Why does the ANC despise poor people? Why is it so determined to shut them out of the formal economy? President Ramaphosa’s recent speech on the government’s economic recovery plan included no measure for letting poor people get jobs working for other poor people. Why? The answer can be seen in the history of Africa after the European colonists handed over power to Africans.

The most striking feature of independent Africa is the contempt the African ruling classes show for the African masses. Class distinction is a fact of all human societies (and many animal societies, too) but nowhere is class distinction more acute than in black Africa.

Under colonialism there was a gap between the white rulers and the ordinary people; under independence this widened to a chasm between the ruling class and ordinary people. The incoming black rulers mimicked the superior ways of the white rulers, but much more so. Ian Smith as ruler of Rhodesia rode around in an old Peugeot; Robert Mugabe as ruler of Zimbabwe rode around in a fleet of Mercedes with motorbike outriders to drive the common people out of his way.

Not only were the black rulers highly acquisitive but also desperately keen for high-class status to separate themselves from the working classes. It is the same in South Africa under the African National Congress (ANC).

The black ruling classes send their own children to posh schools with white teachers but send black working-class children to poor schools with black teachers. The ruling classes live in suburbs and use private transport; the working classes live in townships and slums and use public transport. The black ruling classes control the formal economy and shut poor black people out of it, forcing them into the informal economy or unemployment. Throughout Africa there is huge unemployment and a huge informal sector. There is a massive public sector, where an army of bureaucrats owes its salaries to the government, and is accordingly subservient. The formal private sector is small, regarded with suspicion by the ruling party and highly regulated to stop poor people joining it.

Industry is shrinking

In South Africa, economic growth is low, unemployment is rising and industry is shrinking. We know how to remedy all of these problems. Country after country in the Far East have shown how. This is why Japan, China, Singapore and South Korea are much more advanced than African countries, and why Vietnam is going the same way. Free the economy. Remove the chains and fetters that bind it. Get rid of strangling regulation. Scrap BEE (a form of official bribery to the ruling classes). Remove our destructive labour laws. Remove the minimum wage. Release the energy of our people. Allow the poor to join the formal economy. Allow poor black people to become employers.

There is an unholy alliance between the ANC government, big business and the trade unions to shut poor people out of the economy. The National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) brings the three together to plot against the poor. Bargaining councils are given legal power to force impossible conditions on poor employers. Only the rich, only the upper classes, may run businesses; only they may employ people. Small businesses are aborted before they are born.

Part of the reason is greed. The trade unions do not want poor people to compete for jobs against their members; they insist on compulsory high wages, which brings in more fees for the union leaders. Big business is happy to crush small competitors. But much of the reason is class. The ANC, the trade union bosses and university academics (black and white) shudder at the thought of poor, low class people becoming an independent economic force without regard for their social superiors. They are quite happy for a poor black parent to receive a social grant of R740 a month but refuse to allow the same parent to receive an income of R3 400 a month from a private job (the minimum wage is R3 500). This is because the grant comes from the ruling class, and the recipient should be accordingly grateful, whereas the R3 400 would come from some upstart low-class employer. I read a white academic saying that anybody who couldn’t pay the minimum wage had no right to be an employer. Only the upper classes had that right.

Too expensive

South Africa cannot run industries requiring skilled labour because we don’t have the skills (the ANC education system has killed them). And we cannot run industries requiring unskilled labour because it is too expensive. The answer is to allow employers and employees to make their own employment contracts on terms acceptable to both, free from government interference. As little factories and businesses using cheap labour become successful, unemployment will fall, wages will rise and in-house skills will be taught – exactly as happened in China and is happening now in Vietnam.

The main obstacle to this liberation of our economy is resistance from the ANC and the ruling classes of the economy.

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  1. Oh yes, let’s glorify Japan, China, Singapore and South Korea. Meanwhile, back at the ranch Japan restarted its economy after WW2 with an act of corporate espionage and theft of intellectual property by stealing the design of a Kodak camera and producing a cheaper version, China grew first through the use of political prisoners in factories then moved on to theft of intellectual property and countless copyright breaches as well as demanding technology transfers from any company wishing to do business in the country while workers were paid slave wages and treated even worse, Singapore is extremely highly taxed on one hand and a lot of financial shenanigans happen on the other, and South Korea’s economy was given to a handful of conglomerates who run it like they are feudal lords while politicians still get kickbacks. Have you ever lived on minimum wage or less? Have you ever protected people and property for R5.20 an hour then got cheated out of overtime? Have you ever received a salary increase of 50 cents or 1 rand an hour? Do you know what happens when you try to live on that poor excuse for a salary while being responsible for property worth more than R10 million and hundreds of human lives? Labour laws are quite rigid, that’s true. They need to be worked on, that’s true. The toxic threesome of government, unions and big business must be broken up and the legislative and regulatory hurdles that choke the life out of small businesses need to be removed- also true. But somewhere in there needs to be an understanding that minimum wage is not a barrier to creating employment. In fact, it is a sick joke and a fiction designed to make government, unions and employers feel good about themselves while workers live under terrible conditions and big shots take their families to Disneyworld. I say this because I know and this is what happens (the CEO of PSIRA, which regulates the private security industry, earns R3 million a year while at worst risking paper cuts), because earning minimum wage while delivering superior service and constant stress along with increasing health problems have been my companions ever since I was forced to leave the SA army because I told the truth.

  2. Do you know why the ANC keeps poor people like myself out of the economy? First, because of skin colour. Yes, ANC is racist and it is also quite fond of using the idea of victimhood on its electorate even after being in power for 26 years. Second, to lord it over tens of millions of others like the nomenklatura of communist countries did. Third, in order to maintain social discord and threaten those who have money with the rage of the countless poor because this is how the game of power is played.

  3. Why can’t this understanding be circulated amongst the poor. That is the problem with the opposition parties, they never get their message to the people that need to hear it.

    • Niel, opposition parties (the DA in particular) have no idea how to talk TO people. All they know is how to talk AT people. Look up on Youtube some videos of Helen Zille speaking to largely black crowds during the time when she was about to step down as DA leader. She gets all passionate about freedom, justice, prosperity and so on while the people’s eyes are glazed over because she used quite complicated words and spoke about abstract concepts instead of concrete steps her party was going to take in order to make that shebang come true. After that, look back at how the DA communicated during the run up to the last two elections and the stupid stunts with the billboards its top people pulled. Their approach and and methods of communication were detached from reality and the thinking patterns of the demographics they targeted. I’ve been to a few “town hall meetings” of the DA. They never explained beforehand quite what the agenda was and they were an utter disaster when people voiced some of their concerns. I told them straight- “Send volunteers into the townships, put up some container offices and help the people with everything from how to apply for an ID or grant to reporting potholes and lack of toilets. Let them see you help, show that you care. Not all of them will vote for you, but maybe enough will see that you care about making their lives better and come election time put their X next to the DA instead of the ANC.” Did they do even that little bit? No. When they weren’t trying to sell out their core constituency, DA politicians were content to sit in their offices or speak in front of some rent-a-crowd so that they’d get on TV. The results of sitting removed from the people speak for themselves even though the ANC has practically gift wrapped this country for the DA with its corruption and incompetence.

      • Well put. The DA and indeed all the parliamentarians are just part of the swamp: Quite happy to get a monthly fat salary – even during lock-down when not working (as if they ever do) and when everyone else out there were (and are) suffering. Pathetic.

        • The only ones I see doing anything about the stupid lockdown are the FF+. Last week, Pieter Groenewald introduced a private member’s bill to amend the Disaster Management Act so that there could be parliamentary oversight. Took them long enough, but the FF+ did what the DA did not do, and that is attempt to bring this horse manure show under some sort of supervision.

  4. NEDLAC (National Economic Development and Labour Council) is the SA version of NAZI (National Socialist German Workers’ Party/ Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei).

    Nazism needs a mass base for policies that are simultaneously anti-capitalist, race and/or religion) obsessed and nationalist. Blame, victim hood, entitlement and dependency on the state are the foundations of Nationalist Socialism.

    Thanks be that the ANC comrades are not as clever as Hitler and his wannabe ‘ubermensch’ gangsters.

  5. With reference to the ‘gap between rulers & ordinary people’ – no mention on what the standard of living was of ordinary people during the different periods of rulers?

  6. Completely agree. The DA’s biggest mistake. On the 16th October, Geordin Hill-Lewis brought out a video on Youtube asking people to follow a link, and object to the ANC bailing out SAA. Despite numerous people writing in asking where the link is, still no link 10 days later. If no one in the DA is bothered to watch their own videos and read the comments, how do they expect people to take them seriously.

    • Initially the links were there, all of the ‘main’ banks were featured. The DA had not done it’s homework. I tried my bank’s link, it took me to the customer access page. The other banks had similar results.
      Lack of attention to detail such as this does little to instill confidence.

    • why did you not contact the DA and point out the problem? Why do so many take pleasure in the failings of others?

  7. Missing somewhere along the line, the likes of Ian Smith didn’t need Security Guards costing many millions, money now deprived from majority voters – are the new rulers are scared of their electorate? They should be! But then again, come election time, same old……


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