About this site

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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

04 Aug 1997: Motlanthe, Kgalema

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POM     Let me begin, Mr Motlanthe, by asking you two questions that are not directly related to the area of trade unions or mining. One is the two statements that FW de Klerk made in recent times, and the first is : -

     "The people who structured apartheid and put it on the books were not evil people. Apartheid was, in its idealistic form, a plan to make all the people of South Africa free. The Afrikaner fought the first anti-colonial war in modern history in Africa against Great Britain so Afrikaners have a deep understanding of the need of a people to be free."

     That's one. The second also from Mr de Klerk is : -

     "We would lead the rural homelands to independence just as the colonial powers to the north had done. The goal was to bring justice to all by transforming South Africa into something like Europe, national states working together in respect of common interests."

     Would you find that a monumental distortion of history, a distortion of history or a view of history that might be the perspective of Afrikaners but certainly wouldn't be the perspective of anybody else, including objective historians?

KM     Well I think firstly Mr de Klerk is not being honest with himself in the sense that he disregards the intentions and the imperatives that led to the formation of the Broederbond after the Anglo/Boer war and also the whole approach that informed the promulgation of discriminatory laws because those approaches were primarily informed by a clear programme on creating conditions favourable for the development and accumulation of Afrikaner capital and I think Mr de Klerk is disregarding that part of history because the Afrikaners did what they did on a very clear agenda because these are people who after the defeat, the Treaty of Vereeniging, had no skills, had no capital, had no political power, had no easy access to institutions of higher learning, and they set about a programme to correct those.

     Firstly, when you look at the Afrikaner worker they had to pull out of the South African Trades & Labour Council to form their own trade unions. They had to pull out of NUSAS which was the student body where whites in higher institutions, in fact everybody at that time, and they pulled out and formed their own Afrikaner Studentebond. They set about, in the forties, on a clear programme of trying to win political power, which they did in 1948 and once they won that political power they tightened up legislation, pass laws where they introduced racially defined  residential zones. They went about creating a situation of full employment by absorbing the unskilled white Afrikaner into the public sector and created parastatals to absorb him, whether you're looking at the Prison Services or you're looking at ISCOR or ESCOM or any of those, or the Post Office, they used them to absorb, the administration, public administration, they absorbed the Afrikaner that had no skills. They then used the in-house training capacity of those parastatals and established their own technikons which are credited by recognising firstly experience and accredited the working experience of those Afrikaners and then they went about and established their own universities because Wits University was out of bounds, University of Cape Town was out of bounds. They established their own universities.  It is not as though they did that, they developed that programme, informed and inspired by the interests of everybody. No, that's a distortion of history.

POM     If they were arguing that it was inspired by their domination by the English, their defeat in the Anglo-Boer war, by their resolution that they would never again be dominated, that Afrikaner survival was the imperative of the race so that they took many of these steps like the establishment of universities and the use of Afrikaans in these universities as part of the way to maintain their culture, does that strike any sympathy with you? Not in the sense of what they did to blacks but in terms of the steps they took to preserve their own identity, their own survival.

KM     No, no, they did that to firstly come into the labour market, come into the mainstream of the economy, accumulate capital. They mobilised resources of Afrikaners, they formed what they call Die Volkskas, Volkskas Bank that's how it was formed, but if you are an Afrikaner and you had anything to save, save it in Die Volkskas and if you had anything of value to be insured insure it under Sanlam. That's how they mobilised, the savings of Afrikaners, and out of those savings they were able to form major corporations like Die Federale Volksbelegging and that became their launching pad. The point I'm making is that much of what they did was driven, was informed by the reality that while you're looking at the racially zoned residential areas, they realised that if you keep, I mean they destroyed all the areas, District 6, Fordsburg here, because those areas were integrated areas and integrated areas that would have undermined their founding Calvinistic platform that they were a superior race. This is why they had sympathies with Hitler. These are people whose leadership were arrested during the course of the second world war for having supported the nazis. Therefore their overall philosophy was informed by the desire to create the national perception that they were a superior race and they did of course succeed in getting the Afrikaner to believe that. That's why they had to remove even the poorest of the poor Afrikaners, pulled them out, keep them there so that if they have any -

POM     No Afrikaner could be seen as a failure.

KM     The Afrikaner should never be seen as a failure. And then they created in all employment situations, more especially in the public sector, positions of seniority for the Afrikaner, even those who didn't add any value. You didn't have to be skilled or know anything. But at the same time as they were doing that they were also sending brilliant young ones through technikons overseas in Holland, Germany. They come back and they are deployed to run this institution or that institution and much of the excesses of apartheid, one can't help but admire their determination because they were exactly more or less in the same situation that we find ourselves in today where blacks today are faced with unemployment, the education and skills were distorted because we were denied education in the natural sciences and yet there is no space because we are a majority. With them they were a minority and therefore they could button it off the backs of blacks and take a ride.

POM     If you were called upon, I know it may be a false comparison, but if you were called upon to equate the determination with which the Afrikaner community went about securing its interests after 1948 in terms of the things you've talked about, employment, education, jobs, whatever, with the determination that the black community has shown since 1994, would you say the black community has shown a similar determination, more determination or less determination?

KM     I think the two are not even comparable. There is just no indication of that kind of determination on the part of blacks primarily also because there is no leadership centre. What you must understand is that the Afrikaners at that time had the Broederbond as their leadership centre and everything had to be done, they kept the moral fibre going. They had the NG Kerk behind them, everybody had to go to church, it was almost like a religious thing and the centre was this leadership of the Broederbond that worked out the economic vision, the affirmative action vision, all the aspects -

POM     There was a fanaticism to it?

KM     Yes. There was a fanaticism to it  but also a deliberately driven programme as it were. Right now the disadvantage that we have as blacks now is that whereas the ANC is the majority party in government and it's the most popular party among black people today enjoying majority support, there is no comparison in terms of its executive being in charge and driving these processes at all. The transformation of institutions of higher learning is left to overall state policy where the mobilisation of people and getting people to buy into the programme, looking at the RDP or something like that is left to the individual, there is no data base. You see with the Afrikaners they had a data base, these are our intellectuals, our own intellectuals we have, what are we meant to do with these intellectuals? What do we have to do?  And they were in power. I read this book entitled The Super Afrikaners which is the history of the Broederbond.

POM     Can you remember who it's by?

KM     It's by two authors.

POM     I'll pick it up.

KM     But anyway that book, in it there are chapters, there's a chapter even on power, just what power means, what political power means, and how it must be utilised to advance the cause of the Afrikaner. They were very meticulous, they understood that they were now in power and that these levers of power must be utilised to advance their cause. But as I said, they had this black majority to exploit and that is why they ended up being the pariah of the world because people regarded it as the most autocratic, almost fascist, government. The majority now cannot reverse that situation, cannot copy or emulate that kind of feat because they have to take care of everybody's rights and what they need to do here now, I mean the ANC for instance, is to get a buy-in from every section of the South African population in terms of understanding that there is a gap that needs to be closed. There are accumulated disadvantages and that gap, if it is to be closed, it  requires every section to contribute, to buy into that total effort.

     Now I don't think the ANC has gone about that task very successfully. They have been very parochial. They have dealt more with internal organisational things, very tiny internal organisational things without looking out in terms of the broader social forces that need to be mobilised. The Afrikaners could only mobilise themselves because they were a minority, almost in the same way as the Sicilians in fact organised themselves into the Mafia in the United States of America. They are latecomers where the market has been lapped up, taken over by everybody and then to fight for space, so they organised themselves into tight Mafia-type of thing, and the Afrikaners here had to organise themselves along those lines. Now the blacks can't do that, the blacks have to bring everybody on board and that's why, the ANC is not predominantly, it's home to all South Africans as a party and therefore must draw from the strength and contributions of everybody. So in terms of data base, if you're looking at skills for instance, the ANC can rely on a broader pool of skilled people, those who buy into the reconstruction programme who can  be deployed on various fronts to first kick start and run with things. And they must take a ten year horizon, in ten years time this gap should have been narrowed, the material chasm that separates whites from blacks.

POM     I asked the question in the first place because it's just one of the questions I've put this year to every Afrikaner that I interview and whether they are reformed Afrikaners, liberal Afrikaners or conservative Afrikaners they all more or less subscribe to the view that it wasn't meant to be wrong. Wrong did happen but it wasn't conceived as being wrong. While I see that and on the other hand see that in the black community apartheid is seen as an evil, as Kader Asmal describes it as a crime against humanity, so it seems to me that after even these three or four years that despite the revelations at the Truth Commission the Afrikaner doesn't feel any deep remorse, sense of guilt or remorse about the past. It was like it was conceived in an idealistic form, some things went bad, awful things were done, never in our name, we never knew about it, of course we would have been against it so we're not really to blame.

KM     It's a denial mood and a defence mechanism.

POM     So how can there be reconciliation when they continue to exercise - I relate that to something you said last year to questions related - is that in some ways you imply that too much emphasis, that reconciliation was important but that too much emphasis was being put on reconciliation at the expense of having whites bite the bullet a little, they had to know that these gaps had to be closed and that it would cause some pain.

KM     Yes. Thabo Mbeki has been very consistent, I think, just in terms of indicating that there is a gap and this gap is not going to go away unless people, everybody understands, the whites in particular understand, that this gap gets narrowed.

POM     How do you get them to understand that if they feel really no remorse about the past?

KM     You see it will take a number of different elements to bring about that kind of remorse. Firstly, the present generation will not feel that they need to go publicly and own up to their crimes and they leave it to the individual basically, that if you're an individual and you're caught and your issues come in front of the TRC whatever atrocities that you've perpetrated, then you carry the can on your own. It wasn't part of a grand plan sanctioned by the political leadership. That's what De Klerk is saying. De Klerk says if Pik Botha wants to go and apply for amnesty he is free to do so as an individual. We never as a party took these decisions, when he knows quite well that they believed they were right and they took those decisions and the entire world says you were wrong and he says, no, because we believed we were right and we were therefore right, we weren't wrong. So it's a denial mood and they will only be saved from that situation once, firstly going to that area of education, the area of sports, blacks will come to the fore and in the area of maybe even trade and business. Now that blacks are also in government the foundation of the superior race, supremist racial supremacy has collapsed, and that was one of the pillars that really kept them together, and therefore once those pillars crumble one after the other doubt will set in and that is why today he says he can understand this and so on and wage this struggle against him and so on.

     And yet they are today almost violently opposed to affirmative action and if ever there is a section of the South African population that understands affirmative action and developed it as their own it's the Afrikaners. So they are going to discover that there will be blacks who will be coming in with the right kinds of qualifications, the next phase, and therefore skin colour will not count for anything with the march of time. Precisely because blacks will be in the majority there is going to a dilution, there is going to be an infusion of black faces whether you're looking at the residential areas in the affluent suburbs or you're looking at corridors of power or you're looking at institutions of higher learning or you're looking at sports, business, on every front they are going to find that there will be more blacks because blacks are in the majority. Once that happens they would be beginning to call for protections for minorities and the wheel would have gone a full circle at that point and that's when you will get remorse.

POM     A year ago you said to me, we were talking about reconstruction and development and you had talked about, "Reconstruction cannot just be the responsibility of government. It means that it's the responsibility of ordinary people, ordinary working people, even in the labour movement our union is affiliated to COSATU. When we discuss some of the legislative changes that government is introducing like the Employment and Standards, for instance, which calls for a 40-hour week and so on, whereas that is an absolutely correct thing to do but in terms of the present phase of reconstruction, reconstruction means that people must work even harder even if it means that in accordance with the programme that if that is missing there has to be agreement that for this decade or so we're going to need a 40-hour week, instead we need a 48-hour week and eight hours will go towards contributing towards a reconstruction fund and addressing all these immediate priorities." Yet today COSATU embraces a 40-hour week.

KM     A 40-hour week. I made the same argument at the special EXPO last week. I made the same argument. I said to them, look the 40-hour week is a noble goal but even in Marxian theory where you increase leisure time, when your instruments of production in the know-how, productive effort on the part of labour has reached the level of development where you are capable of producing plenty within a shorter period, then you increase leisure time. And I said to them it is counter-productive to increase the number of paid public holidays. And I said to them basically we're laying emphasis on the wrong issues because we want to be at the same level as the German workers when in fact here, in fact I said to them, we are critical of GEAR, the percentages in GEAR, deficits, percentages and so on, and yet we are committing exactly the same error because GEAR said regardless this is what must be.

POM     The deficit must be down to 4%.

KM     This percentage. Now we are saying, I said, on the same terms, we need a 40-hour working week regardless and I said that will not place us on the moral high ground as labour and we are going to discover that our moral influence and influence on these processes will diminish as we take these kinds of positions because it's one thing to say we must now allow sweatshops where people just are made to work in primitive, Spartan conditions for ever, for long hours, without proper compensation on the one hand, but on the other hand we must also ask ourselves the question of what is the role of labour, organised labour in this present phase in this country. Otherwise it's like everything is there having been produced, rights are there, all we have to do is to claim them and in the real world things don't work that way.

POM     I was just talking to a friend yesterday about the maternity leave clause and a maternity leave clause of that beneficence doesn't exist in the United States or doesn't exist in Britain or doesn't exist in France or most modern industrial economies haven't even progressed to that point.

     Would you mind going back a bit? We had been talking then about many modern industrial economies don't have maternity benefits for workers like what COSATU is looking for now and that for a country that is a developing country it sometimes looks like the demands labour is making are more in sync with those of highly developed countries than with developing countries.

KM     That is true. The demands are informed by what people see as the attack and the whittling away of rights, that what has been in the developing countries won through struggle over the years and now with this globalised economy, if you take the Thatcher era there has been a reversal. If you look at the other countries there has been a slow reversal, push-back in terms of those rights. And I think our people here fall into the groove that that's the world phenomenon and that's what is coming our way, whereas these things go in phases. If you're in a growth phase where you make lots of gains then your membership rises, your market gets saturated and then there's a slowdown and a downward swing. Then you get a right wing government and they begin to reverse gains that were made in the past. Now here the organised labour approaches this period of transition where we have a friendly government, a government that is made up of the party we are in alliance with, and there is almost an immaturity in terms of understanding how that relationship should be governed and also where if you take the present deadlock around the employment standard, this 40-hour week issue, it's once again handled in a manner that reflects immaturity on the part of labour in the sense that everything we do, every demand we think is an entitlement, that because we're in alliance with the ANC the ANC government must believe all those things regardless. We don't even seem to have the ability to draw a clear distinction between what are national issues and what kinds of issues are really sectoral and have to be addressed at sectoral level. We seem to be pursuing the objectives of getting legislation to address all our needs and we don't even see the danger and the paralysis that will be born of the host of legislation that would address virtually everything that the unions are supposed to deal with because then there would be no reason really for the existence of unions and that might very well spell a very quick demise of the  labour movement in this country.

     So once again what I am saying is whereas we are keeping abreast of international trends and development in terms of industrial relations, on the other hand we just to want to copy and contextualise our struggles in the same terms as struggles that are waged by unions that have been existence for well over a century in economies that are well developed, in countries where skills are totally different from what we have here and the problems that they have to deal with are totally different from what we have to address here. That is why you find that our demands in this regard seem to be more in line with the demands in the advanced countries and that we don't seem to have any regard to the fact that we are going through a period of transition and that we have just emerged from a terrible flood of poverty and heavy unemployment and denial of life skills so our priorities are not correct.

POM     This leads us inevitably to the question of GEAR about which you expressed a negative opinion last year in terms of its thrust, that it was aimed at trying too entice foreign investment and please the World Bank and the IMF. So the question that arises is, one year later has it succeeded in attracting or beginning to attract foreign investment? Is there beginning to be an appreciable flow of foreign investment into the country that is job creating? And, two, the job situation if anything would appear to be getting worse not better as many companies are laying off workers and particularly in your own industry, in the mining industry, or are down-sizing to become more efficient to compete in the international market. Three years into this first government where would you place the economy in terms of performance, that is performance in terms of the most important thing, job creation, raising standards of living, eliminating poverty and getting rid of some of the most egregious social backlogs?

KM     I think that the government's macro-economic policy has been a dismal failure actually. Whether you measure it against the employment situation the truth and the reality is that there haven't been new jobs created, it hasn't even succeeded in attracting a flurry into South Africa of, an influx of long term investors who are willing to go into green fields investments. The trickle that has come into this country has only been directed at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, more speculative investment than anything else. And also because of its physical discipline, elements, there have been reductions in budgets which affect ordinary people which things would impact very negatively on the prospects of the ANC in the next elections because the MECs, who are really ANC MECs, are compelled because of these budgetary cuts to cut back as well on social expenditure and as I said that doesn't augur very well for the prospects of the ANC in the next elections even though one gets a sense that the local business people, the corporate world here, corporate sector of the South African population, doesn't seem to have confidence in the South African economy. They are much more eager and anxious to get into other parts of the world. The international community has not been giving negative comment about the South African economy and the South African labour market. They have been at worst neutral and by and large positive, guardedly so. So there is some element of goodwill. One can't really say with certainty whether it's in deference to Nelson Mandela or that kind of consideration.

POM     But it hasn't translated into that kind of -

KM     It hasn't translated.

POM     - bulk that would make a critical difference in jump starting job creation or something like that.  You talked about the mining industry as an example of a sector that could be - ?

KM     Well the gold mining sector, to be more specific, is going through a very difficult period, a difficult period that calls for innovative solutions if we are to avoid massive retrenchments.

POM     You're talking about 160,000, 170,000?

KM     With the present price of gold being at US$324 - $325 per ounce many mines that haven't hedged or sold their protection would very quickly slide into the red and begin to retrench. In fact the possible figures are around 150,000 and 160,000 jobs.

POM     Is that direct just mining jobs?

KM     Just gold mining.

POM     So what would be the multiplier effect?

KM     It would be even more devastating, it would be even bigger than that. So we have, with the Chamber of Mines, come up with an understanding that we needed to increase productivity to at least attain anything close to 70 - 90 tons of gold in order to allow the industry to go through this difficult period and also be in a position to offer good increases to workers who earn very little. We have mineworkers who earn far below R1000 and basically what we thought we could do was to get everybody to be above that threshold of R1000.

POM     Is that R1000 a month?

KM     R1000 a month yes, which works out to very little. Now feedback is that we've got mixed responses. There are places where there has been sufficient consensus and progress made in terms of how they are going to achieve their original tonnage; there are places where they haven't even commenced with the discussions; there are places where there is a rejection and almost a psychological barrier towards linking the two, wage increases with the productivity improvements. However, we've agreed to that. It's a learning curve, it's a process. We will keep this very tightly under the lead because the process of discussions has been in motion and in a matter of two weeks we will know whether the whole industry, the whole gold mining industry will have these productivity improvements or not. If we don't find each other on that one the consequences of that, of course, we will lose 150,000 160,000 jobs just in the gold sector.

POM     Now I think you said one added difficulty you faced was that there many influential people even -

KM     Well there are people who think that the Chamber is manipulating the gold price and therefore it is all fiction, it can be dealt with without any serious difficulties, and of course we have allowed the practical approach to help us to resolve that little hiccup because in these kinds of matters no amount of cogent, abstract arguments can persuade people. It is when people are faced with stark reality that this is what you get and this is what happens if we don't have this or that. So, hopefully, in a matter of two weeks time we will have successfully manoeuvred around that one.

POM     I was asking you with regard to the job situation and the economic situation, that the ANC government at the moment is almost pursuing policies that many would call neo-Thatcherite in terms of the emphasis on slashed expenditure right across the board including social programmes and you have a more disgruntled kind of working class, or un-working class, out there that are feeling the brunt of these cuts and that there are two opposing ideological forces within the ANC and it's difficult to see how in the long run the two can stay together under the one roof. It would be like the Labour Party and the Conservative Party getting into bed in Britain under the one umbrella and saying we're the same party, whereas they're driven by quite different imperatives.

KM     Well here the difference is that the class consciousness within the organised labour movement is very, very low and once you have that kind of low class consciousness people are likely to take precipitate actions that makes it even easier for them to be crushed so the labour movement in this country is not solid because the class consciousness is not deeply rooted and that is why people tend to take short term views on issues that are really long term problems. There is a spirit of trying to get answers and benefits in the first kick, that you do it once and one effort delivers. And those kinds of people and that kind of consciousness which is not tempered by years and years of struggle also leads to disillusionment very quickly and that is why I am more worried about that aspect than anything else because I think it would be easy for the labour movement to be crushed in this country because of that. They take a very short term view on issues here and every issue that they tackle is like the very last thing they do on earth. There is no understanding that when you engage in struggle you have got to take long term views, develop long term vision and strategies of how you are going to attain that vision. That's the one disadvantage. The other disadvantage is that you have a Communist Party that is almost identical to the ANC which therefore gives very little ideological direction to the mass of workers that are organised under COSATU. Then that means that impacts directly on it because the mass of these workers are ANC members. The Communist Party's membership are also ANC members and together they ought to be safeguarding and defending that character in the ANC that is biased towards breaking people. The ANC was known for that, as the champion of the downtrodden and so on, but in the realm of ideas at that level where it will be very easy for business and the capitalists to win the day. Already you can see with some of the policies that are emanating from the government side.

POM     Can the ANC in its present form, or the alliance in its present form, last another ten years or are there just historical, structural forces at play that will result in some form of realignment?

KM     It can, you can very well end up with a COSATU that is very pliant and very obedient and then of course there will be harmony, there will be no serious contradictions. That's the one option. On the other hand you can have a very vigorous COSATU, that is very sharp in terms of the realm of ideas and ideology but because its membership, COSATU is a trade union federation, it's therefore not a political party, its membership is located within the ANC, so if its membership gets fed and led and weaned on ideas that can work for working people they would then take those into the community and show that that bias in the ANC in favour of working people can sustain it and that would then sustain the alliance beyond ten years I think.

POM     Just one or two more things and I will let you go. One was last year you talked about the need to create black entrepreneurs, black capitalists and you had like the public one being Cyril moving into the private sector and NAIL and then the other organisation headed by Khumalo. Are these turning out to be black empowerment in the sense that you envisage it or is it turning out more to being where an emerging black middle class is getting to create and have stock portfolios?

KM     Since our last discussion I have come to the conclusion that one needs to have a distinction between entrepreneurs on the one hand and blacks that want to live well because entrepreneurs are people who would see opportunities, start up something, go and add value to that thing. But blacks that want to live well are people who would go into any existing corporate company and sit on the board and draw fees as board members and get company cars and live well generally. They will not be prepared to grow anything or add value to anything or change anything. So I now tend to draw a distinction between those kinds of groupings. The thing also in this present situation, if you take the example of people like Mzi Khumalo and Cyril, is that it's again a situation where there is need for facilitation, facilitation coming from established corporate companies and here one is faced with the challenge of assessing whether these people walk into these things knowingly with their eyes wide open because Anglo American retains control and influence in these enterprises.

     Now the dilemma I face is that I know of situations where people who were meant to be token appointees go and put their foot in the door and because they are good people they actually make a success of it. On the other hand it's really a matter of chance whether the person goes in there conscious of what he's doing and with some grand plan at the back of his head. So it's that kind of situation and I think we're not there yet. I think we're not there yet because still there is no mobilisation of the savings of black people in this country to really go in their with their own people go with empty bowls back for finances and they are being bankrolled by the same companies. They own this or that on paper but they are screwed either by the financial institutions or with the same old companies.

POM     I think it was !Khoisan X this morning who mentioned to me that one company, he said, Rand Investments, RAIL, he said was 100% owned but then it had shares in a corporation that blacks 50% owned and then it went down to a third company that was 25% owned and that it really ended up a production facility of real wealth producing facilities that they owned almost 11% of what could have been - you could have had 100%.

KM     Yes there is Real Africa, there is African Renaissance, there is World Wide Investments, there is NAIL (Cyril's group), there is Khumalo's group. It's exactly the same thing. They create pyramid structures and what they own is the holding company up there, that's where they have substantial shares.

POM     They are not creating wealth.

KM     No, on paper that's what they -

POM     Paper wealth.

KM     When it goes down that way it just gets diluted almost to nothing. So when you check the assets, what they really own, it amounts to very little. That's why I came to the conclusion that we are not there yet. I still need to see a truly successful black owned company.

POM     The million dollar question, how do you create jobs?

KM     Well jobs can only be created really if government among other things was true not to be a prisoner of these magical percentages and at least take the view that for the next five years the deficit is going to be higher but they will be creating jobs and once there is actual circulation and economic activity involving a wider section of the population then the economy will pick up within that five year horizon and that then, at that point, the deficit percentage will have to be reduced. But as for now, for the boom to come up with 4% I don't know really. I think it just makes a bad situation worse whereas I think they could afford to increase the deficit percentage.

     On the other hand if you take the mining sector they should come up with mineral policies that freeze the mineral rights to allow for other mineral investors to come into the country because I know investors and so on who would like to come into the mining sector here but it's a closed shop situation. The old boys have all taken it up and they are sitting on that and going into West Africa. So there is nothing, no compulsion, no obligation to channel resources into more sinking of new shafts and developing new mines in this country. They have scaled down actually, they are scaling down and they are going into West Africa where the ore body is much body, geologically better, and the grades are higher and mines would not be as deep as here and therefore from costs, that's why they are doing everything in their power, you should just look at Anglo American and Mzi's group and JCI, Anglo American through Mzi's group they are trying to get Ashanti Goldfields in Ghana at all costs. So Goldfields here in South Africa have a major operation, project in Ghana as well. They are into Mali, they're in Burkino Faso, they're into Tanzania. So I think the government has got to come up with a mineral policy that says if you're not mining here, sorry we're taking back and they can then ask for tender, call for tenders, and get other business to come in. So then you wouldn't be having a deliberate programme of down-scaling because it no longer makes sense for them to mine here and they are taking the money out basically.

POM     You said that all of this in some way could translate into a loss in vote for the ANC. Who would the vote go to? Or would they just stay at home?

KM     They would stay at home, yes. They will become cynical. You must also remember that the culture of using the ballot box has not really taken root as yet among the communities because it's something new to them and if they derive no joy from exercising that vote it's very easy for them to become cynical.

POM     Do you think that acts as an impediment to the ANC being more aggressive in tackling these problems in the sense that there is no 'effective' opposition, they are not going to lose the next election?

KM     Well their biggest opposition, I think the ANC know their biggest opposition is really the unemployment in this country, poverty, access to education. That's their biggest opposition. The ANC know that.

POM     But those votes wouldn't go to any place? I mean those votes might stay at home but they wouldn't go to another party?

KM     Yes.

POM     They're not looking over their shoulder at a party that's creeping up behind them?

KM     They are a bit overconfident I think, which is also one of the disadvantages here. But also the other parties are also beginning to look at coming together so that they can form a coalition against the ANC and that can't just be disregarded. The DP, the Roelf Meyer/Holomisa connection, they have already had discussions.

POM     Do you see that as not an immediate threat but as a mobilisation?

KM     There will be people here and there and so on and together they could very well reduce the ANC's majority tremendously.

POM     Which mightn't be a bad thing.

KM     It might not be a bad thing but it would in a way shake the ANC's confidence even more and therefore reduce their little decisiveness into almost paralysis because then people would begin to look at its survival rather than the duty to lead.

POM     OK, thank you ever so much and I am sorry for taking up more of your time than was necessary with repeating things but I always do that at least once a year, at least one tape.

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.