Since Africa is an import economy that exports natural resources with minimal add on value, what is the future of African industrialization? While Africa has suffered under slavery, colonialism and so on, blaming everything on the past has little genuine value as this does not improve our collective future.
In South Africa we remain fixated on racial issues and accessing Apartheid privilege instead of building black economic prospect from the ground up. When Colonial money mixed with Apartheid economics, Afrikaner nationalists did not base their empowerment merely by taking shares from British commerce. Afrikaners built Bellville and suburbs to rival English Cape Town and its suburbs. Afrikaners built Sanlam, Santam their own banks and business chamber to rival Old Mutual, BOE etc.
When British colonials built the commercial district stretching from the city centre to Simons Town, Afrikaners built Voortrekker Road that runs from the Salt River into Strand.
What must occur is for African entrepreneurs to reconstruct Township main roads with commerce like Brown people did in Retreat, Wynberg and Athlone. African billionaires must help establish this with access to loans and skills if they are sincere. Black business will prosper if they own the erf they trade on and not rent. By selling mostly imported products we obstruct our manufacturing. Black business must not wait for rescue as this is not going to happen. Racism and strikes will likely reduce when black industrialists employ people and then petition the state to review the difficult labour laws.
Africa’s gaze towards the West has brought us little progress or genuine hope. The Far East economic invasion of Africa will only disable our economic growth and ability to create opportunity.
The regular awarding of wealth to a few politically connected individuals via BEE is not the answer. Only the creation of a genuine African entrepreneurial class will deter racism and unemployment.
Cllr Yagyah Adams
Cape Muslim Congress