KwaZulu and IFP supported black businesses when no one else did
Writing in “Black business bears brunt of the excesses of ruinous Zuma era” (April 29) about the corrupt nature of the former president’s administration, editor Ron Derby made a bizarre allegation about the former KwaZulu government. It warrants a response for it is wholly defamatory.
Derby alleged that in KwaZulu, black-owned businesses without IFP membership suffered “harassment” while “an IFP card was a pass to doing business”. From his age, he is evidently not speaking from experience, and he is certainly not speaking from historical fact. So on what basis does he pen this defamatory nonsense?
The KwaZulu government supported black business regardless of political affiliation. Those who did business in KwaZulu recall our efforts to strengthen their hand. With the limited funds we had we created the KwaZulu Investment and Finance Corporation, which produced black entrepreneurs in a climate wholly antithetical to economic empowerment of any kind.
At that time no commercial bank would give loans to black people because they could provide no collateral, having no property. Thus black entrepreneurs struggled to get that first bit of money that would allow them to start their business, plant their land or initiate a development project. In response, I established Ithala Bank, which provided seed capital to black businesses and black entrepreneurs.
This had nothing to do with party politics. It was about empowering all our disenfranchised people. Accordingly, I had a good relationship with the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry. My stand on economic sanctions was also welcomed by business.
Frankly, I am sick of the constant efforts to make KwaZulu and Inkatha swear words. You can’t just say things with no evidence to back them up, particularly if you want to be respected as an honest journalist.
Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP, former chief minister of the KwaZulu government and president of the Inkatha Freedom Party
Little sympathy for ‘inventor‘
I have sympathy for Nkosana Makate, but he is not the inventor, “A pittance for Call Me inventor?” (April 29).
An inventor has to come up with an invention, not just a suggestion. Mr Makate came up with an idea. The code writers invented it.
Leonardo da Vinci came up with the idea of a helicopter hundreds of years earlier. So should he be considered the inventor? The materials to make a helicopter were not around in his time. Similarly, the software to make Mr Makate’s idea work was not around at the time. The Constitutional Court’s decisions should stick to the constitution.
Tom Morgan, by e-mail
Regardless of my contempt for Vodacom, I don’t feel sorry for this guy. In fact, I feel he should not get a cent. Since when does a company have to compensate an employee for their ideas? Employees benefit from innovation through performance bonuses, promotion mechanisms and having a paid job.
Companies exist only because they grow, feed and expand on the ideas of employees who are paid for their services. Take this away, and they won’t exist.
Ricky Naidu, on Businesslive