Sandile Memela
Sandile Memela

Let the miners eat cake, too

Ask any person if they’d like to see an end to rampant corruption and inequality and I bet that if they’re sane and moral they’d answer a resounding “yes!”

Corruption has been rated as the biggest scourge afflicting our fledgling democracy. What I don’t understand is why economic inequality is not treated with the same contempt and disdain. It’s economic inequality that leads to corruption because those who have nothing or less desire more.

Ask the same person if they’d like to fight corruption as active citizens and I’m pretty sure that not only would they mumble helplessness but the answer would be “no!” It’s not their problem and they’ll claim to be too busy.

I’m sure you’re aware that I’m referring to you, dear reader. Most of us are good at pointing out the problem but aren’t yet ready to do anything to find solutions.

The issue of corruption and economic inequality should, rightly, cause outrage among citizens. In fact it should be the rallying cry for the new struggle. Until these twin problems of corruption and economic inequality are confronted with the same vigour, there will be no peace or harmony in our beautiful land.

Let me clarify – it’s not the ministers, MECs, mayors, senior and junior government officials who are solely responsible for corruption in society. If men and women live in a money-driven society that measures happiness and success with what money can buy, any conventional man or woman will succumb to the temptation to steal or be corrupt, if they can. This is no justification. But the point is corruption thrives in a dog-eat-dog world.

Far too many good men and women do nothing about corruption and inequality. Instead they prefer to keep silent in the face of evil. Too few men and women are recognised as national heroes for their public stance against corruption. In fact far too few are willing to even be whistle-blowers. The culture is: “It’s not my business.”

Over the past few months the mining sector has witnessed deep rumbles of discontent that have not only exploded into violence, murder and death but tarnished the international image and profile of SA’s future and the economy. Though we are aware of what happened, not many have bothered to establish why the miners chose this aggressive and violent path that borders on self-destruction.

I’m sure some might be familiar with the unhappiness over the alleged closeness of the Cosatu-affiliated National Union of Mineworkers to mine management. In a strange twist of events reports suggest that Cosatu is now considered a sweetheart union with lots of investments. Interestingly the story that’s emerging is that workers have lost faith in a leadership that’s in the pockets of management and thus prefer to take the bull by the horns.

But what escapes most people is the fact that the mining sector is an example of the perpetuation of economic inequality. No matter what arguments are forwarded in the name of affirmative action or black economic empowerment, this does not take away the injustice and inequality that prevails in the sector. Far too few enjoy the benefits and wealth accrued from mining while too many are suffering.

Those who support the status quo will tell you that investors have every right to rake in money for what they’ve put into the sector. This is mostly done at the expense of the workers. Those against profit-driven behaviour rekindle the Freedom Charter that all people shall share in the country’s riches and push for using the profits to promote social cohesion, justice and equality. After all we are striving for a just and equal society as espoused in the Constitution.

But ever since the discovery of diamonds and gold, the mining sector has epitomised capitalist greed and the promotion of economic inequality and social injustice. This is a serious threat to the stability of our hard-fought for democracy and freedom.

I’m firmly in the against camp on this and not embarrassed to say workers have every right to not only stand up for their rights but defy and challenge the perpetuation of economic inequality.

If these self-sacrificing men, women, children and families were provided with decent living conditions that offer them a chance to a life of dignity and decency, I would not have a problem with mine bosses and executives earning R56-million a year. But when this happens 18 years into freedom where African workers are condemned to live in pigsty conditions, then it’s time to draw a line in the sand. We must reject everything that perpetuates this and breathes new life into apartheid.

I’m not pleased to read that mining companies are willy-nilly firing workers for demanding higher wages. This is a development we cannot afford. I’m also not pleased that the courts give the mining companies the legal right to implement these harsh steps. It does not make things easier in terms of taking us forward.

What I know is that it’s the working class that has – through self-sacrifice, passion and commitment – delivered the new society we all live in today. There would be no freedom and democracy if the workers did not play a vanguard role in the struggle to establish a just society.

What we’re witnessing at the mines is resistance not only to exploitation but economic inequality that sees a few blacks getting richer and richer at the expense of the hardworking men and women who cannot even provide decent shelter, clothing and food for their families. The brutal display of power by the mines and force by the state cannot deny that the mining sector is the epitome of economic inequality.

Of course there will be no nationalising of the mines and it’s perfectly understood that this is government policy. But perhaps if we were to give decent and dignified wages, shelter, food and living conditions we could say we were making progress. This society will always be judged by how it treats its miners. It’s time the miners ate cake, too, rather than just sweetened water and dry bread. The mining houses must be judged.

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  • 33 Responses to “Let the miners eat cake, too”

    1. Gavin #

      On the subject of economic equality…

      I notice that you have written a book and it is available for R150. I have been to book stores recently are there are some books that cost as little as R12.95. How can you justify charging so much?

      October 23, 2012 at 2:33 pm
    2. Rich Brauer #

      If the issue is inequality and obscenely high salaries, the answer is simple and obvious.

      Increase the marginal rate as incomes increase. You make R1 million? Ok, you pay 50%. R2 million? 60% R3 million? 70%, etc. It disincentivizes these high salaries. It’s been tried and worked in many places.

      And yet I note that the government, led by a man making R2.5 million, hasn’t tabled such a proposition yet.

      Funny, that.

      October 23, 2012 at 5:05 pm
    3. African #

      Wise words, but not entirely true. “It’s economic inequality that leads to corruption because those who have nothing or less desire more.” Not correct. There are many countries and people – especially in Africa – who are much poorer than even the poor South Africans. But they are far less corrupt. Countries in Asia and South America have many, many poor people – but they are not corrupt. Secondly – the people who are corrupt in SA are not the poor – they are the political class, who are generally wealthy. They are the gangster class, the Wabenzi class, not the poor. Corruption is not a result of inequality. It is a result of immorality.

      October 23, 2012 at 6:05 pm
    4. African #

      ” If men and women live in a money-driven society that measures happiness and success with what money can buy, any conventional man or woman will succumb to the temptation to steal or be corrupt, if they can. ” Not entirely true. Many societies value success and the fact that with success come the monetary rewards of being successful. An excellent surgeon or worker should be paid well. But it is not true to conflate this with causing any man or woman to steal and become corrupt. You have ignored the fact that some money-driven societies believe in hard work, talent and individual effort, and that work, talent and effort are rewarded by money, if you do yout job well. It is a lazy argument to say that a society that rewards success encourages corruption. In fact, the converse may be true – a society that rewards the lazy and indolent with wealth (SA politicians for instance), and that has ‘faux socialist’ thinking is far more likely to create corruption. Because in these societies, wealth is never a reward for hard work.

      October 23, 2012 at 6:12 pm
    5. African #

      ” If men and women live in a money-driven society that measures happiness and success with what money can buy, any conventional man or woman will succumb to the temptation to steal or be corrupt, if they can. ” Not entirely true. Many societies value success and the fact that with success come the monetary rewards of being successful. An excellent surgeon or worker should be paid well. But it is not true to conflate this with causing any man or woman to steal and become corrupt. You have ignored the fact that some money-driven societies believe in hard work, talent and individual effort, and that work, talent and effort are rewarded by money, if you do your job well. It is a lazy argument to say that a society that rewards success encourages corruption. In fact, the converse may be true – a society that rewards the lazy and indolent with wealth (SA politicians for instance), and that has ‘faux socialist’ thinking is far more likely to create corruption. Because in these societies, wealth is never a reward for hard work. And hard work is not a route to wealth.

      October 23, 2012 at 6:13 pm
    6. Worker #

      If inequality were truly the cause or corruption, then every time the average middle class person went into Sandton or Sea Point, he or she would instantly become corrupt. But it doesn’t work like that. They just go on working to pay off their average middle class life. Absolute – not relative – poverty is a disaster – no doubt about it. People who are homeless or starving desperately need help, and such poverty is a blot on society and needs to be eradicated. But ‘inequality’ is a much more difficult concept. I don’t expect to get paid the same as the CEO of Anglo American. If I did I would be stupid, envious or venal – unless I had the guts to know I would be as good as he or she in their job. And the bottom line is – most people aren’t.

      October 23, 2012 at 6:28 pm
    7. Bernpm #

      One of the answers to income inequality is “establishing a link” between the highest paid and lowest paid in an organisation.
      A potential contribution to reducing wage problems and hot wage negotiations is to split wage increments in inflation related and production/performance related increments.

      check: New economics for further info.

      October 23, 2012 at 6:40 pm
    8. Momma Cyndi #

      I keep asking this, but nobody can give me an answer:

      How was Lonmin supposed to ‘find’ over a billion Rand a year MORE than they were making on the bottom line, to pay for those salaries? I’d also like to know why a winch operator in a mine should get more money than an emergency room doctor who is probably still paying off his student loans?

      To be quite honest, I wouldn’t take the CEO’s job for that kind of money. It wouldn’t cover the Prozac and Galvascon required to deal with the mess of nonsense or the medical costs for the premature heart failure from stress.

      October 24, 2012 at 6:50 am
    9. enlighten #

      @Gavin

      Let Journalists be greedy, too.

      October 24, 2012 at 7:11 am
    10. Sandile Memela

      * Gavin. what has this got to do with the price of cheese?
      If you were to go to Exclusive Books, you would find that a book of that kind does not cost anything less than R250. We have cut back the extras to make it not only accessible but affordable.
      It is a book that is a unique celebration of the spirit of resistance, courage and resilience in the face of corporate exploitation and economic injustice. In fact, it is set in the context of the Living Wage workers’ struggle of the mid-1980s
      I dare anyone who does not find it worth the price to return it to be reimbursed. More than 500 readers who have bought it prefer to keep it. You should seriously consider buying 10 copies to give away as gifts now that the festive is upon us.
      As for books that cost as little as R12,95, you dont even get a bible for that price.
      The issue is economic justice for everyone, especially miners. Are you williing to fight for that

      October 24, 2012 at 8:03 am
    11. Mike #

      @Sandile,

      You clearly don’t understand economics and the concept of equality. Economic equality should mean that all citizens have an equal opportunity to participate economically. And that is all.
      In the USA, they call it the American Dream but it is the same dream everywhere; a person from humble beginnings can make it big through hard work and personal ingenuity.
      We have achieved economic equality in SA, but due to political failure, it is easy to talk about equality as meaning an equitable distribution of money and resources.
      It is easier to tell an ill-educated electorate that they will be getting money for nothing, than it is to tell them to study harder, start their own businesses and to stop waiting for the mythical “state” to provide.
      This is what happens when you have communists in the government.

      October 24, 2012 at 9:56 am
    12. The Critical Cynic #

      Greed, poor moral conviction, a morally bankrupt spine, poor ethical upbringing, self-centredness,avarice, a sudden exposure to massive opportunity to self-enrich, a criminal mind, and let’s not forget ignorance, inexperience, and poorly qualified to do the job (e.g. of the correct way to manage public accounts) – these are the kind of things that contribute to an inability to distinguish between right and wrong and lead to corruption on the scale we are disgusted with. No doubt there is also the odd victim of extortion involved in corrupt activity,

      Economic inequality may lead the poor to take desperate measures to put food on the table, but the poor are rarely presented with the opportunity to be corrupt – the well connected people in positions of [often large] responsibility and decision making are usually the ones able to take advantage of the situation. The poor may be lured into or become involved in corrupt activities but they are rarely the source of the corruption.

      Woorldwide the wealthy are increasingly being regarded by the rest of society through a different filter, one that is trying to determine whether you made your money legitimately or not before you are to be afforded any respect. This should be of grave concern to the legitimately wealthy as the coming class war is unlikely to take the time to determine your moral fibre and legitimacy on your walk to the gillotine, your wealth alone will indict you.

      African and Worker – good valid points

      October 24, 2012 at 11:45 am
    13. Andy #

      If the point of a column is to engender debate, this is a good one. There are some points on which I disagree though. Firstly, recent studies (see: ‘Who Rules South Africa?’ by Martin Plaut and Paul Holden) suggest that most civil servants are aware of corruption and yet will not report it for fear of backlashes from their superiors.
      This does indeed come from a dog-eat-dog world-view, but such a view is engendered by the ANC through policies like cadre deployment. Civil servants are not appointed on merit but on political affiliation and the willingness to say the right things. Only when we live in a full meritocracy can we say it is the fault of civil society that we have a “It’s not my business” attitude.
      Another example is Parliament. MP’s are not accountable to their constituencies, but to the ruling party, so Parliament, which should be the centre of critical debate, is effectively muzzled. See Andrew Feinstein, Scopa and the Arms Deal if you don’t believe me.

      “The best lack all conviction, while the worst
      Are full of passionate intensity”

      does indeed apply to South Africa and her people, and the point you make should be noted well by all. I just think that you oversimplify a bit and feel we can point a legitimate finger at “ministers, MECs, mayors, senior and junior government officials” who consistently set the wrong example as leaders elected and the representative of the people.

      October 24, 2012 at 12:04 pm
    14. Rejoice Ngwenya #

      @ Gavin: Memela, like me, is a good capitalist. He invested intellectual ‘time’ in writing the book, so he has to make a profit – just like the mine owners! Then Sandile responds: “The issue is economic justice for everyone, especially miners. Are you williing to fight for that”. Reminds me of Julius Malema: “I am fighting for the cause of the poor!” Really?

      October 24, 2012 at 12:59 pm
    15. Sterling Ferguson #

      @Mike, in the US there was an American writer name James Cain who wrote four bestsellers and he claims that there are those that will work hard to go up the ladder, others will rob, steal, commit corruption, blackmail and even murder to go up the ladder. Two of his books were “Double Indemnity” and “Postman always ring twice” were big movies hits and many people called James Cain anti-America for writing these books. However, he said that this was going on in the US and he was writing about it. These books by James Cain and Raymond Chandler led to what the French called film Noirs in the US.

      You are right the society try to give as many people as possible an equal chance but, not everyone is going to be equal.

      October 24, 2012 at 1:10 pm
    16. The Creator #

      As a matter of fact, Sandile, the mining companies operating in South Africa are overwhelmingly owned by white people whose principal base is abroad — unless I’m mistaken, Lonmin is actually based in Australia. The figure of Cyril Ramaphosa is just a cardboard figurine behind which his actual employers can conveniently hide, thus blaming everything on corrupt blacks.

      Meanwhile, if you look at what has actually happened in the mining industry around Marikana, it started with a union — AMCU — which clearly did not have the capacity to sustain a strike muscling in on the NUM by making promises which it could not deliver on, then using violence to drive out the NUM’s organisers (how interesting that the mine security did not stop the workers from arming themselves) and then organising a mass unprotected walkout which led to the sacking of 30 000 workers so far — most of them former members of the NUM. Then AMCU pulled out, leaving the field to a handful of academic, middle-class Trotskyites from Joburg, who naturally did nothing but compound the mess and muddy the waters.

      In other words, the whole project has delivered the mine workers into the hands of the mine owners by wrecking their trade union and discrediting the whole process of negotiated collective bargaining. I don’t see this as a coincidence.

      October 24, 2012 at 2:33 pm
    17. Bilyc #

      I dont think anyone has mentioned that, besides the extent of corruption in some government Depts and Municipalities, everone has a snout on the troff in one way or another and therefore any whistleblower has 3 fingers pointed straight back at him/her. Add to this that more whistleblowers have been punished than defrauding cadres – most of whom are not even expected to pay back the money, but are redeployed and promoted (eg Ruth Bhengu/ Jacob Zuma). Whistleblowers have been killed in cases never prosecuted. Corruption cannot be condoned by any relativist morality Mr Mamela

      As far as COSATU cosying up to business, a strong case can be made that COSATU cadres have their eyes on top jobs in Government to have any attention span left for the hapless worker member. Just count the numbe of MP’s. Government managers and ambassadors have come straight from the ranks of COSATU, who should not be in the business of being part of the of the ruling party.

      Lets get some alternative perspective Mr Mamela

      1

      October 24, 2012 at 3:17 pm
    18. Linda #

      In a country like ours with one dominant corrupt party led by fat cats who build homesteads worth hundreds of millions in the sea of poverty using public money, volunteering of ordinary men and women in fighting corruption could be a tough proposition. Ask Vusi Pikoli.

      Moreover, the real intention should be asked of those who shout of corruption during the day while drinking wine with same people he calls hyenas. Equally, we should reject those who seek to plant confussion by blaming the victims of corruption for their supposed silence or the so called dog-eat-dog soceity while claiming not to justify corruption.

      Fact, SA is facing a bleak future. Corruption is eating away the very soul of this country. People such as Mr Memela who are supposed to lead the fight agianst corruption are speaking in tongues. Probably I am too naive to expect otherwise given that they are in the same corrupt inner circle.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:50 pm
    19. Bilyc #

      I dont think anyone has mentioned that, besides the extent of corruption in some government Depts and Municipalities, everone has a snout on the trough in one way or another and therefore any whistleblower has 3 fingers pointed straight back at him/her. Add to this that more whistleblowers have been punished than defrauding cadres – most of whom are not even expected to pay back the money, but are redeployed and promoted (eg Ruth Bhengu/ Jacob Zuma). Whistleblowers have been killed in cases never prosecuted. Corruption cannot be condoned by any relativist morality Mr Mamela

      As far as COSATU cosying up to business, a strong case can be made that COSATU cadres have their eyes on top jobs in Government to have any attention span left for the hapless worker member. Just count the numbe of MP’s. Government managers and ambassadors have come straight from the ranks of COSATU, who should not be in the business of being part of the of the ruling party.

      Lets get some alternative perspective Mr Mamela

      October 24, 2012 at 4:04 pm
    20. Edward #

      excellent sandile

      bravo. such insight.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:05 pm
    21. Momma Cyndi #

      The Creator

      Just a small note:
      Lonmin is a listed company. Its listing is on the London Stock Exchange. Its major shareholders are a company which is facing a takeover as we speak and various financial institutions. If you have an Old Mutual policy – you, dear Creator, are (by proxy) a shareholder in Lonmin :)

      October 24, 2012 at 4:16 pm
    22. SJ Botha #

      The so-called living wage is a sure way of bankrupting any society and business. It does not take profitability, nor productivity into account and therefore it is a flawed idea.

      In the end, democracy always leads to those who add least to the system, finding out they can vote themselves an income from those who add most. Yet again, a sure way to make any society fail.

      Crime and racism is the expression of the fact that different nation are forced together in a unity state against their will, thus leaving them without a sovereign state of their own. The moment such nation are sovereign, crime and racism for the most part disappear.

      We can get this done, but it seems the politicians are the only ones who stand in our way, so let us remove them and for once do what is right. It has been done in Sudan and is on the cards in Catalonia, Belgium and perhaps even Scotland.

      October 24, 2012 at 6:07 pm
    23. MLH #

      Sandile, you spend your life deflecting from the real issues. Which gives me reason to roll around on the floor laughing.

      As a government worker, I challenge you to look each of us in the eye and tell us honestly that you have never encountered a sniff of fraud and corruption within your own office building, Mr Civil Servant. But doubtless it’s not your problem and you’re too busy to do anything about it. Having worked in the public sector myself, I can say that state corruption is blatant and obvious; if nothing less, you should be pointing it out to the auditors when they do their annual rounds.

      Inequality is a fact (not necessarily bad) of life and the miners who’ve been striking were never as poor as some. Why on earth should they be ‘given’ homes? They are already getting housing allowances. Any sensible tribal chief would have slapped up an estate of small, but elegant houses and rented them out by the dozen…unless he knows his own people too well! They won’t pay their rent on time, they’ll trash the places and sub-let rooms to all and sundry…he knows.

      If there’s one company’s miners I really do believe have been cheated and treated abysmally, it’s Aurora’s, but why would you care about them. The present storm over Comrade Cyril’s behaviour, is nothing compared to that of Zuma’s nephew and Mandela’s grandson. Where were you when that little tea party was hitting the headlines?

      October 24, 2012 at 7:02 pm
    24. ntozakhona #

      Rejoice I am not great fan of the new Sandile and think the new material conditions have reshaped his political conciousness but to compare him to Malema for writing and selling a book is not just intellectual dishonesty but a display of a refusal to think.

      Even Mother Teressa sells the books she wrote to cover costs and generate an income for other projects. Reductionism is unhelpful as we seek to find solutions to problems created in order to degrade the humanity of others.

      October 24, 2012 at 11:41 pm
    25. Corruption in SA is contextual… “In particular, economies in transition, or those with high levels of inequality, may be especially prone to the “dark side of social capital” and may be trapped in a syndrome of distrust, in which cronyism and corruption can flourish (Holland, Beall, and Putzel in Maluccio, Haddad, and May, 1999).

      The antidote though; individual morality.

      October 25, 2012 at 8:55 am
    26. bewilderbeast #

      Mistake 1: “What I don’t understand is why economic inequality is not treated with the same contempt and disdain as corruption.”
      Oh but they are. They’re treated the same way by those who could effect a change: Both are simply ignored; Or tolerated; Or actively promoted.
      Mistake 2: “It’s economic inequality that leads to corruption because those who have nothing or less desire more.”
      You think the tenderpreneurs are based in the townships or shacks? I don’t. I think the looters are rich but want more.
      Sure, those that have nothing do desire more, but they generally look for a job – or resort to petty crime. They don’t arrange needless billion Rand projects with tenders written so only their amigos can land them.

      October 25, 2012 at 12:13 pm
    27. Sterling Ferguson #

      @Ntozakhona, what Sandile is not telling you that his publisher is the one marketing this book and not him. The bottom line is profit just like the record companies are selling DVDs to make a profit for their companies and the artists.

      October 25, 2012 at 2:08 pm
    28. Lennon #

      What’s changed for miners over the last 100 years? It sure hasn’t been their salaries.

      October 25, 2012 at 2:36 pm
    29. Sithonga #

      Kind of reminds of the 1900s in Great Britain and Ireland as detailed by authors like Alexander Cordell and we have our Mabone in Vavi. Below is an except from The Miners Next Step.

      “CONCILIATION AND LEADERS
      Here is perhaps after all our strongest indictment. The policy of “collective bargaining” will be dealt with later on. But we have here to point out why there is discontent with “leaders.” The policy of conciliation gives the real power of the men into the hands of a few leaders. Somebody says “What about conferences and ballots”? Conferences are only called, and ballots only taken when there is a difference of opinion between leaders. The conference or ballot is only a referee. Can this be denied? In the main, and on things that matter, the Executive have the supreme power. The workmen for a time look up to these men and when things are going well they idolise them. The employers respect them. Why? Because they have the men – the real power – in the hollow of their hands. They, the leaders, become “gentlemen,” they become M.P.’s and have considerable social prestige because of this power. Now when any man or men assume power of this description, we have a right to ask them to be infallible. That is the penalty, a just one too, of autocracy. When things go wrong, and we have shown that they have gone wrong, they deserve to be, and are blamed. What really is blameworthy, is the conciliation policy which demands leaders of this description. For a moment let us look…

      October 25, 2012 at 4:19 pm
    30. ntozakhona #

      Sterling, how does that make Sandile a hypocrite insinuated by Rejoice?

      October 25, 2012 at 8:08 pm
    31. jack sparrow #

      Sorry Sandile; I think you’ve missed the bus or, as I’m told others say, “the bus has left without you”.

      Aside from Lonmin’s, Cyril’s and NUM’s greed, Marikana has been created by you and your ANC pals. They love high earners because they can slip into their ranks unnoticed. Good profits mean plenty of tax money to steal (Nkandla) and monetary contributions by companies like Lonmin into local municipalities is easy to turn into Benz’s and bling. The uneasy balance of relatively high wages with large numbers of relatively poorly educated (thanks SADTU and ANC), semi skilled manual workers (rock drillers) keeps the NUM clerks happy. But it’s a toxic system. There are too many to be paid a truly decent wage, have little chance of upward mobility and are easy prey for loan sharks (thanks Pravin Gordhan), sangoma’s and agitators. Throw in poorly trained and equipped policemen (thanks ANC), heartless commanders (laughing and joking at the inquiry – Jimmy Kruger would be proud) and greedy cadres (take a bow Cyril) and you have a tragedy. Maybe think more?

      October 26, 2012 at 7:46 am
    32. Tofolux #

      Its no use berating the few blacks who are benefitting, what about those in the background who are using the blacks to fool all of us? Why is it that we do not ever go the issue of who continues to benefit from our state resources.This not only through benefication of jobs but through secondary industries as well. The workers and their demands are not the issue, they are at the end and gatvol of unfair practises of them working and not benefitting fairly. The issue is the lack of transformation in the mining sector. Why is it that the gross inequality of employment or equity is never discussed or raised for discussion in the phlethora of discussion fora? The disparity is alarming and yet complete silence from all our ”gurus” and ”dalai lamas”. I support that we must nationalise those sectors which will assist our developmental state in poverty alleviation, creating of jobs and revenue for developmental programmes. I do not support the idea that the workers are the ones to be blamed for their demise. In fact, why havent we brought criminal charges against the mining company which plunged this country into a mining unrest? There is no talk of accountability of these mining houses and like idiots we go around fingering the wrong suspects. Mining houses must be accountable to the state and not shareholders. They must lead on ALL programmes of jobs, equity, gender etc They should not be allowed to continue on this path in fact currently they should be treated as a…

      October 26, 2012 at 3:10 pm
    33. Brian B #

      The simplistic notion that economic inequality breeds corruption is disingenuous and self defeating.
      In South Africa corruption is one of the main causes of economic inequality. Examples of this are overpaid incompetent officials who fail to provide essential services to communities . An example of this is the infestation of Alexandria with rats because the local authorities are too useless to clean up the place exterminate the pests and apply effective basic health regulations.
      Numerous members of parliament and ministers of government have committed significant fraud, take bribes and enrich themselves at the nations expense and are then defended in court with tax payers money. School teachers who are on pay rolls but ar nowhere re to be found. Corrupt senior police who connive with criminals and land in jail.
      This culture of corruption is a cancer which is eating away at the soul of the country because the payment of bribes and embezzling public funds becomes the norm.
      Surely the wise people who wrote the Freedom Charter wanted the people to participate in the countries wealth in perpetuity , not plunder natural resources until they are depleted.
      A backlash is emerging however unless there is strong ethical leadership , that backlash will merely exacerbate existing inequalities.

      October 28, 2012 at 10:24 pm

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