To remain relevant all political parties must discuss job creation during any election campaign.
In his book “The Prophet” Kahlil Gibran wrote “Work is love made visible, and if you cannot work with love, but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of the people who work with joy”.
Recently a burst water pipe at home compelled repairs. Since it was an insurance job I left the entire process of hiring the plumber, tiler, carpenter and painter to the insurance company. Although the incident was reported in December 2013 the work has dragged for months. When the construction firm owner informed me that his staff do not work on public and religious holidays I was intrigued. Since many locals prefer not to work on week-ends and on a Friday after lunch, with 26 Jewish holy days, 12 Christian holy days, 7 Islamic holy days and 13 public holidays, work days are vulnerable.
Although the company had been contracted, I realized that they would do the work on their terms and conditions. The inconvenience caused to the inhabitants of the property was immaterial as the work ethic and availability of the workers was priority. Hence work that could be completed within a month dragged on for four months and counting.
Thus when equating the work ethic and productivity levels of nations like China, India or South Korea what is obvious is that we have a major problem with local work ethic and productivity.
While it may be fashionable to talk about job creation, locals workers must understand that their input is measurable in the global market place. Since our manufacturing industry is in the process of dying in any case, those who talk about reviving the clothing industry in Cape Town should be honest about this reality. With local productivity levels and free trade there is no way we can compare with China.
The sooner politician’s start being honest with local workers and workers are honest about their skills and ability, a genuine discussion on job creation and work ethic can begin.
Confucius said “Give a bowl of rice to a man and you will feed him for a day. Teach him how to grow his own rice and you will save his life.” What are we going to do with those who prefer free rice and who refuse to grow their own rice?
Cllr Yagyah Adams
Cape Muslim Congress