It’s time to unleash private initiative – Cape Chamber – POLITICS
It’s time to remove the shackles of private initiative
July 15, 2021
It doesn’t matter that last week’s orgy of looting and destruction in Kwa-Zulu Natal and Gauteng was planned this way or simply took a life of its own due to massive youth unemployment, the mere behavior of the mobs. and common law criminality. The damage is done. Now we have to rebuild.
Let socialist academics, commentator politicians and other moralists add their money to the social media background noise. Nothing they can say will take away the thunder of common sense: only the private sector can get us out of the quagmire of incompetence and inefficiency into which we have plunged ourselves over the past two decades.
We had a wonderful start in 1994, with a truly democratic Constitution, and all the checks and balances that world experts have applauded – our Bill of Rights, our independent judiciary, our legal system, our modern economic sector and more. again.
We were hailed as a rainbow nation – a lesson to the world on how multicultural, multiracial and multilingual societies could be successful – the hope of an African continent that had seen so many failures. Less than 20 years later, what do we have? A state almost bankrupt. A hopelessly corrupt and inept political elite looked to a socialist experiment in the sense that failed everywhere in the world where it was attempted.
We have an epic local government failure and a country ranked among the lowest in the world on a number of surveys ranging from the performance of our ports, our railways, our airways, our economic growth rate, our levels of over-regulation of business, our sad excuse for public safety, clearly evident in our crime and murder rates, our unemployment – too long and too sad a list to continue here.
And now in KZN and Gauteng the inevitable result – an explosion of anarchy on a scale not seen since the dawn of our hard-won democracy; an orgy of looting, some aimed at causing maximum damage to the economy and key infrastructure, perhaps carefully planned and stoked for political reasons, but plunging into indiscriminate crime and geared towards animosity racial and even tribal.
But in this dark image that horrifies all lucid South Africans, there are glimmers. One of the brightest of these is how communities in the affected provinces have come together, often across racial lines, to protect each other’s premises and neighborhoods in order to prevent looting. spread further. In some of the hardest hit places, there has even been a spontaneous collection and return of looted items.
Perhaps best of all, there is a better understanding of the interrelationships between the provision of food, essential goods and services, and the appreciation that the blocking of roads and the attack and fire of vehicles from supplies create hunger, it does not solve it.
What we are seeing is a real community spirit, not the fabricated solidarity of the political mob or the common purpose of the looters. This, added to the entrepreneurial spirit for which South Africans of all colors, shapes and sizes are known the world over, is what we must harness for the task of recovery we face.
There is no mystery as to how this can be done. The solution does not lie in the ivory towers of university sociology departments where utopian theories reign over common sense. It is about freeing the human mind, giving it the freedom to make and sell things, to trade and build, to create a future for its owner and offspring, knowing that an honest day’s work will be not taxed to feed a gargantuan unproductive bureaucracy or be robbed by criminals.
Growing wealth doesn’t need endless extra government rules to exist. You need less. We can and must make the pie bigger. And we will, whether it takes a state of emergency to calm the waters or not, the solution for a better future is an unfettered private sector.
We need the protection and strengthening of private property rights more than ever; repeated demonstration and insistence that no one is above the law, especially corrupt politicians and officials.
We need to be seen as easing regulatory burdens on small and medium-sized businesses, such as license overload. We must end labor laws that protect a few at the expense of most people willing to work even for less than the national minimum wage.
We need to end threats of expropriation of private property without compensation, remove corporate taxes that only result in higher prices, and finally we need to have a complete overhaul of government thinking on a firm footing. equality with the one who pulled China out of ideologically imposed poverty in the premier league of world economies.
We have the people. We know how to do it. We must unleash the entrepreneurial spirit that South Africans have in abundance. It will be the fastest way out of the historic and economic deadlock in which we are trapped.
Now we must also reconsider the role of utopian socialist theories. If we do this, we can win the new battle that has drawn its lines in recent weeks – the fight between a free economy to create and distribute wealth on one side and the other – the forces of outdated social manipulation. and traditions as noble as they were centuries ago, now stand in the way of a growing population that must be nurtured and educated to compete in a highly competitive modern world that our ancestors could never have predicted.
Issued by Dean Le Grange, Media and Digital Coordinator, Cape Town Chamber of Commerce and Industry, July 15, 2021