For politicians who have run out of road in resolving the issues that confront the country, the latest red herring in circulation is so-called white privilege.
Its promoters include bitter socialists like Terry Bell (City Press, May 13), the ANC, advocates of moderate anarchy like Julius Malema and, not to miss the red herring bus, Mmusi Maimane of the DA.
It is a historical reality that ruling classes always enjoy the privilege. Therefore, there can be no debate that whites were privileged under colonialism and apartheid. But that’s the past, It’s gone. It’s water under the bridge. No amount of hand-wringing can change that.
Instead, the question to be asked is: What purpose is served in demonising whites for a past they can’t change and a new white generation that had nothing to do with life before 1994?
How does that promote nation-building and racial harmony?
Of course, politically, the answer is very obvious: whites are being made scapegoats for the faults and failings of the new political rulers. That said, it is total claptrap to claim that white privilege has exacerbated black poverty and inequality. Here’s why:
- ANC restrictive labour policies have discouraged wider employment practices and hobbled economic growth. Whereas unemployment stood at 3,2 million in 1994, thanks to worldwide
sanctions and disinvestment promoted by the ANC, by 2017, after 23 years of liberated ANC rule, unemployment had grown to 8,3 million.
- Blacks have benefited hugely as a result of demographically based preferment policies on procurement and employment at the expense of minorities.
- Whereas the civil service was once white-dominated, it is now almost exclusively black.
- Statistics show that blacks now outnumber whites in the high-end living structure.
- Cadre deployment and state capture have done nothing to benefit the army of black unemployed.
- Education standards have declined under the ANC to the point where Dr Mamphela Ramphele (widow of Steve Biko) has remarked that Bantu education was better than what schools under the ANC are producing. Poor literacy and numeracy, thus, have further disadvantaged employment prospects.
History shows that the marginalisation of minorities produces two outcomes: emigration and/ or self-preservation. Thus, minorities in South Africa are increasingly entrepreneurial because employment opportunities in government and corporates are demographically limited by the new job reservation legislation.
Whereas minorities survive through their own initiative and enterprise, the biggest mistake the ANC has made in to promote the view that government is the source and solution for all social needs. Thus, socialist welfarism has now reduced 18 million to dependence on state grants for survival.
Black inequality and poverty existed before 1994. But its subsequent exacerbation and extenuation is entirely the result of the ANC’s socialist policies.
Sent into The Mercury and published, 14 May 2018.