Letters

Shivambu is ignorance personified

Letters

Floyd Shivambu and his ilk repeatedly insist on being authorities on issues of which they clearly have limited understanding.

Floyd Shivambu finds it insulting that ministers such as Trevor Manuel trust ANC members to vote them into office. (M&G)

Floyd Shivambu finds it insulting that ministers such as Trevor Manuel trust ANC members to vote them into office but "cannot trust them with policy direction".

Shivambu's incoherent comment piece in the <em>Mail & Guardian</em> (October 26) is a clear example of what Manuel, quoted therein, refers to as the problem of "involving ANC branch members in detailed decision-making assumed that they had the information and knowledge they needed for participation".  

Shivambu and his ilk, most notably led by that well-fed and cash-flush Range Rover-ferried champion of the poor, repeatedly insist on being authorities on issues of which they clearly have limited understanding.  

Their antics are reminiscent specifically of that creature known as the prepubescent male of the species, who is an authority on everything to the point of numb vulgarity. It is endearing, though, to witness teenage boys become human again at some point. In vain we watch whether Shivambu et al will shed their pimply political features any time soon.

Often they almost touch on having a point &ndash; if only they would inform their opinions adequately. The nationalisation of mines is a case in point. Urgent reforms are required to ensure that the people of this country directly benefit from the wealth of our abundant resources.

In this their sentiment is correct, but even the most obtuse of observers will point out the widespread collapse of basic services at municipal level, which is informed by a lack of skills and ill-conceived cadre deployment, to warn against entrusting the operational complexity of mining to a state-run department.

Does Shivambu even understand what food security means? Does he have any inclination of the worldwide crises that awaits us in this regard? If he had, he would engage with the very real and important issue of land reform differently. Yes, reform is paramount, but it has to occur in such a manner that the disenfranchised of our country do not literally die of starvation.  

Why does the state, the largest landowner in the country, not use its access to land to establish emerging farmers and black ownership? Or is the truth that for Shivambu, as for the ANC, the emphasis has to be land dispossession in order to "right" a past wrong? &ndash; W van der Merwe, Darling

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