Author missed point on shares
I REFER TO the article on BEE by JJ Tabane in The Star, October 9. I think Tabane missed the point regarding the purchase or gift of equity shares in a company and what it means to the owner of the share certificate.
The beauty of the capitalistic system, which we sort of espouse in South Africa but which is sadly so skewed that it cannot really be called a genuine capitalistic system anymore, is that it is geared to people willing to take a risk to make a profit.
The issuing of highly preferential priced shares to a section of the population who have by and large no experience in the operation of any large cor poration, is just so bizarre and unrealistic. I just wonder how many poor township dwellers or low on the totem pole South Africans received these baksheesh shares?
But having said that it was done; many people owned shares in a major South African company and stood to make huge windfall profits. This is unfair to everyone but those granted these shares. But alas, this is the real world and life is a game of snakes and ladders: you win some and you lose some. That the poor souls granted these discounted shares, (financed by Sasol, which I also purchased at whatever the prevailing price happened to be), suffered a loss on paper when the share price went down, is life in the big city. You hit a snake, you take a slide and hope that later on you hit a ladder. It is ridiculous to think that Sasol must feel obliged to listen to the opinion of all the small-time investors such as me and the thousands of other South Africans, and the black people given shares, unless these minority shareholders join forces and become a united voting bloc. That will never happen so the small shareholders must rely on the expertise of the people running the company.
That the black Sasol shareholders now feel they must be given the preferential shares but must also be insulated from the ebb and flow of the market place in the real world is plainly insane. Either you invest and take a calculated chance, or you stay out of the market. I find this attitude of entitlement to be the writing on the wall.
These play play capitalists must just be honest and just demand a very large welfare cheque without the need to stand in a queue. Dr Peter C Baker
Invest and take a calculated chance or stay out…