John Dludlu’s latest column sums up the problems with employment equity and BEE (policies (“Dis-Chem is on the right path with transformation”, October 18).
If it was all theoretical and number-crunching, as he states, we should be looking at major success in all state-owned enterprises (SOEs), government departments and municipalities. Yet they are all on the economic scrap pile.
Why is this, Mr Dludlu? Perhaps he could use next week’s article to unpack this problem in relation to transformation, because unfortunately the only fundamental change that has taken place in all these entities is radical transformation on employment and BEE.
Unfortunately, the country is between a rock and a hard place. Entrepreneurs, skilled managers or technical people cannot be pigeonholed around race and gender as Dludlu would like. They cannot be picked according to how many opportunities have been denied to them. They need to compete for jobs the same way runners compete to win a race. The best one wins.
The skills that are required to run airlines, power companies, defence contractors and railways have left, been fired, or retired from the SOEs.
No high-performance or committed worker of the types that make a difference would seek to work in a discriminatory environment where they are not rewarded for their skills and hard work.
Discrimination of the type Dludlu and the ANC advocate is not an option in modern, competitive economies that thrive on competition, not retribution.
Our mining and general economy is in defensive mode. If freed from the yoke retribution policies place on its neck we would have provided the type of growth this country desperately needs, allowing opportunities to unemployed citizens (40% of the population) and building up everyone’s skills.
Yet Dludlu remains in his ivory tower, being wrong for the right political reasons.
Rob Tiffin, Cape Town
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