Big companies taking their capital out of South Africa was a bigger threat to economic freedom than ANC Youth League president Julius Malema, author and businessman Moeletsi Mbeki said today.
“Capital flight means there is no capital for entrepreneurs in South Africa,” he said at a DA conference in Johannesburg on economic freedom.There had never been an explanation for why companies like Anglo American and Old Mutual had been allowed to list in London.
“On what basis did they allow them to go, to move their primary listing from South Africa to London? Why did they approve it. What did they get out of it?” he asked.
In a question and answer session, he added that he was not suggesting that anyone received kickbacks, but that there was never an explanation.
Capital flight was the biggest threat to entrepreneurship, which was necessary to create jobs. Mbeki said that he considered black economic empowerment a route to corruption, “a bribe”.
“In fact, it is corruption.”
He said the DA and the youth league were not that far apart in terms of economic freedom, and encouraged the DA to speak to the league about economic freedom.
It was unfortunate that the league chose to focus on DA leaders Helen Zille and Patricia de Lille, and spokeswoman Lindiwe Mazibuko as individuals, and “playing the man instead of the ball”, rather than tackling their economic policies.
The league’s ideas on nationalisation, except for mining, could work, he said.Mining should not be nationalised because it created entrepreneurship. It brought in foreign exchange that could be used by entrepreneurs to import equipment they needed.
He asked why companies like MTN and Vodacom were not setting up manufacturing plants.“Why is Telkom on its knees?” he asked.It was paying these phenomenal bonuses but “for what?”