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Where can one find a country's wealth?

13 March 2012, 15:02

In South Africa we are constantly battered with eloquent words of wisdom from our astounding politicians. In a country where 25% of the population is unemployed we are regularly bowled out by news of minister living in luxury hotels, presidents needing not one but three aeroplanes at the same time  and regular R 180 Million updates on  our civil servants home upgrade expenditure. Dad, and you said there was no money in politics.

Just as we thought that we got used to our governments gluttony and the impotence that comes with it, we see young scholars driven over by blue light brigades, Taxi drivers assaulting the aged on street corners and an awesome enema like shock that driving on our freeways is not a right anymore, nay it is privilege one that will cost your33c per kilometre.

Why then with such an impotent government are we as a citizenship so surprised when Cosatu speaks of more aggressive reform and our ever-so-sophisticated friend Malema wanting to grab farms, mines and even the bottle store around the corner. Is this signs that the very voters for this government is losing faith in their leaders? Is this more radical, grabbing approach workable? Is this approach only viable as a short term erection for impotent government officials?
Categorically NO, it does not and will not work and yes, clearly our officials are in desperate need of something to rise intheir favour, no matter how short term or even devastating. How can I be so confident that this grab-an-asset system will not work.

Simple let’s look at examples. In Uganda theleader, Idi Amin, chased many big businesses away and started or ratherdismally failed in running them himself. In Zimbabwe the masterpiece ofpolitics and intimidation, Robert Mugabe, took successful commercial farms thatnow produce? Yes you are right, virtually nothing. In our own sunny SouthAfrica there are virtually no success stories of commercial farms that wasredistributed at huge burden to the tax payer. Why can successful business notjust be transferred and run successfully? Why is it not as simple as justthrowing all SA assets in one collective pot and then allowing every citizen ascoop of the pot?

Well putting corruption, nepotism and impotency-aside. We are not all entrepreneurs and business tycoons. Some of us relish ina world where we can just wait for a pay cheque. In a seminar Warren Buffet was asked what investment would in any economy give you the best return, his answer: Education, in other words self investment, teaching yourself skills and bettering yourself. Is this not the place where our government should invest more aggressively.

The wealthy did not just fall on money, the big commercial farmers did not one day wake up to massive agricultural holdings. Surely no one believes the CEO's of our major mines just did a pretty waltz and got the job.No wealth is accumulated over time and there is a reason for it, you need to know how to handle and manage wealth, you need to have the knowledge, aptitude and ability to manage and grow wealth. Wealth, apart from some“tenderpreneurs”, does not just happen. As the saying goes: “A fool and his money will soon part”. 

In essence one can argue that wealth does not vest in material things. It is seated in one’s ability to generate money and then manage the money that was generated. It therefore lies within the individual and not the assets of the individual. 

So the big question still remains how to we aggressively transfer wealth in a country in desperate need of it. The only logical way in this simpletons mind is by generating more wealth. Develop patriotisms  amongst the wealthy, make SA citizens proud of the country they live and work in. Award tax incentives for development of communities and employing more people. Help the wealthy become wealthier and in turn the country, its economy and most importantly its people will thrive.

I would like to leave you with one thought. The DRC made a special place for about 25 large commercial maize farmers from South Africa. In a short period of time, in a unknown country with limited support and structures, these farmers were able to turn the DRC from a net importer of maize into a net exporter of maize. Now imagine if the SA government awarded these same commercial farmers with the defunct land that is lying barren in our own borders and made them feel secure in their own country. That vast and fast economic growth would have been for our economy. Jobs would have been created and communities uplifted.

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