Let’s use power to up­lift each other

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Tha­bile Mange

WE HAVE BEEN in power for the past 23 years. What do we have to show for it? Not much. The econ­omy is down, unem­ploy­ment high, qual­ity of ed­u­ca­tion poor, just to men­tion three. And noth­ing sug­gests that things will im­prove any time soon. There is no plan to take us out of this black hole.

The per­ti­nent ques­tion is: Is the white mo­nop­oly cap­i­tal (WMC) to blame for all that? The an­swer is a big “no”. We blacks have made a habit of blam­ing whites for our lack of devel­op­ment. Yes, we have suf­fered un­der them for a long time: They have sup­pressed and op­pressed us. That’s cruel and in­ex­cus­able, but we have to move on.

For the record, I’m not their (whites) apol­o­gist. Nei­ther am I obliv­i­ous to the legacy of apartheid and the dam­age it has done to our psy­che and physique. The scars, emo­tional and phys­i­cal, are still vis­i­ble.

The truth is that we have the po­lit­i­cal power – short of eco­nomic power. What are we do­ing with it? Look what the apartheid regime (read Afrikan­ers) has done with the po­lit­i­cal power. They have built in­sti­tu­tions such as banks, Sa­sol, Eskom and CSIR. They have also em­pow­ered their own with skills devel­op­ment and cre­ated a con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment for them to do busi­ness.

Cur­rently we rely on the in­sti­tu­tions that were built by the apartheid regime. When are we go­ing to build our own?

The news that busi­ness (read whites) is sit­ting on top of bil­lions and re­luc­tant to re-in­vest it in our coun­try are dis­turb­ing. But we can­not force busi­ness to in­vest in our coun­try if it doesn’t want to.

That said, we have the num­bers on our side: we are a ma­jor­ity. And there is power in num­bers. We can use our power to up­lift each other. We can sup­port black busi­nesses to thrive.

The prob­lem in South Africa is not the WMC, as some would have us be­lieve, but pol­i­tics. If we want to fix what’s wrong with our coun­try, we need to do some­thing about our pol­i­tics. Oth­er­wise, the sta­tus quo will re­main and we will con­tinue to play sec­ond fid­dle to others. Is that what we want? Kag­iso

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