Many People, both on the Left and the Right here in South Africa think that the ANC is a Communist party espousing Communist ideals and implementing Communist policy.
I thought about explaining what Communism is, but then I realized, that most of these People on the “left” and the “right” don’t even understand what Capitalism is.
Capitalism is what we have in South Africa.
We have a neoliberal capitalist approach to the market.
“But but but … the ANC, the SACP, COSATU…”
Remember the ideals that I mentioned before, the Communist ones?
Our Governing *Coalition is doing a great job at talking the communist talk, but before 1994 they walked away from the idea of Nationalization.
Some of them in any case, others like Cde Chris Hani didn’t and he ultimately paid the ultimate price for it. He was an obstacle that had to be removed and this required collusion between the then leading party and the current leading party.
The revolutionary lingo and slogans remained the same, but the walk was very different.
Almost like a dog right after it had been neutered.
You see, prior to the tripartite alliance taking over South Africa in 1994 a bunch of the then top notch ANC representatives like Tambo, Mbeki, Pallo Jordan met with the big wigs of industry from South Africa at a game lodge in Zambia in 1985.
This is also same year I started my tax payer sponsored informative years as a Sub A pienkvoetjie in Uitsig Primary in Bloemfontein.
Gavin Relly from Anlgo was one of the representatives present at these negotiations acting on behalf of the business community of South Africa.
He said to the ANC big wigs that IF Nationalization was going to be on the card, then they will pull out of South Africa.
This threat convinced the ANC to go down the path we are now on of course for the fear of having these big companies pull out of South Africa, back to Empire Central in the UK was just to much.
Perhaps this is also why so many of our Heads of State go take a spin with the Queen in her horse drawn carriage and why so many People say our first democratically elected President was a sellout.
Any case, I digress …
Our would be Public Leaders opted for the neoliberal approach, which was by that time really kicking nicely with policies driven by Ronald Reagan in the US and Margaret Thatcher in the UK.
So what does neoliberal approach mean?
In a nutshell, Nationalization is out the backdoor and super free market principles bound to neoliberalism come in the front door.
Neoliberlaism means less regulation, less company taxes, more fast, nearly unchecked GLOBAL trade (remember this part for later) where the Cooperation is placed above the Nation.
In South Africa that meant gutting the State’s ability to provide for itself and for the People of South Africa in favor of kick starting the private sector with some jet fuel and matches.
Many of you that are as old as me or older will remember how many People, white Ooms and Tannies were retrenched from the State, only to be contracted back to the State at double the cost they were while employed by the State.
The humble start of what was later to mutate into the beast we now know; Tenderpreneuring.
Before things were as it is today, the State actually had the capability to do things right, and for themselves and others.
They had their own technical teams that could do things, loads of things.
They could build roads, they could build buildings, they could build railways, they could even change their own light bulbs …
Today however, the State can’t even change its own light bulbs anymore, as that job too is now contracted out to someone in the private sector at an inflated price.
This fact, that the State has been gutted in favor of Privatization has cost us dearly.
Instead of employing more People at a fair wage with fair benefits like the Apartheid State did after they took over from the British through the SOEs, the State trusted the Private sector to do so, and to do so fairly.
This never really materialized, and all that happened was that a “few” Tenderpreneurs got rich while the once Government Servants became Government Officials.
These Officials increased not only in their numbers (for example the number of Ministers) but also raised their salaries to match those in the Private Sector, sometimes even more.
The motive here for all parties involved, was profit, and the cadre deployment system and nepotism and the nature of neoliberalism made this easy.
Tenders would only be awarded to BEE compliant companies later on, which meant that broertjies, sussies and children made it into these companies to get in on that fat public purse with all the coin.
Some kick backs would of course be in order for the official from the Government’s side who would make things happen and sign off.
The resulting “fall-out” of these neoliberal market policies along with the corruption are felt through out society today, everywhere around us.
State institutions have been gutted, Policing, Healthcare, Education, even Librariers,Parks & Recreation, all of these are shitty because they are not properly maintained from the State.
When I was young, these things worked when the State was looking after them, and it is not just because they were looking after a small part of the population with that weirdo Nazi styled, UK sponsored entho-socialist project called Apartheid.
Arguably one of the bigger successes or wins of Capitalist system.
To create private individuals, groups or organizations that can push and collude with a government to create a problem on one end (willingly and unwillingly) and then to provide the solution in a privatized way on the other end.
Public Healthcare gets neglected to such a point that expensive Private Healthcare becomes a must.
Police Force (they are not Services, don’t mistake them as the same thing) are gutted, ill equipped and trained, while the Private Security Industry booms.
High unemployment numbers makes great business for Short Term insurance and vehicle tracking companies alike.
The list goes on
So please friends, if you have made it all the way down here, please review your ideas around Capitalism.
There must be a different way, even a golden middle way between Capitalism and Socialism.
But please, don’t blindly just believe in a System; every Systems Engineer ever will tell you that systems can, and will crash.