My father who is nearly 70 yrs old has been working since he was 16 yrs. He rarely has time for holidays as his expertise as a builder is always in demand. His integrity and work ethic is why customers for whom he worked decades ago, continue to contact him for other jobs to be done.

Since it is “back to school” many of us have spent hours searching for quality school supplies. As this is an annual event it is absurd to witness the fixed ineptitude. Example, when buying school shoes for kids where are the customer seats? Must kids and moms sprawl on dirty floors while fitting on shoes?

Why can retailers not have sales people in the required aisles since this is the only time of year when shop assistance is actually required? Also why are prices so difficult to locate? Since items have several codes attached, why not just include the price? If the whole nation knows that kids are returning to school, why not have all the items in the same aisle instead of located across the store?

Also publishing houses and text book retailers requires investigation. Why do they continue on holiday at a time when the whole country knows kids return to school in mid-January? Who buys text books a week after schools re-opens. Since all schools supplies go on sale in January, is it not rational that this is when parents buy supplies? Why do some schools insist on buying from a specific business when that business is unable to fill orders due to a lack of stock? When schools insist on specific school text books or school bags is it not logical to ensure that supplies are readily available?

On the 7th Dec 2015 I visited a specific retailer to buy text books as advised by the school and paid in full as was required. After many angry exchanges I finally managed to collect a month later. Also only when you pay in full beforehand – are you placed on the waiting list? This implies that retailers are using customer’s prepaid money with mark-up already included to buy stock from suppliers. Thus the retailers makes no cash outlay and clients are held hostage? How can this be fair business practise?

Since I am not a communist and believe that we have a right to make profit for our efforts, where is the effort in this case?  Is it really necessary that the process of education is so highly exploitative?

Business owners must consider their customers. If their staffs do not respond correctly business will suffer. Managers must be more hands on instead of hiding in offices as employees that hide from customers serve no purpose. Sadly the general impression many Capetonians have of local business suggests that while everyone “wants to get paid” few actually want to work.

Without old-school traditional integrity and work ethic, local unemployment will increase and we will all be ruined as the jobless will further burden the suffering middle class who already pay to many taxes.

While some of us are more fortunate than others and are able to send kids to fee paying schools, where paying is expected, is it really needed that the process be made so consciously exploitative?

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress