ARE THERE still leaders in Government with enough backbone to withstand the loud calls for instant solutions from the left and the right and who can lead the country to practical, workable solutions? If there are, now’s the time for them to come forward and cool the passions before those shouting the odds cause South Africa’s economy irreparable harm.
The current weak ANC leadership – plus the heat of the approaching 2012 leadership election in the organisation – is a fertile breeding ground for extreme viewpoints to dominate the national agenda. Everyone claims to be speaking on behalf of the poor while they are clearly only trying to promote their own group’s interests at the expense of the poor and to the detriment of the economy as a whole.
The ANC Youth League is calling for nationalisation in order to change the colour of money from white to black. You only have to look at the lifestyle of its leaders to see it isn’t a question of concern for their impoverished supporters in SA’s squatter camps but just a small elite group coveting a glittering Hollywood lifestyle. That this kind of lifestyle is unsustainable and sucks the economy dry, without adding any value, is of little concern to them. They throw fistfuls of money around, money of questionable origin.
On the other hand, there are the trades unions, whose behaviour causes as much damage through violent strikes and the insistence on such rigid labour practices that only those who already have jobs are protected at the expense of the millions whose opportunities are destroyed.
While the one group is blindly chasing instant wealth, the other wants political power. As for the trades unions, you could at least believe they’re really concerned about negotiating a better life and “decent jobs” for their members – though they’re seriously misinformed about how that can be sustainably achieved.
The hotter the political climate becomes, the less we hear from the ANC’s leaders who understand how the economy works. Voices of reason are difficult to hear when bricks are being hurled.
It’s time for political leaders to state clearly that there are no instant solutions. The solution is hard work and sacrifice over a long period.
Talk about “economic liberation” following political liberation creates unrealistic and unattainable expectations. Economic liberation will only be achieved when all officials, teachers, police and nurses work hard and honestly every day in the service of their fellow citizens.