The need to Decentralize the South African Economy

RET or Radical Economical Transformation goes beyond what our current Government can truly deliver, and none of the current political parties seem to have any alternatives except following up on the mainstream trend set by the global trend setters such as the US, UK, Russia, China and Japan.

South Africa is sitting with all of her proverbial eggs in one basket; and this not only poses a great risk for South Africa as a whole, but is also provides unique avenues for RET to take place.

What I am talking about is the Metros and their rapid growth, not only in infrastructure, but also in People being born in these metros, and those who migrate to the metros for employment opportunities.

Government as it is, and society as it is structured can hardly keep up with this rapid growth as is evident in the rapid growing in townships and high density accommodation in the suburbs, and it will grow exponentially faster in the foreseeable future, driving up prices in rent and ownership as space and resources becomes less available.

This accompanied by the 4th Industrial Revolution which is on our doorstep makes it necessary for radical changes in the way we think about economic activities of the populace and how we keep an ever growing number of people without purpose occupied in a positive and constructive manner, and a way to give them hope to achieve or work towards a society worth while were all are treated equal and fair.

The number of unemployed will grow, and so will poverty and all the negative social issues such as violent crime which accompanies it;  unless the Government introduces Universal Basic Income or alternative avenues of growth such as infrastructure development to and in the smaller towns and rural areas.

Currently most manufacturing and processing activities take place in the metros, and the main reason for this is because of the infrastructure and markets which exist in these metros.

Little or no development is taking place in the smaller towns and the rural areas of South Africa because of the fact that it will be less profitable to build up infrastructure in these areas which can facilitate these economic activities, Government should not worry itself with being profitable.

In order to solve the man made South African issue of poverty, we need to look at decentralizing the economy and move away from the idea to see how many people we can fit in on the current and under strain metro infrastructure, and offload some of that pressure into the smaller towns and the rural areas, in which real growth can be seen and felt by the People from the ground up.

Key for the positive growth of South Africa, is development of the smaller towns and the rural areas, and key to developing the smaller towns and rural areas would be the infrastructure that leads to these towns, and this is the role of Government, creating jobs and a collective National Goal.

Local companies can be given incentives to relocate to smaller towns after the infrastructure  has been developed, and they will naturally grow the economies of the smaller towns from the bottom up by providing local job opportunities from local communities.

Foreign companies can be tasked, as part of their corporate social responsibility duties, to move their operations which is not dependable on fixed geographic resources, to these smaller towns and rural areas to give these communities a cash injection which will in turn grow new markets.

This is a very basic framework idea and by no means the full solution, but I believe that it is better to distribute risk than to concentrate it, and also I believe civil society such as Civic Movement of SA has a big roll to play in getting Government to act on projects such as decentralizing the economy and creating a united South Africa for all.

Harsh Times, not only in South Africa, but the World

Things have been rough in the geopolitical sphere for a while now, but this most people have noticed to a degree I think since one can often hear them speaking about it in little groups, but as individual cases not linked together, and I am guessing, not totally grasping the influence in how it will define us as human beings in a time to come in the not so distant future I believe.

The gap between the “Have’s” and the “have not’s” are growing wider every single moment, never mind day.  

Oxfam has released a report stating that in 2016 the richest 1% of the population will own more than half of the World’s wealth. A staggering wake up call if one realizes that this means 80 of the richest billionaires will own the same amount as that of the bottom 50% of the Earth’s population!

How on Earth did we get to this point?  Where the gap is so gigantic and so unevenly spread?

Well, we forgot who we are, where we came from, and what our actual goal must be, and somewhere, along the journey we started out as wandering nomads, we forgot, or maybe just neglected the fact that we are all “stuck” on this little blue Goldilocks planet, and that we must evolve to explore beyond our current limitations.  Simply put, we stopped evolving and started devolving.

The dissident and the uproar of voices from the “have not’s” has been slowly, but steadily been climbing because of the steady flow of information in this digital age, the easy accessibly to this information, and also very often, misinformation.

Regardless of the misinformation, the tolerance for corrupt leaders who “lead” from a position of opulence is dwindling as more and more suffer the instabilities and unjust standards of living, or maybe I should say existence to which the majority of the Earth’s populace are subjected.

An example of this would be the grown disparity between the “have not’s” in South Africa, most of them from the “previously disadvantaged” who gained freedom through the efforts of liberators such and knowledgeable men like Mandela, Biko, De Klerk to name a few.  These “have not’s” as a majority group of the black populace of South Africa are mostly still disadvantaged, and little to nothing has changed for them since the end of Apartheid South Africa.

I want to stop a moment here to sketch you a picture of why these “have not’s”  will soon come into revolt against a system which is not working for them.

The Steyn City’s of South Africa is a glaring example of how the capitalistic way of life accompanied by globalization.  Of course these are not the only factor which brought to life the abomination of the Have’sand the “have not’s”  that is today the “Class Divide”, but this does not matter to the “have not”, because he does not care how it came to be, he just knows that it is unjust for him to live either in squalor, or to slave away at an average job, living an average life in order to maintain the opulent lifestyle of the “Have’s”.

Evidence in this can be seen in uprisings all over South Africa.  Yes, uprisings, not protests, because there is a very clear difference between the two.

A Protest is defined as the following:
A statement or action expressing disapproval of or objection to something

Where as an Uprising can be defined as the following:
An act of resistance or rebellion; a revolt

A few examples of the unhappiness about the normal run of the day Modus Operandi of the South African Government can been seen in the often, and very often violent “service delivery protests” which is going on around South Africa today, for example Marikana, Randfontein, Alexandra and for me, which was one of the most important and significant uprisings, the Ficksburg uprising, where a man I believe to be a true patriot towards the cause of the “have not’s” gave his life, Andries Tatane.

This is a phenomenon that is sticking out it’s head all over the globe, and with increased frequency.  People who are sicked and tired of the normal Modus Operandi of their own Governments and big corporations, this, compounded by rising crime rates, the increase in violent criminal behavior, the apparent perception of social decay and the loss of moral and ethical behavior with a very real increase in the costs of survival is opening up the eyes of the people to a great extent, where I believe that full on revolutions, the likes of the French Revolution and the Russian October Revolution is in our collective near future if things don’t change drastically.

Political turmoil all over the globe has pushed up the instability that we as a species experience, and this turmoil is mostly caused by our very own greed factor, the need to have more than one can use.

To quote a great man who has made a profound impression on my life:

The miracle is this:  The more we share the more we have” – the late Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy

He also coined it in his role on board the Star-ship Enterprise in the movie Star Trek II : The Wrath of Khan when he said famously said ” Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few

This my friends is just a peep into the crisis we as a collective human race face. Only together will we be able to survive the onslaught on our humanity which we are going to face in the not so distant future.

Namaste