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This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, 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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

05 Sep 1995: Alexander, Benny (!Khoisan X)

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POM     Let me first ask you, since coming back here, I've been here a couple of weeks and everybody is into local elections which they were before we left the last time, but the system seems enormously complicated and I can't get anybody to adequately describe to me what precisely is the voting procedure. So could you explain to me what the voting procedure is, how many votes people have if they have more than one vote, how the whole thing works.

KX     All right. We have two main types, metropolitan local government, something like the Greater London Council that was abolished by Mrs Thatcher, more a metropolis, a sprawling metropolis. That is the one we have. Then we have another one outside of that area, outside of the sprawling urban metropolis, you still have cities and towns; that is called the Transitional Local Council, so there is a Transitional Metropolitan Chamber and the Transitional Local Council and then you have in the village itself, the Village Council. Those are the three different types. Now in the Metropolitan Chamber people have three votes, in the local council they have two votes. They are voting in the local council for an electoral system, or within an electoral system that is both PR, proportional representation, and ward. So in the local council you have then the ward candidate and the candidates on the proportional list so you've got to make two crosses when you vote and they are different colours of ballot paper. In the Metropolitan Chamber there is a metropolitan council too, so there is the ward candidate, the party list candidate and the Metropolitan Chamber candidate. The Metropolitan Chamber has jurisdiction over a number of councils in its area.

POM     Is the metropolitan candidate voted on ...?

KX     On a third ballot paper.

POM     Is it a PR system, does the party run slates?

KX     No, the party runs slates.

POM     For the metropolitan?

KX     You must submit, there is a ballot for that too. There's a ballot that you must fill in. There are three ballot papers in the metropolitan area, you must vote three times. So three votes are cast in the metropolitan area and two votes are cast in the local council area.

POM     OK. Now if I am a white voter ...

KX     You would also vote three times.

POM     What about the ownership of property. Part of what I understood was that if you were white and you owned property in different wards that you got a vote in each of those wards.

KX     No you don't really have a vote, you can only vote once for the ward candidate. In fact the opposition can complain about that and the votes can be invalidated.

POM     So if I own property say in Cyrildene, let's say which is ward A, and in Houghton which is ward B and in Parkview which is C, I can still only vote once?

KX     You can only vote once for the ward candidate so you must decide which one of those areas you really regard as your home area. Why the question of property came in is not only for property owners but even for people who rent property. They are saying that you are living where your home is and your home is where you are renting a property or where you have a property, either owning it or renting it. That is the ward where you are living. Now it so happens that for black people they have one such, but for white people some of them have more than one such property and therefore for the white person who has more than one such they would have to decide which is the one in which they want to stand. But in any case even if there is no discrimination, I don't see a discrimination there. The real discrimination is in the fact that the black wards, it doesn't matter how many black people you have, those wards cannot be more than the wards of the non-black people.

POM     So it's fifty/fifty.

KX     It's fifty/fifty.

POM     Within each ward.

KX     Yes, so blacks cannot win on their own control of a council. They need to get colleagues on the other side to stand with them and they are hoping, the people who drafted the constitution hope, that whilst blacks might get some whites on their side who are the same party but whites can also have blacks on their party list on the other side, thereby offsetting the gains that the blacks made in the white area and thereby keeping the blacks without power. That is the strategy behind the locals. So it's not really an empowerment exercise. That's the first point. The second point is that the civics as such are not going away and those are traditional structures where African people come together in the traditional way of discussing matters and it doesn't matter what your rank, your political organisation or anything is, so there they would all come together as a community and discuss. That's the traditional way. There's no party competition. It's discussing in the community and what are the problems and how to take them up and how to solve them. Those people who are the leaders of that community they usually come from more than one organisation. They become very powerful in that community and that structure itself which is a local government structure, because it deals with local government matters and it takes decisions on behalf of a community, those structures are not constitutionally given a channel, accommodated and guided so that you are likely to have two different centres, or loci, of power; one with the party competition structure and one with the non-party community structure and it's interesting to note a year down the line who is going to have more power, the elected party mayor or the community leader who is the de facto mayor, unofficial. Which of the two really will have more power and I would venture to add that the community one is likely to have more power. What are the constitutional implications in that itself?

POM     Do the communities overlap? Do the traditional civic structures overlap with the demarcation of wards?

KX     Not necessarily, but more or less. More or less but not necessarily.

POM     But they don't have staffing, they don't have funding or resources really at their disposal do they?

KX     No, but the traditional way of doing things is that they usually demand to have a hall from the local council. Local councils more often than not give them the hall for free and make public address systems available to them, and that's basically all they need. The other big need they have is when they call meetings to distribute hand bills and usually the political organisations in the community help them because the community organisations are not hostile and the churches are not hostile. So they tap into existing resources in the community with great ease.

POM     Now when I come to my third - so if I were, say, a member of a community organisation and my community gets together and we reach a number of decisions on things we would like to see done, at that point do we then go to the local council and say the community has met and this is what the community wants to do?

KX     That's right, and the Council guy also claims to represent the community having a different view, and also claiming that the community wants done what he wants.

POM     This is going to make for a lot of chaos.

KX     That's right.

POM     Just going back for a moment to the system of voting on the Metropolitan Chambers, that's again a straight PR vote? Like parties would run slates?

KX     Parties will run slates and people will stand as individuals.

POM     They can also stand as individuals?

KX     You can stand as an independent too, but only for the ward.

POM     OK.

KX     So it's a difficult system because if I stand as a PAC candidate then my votes are counted twice. My votes are counted to see if I have won in the ward and then my votes are also added to the aggregate of all the votes in the local council area to see how many people we qualify to have on the party list system. But if I stand as an independent then my votes are counted for me in the ward. Those votes are not added to the aggregate of deciding how the parties are faring. So there are less votes counted, there are less votes cast for the - it's very difficult to explain but the fact of the matter is that the same people voting at the same time cast less votes for the local council area than they do cast for the ward. Although in real terms they have cast the same number of votes but in the system they have cast less votes for the ward because if you're an independent your vote is not counted again for the party list structure.

POM     Tell me how many people realistically do you think out there understand everything you said?

KX     Very few. I would think less than 5% understand these things.

POM     So what's going to happen on election day? People are presented with all kinds of forms and they look at all these forms.

KX     That opens possibilities for tremendous fraud that's going to be there.

POM     Is the country in that sense ready for local elections?

KX     I think the government take it from the point of view of the lesser evil. They say, can we afford to have elections and can we afford not to have elections? And they say that we can less afford not to have elections than we can afford to have it so therefore let's have it.

POM     It seems to me you're saying 95% of the people who go to the polling stations on election day won't have a clue as to really what they are voting for and how the system works?

KX     Yes, but if you look at what happened before this, when registration opened the people didn't want to register and the only way that the government could get the people to register was to get enumerators and say to these enumerators, I'm paying you R5 for every person who registers, so go in there and register them and it's in your own financial interest to do so. So bring that dimension in, it made registrations happen very quickly. In Gauteng where people are highly concentrated, you can go into one yard and have an extended family there, we were able to out-register the provinces with a lot of rural areas so we had the highest voters registered.

POM     The PAC does?

KX     No, the province, Gauteng province.

POM     But do people know, again, one, the problem; it's one thing getting them registered, it's another thing getting them to understand what they do when they get into the polling booth?

KX     It's very difficult. We have sent people out to go and do door to door work and to explain to the masses but it takes time to sit down and explain to them. Some of them still don't know why they must vote. They say, we've already voted, I voted a few months ago, why must I vote again? Let Mandela rule. Two United States agencies in the country, the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute came together and did a survey about six months ago, they call themselves the Joint Centre and they operate together, and the Joint Centre found out that people said that they - they asked the question where people are worried that members of parliament don't come and give report backs, and they were surprised at the response from a very militant community who says that we don't want the people to give us report-backs, we don't care as long as they do the work, because they have a belief in that government is strong and that comes from their history. When the old order wanted to remove a community, even if you refused, they used power, they used force, they would do it. And they said that all governments have the right to do things and the power to do things. As other governments have the power to do wrong things the good guys have the power to do the right things. So they say, but you don't have to tell me, I just want to see, there it is. If somebody stands in your way, Mr Mandela, use the power that you have, remove him. I just want to see that, that's good enough for me, and I see you implementing the things and doing things supposed to be done.

     And of course we operate on a different level, the imagery and the terminology that we use too, the terminology we use for doing things. Like on socio-economic levels we use the terminology of delivery. We say that we want to deliver these things to you and the imagery we create by the terminology we use is of a truck that comes down the street and delivers. So it gives the impression in the person's mind that you sit at home and wait for the politician to come and deliver something for you. And you say to people, don't worry I'll deliver. And we're talking in the line of a certain imagery that's very dangerous. And some of the people say I don't see anything delivered here, I've been sitting on my stoep, I don't see no delivery. When are you coming to deliver? And you ask, what do you mean by delivery? And he says, no you must come down the street and I want to see you with bricks and I want to see you with this and I want to see you with that, that's the imagery that you created in my mind and that's what I want to see and I've not seen it.

POM     Do people yet know what are the competencies, do even candidates know what the competencies of local government will be, what powers they will have?

KX     No they do not, but we are now busy with teaching the candidates that. It's the first time they stand for election, they could not have known in the past, they could not have known from past experience, they can only know from education.

POM     It seems to me, the last time I think we talked, and we talked again to many people, they kept emphasising that local government structures would be the structures through which the RDP would be delivered and once local structures were in place then the RDP would really get off the ground. Yet if I'm listening to you correctly you're saying three things: you're saying, number one the people don't really know how to vote; two, they don't know quite what they're voting for; three, the candidates who are standing for election don't quite know what powers or competencies they will have. And suddenly out of all this mess the RDP is supposed to get implemented? It sounds to me like a recipe for disaster.

KX     When I come back I'll explain to you. I just have to run to the House. I'll explain to you what the RDP is because when I explain to you what the RDP is you'll be more confused.

POM     That's what you said last year.

KX     Yes, the Reconstruction & Development Programme has the three channels filtering down to the community. The first channel is what is known as presidential lead projects, in other words the President of the country can decide what must happen in what community and can allocate a budget for that on the basis of business planning without consulting the relevant department affected or the province or the local government. He can just implement that. The second thing is that the ministries themselves can decide what RDP project must be implemented where, so that a national ministry itself and finance will come through that ministry structure. And thirdly, there is a very small amount of money for a discretionary fund for a Premier, a Premier can also decide on the basis of a certain amount that he has what project he wants to implement. Now how do all these things come together you might say? The sad thing is they don't come together.

     The other question that we've been dealing with here is that, is the RDP a top-up, a budgetary top-up? For example if you're Education minister and you do not have enough money there's an RDP fund there that you can access to top up your budget. And the answer they gave was that it's not. So that what the RDP is itself is hardly clearly to be explained and how it works. Where does local government fit into the whole thing, heaven knows, because in terms of the channels through which money comes to the RDP, local government is not part of that as far as I know. I have to see a document that shows me how local government fits in. We just talk about, on the philosophical level, that local government is in the forefront of the problem. That's right. But in terms of the chart through which money flows down in the RDP budget, where does local government fit into that strategy. I've never seen a document that shows me how they do from the funding point of view.

POM     Can, say, a national ministry overrule a provincial ministry with regard to the allocation of RDP funds?

KX     No, no, no, they've got nothing to do with each other. That's the sad part of the whole thing. The Premier has a fund, a discretionary fund, it's entirely dependent on his discretion. If he decides that if you live in township A and you decide - he doesn't even have to consult you. A discretionary fund, he decides in township A I'm going to do the following and he does it because it's his discretion. He doesn't have to consult, there's no obligation to consult with the local municipality or anything. If the President decided he also wanted to do something in township A, he doesn't have to consult with anybody. He just implements it. For example, the President of the country decided that he's going to have a flagship programme at Katlorus on the East Rand. Katlorus is an abbreviation for Katlehong, Thokoza and Vosloorus, the three areas most hit by the violence outside of Natal. It's a very simple programme. Windows were blown out of houses, roofs were burnt and things like that, some fences were trampled down. It's a very simple project and just to replace the windows, replace the roofs and so on and so forth, and there was a clear budget and a clear business plan showing exactly where these houses are, how much it will cost and what the address is, who is going to implement it and how the President should go about it. The President on the basis of that business plan decided to make this his flagship RDP programme. He took a decision all by himself to allocate money in terms of his own business plan and his own implementing structure. That programme is supposed to take place in our Gauteng province; he did not consult with the Gauteng province for that. It is within three municipalities in the East Rand; he did not consult any of those things. Right now that programme has been sabotaged. It's a year later and it's hardly off the ground. It was put in the newspapers about four weeks ago, in the Sunday newspapers, that it's not off the ground yet and you cannot blame the provincial government for the project not coming off the ground. You cannot blame the local municipality because they are not involved, there is no plan in the programme for them to be involved. So, therefore, the programme has failed in our province but the province has nothing to do with the failure, neither does the local municipality have anything to do with that failure.

POM     So how did it fail?

KX     We do not know and there is no way of knowing.

POM     Well, I'm trying to keep a straight face here. I mean the RDP was supposed to be, as I understood it, the ultimate expression of the democratic will of the people, development at the local level according to the wants and needs of the people at the local level and you're saying it's the very opposite. It's almost something that's arbitrarily imposed from above.

KX     It is, it is. They will claim the contrary. I can tell you now that whatever RDP projects must be done in any of the municipalities, I can tell you now that the ministries have already completed those programmes, those business plans and handed them to the Premier to use his money, his fund that he has to implement the whole thing, and they will tell you they have consulted. But if you ask the people nobody will be able to tell you who was consulted on this thing. That's the RDP. But that is not the fundamental weakness of the RDP. The RDP's objectives are universal and generic and therefore no political party on any side of the political spectrum in any country of the world can oppose the RDP, it is so generic, houses for everybody, jobs for everybody, good clean environment for everybody. Which political party on which side of the spectrum can oppose those objectives anywhere in the world. Everybody supports the objectives of the RDP. But the RDP has failed to learn from a certain programme that happened in the United States and that is the programme in the late 1960s and 1970s called the Comprehensive Anti-Poverty Programme for which billions of dollars were put aside and the Comprehensive Anti-Poverty Programme was directed at the poor, mainly black, in the United States, and it failed dismally because it was an Anti-Poverty Programme and not an empowerment programme and therefore there is not a single township in the United States that you can point out to me that was done away with as a result of the Comprehensive Anti-Poverty Programme. It did not do away with any ghetto and you cannot show me the fundamental changes in any ghetto in the United States as a result of the Comprehensive Anti-Poverty Programme in spite of the billions of dollars that were spent in those days. Each and every one of those ghettos are in the same state or worse after the Comprehensive Anti-Poverty Programme because that's not empowerment. That's why the RDP is not for whites, it's not for businessmen, it's for black people. It's not for all of us, that's why white people and business people ask, what can we do for the RDP?

     So the RDP therefore does not deal with the restructuring of the diamond industry of the rich, it does not deal with the restructuring of the gold industry because otherwise they would be targets of the RDP. It's nothing to do with them, it's for the poor blacks. It is to see to it that at least he must have a slice of bread in the morning and at least be able to get access to hospital, so that the black lady from the township goes to the hospital if she's pregnant, gets free medical treatment and comes back to the same conditions of unemployment, of misery, of suffering that she was in before she went for the free treatment. He lives in a house that has no electricity, there is unemployment, he goes to school, the RDP gives him a slice of bread to eat at school and he goes back again to the same conditions. It's not empowering. But there is a place for poverty relief and I will fight against anybody who says do away with it. But I am saying that it does not go far enough. So the RDP should have gone hand in hand with another programme, the comprehensive economic empowerment programme to go hand in hand with the comprehensive poverty relief programme. If you are only satisfied with having comprehensive poverty relief, and I can tell you right now that even the comprehensive poverty relief, the same thing happened in the United States, that system got abused. A lot of people took those tokens they got, food tokens and whatever, and the racket that carried on with those tokens, you know what happened then. And the same thing is happening here. The food is getting missing, the food money is getting missing, ministers are suspended when the things cannot be hidden any more. It's the same thing. So I am saying that that is not an economic empowerment programme. Even if it was up and running, which it is not, it is not going to take us far.

POM     Is there not that kind of a fantasy element in this, that when the RDP was launched it was launched with a great deal of fanfare, it was supposed to achieve so much over four or five years of time. Two years have gone by, you're saying it's not really been launched, the projects are ill thought out, they are imposed from above, there is no co-ordination, there is no consultation. It again looks like a prescription for allowing corruption to happen, for inefficiencies to develop, for the misallocation of funds. Where does the PAC make itself felt? Where does it speak out in terms like you are speaking out, and make its differences with the ANC crystal clear on matters like this?

KX     We do make it very clear but we also try to be constructive because we are faced with almost a dilemma as the PAC. That dilemma is that there are some of the white right wingers who would like to see the ANC fail because of an anti-black sentiment. Now we have to oppose them and we would like to see that the whole thing does not collapse. But at the same time we can see that things are not going right so when we speak out we don't speak out as the white right wing want to see the ANC going down and point out and say, you see I told you blacks are incapable. We come next to them as brothers and say that we fought this struggle together; this and that and that are the reasons why we fought this struggle, you are moving away from those objectives. That is the manner in which we come in, which is different from the way the white right wing come in.

POM     Does this not make this very difficult for you as a political party to broaden your base of support since you are part of the government?

KX     We're part of the parliament, not of the government.

POM     Not here but at the national level.

KX     At the national level too we're part of the parliament, not of the government.

POM     You're not part of the government of national unity?

KX     We're part of the parliament. We're part of the legislation not of the executive. The executive is the government of national unity not the legislation.

POM     But you're still constrained from speaking out in a very forthright way in case that provided ammunition to the white right wing?

KX     No, no, it's just a question of intellectual honesty and integrity. In the first few months with such a lot of chair arrangements, the establishment of new legislatures where those didn't exist, you can't come two weeks after the ANC come into power and say, you have not delivered this, you have not delivered that. People will say you're mad and you would be mad. So you have to give them some time to do what they say they want to do before you can say they have failed, which time has now elapsed and so our voice is becoming stronger now pointing out these things. But the way we point it out is from a concerned way that the objectives of the struggle and concerns of the masses will be addressed rather than just a wide ranging condemnation, 'I told you so' type of approach, and that is a poise that we have taken because we are positioning ourselves not just as reckless radicals on the left, seeing nothing good in the system, but we are poising ourselves as people who are standing in the wings to govern in a responsible way knowing what is to be done and so on. But that is the image, the new image of the PAC itself, it's a different image than the previous one. The white right wing know they will never govern here, they don't have the numbers, they don't have anything and they are not likely to get any influence amongst the majority. They don't care, they just speak irresponsibly and so on. We differ ourselves. We're in the game, not just of pointing out how somebody else is doing but even to prepare ourselves to govern.

POM     Some months ago your President made a stinging attack on the ANC and its inability to deliver services that it had promised during the April 1994 elections. What makes you believe that the PAC at this point could do any better at the delivery of services?

KX     The PAC has always been an organisation of greater intellect in the way they address issues. You even know now that the intellectuals in the black community, the majority of them are members of the PAC. We have those type of resources. The ANC had always prided itself that it differed from the PAC, that while the PAC wanted to interrogate the problem and go into all the sides of it and so on, they are very pragmatic and reconciliatory and therefore they didn't have to go into things in detail in trying to solve a problem, but that they can just unite people and take that type of approach. So I think that this is a learning period though I must confess for both the PAC and the ANC on government, maybe the PAC is better off to a degree, not to a large degree but to a small degree, by the fact that it is not the government and that they don't have to make the mistakes through experience, that the ANC had to take the first steps and learn to walk and fall and get up again and the normal things. The PAC can look at that and learn and see how not to bump its head and so on. To a small degree that is so but on the other hand I think it's a problem of their own making. It is the type of direction that they put in the country.

POM     But just to follow up with two things. One, organisationally you don't appear to be any stronger than you were prior to the 1994 elections?

KX     We are stronger because we have looked more to the adherence of our ideology before the elections and that was necessary because we are a liberation movement and you try not to be infiltrated and so on and you are very much concerned about infiltration and disorganisation from the enemy and so on. So you don't go out there and work on support, broad support. You want as many people to join your party but you want them to join as ideological adherents not just as supporters. But now after the elections, of course, then there is no democratic order so now you come with more party politics in a broad sense. Now the political game, you're not really fighting to kill and to destroy and to maim somebody and therefore having to keep secret your plans and programmes and have a few faithful that execute this. No, now what's happening is that you are fighting a political struggle rather than a military one and you have to get as many people, so we've put up a lot of community support structures now which might not overtly look like they are PAC but which in character are PAC orientated and therefore we have spread our wings much more amongst the masses.

POM     But if you look at surveys taken over the last several months even, there's no indication that whatever dissatisfaction might exist with the slow delivery of services by the ANC-dominated government there is no indication that that dissatisfaction has translated into support for the PAC.

KX     Well I do not know what access you had to surveys. The only access I had, there was only one survey that I know of which showed that the PAC's support has grown to 8% from 1.2% and that the ANC's one had come down by something like 15%. That was the only survey that I had access to. But I take the point that in third world countries, unlike in first world countries, in a first world country when there is slow delivery the people change and go for the other party, in third world countries the political thing is different. President Mugabe next door had not delivered on many of his promises in the previous election but he won again with a resounding victory. The President of Angola did not deliver on any of his promises, the country is in ruins but the people voted for him again. And the President of Mozambique, his country is in ruins but the people voted for him again. So what I am saying, it's not like in the western countries where if your country is in ruins you're out. We've seen even in South America many of the governments there survive even with inflation rates going into over 1000%, or inflation rates over a few hundred percent and he still wins an election. There's no way in a western country you can win an election with inflation pushing over 100%. So the political game is different here. The only thing that helps the PAC is that it has the same legitimacy as the ANC. It went into exile, it went into Robben Island, it appeared before the UN, it had all those things, it fought the liberation struggle, so it has all those trappings which make a great party in Africa stay on for a long time, so it also has the same things that make great parties stay on for a long time even when they don't deliver. Look at Tanzania, they had a lot of problems in Tanzania. It's unthinkable that the ruling party will lose because the ruling party there does not have an opposition with the same liberation qualifications that they have and here the ANC has an opposition for the same credibility that they have and that is why I think you will see the growth of the PAC, and the greatest threat to the ANC will still come from the PAC.

POM     Now you've said that since 1990 and yet to date there has been no evidence that that is in fact true.

KX     Like I say, the only access I had to evidence was one survey that was done that showed a decline in the ANC and a growth in the PAC. I concede that the decline in the ANC does not match the growth of the PAC, so a person who is discredited in the ANC does not automatically become a PAC member, and if the people are dissatisfied with voting for the ANC they are not going to say with gusto, we'll go and register and vote for the PAC. They usually become disillusioned, period, they don't want to register, period, and so the PAC also lose out on this, to a degree that is so. But to the extent that the PAC itself shows the way and shows that they are able to deliver the goods, to that extent and degree they will win that over. We've not started campaigning aggressively for government. Whatever we do we do it on a low key, soft campaigning type of undetectable campaigning thing, but when the time comes nearer for us to launch our campaign we will do so. Also another fundamental difference in third world campaigning and first world campaigning is that in first world campaigning in the middle of the term of the current government, in the first world, the opposition will have to start putting forward their candidates names and start looking like an alternative like in Britain, like in the United States you already see what's happening long before the campaigns have started. But in third world countries the campaigning doesn't operate that way so you can't come here and say, where is your Tony Blair and your Newt Gingrich and your this and that in the middle of the term of somebody else. It doesn't work like that in third world politics.

POM     I'm trying to get at two things. One, how will you carve out a message for the electorate that will be different from the message that the ANC gives?

KX     Very simple. The PAC came into the first election with an image problem, being the radicals, the fighters. Some people called us terrorists and so on. That is the image with which we came into the election, strong armed guys and so on. The ANC came into the elections with the nice guys, the soft guys, the decent guys, the forgiving guys, the turn the other cheek guys, so they came with that image. Now that image in the first election was a stronger image, a more appealing image than the radical image so that was an image that grabbed the people more. They said, that is what we need, that image, not this image the PAC presents. But right now you've had a swing of the whole thing because what's happening now is people are saying that the moderates are the ones who are soft on crime. You've heard in the debate right now, inside the house there, figures that were given, crime rate higher in Johannesburg than in Brazil, than in the United States and so on, and that is true. So the image is correct there that I can tell you now for the first time in twenty years it is more dangerous to walk in the city centres than in the townships and we know that the ghetto is usually more dangerous than the city centre. But now here it's more dangerous in the city centre than in the township. So that's why Johannesburg is becoming a ghost town, everybody is leaving, running away from Johannesburg, half the buildings in Johannesburg are standing empty. You can sign a lease agreement for an office and tell them that I don't want to pay rent for two years and just to get a client they will agree, with buildings standing empty and dilapidated otherwise.

     So the moderates are being seen to be soft on all sorts of things and people are saying that what we need are stronger guys to come and stop this rot. Even business people are today saying that they need to support the PAC because there can be no economic growth without political stability and the crime rate going down drastically, and they are saying that the PAC, those are guys who are tough. So the tough image which was negative before the first election is now becoming a positive and that is why I keep on telling them in the PAC, don't soften our image, reinterpret the tough image and posit that against the ANC and the NP and the DP, all of them together, put them in one basket. So you will be seeing posters going up like: the moderates are soft on crime; the no-nonsense PAC will crush crime, give us a chance. Such a poster will be a very strong poster.

POM     Secondly, what would you do differently if you were in government today? What would you do differently than what the ANC is doing?

KX     Well the area where we would go for would be on the socio-economic upliftment area. That is where the whole thing really goes. We would take the same position as them on the need for nation building. We would give the nation a character which the ANC has failed to do, a council of character, because everyone in the United States knows what is the character of an American but here there's no character of the nation itself. That is why you find the KwaZulu guys pulling this way and that way. And we will give the nation a clear Africanistic character. This is an African country. Here we are saying Africa first and so on, and put all the people including the whites and give them that African identity, that African pride and dignity into all of them so the nation has a clear character, a clear African character because we are an African nation. That's one thing.

     On the socio-economic front there are many other things we would have done differently. Strong armed things. One of the things I would have done is I would have said to the workers that they must sacrifice for a year. I would decree from the President's office that for twelve months the only salary increases that would be allowed would be a maximum of 4% for the workers, and I would say to them, if you want to march, march against the bosses, march against me because I am the President. And I will tell the shareholders of the companies that they must take a cut in their shareholding profits of something like 8% for that year. And I would say that them and the workers must sit down and take that money that arises as a saving, as a result of my programme, which would be in the order of 150 billion rand and take that money and put it jointly into the development and job creation programmes. They would be happy. Secondly, I would give the employers for doing that, and the shareholders for doing that, and the workers for doing what they are doing, a tax break, so that I would be rewarding sacrifice. There's nothing like people will be fine if you ask them to sacrifice and then reward that sacrifice, and that's what happened in the past, that's why people refused to sacrifice, that's why we say that they will sacrifice because we will reward that sacrifice.

     Besides that we will create what they have done in South East Asia, economic processing zones, EPZs, in the most rural and backward parts of our country. If you come up and put industry manufacturing in this part of our country, no tax, zero tax like you have in Britain and America, on many items you have zero tax, I would give them zero tax not all over my country, I would give them zero tax in the economic processing zones and in those EPZs business would flock into the country, and give them a time limit, say for eight years there will be no tax; thereafter the normal tax will apply. They will say, well I would have made enough to establish myself to withstand whatever tax regime is in place at that time. Of course even then you look at these things. So I think there are a lot of very simple things which are normally done in developing countries, in South East Asia and elsewhere, that can be done here.

POM     Let's take the example of housing; after 18 months the housing programme has not seriously gotten off the ground in any dramatic way. You don't go round the country seeing houses going up here and houses going up there or whatever. Now what would the PAC have done in its approach to housing that the ANC has not done? What would it have done differently?

KX     Let me tell you what it would have done. We would not build any new townships ourselves because the difference between a new township and an old township is this, the old township was built by the white conservatives and the new township is still an apartheid structure built with the black radicals. If you want to build an apartheid structure it doesn't matter whether it's a white conservative or the black radical. The problem is we don't want an apartheid structure so what we would do, we would come up with a different programme plan altogether where we do integrated city planning. We would build up a shopping complex; on the one side of that complex, a beautiful one, put up the lower income housing, across the street the middle income housing, on the other side of that higher income housing, so that people are living in an integrated environment, put up in that integrated environment, so that you are not building an old township any more, you are building a new city development approach and you put up the factories in that area, you put up other community infrastructures in that area, so that people of different classes go to the same good schools, go to the same churches, go to the same soccer teams and rugby squads and whatever and they mix and they encourage each other to be like the other one is. Your child comes from school and sees across the street that where the middle class is living the streets are clean. And when he looks at his street and he sees the paper and the dirty water and whatever he gets disturbed, it disturbs you. It doesn't disturb you if you are living all there by yourself and you grow up into that and you marry into that and you continue living in that, it doesn't disturb you any more. But if the other class is living across the street it disturbs you. If there is a problem at work to empower yourself through education, trade learning and whatever, you remember across the street you want to live, you want to move across the street. So it disturbs you, you go and study more, you get empowered. So you come with a different mindset amongst the people and the other thing is from the economic point of view is that there is no money in low cost housing.

POM     There is no money in low?

KX     In low cost housing. Nowhere in the world do people get rich through building low cost housing. The return on your investment is abysmal, the effort is so big and the return is so little for that big effort that it's hardly worth your while to thrust yourself into low cost housing. If you put up a house for R15,000 that's a subsidy, the government says put up a house for R15000 - $3000, $4000 - now who can put up a house for $4000 and make a profit? You cannot do that. But what I'm saying is that through our integrated approach you would say to people that this is not only low income housing, this is a new type of development. Here you are going to be building schools, you're going to be involved in the building of low cost, medium income and high income housing, shopping complexes, all these things, and on the aggregate it makes financial sense to the developer to thrust himself into that environment. Because right now I can tell you that there is over a hundred billion rand in the insurance companies and in the five funds that are established and in the banks that can be used for development purposes. Over a billion rand do they have, but they will not tie themselves into a thing that does not make financial sense because they might as well invest that thing in government bonds. Government bonds give you a return of investment of at least 16% without doing a thing, just put it in there and get 16% return. Why would you go and build houses and get 3% return on your money?

POM     Are the what's called the culture of entitlement, the fact that not all communities are yet paying up on their housing bonds or their electricity, does this also pose a difficulty for private developers going in, that they won't take the risk?

KX     Yes, yes, they won't take that risk because of the unemployment rate. Some people, most of the people just cannot afford to pay anything, but anything. And that in itself, the affordability thing is another very serious problem. What do you do when 50% of your population is unemployed? How do you force them to pay rent?

POM     Will this bring this to the two crunch questions? A new government coming in had two major challenges to face, one was the provision of adequate housing and two was the provision of jobs. Now on each of those two fronts it has failed. The unemployment rate hasn't even moved at all, or if it has it's moved so little that it's not even worth talking about.

KX     It might have moved in the wrong direction.

POM     It might have moved in the wrong direction. So now, part of what the answer seems to be, at least by the conventional thinking of the ANC and other parties in the government is that you must have massive inflows of foreign capital and that foreign capital will provide the drive to create an economic growth rate of 8% or 9% that will jump start the economy, start providing jobs and the capital to build houses and manufacturing industry. You are still perceived in the international community as being a radical party. You're still perceived as being the party most famous for the slogan of 'One settler one bullet', which just won't die, maybe because it was such a good slogan. It's like advertising, it just won't go away. So when you talk about that you put more emphasis on socio-economic upliftment, on more radical schemes of providing integrated housing, of using the funds of the insurance companies or whatever, their assets for community development purposes, all of this would make the international community very nervous and they would tend to hang back to see what would happen before they would put large scale capital investment in.

POM     So we've been talking about the amounts of foreign investment that are needed in order to bring about sustainable economic growth. I remember yesterday you had talked a bit about the Malaysian model.

KX     Let me just say something about that again. One is that the South African investments which have quite a few hundred billion rand estimated up to four to five hundred billion rand available, that's what's in the papers, but they are not investing so there is no internal investment. There is also very little external investment for a number of reasons, one being that the transitional period is akin to dice which are rolling. You can see things are no longer the same, things are not standing still, things are not yet settled so some of them want to see what is that. Others are saying that Mr Mandela is able to keep a semblance of a stability although there is still the problem of the white right wing and the KwaZulu problem, but if Mr Mandela is no longer there won't this problem just be worse and investments require political stability. Some of them are also waiting to see what is going to happen to the ANC, to Mr Mandela, itself. These are some of the issues. Then there's still the violence going on which is very high and so on. A combination of these factors make people to stand by.

     The Malaysians on the other hand decided to be the first people really to move decisively offering massive investments in low cost housing. They do something which at face value doesn't make sense because they put massive investments into an area where they are hardly likely to get any returns on those investments, the low cost housing market. Almost 50% of the South African Housing Trust is likely to be privatised or sold to Malaysia and that is a government housing which will put Malaysia firmly in control of the housing market in this country. What the Malaysians are doing, my view is that they are trying to play catch-up with the other Asian countries, Taiwan, China and others and that is why they are putting in a large investment, but that answer is not sufficient because they are not making huge returns on their investments but I think they are doing what Japan did in Malaysia itself. Japan put in huge investments in the low cost housing market in Malaysia in order to win the goodwill of the Malaysian people and as the Malaysian people started improving their standard of living, Japanese goods flooded into the country and Japan had an advantage over others as far as the commodity markets were concerned, especially consumables, and so I think that's what they are doing now. They don't look at this just as an investment right now that has to give some returns. They are looking at it as the acquisition of goodwill and setting the stage for a phase two situation where they will come in into the area. They are very well aware that there is relative political stability here. The systems of a number of African countries are accepted by all the contestants, Zimbabwe - everybody there accepts the system. They might fight for more political power but they do it within the system. Botswana, Lesotho now recently too, Namibia, South Africa and there are indications that Mozambique and Angola too would be on that way as well. In Malawi people are not happy with the government's performance but they agree with the system and they are prepared to fight within the system, there is no guerrilla movement. These are the signals to many observers that show that there is going to be political stability there.

     Now although there is in the light of the peso in Mexico, the problem there, there is still a phobia of emerging markets. People feel that emerging markets are very susceptible to all sorts of movements one way or the other but still there is also an opportunity factor. Some of them feel that unless you put your foot in the door first you might be left behind. So whilst there is concern by major western investors there is also the opportunity factor that they see. They know that you have the Asian tigers but you may well, in this part of Africa, have the emergence now of the African lions led by South Africa and the smaller lions around it which might become bigger too. There is the economic community being formed now in Southern Africa with a number of stable political regimes and that itself is the opportunity fact that people are also looking at. So the problem that we have with no investments coming in, I think it is something that is very difficult for the ANC to resolve but it is something that is not insurmountable, something that can be attended to. What you need is a very strong government. A strong government will give the right signals to the west and to the investors that things are under control, we're a strong government but we are not dictators, we are benevolent strength.

POM     Do you realistically think that in 1999 that the PAC could win enough votes to form a majority government?

KX     We can have enough votes to either be the government or the opposition, it depends on the strategies that we use at the moment, because we have the clout, we have the legitimacy in the eyes of the people. The previous vote was not pro this party or pro that party vote, it was more an anti-white domination vote, it was a liberation vote. It had nothing to do with performance, abilities on the part of the liberators. It was just that the other guy had to go at all costs and it was also a sympathy vote for Mr Mandela himself as an icon, as a symbol of the struggle. But this time around those factors that were fundamental in determining the way the elections go will not be present in the next election.

POM     With all due respect, it seems to me that you have a singularly weak leader in Mr Makwetu. I don't mean to criticise him but he doesn't seem to have the stuff that it takes to be the leader of a major national party whether it's in opposition or in government. Within the organisation itself ...

KX     There is that view, I have come across that view very often and you will know that in the last elections he won by nine votes.

POM     Against?

KX     I think Dr Pheko. I am aware of that view. But I can say that just below Mr Makwetu we have a host of PAC leaders who each one of them is more popular than the top three in the ANC, on the ground. You can do your own evaluation amongst the masses. Never will a mass meeting be held in a stadium and Thabo Mbeki or Cyril Ramaphosa be invited to address. They appeal to middle class people and to more centre right, middle class people and therefore to the media which is centre right too. But to the masses who form about 90% of the electorate they do not appeal to those people at all and they are never invited in any crisis, in any problems, in any mass rallies. Nothing. They just don't have that appeal. And just below Mr Makwetu you have a number of people in the PAC who have that type of appeal, stronger than the top guys in the ANC.

POM     So do you think President Mandela is the glue that holds the ANC together?

KX     Yes, yes, and that is something that is well known to western investors, so that's why western investors are saying that . Within the ANC itself there is a strong view that says he should not stand for elections because if he stands for the next elections and he loses the whole glue that holds the ANC together will fall apart, it will splinter into a number of organisations. There is that view in the ANC itself. The communists would say, well we were able to remain loyal because we have a strong person but it is no longer strong, he is no longer there, we can compete against the other guys. And so different factions will arise and he will not be able to hold it together. But even with him there, even with him being able to hold things together people are still worried that if he retires, that is one of the reasons why they don't make investments. If he retires and the ANC wins will they be able to keep the next person, be able to keep the right wing, the Inkatha Freedom Party, the other factions that are coming up now, the traditional leaders and all the other groups that are pulling at the centre, will they be able to hold it together. And that's why investors are saying let's wait and see. But I am saying that one of the other secondary leaders within the PAC, if one of them takes the top leadership they have the strength, they have the direction, they have everything to hold things together and they have the good, the PAC has good relations with Inkatha, with every other black organisation because they are a nationalist organisation. They look at black people as one people. So they do have the strength with this. The only other issue they have to deal with is the right wing.

POM     Now in KwaZulu/Natal, your representative in the legislature here is the key to whether or not the KwaZulu/Natal constitution can be passed or not passed and you have been in some serious discussions with the IFP. Is it not a bit ironic that a party like the PAC which believes in very strong centralised government would be negotiating with a party that believes in the maximum degree of decentralisation, almost bordering to the point of autonomy?

KX     I think that if you don't want an agreement you must talk about isms, because isms are red herrings which mean different things to different people. Communism to some people represents a caring concern for the ordinary man. For other people it represents tyranny. So once you talk isms you can easily talk past each other. So when you talk about federalism and unitarism too you can easily talk past each other. Any unitarist agrees that the provincial government must have enough power to do the work it's supposed to do. No unitarist can argue against that. All the federalists agree that the provincial governments have enough power to do what they are supposed to do. Now what you just have to argue is, what are you supposed to do? There's a very easy way to solve that problem. Now we ask the federalists, do you want to pass legislation on the Airways and so on? They said, no, no that's the central government responsibility. You say foreign policy? They say no. Military matters, it's central government responsibility. So you say, OK, so you don't need powers to do that and they will agree, and the centralists will agree the same thing and the centralists and the federalists will both agree that the provincial government doesn't need power for the matters I've just mentioned. Now they will agree what it is that they are supposed to do. Education, health, development and other issues like that. The unitarists agree that is what the province must have powers to do and the federalists agree that that's what they must have powers to do. What you must just take out, take out the term unitarist and federalist and just talk about the powers that they are supposed to have to do the functions for which it has been put in place. And there's an easy way to resolve that one. It's not difficult. A PAC government will resolve this seemingly difficult thing very easily by the way we approach it, very easily.

POM     Do you think that issue is rather settled at this point or is it still an issue?

KX     It is an issue because of the size of KwaZulu/Natal, it's the biggest province in the country and there is a lot of political posturing, that if the ANC gives in to the IFP and the IFP appears to come out as winners and you lose the biggest province in the country, you are just weakening your chances for the next election because the ANC realises that it doesn't have to be beaten by the IFP everywhere, it just has to be beaten by the IFP in KwaZulu, the NP in the Western Cape, the PAC in Gauteng, the Democratic Party in the Eastern Cape and so on, to lose. So they take each setback in each province very seriously and that's how they approach the KwaZulu/Natal thing. Fortunately enough on the military matters they realise that the only way that you could bring stability within the army there is to appoint the head of APLA as the Chief of Staff of the KwaZulu/Natal Command, so Brigadier Romera Daniels, or Dan Mofokeng as his real name is, has been appointed the Chief of Staff of the KwaZulu/Natal Command of the South African National Defence Force and because he comes in as the APLA Commander, all sides, he can keep them together otherwise they take sides with the political parties. And it's worked very well. There is total stability in the South African National Defence Force because of the APLA Command in the area.

POM     Do you think that the country can put together a constitution that essentially will exclude any input from KwaZulu/Natal or do you still see it as a major threat to stability that this situation can get out of hand at any moment because of the deep antagonisms that exist between the IFP and the ANC?

KX     I think that's possible, antagonism between the IFP and the ANC in KwaZulu/Natal and the ANC and the NP in the Western Cape. You know at the moment it's unlikely that you'll have elections. It is certain that you won't have elections in Cape Town because of the antagonism between the ANC and the NP. And in KwaZulu/Natal itself things can fall apart if that matter is not resolved and that is the reason why investors are sitting back and watching the whole thing. Unfortunately President Mandela and Buthelezi are very stubborn individuals themselves. Whenever Mr Mandela reads from his prepared text things are OK but when he takes off his glasses you know that he can say anything, and the same thing applies to Buthelezi. When he takes off his glasses and looks away from his text he can say anything. There are people surrounding them who don't want them to rock the boat and prepare their text very well but these people are very concerned when they take off their glasses. And whenever they make the statements, the threats and all these things, is when they have their glasses off.

POM     So this is a sign to look for. If we see on television glasses coming off you know that something very unprepared is going to happen?

KX     Something unprepared is going to happen, he can say anything contrary to what he has just read.

POM     In the last couple of weeks you've had this situation at the national parliament where twice there wasn't a sufficient quorum to debate the Budget Bill. Is it not ironic that less than 18 months after there has been black enfranchisement that enough black legislators at the national level can't get together or come together in parliament to pass the single most important piece of legislation?

KX     Well I can tell you in any country in the west if you fail to have a quorum twice the government would have been out. It's only in Africa that you can fail to have a quorum for the budget twice and still be the government. The problem with the members not attending would be one that's ill-discipline amongst mainly the ANC members, because they have the majority. If they are there there's a quorum even if nobody else comes. But they are not very serious about their work.

POM     When you say they are not serious about their work what do you mean?

KX     I would say the members of parliament are not serious, that's the one point. The second point is the organisation of the parliamentary procedures itself. Now in our province here I was one of the people who spoke out very strongly against committee meetings during the session of parliament. Now in Cape Town you find that they still have that system so that whilst the legislature is sitting there are committee meetings also sitting so you are required to be at the committee meeting. So it's not that you don't want to come to the legislature it is just that the committee is also sitting and they have a plethora of bills that must be passed before the end of this session of parliament which ends in less than two weeks, in ten days parliament closes for three months. So that is the problem that they are faced with. The committees are sitting and the members are there and some members take serious exception to the fact that it is alleged in the paper that they are absent. They say that I was right there, I was in the committee, I was not in the parliament but I was right there.

POM     It said some place that there were five meetings of the Defence Committee scheduled for the same day, some of them at the same time, which would require one to be in three different places rather than even two.

     When you look back at the last 18 months how has your personal life changed?

KX     Well I would say that one, I am more relaxed than I was before the elections. Sometimes when I go to a single place that is not too crowded I even travel all by myself. it's only when I go to mass meetings that I go with bodyguards but many times I just travel all by myself so I am more relaxed, the climate is more relaxed and I am able to give more time to my family, to my children. So in that sense there is a more positive thing in terms of personal growth and my personal life. My family life is more enriched now. I can see the quality of the family life is far better than it was during the struggle. These are some of the issues.

POM     You moved from where you were living previously?

KX     Yes I moved because I didn't have a house, I had no choice. I had no house, they burnt my house down so I had no choice, I had to move from where I was living.

POM     Where are you living now?

KX     I'm living next to Eldorado Park, which is not very far from where I used to be. About five minutes drive from Baragwanath Hospital, five minutes drive from Eldorado Park so I placed myself very near everything.

POM     So are your children going to school now?

KX     They are going to school right there.

POM     Are they going to integrated schools.

KX     Integrated Model C school, just two minutes walk from where I am living. I am living almost across the way from the school. I'm one block away from the school. So they are doing well and I am able to watch their progress directly. I have more time. Saturday I spent the day with them at the school sports day so I have time for these type of activities. I have time to go to the School Board meetings now. Things are more normalised. But on the political side too I am still very much sought after at rallies, meetings, all sorts of things. I turn down about 60% of invitations that come to my office, and that is anything from national days of governments' arranged by embassies, to mass rallies in the townships. And my role in the legislature has been during the first year more a role of a nation builder type of approach, that's what approach I took there because the ANC did not think they will win this Gauteng and consequently all their heavyweights from this area went to the national parliament and they left it up to the civic leaders, the toyi-toyi guys, to be on the list here. And then they won and this is the most important, close to the ground legislature in the whole of Southern Africa. We are in control of more than 60% of gross national product here and all of these things, and we are very weak in terms of personnel, a very weak legislature, so we have to try and make sure that things remain intact.

POM     You seem to put, unless I'm misreading you, considerable emphasis on the fact that one of the major differences between the PAC and the ANC is that while the ANC and the IFP are almost irredeemably antagonistic towards each other, that the PAC doesn't carry such baggage and is in a far better position to bring the IFP along with it?

KX     That's right. We would definitely be in a position to bring the IFP along with us. That issue of the IFP, if the PAC win the national elections the problem of the IFP would just disappear as mist before the morning sun. It would just be gone as if it never existed, between central government and provincial government. And even the problem with the IFP and the King also will go away. Because the PAC is very Africanistic, the PAC would sit down and try and see how we can resolve the differences between them, the necessity to take the best from the west and take the best from the more African inheritance and put them together in a structural and other forms, and that will make the system work.

POM     So again, going back 18 months, what major differences do you see in the lives of the people, of the masses of the people of the country? Has there been any real difference in their lives?

KX     No there's no difference in their lives. Their lives are still the same. The biggest enemy of the ANC, for example, and the government of national unity, is time. Because people say that we understand that within the first two months you can't deliver, we understand that. But as time goes on and they have made promises with time deadlines people are beginning to see that they are unable to deliver and that they do not have a plan, and that is where, for example, you find that the South East Asians are coming in very strong now and the South East Asians are going to defeat the west in this part, in terms of its role in the economy. Because, number one, I can give you an example of the motor industry. It doesn't matter how hard the United States is fighting for Japan to open its markets for American cars, the Japanese have successfully imprinted in the minds of the Japanese people that American cars are inferior. So even the American cars which are there are difficult to sell. It's difficult to sell the cars because Japanese believe that their vehicles are superior. Even here they did the same thing in their advertising and whatever. Everybody knows that a Toyota is superior to a Ford and a Chevrolet and to all these cars, superior to that.

PAT     It's true of the entire American people.

KX     So Hyundai have just come in and this went on the reputation of Toyota and within two years is now selling 1000 cars a months. It's doing extremely well just because it's Asian, but had Hyundai been an American car it would have struggled. But they are coming in and they are coming in with their products and they are selling the idea that it's better than the western products, cheaper to maintain, cheap to replace, efficient, good quality and so on. And now Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea and all the other countries are coming in very strong into this market and people like ourselves, the PAC who have been, and I'm sorry to say this, who have been sidelined by the west, we are being wooed by the South East Asians, we're very much open to being wooed.

POM     The Truth & Reconciliation Commission which the PAC opposes?

KX     Yes we're opposed to the commission, the way they are going about that. We stand for nation building very strongly, reconciliation very strongly, but the Truth Commission itself we feel that it's a non-starter in that the true perpetrators of the murders, the assassinations and whatever will not come forward; that's a given. The people who will come forward are juniors who will be sent there to come and confess that he punctured the tyre of your vehicle, he threw a stone through your window and prepared to give you R10 to replace your window, that type of thing. That's what's going to happen there. But the serious assassinations will remain unresolved and even after the Truth Commission has made its findings stories will always be leaked in the newspapers about the murders that went on before that and there will still be a need to address those issues so the question will arise then, what was the value of the Truth Commission?

     I think that we should have a straightforward trial of people who have committed crimes. We know who they are and we have got their names. There are a lot of affidavits written of people who are involved. You see in the Truth Commission you can only come and say what you have done. You cannot come and say, I know so-and-so did that, so there is no accused in the Truth Commission, there is no accuser, there are only witnesses, there are only people who come and testify what he has done. And like I say, the bad guys will not come forward, so it's a good thing that you have to take the bad guys, you have to have accused at the hearing and accuse them and bring the evidence from the witnesses to them and let them give an account of themselves like they are going to have in Sarajevo and they are going to have elsewhere. Then from the need to have reconciliation you can pardon them but you must find them guilty and you must put them on trial. There must be a massive trial and thereafter you can then pardon some of them, others you can give short sentences and so on but at least the thing that was underneath, the hurt has come to the front, it is being dealt with openly, that sore has been cut open, it's being attended to properly. That's what we stand for.

     You're going to have the same thing in Rwanda. Those criminals will be brought up straight into the open. Some of them may be ministers, some of them may be leaders in communities but they will be brought there. Some of them will be pardoned, most of them will be pardoned. And it's a common thing and it's ironic that a South African judge is saying in Sarajevo and these countries that there is no way that the government can deal with crimes against humanity the way it's going to be dealt with here. And apartheid itself, there are many UN resolutions we can show you that say that it's a crime against humanity. You have to deal with it properly.

POM     Finally, on the land issue, here is another issue where you stand very much apart from the ANC. Again, could you just contrast your two positions and also contrast it in terms of how it feeds the perceptions that the PAC is still a radical party, not a centrist party?

KX     The land question still remains the fundamental issue that must be resolved. Without land there can be no sovereignty, without land there can be no dignity. That is what the American revolution was all about, it was about land, sovereignty, dignity. That's what the Russian revolution was all about; that's what the French revolution was all about; land, sovereignty, dignity; and that's what our struggle was all about itself. We are saying that we still have a situation where a small percentage of the population owns most of the land, more than 87% of the land. That issue needs to be redressed and one of the ways in which the ANC started to address it, they said there's a lot of state land, let's give the state land away, let's protect the private land of the 87%, let's give the state land away and let the people buy the land, the 87%, from the whites. And we are saying that that cannot work because first of all the masses don't have the money to buy, the billions that will be required to buy the land they don't have that and, secondly, these whites who own land are not willing to sell, many of them. So you can't say that the land issue might be resolved through a willing buyer, willing seller type of arrangement, it just won't work.

     Secondly, you can't resolve it through state land. If you take state land in Gauteng you will find that the state land is where the hospitals are situated, where the schools are situated, where the military is situated. Now you can't take the military and put it in the air and use that land for the masses. You can't take the school and put it in the air and use that land for the masses. The state land is still required for the same purposes that it was required in the old order. You can't do away with it, you can't take it away. And also the state land is not necessarily situated where the people want to stay. Even if the Voortrekkerhoogte, next to Pretoria, land becomes available and we decide to disband the army altogether there, for most of the people it's too far from their workplaces so we can't push them there.

     So we must come with another more realistic way of dealing with the land question and we are saying that as far as we are concerned land is required for three things, agricultural use, residential use and for business use. For business and residential use that's mainly for the urban people and we will have to make land available for them, they will have to get land for that purpose. For the agricultural use that is where the big problem comes in because that is where real land masses are in question. We are saying that we are not going to make whites landless but we have to feed the land hunger, because even those whites in the new order they are also Africans and Africa is their home. But what we are saying is that one of the pragmatic ways of how we are going to deal with the land issue is that we are going to look at the size of a farm, of a viable farm, and we are going to make sure that if a viable maize farm needs to be 1000 hectares, below that it is not viable to farm, then we will say that in this province a viable maize farm needs to be 1000 hectares and every person who wants to farm must have at least 1000 hectares. So if you have 2000 hectares then the state will have a right to the other 1000 hectares.

POM     Take that 1000, with no compensation?

KX     No, no, we will compensate that. We will give them compensation in the form of interest bearing government bonds redeemable after ten years or after fifteen years, the state is able to do so. So it will constitute a saving and the longer the government takes to repay you it doesn't matter much in the sense that you won't lose anything, it will still be interest bearing. So you will be given government bonds, which is the proof that money is due to you, compensation is due to you. Then if a maize farm needs to maybe be 1000 hectares but you might find that a wine farm might need to be 2000 hectares to be viable, so you would say, OK if you are going to be involved in having a wine farm you need to have 2000 hectares. We may even take 1000 hectares away, if a white maize farmer has 2000 hectares and a white wine farmer has 1000 hectares we may take 1000 hectares away from the white maize farmer and give it to the white wine farmer. So even amongst the whites we would take from the one and give to the other. All of them must be viable. And then of course the black farmers themselves too. Not all blacks will want to farm so you won't just come and confiscate and hope that blacks would come and apply because you have it, because there you can have disaster. You will see how many people can and what they are able to handle and maintain but they must be all be able to have viable agricultural operations. That is our concern and that's how we are going to be dealing with this question. It will be a fair way of dealing with the question. Everybody will be having a viable farm at the end of that. No white farmer who wants to farm will be without a farm and land will be available for the people.

POM     No white farmer would have a farm that would be larger than ...?

KX     Than what constitutes a viable farm.

POM     For that particular agricultural activity.

KX     The only time that he would have that is if there is no land hunger from the black side and then we won't take it away from him just for the sake of taking it away and letting it lie fallow. He might have more than that on the grounds that there is no viable But the constitution thereafter would protect the right of the use of that land. Once the exercise is through there will be constitutional protection. The constitution must protect the right of the use and you can even pass it on to your children and your children's children. So once that fair distribution has taken place there will be constitutional protection for the use of that land. Even for the residential land we say we must de-commoditise, go back to the old traditional way of handling land. That land must be held in trust by the state on behalf of the people, which means that that in itself will bring down drastically the cost of housing if land is available freely.

     If you take countries like the United States and Britain, as far as foreign investors are concerned they zero rate some issues as far as tax is concerned but then those foreign companies while they are not paying any tax on a certain commodity associated with manufacture, you find that they have to pay through their noses for the land, for other municipal charges in that area. So one of the ways, when we look at South East Asia, for example, we see that how they are competing with the west on the question of tax is that they say that being a developing country they cannot afford not to charge tax but whilst Britain says that they won't charge you any tax on a certain commodity but we will charge you excessive amounts of money for the land, land taxes and other things; you will find that South East Asia is saying that we will charge you a reasonable tax but then we will give land for free, you will get other things for free. And that is the type of approach we also have to do. We have to give land for free to foreign investors. We cannot charge them on that. That, of course, offsets the fact that they have to pay tax on the other things. It makes life more bearable for the foreign investor.

POM     Why does the land issue receive so little attention in the national media?

KX     I think that in the past four months it has received much more attention than many other issues. I think even during the past two weeks. There was a big land conference here at Kempton Park and there are land meetings taking place all over the show. Almost every week you see a particular land problem being attended to by the government.

POM     Just a last couple of questions, and one is to clarify something. You were talking yesterday about the local government voting system and as I understood you, you were saying that when people vote at the ward level even though they may own property in two or three different wards they have to choose the ward of their residence and they get to vote only in that ward, so it's one person one vote. Does the same principle apply to the at large voting? If I'm voting for somebody in the district at large and I own property in two or three different wards do I get to cast ...?

KX     You'll have to cast one vote then.

POM     So it's still one man one vote and as far as you're concerned the local government electoral structure is in line with the constitutional principle of one person one vote?

KX     Not really because of the number of wards.

POM     Except this splitting up, the fifty/fifty issue.

KX     Yes, it would be more or less except for in the District Councils which we did not talk about yesterday. In the District Council as things stand now the ANC want people to cast a vote only for the party, not for ward candidates, and that itself is going to create a serious problem and that also makes it almost difficult for the traditional leaders to have any say in what's happening really because some of them have to be above party politics and the ANC says that they should reduce themselves to party candidates and thereby alienating themselves from the other members in the village who are not members of that party, and the Chief said, "But I'm the Chief of everybody." And you have that problem there. So there you find that there are an excessive number of people to vote for in the TMC areas and extremely little people to vote for in the rural area. There are too little votes in the rural area and too many votes in the urban area.

POM     Is the whole question of traditional leaders one that the ANC has seriously underestimated the importance of?

KX     Yes, very definitely. Very definitely because if you look at different multi-party democracy models in Africa itself you see that wherever they have gone for a pure western model they have failed to sustain that model and bring stability. The only African countries that have stability, like Botswana, Botswana is one of the best examples of political stability, they have a mixture between the western multi-party system and the African traditional system so you even have a house of traditional leaders on the national level and a beautiful mixture between the two, the balance between the two systems, and that is how you bring stability in the society. And the more stable African systems, I mean in Zimbabwe too just after the elections they had a multi-party democracy, there was a lot of political instability, fighting, attacks on white farmers, a lot of things like that, and the moment Mugabe decided that I am now going to bring in the African system and mix it with the western system, once they had done that political stability starting setting in in the country itself.

POM     If you had to look at emerging leaders who would you look at in the ANC, the IFP and the PAC and in the NP? Who are the future?

KX     I would think in the NP itself, the problem, the NP will become a spent force because the NP is trying to fight for a niche which is occupied by the ANC, a middle ground, liberal niche and I can't see the NP beating the ANC in that niche, so they will become a spent force. Then there is the niche on the left to the ANC which of course will be occupied by the PAC and then I can see emerging with time, I see a conservative black and white, more right wing, more Christian orientated conservative movement emerging with time. I see the traditional writing which we have now also disappearing with time. So I think that is the three type of tendencies you are likely to have, a more centre, a centre left and a centre right movement coming up with time. And it's very difficult to associate that with existing parties. I can see realignments, but I can talk about leaders within those three tendencies. The ANC's problem is that they do not have grassroots leaders, grassroots supporting popular leaders. They have those who are popular in the middle classes which would be Cyril and Thabo Mbeki.

POM     As a personal opinion which of the two do you think is more able?

KX     Well I'm not looking at ability in terms of the middle class, I look at it in terms of the working classes because that is where it's going to matter most and I see both of them don't match it. Both of them have no support so it's not a question of that. Then I see two people on the wings who are also going to try and make their entrance in time and they will be Arnold Stofile and Pallo Jordan, of which I think both of them are on the same level. They will be more acceptable to the grassroots. There is a strong move also to have women amongst the top contenders and within the ANC itself the strong women who are opposed to Winnie Mandela, people like Adelaide Tambo, and the people like Mrs Sisulu, those are the old guards, they won't get the attention. They are like mothers, like acceptable people but they are not really the right calibre of women. I see the ANC still has to develop that group of women. They have nobody in the rank of Patricia de Lille for example, they have no women in her rank. And somebody in the rank of the DP's Dene Smuts. They actually don't have people in that category. Then on the PAC side it's difficult for me to say. I would rather not say anything as far as the PAC is concerned. We'll have to see what happens there. But I can say that the PAC has a number of people who are more popular on the ground than the top contenders within the ANC itself, so you can have leadership coming up there and even contenders for the presidency.

PAT     That should be decided at the local government elections. We should see people from the PAC winning seats at the ward level.

KX     Yes but that's got nothing to do with the national. For example, I'm not sure in the States that people vote for one party on the local level and another party on the national level and that the local elections are not necessarily an indication of how things are going to go on the national elections. For example, if you take Westdene, Westdene votes for DP on the local level and for Pik Botha on the national level of the NP. So on the local level it's more a question of who's been working in the community, who they know in the ward and so on irrespective of that person's qualities. If that person should change allegiance from the PAC to the ANC it doesn't affect his support in the ward. In the ward it depends on how he's taken up community problems whilst in the national elections it matters if you cross from the one party to the other. So that is what I would say as far as the PAC is concerned.

POM     If you don't win a significantly larger number of seats in the local elections would that indicate that the party is in serious trouble?

KX     No, no, no, not at all. If you don't win a significant number of seats there it doesn't matter much in the sense that you can't project that on to the national elections because, like I say ...

POM     But you're saying you're strong at the local level.

KX     On local level. I'm saying that on the local level itself even if you win 20% or 80% of the local wards it doesn't mean you're going to win 80% in the national elections, so you can't take your strength here and project it into the national because that same individual who was supported in the ward is supported on the basis of his standing in that ward, his personal standing generally and even if he resigns from the PAC and joins the ANC his support would still be the same. The support is therefore not necessarily party based but is based on his standing and the work that he's doing for the community upliftment. And I'm saying that it's difficult to project that in an honest way on to the national. It's not without significance though, it shows that there is a support for your candidates in the area. And in the next election there will be ward elections too. It gives an indication at least that there is a move in a certain direction but it's very difficult on the basis of a move to determine the degree of that swing.

POM     Two last questions. One is, how does the country go from having one of the simplest voting systems in the world last April to having one of the most complicated voting systems in the world a year later?

KX     How did it do that or why? I think it's a question of political experiences.

PAT     Whose?

KX     The dominant party.

PAT     Can I just follow up on that. But this system was designed at Kempton Park.

KX     No, the problem is it was not designed at Kempton Park. I was at Kempton Park. The parties sat down, 26 parties, and discussed the voting system, the national one. On the local level there was negotiation between three parties only, that is the ANC, SANCO, which is also ANC aligned, and the National Party body of councillors, and those three negotiated the entire Local Government Bill and brought it to Kempton Park and said that it's been negotiated by the people who are directly affected so you have to endorse it. And it was very difficult for us to change anything because we were told that you are not the relevant people, the relevant people are the councillors of the NP and the Civics bodies of the ANC, those are the relevant people and they've come up with this thing. So the people who have to be affected by this have drafted it so you must just go ahead along with it. So that thing was never really negotiated at Kempton Park although it was endorsed at Kempton Park.

POM     The last question. Do you think the constitution that is going to emerge out of the Constituent Assembly is going to be radically different from the interim constitution or that it's going to be the interim constitution with a few changes here and a few changes there, but in essence more or less the same?

KX     I think the interim constitution is based on the rule of law and I can't see the new constitution diverting from being based on the rule of law. So the interim constitution is also based on fundamental human rights and I can't see the new constitution deviating from that base, so I see a lot of the base of the constitution itself, how those principles reflect themselves might be amended here and there. As far as the parliament itself is concerned I can see a move from the many Deputy Presidents, to the ruling party having a President and a Deputy President. I can see the retention of the executive comprising of both elected and appointed members. I can see the presidency still remaining a part of the legislature itself. It will not be like the US presidency which is not part of the legislature. I can see the executive more or less having the same powers that it has; the committee system not being a rubber stamp but actually where work is being done, I can see the retention of that. I can see still with the committees having oversight of what's happening in the departments, that type of thing, I still see it happening. And I can see greater powers for the provinces, more directly explaining what's going to - the powers will be more clearly spelled out. It won't just say you have a competency in this field and that, it will say where it is. I can see residual powers resting with the central government in areas where both the central government and the provincial government have the same powers, powers over. I can see in a dispute between the two the central government having the final say. So this is the type of line I see. I can see the independence of the judiciary being retained, of the difference between the legislature, the demarcation of powers between the legislature and the executive will be retained in the final constitution, and that is the same position that pertains right now. I can see power sharing going.

POM     You can see power sharing going?

KX     Yes. Enforced coalition will not be constitutionalised. That is the direction I see the constitution going.

PAT     I just have a short question; the changes that are happening with you that we talked about earlier, do you think there is a change in your own philosophy about politics that's taking shape here as either changes in your life or changes in your position?

KX     I would think that the only change that happened in emphasis for myself is the change of the importance of politics. Politics is no longer as important to me as it used to be because in the past politics was everything in the liberation struggle. To get that political power was almost an objective and an end in itself and you just lived for that. Nowadays I see that the important thing is socio-economic upliftment and I see politics as being a facilitating agent in that direction. So it is how the people in your constituency come, how you put them into a group, how you organise them and how you facilitate their socio-economic development programmes that they put in place, as important as politics. If you just do that, if you just facilitate that then you're a good politician as far as I'm concerned. You don't have to go out there and beat your breast and threaten this one and threaten that one and say, I want to have this done and you shall do this. I don't see that as important any more. I see the important thing is that the socio-economic development structure, the society, the business community and whatever, people come to you and ask you to facilitate certain things for that upliftment and you just facilitate that, that's all. Then you're a good politician as far as I am concerned.

PAT     What about the nature of your own thinking about ways in which to approach whether it's socio-economic or political question or ideology, so to speak. Yesterday you were talking about the PAC being tough, being able to be tough on crime, the nature of labour relations if the PAC had won; you might look for a period of labour unions not going for increases in wages, shareholders, whatever, they would take out of their returns on their investment, the whole nature of investment in this country ... do not have very good standards like human rights on labour practices and how that can be accommodated, should be accommodated by South Africa. It strikes me listening to you over some six years or so that there is maybe a more practical or pragmatic !Khoisan X as opposed to the more stringent.

KX     No I think that there is, I mean I'm still quite controversial, I was talking to some business people the other day and they were saying that wages are too high, and I said that no, wages are not high, wages are too low. And I said that all of them should double the salaries of the workers. They were outraged at that. I explained to them, I said that I will put my case and then you put your argument. I said to them that the important thing is not the cost of labour at the end of the day, it is the unit cost that matters. And I said to them if I'm motor manufacturer A and you are motor manufacturer B, if I pay the labourers R1900 in company A and in company B you are paying, you are a competitor, you pay your labourers R900 a month up to R1800, who pays more? At face value you will say that company A pays more because they pay R1900 and company B pays less because they pay R900 a month, but if the labour costs in company A, the unit cost, not labour cost, the unit cost is R1 per unit in company A and company B's unit cost is R5 a unit then you will see that company A while they are paying R1900 are paying less and have a higher return on their investment than company B. I mean company B who pays R900, half the wages, are in fact paying more than company A and have a lower return on their investment. So it's not a question of how much you're paying the worker but how you relate that to the unit costs. So I don't look at wages as it is.

POM     Wages linked to the level of productivity?

KX     Linked to productivity, linked to unit cost and so on. So when the Taiwanese say that people are paid more money it does not mean that those people who are paid more are working harder than my workers. In fact you might find that in company A the workers are paid R1900 and company B R900 and the workers in company B who are paid R900 work harder than the workers in company A. They work harder but the mechanisation in the company, the machinery, the upgrading, the technology is so backwards that you work so hard. And that in fact in real terms, in very real terms the workers in company B who are earning R900 a month are being paid more than the workers who are earning R1900 in company A. So it's linked to the unit cost and the return on the investments. And I'm saying that the way to assist the business community is not by saying let us bring the wages down, but also to say let us increase productivity, let us look at the unit cost itself. I said to them that under a PAC government we would certainly be looking at the unit cost there and you would find that when we help you to increase your unit cost, or to bring your unit cost down, drastically down, that you will be able to afford to double the salary of the workers and still have a higher return on your investment.

POM     Got it.

KX     So these are some of the innovative views that they are coming with from the PAC side to help the economy along and even that foreign company that the South African investors feared, if their unit cost comes down drastically and production they can double the cost of their workers' pay and still beat the foreign investor.

POM     Last, the single biggest challenge facing the country in the next twelve months?

KX     Is to keep the morale of the people and to make sure that the Natal issue is properly handled. That's, I think, the single biggest challenge; the morale of the people linked to socio-economic, visible changes in their quality of life. Some of those changes do not have to be in the short term fundamental, they just have to be visible.

POM     Thank you ever so much for all the time.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.