Picture: 123RF/Edhar Yuralaits
Picture: 123RF/Edhar Yuralaits

There is an oft-expressed assumption in the debate ravaging the DA — namely that the liberal grouping represents narrow interests, while the BEE grouping supports diversity and transformation. This assumption is incorrect. The liberal side espouses input-based restitution, while their opponents see quotas or headcounts as the way forward.

However, it is the headcount side that serves narrow interests, as they ensure that black people do not gain competence. Regarding people as numbers reduces them to mere deployees and leaves the field clear for rent-seeking opportunists exploiting the resultant patronage networks.

It is in fact the liberal side that serves the broader interests of society. Rather than playing with numbers, they realise that global competence arises from open competition, with concentration on input assistance in the form of education and training. Meaningful outcomes cannot be achieved by decrees and race quotas. Outcomes in the economy, as in sport, are won on the field.

Predominance on the economic playing field entails skills and endeavour. These qualities cannot be instilled by politicians, they are born of open competition. Ask any sportsman.

Willem Cronje, Via e-mail 

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