The Running Commentary

Julius fails to see that Nationalism is not economic freedom!

“Mandela and his generation said freedom in our lifetime, and we want to declare today economic freedom in our lifetime,” Malema said.

The quote above seems to be really inspiring and came at the end of a speech that Julius Malema gave today at the Drakenstein Prison, near Paarl. The problem is that the beginning part of the speech was supporting nationalism, and the fact that he drew Nelson Mandel into the mix. 

This call has now been sounded on a number of occasions.  Many people simply fob it off as the mutterings of Julius, but I do want to sound a bit of a warning. Fundamentally Julius Malema is getting it wrong in terms of the nationalism debate.  Nationalism makes sense when there is exploitation of a country’s resources at the expense of its citizens, it should never be confused with greed and getting “our hands on the cash”.

Julius Malema believes that the mining houses are exploiting the people and if we nationalized them, that it would be better for all involved.  This would spell almost certain disaster in terms of the very people he seeks to help.  Our mines have one of the largest cost bases, in the world in terms of mining and by nationalizing them the government would be forced into plunging millions, if not billions, into them. 

The workers mistakenly will expect higher wages; they are being told that they will come from the massive profits being generated. The profits being generated are there because of careful management of the resources and time.  Simply nationalizing without having the correct management in place will result in the deterioration of profit.  The workers may get a temporary jump in the wages, but this will increase the cost.  The increased cost will make us uncompetitive and we will lose the income stream

Simply put we need responsible political figures to step-up to the plate and halt this man from making these types of speeches.  He is creating huge expectations that are not going to be able to be delivered on, thus disappointing people once more.

As we celebrate the release of Nelson Mandela, some 20 years ago today, it is important for our politicians to start to show maturity.  They need to be, increasingly, held accountable for their actions and words.  I believe that the electorate is starting to do this and hope to see this come to the fore in the years ahead.  The SONA (State of the Nation Address) is going out soon and we will see if Jacob Zuma has the courage to say that we have not delivered? We wait to see what plans are going to be forthcoming to deliver the growth required. We wait to see how the office bearers who have failed to deliver are going to be dealt with?

I remain ever positive about this great country of ours and I urge to you remain the same!!

ANCANCYLDAIDJacob ZumaJulius MalemaSouth Africa

Mike • February 11, 2010

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