Sunday World - - Opinion - MADALA THEPA

NEW re­search data is in on na­tion­al­i­sa­tion – a Pan­dora ’ s box hot topic led from the front by the for­merly un­afraid “manly ” and now ter­ri­bly weak ANC Youth League.

The study, com­mis­sioned by the ANC, found that the na­tion­al­i­sa­tion of mines is a topic best dropped from the public dis­course.

It em­bar­rasses not only the party but also con­tem­po­rary cap­i­tal­ists, whose point-by-point re­but­tals of the na­tion­al­i­sa­tion creed has be­come rigid and non-ne­go­tiable.

It’s said re­sources that lie be­neath the soil rep­re­sent only po­ten­tial, not ac­tual, wealth – so the coun­ter­point goes.

But here’s the thing, soul child: the rul­ing party says na­tion­al­i­sa­tion would cause “un­mit­i­gated eco- nomic dis­as­ter” for the coun­try, al­most singing the tune of min­ing com­pa­nies.

They will con­sider a “re­source rent tax” to re­place the gung-ho pro­posal of the ANCYL to na­tion­alise with­out com­pen­sa­tion.

The study says “na­tion­al­i­sa­tion with­out com­pen­sa­tion would re­quire a con­sti­tu­tional change and would re­sult in a near col­lapse of for­eign in­vest­ment and ac­cess to fi­nance, as well as wide­spread lit­i­ga­tion by for­eign in­vestors.”

It is clear from this study that the rul­ing party is pre­par­ing the cin­der block and a larger hole in the ice in which to dis­pose of the ANCYL’S am­bi­tious po­lit­i­cal dream once and for all.

As we all know, knowl­edge and re­lated dis­course on na­tion­al­i­sa­tion was of the cof­fee-ta­ble-book va­ri­ety in the ANCYL two years ago. This is un­til the young lions went to Zim­babwe and Venezuela, where the league ’ s eco­nomic-in­jus­tice­grievance-ma­chine was oiled and set loose on the pop­u­lace.

But eco­nomic free­dom through na­tion­al­i­sa­tion was, in the first place, a jive slang call to arms.

We didn’t have to read much into it to know that the call was fronted by posers who liked feed­ing the fan­tasies of the poor.

In the lan­guage of on­line com­men­ta­tors, the young com­mies were merely trolling.

Juju and the gang were feed­ing the trolls with a mixed bag of rhetoric, vac­u­ous en­ter­tain­ment and un­skilled ac­tions.

The in­fa­mous march to Pre­to­ria last year was one such un­skilled ac­tion – a haz­ing rit­ual the most cred­u­lous among the youth had to en­dure be­fore they could wake up to the farce of it all.

The eco­nomic free­dom march lacked the at­ten­tion span to keep run­ning be­cause its pro­po­nents were de­lib­er­ately dis­hon­est.

One day they’re in the com­pany of the so-called solid blue col­lar peo­ple and the next they are seen in the rearview mir­ror gob­bling hors d ou­vres with those who steal from gov­ern­ment’s cof­fers.

This made us won­der what kind of a beast these eco­nomic free­dom fight­ers were.

The thing is, eco­nomic free­dom was of­fi­cially given away in 1994. The poor were in­evitably screwed.

They signed their con­sciences over to a po­lit­i­cal party whose il­lus­tri­ous his­tory of com­pro­mises is well doc­u­mented.

From the na­tional flag and the na­tional an­them to land and the TRC – ba­si­cally all the an­chors that dis­con­nect a dis­fran­chised peo­ple were ac­cepted un­blink­ingly at the bro­ker­ing of power.

The Free­dom Char­ter is not a doc­u­ment to haul out when talk­ing about the African agenda. It’s a doc­u­ment of lib­eral clichés.

It’s ideas on na­tion­al­i­sa­tion will never in­crease lo­cal ben­e­fi­ci­a­tion, for ex­am­ple, in min­ing and in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion of min­eral re­sources or re­duce un­em­ploy­ment.

The doc­u­ment was signed over 50 years ago, but Klip­town, Soweto re­mains shabby and dirt poor.

All the peo­ple got was a gra­tu­itous prom­ise of a bet­ter life for all. And that’s all you’re gonna get, from the

“lib­er­a­tors” and their de­trac­tors alike – lots of sound and fury, sig­ni­fy­ing noth­ing.

So put that in your pipe, smoke it and try to for­get your trou­bles, ’ cos noth­ing’s go­ing to change.

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