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Marius Fransman, the rather hapless ANC provincial leader in the Western Cape, has put his foot in it again on the matter of race.
But one rather suspects that he has provided a picture of what the real thinking is in the ruling party about race and property relations.
The fact is, the ANC is not pretending any more that it believes in non-racialism and the so-called rainbow nation.
It knows that it doesn’t need white votes to stay in power. It certainly doesn’t need Jewish votes. So the race card can now be used with greater abandon, whether it is employed in driving apartheid racial profiling in the broad-based black economic empowerment legislation, forcing private sector companies to scale up the completely illogical affirmative action policies, or to end foreign ownership of land in South Africa. It is the start of the journey of the increasing Zanu-fication of the ANC.
Evidence of this attitude is captured in “Kill the Boer, Kill the Farmer” mentality. Thulas Nxesi, the Public Works Minister, says that the land invasions in Zimbabwe have not turned out to be all bad. Land has been redistributed, he argues. At the centre of the new race-baiting activities is the white person, in particular the white male.
When Steve Hofmeyr and Sunette Bridges lead public, albeit all-white, demonstrations about what they view as an onslaught against whites – and white farmers, in particular – they are declared racist. Perhaps some of the Red – should that be White? – October demonstrators may well be racists, but surely their right to demonstrate and express their views, whether justified or not, is protected by the constitution?
It is no wonder these people are angry enough to demonstrate when people like Fransman, in his official capacity, says such things. He told the Cape Town Press Club: “The reality is… 98 percent… of the land owners and property owners actually is [sic] the white community and, in particular, also people in the Jewish community. That is not an ethnic mobilisation, that is the reality. The question is: how do we move from that to make sure we get shared ownership?”
Earlier this year, he told a Cape radio station that the DA-ruled city government had given Jewish businessmen building contracts previously held by Muslims.
In the wake of a letter from Ben Turok, a Jewish ANC MP, to ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe calling for the Western Cape leader to be disciplined, Fransman “unreservedly” apologised for “the perception what [sic] was created that I was singling out the Jewish community”.
While the national government has for some time being trying to conduct a land audit, it has found that since 1994, race categorisation of property ownership has not been required by law. That will all change through the Electronic Deeds Registration Bill, which will inject the racial prism into property ownership and take the country back 25 years.
Meanwhile, the national government is finding new and intriguing ways of re-racialising vast swathes of the economy. Forced black empowerment of the oil and gas industry leaps from 10 percent to 26 percent once new pernicious legislation is passed. State ownership of the industry could go up to 50 percent.
Then there are the provisions of the codes of “good practice” on broad-based black economic empowerment (BEE). They turn red tape into an art form. Law firm Webber Wentzel, noting that the latest version of the codes were gazetted last Friday, warns that “enterprises may elect to be measured in terms of the generic scorecard under the final codes or the historic generic scorecard under the old codes”.
The generic scorecard provides that all enterprises will be measured in terms of five broad-based BEE elements – ownership, skills development, enterprise and supplier development, socio-economic development, and management control.
For the first three categories, sub-minimum targets will now be required – 40 percent of net value points for ownership where black shareholding is free from encumbrance, 40 percent of the total weighting points of skills development, and 40 percent for each of preferential procurement, enterprise and supplier development elements.
It is a sign that the government has simply gone mad.