If radical economic transformation is to be realised cadre deployment must fall

Steve Biko. Picture: AP
Steve Biko. Picture: AP

For the past 23 years, the governing party and its alliance partners have been shouting all relevant slogans and catch phrases, but failed to fundamentally transform the economy of this country.

The latest slogan and catch phrase is radical economic transformation.

These are some of the feel-good catch phrases by the leaders of the governing party and the poor majority have nothing substantive to show in terms of economic transformation.

As a matter of fact, the governing party have had the required majority at municipal, provincial and national assembly to implement any fundamental economic changes that they required, but failed to use their majority for the greater benefit of ordinary people.

When the governing party came into power in 1994, they all knew that black people were over the years systematically and deliberately excluded from the mainstream economy, and for them to recite radical economic transformation 23 years later, will not help accelerate the required urgent economic transformation in this country.

The governing party is also aware that the Kempton Park negotiated settlement was a deal that was only intended to transfer the political power from the white minority to the black majority.

Steve Biko had this to say in 1977 when asked about an egalitarian society:

“I think there is no running away from the fact that now in South Africa there is such an ill-distribution of wealth that any form of political freedom which does not touch on the proper distribution of wealth will be meaningless.”

It does appear that the governing party have failed to take Biko’s caution seriously.

With youth unemployment at 38.6%, it is quite clear that the black economic empowerment and cadre deployment strategies as employed by the governing party, have failed to meaningfully transform the economy of this country.

The people, who are reaping the fruits of the raw deal Kempton Park settlement, Black Economic Empowerment and Cadre Deployment, are in the main the ruling elite and associates, tiny black economic empowerment beneficiaries, members of parliament and middle class.

The majority of our people, who were systematically excluded during apartheid days, are still excluded 23 years after miracle rainbow nation was born.

I honestly believe that for any radical economic transformation to be realised in this country, the barbaric apartheid style job reservation policies such as cadre deployment, must be immediately scrapped.

Economic transformation requires black people with exceptional leadership qualities, skills, knowledge, qualifications, training and extensive experience at all levels.

It is a very important subject matter that does not require deployment of party loyalists through cadre deployment.

Otherwise, we may be forced to recall Biko again when he said:

“If we have mere change of face of those in governing position what is likely to happen is that black people will continue to be poor, and you will see a few blacks filtering through into the so-called bourgeoisie.

"Our society will be run almost as of yesterday.”

The governing party has been in power for the past 23 years and failed to meaningfully transform the economy of this country, thus betraying many future generations.

Lately, our collective failure as black people to take over the economic power is being diverted by the deafening noise on the so-called white monopoly capital – why are we not paying attention to how we have been failed by our own black people and government?

It is quite clear that political patronage and rewarding cadres is not working.

• Lesego Sechaba Mogotsi is a member of the Azanian People’s Organisation, based in Ward 85, Tshwane


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