One of the many reasons I buy the Saturday Argus is for the property section which allows me to dream. We all have dreams and a person without dreams lives without courage or motivation.

When I study properties that exceed R20 million, I wonder what kind of work that person does to afford such luxury. Who among us regular people, can pay rates in excess of R10 000 per month.

Since I am not a communist I believe that every person must be rewarded for their efforts. Eventually when I turn the property pages I dream that perhaps one of my children will become a brilliant sought after surgeon who can afford to live in a lavish mansion and thus allow me to live in the pool cabana.

Having said that, recently the media detailed that the South African National Road Agency Limited (Sanral) had served civil damages claims with a total value of nearly R760 million against seven JSE-listed construction firms and joint ventures that have admitted to colluding on tenders.

Ironically some of these companies were also implicated in collusion regarding the 2010 World Cup when the stadium costs exceeded R50 billion. Very little has been heard of this investigation and it seems almost acceptable that public monies was so fiercely plundered by the private sector.

The stealing implies that amongst us there are evil people who will plunder without any conscious. These villains who dress in expensive suits and jewels will loot repeatedly with little concern for the average taxpayer. The thieves sip champagne at media events while they quietly steal from the poor.

Unlike the common criminal who robs pensioners and school learners with a knife at the train station or under a bridge, the corporate villains rob taxpayers using lawyers, accountants and laptops.

The problem is that society and the media are loath to name and shame the corporate villains who hide behind company names and titles and who rarely accept blame in any capacity. They exist in luxury planning their next heist from the safety of a board room encircled by lawyers and accountants.

While the average poor person worries about where their next meal will come from, the super villain worries about what colour his next luxury vehicle will be or what his stock values will reflect.

The point is – we are all travellers in this reality and eventually we all must leave.  The only thing that will matter is if we were a benefit or a liability to this reality while we were here. Thus while the Torah, Bible and Quran encourages the seeking of legitimate wealth, the God of Abrahams is most wrathful against those who deliberately abuse the rights of the average person.

In the words of the wise, the poverty of our time is unlike any other period in history. It is not as poverty was before as a result of natural disasters and scarcity. Our poverty is often a poverty imposed upon us by the corruption of political processes and priorities imposed on the average person by the will of the wealthy. The corrupters care little for the results of their actions upon others.

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress

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