Transformation: Criminal Stupidity or Plain Insanity?

2016-05-03 15:17

The Freedom Day celebrations of the New South Africa’s 22nd year anniversary highlighted a bitter irony for all with the capacity for rational thought. Key government figures are effectively promising to make things worse still for ordinary South Africans under the guise of “transformation”.

Not only has South Africa given way to Nigeria as the continent’s leading economy and slid down world rankings in terms of state education standards, its rate of economic growth, water resource management, the employment of people and many more vitally important indexes of individual freedom and the quality of democracy. The governing party has learned nothing at all about fixing its mistakes.

During the past two weeks two ministers made key statements that demonstrated not only their inability to identify causation – a fundamental requirement of human intelligence – but resolved to intensify and more vigorously implement misguided government policies.

Their positions reflect Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Fikila Mbalula, minister of Sport and Recreation, and Mildred Olifant, minister of Labour both vowed to intensify practices that can only cause harm or exacerbate existing problems under their respective portfolios.

First, Mbalula

On the Monday Mbalula announced -

"I have resolved to revoke the privilege of Athletics South Africa (ASA), Cricket South Africa (CSA), Netball South Africa (NSA) and South African Rugby (SARU) to host and bid for major and mega international tournaments in the Republic of South Africa as a consequence of the aforementioned federations, not meeting their own set transformation targets with immediate effect,"

He made no mention of football.

Given that our performance under the sporting codes that he mentions – clearly all under-representative of blacks, according to him - is highly competitive, he seemingly has no interest at all in excellence or achievement.

In athletics, South Africa punches above its weight and we are always among the top few in cricket and rugby.

The free pass given to football and the fact that it languishes down at +- seventieth in the world’s rankings tells you pretty much all you need to know about our government. Its objective is to put black faces everywhere even if they cannot pass muster. There are already voices emanating from New Zealand rugby that they will lose interest in playing against “fully transformed” South African rugby teams because there would be no point. They would not be competing with their best, so why bother?

The fact that there are already in excess of 300 odd professional South African rugby players plying their trade around the world – largely because of a lack of local opportunities brought about through quotas – further demonstrates how we disrespect and waste our national talent.

And then there is Mildred Olifant

Our minister of Labour is noted for neither her ability to connect economic dots nor her strategic thinking so the headline in a recent online publication expressing her indignation on April 26th came as no surprise.

It read – “White Males still occupy top jobs”!

The article went on:

“Not only are top management positions in the private sector allotted to white males, but opportunities for promotion and training also remain inherently linked to race and gender at more senior levels, (according to the 16th Commission for Employment Equity (CEE) Report released on Monday). “

The wording of her communiqué tells a story in itself; only in the minds of commissars and according to the vocabulary of totalitarian-minded state officialdom could top positions ever be “allotted”!

White males are not “allotted” positions - they are appointed to them on merit.

It is beyond the comprehension of such officials that the market needs to function in order to efficiently and affordably allocate resources for the ultimate benefit of all.

It goes on - “The South African labour market continues to be racialised and gendered,” said the report, and “it remains hierarchical with blacks concentrated at the lower levels and the white group occupying decision-making positions.”

More is the pity that the performances of the post office, SAA, Telkom and parastatals in general – all "transformed" and racially sanitized – were not compared to the private sector that she was bemoaning. Perhaps her focus should have rather been on the ticking time bomb of youth unemployment.

A recent article in Politicsweb pointed out - Altogether 3.38 million young people are now unemployed, while another 1.6 million are classified as "discouraged" workers who would take a job if offered one but who are not actually trying to find work any longer. Part of the remedy, says Stats SA, is "sufficient flexibility in the labour market.

Such steps directly contradict Olifant’s sentiments – based, as they are on a coercively directed labour market.


Clearly, all the answers are at hand.

They are just being ignored.

Mbalula prefers to create racially proportional mediocrity in sport to exploiting the bank of talent available to the nation. It is difficult to see what is in it for anyone, since those sporting codes will wither and talent will go elsewhere - as is already happening.

Olifant, on the other hand seems bent on bringing the economy to its knees in the name of racial proportionality and social engineering.

It seems that Einstein’s assumptions might have been wrong in this instance, for he would have taken it for granted that government would strive for excellence in its national sport and be anxious to promote a thriving economy. He would unquestionably have assumed that if things went wrong, government would try to fix them - not exacerbate them.

Clearly he could never have anticipated how inept an ANC government could be and would not, for example, have understood the notion of a government preoccupied with smartie-box politics. He could never have anticipated the objective of an ethnically predetermined society aimed at satisfying racial narcissism.

Add to that the destruction of peoples’ economic wellbeing and the opportunity costs the nation has already paid and he would almost certainly have sought a new paradigm to define the depravity of it all.

I think that had he lived today Einstein might have formulated a new theory – that of a sub species of humans with negative cognitions and an incapacity to remedy the sorry outcomes of their actions.

But then again – he might simply have dismissed them as insane!

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