nomics 101 spells it out clearly that in­sta­bil­ity in the mar­kets, the weak­en­ing of a coun­try’s cur­rency and dis­in­vest­ment trans­late into job losses, in­fla­tion that sky­rock­ets and greater poverty.

Mokako fur­ther ar­gues that Des van Rooyen’s ap­point­ment and Nhlanhla Nene’s sack­ing have noth­ing to do with the work­ing class. In fact, the op­po­site is true.

Once cred­i­bil­ity is lost in terms of fis­cal con­trol, an atomic bomb of eco­nomic dis­as­ter is ig­nited. Ul­ti­mately, the work­ing class will pay the price when the prices of ba­sic needs es­ca­late as­tro­nom­i­cally.

It is com­mon knowl­edge that cap­i­tal­ists are profit driven, but who would be the ul­ti­mate losers when the econ­omy col­lapses? Not the busi­ness bour­geois. No, it would be the work­ing class.

The writer sees the re­moval of Van Rooyen as “un­der­min­ing the will of South Africa in the in­ter­est of a few pow­er­ful play­ers of the cap­i­tal­ist class”.

In your view, Hon­ourable Mokako, what is the will of South Africa? Was Van Rooyen’s re­moval only in the in­ter­est of the cap­i­tal­ist bour­geois?

TREVOR MANUEL

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