I am told the Americans are considering a Congressional Act provisionally titled The Americans With No Abilities Act. After studying it, I think that what the Americans propose to do is to formalise a policy that South Africa has pursued for years.
Obama seems keen on it, for it will provide new benefits for many “non-abled” Americans.
He has privately hailed it as a major piece of legislation affecting millions who lack any real skills or ambition.
My unsourced report quotes a democratic senator saying that “roughly 50 percent of Americans do not possess the competence and drive necessary to carve out a meaningful role for themselves in society and one can no longer stand by and allow People of Inability to be ridiculed and passed over”.
“With this legislation employers will no longer be able to grant special favours to a small group of workers simply because they do a better job or know what they are doing.”
She pointed to the success of the US Postal Service, “which has a long-standing policy of providing opportunity without regard to performance. Approximately 74 percent of postal employees lack job skills, making this agency the single largest US employer of Persons of Inability.”
Under the legislation more than 25 million “middle person” positions will be created with important-sounding titles, but little real responsibility, thus providing non-ables with a sense of purpose.
“There’ll be mandatory non-performance-based raises and promotions will be given to guarantee upward mobility for even the most unremarkable employees.”
This is surely a wake-up call for South Africa to consider, formalising our well-established policy of employing the non-abled.
Why should they be left to stand at robots god-blessing motorists who give them a couple of rand?
Just as the US Postal Service has found employment for unmotivated people, so the South African Post Office has, more by default than design, traditionally employed – even before the 1994 transition – People of Inability who find personal fulfilment in tea and smoke breaks and leaning against shelves in the parcels room while customers queue.
The Traffic Department has also done well from employing the differently ambitioned, especially in the section that keeps traffic lights lit and traffic moving when there’s an obstruction.
Aspirant officers are never asked discriminatory questions during job interviews, such as: “Do you have any ambition?” and “Why, at 43, haven’t you ever held down a job?”
Instead, candidates are invited to demonstrate how they can hide behind roadside bushes.
Some non-abled may be elevated to jobs with high-sounding titles but no stressful obligations – such as Traffic Flow Maintenance Superintendent who, after six months of training, can shake the odd traffic light pole, getting it to work again.
The Police Force can also absorb several hundred more non-abled persons in its charge offices across the country.
Jonathan Ndlovu, spokesman for the municipality, says the council has always met its social obligations regarding the differently abled and that 75 percent of its employees are ambitionless. He said this was an even higher percentage “than any organisation you care to name”.
This has been contradicted by Home Affairs, which claims 97 percent.
Ms Doreen Gilbert, who once held down a job for well over a week – as Deputy Chief Paper Stapler in the Department of Works – said: “It is about time we non-abled were given a break. Just because everybody knows we can’t strike – nobody would notice our absence – doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be on equal pay with those who enjoy working all day.”
Government spokesman Jason Smith said: “Three or four non-abled persons have made it to cabinet level.”
Daily Express headline: Antique dealer thought girl was older.