THE article by Melanie Verwoerd (The Witness, January 23) has reference.Appointing yet another board to manage the affairs of the city and then expecting a different result, is not going to happen.What we need is not people sitting behind desks at City Hall, but hands-on people doing the job.For example, a city engineer who can supervise the maintenance of the infrastructure; a city traffic officer who can motivate traffic police to take back the streets from those who have taken them over; a city treasurer who will ensure that monies owed to the city are collected, and those owed by it are properly authorised and the money is budgeted for, before being paid, etc..You cannot empower people by giving them a job they can’t do. Rather, you must put them in a position where they can learn how to do the job and then they will be empowered.One of the first things that the ANC did was to give severance packages to people in senior positions in government, the civil service and state-owned enterprises, effectively removing the means of empowerment for others.The ANC has appointed more and more civil servants with ever bigger salaries and performance bonuses for work they have not done, with the mistaken belief that this is empowering them.It isn’t, it is enriching them; they are not making a contribution to the wealth of the country, they are consuming it; they aren’t exploiting labour, but rather the unemployed.When these people make a total mess of things, simply because they do not know what to do, and there is nobody to tell them or show them, they are not fired. They are placed on suspension on full pay or else redeployed elsewhere. This is because they still satisfy the criteria used for their appointment — race, gender and affiliation to a political party or faction.Now, after 25 years of cadre deployment, one has to ask the question: “Is there anyone out there who knows what they are doing or supposed to be doing?”To answer that question, one has only to look at the state of municipalities, government departments and SOEs.The ANC’s suggested solution to the problem is to ease the immigration of skilled people, to put the above enterprises in the control of foreign nationals. This while still applying the failed policy of BEE, which effectively bars gifted local people from making a contribution to the future wealth of the country of their birth and empowering others on the way.Policies based on racial discrimination have never worked. The colonialists tried it — it didn’t work.The apartheid government tried it — it didn’t work.First Rhodesia and then Zimbabwe tried it and it didn’t work, and it’s not working here either.Let us learn from the Springbok rugby team: stronger together.The biggest misconception facing the country is that white people who have a reasonable standard of living had it handed to them on a plate.It wasn’t handed to them on a plate — it was the result of hard work for most of them.You can’t expect to have what others have if you are not prepared to do what they did to get it — work hard.