Telkom chairman Jabu Mabuza has warned that the expropriation of “white monopoly capitalist establishments”, land, and banks will lead to economic disaster.
This was in response to Professor Chris Malikane’s article Our chance to complete the revolution, which advocates drastic ultra-left and communist actions.
Malikane’s suggestions include establishing a “broad anti-white monopoly capitalist united front”, and the “expropriation of white monopoly capitalist establishments, such as banks, insurance companies, and mines”.
He also proposed the expropriation of all land without compensation, the establishment of a state bank, and the nationalisation of the South African Reserve Bank.
Mabuza said Malikane’s column is “an insult to our intelligence, disrespects our achievements, and threatens our plans for the future”.
“In a way typical of extremists, Malikane imagines that all our country’s social and economic problems are the fault of a conspiracy made up of white monopoly capital and its black puppets,” said Mabuza.
“What an offensive concept – South Africa’s black entrepreneurs and professionals are nobody’s puppets.”
The Telkom chairperson said there is overwhelming evidence which shows that nationalisation and large-scale land expropriation leads to economic disaster.
“No one wants to spend money on something that can be taken away from them,” said Mabuza.
“Threats of nationalisation prevent domestic and foreign investment, and raise the cost of borrowing – for individuals, for businesses, and for the government.”
Mabuza’s column followed similar comments from Altron CEO Mteto Nyati, who warned that radical economic transformation will destroy South Africa’s economy.
Nyati said “radical economic transformation” discussions have morphed into an “us and them” situation.
“You have people talking about white monopoly capital, clearly painting large companies as entities which are not required, or that should be attacked or destroyed,” he said.
He said the “us and them” situation is taking the country in the wrong direction, where we will end up “really destroying our economy”.
“The current businesses are an important asset for this country and we need to protect that.”
He said there is a need to create new opportunities, but warned that this process should not mess with what is working.