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ANC policies keeping black people poor, says Herman Mashaba

Ahead of a Constitutional Court challenge on the Labour Relations Act.
Herman Mashaba, founder of Black Like Me and the DA's mayoral candidate for Johannesburg.

JOHANNESBURG – The survival of the African National Congress (ANC) is dependent on black people getting poorer so that they remain dependent on government handouts, entrepreneur and businessman Herman Mashaba said on Thursday. This is ahead of a Constitutional Court challenge, of part of the Labour Relations Act (LRA), that he is leading.

The founder of hair-product empire Black Like Me, Mashaba was recently announced as the DA’s mayoral candidate for Johannesburg. He said he put his hand up for the position the day after President Jacob Zuma axed then-finance minister, Nhlanhla Nene.

“I refuse to watch our country be destroyed. I want to use my privileged life to pay back to society by becoming a civil servant,” Mashaba told a group of insurance company CEOs at an Insurance Institute of Gauteng (IIG) event*.

“The economic policies pursued by the current government are destroying everything that Mandela worked for and what he really wanted to achieve,” Mashaba argued, noting that these policies were informed by communist Russia.

He described the tripartite alliance, referring to the relationship between the ANC, the South African Communist Party (SACP) and Cosatu, as “toxic”.

‘Mashaba is hypocritical’ – ANC

Mashaba is leading a Constitutional Court challenge brought by liberal think-tank the Free Market Foundation (FMF), to argue that Section 32 of the LRA is unconstitutional.

Section 32 dictates that bargaining council agreements, reached between private parties, must be extended across an entire industry sector by the Minister of Labour Mildred Oliphant.

The FMF is arguing that the minister should apply her mind and consider the socioeconomic implications of extending these agreements, particularly the impact they have on smaller firms, which cannot always afford to pay wages agreed on between big business and unions.

Mashaba, who served as chairman of the FMF from 2012 to 2014, said he has always opposed the “draconian” labour laws instituted in post-Apartheid South Africa.

“This [Section 32] has destroyed small business in this country. I am funding this court case out of family resources so that poor people and small businesses can get an opportunity,” Mashaba said, describing this as the “biggest constitutional challenge that the ANC government will ever face”.

The case, which has been delayed for three years by Cosatu, will be heard later this month.

“I can’t wait to get this minister to tell the world and the unemployed why she defended this [clause],” Mashaba said, suggesting that the minister was being told what to do by unions.

Cosatu, meanwhile, argues that the FMF’s attack constitutes “an attack of labour standards fought for by workers on the streets in South Africa”.

“Many workers remain outside collective bargaining councils facing precarious working conditions and low wages meted against them by intransigent employers,” Cosatu maintains.

Mashaba on Thursday called on business to invest in the country and arrest the spiral of unemployment. “Employment is the biggest need of our people. It is not government that is going to employ them, we need businesses that make money to employ them,” Mashaba said.

“The ANC government is under the impression that it is doing business a favour by allowing them to operate.”

On Black Economic Empowerment (BEE), Mashaba said that government money should be spent where it is needed and that while we require policies to deal with the ills of the past, they should not divide the country along racial lines.

“I’m against ANC policies, which are there to encourage corruption and patronage, and disincentivise people from thinking holistically,” Mashaba said.

When asked to respond to these comments, ANC spokesperson, Zizi Kodwa described Mashaba as “hypocritical” and “an angry fellow”. Kodwa said that Mashaba was criticising and distorting policies, such as BEE, which benefitted him. He said that under the new dispensation, Black Like Me enjoyed BEE status.

Kodwa said that Mashaba doesn’t have struggle credentials and that the ANC questions how he, a black person, could have become so successful under Apartheid. “It was not possible for any black person to thrive at that time. Many who thrived had connections with the system,” Kodwa said.

*The IIG is a non-political insurance industry body that invited Mashaba in his capacity as an entrepreneur and before he was elected mayoral candidate of the DA.

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He should be angry the country is going down the drain. At last a person that put’s the country first.

Kodwa’s criticism of Mashaba is pathetic, with no factual support. BEE is not the reason why Mashaba is successful. The real reason is his entrepreneurial nature and his not being poisoned by hate and vindictiveness; a prevalent state of mind in South Africa which is manupulated and abused by the current Regime, and if not arrested might very well ensure that we become another African failed State where people blame everybody else for their problems but themselves. Our LRA is like a chain ball on the legs of our economy. The Unions misuse it at the cost of the average worker; thus the current breakup of the Union structures which have become, like the ANC, hungry for power at all costs. How many more signs do we need before we realise that the status quo policies are not working

Fact of the matter – he is 100% correct – if someone can’t read he cannot comprehend the problems the ANC has caused and is causing as all he gets fed is the political rhetoric in their mass meetings and toy-toy marches

Kodwa clings to the same hypocritical and insidiously racist notion that most so-called “social justice warriors” do regarding black people and success; that they can’t achieve it unless there’s a white person holding their hand. It goes to the heart of what the ANC really wants to achieve in SA; an impoverished electorate that is totally dependent on the magnanimity of a ruling elite.

of course these policies will and for that matter all other people as well!

Herman, I heard good things about you from people 10 years ago. Good luck, rule with your heart and mind and not your back pocket and you will make SA a better place.

You are so right, they also keep them uneducated so they have no where to go, cannot get out of the gutter and stay stupid enough to vote for them.

Good luck Sir, you will make this country a better place.

The first few words in this article have been a constant and almost daily warning to the voting public in South Africa for more than 20 years. “The survival of the African National Congress (ANC) is dependent on black people getting poorer so that they remain dependent on government handouts”.

Well done Herman non reaching your decision to ditch the ANC and their poverty designed ideals. I hope many others will see the light and vote with their heads this time. That is the only way to eradicate the poison that has set in in South Africa.

By extension then Mr Kodwa is accusing Richard Maponya of being a collaborator. That’s nice!

Keep fighting the good fight Mr Mashaba. Amazing how the ANC even tries to pin the success of entrepreneurs on “connections to apartheid”. They are a flaccid organ who are losing enormous credibility – the more success stories like those of Mr Mashaba that are shared, the weaker the arguments of the ANC become. You have my vote for local government elections Mr Mashaba, keep up the great work.

Mr. Mashaba, Firstly well done on your successful business career against the odds. Anybody who starts and runs a business long term (as have I) knows that it is mostly hard work mixed in with some luck. But pretty much just getting up at 4am and going to sleep at Midnight for year after year gets the job done.

Government should never become Giverment and no policy can take the place of hard work.

We must try to understand the ANC leaderships point of view. I am not sure but I don’t think many of leadership have ever started or run a business. Any business.

Some may have come in at the very top of a corporate because of political position but grass roots entrepreneurship is a foreign concept to most people in ANC leadership positions.

They just cannot understand how you built a successful career when the government of the time was against you. Insinuating that you worked with the Nat’s to obtain your success is most likely just a stupid insult however I am sure that this is going to be their tactic against you.

They also cannot understand how ANC policies have turned South African’s into beggars while allowing people from other African countries to come here and build a self sustaining life as a honest traders of goods and services.

These policies are the true source of Xenophobia in our country.

The ANC have created a culture of dependence among citizens while freeing up the borders to allow non citizens who do not receive benefits from the state to enter the country and build thriving little business trading goods and services.

Best of luck with your campaign. No doubt the ANC will try to find some way to discredit you but rest assured there are a great many people pulling for you.

End of comments.





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