IN ANC ALLIANCE WIDENING:
ISSUED BY BANTU HOLOMISA, MP
government's rationale for privatisation, which is a central element of Gear was
that it would render state enterprises profitable, stimulate growth, create more
jobs and realise a target of R18 billion from the proceeds of privatisation
during the 2000/2001 fiscal year with which to reduce the budget deficit.
It is common knowledge that the anticipated benefits of job creation and
profitability are still elusive. The process has been characterised by
massive job losses through retrenchments without corresponding substitutes
created elsewhere as a consequence thereof.
The beneficiaries of privatisation have been a selected few from the party elite
who have since become instant millionaires. Moreover, if the target of R18
billion does not materialise, the consequence will be diversion of expenditure
from other national priorities with disastrous effects for delivery.
The UDM has consistently reasoned against this approach and pointed out the
irony of a government which ascended to power on the promises of alleviating
poverty and joblessness and correcting historical imbalances, now pursues
conservative neo-liberal policies which put profits and enrichment of a few
above people's needs. The rich become richer and the poor are relegated to
unparalleled levels of poverty. The high levels of corruption and mismanagement
have further exacerbated the problems of privatisation to the detriment of the
disadvantaged who should have been the prime beneficiaries of any re-structuring
program in the post-apartheid era.
The contradictions of an alliance government, which embraces policies that are
inimical to the interests of one of its partners, COSATU, are sharpening at an
accelerated pace. Some of the leading lights of the SACP, ostensibly a workers'
party are at the driving seat of an economic policy which negates the interests
of the poor whom they claim to represent. The SACP and COSATU face difficult
choices, either to swim with the neo-liberal tide, or jettison the ship and
assume their historic roles of championing workers interests in their respective
situational capacities. I.e. SACP should disengage from a conservative
government and take an independent path in-keeping with their political and
economic orientation, while COSATU should depoliticise and direct its energies
to fighting workers' issues outside party-political affiliations. The SACP must
not parasitically survive from an unholy alliance with the ANC. They are strange
bedfellows whose only common denominator is the gravy train. Sadly, the interest
of the poor are sacrificed at the tables of conspicuous consumption in both
communist and ANC camps.
The Minister of Finance must come out into the open and tell the nation where it
will recover the targeted R18 billion if it is not realized from the proceeds of
privatisation during the current financial year.
082 552 4156
24 July 2001