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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

14 Aug 1997: Naidoo, Jay

Click here for more information on the Interviewee

POM     Let me begin with a 'what if' question, and that is this week we see the amnesty application by Clive Derby-Lewis for the assassination of Chris Hani. If Chris Hani were alive today and he was looking around the new South Africa after three years what do you think he would make of everything that is going on?

JN     That's a loaded question that. I think he would be impressed at one level in terms of some of the transformative things that have happened in this country and certainly at a legislative, policy and institutional level and in particular around some of the more concrete deliverables that we've achieved and the extent to which we've managed to bridge the gap, the very huge gulf between white views and the views of the black majority into a viable government and into a viable strategy for delivery. However, he would be concerned, as indeed I am concerned, about the level of cohesion between the anti-apartheid forces and particularly the level of cohesion within the alliance of the ANC, SACP and COSATU.

POM     Could you comment a little, expand a little on that?

JN     Well I think that the alliance has taken a bit of a knock and the critical challenge for us is to understand why we want alliance now and what type of alliance we have or we should have. The alliance before 1994 was very easy. It was a struggle against apartheid and an alliance based on removing the National Party government, not very many complications about that. The first few years of government and the election campaign, the basis of the alliance was a commitment to reconstruction and development as a programme and I think in the last year there have been a number of questions asked as to what is the programme currently of the alliance. I think that in particular has happened since the introduction of GEAR as a programme and it's created a number of diverse views on transformation and an accusation, particularly from COSATU and more broadly the left, that we have abandoned as a government a programme of fundamental transformation and that we are pursuing the type of policies that advance the conservative approach to political and economic development particularly when it comes to issues of fiscal and monetary policies, of industrial policies and the broader macro-economic policies that impose certain constraints on us, in particular the accusation of the commitment to fiscal deficits seems to override our commitment to social delivery.

     Now that's right and wrong because, I'm not talking about the process of arriving at GEAR, but some of the elements of GEAR were certainly important to stabilise the country at a point of great instability. We are part of a global economy. We went through a period in which the volatility of the currency was so extreme that it required certain emergency measures and the reality of this global financial economy in particular is that we are all inter-linked. It is not that South Africa can be an oasis in a global economy. We have to take cognisance of the reality of the world we live in and the forces that operate in that world, but certainly we must take decisive action also to end corruption and wastage and part of the fiscal restructuring is aimed at that, at re-engineering the budget in order to release more money for social delivery. We spend 91 cents in every rand on feeding a bureaucracy, on paying salaries and administration, settling our debt.

POM     Just on the size of the public sector there appears to have been no significant dent at all into bringing about a reduction and now you have the unions on the streets saying no more retrenchments even when there haven't really been any retrenchments.

JN     There haven't been any job losses. But there I think the failure of the alliance has to be an agreement on a transformation strategy of the civil service as one of the central pillars that will influence the overall transformation and I think the weakness is that we have not been able to agree either on a transformation strategy or on a collective bargaining strategy. And so unions are trade unions, they represent their members and if one looks at it in the absence of a strategic vision within the alliance you revert to traditional roles, the ANC in government as the employer and COSATU trade unions as a representative of workers. So there is no way in which we could argue that there shouldn't be a restructuring of the public sector, a fundamental restructuring, and secondly a down-sizing of that public sector to release resources for delivery of services to our people, and thirdly a right-sizing of that public service to put the right people with the right skills in the right jobs. All of that has to go into transformation, how do you make it more representative? How do you make it more democratic? How do you make it more skilled? How do we introduce performance assessment that there can't be a view that people, including myself, can just be in position without having a performance assessment contract of what we are delivering to our society?

     So I think that, we're going into detail now, but the alliance I suppose has come to a difficulty of understanding what is the strategic programme on which we operate now and that's what we're trying to resolve through the alliance but we're dealing with major conflictual situations, for example the public sector or the negotiations on the Basic Conditions of Employment Bill, or around other individual issues but critical challenges in the negotiations because COSATU is a trade union federation. It has members that span the spectrum from SASBO, white workers in the banks, to members of Inkatha and the PAC. There's a hegemony of congress leadership in COSATU traditionally but it's not like the European trade unions. COSATU is not a wing of the communist parties or the political parties. It is in fact an alliance of independent organisations. So we must understand that and, secondly, COSATU is a negotiating forum, it is a negotiating organisation. You go and you have a mandate, you have negotiations, you report back and there is a timetable but understand the nature of COSATU as a trade union federation. So I suppose the concerns I have would be the concerns that Chris Hani would have, concerns about the nature of the strategic transformation of our society politically and economically.

POM     Someone put this to me, it was Mr Motlanthe Secretary General of NUM, and he referred to 1948 and said one thing you can say about the Afrikaners is that when they assumed power they transformed everything in sight with a vehemence and a vengeance but they did it, they had this cohesiveness and that somehow we don't have that here.

JN     Sure. It's a different context, a different world, a different circumstance. The Afrikaners came to power on the back of racism, white racism and they had no hesitation to use the state to deny the rights to a black majority. We come to power in a democracy in which everyone has rights. Even the criminals have rights to the extent to which they threaten the very fabric of our democracy. So, secondly, the world context has changed. South Africa was South Africa, it had national boundaries and full stop, we had an ox wagon laager mentality. We're in a global environment. What happens here today is known the next five minutes everywhere else in the world, inter-connected financially, politically, in terms of communication with the rest of the world. And I think that, thirdly, we must understand the ANC has come into power from it being a liberation movement, basically an omnibus. And so we must understand that there are some different circumstances but the point is correct that this is an issue of having come into power, remember the Afrikaner was coming into a white bureaucracy anyway, we're coming in as a liberation movement into this bureaucracy which has been designed for forty years or even before that on the basis of protecting white power, so we've got to transform this bureaucracy. I think there are circumstances that are different but fundamentally the point made by Motlanthe is correct and that's why it's a question of not just the weakness of the ANC or government, it's a weakness of the alliance because that alliance is the motive force for transformation.

POM     Now over the years one of the people I've used as a barometer in talking to about the economy was the Finance Minister, Derek Keys, and I talk to him every year and he gives me his assessment and then I ask other people about his assessment. His assessment is less optimistic than it was a year ago. He thinks GEAR is by and large dead, that it is incapable of achieving its goals of a 5% growth rate, that's just a fact, that there has been no job creation, that the mass of those who live in poverty will continue to live in poverty for many decades to come, that the gap between the advantaged and the disadvantaged, the first world sector so to speak and the third world sector, has stabilised but is not going to narrow that much, and that probably the only significant gainers in the last several years have been what he would call the black middle class elite, the professionals who are taking over whether in the civil service or the professions or whatever. I've shared his assessment with others and there seems to be almost a concurrence around it. The growth rate for this year is going to be about 2½%. Most economists that I've talked to are people in the public sector who deal with financial matters and they say that's about as far as it will get not just this year but next year and this goal of creating a quarter million jobs this year and a half million jobs by the year 2000 is by and large a fantasy.

JN     Unless something radically changes.

POM     Yes, OK.

JN     And I suppose that is a challenge for us. I think GEAR must be seen as an attempt very much to stabilise the economy at a point where there was a danger of quite massive capital flight and financial collapse. It served its purpose for that. There are a number of elements of GEAR that are very important in the way we construct the labour market and the way we construct the different economic strategies and a lot is going to depend, I think, and that's why for me I'm very much in favour of moving away from an ideological debate on GEAR, to what are the concrete projects we need to put into place to take us from where we are to where we want to go and what are the different stakeholders going to bring to the table as government, as labour, as business, as civil society, as international investors, and then to create the appropriate environment to do that.

     Now there are two levels at which you create jobs. One is that I think the most important way to create jobs is a major investment in public works. For me the most successful public works programme has been the Working for Water project which has created tens of thousands of jobs as we clear out alien vegetation to restore the water table in the water scarce country, but we've trained people in organisation and health and safety and skills and now there's a multiply effect. So I think that we need major investment there in the way we construct our infrastructure, etc., housing, for example, could be made -  So that will be jobs, they are not high quality jobs or high paid jobs but they provide income and they provide skills and they provide organisation and they delivery.

     I think the other aspect of the economy that we need to look at is the high value added part of the economy. It's a mega-project, there are strategies to develop a hub of telecommunications, a hub of multi-media, a hub of broadcasting in Africa. There are high value added manufacturing sector goods, there is looking at the question of looking at the question of projects on beneficiation, on the question of minerals, at least of energy conversion, etc., which don't create massive numbers of jobs but create the backbone of the economy that can sustain the job creation at the lower spectrum. I think that we've got to go through a very difficult period unless we put into practice of our projects, projects that build our manufacturing capacity and projects that deliver services, we are going to hit serious problems. Now I think that the critical debate now in the way we construct the social compact should be around this. Now we're starting to move to that.

     The restructuring of Telkom was an important example of constructing a compact between unions, government, local employers and international employers, so you have three million lines added over the next five or six years, an investment of over 40 billion rand. We estimate it's going to have a multiply effect of about 30,000 to 50,000 jobs across the board and it establishes South Africa very firmly as a hub of telecommunication. A similar thing could be said about the Maputo Corridor. A similar thing could be said about a number of the other major mega-initiatives, but it's not going to reach the target we want so we need then a strategy for promoting and bringing into the mainstream economy small and medium enterprises. From the way we are delivering telecommunications, for example, now as we begin to extend into the rural areas the co-operatives we set up in these rural villages to actually do the construction, to do the maintenance.

     So you need a set of creative solutions and I would say that what we should move now is from policy to projects and develop compacts around these projects that empower people, that skill people, that deliver services and that we should be driving mega-investment into that, into infrastructure investment because that's your biggest job multiplier. And so I think we can reach concurrence around that but if you try to reach a concurrence about a macro-economic strategy we will spend a lot of time and energy and that would take us away from the more central challenge.

POM     Why doesn't the President, Mandela with his tremendous moral stature out there, say we must pull together, in the short term it is going to be difficult, we must make sacrifices on behalf of each other and for each other and we must think of our children rather than ourselves or maybe even our children's children. Yet he seems to never talk much about the economy.

JN     Because in the first instance Mandela is a politician, he grew up in a traditional political environment and if you look at the early history of the ANC it was purely political and so it's only now emerging with the economic strategy that the core of politics is the political economy and that's the new deal, that's the new way in which you begin to create a theoretical framework. Now that's where Deputy President Thabo Mbeki plays a role, a very important role I think. But you're right, he can only do that, the advisers of Mandela can only advise him to do that, when we have an agreement and that's why it comes back to the question, what is the motive force for economic transformation? It's an alliance, the way we construct an economic framework for transformation is very important because once there is a clear message at the economic level that message Mandela can articulate - so you can't expect him to articulate something where we're having a fight about whether there is transformation or not on the economic level and I suppose that's the challenge for us as the political activists within government, is to create that framework with our allies in the alliance and that's the framework and vision that Mandela will then articulate as he is doing at the moment. You know on the education crisis he intervened and actually went and spoke to the trade unions there and spoke to government negotiators and it helped contribute, it contributed to the solution but you can only do that when you fit into a strategy.

POM     I want to go back to a remark of De Klerk's, and he said: -

     "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."

     And again, quote: -

     "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."

     What's your reaction to that?

JN     I think De Klerk lives in cuckoo land. They might fervently believe that but the fundamental flaw of that is that they never discussed it with any representative of the black majority so the formation of the Union of South Africa was an agreement of English and Afrikaner within South Africa and the British colonial power. It excluded the black majority, so they may have believed that but the basis of constructing apartheid long before 1948, and which directly implicated Britain, was the developing of a political system at the heart of which was a cheap labour system to enslave a black majority to work on the mines and to provide the type of manual labour that will be required for the emergence of a white elite in this country. And so the entire basis of apartheid was to perpetuate white privilege at the expense of black people and no-one can argue from all the facts available that that was any different. In fact one of the most criminal actions of apartheid was the de-skilling and under-development of the black majority. One of our biggest constraints today as a government and as an economy is the fact that we have limited skills.

POM     Do you think that most Afrikaners still hold to this, that in fact he articulates what most of them believe, one, and two, have you seen any substantial shift in white attitudes?

JN     Yes, well, whites in South Africa believed that and that's why they voted the NP in with greater and greater majorities over the years of apartheid. It's difficult to find a white that supported apartheid now in South Africa. In fact Mandela made a very potent comment, he said every white person seems to have been a freedom fighter. So I think that certainly the white population of South Africa supported the NP and even the Democratic Party for a long time talked of qualified franchise. There's no white party that said there should be one person one vote, or even white employers supported, if they at some point supported enfranchisement, it was supporting qualified enfranchisement. It would be interesting to go back to the words of Harry Oppenheimer and you will find that quite systematically in the history of South Africa they very openly sided with the political system, or used the political system.

     The very fascinating thing, you should try and come back to that, will be a fascinating three-day hearing by the Truth Commission into the role of business in apartheid in which COSATU is going to present a lengthy presentation. Now what is the position? I think a lot of the whites in South Africa feel uncomfortable and so you have a constant whining from white South Africans either about affirmative action or about crime or inefficiency but we're dealing with a backlog. The crime you're talking about in South Africa today existed in all the townships. In fact the front line of apartheid was criminals. They were used by the police against the democratic forces and that's coming out in the Truth Commission today, how various criminal groups were armed, were supported, were protected by the police themselves or the police were actually involved in it. So I think the majority of South Africans have accepted the reality of change, that things are not going to go back to what they were. A significant number are working together with us to build the new South Africa. There is a significant minority that continues to work towards undermining the changes that we would like to see and that have, I think, a very clear political agenda. But I think the majority of whites have not come to understand that they have to make adjustments to their ways of life, what their expectations are. We are a third world country and if we are going to raise the standards of living of the majority of the poor who are black then we will have to bring down the levels that have sustained through resources of government, sustained this very high level for a small proportion of our population. I think the majority of whites still have to come to terms with the fact that they collaborated either by acts of omission or by commission directly in what happened.

POM     Going back to your point of it's difficult to find a white who supported apartheid, the prevailing attitude I get among whites towards the Truth Commission is 'why are we constantly digging up the past?', to 'I never knew that things like this were going on and of course if I did know I would have opposed it'. But it's almost like Germans saying they never knew anything about the concentration camps. Are they in a considerable state of denial about their own past, that they have not yet been able to come to grips with the magnitude?

JN     I would certainly think that the majority of whites have not come to terms with what happened to black people at the hands of the white political system of the past and they are either too scared or they don't want to know and I think that's sad because I think for us to come to terms with our South African history is important in how we shape the future. I am more confident about the new generation of kids coming. I think the integration of schools has gone much better than all of us anticipated. There are problems and there will always be problems about integration but that's our future, the kids, trying to build a better South Africa.

POM     In fact I would say that integration of schools here is in many respects at a better level than integration of schools in the United States where essentially the white population has dropped out of the public school system altogether and opted for private schools.

JN     The important thing here for South Africa is that white Afrikaners have no other place to go to so they are committed, that is the vast number of the ordinary Afrikaners, to stay in this country. They don't live with one leg in Sydney, Paris or New York. I think there is hope for us there. We are seriously concerned with the leakage of skills of people as they get more skilled and we have to develop a new patriotism. If you talk to a businessman or anyone from any country they are committed and loyal to their country, they want to help build their country. That's the degree of patriotism we've got to build in this country at all levels, in the black community, in the trade unions, in business, in government, that we are here to do a job and deliver a better quality of life to our people, that we need to make a contribution to our societies and that means a sacrifice and that's why we will act against corruption which I think is a huge threat to our country, we need to act much more decisively against it in our society and as a movement we need to politically set an example with our own people, of people across the line who dip their fingers into the till. We must be ruthless with them and to set that example and model for society otherwise criminality becomes endemic. We've got to take decisive action. Even if people are poor it does not mean you have to resort to hijacking and car robbery. I have been in places like India in the poorest of the poorest areas and the issue of criminality can't be just in at every level then used as an excuse for criminality. We need to root out criminality in our country and we need to protect the democracy and the democracy is under enormous threat at the moment by criminality and at the end of the day we will sacrifice a different democracy because of that. So I think, and we're talking more broadly now, the biggest challenge for us is developing a new patriotism. The President spoke about it two years ago, not many people took it up. The question we've got to keep asking ourselves is what is the role of all of us as stakeholders in making that a new reality.

POM     The pulling together.

JN     The pulling together, the vision, the leadership, like we had the leadership against apartheid, and then saying we need to all make sacrifices so that all of us can advance. The bottom line has been that the real beneficiaries of transformation will be our children. When we joined the trade union movement twenty years ago we had nothing. We knew that we would work through our lives but ultimately it was for those that are coming after us. That's the sort of perspective we needed.

POM     This is another quote and it's from a book that Van Zyl Slabbert and some others (Heribert Adam I think) just published called Comrades in Business. It says: -

     "When the chips were down Afrikaners meekly handed over power without even seriously attempting to bargain any special group privileges. They even agreed to simply majority rule."

     And they conclude: -

     "That De Klerk's negotiators were really a part of Mandela's team in facilitating the transition to majority rule. It was a pushover."

JN     Who said that?

POM     Van Zyl Slabbert. Was it a pushover in the end when it got to the negotiating stage?

JN     I think the force of circumstances provided De Klerk with very few alternatives because by 1989, I am just talking of my COSATU experience, we had mobilised sufficient presence and power in the country to paralyse it economically and so by 1989 we were in a position to defy all the laws that existed in the country. In a sense De Klerk's negotiators understood the power that existed within the country, the international isolation campaign and the fact that sanctions were strangling the economy presented them with a scenario which was, in the words of Vorster, too ghastly to contemplate, and that was the economic recognition that the country was going downhill and that they did not have the capacity to stop the march of the freedom struggle. They could delay it but they couldn't stop it. So when you made that calculation that you can't stop what is happening and really your best bet is to avoid a radical solution and try and create a protection of the existing economic system, because remember the history of Afrikaner capitalism in this country was closely allied to the growth of the South African state and the development of parastatals and the privileged position that Afrikaners had with the Afrikaner state. But once that Afrikaner capitalism had started to develop, the Sanlams of this world, etc., you didn't need the protection of the Afrikaner state for Afrikaners purely because they were Afrikaners. You needed protection of the state for the system of capitalism and many years ago De Klerk and the National Party had abandoned the notion that their role was to just serve Afrikaners. Their role was to serve the owners of wealth and there were just as big Afrikaner owners of wealth as there were English owners of wealth, so I think that some time ago the Afrikaner, the National Party, had abandoned the notion that their constituency was this ordinary Afrikaner.

POM     That's one thing that they conclude, they say in the end by just about giving in to every demand made by the ANC or the alliance negotiators, they say : -

     "Affluent Afrikaners sold out the poorer Afrikaners because they felt more confident of their ability to either survive in or leave the new South Africa."

     So that their interests even in negotiations were not the mass of the poor people but the elite.

JN     That's true. There's truth in that. I think that De Klerk, it was important what he did. He acted decisively to abandon his constituency in the protection of the system and understanding that the alternative was that we were going to run over him anyway. So he made the choice and it was brave of him to make the choice but the choice was made so what you see today is the new underclass of whites. It wasn't started since 1994. You may see since 1994 whites begging in the streets but there was always developed over the last years an underclass of white South Africans that didn't have all the privileges and the wealth of the richer ones. So there's an element of truth in that.

POM     This is another quote from Patti Waldmeir's book and one is her quote and then there's a quote from Deputy President Mbeki. She says: -

     "Afrikaners, pragmatists as they are, made the peace with the new South Africa with extraordinary rapidity. Theirs is a political culture based upon an obedience that borders on obsequiousness so they easily made the transition from obeying the National Party to obeying the ANC. Even the Afrikaner dominated civil service and security forces, groups that the ANC had feared would undermine black rule, fell swiftly into line. All of this surprised the ANC which had expected far greater resistance. The sunset clauses were offered because the ANC feared it could not rule without the National Party to guarantee civil service and security force co-operation so the ANC had agreed to protect the jobs and pensions of white civil servants and having FW as the Deputy President, but within months of the election senior ANC figures were asking whether these gestures had been necessary."

     And then there are two quotes from a speech by Mbeki. One is: -

     "The ANC discovered quite late that we had made a mistake. None of us really factored in the dynamism of what was going to happen. We didn't factor in the speed with which the Afrikaners would shift, recognise the fact that here is a majority party, here is a new government and we have to find a relationship with that majority. The notion of a government of national unity derived precisely from the understanding that the National Party would be the political representative of the army, the white police, white business, the white civil service, that it would still have a hold on very important levels of power. When we came into government we would come in with the numbers, they would come in with the power and we would need to work together for a certain period instead of saying to those centres of power - you are the opposition."

     Do you think that's an accurate assessment of what's happened? I'll put it the opposite way by saying if there hadn't been those kinds of concessions, if there hadn't been a government of national unity then whites would not have felt the security that they needed to allow them to co-operate more swiftly rather than less swiftly?

JN     I think the whites needed these protections. I don't view them as a mistake. I think that it was a calculated move to create the degree of comfort that whites needed to allow us to make the transition to where we are able to exercise power without the constraints of the type of government of national unity we had before. So I am still of the view that if it had to happen again we should do it the same way, offer them those protections. To move deliberately and with speed but without haste. I would be very worried and concerned if we had to move in an unstrategic way with a sort of short cut approach. We don't have the skills that are requisite for us to carry the kind of expertise of the civil service. We still have to develop the systems. We still have so much other responsibilities to get into place of developing policy, new laws, developing strategies and to turn a ship like this takes us years. It's a huge ship of state. It's a million people employed at different levels, powers dis-aggregated. It was much easier in the old days when everything was centralised and the power of not even the cabinet, of the State Security Council, easy to run South Africa. Everything else was administrative whereas we have to deal in a democracy with all the countervailing forces and contradictions of a democracy at all three levels of government. And so dealing with just the challenge of setting up a new political system, a radically new political system, of dealing with transformation of the budget which is a main instrument for redistribution, of dealing with the civil service transformation which again is an important instrument for delivery itself to our people, the complexity of trying to make sense out of this government and society and economy, of moving away from import substitution and government support to unviable industry, of recognising that as you comply with tariff decreases you're going to lose jobs and you've got to create jobs elsewhere, the complexities of maintaining cohesion is much more complex than in 1948 or even 1994.

POM     Do you think that maybe 1994 created - it was like a miracle and it grabbed the world's imagination and that it created an illusion in the sense that everybody thought the miracle is going to continue and transformation is going to happen quickly and we are going to be within ten years an entirely new society?

JN     I think that it was a miracle because by one act of exercising the vote on X day we fundamentally transformed the face of South African politics. One act on one day, 27th April, transformed that. It was dramatic and it was radical. The second act of economic transformation, it's not like a vote, it's a process and that's what we haven't understood and what within the context of the alliance we haven't understood. It can't be a single act. It's not like we can take a position to say let's fire the top management of the civil service and put in our own people. There is no single act. The strategy encompasses a thousand acts that have to be placed into line and you deal with each one individually but in the context of an overall strategy. So transformation of the state, it's much more complex than the transformation of the political system and that's what's not understood within, I think, the alliance clearly enough, or within even the broad left of this country and therefore the expectation is that because you did it at the political level you should be able to do it as easily on the economic level. So it's really, again, you're living in a dream world if you think that that is -

POM     How are we doing?

JN     Almost at the end. I've got an international team waiting for me.

POM     Black empowerment. There are two schools of thought, one that the real beneficiaries are those who are doing the deals whether it's in Johnnic or NAIL or whatever, it's paper wealth and there is no trickle down effect and there is no job creation effect and that it mainly benefits the few, that it is not black empowerment in the sense of more wealth being created, that blacks own. It's more a transfer of assets but it's not adding anything.

JN     I think it's important, black empowerment, but it's defined too narrowly. The type of black empowerment we've seen of consortiums in mega-deals are an important element but it's not the sum total of black empowerment. We do need to see big black business in this country. I'm firmly convinced of that because in a sense you've got to create a patriotic bourgeoisie, black people who are committed to South Africa, who know that this is the land of their birth and it will probably be the land of the birth of the next ten generations of their family. So that type of patriotism is fundamentally important for us in building this economy. The second is the whole question of black empowerment in terms of service delivery, which I think is ignored. A million homes now have clean water. That's empowerment of a black majority. There are 1000 telephones being put up every day in homes, 1000 houses electrified. That's empowerment in the way we deliver services to people. And then there's the type of black empowerment which I think we need to be experimenting with now. It's creating the type of venture capital empowerment that allows black people to go out and set up enterprises.

     So how do we provide, for example, in the 10% of Telkom shares that we're going to contribute to black empowerment? My view has been that we should try to move towards a type of trust which uses the dividends to promote black people coming into the mainstream of telecommunications. If you take the overall budget of Telkom on CAPEX it probably is going to go up to the region of around ten billion rands a year, you spend on CAPEX, capital expansion. For me it's more important to have black people coming in to provide the services to help deliver those millions of new lines rather than who owns a piece of equity in the national operator. So how does that empowerment contribute to skills development, to jobs creation, to building small to medium enterprises, to delivering new services? Black empowerment in that sense is a much broader concept than just as been defined at the moment.

POM     You have to go.

JN     I have to go.

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.