Headlines

Time To Reclaim Economic Power: Ntsube

  • MP slams ‘White power on Black face’
  • De Ruyter appointment as Eskom chief questioned

Fiery youth leader and MP Itumeleng Vutha Ntsube says former President Jacob Zuma was removed from office by ‘white monopoly capital agent protagonists’ because he supported the idea of a BRICS bank to finance the black developmental agenda.

Similarly, the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddaffi and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein were also targeted by the same group of white capitalists who eyed access to the lucrative oil reserves owned by the two nations.

Ntsube told The Weekly in an interview yesterday the current economic and social set up in the country was “white power on black face.”

He contended South Africa is still run by white cartels while the government is like a ‘black receptionist in a company run by a white chief executive officer’.

Ntsube’s tough talk follows the appointment of Andre De Ruyter this week to head the troubled state owned entity, Eskom.

His remarks also come in the wake of calls to privatise SA Airways.

Finance minister Tito Mboweni on Tuesday said it would be better to close down SAA and start a new airline as it is highly unlikely that its financial woes would be sorted out.

“Close it down and start a new airline. All together, invite [CEO of Standard Bank] Sim Tshabalala and others to come together and form a new airline,” Mboweni was quoted as saying.

Mboweni said the reason he thought closing down SAA would be better than continuing efforts to turn it around is that it was unlikely the airline would find a private-sector partner.

This is not the first time Mboweni has suggested that the national carrier be shut down.

But Ntsube differs.

He questioned the logic of shutting down SAA and open up a new airline when the government has failed to provide a bailout needed by the parastatal to stabilise its operations.

Ntsube, who is also the president of the Congress of South African Students (Cosas), said it cannot be correct that 25 years into democracy the country is still relying on imported cars, watches, and cellphones.

He contended that SA should be producing its own gadgets and helping grow the local economy instead of pumping money into Western and European nations.

The outspoken young lawmaker said the call for the nationalisation of the SA Reserve Bank as well as the return of land to its rightful owners in Africa remains the highest priority for the current crop of revolutionaries.

He called on young people from all walks of life to become politically literate and challenge the status quo of wealth amassing by the minority whites at the expense of the majority blacks.

“Politics is everything, it is politicians that determine the price of bread and fuel, and the young people in this country have left them to do as they please for a long time. Now we need the ANC to speak out and to take charge of the running of government by being brave to engage its deployees if they fail to toe the line,” urged Ntsube.

He contended that despite resolutions of the ANC Nasrec Conference two years ago, black South Africans still do not own anything, including the land from which everything consumable and mineral comes from.

“Through land there will be true independence. Our call is to young people to take a stand as it is their duty to continue the revolution. Today we see heavyweights within the ANC being adamant to privatise all state owned entities; in fact the agenda is to give them to white monopoly capital and this must be rejected with the contempt it deserves.”

Ntsube said a national referendum is needed to ascertain if indeed South Africans are for the privatisation of the country’s SOE’s.

Such privatisation, he charged, would only give ‘white monopoly capital’ a further hold on the economy of the country and the free latitude to determine exorbitant tariffs that can only be afforded by the wealthy citizens.

He said the main drivers of the economy, as is the practise in many parts of the world, have to be owned by the state in order to foster social and economic justice for the previously disadvantaged masses.

Ntsube noted the SA democratic dispensation has translated into continued subjugation of blacks as the country’s minerals in the form of gold and silver remain in the hands of those who still owned them during apartheid.

“It makes sense for our economy to be in state hands so as to drive the social agenda unlike in private hands where the emphasis is on profit than anything else,” he quipped.

“This is the call we are making to young people, to defend the revolution because it is better to die than live in perpetual poverty with no sign of ending,” he pointed out.

He added the bias in the country is more glaring when law enforcement agencies focus on probing blacks who have managed to improve their lives and finances to higher levels, whereas the same institutions do not seem bothered to investigate the source of poverty for the millions of impoverished blacks and Africans.

“These are the dark days of our struggle. We cannot continue borrowing money from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank at the expense of the poor. White people take our gold each day to Europe and the young people here are quiet. It cannot be business as usual,” he said.

Meanwhile, the ANC Youth League Task Team and the African Transformation Movement (ATM) have also weighed in on De Ruyter’s appointment as Eskom chief.

The ATM’s Sizwe Richard said the party had expected that a person with a solid background in engineering coupled with a traceable track record of turning the fortunes of establishments around would be given the nod.

“It is against this background that the ATM expresses its serious disappointment, but not shocked, at the decision to appoint Mr Andre De Ruyter as the new CEO of Eskom. He has no experience working for Eskom nor does he possess any qualification in engineering,” Richard said in a statement titled “The White Supremacist Appointment of Eskom CEO disappoints ATM”.

He claimed while at the head of Nampak De Ruyter had presided over an allegedly ‘atrocious destruction of shareholder value.’

He also accused De Ruyter of having seen to the sharp decline of Nampak market value from an impressive R29 billion when he first came in five years ago in 2014 to a disappointing R5 billion as of last week.

“This kind of appointment lends credence to the national cry that in our state-owned companies, under the leadership of Minister Pravin Gordhan, unqualified and incompetent white people are preferred over Africans with requisite experience and qualifications,” charged Richard.

The ANC Youth League Task Team also slated the appointment as confirmation of deep rooted white supremacy in the country’s boardrooms.

Convenor of the Task Team, Thandi Mahambehlala said the youth structure is ‘alarmed’ at the blatant disregard for skills and experience in the process of appointing the Eskom CEO.

Mahambehlala noted De Ruyter has a long history of eroding shareholder value in major corporations, adding his appointment can only be explained in the ‘darker corners of cronyism’, which seem to be perpetuated by the minister of public enterprises.

“A black candidate with De Ruyter’s track record would never have been allowed anywhere near the shortlist let alone been appointed as CEO of this important but ailing entity,” she alleged.

She also cited the resignation of the joint CEO’s at Sasol, Bongani Nqwababa and Stephen Cornell respectively, following the disaster of a project at Lake Charles, which she alleged was engineered by Ruyter.

“A damning independent review reveals why Sasol’s US project has run so far over time and over budget. The cost of the Lake Charles Chemicals Project (LCCP) has almost doubled to about R12.9 billion since inception and the project has been hit by multiple technical problems, all of which De Ruyter ensured never made it to his executives after which he jumped ship to collapse Nampak, leaving Nqwababa and Cornell to shoulder his mess,” added Mahambehlala.

By: Ramosidi Matekane