I've decided to join the ANCYL in their bid to nationalise the countries assets. I just need some help in understanding how we are going to go about this process.
Lets start with all the farms. Can we afford to nationalise them without compensation? My concern is that many farmers owe banks money, if we don't compensate how are the banks going to deal with this sudden huge unpaid debt burden. I'm presuming I'll get some answers from some of the more financially astute commentors. Are the farmers still obliged to pay back bonds for land that has been taken away from them without their consent? I suggest the current farmers are allowed to continue farming on the land on a lease basis. How long will these leases be? People leasing land will have to have their farms inspected to ensure they are not abusing state land. A set of criteria will need to be drafted in order for new entrants to be properly chosen, people with a will and ability to succeed as farmers. A problem I foresee is that black farmers who thought freedom meant that they could now have title to their own land may object to the state owning it. All farmers will invest less in infrastructure as land no longer gains value by improving it in terms of infrastructure. Then there is the foreign ownership to deal with, we don't want to create foreign enemies who no longer want to business with us because we took their land without compensation. Why did we allow them to buy it in the first place? How are farmers going to access finance to buy tractors, the next crops fertiliser etc, without anything to borrow money against? Will the government loan the money? Sorry, I'm just asking, I need input from you guys, the experts, to help us achieve something that actually benefits the people of this country. The big plus would be that if you are a person with a will and ability to farm, that land could be made available to you - free of cost. The cost of land makes farming out of the question for many.
Now the mines. Again, no compensation. Who pays the loans to the banks, who prevents a stock market crash, as resources make up a major part of the JSE? This could mean the complete economic collapse of our middle class. (All our savings are in the banks and stock market) Are managers going to be paid the same or close to that of labourers? If so, are we going to encourage good managers, because if management is bad, production will go down, safety standards will decline, and the state will make less money. We will need to put a system in place where fat cat politicians and other corrupt people cannot take a share of the profits of the "peoples" mines. We will need a clever economist who can do the sums to ensure the maximum wage paid without upsetting operational costs of these mines. These wages may have to fluctuate, as mine profits are unstable, there will have to be some years where wages are lowered, maybe even halved, to save the mines. The state would either lease the mines or run them themselves. Which is the better option? If state owned they control the finances so more should come into state coffers. The state would need to huge a large part of its profits to fund governing the country, so wages would need to be carefully calculated. We can't have the miners stealing from the rest of the country just because they work on the mines, can we now? I personally think the state would have to lease the mines. The risk is too high running them themselves. If the mining industry collapses, who is going to cover the costs, it could bankrupt the fiscus leaving no funds for education, health, ets etc.
A very complicated issue, this nationalisation thing. If done incorrectly we could easily end up another Zimbabwe. We must not allow populist politicians to play around with this issue for their own personal objectives, we must only allow constructive people to deal with this issue so that it does not come back to haunt us one day as the biggest mistake ever. We need very strong and honest leadership, we need our people to start caring for one another and our country in order for this to work. Its pointless even trying to start without first getting the leadership issue sorted.
Now I need your help - please proceed, I'm waiting.
Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.