The rise national bourgeoisie in the former colonised states is the centrepiece of this paper. Flowing from each conceiving of distinguished theorists, from Fanon 1963 “Pitfall of national Consciousness” to David Masondo 2007 “Capitalism and racist forms of political domination” reached different narrative about the contemporary South Africa. Acknowledging the fact that Frantz Fanon prophesied about post-colonialized countries such as South Africa. I argues the rise of the black capitalists in South Africa. Southall (2004) defined them as the black bourgeoisie whereas Fanon defined them as the former national liberators premised as a middle class and the nationalist.
What is the national bourgeoisie?
The term national bourgeoisie found expression around the debate of National Democratic Revolution [NDR]. The common expression is that the NDR advocated for radically transformation and restructuring of the capitalist society. Chipkin pointed out that “working class that deemed the veritable bearer of the National Democratic Revolution. Other classes (Petit bourgeois, and peasants) may have shared a common (short term) interest with the working class”. In other words, according to Chipkin the NDR theory pushes for the working class not the bourgeoisie. Whereas Goven Mbeki asserted that NDR will usher the black bourgeoisie. The conception of NDR is contested because Blade Nzimande argued that NDR and Freedom Charter was not the socialist document envisage radical change of the society itself.
However, according to Fanon there are different versions of national bourgeoisie or middle class. First bourgeoisie is the ‘authentic national middle class’ which betrays the capitalism and dedicate itself in the service of the people he further argues that authentic national bourgeoisie/middle class “put at the people’s disposal the intellectual and technical capital that has snatched when going through the colonial university”. On the contrary second version of the middle class Fanon (1963) clearly put it as the middle class/national bourgeoisie that does not follow the purpose of the masses instead the orients their gluttony and self-interest. As Southall pragmatically described the national bourgeoisie as the ‘depressing litany.’
Contingency of Republic of Native Thesis 1928
The essence of the Native republic thesis as a one- or a two-phase process with a workers/peasant republic as a stage towards socialism and the second phase would facilitated by the NDR such republic in the second phase. Hence, Southall argues that under apartheid, capitalism reproduced the existence of intermediate black classes for example doctors, teachers, lawyers and petty business operators. However, Southall in other words argues that the black bourgeoisie in South Africa existed in the waves of apartheid. The critically discussion of pre-black bourgeoisie found expression in the 1928 Republic African Native thesis [ANT] and 1949 ANC Plan of Action.
The 1928 African Native thesis contended that black people must have self-determination. By self-determination they talk of black national whereby black people own South Africa’s means of production, land and take charge of their labour production and skills. The 1928 ANT argues that British capitalists perpetuate to occupy the essential economic positions in the country (banks, mining, and industry), and further conceded that “since the South African bourgeoisie is equally interested in the merciless exploitation of negro population”. The outcome of the national bourgeoisie is/was premised within the liberation movement.
Fanon predicted that the black bourgeoisie emerges within the ranks of nationalists or national party and the anti-colonial movement. The ANC assigning itself to NDR political program and pushing for the mixed-economy as it is underpinned in the ANC 1988 Constitution guidelines that organisation is committed in the “mixed economy, the belief that a strong centralized state is necessary to regulate and control the economy…” As Southall, practically showed that the emergence of the black bourgeoisie is justified in the organisation [ANC]. Let pause and scientific diagnose what Southall asserted whether it is scientifically justifiable, in 1999 president Thabo Mbeki during the address to the Black Management Forum [BMF] in 1999, declared:
“the struggle against racism in our country must include the objective of creating a black bourgeoisie…I would like to urge, very strongly, that we abandon our embarrassment about the possibility of the emergence of successful and therefore prosperous black owners of the productive property.”
The project of advancing the black bourgeoisie/middle class is political driven deals, because in 1994-1997 black business noted that about 10% of shares on Johannesburg Stock Exchange [JSE]. However, the South Africa’s wealth is individualised because those owns the shares of 10% during 1999 at JSE was black individuals. In other ways this was the onset of the black bourgeoisie the so-called the middle class. Fanon critically argues that “since the middle classes find it impossible to set up factories that would be more profit –earning both for them and for the country as a whole). This is to argue that the national bourgeoisie dismally fails to redistributes the wealth to the population as whole.
The brief history of BEE
As I have shown that in 1980s National Party government made relaxation of racial laws. The capitalism mode of production could not rely on only white people and white business people started calling for the government clampdown the “reserved-labour or job-reserved” and allow black people to be focused in the semi-skilled and skilled labour production with lower rates of pay than aristocratic white working class.
In other hand, the apartheid government embarked on economic reform. The idea was to try to minimize the resistance and widen the beneficiaries of the apartheid in order to protect the apartheid policies. This was made in 1980s when the apartheid government started loosening certain circumscriptions of the black businesses in the township and culminated into creation of the black elites in the Bantustans. Surely these emerging middle class could become political ally of the National Party. In other words, this was the beginning of the black empowerment by the National Party and this resulted in creation of the national middle class.
In terms of the post-apartheid state, the black economic empowerment was anticipated and in the seminal work of RDP policy document the BEE aims were outlined as was uttered:
“The domination of business activities by white business and the exclusion of black people and women from the mainstream of economic activity are causes for great concern for reconstruction and development process. A central objective of RDP is to deracialise business ownership and control completely through focused policies of Black Economic Empowerment.”
However, Sanlam made first move in 1993 by selling 10 per cent of its holdings in Metropolitan Life to a black empowerment consortium. This was followed by several deals which were made by white businesses. By 1998, there was a significant progress was reached. In 1994, for instance, only 0,5 per cent of the business shares in the JSC registered campanies had owned by black investors and in 1998, it was estimated that 20per cent was reached. Surely, the government was dedicated in creating black elites whereby in 1995, BEE deals accounted for 38,7 per cent on the JSE.
The introduction of Black Economic Empowerment [BEE] second phases in 1998 which embraced and empowered the black owned private property either the business through the direct state intervention. The common expression is that BEE was meant to deracialise the economy. Fanon conceded that “since the middle class find it impossible to set up factories…” this means that the middle class sought to safeguard the foreign owned property. Nevertheless, Peter Hudson argued that the creation of the middle class intends to buffer between the white monopoly capitals and the capitalism mode of production. Since the liberation movement the ANC captured the power they have been advancing the creating of the national middle class. Here below the table shows the rise of the middle class/national bourgeoisie in South Africa:
|Names of National Bourgeoisie
Matthews Phosa (Former Premier of Mpumalanga)
BMW, ABSA, KPMG and Ruslyn Mininig and Waterburg coal mine and Plant Hire
Cyril Ramaphosa (Former NUM and the ANC deputy president)
MTN, SABMiller, Standard Bank, Shanduka Investment Co. Alexander Forbes
Popo Molefe (Former North West premier)
Sun International and Leroko Investment
Sakie Macozoma (former ANC MP, and Director of Transnet)
Stalin Group, Standard Bank, VW SA, Murray and Roberts, Liso, Investment Vehicle and Safika
|Bongani Khumalo (Former CEO of Transnet and Chief Executive of Eskom)
The Chair of the Gidani (Lotto) Consortium, Director of JHI Real Estate
|Mafika Mkwanazi (Former CEO of Transnet)
Chair of Letseng Diamonds, Orlyfunt Holdings and Inkwenkwezi Gold Mine
|Mzi Khumalo (Former ANC regional treasurer in KwazuluNatal)
Pan-African Mining Group
|The Gupta family, Atul Gupta
(President Zuma’s Friends)
The New Age. Business interests in mining, resources, aviation and technology, Sahara Computers, Oakbay Investments.
All the national bourgeoisie/middle class mentioned above are former anti-colonial that emerged from the nationalists’ movement the ANC. This appeals to the argument made by F anon that the national bourgeoisie during the colonial times they mobilize the people with the name of independence. With the same token, Cyril Ramaphosa was National Union of Mineworkers’ (NUM) leader pre-1994 and mobilized the worker against the apartheid. The emergence of the BEE, which represents an individualisation of redistribution and redress, created the rise of the national bourgeoisie/middle class.
Fanon perception of national bourgeoisie and its critique
Fanon (1961) talks of the nationalisation of the economy in the post-colonial era. He argues that the “national middle class consistently demands the nationalisation of the economy and the trading sectors.” This argument precede-over Southall argument that South Africans must own the 51% of the mines in South Africa by 2009, however, the redistributions of mining mineral is individualised. Fanon explicitly describe the nationalisation as the “transfer into the native hands of those unfair disadvantages.” And he further argues that nationalisation and Africanization of the ruling class. However, linking Fanon’s argument with Southall is that ANC advocated for the nationalisation of mines and monopoly industries whereas at the same time pushes the emergence and the rise of the few national bourgeoisies.
However, Fanon pointed out the shortcomings of the national bourgeoisie by contending that they do not have the revolutionary character. Fanon critically discussed that the black middle class will lead the economy to the economic-stagnation because they lack experience of running the economy. On contrast this middle class consult and their advisers are settlers. This argument link to the argument by Southall when he conceded that consultant of change began to emerge in the 1980s, and further characterised them as ‘combining black skins with slivery tongues they promote themselves by helping whites business to adjust to political change.
Fanon succinctly highlighted that “The national bourgeoisie sells itself increasingly openly to the major foreign companies. Foreigners grab concessions through kickbacks, scandals abound, ministers get rich, their wives become floozies, members of the legislature line their pockets, and everybody, down to police officers and customs officials, joins hands in this huge caravan of corruption”. Fanon’s discourse of the black/national bourgeoisie pragmatically link to the contemporary South Africa. The sophisticated corruption within the government. Fanon critically argues that the national bourgeoisie will protect the Western structure, this is to say the 2012 Marika massacre is the practically example of the Fanon prediction. This shows the rise of the national bourgeoisie which rise in the expense of the poor majority.
Conversely, Fanon correctly discussed that “in a certain number of underdeveloped countries the parliamentary game is faked from the beginning”. However, this reflect to the nature of our democratic system in South Africa. The question that can be posed here is whether South Africa’s parliament produces/passes the laws that advocates for the creation of the bourgeoisie democracy as stipulated in the NDR.
The national bourgeoisie are commonly described as the patriotic bourgeoisie. According to Fanon the national bourgeoisie collude with the Western bourgeoisie at the midst tourist. Southall pragmatically argues that the South African national bourgeoisie emerges within the ANC, which by essence Fanon talks of the nationalists’ paradigm and the liberation movement within the premise of decolonisation. Fanon’s (1963) analyses however prevail to be what South Africa it is contemporary.
BEE without patriotism is like Veneer of a self-hate
Without being complicit to a fleabag pride that trapped our brothers into praising and worshiping the black excellence without patriotism. Patriotism merely means the love of your country, without defeating social contract and nature of law. For many years’ black people subjugated into colonization and apartheid system that was defeated in 1994. Though our country is holding an economic colonialism that resulted into neo-colonisation which is not predestined to be corrected by the return of the Jesus Christ but the people themselves have a forceful duty fix the direst colonization and apartheid formation.
Since 1994, black people at least have been presiding over state entities and privately owned businesses. But since the release of Public Protectors’ report pertaining the “State Capture,” I was persuaded that the eddies of corruption it is flooding within the public owned entities with the costume of black excellence and void of patriotism became the normal order of the day.
The “State Capture” was a confirmation of what was already in the public domain, that our leaders have turned into a Kleptocratic servants that turned government into institutional and organizational plutocratic form of governance. The report showed how the President’s son Duduzani Zuma, ESKOM CEO Brain Molefe, government ministers and the Indian family Guptas involved in a corrupt deal and obliterating president prerogative to deploy ministers. Gupta family has already made a transaction that is close to R7 billion within five years from public owned entities that are funded by fiscal revenue of tax payer money.
Stripped of this basic black excellence that emerged as BEE since 1996 and formation of a national bourgeoisie/middle class, the term patriotism has mostly become a crudely convenient and vacuous self-anointed attribute that hide corruption and self-enrichment with the what is ‘patriotism’. The reality is that the BEE it is eddies for the creation of political elites and state elites since the BEE was replayed by ZEE (Zuma Economic Empowerment) as Dr.David Masondo eluded in 2012.
Today for a black mass, living does not embody moral values and taking their place in a fruitful development of the world. The post-apartheid government has normalized the case that for black people to live means keep existing every day is a triumph of life not as a result of work but victory felt as a triumph of life. Whereas themselves black middle class, they live a life with victories of corruption and enriching their families and friends.
Those who praises the song of corruption and sing for supper, they are supposedly evolving into nothing if not incestuous. Thus for example, the former Member of Executive Council (MEC) Smut Ngonyama, then the head of Thabo Mbeki’s office in the ANC made it clear that he did not go to struggle to agonize, as he articulates: “I did not join the struggle to be poor.” This shows that there is no patriotism where there is a soul of corruption.
Supposedly, the national middle class and the state elites failed to understand the struggle their fought under the banner of nationalism that rallied all black masses to defeat colonialism and apartheid. Let’s remind them, the struggles were essentially about dismantling the yoke of political and economic subjugation of the black masses—notwithstanding the case of Du Bois’s conceptualisation of the colour-line as a problem.
Looking at this phenomenon, essential, Du Bois watching from his grave, Du Bois must be contented to view that black folk all over Africa have to be unlocked from colonialism and apartheid and that his country the United States had led by a black president. That by the time Du Bois was writing was a like quixotic dream in the 1800s.
At the same time, Du Bois, Frantz Fanon, and Thomas Sankara must be heartbroken to see how his black folk on the African continent have frolicsome the political freedom gained at the cost and blood masses and its leaders. This happens under the name of African nationalism and black excellence without patriotism.
When the ESKOM CEO Brian Molefe was found that he was closely working with Gupta family and awarded them with the coal deal that worth about R1billion and that automatically makes him be corrupt as black comprador. Voices of denial turn out to a shrillest from the black middle class without patriotism. They call those who sought to be critical of their strategic and tactic framework “agents of white monopoly capital” and the unpatriotic. This is yet, another symptom which nationalist use to justify corruption.
Wondering why South Africa is a society with a high rate of unemployment, poverty, and inequality. Central to these dim of problems, the nationalists catered tax-payers’ money to Guptas and their family. This poses a question itself, where these bulk of the poor, and unemployed should go?
The use of nationalism idea it is used to scheme the masses and minimizes the revolt of the black masses in the post-apartheid against the corrupt state. Not to dismiss the fact that nationalism ideology was fruitful ideology that rallied oppressed nations to defeat colonialism and apartheid. It’s the same white monopoly capital that fronts the black nationalists with a void of patriotism. The reality is that Anglo owns 60% of South Africa’s economy, followed from Sanlam 10% and the state elites preside over 30% of the economy. Apparently here politicians own the means of administration within the state apparatuses.
Correspondingly, this black excellence exists in a horizon distances of the people. Mainly because does not empower the masses but enforced to praise and defend the structural neo-liberalism policies. This supposed to be a case, since the governing party the ANC, it is driven by comprador bourgeoisie. For instance, Mail and Guardian in 2005 exposed how the government oil company, PetroSA under so-called black excellence by Sandi Majali head irregularly made an advance payment of R15million to Imvume Management for a supply of oil condensate source from a neo-liberal capitalist Swiss Company, Glencore. At the same time, Imvume diverted R11 million of the sum of the ANC ahead of the 2004 general election.
Black excellence without corruption but enriched with patriotism and empowering of the masses that would be commendable and serve the authentic moral transformative agenda. This will automatically challenge poverty, inequality and unemployment.
It is very intrinsic, to look at black people praising song of corruption and subjugated to pay for patronage as a reward of defending corruption. I can imagine how du Boise and Frantz Fanon are disappointed in their grave over the youth of South Africa today.
As youth what have we done to deserve this kind of leadership without patriotism and the love for their country? The only liberate for these shackles of poverty, unemployment, inequality, poverty and corruption is the masses themselves as Frantz Fanon alluded that each generation out of obscurity had to discover its mission to fulfil and destroy it. All these lied in our hands to fight corrupt and unpathetic leaders.
Ashley Mabasa, Wits YCLSA secretary
 Fanon 1963: “The wretched of the earth”
 Chipkin, 2003: 31 “South African Nation”
 Mbeki, 1991 “What I have learn in Robben Island”
 David Masondo, 2007.
 Southall 2004, p317 “The ANC for sale? Money, Morality and Business in South Africa.”
 The Economist. ‘Hold your Nose: The Smell of Corruption.’ 3 June 2010