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ANC government is intensifying its racial policies that are going to drag us back into the dark days – Herman Mashaba

Herman MashabaDistinguished guests Ladies and gentlemen

Thank you for the invitation and the privilege to address this important conference that can help shape the future of our country.

This Solidarity’s Shadow Report to the United Nations’ Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination is more than a vital initiative. Racial discrimination has affected, over the last 300 years of our recorded history, the lives of every person living in South Africa, and unfortunately continues to do so today.

It is impossible to be born black in South Arica and not to have experienced incidents of racism. I was born in 1959 under the leadership of Prime Minister H F Verwoerd, known as the architect of apartheid, and by extension the unashamed advocate of institutionalised racism.

I grew up in the black homeland of Bophuthatswana and experienced first-hand the results of racial segregation. Due to the apartheid policies, my parents had to travel to Johannesburg to find work, resulting in me living with my sisters in isolated rural Hammanskraal. Blacks were paid paltry wages and my widowed mother was unable to maintain a family with her R29 a month salary. My mother stole supplies from her employer, and my sisters and I stole firewood and water from neighbouring white farmers,

And we experienced being chased off these farms by gun-wielding farmers. These demeaning acts were prompted by nothing other than pure poverty, which was itself occasioned by Apartheid’s racially divisive policies.

A typical day in my life might have involved being told how a farmer had taught his son to shoot by using the labourers in the field to practice on, an incident in which my great-grandfather was shot. Or waiting for my mother to come home in the middle of the night and return to work before dawn, so that her employer would not know she had left her backyard room during the night to take food to her children. Experiences such as these engendered a deep suspicion and hatred of white people.

This hatred was inflamed by my interaction with lecturers and administrative staff during my studies at the University of the North. After witnessing racial manipulation and brutality, I took a conscious decision to abandon my studies, and tried to illegally leave the country to join liberation freedom fighters in other parts of our continent. Regrettably, I did not have the connections to facilitate my desire to undergo military training and become a freedom fighter.

I have to admit that at that stage in my life, I was depressed and a very angry black youth. What depressed me the most was the thought of having to work for whites, something I detested as I was growing up. During my teens I opted to gamble and play a game of dice games in the township rather than work as a weekend gardener for a white man. But eventually reality sunk in, and I was forced to overcome my disdain for whites to the extent to which I knew I would have to work for them.

I did work for whites, and Indians, and I did experience racism. But, these interactions taught me a valuable lesson. I could let that racism define the trajectory of my life, or I could avoid racial confrontation and give of my best. It was a successful strategy and I eventually saved enough money to buy myself a car so that I could become an independent operator.

Although I had realised that racism exists at all levels, I also met people who weren’t racist, who judged me on my character instead of the colour of my skin. It was a philosophy that appealed to me. However, I never wanted to be employed at a level that an employer decided for me, and job reservation meant that certain jobs were reserved for whites only. I was determined to be my own boss so that I could be in control of my dignity and my destination.

In 1982, the Apartheid legislation determined that I should not be in business as a black South African. The inferior education I had received from the Bantu Education Department barely equipped me to be a clerk, never mind a businessman. Living in an economically depressed and isolated homeland could hardly be considered a nurturing environment for black entrepreneurship because there was little to no access to resources. Race-based labour controls, the limitation of movement and employment of blacks, and colour barriers in companies added to the list of how Apartheid intended to disempower black people.

However, I refused to be derailed from my dream of economic freedom, and at the age of 24 I started my own cosmetics company, branding my products Black Like Me, and also inviting a fellow white South African to join the business as an equal partner. We both had skills that the business needed; this was a vital partnership.

The miracle of the 1994 election and Nelson Mandela’s leadership of the country had all South Africans ready to embrace the concept of a Rainbow Nation, and our apparent harmony won the approval and admiration of the international community. Our constitution was hailed as among the most progressive in  the world and our current Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, travelled across the globe, sharing our country’s miracle. They were indeed times to be proud and to bask in the glow of that Rainbow Nation.

Sadly, 21 years down the line, we should be a mature democracy. Instead, the glow of the rainbow is beginning to diminish and Nelson Mandela’s great legacy is being dismantled by his own political party, the ANC. Our current government is intensifying its racial policies that are going to drag us back into the dark days of polarisation and disrepute.

Undoubtedly, at the dawn of our democracy, the ANC government was compelled, or more accurately, electorally compelled to redress injustices of the past. And the government at that time took its role very seriously, taking considerable time and employing wise minds to implement policies that would create an equal society and improve the lives of the previously disadvantaged.

Subsequent to 1994, employment legislation was developed to outlaw unfair racial discrimination and to redress past imbalances. Employment policies undoubtedly had to be revised, and the first step was the repealing of the Labour Relations Act of 1956 and replacing it with the Labour Relations Act of 1995, which eliminated job reservation. But the policies that I would like to unpack here, are those that resonate with me as a capitalist entrepreneur, and those that are essentially race-based.

Two of the most common terms in South African labour law are undoubtedly BEE and BBBEE, and most people think they are interchangeable. They are not.

The BEE or Black Economic Empowerment Act of 2003 (now referred to as the Narrow Based Black Economic Empowerment) refers specifically to the government policy whereby sections of the population who were not allowed to participate in the economy were given a chance to redress the economic imbalances of the past. BBBEE or Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act of 2006 seeks to accelerate and increase the penetration of black participation in the economy at every level. BEE or BBBEE, essentially what it comes down to is affirmative action.

Essentially, affirmative action sought to “substantially and equitably transfer and confer the ownership, management and control of South Africa’s financial and economic resources to the majority of its citizens. It also sought to encourage and ensure broader and meaningful participation by black people to achieve sustainable development and prosperity”.

The notion of empowering previously disadvantaged blacks is a noble ideal, noble but racist. Let’s look at why this is so.

To adhere to BEE principles, businesses are compelled to consider the race and social background of potential applicants instead of considering an applicant’s skillset and qualifications. Race is thus a determining factor in securing employment in South Africa. It was unacceptable to have job reservation during apartheid and it is unacceptable now. Affirmative action is not empowering, it is limiting, degrading, and offensive to anyone who wants to participate in the economy but cannot simply because they are not black.

Affirmative action is discriminatory not only against a minority, it also excludes the vast majority of black South Africans from its purported benefits, since BEE has succeeded in creating an economic network of privileged manipulators and cronies.

Additionally, affirmative action has created a skills shortage crisis as many qualified and economically active whites, and sometimes blacks, left the country because of being excluded. Affirmative action serves a few politically connected black elite; it has seen the rise of extensive corruption, but has still left millions of black people, in particular the youths, unemployed and in dire poverty.

Affirmative action creates an illusion job creation and racial integration that doesn’t exist. Instead affirmative action has divided South African society in two, highlighting the divide between the white haves and the black have-nots.

Affirmative action has enhanced the racist perceptions of blacks and whites. Poor blacks are under the illusion that the whites are still the only beneficiaries of business. Whites feel that the tables have turned, and that they are excluded from economic activity based on race.

The cost of affirmative action to the poor has been substantial in that it has diverted money from education and infrastructure projects that would have been beneficial, and instead created bloated agencies and departments that don’t contribute to the economy in any meaningful way.

Affirmative action supports racism’s bedfellow, namely tribalism, where favoured politically connected businessmen are able to benefit from government tenders and contracts. It promotes and create an impression that to succeed, you must be first politically connected.

Political patronage becomes a vehicle to get closer to state resources. Any policy that supports this racial divisiveness must be abandoned.

South Africa must be governed according to the constitution that states that citizens should not be unfairly discriminated against, either directly or indirectly, on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.

If South Africa’s citizens are to flourish and the country is to develop into a stable, strong economic nation, then all forms of discrimination must be abandoned. Further tweaking the affirmative action policy will result in further divisiveness, it will obstruct the flow of skills and capital and diminish the growth, entrepreneurship, and investment necessary to elevate millions of South Africans into the middle class. Most importantly it will exacerbate racial disharmony. The government must remove all race- based legislation from labour and commerce.

Currently, employment in South Africa is now being shaped by the legislated exclusion of racial minorities. It is contradictory to claim that we are aiming for a non-racial society and then on the other hand implement discrimination. It is my opinion that any form of racism, including affirmative action, should be scrapped from the statute books to uphold our constitution of no discrimination.

My solution is job creation through a booming capitalist economy where investors feel safe and employers and employees are able to contract without state intervention. Allow all South Africans to exploit their God-Given talents without these discriminatory practices.

The most effective tool the state can use to redress the ills of the past of inequality, unemployment and poverty, is to follow the spirit of our constitution, which is not to discriminate against other members of society. In a society like that, the economic potential of the country will be unleashed. Economic growth would mean more taxes for the state. More taxes for the state, will mean more money and resources to address and provide good quality education, healthcare and overall infrastructure.

In an environment of an accountable and effective government, black people of our nation are naturally going to be the biggest beneficiaries. The country will over time have an educated, sustainable and harmonious society. We need a government that does not look for shotgun solutions to this challenge, but long term nation building ones. It is possible and necessary for the country to adopt such policies.

Racial policies are the cancer that is directly responsible for these unacceptable levels of unemployment.

Unemployment is directly responsible for the breakdown of our family structures. We cannot build a nation without first building our families. Give our people the dignity and respect. Allow parents to support their families. Allow children to grow up as children and see their parents waking up in the morning. Let us strive to teach the nation the value of hard work, as opposed to this dependency on governments.

The future of South African society will rest on fair representation of all South African across all sectors. The strength of a democratic South Africa relies on the wellbeing of its citizens and the benefits that are available for every citizen to enjoy. After 21 years of democracy, race-based legislation can no longer be a vehicle that drives out the effects of discrimination. Race-based legislation is actually the bus that drives discrimination and it must be rejected and terminated.

It is ironic that the compensatory mode and restorative justice of race-based legislation has become the leading instrument in racial disharmony. No balance can be struck between promoting such legislation and avoiding discrimination. When minorities are alienated, no equality exists. South Africa cannot be a diverse populace without diverse representation.

Finally, if South Africa is to avoid the tribalism, dictatorship, genocide, poverty and demagoguery that plagues other African countries, we must eradicate every form of racism. And we must do it now.

Please allow me to wish you success with this important initiative to save our country.

And I thank you

Address by Herman Mashaba to Solidarity’s Shadow Report to the United Nations’ Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Herman Mashaba is a DA member.

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40 Comments

  1. Gorata

     /  May 14, 2015

    SA Govt first ruffled the feathers of whites with BEE etc, then all of a sudden warmed up to whites in recent days and unloaded on foreigners mostly blacks from the mother continent, shame.I agree with Trevor Ncube in that xenophobia is not just a township thing, its in boardrooms and corporations ..good luck S Africa with your crap…..

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  2. Bhekokwakhe

     /  May 14, 2015

    nikhuluma kanje uma senisuthi, there are companies which would never have employed a black person if it were not for BEE. As much as you think its apartheid in reverse, it is mechanism to ensure and protect our discrimination and segregation by our former opressors as they still own the land, they still run the economy. And sadly there are many who still feel that a black man is less human, what do you expect the state to do. let the interests of the suffering masses be paramount. Without BEE the former opressors will oppress and no one will question that. Because of affirmative action companies have been forced to invest in persons they never would previously. I am one who was empowered by that from a rural family today I live a better life.

    The poor masses who were dehumanized for 300 years must now get the fruits of this soil.

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    • Braydon

       /  May 15, 2015

      @Bhekokwakhe,

      It saddens me to see that 21 years after Apartheid has ended, you retain this backward thinking. Take it from a white person who has left South Africa partly because I could not find any work, Even though I have a Diploma and am qualified to be an Architectural Draughtsman. To my shock, when I eventually got to start applying for work, I found 134 Jobs online, I thought WOW thats awesome! to my Dismay, everyone of those 134 jobs were reserved ONLY for Blacks.

      But here you are saying it isn’t Apartheid in reverse? You sound so silly, and so entitled, just like the ‘Oppressors’ you speak so fondly of. I wish I could sit down and really give you a proper point of view, but it seems as though you are a racially motivated person who feels like they are entitled to everything for past wrongs that most likely didn’t even affect you directly.

      In concluding, I would just like to say that 2 wrongs do not make a right, if you think that by oppressing whites will somehow bring about an imaginary justice that you are owed, you are very wrong. This speaker was spot on with every point that he made, and it is your backward thinking that will keep SA from it’s true potential.

      P.S. I hope you reply.

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    • presently disadvantage

       /  May 16, 2015

      “300 year masses must get fruits if soil” thats really clever thinking…

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    • Liz

       /  May 16, 2015

      There will always be racists in South Africa and in every other country in the world and it can’t be fixed by BEE or BBBEE. In fact, apart from the well connected black elite, BBBEE codes and labour laws are backfiring on the majority of black people in this country. White entrepreneurs are becoming more and more unwilling to employ black people for fear of the power of the unions and are either closing their businesses here, employing family and friends and opt to not grow their businesses big enough to a point where they are forced to comply with BBBEE, or looking for opportunities on other continents, including the rest of Africa.

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    • Shahna

       /  May 16, 2015

      Like Mr Mashaba, I disapprove of Affirmative Action for all the reasons he gives and for one more: I think AA is insulting to Blacks – suggesting that without special dispensation Blacks would not be able to get and do the work. I am nonetheless please to hear you benefited from it because it means something good came out of an imperfect process. But how many others of “the poor dehumanised masses” haven’t benefited from AA? ….The vast majority, I suspect.

      I agree with you: Those “poor masses who were dehumanized for 300 years must now get the fruits of this soil.” … Trouble is, the way we’re going, no-one’s getting any fruits. Blacks are getting poorer. Whites are getting poorer. Everyone’s getting poorer. Any fruits available are rotting on the gravy train. I’d like to see “enough fruits for all” and I see no reason why we all shouldn’t have it all. This could be a wealthy country – in spirit, in people, and in prosperity.

      Money spent and wasted playing games of AA would be better spent on up-grading the standard of education of our children across the board until we sit in the world’s top percentile. That takes money, that takes work – but there can be no better or greater or surer investment in the future of this country and all its people. We’ve had 20 years of sub-standard education – that’s at least two generations that have lost out – that hasn’t received the abilities due to them. How many more generations will we allow to fall by the wayside?
      —————————————–
      Two other points:
      Companies that “would never employ a black (or a white) or a green or a purple – Name & Shame them. People will boycott when it’s a matter of conscience. A few diehards won’t, but a company won’t survive and thrive on just a very few.

      Secondly – there are whites who feel blacks aren’t real people just as there are blacks who feel whites aren’t real people. That’s an attribute of a particular type of person and it’s not melanin-related. IMO, people who feel other people aren’t real people are people who lack something basic to the human psyche. …. We probably can’t do much about it if that’s the “way they’re made” – except feel sorry for them. They miss out on so much life – what else can we do?

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    • DJ

       /  May 17, 2015

      You will never get it will you. Clearly you did not understand what the writers message is.
      The fact remains that even if every white person was to pack up and leave, & leave behind the infrastructures that exist, there will still always be poor black people who will go without. Their positions will never change because land does not bring automatic wealth.
      One only has to look at the rest of Africa to see this. Ethic / Tribal wars have dominated who controls the money. The citizens never prosper. Countries like Liberia & Ethiopia which were barely touch by the Europeans have not flourished and are in fact still heavily poverty stricken.

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    • Haasdas

       /  May 18, 2015

      Why don’t the poor masses start a company and provide themselves with work for a change? The option is always open. Just a thought…
      >o{

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    • just me

       /  May 19, 2015

      You should receive a bit more education. Some of zuma money or billions wasted could have helped. Try basic maths and work it out. Your not a leader and won’t judge. Real leaders don’t follow foolish ideas. Some do become greedy..this is not anyones land. We are all simply passing through. I have never heard anyone said thank you for the development of our country. Travel Africa and maybe you will agree with the writings in the post by Herman.

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    • Paul

       /  May 26, 2015

      Bhekokwakhe, the other commentators may not like your point, partly because they can hear the truth in it. I am a white male that has been in the business world for 20 years from bottle-washer to senior exec. Most of the white business owners and managers I know would gave hired 99% white people into white collar positions if it were not for BEE. Why? It’s easier to understand and work with people culturally similar to you. Diversity brings friction if not managed properly. Also people like to look after their own, hence aunties, uncles, cousins and brothers pepper many businesses. Finally some people are just plain racist -we have more than our fair share of those people in SA.

      BEE is a flawed mechanism whose time is over, but I can’t think of another lever that would have changed the complexion of offices and boardrooms as quickly. Education on its own probably would take 100 years to make an impact. Attitudes need to change and sometimes it needs to be forced.

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    • Bhekokwakhe, the oppressed have now become the oppressors, nothing has changed, only the skin colour. South Africa has learned nothing from history. I can assure you sir that in another 50 years the current oppressors will still marginalise other South Africans for the colour of their skin. South Africa has learned nothing from the past. I feel for my young children who were born in this New South Africa, they had no say in what happened in the decades gone by, but are now marginalised purely by the colour of their skin… Nothing Else. And if you say to this: “Serves them Right”, then sir, it all got to do with revenge, no other rational reason but revenge.

      Right now all I can think of is Martin Luther King’s words:

      “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

      Amen Re. King, amen!

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  3. stuandrie

     /  May 15, 2015

    I agree with the mindset laid out in this address. We cannot continue to try butter up the palms of every person who was oppressed in the old south africa. The common mistake is made in thinking the the white population have control over the land and the wealth in this country, but this is myth. The majority of white South Africans fight hard to have what they have. They strive to improve everyday for the future and build on what they have to ensure there is a better tomorrow. Nothing comes easy in life, and by saying the previous oppressed should bare the fruit of what the country had to offer is absolutely fine, BUT, it has to to worked hard for and not given to them out of pity or past prejudices.

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  4. As an engineer who was born in South Africa and left I can tell you this wont be fixed during our generation, if ever. Just look at Bhekokwakhe’s reply. Reverse racism is the path and they are entitled to everything now. “they hurt us and now we will hurt them because its our turn” was to be expected. Racism , tribalism , corruption is the future and I believe it will only change , due to human nature , when one of 2 things occur ; 1) a common enemy is found 2) complete and utter devastation occurs … death … disease …. poverty …. famine is so great that there is no choice but to forgive and forget and work together. Since there are many in power who are still well off this wont happen soon. No colourful names and energetic music will change this. As is known in Indian culture as Kali’s divine dance “death destruction and rebirth” are required for change.

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  5. The Voice Of Reason

     /  May 16, 2015

    BEE, BBBEE, AA, Transformation, take your pick, is only a quick fix, meant to destabilize whites, appease blacks, and to sow further division so that true reconciliation cannot take place. The whites are upset because they see a number of unqualified blacks being employed in a way that is detrimental to our country. The blacks say that the whites should be happy that they didn’t do worse to the whites and that the whites must just accept it. I understand the perspective from each side (to a degree). But in a nutshell, in a country where there were, say, 5 million whites and 40 million blacks, if every white person had to give all of his/her money, land and jobs to black people, that would still leave 35 million black people who need land, money and jobs. The real issue is job creation, corruption, bogus trade deals with countries that have no labour law/minimum wage which have strangled our own industries, tender fraud, Eskom, education. The fact that our country is so abundantly blessed with natural resources, yet we still export raw materials and re-import finished products, is an indictment on our country’s business strategy. If you look at the strikes and the current work ethic in our country, you will notice that many receive salaries instead of earning it, pride in the job is non-existent.
    There is so much that is not being down by the decision makers. Yet at the mere mention of the words, “AA, BBBEE, BEE, transformation, land, nationalisation, apartheid, and we are all at each others throats, forgetting that we shouldn’t be struggling in a country like ours. Too few people on any side of the racial fences truly see the big picture. We just seem to allow ourselves to be manipulated into continued division. Division will never move us forward. And if something is not part of the solution, then it can only be part of the problem.
    Anyone still reading, please remember that transferring from white to black is not the answer when there is a 1:10 ratio. It is basically a facelift. 10-1=9. How do the 9 benefit (don’t forget that we still need to plus 1 for the whites a well)? Stop obsessing about the 1. Open those minds. I wish prosperity and peace to you South Africa…

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  6. iThembi Smit

     /  May 16, 2015

    Lovely article, can’t agree more.

    2 things
    1) a common enemy is found == china
    2) complete and utter devastation occurs … death … disease …. poverty …. famine
    == the inevitable result

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  7. GPC

     /  May 17, 2015

    This man should’ve been elected as DA leader, Nothing against Mmusi, but I think this guy’s experience of the past makes him a Heavy weight. I totally agree with every word he is saying, BEE or BBBEE is even bad for blacks. Corrupt politicians are making sure education must fail in order for the masses to eat every propaganda word that is uttered to them by ANC, this way they can stay in power. Educated people WILL think before they “eat ANC propaganda” and vote. All these “dumb voters” just keep on voting for ANC because “apartheid WILL COME back” if they vote anything else. Just shows you how “dumb” the masses really are. How on earth will the minority ever get back to govern the majority. It WILL never happen in my lifetime at least. The only way ANC can hang on to power is to distribute racial hate.

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    • Christoffer

       /  May 18, 2015

      He probably could have been if only he had joined the DA sooner. Maimane at least has almost 5 years in the party and Mashaba less than 1 year. But I hope he will rise in the ranks soon enough. I would be very disappointed not to find his name high up on the candidate lists for next year’s local elections.

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  8. Peter Parker

     /  May 17, 2015

    In my my mind I would hope to get a position based on factors that include experience and ability and the employer liking me. If someone else is better equipped then that is great. But to be appointed in a job based on the color of my skin alone won’t give me any sense of honor or accomplishment. Would a black employee not feel honor if they got their position by being the better candidate. Imagine playing a game of soccer and winning every single match just because you wear red shirts. No matter how bad you played ? Would someone not want to have that sense of victory?

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  9. Bayanda

     /  May 17, 2015

    YOU guys! including the author of this article , must care to read government policies……..and also please try and understand how job market works in South Africa (the policy says: you are not allowed to have an all white Or an all black Or an all Asian company that is operating in this country as was the practice of the old apartheid)………….. SIPMPLE FACT…….what is racist about this?……. in fact the author should describe what is racism in his terms, it is utterly disgusting that those who are the victims of real-racism are further trivialized by such statements…….if he feels that his white friends are being marginalized , why cant he employ them in his “black-like-me” company………i think regress, are the views against such policies, if people dont like such policies they must bring better ones to the table. simple.

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    • oldgrizzly

       /  May 17, 2015

      That is exactly what the author has done. Put a proper non racial alternative solution on the table. The trouble is your own racist views that are too narrow and blinkered to even consider it! Can you not see how the economy is collapsing and losing millions of jobs under the weight of institutionalised racism, corruption and inefficiency? I am an employer /entrepreneur who has sweated blood and literally given my and my families lives to be able to afford to send my children (only two!) to university, and to pay for proper medical care etc. In the process I created jobs. Most of those are filled by black people whom I have a strong bond with and would love to see grow further and earn more. But I cant expand the business here because of BEE type racism and a struggling economy crippled by mismanagement. Only someone who has been an entrepreneur can understand the level of sacrifice that is required to create and manage a business and ultimately help build a successful economy where people’s skills are in demand. You simply do not find people with the combination of attributes required under every tree. Many people I know with these abilities refuse to start or expand their businesses in SA. And several more have moved away where they are creating jobs for Malawians, Zambians, Mozambiquans, Australians, Canadians and Americans. The reason? They do not want to be faced with having to motivate and cajole a work force of people who have a “you owe me” non productive attitude. And once in they basically cant be fired . Its so ridiculous it beggars belief. That the employees have more say and rights in a business than the only person who has the best interests of that enterprise at heart because he/she created it, and sacrificed a huge amount in the process! And another sad fact is that the vast majority of white South Africans business owners are NOT wealthy! They are merely “employers” who value their independence. In reality they are indebted to the banks, carrying a huge amount of risk & stress. Many would be more successful in other countries where they are not discriminated against. I truly regret staying “to try and make a difference” here, and not having done what many associates of mine did years ago . Left SA. Most are far more successful and can afford to come here on holiday. I cant afford to visit them. Only corrupt non-contributing gravy trainers seem to be able to do that.

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  10. Bongsz

     /  May 17, 2015

    Firstly i do not believe that these policies were concieved so that black people can avenge the atrocities of apartheid…
    Secondly as you agree on your address that redress of past imbalancies is as was neccessary to balance the playing fields but you failed to say how do we do this rather went on a rant about the evils of the policies intended to redress past imbalances and also many of those commenting to support your claim forget the noble cause that is to redress the past imbalances but see these as most evil policies ever concieved..Yes the elite politically connected have maniplated and taken advantage of what was meant to heal the people of this country and selfishly corrupted this noble cause but to vilify these policies discriminatory is misleading and dangerous, yes the intended outcomes havent been reached due to manipulation but their nobleness hasnt changed …
    Again i am asking a question of how do we redress the past imbalances without causing a racial devision as you alledge??
    i believe that redressing the past imbalances is racial based and so the policies developed for that will be racial based and that is logical…I also believe instead of condeming the policies, you should condemn those who manipulate and corrupt the processes that seeks to adress, empower and uplift those that were damaged by racial based policies…
    Lastly i admire you that you’ve made it through not the best of times and you’ve come out as one of the best sons of this land that many young entrepreneurs look up to but i should warn you that not everyone is like you have your resilience and determination, so as Africans we cannot leave these behind and chase the capitalist way of doing things ( survival of the fitest)…Seriously lastly I am an advocate of quality affordable education and skills development and these should be core to any attempt to heal the ills of the past and to take this beautiful motherland forward…

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  11. Rupert

     /  May 18, 2015

    I wish the discourse could change to become about Economic Empowerment – drop the race. Affirmative action could have a place if it aimed to lift up and give opportunity to any people previously economically disadvantaged (no matter what race). Then you have an initiative that is trying to address inequalities whilst, and most importantly, it leaves racial classification behind – there is no place for it if we want to build a non-racial society (just because race was used in the past does not mean it is needed in the future).

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  12. Mikeyv

     /  May 19, 2015

    Well written piece Herman.
    Just one observation:
    “Economic growth would mean more taxes for the state. More taxes for the state, will mean more money and resources to address and provide good quality education, healthcare and overall infrastructure.” I think should read: “More taxes for the state, will mean more money and resources <>”

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  13. Mikeyv

     /  May 19, 2015

    Well written piece Herman.
    Just one observation:
    “Economic growth would mean more taxes for the state. More taxes for the state, will mean more money and resources to address and provide good quality education, healthcare and overall infrastructure.” I think should read: “More taxes for the state, will mean more money and resources for Zuma and his cadres to do with as they like, for their own benefit”

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  14. UpwardsSA

     /  May 19, 2015

    The simple fact is, for all South African to achieve a better life requires a sustainable rapidly growing economy and massive skills development. Regrettable the current policies (including the authors article regarding BEE and BBBEE) are horribly failing on both of these accounts.
    I recognize that redressing our countries economic imbalance is not going to be a quick journey, but the current short term path of enforcing business to employ in strick racial criteria means that most SA businesses sit with a senior and middle management that are unqualified, and uninspired beyond personal gains.
    I believe there will be greater potential long term results by looking at other countries that are focussed on economic and skills developmental challenges – like Chile, who have recently brought about free education (at all levels) to all how show the capacity to learn.
    With almost half of our total population entering the job market in the next five years, we need to rapidly be growing jobs to avoid complete disaster.

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  15. Andre

     /  May 19, 2015

    Dear Mr Mashaba I sincerely hope that you read this reply as it could solve all the trouble that you went through as a child. I’m going to be improper and answer with a question. Why if apartheid South Africa was so bad your folks travel to SA for work and you yourself stole from white SA citizens? Why didn’t you and your people created your own wealth within Boputhatswana? I believe that you had all the man power and resources available right there in Bop. Still today government must apply BEE steal jobs from white South Africans. Thus the current regime is promoting theft on a large scale. Regarding your comment of tribalism, it is the only option for peace in this country. Zulu, Xhosa Sotho, Tswana all with their own country ruled by their own rules.

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  16. Dingaan

     /  May 20, 2015

    Time for excuses and sweet talk is long overdue. Time to foot the bill. Karma! Mugabe has been voted in as president. So they derserve what they got. The same applies for SA. There is one word that comes to mind …. “integrity”. Without it no civilisation can be build nor sustained. From my family members have been murdered by black racists. I left years ago. Grateful that I could. Problem is that the vermin is flogging to Europe as well. You cannot contain parasites. If women in their 80´s get raped and families murdered savagely …. sorry Africa look inside yourselves for the root of the problem.

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  17. evenflow

     /  May 21, 2015

    Herman great viewpoint!!!one can clearly see and attest to the attributes of a sucsessfull businessman……no matter the color of his skin…..is that he never blames others for his own short comings(and this is where majority of black South Africans falter)…..and im afraid its plain for all to see that Herman is indeed correct…..the only people who will detest this are those who within themselves feel inferior…….im afraid Herman it is a little too late as weve allready got another dictatorship in place just like all the other african states…..take your pick……the national grant sceme has set us all up for a massive disaster. In this current diaspora weve given reigns to a liberation struggle party who was never wanting or able to change….and trust me when i say this much…….in 30 years time apartheid will pale in comparisson to the failure which is the present day African National Congress and its grave consequences for both white and black South Africans yet to materialize.

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  18. laurent riviere

     /  May 22, 2015

    Excellent article – simply because it is 100% fact.

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  19. A B de Wet

     /  May 24, 2015

    Brilliantly balanced article!
    Institutionalised apartheid was the result caused by laws / legislation by parliament….. and the beginning of the end for the previous “regime.” Rejected by the Western world too.
    The current ANC reliance on negative legislation, as if it is the magic solution, will have even worse and more destructive consequences for our country. People will hopefully reject it sooner or later.
    Enacting bad laws is the foundation for bad governance, regardless of who does it……as was said: Power corrupts and absolute power, corrupts absolutely…..
    Sadly, Zuma’s corrupt immediate support is still very extensive at the top and time is running out for appropriate remedial action.
    Another high price is going to be paid. Can we afford it ??
    Ane B

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  20. Norman Klein

     /  May 25, 2015

    Certainly job creation in my opinion, is the major weapon in the fight against poverty and the goal of a prosperous economy. The key is to follow an example that worked to provide hundreds of thousands of jobs in South Korea in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The solution they implemented successfully was to ban all imports of products that could be manufactured within the country, rather than importing them from elsewhere. Basic industries like clothing, textiles, footwear and many other labour intensive industries would be so protected, creating a multiplier effect through the employment of tens of thousands of workers. The ban would extend for a period until the said industries were sufficiently able to withstand competition from foreign sources.

    Bear in mind that still today, China has high tariffs on imported goods and is infamous for the difficulty in penetrating their market.

    It’s simply not enough to just ban imports. In addition all stakeholders including the unions, employer associations and the government need to determine a comprehensive strategy, including issues of inequality, wage compression, restraining aggressive unions while providing workers and their unions be part of the ownership of the corporations in the industries so regulated. This works well in certain industries in Germany. Critical thinking is necessary but strong government leadership is a necessity.

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  21. Peter

     /  May 26, 2015

    I would like to share my 2 cent with everybody and I’ll use a differet approach by simplifying the complexity of the problems we’re experiencing. Let’s analyse and use simple English and simple facts. For I believe no matter how complex the problems are, the easiest and best way to tackle it is to simplify it by break things down and try and find the root causes and then formulate solutions.

    The key word to success in every thing is ‘productivity’. Let’s take a look at advanced countries and try and see how they succeeded in national stability and healthy economy. For a country to succeed and its people happy, it’s all about productivity. The government is responsible for creating a healthy environment for the economy to grow, create enough jobs and keep unemployment low so people can feel safe and concentrate on contributing their skills in their field. Sadly I don’t see any of this in the current South Africa. After 21 years of leadership by the ANC, I really can not be optimistic about the future of this nation. People say we’re still trying to eradicate inequalities and all other negative consequences that was brought by apartheid and even colonialism if one wants to look deeper into the horrifying history of Africa where this land was exploited by foreigh invaders. But in my opinion, although all the hardships were real, but that doesn’t take away the fact that 21 years is long enough to prove that the ANC is not capable of ruling this country and its policies thus far will end up in failure, simply because they have absolutely no idea how to really improve people’s lives and bring this nation forward. If we really look for the root cause of the colonialism, apartheid and the neo colonialism that some government officials are claiming which is currently taking place. I say the answer, the root cause, the core of the problem, is simply because ‘they can’. They can because we’re not strong enough to protect ourselves. Come on people, the world is a cruel place, if you don’t progress, the others don’t wait. the world evolved so much in the last 200 years and it’s changing ever faster, at the same time the world is also getting smaller due to advancement in transportation technologies and globalisation. If we were in their place and there are resources in other countries up for grab and it’s easy picking as we’re far more advanced then them, wouldn’t we do it too? Hard to say. Although colonilaism is the product of the 1800’s and would probably never to be repeated, the war is still going on, in the invisible way of business. Different type of war, but the root cause is simply because ‘they can’. One can say this isn’t fair and calling the west and the Chinese evil. But life was never fair. Some people born more intelligent than the others, some born richer than others. What is fair in life? In fact, in some ways, we need to be thankful to the British as it was them that put in quality infrastructure which serves the foundation of our nation. Our neighbouring countries weren’t so lucky. The British you see, they thought they were here to stay, so they made certain efforts in good roads and sewerage system to name a couple in this aspect. Our roads used to be among the best in the world, and in cases of heavy rain, we don’t get floods. Thanks to the people that brought oppression as they laid a good foundation. For our African neighbours that were colonised by other European countries, they were worse off, far worse. I’m not singing praises and agreeing what they did, for I agree it was wrong. But I’m simply looking at the facts.

    Allow me to make a comparison between us and our new enemy, China, who is trying neo colonialism on us. China and us have some similarities in the sense that they also went through their fair deal of hardships. Although situations and factors may differ, but after several wars and exploition by the western nations in the early 1900, China was broken and in deep poverty. They even had more mouthes to feed than us as a nation as they have a bigger population. Everything was broken and torn during the war. I’m sure things were just as bad as how we were. They did not start to really change until the 70’s as they decided that it’s in the people’s interest that they need to apply some form of capitalism as they realised that the approach of communism and socialism isn’t going to feed the people. At first there were heated debates that went on for quite a few years inside the leadership with regards to this huge change in this radical change as capitalism was the exact system they despised and criticised. But they made that tough decisions and moved forward. And now only in decades they have turned around and became the 2nd largest economy in the world and it’s still improving at a healthy rate. It’s due to good governance and the strong work force that formed the back bone of the induatrial movement and it was a collective effort of the Chinese people that the situation could be turned around in an unprecedented amount of time. Here I ask, if they can do it, why can’t we? What is different here? Or should I ask, what did they do that we didn’t do?

    Some might say that our situation in complicated, and it’s difficult to heal the wounds from the past. I agree but let’s simplified and look for the root cause. I would like to talk about the government and the general public separately. Although it’s simple enough to see that how a nation performs depends on the joint effort by the government anf it’s people, as they are inter-related. But it would be easier to see what went wrong if we seperate the two and discuss about them seperately.

    So what is the problem we’re experiencing with regards to our government? What’s wrong? I’m sad to say in my opinion, nothing is right. Everything is failing. Everything. In 1994 when the ANC took over by the choice of people, carrying people’s hope on their back that finally better days have come. Everything was working in 1994. What do we have now? Load sheeding. Corruption. Municipalities on the verge of bankruptcy. Crime. Inflation. Umemployment. Most people are still poor anf feels more hopeless now as we have democracy now and we chose the ANC as representative of the people. Because they promised that they will change things for the better. But what have they achieved? Not much. One can’t blame the press for reporting bad news only as not too many good news are there for them to report. And what is the root problem of the this incapable government? Why are they corrupted? Don’t they know people are still suffering? The simple answer is once again, because ‘they can’. Because there are no legislation to prevent this from happening. And there is no consequences. As long as people are still voting for them, they are free to do whatever. When this government is confronted, instead of getting up and do something about it, they do 1 thing and 1 thing only. They blame it on the past and others but themselves. Corruption and nepotism is rampant in the current leadership. Let’s again look at how the advance countries do it. The major leaders of the leadership are required to declare their assets. Not only theirs alone but their immediate family too. Their family and themselves are barred from getting any government tenders and contracts as it leads to conflict of interests because the policies are easily manipulated for their personal gain. Donations in anyform need to be transparent for public scrutiny and need to be limited to a certain amount stipulated by the Constitution. There must also be a inspection body/entity within the government that is independent and free from political influence when there’s need for prosecution. There should also be a legislation for mechanism for the people to start a referendum to unseat the current leadership while they are still in their legal terms of office. People need to realize that we have the rights to demand proper leadership out of our leaders. Our elected President is also a public servent just like a regular policeman who can not be immune from any criminality. He should be a role model of all the government officials and municipal employees and always follow the correct codes of conduct. And what do we have in SA? None of the above. And it’s all because we gave them so much power, so much that they’ll do as they please and bypass any appropriate punishment for their crime. Not only they’re corrupted, they even have the audacity to huge salary and bonus increase for failing at their jobs. Our government officials and head of state owned enterprises are among the highest paid politicians in the world. Simply look at the resent media report of salaries of the CEO and co’s of ESKOM where the CEO received around 60 million rands in total per year for dismally failing at his job. I simply can not see why we should pay these people so much. We need to stand up and do something. We need to start demanding our leaders to do us right. We have the right to demand them. And they’re doing all this simply because ‘they can’. Mr. Mashaba, if I have the honour of you reading my post, if your party is our saviour in this dark time, if your party really care about the people and will work hard at keeping the promises you are making to the people, I urge you to step forward and set the example by raising the standard of the integrity that leaders of the people should have. Come forward and promise that the DA do not promote corruption like the ANC. Promise that the DA will be accounted for fulfilling the promises they make and if they don’t fulfill their promises to the people, they will consequently step down. If the country should move forward, we need to have leaders that have a vision of a better future for the people. These problems we’re experiencing with the current government are not new. Let’s learn for more advanced countries and start demanding our politicians. In Japan, politicians automatically send in his resignation as soon as the media report of a suspected fraud by this particular person and this person will resign before it’s confirmed. Our leaders need to realize that they are public figures and role models of the nation’s youth. In USA, if politicians have a scandal of affairs, they will automatically resign as their political parties promote family values. That’s integrity. What do we have here in SA? Politicians having several wives and huge number of children. They even speak about it proudly and openly because it’s their heritage while we pay for their spending.

    Now we look at our people. Anyone who owns a business will surely run into problems with his employees. Arrive at work late, poor attitude, not performing like they should, poor attitude are common. Frequent stricks and powerful union leads to legislation that protect under performing employees and not protecting rights of the employer. SA is notoriously known by the world for poor quality of work force and hostile and violent citizens. This is the real reason why foreign investors are reluctant to open factories in SA. Our policies are also difficult towards these people and it’s these people that could bring jobs. Our government is so useless in improving unemployment by the means of setting up jobs, they policies are pushing people away from investment in the industrial sector. Poor governance shown in the ability in controlling fluctuations of our currency, which is another reason why international investors. The fluctuation also is the cause of our constant high inflation. Since 1994 the ta

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  22. Lina Lizzi

     /  May 30, 2015

    My parents were also poor, and after WWII grew up starving, literally. However they did not have anyone to blame. They were born in Europe, and finished their schooling young to go work. My mother at 13, my father at 17. They went to work in the fields, collecting hay, feeding chickens and rabbits of which they lived, and growing vegetable gardens. My Father worked first in France, and then had to Travel to South Africa to find work. Much like the African immigrants now. The difference is that they had no one to blame! No one to steal food from, and they would never have done so. You end up hating the people you blame for your misfortunes, not because they are to blame, but because you don’t want to take responsibility for your own life. It’s always someone else’s fault. You all need to grow up, because in your infantile mind you end up electing clowns like Zuma, and turning this country into the next Zimbabwe.

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  23. siya

     /  June 4, 2015

    Most whites are rich and most blacks are poor.We need affirmative action.It also favours women and the disabled.There are plenty of jobs for white males overseas.

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    • DJ

       /  June 4, 2015

      There are approx 4.5 Million Whites in S.A with almost a 600 000 living squatters camps. That leaves just under 4 million. With-in that 4 million 400 000 are with-in the very wealthy group with HNWI sitting at +-32000. The balance is made up of non-working age, lower class & middle class.
      Now there are 45 Million Black people (Excluding coloured & indian folk). The black middle class is sitting at about 10.7 Million (That is twice the entire white population). The HNWI is around 45000 (Also more than the white HNWI)
      While HNWI amongst whites has declined 13% between 2004 & 2014, HNWI has risen by 113% amongst black people.
      So you figure that most white people are rich and most black people are poor.
      You want to base everything on ratio’s?….well well….clearly the largest portion of the population cannot think that there is a limitation to sustainability by a country as small as South Africa……Even if every white person had to up & leave, there would still be millions of poor blacks……Black people need to stop breeding!!!

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  24. Fuck’em. Black are dependent on the government because their culture doesn’t allow them to think for themselves. Their into aid, not into trade. ‘n Boer maak ‘n plan. We don’t need the government. Besides if you are into racism. You have to stand in awe at the amount of suppression the black community is undergoing under the rule of their chosen government. In my personal opinion. White government is shit, Black government is shit. I think we need 4 years without a government.

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  25. Poor bastard . Life is hard try been a White farmer in Zimbabie . Lost the lot . Left with a10year old fridge and a bakkie . Had to shoot my dogs . Magabie and his thugs took everything . Farm ,funds ,farnming equipment . Etc . Shot my neighbour . When I went to the police after my farm was set alight . I was told by the police to flee or I would be next . My family went back to 1890 . The sad thing I see the same thing now happening in SAfrica . Corruption ,theft ,murder and the youth been thought to blame the whites . They where not even born when Apartheid was around . No work for them . Zuma and his cronies ( Indian ) will strip the place like Zim . I had to tarted all over again in Australia , a civilised place .What we had in Zim we have replaced 10 times with proper money and a future for our children .
    No Black empowerment here ,no corruption . To get into politics here you cannot have a criminal record . Not like S Africa there it’s a qualification .Very sorry for you mate . How much have you given to your fellow blacks? . Nil ? . You drive the bus now and have every opportunity but still blame the whites for your sorry upbringing .Try been a young Afrikaans white and see what opportunities you will have .They are pouring into Australia . Farming ,police ,mining , road building . I know construction Companies building roads and bridges who only employ young S Africans and Zimbarbians .Goodluck mate . Have fun whilst It lasts Your currency will go like Zim Fcked Mike

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  1. BEE and AA to drag SA into dark ages | Banana ZA
  2. Because even in complaining there is an ‘om’ | Word to Your Mother

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