By Matome Chiloane
In ‘My Country and the World’, the last leader of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev opined that: “History teaches us, that when the times are ripe for change and the government refuses or is unable to change, either society starts to decay or a revolution begins”.
This seems like the crossroads and, at the same time, the conundrum that the African National Congress (ANC) in Gauteng finds itself to be faced with.
Twenty three years into democracy the pundits and the ordinary people of Gauteng are feeling bold enough to foretell the death of the ANC in our Province. This was almost unimaginable just a decade ago.
There are already tell-tale signs that the demise of the ANC in Gauteng is nigh, and like the titanic it is headed straight for an iceberg.
I don’t know if our leaders have observed that our speeches are no longer received as biblical truths as it used to happen in the past. These days, social media, dinner table conversations, political rallies and even street corner conversations are characterised by serious dissection and, in many cases, ultimate rejection of our speeches as mere innuendo and specious assertions.
As the ANC in Gauteng, we have not been able to reproduce power in a manner which favours us, or the majority of Africans. Instead, political power in our ANC has been characterised *by the consistent augmentation by White Monopoly Capital and its POWER TO DEFINE.”
Hence, it was of no coincidence when our chairperson in Gauteng and our deputy chairperson, Paul Mashatile and David Makhura respectively, were bold enough to tell the world that White Monopoly Capital does not exist – when in actual fact they preside over a province which symbolises the horror and monstrosity of capital. Our Province is defined by disparities in wealth, income, skills and spatial settlement patters.
One need not look far but Alexandra township where the majority are poor and Black. And a mere stone throw away lies Sandton (also known as “the richest square mile in Africa”), where the majority are filthy rich and White.
By refuting the existence of White Monopoly Capital, the Chairperson and his Deputy are antithetically denying the South African socio-economic reality. They are also, equally denying South Africa’s concrete condition that is defined as colonisation of a special type, which informs the concept of the National Democratic Revolution (NDR) and the strategic context of why the ANC and its alliance partners deemed it necessary to define the global phenomenon of Monopoly Capital in South Africa with a racialised character.
It is inconceivable to say that in their attempt to sound lucid and honourable within their bloc, Mashatile and Makhura sound more like ahistorical revisionists who are not ashamed to deliberately distort and deny the scientific basis that seeks to charectarise and articulate the agenda and mechanical pillars that guide our National Democratic Revolution.”
The ANC’s Strategy and Tactics (2007) posited the NDR as “an act of addressing the national question: to create a united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic society.” The ‘national character’ of the NDR is therefore the resolution of the antagonistic contradictions between the oppressed majority and their oppressors; as well as the resolution of the national grievance arising from the colonial relations.
Among the central tasks of the NDR is the improvement of the quality of life of especially the poor, and also to ensure that in the medium to long-term, the place that individuals occupy in society is not defined by race. The opposite is the case in present day South Africa, where the poor are by definition mostly black, while the majority of the rich are by definition white.
As painful as it is to hear our own leaders denying the existence of White Monopoly Capital, it is important that we refuse to confine ourselves to semantics where we have to explain the historical enemy of our revolution. But what is important is to locate the root cause of the South African problem, which is defined by huge inequalities that are perpetuated by monopolies and their nemesis who happen to be White male executives.
Anton Lembede in his declaration on White supremacy reminds us: “The African people have been told time and again that they are babies, that they are an inferior race, that they cannot achieve anything worthwhile by themselves or without a white man as their “trustee” or “leader.” This insidious suggestion has poisoned their minds and has resulted in a pathological state of mind. Consequently the African has lost or is losing the sterling qualities of self-respect, self-confidence and self-reliance. Even in the political world, it is being suggested that Africans cannot organise themselves or make any progress without white “leaders.” Now I stand for the revolt against this psychological enslavement of my people. I strive for the eradication of this “Ja-Baas” mentality, which for centuries has been systematically and sublimely implanted into the minds of the Africans.”
Lembede who was the first president of the radical ANC Youth League (ANCYL) of 1944 warns us of “psychological enslavement”, where the oppressed wants to befriend the oppressor and becomes an agent of the same system he or she is trying to dismantle.
Lembede also teaches us that we must never be apologetic as and when we speak justice and this becomes imperitive as we wage a new generational mission against a very sophisticated enemy who keeps capital away from the African majority. It is the same capital that has deceptively crooked and captured many of our ANC leaders who are not even ashamed to distort, rewrite, ignore and erase our painful history.
Leaders whose art of lies tells us today that White Monopoly Capital does not exist, a subjective reality which permeate us to simplify the problem and respond to this questions:
(1) Does Capital exist? Yes it does.
(2) Is it spread equally amongst the people of all races? No.
(3) Is there a particular group who control it? Yes.
(4) Who are they? Whites.
So we can safely say there is a monopolised capital which is owned and controlled by White people. We can further problamatise these questions by asking if these monopolies influence governance. And, the answer is no. In fact they actually control government. This becomes more explicit if one looks not only at ownership but also the structure of the economy where more than 90% of the wealth of the country remains in White and foreign hands. The first top 20 listed companies at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange per capital are controlled by Whites.
This reality leads us to a logical conclusion which is; there exists a monopolised capital which is owned and controlled by White people. Furthermore, the undisputable facts are that we have resources and the people who have a monopoly over our resources are Whites.
The is no other racial group in South Africa which owns the means of production of this country, it is Whites in the main who continue to immensely benefit not only from the private sector but also from the state which protects such gains through legislations such as the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act (PPPFA) and Construction Industry Development Board Act (CIDB) as well as manipulative operations such as collusions which are meant to exclude Africans and South Africans in general from participating in the mainstream economy. They protect these parasitic cartels from being persecuted for their criminal activities.
It is an injustice if not a crime and a betrayal to the South African Constitution and its people that 23 years after democracy that, firstly, the Chamber of Mines which protects the interests of mining houses are taking the South African government to court for proposing that companies must be 30% black-owned – a deliberate attempt to exclude Black people from participating in the industry. This is as if the land which this minerals are extracted belong to this mines. And, secondly, black ownership of the financial sector in total assets remains less than 1% in a system where participation in the banking sector, for instance, is limited by regulations and classifications that make it extremely difficult for Black entrants to enter or compete.
In fact, we should be advising Mashatile and Makhura that by gate keeping access to capital, White Monopoly Capital has created a bad basis for a consensus within the ANC: it should have been anticipated well in advance that Political Power devoid of Economic Power will be a precursor to corruption, patronage and all other illnesses associated with incumbency. They should equally understand that the state with its limited resources will not be able to cater for the Millions of South Africans and could only realistically benefit a small elite like themselves.
It is within this context that White Monopoly Capital would want to continue controlling and dividing the ANC elite as it continues to reproduce the same economic patterns of racial ownership. White Monopoly Capital deliberately suffocates growth and inhabits employment through dirty tricks like hoarding large sums of cash and related criminal activities, as it sets in motion the demise of the ANC. These patterns which reproduce inequality make our people to blame and to turn against their beloved organisation whilst the ANC political elites continue to fight each other over the limited state resources. The elites also continue to be surrogates of monopolies who deliberately exclude them from participating in the mainstream economy.
Another phenomenon that we evidently see in Gauteng is that Whites and their mainstream media sing praises of the ANC-led provincial government and positing its leaders as paragons of truth and wisdom but punishing them in the polls. *By legitimising White supremacy and by denying the existence of White Monopoly Capital whilst clinging on to the remnants of our forebears who wanted to appease Whiteness and speak to its conscious.* Whiteness will celebrate and endorse Mashatile but that will be as far as his views about the existence of White Monopoly go and any change of heart will lead to attacks and vilification on his persona.
Lastly, it is important as we head towards the 2019 elections to remind the leadership of Gauteng that White Monopoly Capital has never had the interest of the ANC or Black people at heart, and want the ANC OUT OF POWER. Quite frankly, a word of caution to Mashatile and Makhura is that white supremacy merely uses our ANC in Gauteng to ensure it entrenches its influence in the upcoming national elective conference as a means to control the state and it will dump and vilify everybody as soon as the new leader is chosen.
Beware of the antics of White Monopoly Capital, it is anti-poor and anti-black and it will spit you as soon as it chews you.
Matome Chiloane is the ANC Youth League Chairperson in Gauteng