This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.
20 Aug 1991: Du Plessis, Barend
POM. I'm talking to the Minister of Finance, Barend du Plessis, on the 20th of August.
BDP. Would you like to go and sit over there?
POM. Sure, that might be better.
BDP. And then I can switch off that fan. Otherwise you'll have a constant drone in the background. That's it, if we can survive that now, without it.
POM. Before we get to some questions on economic policy, Minister, I'd like to address a couple of more political questions. While we've been here this year, we've met a very wide-ranging cross section of people in the ANC, PAC, AZAPO, including some of their top leadership. And one message comes across: that is, of extreme anger about Inkathagate. Inkathagate is taken as proof positive that all the other allegations they have been making about government collusion and/or orchestration of the violence in the townships is, in fact, true. They take as proof positive that the government has, in fact, been engaging in this double agenda, the olive branch of negotiation on the one hand and on the other, attempts to undermine and destabilise the ANC in the townships. Is there an awareness in the government of the level of anger and the kind of, at this point, a deeply-ingrained perception of the ANC as to what the government's real agenda is?
BDP. Of course, yes, there is an appreciation of it. And the State President has more than once openly said that if there can be real proof submitted, that security forces of some kind were indeed involved or have been involved in orchestrating violence he would act immediately. And the simple fact is this: that if a policeman could steal a document, which appears to be the case, and make known a very relatively insignificant thing, like 250,000 rand for supporting the anti-sanctions part of a rally, then surely from some source or another it should have been possible by now to have delivered some proof, if it ever existed, of participation by the security forces. I mean, the extent of the violence in South Africa up to a short while ago geographically, and the intensity of the violence, these dimensions were such that if there had been involvement, surely somebody must have seen it. Somebody must have experienced it sufficiently to have proved it. Then somewhere along the line, there must have been an order given. Somewhere along the line, there must be a tremendous reward, by way of bribing or whatever, for the production of such evidence. And, sincerely, I'm also a member of the State Security Council, and I can say to you that the State President is absolutely adamant that the slightest indication of involvement will evoke from side the most drastic of action.
POM. I suppose what I'm saying is ...
BDP. Just a last point, please. I think linking that accusation which has never been proved, and the invitation is open to submit proof, linking that accusation more to what happened with the funding of that rally and the funding of Inkatha doesn't make sense. It's inconclusive, let me put it that way.
POM. In the sense of facts, it isn't, but that doesn't mean that the perception doesn't exist. I suppose what I'm getting at is, leaving aside whether it's true or not true, or you knowing that it's not true, how do you deal with the perception which erodes the climate of trust, say, that appeared to be there a year ago when the Pretoria Minute was signed? That level of trust, at least among the members of the ANC that we've talked to, is now missing. It's like they've gone back to the attitude of, we were foolish to think that the Nats wouldn't behave as the Nats always did. So, I'm getting at not the supplying of proof but more to how do you approach the problem as a political problem? That what can the government do, what confidence-building measures can they embark on to improve the climate so as you move into real negotiations they're done with an element of goodwill and faith which, right now, appear to be missing at least on the ANC side, from the people we've talked to.
BDP. I think that with regard to negotiations involving Gerrit Viljoen and Roelf Meyer, they will be in a better position to respond to your question than I am because I'm not daily at the centre as far as that is concerned. But I believe, from second or third concentric circle involvement, with these organisations, that we shall just have to grow out of it. There is nothing that we can do to disprove it, because if they prefer to believe it, if they prefer to link it, what can we do to disprove it? We have admitted, as far as that 250,000 rand was concerned, we have admitted that it was funded at the time, when COSATU was a very radical trade union federation. And that at least there should have come about at that time, that was the prevailing wisdom, a more moderate federation of trade unions.
. But, accepting that mutual trust and faith got a dent, I say that we must grow out of it. But I don't think that disillusionment is the exclusive domain of the ANC and company. Working groups, following the Pretoria Minute, and the DF Malan Accord, working groups have made very, very little progress. And while all these things were raging in the press and so on and wild statements were made, small groups of persons were still working as constructively as they could executing their previous briefs but on certain issues, experiencing a great deal of frustration.
. Last point: while there is a lot to be said from a negative point of view, a very constructive view of the relationship between government and other parties towards the negotiation process, a positive thing is the very, very exciting progress that has been made on the Peace Accord. It's a tragedy that the whole issue was dealt with so irresponsibly in the Sunday papers. The media will have to learn that they also have a responsibility in dealing with the delicate situations that arise from negotiations which are intent on scoring the first in Africa. You realise that if, not if but when we succeed, we will prove the statistics of Africa are wrong. So, despite that temporary setback, the way that all the parties responded Sunday afternoon, Sunday evening, is certainly something which is positive and indicates that despite all the other things that happened, there still is constructive communication. Trust will be then more now between individuals but, again, building and repairing what has happened that we must accept. That the performance of the negotiation process will follow the sine curve. It will oscillate between +1 and go through zero, dropping to -1 and then going up to +1 again. It will be a sine curve. It will not be a single line going from zero to infinity. Right?
POM. Just two more what I call political questions. One is, you're the leader of the party in the Transvaal?
BDP. Yes, that's right.
POM. Does the party in the Transvaal regard the violence that has broken out there during the last year primarily as ethnic violence between Zulu and Xhosa or as political violence between supporters of the ANC and supporters of Inkatha?
BDP. We don't have a simplistic interpretation of the violence and its causes. We understand very well that the violence was caused by a whole series of factors interacting in different manner in different places. Unemployment, lack of facilities, frustration, ethnicity, factions, all these factors play a role in the violence and there is certainly no simplistic concept ascribing it solely either to poverty or unemployment on the one side or, on the other side, pure ethnicity.
POM. So, about a month ago, The Economist, in an editorial, compared, said in essence that there was no real difference between the violence between Xhosa and Zulu and the violence between Serbs and Croatians. They made that loose comparison in terms of it being ethnic. So, would you agree or disagree with that broad characterisation?
BDP. I agree that it is a reality, that there hasn't really been a centuries-long love affair between the Xhosas and the Zulus. And ethnicity played a role. My point is that it's simplistic to say that that is the complete answer. There is a lot of interaction. Criminality also is a factor which I, in my inventory of variables that played a role in this equation, which I didn't mention earlier. You know, very soon after a certain situation developed of unrest and violence criminals got onto the scene and then took their share of it. So, really ethnicity is a factor in South Africa. My own experience is that international commentators so early in the post-apartheid era, and many international commentators, so early in the post-apartheid era, came to the conclusion that ethnicity is really a factor in South Africa after all. And it wasn't a design by the Nats. And today we say that it's still a factor that we will have to deal with in a future South Africa, not on the basis of apartheid but on the basis of fundamental human rights, that will have to be entrenched in a new constitution. Because the abolition of apartheid did not abolish the diversity in South Africa and that diversity in South Africa and elsewhere in Africa very, very often manifested itself also in political terms. And you can look at clashes in Africa, that more blood was spilled in clashes that can broadly be classified as ethnic in Africa than clashes to get rid of colonialism. And, so, that's a reality in Africa.
POM. The last so-called political question deals with the question of an interim government. To many people it seems that the more damaging disclosure was the provision of financial assistance to the opposition parties in the Namibian election after South Africa had signed an agreement at the UN to maintain a "hands off" policy. Their not keeping to the agreement they had signed has provoked a lot of feeling that indicates the government can't be both player and referee. And Mr. Botha's statement that if you had to do it all over again he would do it all over again, suggests that this government will continue to use whatever means it thinks are necessary, either overt or covert, to advance its own agenda.
BDP. We didn't advance, necessarily, in the narrow sense of the word, our own agenda by supporting democratic parties in Namibia. SWAPO had literally unlimited resources. We made a contribution towards a democratic election, and certainly we're not the only country that has ever supported a political party in another country.
POM. Yes, I don't mean that, Minister, not the fact that the assistance was given. It was the fact the assistance was given after the government had signed an agreement with the United Nations to maintain a neutral profile in the process.
PK. Not only that but one in which the government was actually running, conducting the elections. So that you were playing both roles once again: the conductor of the election and then supporting political parties who were contesting the election.
BDP. No, we weren't really conducting the elections.
PK. Well, it was the role of what I understand is the UN to monitor the elections and, according to the agreement, the role of the South African government to administer and conduct the election.
BDP. I think if you are really interested in conducting a factual and in-depth discussion on that particular topic, what you need to have before you is the Agreement and we need to have the legal representatives so that we can supply you with our formal interpretation of our obligations in terms of the Agreement to assess really what our role exactly was officially and to what extent we had the freedom to support democratic parties supporting the broad values that South Africa wishes to promote inside South Africa and elsewhere. And, sincerely, I'm not equipped for that.
POM. I suppose what I was getting at, again, is the matter of perceptions. That because of that disclosure, many parties that hadn't heretofore called for an interim government were now prepared to say, well, there is a merit to the argument that one can't be player and referee at the one time.
BDP. I think that the answer to that one is simply that President de Klerk in his February 2nd speech this year laid the groundwork, laid the foundations, for a multiparty conference evolving pretty quickly into a body that will have increasing participation in both legislative and executive procedures, processes, and decisions. And once you get insight and involvement of that kind, you will surely be in a very, very good position to make sure that the kind of fears that have been expressed will not materialise. I think that is the answer. South Africa is a sovereign country. We have a sovereign government. We have a constitution. We owe it allegiance, we swore allegiance to it. It is the only instrument that parliament, with all its inadequacies, the only instrument through which we can really effect constitutional change in a civilized manner. And the fact that we're committed to accepting a multiparty conference playing a real role in the whole affair, I think, is indicative of our sincerity in trying to bring about a period of transition in which there will be fair government, fair allocation of resources. And that kind of participation will certainly be, I believe, a much better arrangement than establishing an interim government now. How will we do that?
POM. I can take it, I suppose, without asking the question, that there are no circumstances under which this government would yield to the ANC's demand that it resign or cede its authority and sovereignty and become part of a broader all-party government.
BDP. All I can say is that according to what the State President has said so far, he has made an offer, that the multiparty conference can play that particular role. Until such time as we have a new constitution, properly approved by the electorate, and subsequent to that, sovereign government constituted in line with the requirements of the constitution, however that may be. But until such time as that happens we need stable government, we need efficient government, and we need a kind of parallel situation that the State President has often indicated. Whether the State President will be prepared to phrase it in the very rigid terms that you phrased it earlier, is his choice. I'm not mandated to say either that is the official stance of the government, the way that you've phrased it. And I don't think that that is exactly way in which the State President has phrased it so far. But all I can do, therefore, is to say that according to my own interpretation of what the State President has said, is that there will be a parallel situation with a multiparty conference increasingly playing a role in legislative and executive processes. And from a running of the country point of view, I believe, from my own experience, and I've been here now long enough to believe that it's a reasonable, a reasonably accurate standpoint, I think that will be an extremely good arrangement. And it will provide all the avenues to all participants to ensure that there is no preferential treatment of any kind.
POM. Now on to safe economic questions. I'd be interested to hear your reaction to the broad outline of the ANC policy for economic development and economic growth.
BDP. Sorry, can you just repeat the question?
POM. I would be interested to hear your broad reaction to, or critique of the ANC's policy of economic growth. How it views the future course of the economy in what they call a growth through redistribution. And what I'd like to do is just read to you some very short, succinct points from their policy and maybe you can take it from there in terms of whether you think their case makes sense or does not make sense.
BDP. Allow me one comment to begin with.
BDP. Twofold. One, I am appreciative of a very substantial, from my point of view, progress the ANC has made in terms of formal and formally formulated policy since their unbanning of February 2nd last year. I think they have moved very considerably closer to what is internationally accepted to be fundamentally the basis for real and sustained economic growth. But secondly, we stand ready to begin, as soon as the multiparty gets underway, by way of a subcommittee or subgroup, real discussions on economic policy. So, in other words, I believe that the way we should conduct the debate is not really via the media. And I appreciate the extent to which they have tried to do it along those lines. But that the real discussions must take place where, you know, like the kind of working groups that have been operating. So, I will be rather conservative in my comments.
POM. Sure. What I'm looking for is your reaction to their analysis, whether you think the analysis is on the mark or you have to say, 'No, we don't really agree with that, but we will talk about it. But that we disagree with some of the assumptions they make about the past or the past patterns of economic growth.' Now I'll just maybe read them all, one by one. One says, "Over 40 years this strategy followed by government and business expands the economy by substituting locally produced manufacturing goods that are imported out ... same type. This path of growth led to the emergence of a significant manufacturing sector but it was oriented towards producing consumer goods for the wealthy minority. So the old path of growth simultaneously produced luxury manufacturers for a limited declining market and high unemployment with its concomitant social decomposition, ... violence. Thus, the future growth path should simultaneously address how to further industrialise South Africa, especially in the area of consumer goods and how to meet some of the basic needs of the black population. Now, according to this strategy, the engine of economic growth would be the growing satisfaction of the basic needs of the impoverished and deprived majority of the people. Programmes and policy that increase output, particularly, of social infrastructure and basic consumer products would increase employment and produce new incentives to growth which would benefit all sections of the economy. To achieve an increase in productivity, the objective would be to lower relative costs or relative prices of manufactured goods in order to expand products of basic social infrastructure and consumer goods to meet mass demands. And this would be done through rising wages and increased wage employment." Then, finally, it says, "The fundamental goal of the ANC's economic policy should be to achieve economic growth through a policy of increasing equality and distribution of incomes, wealth, and economic power. It proposes a shift of the tax burden from individuals to business to make the system more equitable and effective. Reconstruction of the economy should be carried out mainly through domestic savings with foreign capital seen as supplementary rather than as a substitute for local investment."
BDP. You're asking me as a politician to respond now to what is basically a technical document? If you really want a decent comment with regard to the structure of the economy and to the processes in the past I certainly am not in a position here to just verbally respond to that. If you give me those questions, I will give you decent comment on it. But then you must give me some time.
POM. OK. I'll leave them behind.
BDP. And you must give me time for that.
BDP. What I can say is that in the last paragraph, I mean, there are several comments that I can offer you right now. But I would like to do it coherently in terms of the technical considerations as well. It's a contradiction. It's a contradiction to say that you will permit savings by shifting the tax to the business sector. The business sector in South Africa right now is really beyond the saver, apart from contractual savings. It's a very technical argument. And the ANC, I don't know whether it's there in that document, because they've produced quite a number of documents. And can I say this off the record? [They have obviously followed a very sensible strategy of producing a series of documents, and each one departing more and more from their original stance, which is a nice way of doing it. And I wouldn't like, by way of fierce and aggressive criticism, to arrest that process. Right. So, it's a sensible thing that they're doing in order to ultimately arrive at as much common ground as possible. But I don't know whether that document contains it.] And we can go back on the record again. But I talked about increasing available tax load to 35% of GDP. Now, if you increase the tax load to 35% of GDP, you can forget entrepreneurship. You can forget managerial skills remaining in this country. You might as well then open the borders, so that every decent worker and person of substance can leave the country. The international mobility of capital and of skills is something that the ANC will have to understand. And I have had scores of industrialists personally and through written inquiries ultimately saying to me, Sorry, old fellow. Your tax rates are too high. Now the ANC wants to go and tax the industrial sector? It's a naïve perception that they are the fat cats. They are the job creators. Their assessment earlier in one of their remarks or paragraphs or sentences that you quoted, that we had an import replacement policy in order to manufacture for a wealthy minority. That's political rhetoric with no economic substance.
POM. How about ...?
BDP. I mean, in the process, jobs were created. And obviously you could use for a local market, for whom, or what should have been produced, then? It saved an awful lot of foreign exchange, it developed the country. So, really, those comments, if you want to, if you want official government response to that ...
POM. I'll send them on. I'll send the questions on to you.
BDP. But it will take some time.
POM. What I suppose is, their basic and rather simple contention is that all you have to do to jump-start the economy in a post-apartheid society is to invest a huge amount of resources in infrastructure: housing, electricity, water, whatever. And this generates jobs, and the jobs generate income, and the income has a multiplier effect, and, zip! You're on your way.
BDP. And we all need very special clothes for the wings that we will have because by then, we will be in heaven.
POM. What's wrong with the fundamental premise?
BDP. It's naïve.
POM. It's inflationary?
BDP. Totally naïve. Where will the resources come from? Where will it be taken? From the overtaxed community? Why all the furore about value-added tax now? Which is a much fairer spread of the burden. If they believe that you can raise those kinds of resources from the tax base that we have, they haven't done their arithmetic properly or they depart from a totally naïve or incorrect premise. Forget it!
POM. Now, your starting point from the point of view of the government is what you call equity through growth and stability. You say two principles. First, the government will not repeat failed economic or social experiments involving taking assets from those who have and giving them to those who don't. And second, the government will not use the tax system to take from those earning income more than can be borne by a climate promoting economic growth. We shall not, therefore, be able to accept that even in a new South Africa, that in total, more taxes be taken from taxpayers than are being taken now. Well, if the total tax receipts are held relatively constant, and you have to have a policy of redistribution in terms of social expenditures and education and housing and social welfare and what have you, where do you get the additional resources to narrow the gap?
BDP. The only sensible way to do that would be, or the only feasible way to do it, is to reprioritise your expenditures. We had hoped that very substantial savings that were effected in defence expenditure could be channelled directly to social upliftment and the kind of infrastructural activities which you referred to earlier. Or, the violence, that's why I reject out of hand any suggestion that we can, that government allowed the violence to be orchestrated because that totally frustrated all our plans, because that meant that money being diverted from defence instead of going to social expenditure in that government very substantially had to go into policing. We're expanding the police force and their facilities exponentially to deal with that situation, much to our own frustration and frustrating our own plans, ready-made plans, for social upliftment! And organisation, dealing with the organisation question.
. So, reprioritising is one avenue. And we've got, and I can't say this for the record, we got a nice compliment from the recent IMF mission in this regard. Because they really understand our economy and our budget structure. Further, production of subsidies in those areas where they're not needed. In other words, reduce, first of all, this. Instead of using the system to alleviate the plight of the poor, or to give them access to certain facilities, get the system to do what is supposed to do. For example, one: the tax system is supposed to collect taxes on the widest possible front at the lowest possible rates. The tax system is not to be used, in terms of modern thinking, for the purpose of promoting certain very, very laudable, even objectives such as social advantage, welfare organisations, economic development, and so on. Let the tax system look after the collection. And let the expenditure side look after alleviating the plight of the poor in furthering certain objectives.
. Example number two: health services. Get your health services on the basis of economically-viable tariffs. And when a person goes to a hospital and he's really poor, then you have a scheme whereby you accommodate him. But all the other people who go to hospital, in terms of a means test, who do not qualify for it, should not qualify. They should bear that cost themselves. And in our tax system, we apply for a degree of relief in terms of sur-taxation of medical expenditure. In effect, it's a complex thing that we have here. So, using subsidies, maximizing state income through a variety of services, that is the way that, as the budget stands now, you can increase social expenditure. But on the bottom line, the ability to spend more where it is desperately needed must come from growth, economic growth. And we could have had 6 billion rand more to spend on the needy this year if it hadn't been for financial sanctions.
POM. You talked last year about trade sanctions that they did not have that much of an impact but that the financial sanctions did.
POM. And these financial sanctions are now being relaxed?
BDP. Not the IMF side.
POM. Not the IMF side.
BDP. Because of certain standpoints, certain agreements between the Black Caucus in the United States and the ANC attitude.
POM. A chestnut that is thrown out to us time and time and time again and is repeated in journals and periodicals is that four conglomerates, Anglo-American, Old Mutual, Sanlam and Rembrandt, control over 80% of distribution and exchange. Just output production and production distribution and exchange and account for over 80% of the shares traded on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. The point being, this isn't exactly the operation of the way a market economy should operate. What is your answer to those who continue to make this argument?
BDP. Several comments that can be made. Point one: Yes, a country like South Africa, like in the United States, such countries seem to go through a period of a high degree of concentration of economic power. If you artificially break it down, you pay a tremendous price, as the United States did. And what the role of that was in other countries like Japan overtaking them as far as research was concerned. Because only mega-companies can do the kind of research that can leapfrog competition and in the process retain the job opportunities that are so desperately needed and the ability to own foreign exchange. Yes, it is a structural problem in South Africa. Two: it was aggravated by disinvestment because when companies withdrew from South Africa, by force of their governments, of their own, other domestic countries' legislation, to whom did they sell? They did not sell to small entrepreneurs. They sold to the large groups. As simple as that. So it was aggravated by disinvestment and is something that, like puberty, you will have to sweat out. You can't take your child and plug him in and shorten his period of puberty. You'll have to sweat it out with him. And it's a stage of our economic development that we will have to sweat out. Thirdly: it's not all bad to be big. We saw the collapse, potential collapse, of a large number of companies in South Africa, large employers. And there's one particular case that I can remember. And that was saved, the company, it was saved by so-called big business stepping in and saving it. Fourth point: first time ever I heard that it was four, I hear of all kinds of things.
POM. From four to six. It varies.
BDP. To whom does Old Mutual belong? Old Mutual belongs to the man in the street. Old Mutual is an insurance company. It doesn't have shares. It doesn't belong to anybody. It belongs to millions of policyholders in South Africa. To whom does Sanlam belong? It's also a mutual insurance company. It doesn't have money, owners of its own. It works for the benefit of policyholders. Millions and millions of them. Shareholders in Anglo, shareholders in Rembrandt. If we should ever get to a stage when it's a sin to be big in a country like South Africa, where you need a lot of money and you have to carry a lot of risk, well, then, it's to the detriment of the country. One simple example: have you ever been down a goldmine?
POM. Not yet.
BDP. I have 120 shifts as a student, so at least I have some experience. You travel down in a hole, a huge hole in the earth more than a mile deep in the hope of finding gold down there. And you travel kilometres, a corridor to the beginning of another sub-shaft, with the hope of finding gold down there. The risk is immense! Who will be able to start digging that hole? Who will be able to carry the risk and in the process create hundreds of thousands of job opportunities and earn billions in foreign exchange, if you don't have mega-companies? So, there's a lot to be said for the role that mega-companies have played. But structurally, we need more competition in South Africa, yes, certainly. And right now, we're in discussion with the insurance companies to see to what extent they can make contributions towards community operations.
POM. A number of economists have made projections of the amount of foreign investment that would be needed to bring about a growth rate of about 5.5% per year, which will allow per capita income just to stay on course, and one needs investments in the region of about 100 billion rand over a ten-year period. Do you think realistically that South Africa could attract that kind of foreign investment over the next 10 to 12 years?
BDP. We can only begin to attract whatever if we have stability in the labour force, if we don't have wildcat strikes, if we don't have these crazy stayaways, if we have better productivity, if we have an elimination of violence, if we have the prospect of a democratic constitution where basic rights will be respected and maintained, if we have an economic system that will not be punitive, if you have an economic and political system where international capital can come freely on the basis of repatriating their funds if they don't like it here. Where, secondly, if the ANC persists with the kind of approach that business must pay the tax in order to uplift the country, if that kind of approach is the one that will prevail in a new South Africa, no international capital will come here. And, in other words, you must have two legs of policy. One, a technical leg comprising your fiscal and monetary policy, package, which must be as predictable as possible, allowing international capital to plan on the basis of being able to repatriate their capital and their proceeds. And secondly, you need an environment with a decently disciplined labour force and physical safety and so on, if you want to attract any money at all.
POM. Does it ...?
BDP. Can I just make this one point? What we need to begin with, to begin a growth process, is to stop bleeding. I just happened to have this table on the board from an earlier discussion this morning. In 1985, there was a 24 billion dollars foreign debt, over fifty percent of which was private sector debt. Only ten percent central government. That represented more or less 180% of one year's export earnings. Right now, it's, our total foreign debt is very much less than eighty percent of one year's export earnings. We paid back, we became a capital export country against our will, against our nature. And we had to mobilise half the savings of this country. The ANC talks about savings, half the savings of this country annually, to meet our international commitments. Comparable countries in the western hemisphere, more than 230% of one year's export earnings then and now as well. So, we're under-borrowed. So, let's stop the bleeding and our internal savings, massive cash flow by way of Sanlam and Old Mutual and Liberty and so on, massive savings in South Africa can then help develop. But, ultimately, we need foreign intervention and fund participation not only for the need of capital but primarily for the need of management skills and entrepreneurial skills. Africa will not be recognised in history, twentieth century Africa will not be recognised in history for its supply of managerial and entrepreneurial units.
POM. Where should the emphasis be put on creating a climate conducive to attracting large amounts of foreign capital, because large amounts of foreign capital will be required to stimulate growth. Where, assuming that, given the international competition for capital, that South Africa will have to take its place in the queue of other countries and that one is unlikely to generate a hundred billion rand over a period of ten years.
BDP. I don't know the integrity of or the truth of that figure. But let's say a large amount. Yes, we will have to take our place in the line because of the simple fact that the competition will look internationally, competition will be determined by tax levels, by safety, and all the factors that I mentioned earlier. The kind of development that we need here does not only comprise mega-companies but also medium and smaller ones with new domestic markets developing, regional markets developing, and southern hemisphere markets developing, now that the political barriers are falling down. So, participation between South African and foreign capital can do it. We have a number of competitive advantages. Our electricity rates are likely to go down between now and the end of this decade in real terms. Our long-distance tariffs, mass transportation tariffs, are likely to go down. We have spare capacity in a lot of sectors. And we have massive raw material available to which we can add electricity value, to which we can add labour value. And there is real potential through a process of added value, and on the basis of reasonable tariffs and so on, to develop the export markets. That's why we're changing into that which is a legitimate part of our equation. I have to go to Johannesburg to make a speech there.
POM. Yes OK. Thank you very much.