BEE pol­icy has se­ri­ous con­se­quences

Financial Mail - - YOU SAID... - John N Cat­si­cas Part­ner: John Ni­cholas An­a­lyt­ics, Joburg

I am dis­mayed by Sikonathi Mantshantsha’s col­umn “In trou­ble? Rent a darkie” (Be­tween the Chains, April 19-25).

When we have leg­is­la­tion that pro­motes af­fir­ma­tive ac­tion at any cost, cor­po­ra­tions will have no choice when hir­ing but to give first prize to a black woman — ir­re­spec­tive of her work ex­pe­ri­ence — and sec­ond prize to a Zim­bab­wean black male who has some ex­pe­ri­ence.

The point, as of­fen­sive as it is, is that af­fir­ma­tive ac­tion has come at a ter­ri­ble cost. This is man­i­fested in a dis­as­trous gross na­tional prod­uct growth rate over the past 10 years.

Con­sider the Stein­hoff venture, which is al­legedly fraud­u­lent and quite rightly cat­e­gorised as sus­pected white crim­i­nal­ity. What we see here is the abil­ity of ex­ec­u­tives to en­gage in a Ponzi scheme while abet­ted by a lack of reg­u­la­tory over­sight and the de­struc­tion of pros­e­cu­to­rial author­ity — vic­tims of po­lit­i­cal ap­pointees whose only qual­i­fi­ca­tion was to un­der­write the loot­ing of the rul­ing class.

Un­til the cap­tains of in­dus­try can de­mand the end of leg­is­la­tion that pro­motes in­com­pe­tence over ex­cep­tion­al­ism, we will con­tinue in this down­ward spi­ral of try­ing to fix crises by re­cruit­ing “young black pro­fes­sion­als” to save the day.

Mantshantsha should rather ad­dress the real cost to many young black pro­fes­sion­als who were ap­pointed to po­si­tions way be­yond their com­pe­tence. The Fi­nan­cial Mail will give away a bot­tle of whisky each month for the best let­ter to the ed­i­tor. The ed­i­tor will choose the win­ner and his de­ci­sion will be fi­nal.

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