Zuma? No. Silicon Valley will destroy South Africa.

2016-10-22 08:45

So the buses, university dormitories and SABC news trucks are burning.

The president is lying, the vice-president is hiding and the national prosecutor is about to get a hiding.

So what. It’s all just noise.

What will be the true downfall of South Africa? What will cause this country of ours to burn?

Silicon Valley, that’s what.

“What?” - I hear you say. Read on, for here follows the sorry tale of our destiny of demise.

Meet Bongile.

Bongile is 24 years old. She has a matric. She was proud to be the first one in her family to make it through school. She has a beautiful baby girl that she loves more than anything in the world.

Bongile is not doing so well. She is unemployed. She lives in a small shack behind her niece’s larger shack in Diepsloot. She worked at the local shop as a cleaner but since the new supermarket opened down the road she has been unable to find work. She tried finding work as a domestic worker but it seems for some reason the rich people don’t like employing young folks as domestic workers. She has been trying to find a job for 8 months now.

Some days she does not go looking anymore. She scrapes by on the government grant and by asking others to help her. Some might call asking for help begging. But begging is better than stealing, right? She sees the tsotsi’s with their fancy clothes and shoes. Everyone knows what they do at night. They frighten her. Sometimes after a night on the hunt they don’t come back… Bongile is ashamed. She finished school, was so proud, and now she is a beggar that cries herself to sleep at night worrying about her little girl.

Bongile is not alone. There are 9 million like her in our country.

Bongile is not only ashamed. She is also angry. More so every day. Same for the 9 million others that have no job.

You see, the people want homes. They don’t want no RDP “homes”. They want water, they want food, TV’s, cars, beers, McD’s, clinics and toys.

They won’t get none of it.

Let’s start with the homes. Think Vienna, Oslo, Vancouver. Quality stuff. It takes money, gazillions of gallons of it. Or does it? We have the materials, skills and the labour….

So screw it, let’s do it.

Right?

Wrong.

Says Vusi, the middle class, hard working systems analyst dude from Midrand:

“Only the worthy get housing. Just coz some schmuck can live in a nice house don’t mean squat to the rest of us. What do we get out of it? What have these lazy bums ever done for me anyway? No one gets nothing for nothing round here dude. I work my butt off every single day. Traffic, deadlines, pressure.

Only one way to control these good for nothings that want something for nothing.

Debt.

Oooooh yessirrreeee. Debt. Good ole’ cold ’n hard hearted debt. No workee, no payeee debty, no homy my homie.

It’s not about whether you need a home, that’s just naïve. Nope, it’s about what you can do for the rest of us. You see, we only build homes for the worthy.

You gotta have a jooooob, you see? You gotta contribute. You get a job, you get a salary, you don’t spend all of it on beer and burgers but use some of it to pay back the debt. We check that you pay back that debt every month, until it is all paid back, and as you do so you prove to us that you are worthy, that you deserve a home.”

Meanwhile, we have Karen. She is busy installing the bank’s latest digital employee. Yep, you read that right: installing, not recruiting. It's Amelia from the company IPsoft. Whilst doing so, she thinks to herself:

Wow. This is a bit weird. Am I working in HR now? Did I recruit? Am I taking a new employee through “her” first day?

Hi Amelia. This is the server where, or I guess in which, you will be working. Yes, it is not actually in South Africa. Your spot is inside a server in Google’s big data centre in Alaska. It’s easy to keep the temperature just right for you in Alaska, you see?

Now to just quickly cover our digital worker employment and office policies with you Amelia:

You will work 24 x 7 x 365. Just to spell that out a bit more clearly – you will work every hour of every day of every year – until we switch you off.

You get no tea breaks, no lunch hour, no toilet time

You do not get any annual or sick leave

You cannot join a union or call HR or dispute anything we do or say to you

You will not earn a salary of any kind

Our only obligation is to supply you with electricity so that you can function, until we switch you off of course

Something else has just struck me Amelia. You will be the only digital call centre employee that I will ever install for the bank. Just you. I read that you can handle 5 000 calls simultaneously, even more if we upgrade you. Our customers will be so happy because they will never again have to wait for their calls to be answered.

It was sad to say goodbye to all those people yesterday. Wow, there must have been 600 of them. All the people that used to work here in the call centre before the bank employed you.

Oh well, progress is progress!

I worry about them though. What will they do now to earn money, to have a home, to have food and provide for their children?”

Yep.

The machines are coming for your job. Think you’re safe? Think again.

Whether you are an accountant, radiologist, factory worker, lawyer, financial advisor, truck driver, fast food worker, bus driver, call centre agent or pretty much whatever, the machines are coming for your job. Check this out.

The machines might not be able to do the whole of your job. Maybe just 40%. But hey, then we will need 40% less of whatever it is you do now right? That’s great cause we would then no longer need 10 000 people like you in SA, only 6 000.

Another 4 000 with no job.

Machines can drive, pack and move boxes, manufacture stuff, read a million pages a minute and calculate a billion sums a minute, understand what we say, speak to us, communicate between themselves 10 000  times faster than we can speak.

The machines can now learn new things by themselves. So sometime soon we will even need less folks to program the machines cause they will be programming themselves.

Does this sound a bit crazy? Well, South Africa's super rich billionaire capitalist Johann Rupert does not think its crazy.

The robots are coming. Deal with it.

So, back to Bongile and the 9 million unemployed in South Africa.

Bongile will probably never find a job. What would we need her for?

Well, there is one thing that Bongile could help with.

She could help to build European quality urban homes, roads, schools & clinics for all in South Africa. The machines can’t do construction well yet, so that would be a great thing for Bongile and millions of our unemployed to do! And guess what, by the time we have built beautiful homes for everyone, let’s say by 2030 or so, then the machines will be making and distributing most of the stuff we need to live a healthy life and be safe, since why would there be much crime if everyone has a home, food and entertainment?

So screw it, let’s do it!!

Right?

Wrong.

There is the debt you see. The debt that must be paid. Even though Bongile would have helped to build the new homes and clinics and roads, she would still have to pay back the debt attached to the home that she and her little girl would have moved into.

It would take Bongile 30 years to pay back that debt. That would be by 2046. The majority of construction would be finished by 2030. Machines could probably do that anyway by then. She would then still have to pay back debt for another 16 years. But after the construction she would certainly not have a job anymore. Just imagine what the machines could do by 2030!

So Bongile cannot help to build the homes we need, because she would not be able to pay back the debt.

So Bongile sits in her shack and cries. But she not only cries, she gets angry. She no longer fears the tsotsi’s that steal. She admires them. They have the guts to fight for what they need. They have the guts to take or be taken, to kill or be killed.

The police are the enemy. They protect the ones that have stuff from the ones like Bongile that have nothing. The government is the enemy. The people with stuff are Bongile’s enemy. It is time to take the fight to the enemy. She will join them on the streets tomorrow.

Why not?

She has nothing to lose.

Silicon Valley will burn South Africa to the ground.

Unless we change.

We must change our perception of work, of what it means to be worthy of a home, our perception of money, debt and human collaboration.

We must do this:

create the debt based money to activate our unemployed millions to build the infrastructure they and we need

the debt based money is created at a societal level at zero % interest

automate the production and distribution of safety and sustenance goods (food, appliances, furniture etc.) as fast as we can

by 2030 we have the infrastructure we all need and the machines do most of the manual and repetitive cognitive work

we equitably share the remaining manual and cognitive work between all of us

everyone gets a minimum R10 000 a month to obtain the food and entertainment goods they need

those that add additional value to society by inventing new machines or entertain us so well get more money

we forget about the debt because so many of us are only working 2 days a week now anyway, which led to just about all 20 year+ term debt becoming unpayable…

we are in a Joy Economy by 2030

We can actually do this. It’s money4mzansi’s version of the National Development Plan. A version that takes reality into account. A version that will actually work.

But it needs us to change how our country works.

Learn more at www.money4mzansi.org.za.

Check out our 4 part video series on Youtube:

part 1 – the fundamentals of money and collaboration in South Africa  – who creates, allocates and destroys money, and more importantly when

part 2 – the fundamentals of national economic  development – the historic reality of British, US, Asian tiger economic development

part 3 – why South Africa cannot do what the British, US and Asian tigers did

part 4 – what we can do is this – migrate to a Joy Economy by 2030 and the high level approach to doing it

Join or establish a local money4mzansi chapter on Meetup.

We CAN migrate to a Joy Economy for all in South Africa by 2030.

Join us.

Spread the word.

www.money4mzansi.org.za

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