Guest Column

Mcebo Damini: Privatisation of SOEs will make poor black people poorer

2020-01-28 10:28
A flailing economy continues to put pressure on most South Africans. (Gallo Images, Foto24,  Loanna Hoffmann)

A flailing economy continues to put pressure on most South Africans. (Gallo Images, Foto24, Loanna Hoffmann)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

It must be mentioned that the government of South Africa has not been particularly decisive about whether or not it wants complete liberation for all South Africans or if it is interested in maintaining the status quo which is the same order that existed during apartheid, writes Mcebo Dlamini 

South Africa continues to plunge deeper into an economic crisis.

The rate of unemployment is growing annually, and the government does not seem to have a solution to this problem.

As a result of this, more and more young people find themselves having no choice but to resort to crime, drug use and ultimately, they die.

This is a cause for concern because the future of South Africa is dependent on the youth and if the government does not have a plan to alleviate young people from the quagmire that they are in then it means that the nation is headed for doom.

Who then should bear the responsibility of coming up with solutions for this problem if the government is blatantly refusing to make structural adjustments that will curb this deepening economic crisis?

If there was political will from the government, we would not be experiencing some of the economic problems that we are facing as a nation.

It is a known fact that very few countries are as rich in minerals and in agriculture as South Africa.

But despite all of this we continue to be one of the most unequal and poverty-stricken countries in the world.

Of course, this has much to do with our brutal history of colonialism which still expresses itself rudely even today.

But amid all of that it must be mentioned that the government of South Africa has not been particularly decisive about whether or not it wants complete liberation for all South Africans or if it is interested in maintaining the status quo which is the same order that existed during apartheid.

This is quite evident in the utterances of the current minister of finance Mr Tito Mboweni who has been arrogantly questioning the decisions that were taken by a collective of the ANC regarding the direction that the country must take.

In doing this, not only does he undermine the collective wisdom of the ANC that deployed him into office but he also undermines the voters who voted for the ANC because of the policies that it promised to implement.

This sends a message that suggests that the ANC is willing to lie to its people just so that they get votes after that they forget about the promises.

I do not believe that this is the reputation that the ANC wants to assume.

Why would Mboweni boldly state that there is no need for the Reserve Bank to be state owned when the organisation on its resolutions has stated clearly why it is important to do so.

But this is not the only concern, Mboweni has been consistently questioning the need for state-owned companies in South Africa.  

This demonstrates his support of privatisation which has not done anything to benefit the poor majority of South Africans - privatisation has often resulted in job losses for the people.

Privatising will increase the already extremely tilted scale of inequality making black people (who are the majority) even poorer.

This is more so in a country with a history such as South Africa that still needs to be addressed.

The Canadian privatisation model that is often used to argue for privatisation will not fit snuggly in South Africa because the contexts are vastly different.

This is something that the minister is aware of and it therefore begs the question: for whose benefit is this insistence on privatising state-owned enterprises?

Certainly not for the black majority.

It is also interesting to think about the reason why the Government Employee Pension Fund, which is the Treasury, has been reluctant to restructure the investment policy to be more supportive of the public sector.

Note that parastatals such as Eskom and the SAA receive their bailouts from the national budgets together with education, health, housing etc.

Why is it that the policy is changed such that the public sector also benefits?

Should that not be at the core of any developmental state? Treasury has a lot of funds that it can acquire from investors to support the public sector outside of relying on the national budget but there seems to be no political will.

It seems that the country continues to bootstrap and there is no progress.

We find ourselves in the same predicament we were in when GEAR and AsgiSA were introduced.

The continuation of this is concerning because it suggests a certain kind of complacency.

We cannot continue to be stagnant as a nation just because we have a leadership that does not have political will to make decisions that will structurally change the economic conditions of South Africa.  

- Dlamini is a former chairperson of the Wits SRC. He writes in his personal capacity.

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.  

 

Read more on:    reserve bank  |  tito mboweni  |  economy
X

SHARE:

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.