Tito Mboweni who is the Minister of finance on Friday he made a statement saying that in the “new economy” he wants to witness
more South Africans work as waiters and farm
labourers. He sighted that the labour market of these two industries were full of Malawia and Zimbabwea citizens of Zimbabwe. The Minister reminisced the early 90’s which was the apartheid era, where 80% of the restaurant labour force was made up of South Africans.
“In 1990 when I came back to South Africa from exile, 8 out of every 10 workers at a restaurant were South Africans, the remaining 20% was filled with either Malawian or Zimbabwean. Today 100% of the workforce is non South African…..The percentage of South Africans working in a restaurant must be higher than that of non South Africans. That’s a new economy we are advocating for , in the Agricultural sector as well.” Mboweni said.
Analysts have seen this move taken by Minister Mboweni as a means of dealing with South Africa’s high unemployment rate after the The Minister is trying to provide employment to South Africans who would have lost jobs during the lockdown caused by Coronavirus.
However, there’s a common agreement among black empowerment critics, that by promising South Africans jobs in restaurants and farms, the Minister is avoiding and removing people’s attention from the real issue of economic imbalances, where a few privileged own the means of production. This is a way of making the citizens not demand their own slice of the economic cake which truly belongs to them.
Indeed giving citizens jobs as waiters and farm labourers is a good idea, it does not solve the long-term effects that is solving the issue of economic imbalance that has been around for more than 26years. These small jobs are just dog crumbs from the master’s table and the citizens will continue to be vulnerable to capitalist exploitation. They are more of slaves to the existing capitalist system. In this upcoming “new economy” South African people should be given economic freedom. This can only be achieved by having the means of production, for instance farms, mines and conglomerates.
Instead of urging South African people to be waiters and farm labourers, the honourable Minister Mboweni should however empower his people by helping them become their own boss and captains of industry in the “new economy”. This will be an advantage for the future generation. A child cannot take over his father’s job, but can inherit a company or family business. This is the time to deal with the problem head on and create policies that will give all South African people a fair share of the economic cake. This is what a “new economy” looks like