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We have told them about Marikana – ‘construction mafia’

Prepared to die for radical economic transformation, president says.

One night about three years ago Malusi Zondi and his comrades were preparing for war in the bushes around KwaMashu township in KwaZulu-Natal.

He grew up in this poor community “where our role models carried guns and survived through criminal activities”.

Zondi became involved in the politics of the ANC Youth League from the age of 12 and left the country in 2013 after being warned that his life was in danger. In neighbouring Zimbabwe, he got involved in the black market for diamonds and gold and tasted real money for the first time. He also saw how the people of Zimbabwe worked together, in sharp contrast to the political infighting he experienced at home.

In 2015 he returned to his hometown, determined to carve out a different future for the disadvantaged youth. As a founder member of the Youth in Action movement in KwaMashu, Zondi fought for his people. They lobbied the sector education training authorities (Setas) and got training and placements for young people. He claims that more than 700 young people were placed in job opportunities.

At its conference in 2015, the organisation resolved to move towards radical economic transformation. Long before this term became fashionable, Zondi says, they studied the meaning of ‘radical’ and concluded that it should be rational, not aggressive. “Nothing should be about us without us,” he says.

A few months later in 2016, they shut down construction of the Bridge City Mall, demanding participation in the project. They did the same on the site of the area’s new court building and R1.9 billion hospital project. The result was that many local young people got training and 300 were employed on these projects, Zondi says.

On that fateful night, however, the infamous Delangokubona Business Forum was headed to KwaMashu (from nearby Umlazi) to take those hospital jobs from Zondi and his mates for their own members.

Delangokubona consisted of former criminals and ex-MK military veterans who were fighting for economic participation, Zondi says.

The confrontation was set to take place outside the township in the bush, to prevent innocent bystanders from getting hit in the crossfire. Both groups were armed. AK-47s, 9mms. And Zondi’s group was supported by the local taxi industry.

When the two groups eventually met, something surprising happened. They recognised that they had many close family and friendship ties, and a common goal.

The Federation for Radical Economic Transformation was formed.

Today the organisation unites at least 35 business forums and has structures in various provinces. They have stopped billions of rands worth of projects to get participation and have been dubbed the ‘construction mafia’.

Last year they shut down Eskom’s Duvha power station and, as a result, says Zondi, “the contracts started coming.”

They have succeeded in having a policy adopted by the eThekwini metro (Durban) that ensures 30% contract participation goals over and above the legislated BEE and preferential procurement requirements.

This demand for 30% participation has since become the hallmark of business forums at virtually every construction project countrywide.

The unintended consequence was that business forums started sprouting up everywhere, outside of the federation, enforcing their demand for 30% contract participation by all means. “We created mafias,” says Zondi.

The federation now “manages” these “opportunistic” business forums with the assistance of the taxi bosses. These guys go peacefully, Zondi says, but everybody knows they have guns.

Zondi was elected president of the federation earlier this year and estimates that its members collectively earn revenue of about R50 million a month from project participation that it has secured.

The federation is professionalising. It has partnered with black architects, quantity surveyors, chartered accountants and many more, Zondi says.

They have engaged construction industry bodies and big developers and construction companies.

They are adamant that National Treasury procurement regulations are inadequate for addressing the radical economic transformation needed to empower their communities. There is no policy that benefits their members beyond the age of 35 and BEE has benefited only a few, Zondi says.

Another thorn in their flesh is the central database of suppliers, which they say is controlled “somewhere” to benefit some suppliers. It excludes small and informal businesses, he says.

The federation recently broke up a meeting of the KwaZulu-Natal department of health, believing that tender specifications were going to be changed to suit certain suppliers and exclude its members.

Zondi criticises National Treasury for its intervention in that department, which he says led to the appointment of a consultant who is being paid thousands of rands per hour. The consultant has been there for eight months and is the only party benefiting, he says. As a result, the department is not awarding tenders

In fact, state tenders are currently so few and far between, he says, that federation members rely on work from the private sector.

The tense situation at that health department meeting was defused when the MEC, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, intervened. Nothing much has happened since, and the clock is ticking, says Zondi. They want the consultants chased away, saying the department’s own supply chain management staff must do the procurement.

Zondi is clearly hurt by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s subsequent call for the arrest of business forum members. This is not radical economic transformation, Ramaphosa said; he called the federation’s actions radical economic robbery.

The ANC doesn’t have a mechanism to achieve radical economic transformation, Zondi says. It is just talk. Self-enrichment, he says.

If they don’t move on including disadvantaged people in the economy it means whites will be killed, he says.

“We have told them about Marikana … ” he says. (This is an apparent reference to the book We are Going to Kill Each Other Today: The Marikana Story by Athandiwe Saba, Lucas Ledwaba, Sebabatso Mosamo, and Thanduxolo Jika, NB Publishers, 2013.)

Zondi says he has been told to shut up, that “there is money”. But he is not for sale, he says.

He has been told that he will be killed, but he doesn’t care.

He is on a mission. He is prepared to die to achieve radical economic transformation.

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COMMENTS   22

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So he is a professional blackmailer. In other countries he would be in jail, here he will probably end up a politician after becoming a BEE billionaire.

In a free economy anybody can start a construction company, or any business for that matter. With the proper education and credentials, with adequate experience and finances this person is free to tender for projects in competition with other people who are equally well prepared. If the person and his company can ad value to society by delivering the required standard of service at the best price, he will get the contract.

The ANC government set the opposite example for citizens of South Africa. If you are unprepared, uneducated, and without any experience or capital, you either abuse the legislative process to ambush businesses that are successful and force them to hand 30% of their business over to you. Or, if this process of legalized theft did not include you, simply use your only comparative advantage, the AK47 you bought for R100, and hijack another business that was awarded the contract in a legal manner.

Both of these situations are exactly the same. The new president has absolutely zero moral authority to call other people “radical economic robbers” when he personally participated in the perversion of the law to benefit from BEE projects.

BEE is legalized theft, the construction mafia is illegal theft. Both make no contribution to the economy or to consumers. Both are robbers waiting to ambush honest entrepreneurs. Both are parasites that take as much from society as they can, while they have total disregard for the host. At least the law can act against the construction mafia. But after being castrated by the ANC, the law is impotent, unable to act against legalized theft that is called BEE.

The ANC is the same as the construction mafia- only on a national scale. South Africa is ruled by the mafia.

You my friend need to read some history understand why BEE is in place. To say BEE is theft. its a insults to people who understand the reasoning be hind it.

The fact that you write long passages on how much you hate the ANC its says a lot about you.

One of the reason as South Africa we are at this point its cos of people like you. Who refuses to contribute positively in this changing environment.

Constantly give guys like JUJU ammunition to go and be more destructive.

Dazee – clearly you were neither involved in the original prescripts of BEE or have chosen to overlook them. Almost every shopping centre built after 1994 in traditional black areas were prescripted to employ 30% local resident persons irrespective whether they had skills for the job or not. BEE also dictated that 30% of the venture had to be warehoused for black persons and more importantly local persons – which in its own right was job reservation. Some very rich blacks today didn’t get rich by virtue of their business acumen but rather through political connections and being at the right place to receive Bee largesse.

Dazee I do not hate anybody. I have compassion for all people. This is why I speak out against injustices. The National Party left a terrible legacy, and the ANC will leave a legacy that is much worse. I care about the Mamma who sits in her hut in the township, on a farm somewhere, or in the tribal lands. She has to prepare food for 10 people while she depends on a social grant. Her husband and children are unemployed because of the actions of the ANC government. This Mamma and her family deserves a better life. They do not deserve the looting ANC. The ANC contributes nothing to society. To the contrary, their economic policies destroy the economy, create a shrinking tax base and rising unemployment.

People who vote for the ANC don’t care about the country or the average citizen. They only care about themselves. They help nobody, they employ nobody, they only steal from the state. Who is the state? The state is the citizens of the country.

People like me speak out against this criminal regime, while we support many (previously disadvantaged) families with salaries, housing, school fees, medical fees etc. How many people do you provide housing for? Many people like myself provide housing, electricity, water, sewerage works and refuse removal for more than 100 people – for free. Now tell me – who does not contribute to a better, more stable society? You or me? The ANC or so called WMC?

Dazee I see you have 4 thumbs up and Sensei has 92, that about sums it up.

and guys like you give Afriforum ammunition

Congratulation!!!! to them for getting a piece of the action forcefully. Some time the construction mafia need another mafia for change.

White construction mafia
Black construction mafia

Interesting time we live in.

Sad times I would say, when blackmail and intimidation are seen as ways to steal business, and when pot smoking is legalised. When the greed of a few gangsters and warlords threaten the exitance of legal tax paying companies and their workers. This thief should be in jail.

Inciting violence Dazee.

Kessie Naidoo has just been arrested for that.

See News24.

Vomit.

I love the “competition with other people who are EQUALLY well prepared.” point. That’s the funniest one.

Prepare to die for radical economic transformation, before radical economic transfomattion kills you.

Well that kills any incentive to invest any longer in the SA economy.

For nearly 29 years one has hoped that our majority group would grow and develop into something that could be respected. Rammer Pozza does squat to remedy this violence bar BS.

No more.

Will now eliminate all new investments into SA listed companies and divert 100% of surplus funds to offshore.

GET OUT OF SA. He barbarians are no longer waiting at the the gate;they have entered your property

Comments I received on a different MW-article, mentioned to me that the East European state of Montenegro (or Georgia, the ex-Soviet republic) is full of Russian mafia…why go there?

But isn’t SA much the same?

In a ‘positive’ light, one has to appreciate articles like these & as it serves as the planting of red flags.

One can understand the anger of the previously oppressed people of South Africa, taking into account the historic wrongs. I will be helping to redress these wrongs of the past, by paying my future Income Tax in countries like Montenegro, with it’s 9-11% personal tax rate 🙂

Happy to be slaughtered by criminals and taxi thugs and a general climate of little safety and security. Happy to be unemployed and disrespected due to horrendous governance and ruling party economic mistakes. Happy to receive no services due to inefficient government yet happy to die for RET – a term coined by a very White advertising agency that was based in London and no longer exists. Maybe the state of the country could not be better explained than by the ludicrous behaviour we see every day. The day I hear ‘we will earn it by working and studying hard and applying ourselves to the job at hand’ will be a momentous day but don’t hold your breath.

just criminal, which seems to be the triving here in dis country

Africa has traditionally had an economic tradition of taking (slavery and conquest), plus a subsistence economy. The European cultures also initially had slavery and conquest but also developed a strong tradition of creating economic surpluses (delaying gratification) and the protection and advancement of same via: the rule of law, banking, policing, quest for knowledge, democratic institutions etc. That became the capitalistic system, with all its rights and wrongs. Africa does not look to surpluses but competition for the subsistence element, led by short-term consumption and not the creation of surpluses. Hence these mafiosi feel justified in taking what isn’t theirs. This is a deeply embedded cultural imperative and will most probably never change. To use crude language, that is why Africa is a basket-case and most probably always will be, a site for asset extraction and cheap (very unskilled) labor and some some pretty animals. Nothing else. If you don’t believe me, go visit Harare, the main roads have not been fixed much in 35 years. This is subsistence thinking at its most obvious. There is no surplus created, because roads are built for the future, not the now. As the future is meaningless, there is no drive to fix them and the population “makes do”. Logically, left undisturbed that population group would revert to slavery (close, via wealth destruction and financial obliteration), conquest (ZANU-PF already there) and subsistence existence (they’re mostly there). It’s a sociological entropy and to deny that is delusional. These are not racist arguments but cultural ones, a marker far more valuable (and ultimately destructive) that the red-herring of race

Pamplona, your statements are politically incorrect but factually and statistically correct. Any person with grade 10 math will be able to deduce from this statement that political correctness is a farce, a lie, an oxymoron to seduce the incompetent and lazy minds.

Thanks for your post. Let’s call is like it is.

100% Sensei, PC is just an opiate for the masses (sorry Karl)

it wasn’t too long ago that a whole bunch of other people were all prepared to die for Jacob Zuma!

A racist thug!

And Ms Slabbert glorifies him?
It’s her reputation — and MW’s — that takes a dive.

This is the very thinking that BEE gives birth to. Because you have a black skin you are due the hand out….getting rid of racist and divisive BEE policies is the only way to level the playing fields and contain unrealistic expectations.

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