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Picture: SUPPLIED
Picture: SUPPLIED

I refer to Tiisetso Motsoeneng’s column about Amplats’ dividend and wish to express my disappointment that he did not stop to think deeper about what is happening (“Amplats dividend is a kick in the teeth for workers”, February 27).

Shareholders don’t hand out free capital to companies and expect no return. Is your deputy editor willing to work for no return? Would Arena Holdings’ retirement fund not expect a return on the money it invests in Amplats? I note that the dividend yield of Amplats is currently 3%, hardly excessive.

Companies do not exist to provide employment. They should serve customers first and foremost, and employment is a nice result of that mission. Focusing on employment first, and not on the service delivered, as was done at the SA Post Office, implies a company that will soon cease to exist.

Labour, capital and management need to work together on the common mission of serving customers. The zero-sum thinking of one against the other is destroying the little that is left. It is possible to grow the pie.

Dr Phillip de Jager
Professor, department of finance & tax, University of Cape Town, associate editor of Meditari Accountancy Research and the Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies

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