LETTER: Colonially induced impoverishment is the problem
Isaah Mhlanga raises a pertinent point on the sheer lack of policy coherence in our country (“Policy coherence is still a pipe dream in SA”, September 2). This lack is indeed a political dilemma and obstruction to seamless service delivery. It is even further cascaded to the departmental operations with duplicated projects, an indication of lack of synergy.
However, Mhlanga’s recommendations leave much to be desired. How could being paid R1,300 a month eradicate poverty? The problem is not poverty but impoverishment, which was structured and implemented by colonial rogues in their scramble to exploit Africa’s resources.
We cannot afford to overlook such structural problems, which remain a problem. Impoverishment stems from the landlessness and disenfranchisement of the natives, and their exploitation and subjugation by colonial settlers and cartels.
If we do not face this devil, how can we deal with daily inequities, structural racism and economic condemnation of some? Eradication of structural, colonial impediments should be the primary objective, and if achieved poverty will fall on its own.
It is people with applicable skills, trades, professions or occupations who make vibrant, sustainable economies. We don’t train people in artisanal skills, and that is further complicated by our tertiary institutions offering courses that render graduates good for nothing except to march in the streets in their academic gowns. Where are the bricklayers, carpenters, tailors and shoemakers?
Without a proper human capital development plan policies will be reactionary rather than proactive, like putting a bandage over a tumour.
Sithembiso Malusi Mahlaba
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