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Picture: 123RF/HXDBZXY
Picture: 123RF/HXDBZXY

The medium term budget has come and gone. Although the finance minister made a good impression as a calm and caring man, there’s only so much he can do — as he himself said. He follows instructions from the president.

So what should President Cyril Ramaphosa — as leader of the governing party — do? He should recognise that race engineering, also known as BEE, has served its purpose. It has exposed thousands of talented black people to many different roles in the economy.

The problem is that this can only take us so far. ANC policy has battered down the gates to the erstwhile white ballpark. Black people are now in the park. This is important — a crucial first step. But government must now withdraw.

No government can or should try to help anyone play the economic game. Governments can coach in the form of better education and training, but the actual playing field is a lonely place. You are on your own.

Any attempt to perpetuate empowerment at this stage in our history will condemn us, as Shakespeare wrote, “to shallows and to miseries”.

Ramaphosa needs to be brave. It is time to abolish racial engineering. And the only way is to go cold turkey. All at once. Then watch SA grow!

Willem Cronje
Cape Town

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