Current political status quo is a deadend

South Africa is being de-industrialised and turned into a
welfare state because of an alliance between the black
political elite and the poor, political economist Moeletsi
Mbeki said on Thursday.
“There is an alliance between the black middle class and the
poor, this tells you how the poor are being bought off… they
are grant recipients,” said Mbeki, who is former president
Thabo Mbeki’s brother.
He was delivering a lecture: “What has the ANC achieved in
nearly two decades?” at the University of the
“There are two primary political controllers of South Africa.
The under-class are the single largest voting block of South
Africa,” he said.
Political power rested between the black political elite and
the black poor.
Mbeki said there was something wrong with the way the
political elite was managing South Africa. It was the political
elite which determined how the country developed.
“There is something very wrong with South Africa… with how
the political elite are managing South Africa,” he said.
Under the ANC, three social groups had emerged.
They were: the capitalists or bourgeoisie, the political elite
or bureaucratic bourgeoisie, and the under-class or
“We have a unique political system in South Africa. It’s
controlled by the black middle class (political elite), but it
has an alliance with the poor or the under-class,” Mbeki
The objective of the political elite was to maximise
consumption of the black middle class and to retain the
monopoly on political power.
However, its weakness was that it depended on the vote of
the under-class, which did not own productive assets, he
“The ANC has been driving a consumer revolution at the
expense of production.”
Mbeki said the political elite’s private consumption was
being funded by state revenue and had become a burden on
“It’s becoming clear where the bottleneck sits and where
the problems are,” he said.
“The consumption of the black elite is unsustainable and has
to be reversed.”
The capitalists needed to be brought into the loop. This
group of society was defending itself by moving capital out
of South Africa, said Mbeki.
“We need a new politics in South Africa, a more inclusive
politics, not just a black elite and a black poor.”
“As long as they (capitalists) are out of the political loop,
we’ll never have economic growth. They control the
productive assets of the country,” he said.
In 2007, more than US20 billion (about R166.7bn), which
was 20 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), was
moved out of South Africa by these capitalists.
“When you moving 20 percent of the GDP out of the country
there is no way of developing your country,” he said.
Mbeki said the solution for South Africa was to develop
entrepreneurs who were productive, and to develop science,
maths, engineering and management education.
“Without that, we’re going nowhere.” – Sapa

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