My reaction to the State of the Nation address

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Famous of Karl Marx’s Theses on Feuerbach in 1845 said that, “Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point however is to change it.” It is also the task of President Cyril Ramaphosa to change South Africa and make a better country by creating inclusive economy, the colour-blind economy. Listening to SONA, President Cyril Ramaphosa revived our hope and gave us reasonable expectation as we listen to his state of the nation address (SONA). Though in his address he would not address everything under the sun but those who listened attentively they will note that there are some of the things we can place in question, from the issue of re-industrialization, the youth employment and land redistribution.

The first thing which I was anticipating from our President Cyril’s address was the assurance of free education and stabilization of health system.  President Cyril touched on those critical issues, however, he did elaborate how the free education will be sustained and implemented except saying that the minister of finance will surely seek funds for free education and has already started catering for the poor and the working-class children with the collective income of R350 000 in the family.

Our President and the ANC must defend free education at the same time must avoid plunging our universities into a crisis of declining of quality like Brazil public Universities. Looking from the Brazil model of free education, whereby federal public universities are funded primarily by the poor and working-class majority through value-added taxes. As a consequent, this laid a burden to the poor and give a leeway to the rich acknowledging the high inequality of Brazil this also apply in South Africa with 0.7 Gin Co-efficiency of inequality.

In addition, the quality of our high education system is important for our country to grow the economy and fight against poverty and inequality. Therefore, our government must maintain the quality of South Africa’s universities and avoid the routes which was taken by Brazilians of establishing free education and overlooking of the quality of universities. In Brazil students that attend public universities often lack electricity, water, and toilet paper because the government is unable to pay its suppliers.

Our president also spoke of an expropriating of land without compensation. Knowing that South Africa experienced history of apartheid-colonialism. Black people have been derived from their land since 1913. Though it has been the weakness of our ANC in the post-apartheid South Africa not to address the issue of land distribution.

Moreover, our president emphasized the point that expropriation of land without compensation must be applied with the rationale of increasing the productivity and food security. Surely, our government must insure that our production of food and food security continues through empowering youth to embark on agricultural sector. But this must not deviate us from our expropriation of land with compensation because it is not fair that only 2% of white families own about 80% of the land.[1]  It is problematic that between 1994 and 2003, only 3% of the total agricultural land was returned noting that restitution, measured against the stated target of 30%.[2]  Though, our president did not speak of sustain our environment and mitigation steps towards making sure that of the environment remain protected from degradation.

It is important that we re-industrialized and localize our economic system as our president have said. Acknowledging that our country’s industrialization has been declining for example around 2005 there was approximately 200 000 people in the clothing textile industry and now we are down to about 19 000. As our textile manufacturing sectors have been shutting down as they can stand the competition with the huge import of China’s products which are sold cheaper in South Africa.  Our president did not elaborate how industrialization will take place except that will happen through manufacturing and localizing of our economy.

Furthermore, our president cited that the government has spent R50 billion in boosting local production. He further contended that industrialization and transformation must go hand in glove through Black Economic Empowerment. Though, the issue of Black economic empowerment has been about buying shares of white companies since 1994. Our government must establish the state bank which will facilitate government payments and must restructure BEE to be entreated to build the business from the ground instead of buying white businesses.

Our country to reindustrialize they must unbundle the economic system to the rural areas. Though president Ramaphosa did not speak of the plans to unbundle our economic system. For our country to reindustrialize the rate of growth of the electricity-intensive-goods-producing industries such as mines and steel firms must significantly increase. As Rob Jeffrey highlighted that if the growth of the electricity-intensive-goods-producing this will:

” Energy and electricity will never again be cheap, but for higher economic growth there has to be the security of supply of electricity at competitive prices. Unfortunately, economic growth models based on relatively low electricity growth forecasts become self-fulfilling prophecies.”[3]

Youth Unemployment appears is a clear ticking bomb since 1994. StatsSA early this year revealed that unemployment rate of 52.2% for youths aged between 15 and 24, and 35.5% for those between 25 and 34.[4]  In line with our President state of the nation address, he posited a clear plan for eradicating the youth unemployment. Our president spoke of initiating the summit whereby workers, trade unions, and businesses will strategically engage in how to create jobs for the youth of South Africa.  This will happen through Employment tax initiative to draw the youth in the workplace and through internships, apprenticeship, and mentorship programs. As well, it is strategic for our government to start involving our communities to deal with the unemployment problem.

Finally, our president speech was reviving and give hope that under his government radical economic transformation will happen. His determination to fight against corruption and his love for education, give a hope that he truly wants to build the inclusive economic growth and revive our economy.


By Ashley Mabasa

[1] Shivambu, Floyd 2014;” The coming Revolution.”

[2] Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, 2014: “ANC reclaims its central mission— land.”


[3] Rob Jeffrey is managing director and senior economist of Econometrix

[4] StatsSA, 2018 January


The Nature of South Africa’s National democratic Revolution

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.[1]

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”.[2] 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.[3] 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.[4] 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”.[5] 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.’[6]

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.”[7]

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].[8] 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).[9] 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.”[10]

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.[11] 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 Company

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,[12] however, the redistributions of mining mineral is individualised. Fanon explicitly describe the nationalisation as the “transfer into the native hands of those unfair disadvantages.”[13] And he further argues that nationalisation and Africanization of the ruling class[14]. 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.[15]

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”.[16] 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”.[17] 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.”[18] 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


[1] Fanon 1963: “The wretched of the earth”

[2] Chipkin, 2003: 31 “South African Nation”

[3] Mbeki, 1991 “What I have learn in Robben Island”

[5] David Masondo, 2007.

[6] Southall 2004, p317 “The ANC for sale? Money, Morality and Business in South Africa.”

[18] The Economist. ‘Hold your Nose: The Smell of Corruption.’ 3 June 2010

Radicalise Township Economy using Stokvels and Burial Society

South African government has been turning a blind eye to the revitalisation of the economy for the longest time. Stockvels have long been existing in South Africa. Their origin can be traced to the colonial and apartheid regimes which marginalised black South Africans and excluded them from the mainstream economy. The fact of the matter is that stokvels appeared in the black communities so that black people could survive the economic and social oppression imposed by the apartheid system and buttressed by racial, class and gender exploitation. However, the first component of Stokvel was the Bantu Burial Society formed in 1932. Our ANC government must unbundle the economy, by bringing Stokvels and burial societies into the mainstream economy. This will automatically revitalise the township economy.

The point of departure is that stokvels are defined as an informal, invite-only entities with the aim of benefitting their members. The apartheid regime created a perception that Stokvel are structures for poor black communities and for older generations such as grannies. On the other hand, stokvels are considered informal organisations by the banking sector, although they are governed by a set of rules and principles through their members. Indeed, Stokvel members are one of the significant attributes Stokvels. It is asserted that members of Stokvels most of the time are people with shared interests from the social circle of the family or society.

Therefore, our government must begin to assess the ways in which they can penetrate the Stokvel industry and grow it to be eventually incorporated into the mainstream economy. Over the years Stokvels in our country have been growing phenomenally. Stokvels seriously contribute to community development and local economic growth in several ways: such as the creation of employment and micro businesses. In other words, stokvels strongly contribute to the promotion of financial capital, social capital and social cohesion. On the other hand, they also significantly serve the market—they are reported contribute about R45 billion to the economy.

In addition, it is estimated that there are 800 000 stokvel groups with 11 million individual members. The Old Mutual Savings and Investment Monitor Annual Survey embarked on the task of contacting black Africa households about their investments. In 2016 they reveal the fact that the Stokvel sector’s economic estimated economic share has increased to R49 billion in savings and 8% of them, which is about R8.8 billion, were formed for buying groceries. Again, Old Mutual Annual Survey Report in 2016 further showed that that usage of Stokvel in South Africa by black households has increased from 50% in 2010 to 59% in 2016. As a consequent, these are different types of Stokvels topping the list of types of stokvels that black household members belonged to in 2016 were burial Stokvel at 34% and followed by grocery Stokvels at 18%.

Our ANC government in line with their 54th National Elective Conference adopted the Radical-Socio Economic Transformation. The revitalization of the township economy is very important and Stokvels and burial societies are central to boosting this.

Therefore, our government must revisit the Friendly Society Act of 1956 and Bank Act 1990. This was the strategic framework put together by the apartheid and capitalism relations government because they wanted burial societies to work in a way which benefits the apartheid financial institution such as banks. Putting this in other words, burial societies are supposed to open an account with a bank and they are were not allowed to accumulate money without banking it. As well, the Bank Act recognises stokvels within a legal entity, and place limits to the maximum level of deposits for Stokvel to R9.99 million.

Still today these Acts benefits only big banks such as FNB, Standard Bank, Absa etc. Our ANC must attempt to eradicate these laws which seeks to work in favour of capitalism, by forcing the burial societies to work with banks and giving banks to put a restriction of level of deposits for stokvels. Our government must continue to buffer the Cooperative Act of 2005 and amend the National Credit Act 2006 because this Act puts pose limits on the interest rates for loans, which currently stand at 32% per annum. As thing stands, the phenomena of Stokvels are informal structure (majority of them) and National Credit Act are impossible to apply to those stokvels. Our government must clearly scrutinise these laws in order to make them work in favour of the stokvels.

There is no clear Act which governs the stokvels but they are regulated by National of Skovel Association of South Africa (NASASA) and apartheid Bank Act of 1990. This is troubling because, post the-apartheid regime, our government has not paid enough attention in the development of stokvels. NASASA is the mobilising group of stokvels and it is only authorised by the Reserve Bank’. I have argued several times that stokvels must have a direct legislation outside of NASASA that will allow them to have a strong legal basis to function.

However, in 2004 the South African Communist Party (SACP) made a critical call to the Financial Sector Campaign Coalition (FSCC) and SAFOBS. These are entities created to enhance the regulation of burial societies mostly in the townships. The General Secretary Blade Nzimande, in his address on 16 October 2004 at Johannesburg City Hall, called upon SAFOBS and FSCC to ensure that burial societies can deal with a bank on the basis of the needs and interests of members of burial societies and not based on profits for bank.

Our government must strategically boost the township economy by boosting stokvels. This can happen in a variety of ways, first going back to an undying debate that our government must establish a state bank. Understanding the development of the British, one will comprehend that British government was controlling their banks. This is not dissimilar to the one of the National Party 1989 resolution and the ANC elective conference 2017 resolutions that must further take a step to nationalise South Africa’s reserve bank. Clearly, with a state bank and the nationalisation of the reserve bank, our people can afford to make their transition cheaper as Standard Bank alone takes, through bank charges, about 6 cents (in 2004) for every deposit made by each member of more than 50 000 members. This comes to close R300 000 per month!

Surely there is a need for a combat strategy to replace the capitalist emphasis especially in the financial sector and agricultural sector. And it is fundamentally essential for the land issue to be resolved in line with recreating the manufacturing sector. So that most of the food can be currently manufactured or processed in our country. Our ANC, at its watershed 2017 elective conference, resolved for the expropriation of land without compensation. As former Chinese President Mao Zedong pointed that “a revolution is not the same as inviting people to dinner.” If the ANC is serious about Radical Socio-Economic Transformation, then they must use the Industrial Development and Corporation (IDC) and Land Bank to strongly fund black farms. Local food production must be supported. Legislature needs to be developed that will force shops such Pick and Pay, Spar, to buy more on locally produced food than imports.

Let’s pause and check the facts, grocery Stokvels contributes a lot to our economy. For example, Shoprite (69.9%), Pick ‘n Pay (49.2%) and Spar (32.9%) are the three main retail outlets used by individuals for their grocery purchases. When it comes to shopping for the stokvel, this varies slightly with the top 3 outlets being independent wholesalers (23.3%), Shoprite (20.7%) and Spar (10.6%).  If these groceries are purchased locally the township economy, for instance in a consumer cooperative, these can rapidly revitalise our township economic. Therefore, the consumer cooperative appears more significant to sale and supply the local food to the Stokvel members. Given that they issue members of the grocery Stokvel, the challenge they are mostly faced with, is the lack of transport. Our government must supplement the members of Stokvel buying at local cooperatives with transport to deliver.

Though our society is confronted with enormous social and economic challenges which can be resolved by revitalise the township economy through boosting Stokvels and burial societies. Our nation needs an urgent solution to address three oppressions; poverty, unemployment and inequality. Again, boosting Stokvels and burial societies can help to deal with some of these challenges. Because Stokvels will then start prioritising to make their preferred supplier the township established consumer cooperatives retails.

Finally, our ANC government must critically attempt to assist black people to revitalise their local economies by helping them to integrate the local economy into the mainstream economy. This might also improve their living conditions and create job opportunities. Ultimately, our government will be minimizing social and economic problems such as inequality, unemployment and poverty among black people. Let’s hope our newly elected ANC leadership will critically assist in revitalising the township economy. Thus, fighting the triple oppressions, as mentioned earlier, of unemployment, poverty and inequality.

Ashley Mabasa




Dispelling the myth of Radical Economic Transformation

The ANC declared 2017 as the year of Oliver Tambo; unity in action. Ironically, the party is deeply divided evidently embroiled in court cases, where factions are disputing outcomes of conferences.   The court cases pose devastating consequences for the National Elective Conference due to begin this weekend and consequently towards the 2019 national elections. The ruling party’s failure to embark on critical political and ideological introspection after it lost three metropolitan municipalities in the 2016 local government elections may have lasting consequences for the party going forward.  Towards the its National Elective Conference, the party has punted at what is vaguely known as “Radical Economic Transformation”.

Presidential hopeful, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has also used the slogan “Radical Transformation” slogan towards the elective congress. The slogan can be traced to the 1940s, in which the ANC articulated the Plan of Action through the emergence of radical and militant youth within the ANC. The generation of Robert Sobukwe, Nelson Mandela, OR Tambo subsequently after the formation of the ANC Youth League drafted the Plan of Action demanding scraping of the 1913 Native Land Act, that the land belongs to the black South Africans, freedom to vote, a minimum wage amongst other things.

Subsequent to the 1949 Plan of Action and the adoption of the Freedom Charter at the Congress of the people in 1955 Kliptown, the ANC adopted the document in its conference in Bloemfontein, a clearly socialist ideological approach. This resulted in the first split of the ANC whereby the pro-Africanist members of the ANC viewed the ANC as shifting away from pro-black radical politics to non-racial politics in which they believed that black and white, oppressed and oppressor could not have a reciprocal relations.

Despite the Freedom Charter’s assertion on the race and nationalisation, the Charter carries radicalism and transformative primacy to our economic system through its demand for the country’s strategic sectors such as mines, banks and monopoly industries be shared equally amongst its citizens.

The promise of radical economic transformation is not new, it predates presidential hopeful Dlamini-Zuma as far back as 1960’s at the ANC Morogoro conference which declared the party:

“To allow the existing economic forces to retain their interests intact is to feed the root of racial supremacy and does not represent even the shadow of liberation. Our drive towards national emancipation…The correction of…centuries-old the economic injustice lies at the very core of our aspiration”

Throughout Radical Economic Transformation has remained little more than a rhetorical discourse which has found new energy towards the elective conference vaguely used by Presidential hopeful Dlamini-Zuma apart from using concepts such as white monopoly capital and attack on wealthy Rupert and Oppenheimer families.

What is most troubling with ANC rhetoric since it took political power 1994 is its deliberate neo-liberal economic policies which seeks redistribution through growth?

It is troubling that the ANC post-1994 resonates with the neo-liberal economic policies. Let alone the Redistribution Development Program (RDP) debate that was radical left policy or Keynesian-left policy because of its openness to the nationalisation of mines and its promise to deal with poverty. However, the RDP has neo-liberal policy element as shown by:

Open up South Africa’s economy through reduction of tariffs and envisages export-oriented growth. There is an emphasis on creating a competitive industry in light of the above, where industries like mining are competitive abroad as South African firms, or South Africa leads in terms of producing certain products at a cheap price in a global economy.”

Not forgetting the punishment of poor South Africans by Thabo Mbeki’s administration through GEAR. The introduction of macro-economic GEAR which carried much of promised to overturn South Africa’s economy and pose radical socio-economic transformation.  But at the end ushered us with the increasing of unemployment, privatisation of water and electricity including the drastically change of South African labour relation in which workers of Universities and private companies started to be outsourced and subcontracted.

The reality is that there is nothing new about Dlamini Zuma’s camp with their Radical Economic Transformation slogan they will offer to our people. Let’s be frank, the ANC lack sophistication and ideological posture that will enable it to challenge South Africa’s untransformed economy. The Radical Economic Transformation is nothing rather than a desire to buying black poor people’s votes. Given South Africa’s economic and social challenges such as:

  • High unemployment
  • Major outflow of capital
  • Deindustrialisation, with benefits to financial sector and closing of manufacturing sector
  • Fiscal deregulation has led to internationalization
  • Continuation of the dominance of the Mineral Energy Complex

Given those challenges, Dlamini Zuma supposed to have been focusing on those issues I have mentioned earlier, but I have not heard anyone from her camp articulating how they are going to resolve those economic issues except blaming our untransformed economic system to White Monopoly Capital.

It is worth reminding that the ANC, at the National General Council in June 2011 in Durban, re-affirmed that the government should take control of economic strategic sectors such as the mining industry. Indirectly, the ANC rejected the nationalisation since Pallo Jordan, through the process of the State Involvement in the Mineral Industry (SIMS), contended that nationalisation of mines would cost South Africa’s economy too much. Noting as well that the Chamber of Mines, SIMS, and the Free Market Foundation campaigned strongly campaigned against the nationalisation of mines with the help of ANC top leadership such as Jeff Radebe.

Looking ahead to this 54th elective conference the ANC delegates must reject the rhetoric calling for radical economic transformation. Putting this in other words, 38 percent of the South African population lives underdeveloped rural areas governed by traditional authorities and municipalities. The Freedom Charter is clear on the issue of governance as it argued that “People shall govern” not through chiefs and kings but by the democratically elected government. There is a huge silence in Dlamini Zuma’s campaign in term of this radical economic transformation if it will abolish the tribal traditional authority. Because this system of traditional rules it is inhabitant patriarchy and constraint democracy since the power is only vested in a chief as a law-maker, executive and judge.

In reality is that Dlamini-Zuma is having been part of new government regime since 1994 with her government and political credentials there is nothing new they will invent. As she has been complicit in the post-1994 government that do not engage in production, nor in the invention, nor building, nor labour, their innermost predisposition it is not to change the condition of black people or eradicate poverty, and inequality but it is to enrich their families and friends such as president Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzani Zuma.

So she cannot be taken seriously with her call for radical economic transformation. The ANC delegates in the congress they must bear in mind that they carrying a power of determining who will be the next ANC president and possibly South Africa’s president. Surely, we do not want to have a president of our country such as Jacob Zuma who will preside over corruption, enriching him family and friends and weakening of our state institutions merely to protect himself.


The ANC prior to its 54th National elective congress needs to shift from a neo-liberal policy framework to prioritising elevate poverty, inequality and unemployment. This must include the participation of a majority of black South Africans, particularly black women in the mainstream economy, the creation of massive employment and abolish tribal traditional authorities. Our government must diversify from depending on Energy Mineral Complex or Mineral energy-finance complex and revitalise the local economy by intensifying the township economy through the establishment of the consumer co-operatives to boost the small businesses and incorporating of stokvels and burial societies into our economy.

The delegates must argue for intensifying the establishment of National Health Insurance, take ownership of the land from corporates sector such as Banks and Mining companies’ hands. They must argue for implementation of a state bank to facilitate government payments and restructure Black Economic Empowerment to build the business from the ground up instead of buying white businesses or relying on state tenders. They must increase the informalisation of the economy with an assistance of redirection state financial institutions funds such as Public Investment Corporation in helping to building a sustainable informal businesses and cut at the tax base like Brazil.


Ashley Mabasa

The SACP is contesting elections to ensure decent lives for our people

The Metsimaholo Municipality might serve as the rise of the Paris Commune for the South African Communist Party (SACP).

The Paris Commune was a socialist government that ruled the Paris from March 28 to May 28 1871.

The Paris Commune must happen again in the Metsimaholo Municipality

As Karl Marx expressed during his long vacation among the working class in the British Museum library: “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.”

The SACP has taken the first revolutionary step since our democratic breakthrough in 1994 toward deploying 42 candidates as councillors.

In a nutshell, the SACP has been demanding the reconfiguration of the tripartite alliance since 1994. The political alliance is in crisis as the president of the ANC takes decisions without consulting the alliance partners let alone his national executive.

The expulsion of General Secretary Blade Nzimande from Cabinet portrayed our tripartite alliance as a somersault alliance.

The SACP continues to be the ideological and political trainer of the ANC. Its adoption of the social formation as a system of “colonialism of a special type” – which means that there is no spatial separation between the colonising power (the white minority state) and the colonised black people – was affirmed by the ANC in its 1985 discussion document The Nature of Ruling Class.

This reaffirms that the SACP has been playing a significant role in the ANC by detesting liberal views inside and outside of the ANC.

When he was the deputy president of the ANC, Jacob Zuma was in court for his rape case. The communist party mobilised the working class across South Africa in defence of Zuma against the liberal faction of Thabo Mbeki who attempted to use state apparatuses to purge Zuma.

At the heart of it, the ANC never lived up to its promises of the Freedom Charter. The Freedom Charter formed part of the political programme that tied the alliance together even after 1994. It is the task of the SACP to fulfil the freedom charter. Contesting the Metsimaholo Local Municipality is also a revolutionary task of the SACP to fulfil what Chris Hani was standing for – serving the working class and the poor with diligence, service delivery, and a decent and dignified life for the people of Metsimaholo Local Municipality.

Indeed, the SACP has been vocal against corruption and state capture. The national executive committee of the ANC has been ignoring their task to guide the president. Instead, they are complicit.

The SACP must contest elections to ensure the people of Metsimaholo live corruption-free.

The first task they must undertake in office is to end the tender system and replace it with community cooperatives – meaning they must seriously prepare a strong legal team to fight against legal processes in abolition of the tender system.

They must establish the community funding scheme for small businesses and students. In terms of the administration work, they must identify key skilled people and systematically block the patronage and nepotism. The Metsimaholo Local Municipality must be our own Paris Commune.

• Ashley Nyiko Mabasa is an SACP member and the Young Communist League of South Africa’s Wits branch secretary

This article was published at City Press

Black government: The fallacy of ZumaMustFall sponsored views and protest



The anti-Zuma protests which have been led by elites are purely hogwash! At the centre of all this commotion that is happening in our country. Reshuffling of the president and the propagating of white monopoly capital as the forces which are gatekeeping the radical socio-economic transformation.

It is difficult to express your views in a space crowded by liberal views and pseudo-black consciousness views—such as #ZumaMustFallcampaign, #SaveSouthAfrica campaign, Black Land First (BLF) and the likes of Mzwandile Manye. However, as an activist and an ANC member cannot be pretentious remain silent on such issues.

All sorts of these campaigns against President Zuma are just waste of a time and energy. Acknowledging the fact that these protests are predominated by white liberals, black liberals and the black middle class. This is not to completely dismiss that there are downtrodden who are affected by maladministration, gluttony, patronage and corruption of president Zuma and the Guptas.

I am aware that we are existing in a neo-liberal capitalist state meaning: that our state is just a mere marionette puppet of the white ruling class. But our state is presided over by the black government which our organisation the ANC and its leadership appeared to be fully captured by Gupta family to get economic influence.  Here I am trying to show you that our state is historically captured by the ruling class and now by Gupta.

Comrades we need a radical socio-economic transformation! Which is going to be inclusive of everyone particularly poverty stricken black people. Currently, the lives of black people are just undermined under the watch of a black government. The lives of black people have turned to be statistics, here, more than 50% of people live under the poverty line, there are 8 million unemployed people. In addition, multitudes of black people are outsourced meaning their labour is separated from themselves and their production is also separated from themselves under the black government’s watch.

Following hackneyed of whites, people are black middles class to remove Zuma out of power just because he removed Pravin Gordon out of the office that is clearly nonsense. Pravin was captured by white monopoly capital like Zuma is captured by the Gupta family. Therefore, I cannot support Pravin or Zuma because they both lack the interest of advancing the interests of the black people.

For coherence, the anti-Zuma protests seek to undermine the black government. White people and the black middle class seek to undermine the black-led government. This is the same thing that happened in Ghana when the black middle class colluded with white liberals to overthrow of Pan-Africanist Kwame Nkrumah in 1966. And after that, black people in Ghana became poor like they are not independent.

Walter Rodney in 1975 warned us at University of Dar es Salaam when he was unpacking the class contradiction of Tanzania. That African leader must bear the interest of the working class and overarch the interest of producing the class strata within black people. Meaning that black government must eradicate poverty of black people, promote black national consciousness that will be pivotal for development of black productive forces.

This is the same issue Govan Mbeki was concerned with in his book “Learning from Robben Island”, that the ANC using Freedom charter as the blue-print for economic transformation the will produce non-European bourgeoisie. In other words, the non-European bourgeoisie they will discard the interest of the black people and advance the interest of their bourgeoisie friends for instance President Zuma selling our country to Gupta family and President Mbeki sold our country to the Western Multi-National Corporation at the centre of these black people continue to be poorer and serve as a fodder of exploitation capital.

Comrades we all want radical economic transformation but it must be stripped of corruption and patronage. In this rumble, Zuma and his faction has no interest in eradicating black people from poverty—if they are handled by Gupta and Gupta family made his son Duduzana Zuma a billionaire using the State-Owned Enterprise and looting the from government tenders while 50% of black people live below the poverty line and 8 million people unemployed. But this is not to dismiss his bravery of undermining the white monopoly capital as the Banking Association and the Chamber of Mines clearly pointed out that the Presidents’ renewed bid to rid himself and his cronies of Gordhan was dangerous and would have consequences. “Sighting the fall of the Rand, they noted that Zuma’s actions were once again undermining the Treasuries’ bid to placate investors over their concerns about state ‘capture’.”

Of course, I support the appointment of the new minister of finance Malusi Gigaba. He is one of the key products of the ANCYL and robust with socio-economic issues of South Africa. Surely he will transform South Africa’s structural economic system: which continues to benefit the white ruling class and the national bourgeoisie out of exploitation of the black working class. I hope he will change the fiscal policy to grow our economy, increase corporate tax and expand our economic growth but central to the redistribution—not in a Keynesian suggested theory but government legislate laws that directly benefit black people particularly black women. Minister Gigaba is still young and vibrant that he can take a fresh decision to transform South Africa’s economic system.

Also, I congratulate the appointment of Nkhensani Khubayi as the minister of Energy surely as women she will redress the issues our country is faced with: marginalisation of black businesses in the energy industry particularly women. Surely she will advance black people’s interest. She is also young, vibrant and women.

Comrades lets be frank the anti-Zuma protest have nothing to offer to the South African working class and the poor. They are always silenced on the issues which are complicit to the white monopoly capital. They were nowhere to be found when Absa and Bankorp-Sarb lifeboat issue was revealed that Absa must pay back R2 billion. When the issue of #FeesMustFall surfaced, they disappear and clampdown the call for free education. Including SaveSouthAfrica group march in solidarity with #FeesMustFall. The issue here is that they just want to undermine the black government and render it as a failed state like what they did to Libya, Zimbabwe, Ghana etc.

The struggle continues Amandla!!!

State Capture debate from Marxist perspective: Learning from Comrade David Masondo


By Ashley Nyiko Mabasa

Flowing from different conceptualisations of the state, there are enormous debates about: the state and what comprises the state. There is a different conceptualisation of the state from activists, scholars and the politicians. The past-recent saga about the “state capture report” by the Public Protectors’ has drawn a debate about whether South African State is captured or not. Here the reflection will critically attempt to discuss whether the state is captured or not. Firstly, I will give a brief distinction between the state and the government using a theoretical foundation such as Marxist. On the basis of underlying evidence and this reflection will determine whether the state is captured or not.

What is the state and the government?

The state encompasses the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary. As Engels in his masterpiece called “The Origin of Family, Private Property, and State” described the State as “nothing other than a body of armed men.” These are organs the, at comprising the state, the legislature is the parliament which is the government, the executive is the President, government ministries of the country, while the judiciary is the legal system such as magistrate court to the supreme and constitution.

Whereas the government forms part of the state as Helliker taught us that government is the sphere of the legislature so that the political party that has most members in parliament forms the government for example the African National Congress (ANC) is the governing party. This means that different parties can form the government and preside over the state with different policies, but the state does not change, unlike the government. Hence Government is necessary to preserve our freedom, it is an instrument through which we can exercise our freedom; yet by concentrating power in political hands, it is also a threat to freedom As Steven Friedman argued in 2014 about the formation of the state.

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However, drawing from different theoretical perspectives, there are various conceptualisations of the state. Borrowing from Classical Marxist the state is the executive that manages the common affairs of those who control the means of production such as factories, banks, and monopoly industries (Marx, 1848). The modern Marxist defines the state as the apparatus that reconcile antagonistic classes in the society, as Lenin argued when he was addressing at the University of Sverdlov that the state “serves as a justification of social priviledge, a justification of the existence of exploitation, a justification for the existence of capitalism” from Lenin in 1919 political school. He further contends that in the State and Revolution in 1921 Lenin also proposed that the state must be smashed and new kind of apparatus built.

The Post-1994 and the state

Early in 1990s South Africa experienced the democratic, economic and political breakthrough. This brought significant change to the country previously plagued by the despotic government of apartheid. In 1994 under the democratic dispensation the ANC was elected as the new governing party—under the Government of National Unity (GNU).

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In the watershed of 1994, the ANC transceded the Redistribution Development from NUMSA to RDP policy. The RDP was based on the growth of the economy and redistribution of wealth. This policy document culminated into the ANC policy and elections manifest to mobilize the working class for the electoral victory for the ANC in 1994 national election. The RDP gave the following provisions; social services, fixing education, fixing health, rural development and healthcare and worker rights.

The ANC have used the National Democratic Revolution (NDR) as the vehicle to defeat apartheid and as the ultimate route to socialism. As the ANC succinctly highlighted in 1998 that:

In a systematic way, the NDR has to ensure that ownership of private capital at all […] levels […] is not defined in racial terms. Thus the new state – in its procurement policy, its programme of restructuring state assets, utilisation of instruments of empowerment, pressure and other measures – promotes the emergence of a black capitalist class (emphasis added) (ANC, 1998).

In 1994 the ANC overwhelmingly won state power, which according to the Poulantzas is the “power of certain classes to whose interests the state corresponds.” This conceptualisation of state power was cemented by Thabo Mbeki then deputy president of South Africa in the Black Management Forum in 1999 when he declared that:

“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 productive property.”

Therefore, the ANC engaged, in the project of building the black bourgeoisie, using the state as the social upward mobility mechanism by establishing Black Economic Empowerment (BEE). BEE is the procurement process whereby the government empowers black people by granting them tenders and buying them assets (SACP in 2016). This argument concurs with my Economic Sociology lecture Paul Stewart’s in our discussion he said that the states have consequently always had complex and intimate relationship with the economy. He further characterised the capitalist state as sought to organise economic activity around which art, science and politics centrally turns. This argument is important because shows us the foundation of the governing party with its relationship with the economy and state.

There is a common argument that South Africa’s state is captured by virtue of being based to capitalist mode of production. This reflection argues that South African state is captured. The author argues that the state is captured by monopoly capital and the ruling class. Historically, it is argued that South African state was captured by Afrikaner group called Broederbond (SACP, 2016). The Broederbond, through its patronage-networks, was able to capture the state using volkapitalisme. The Volkapitalisme was an economic strategy, used by the Afrikaner government and business, which aimed at salvaging about 300 000 Afrikaner from the poverty and transforming the economy mode of production to fits its ethnic nature of Afrikaner.

State capture and political conjecture

Recently, the office of Public Protector released the report named “The capture of the state”. This report shows that the President, ministers, and SOEs executive are part of this. The state capture report pointed out the Guptas as critical business actors manipulating President Zuma’s administration to obtain business contracts and licences. Evidently, in 2010, the Guptas with Duduzani Zuma, the son of the President, were able to appropriate the mining Licence of Kumba Iron ore.

In the YCLSA Bua Thursday held Wits University organized by YCLSA PS cde Alex Mdakane, presented by Dr David Masondo, According to Dr Masondo this phenomenon has elevated the World Bank’s notion of state capture in South Africa’s political lexicon. The result is, Masondo further contends, that “The concept of state capture signifies institutional matrices and networks through which elites accumulate wealth – legally and illegally”( Masondo at YCLSA Bua Thursday) his argument again appeals to Marx’s (1848) argument that the state is the executive that manages the common affairs of the bourgeoisie.


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The executive arm of the state is the President with his ministers. The Public Protector’s Report (PPR) (2016) pointed out that Minister Van Rooyen – “who replaced Minister Nene – can be placed at the Saxonwold area on at least seven occasions including on the day before he was announced as Minister.” This family has established solid relationship with President Zuma which culminates into a patronage network. PPR (2016) further implicated Eskom as being a part of this, since Chief Executive Officer of Eskom Brian Molefe “has called Mr Ajay Gupta a total of 44 times and Mr Ajay Gupta has called Mr Molefe a similar number of times and this consequently led to Eskom board improperly appointed.” These facts cement the evidence of the state capture. These overt apparatuses, which encompass the notion of the state capture, only enable privileged access to sections of the business class, as Dr Masondo argued that right to be centre of the state decision-making.

Conversely, the states, under capitalism mode of production, are inherently captured by the ruling class (businesses), because they eventually depend on the decisions of the business to generate revenue. Given that the Washington Consensus of neo-liberalism led to a state not significantly owning economic assets – rather they depend on ‘business to invest their resources’ as Goven Mbeki contended. The reality is without business investment, the state cannot generate revenue from taxation to perform its obligations such as the provision of social services, and “administrating the legal framework within which business competes.”

In arguing that South African state has been captured, the established businesses such as Anglo American, Oakbay/Guptas, Absa, Murray and Roberts and Pan Mixers SA do not need direct access to the government executive to capture the state. In other words, the ruling class or business class depends on its ownership of the economy such as mines, land, monopoly industries and banks to capture or force the state to be the locus of its accumulation of wealth or surplus.


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This reflection has critically argued that South African state has been captured. Historically South Africa was captured by the Afrikaner Broederbonders through their patronage network and they used the state as their mechanism of wealthy accumulation. Post-1994, the ANC economic policy of the RDP enabled state intervention and aggregated the demand to increase the fiscal expenditure. In 1996 the government shifted from a macro-economic strategy, which focuses on the open market, and lessened state intervention in businesses. The neo-liberal policies allowed the businesses to capture the state. Without dismissing the fact those inherently capitalist states are captured by the business class. This essay has shown how South African state is captured by the Gupta family and the how through their capture of the state which give them access to the economic accumulation through the SOEs such as Eskom, Transnet and South Africa Airways including the executive of the state.

End Capitalism!!!!

By Ashley Nyiko Mabasa.