I REFER to the letter, "Time to take South Africa in new direction" (by PL Lemercier, in The Herald of November 21, 2012).
In the second paragraph of this letter he posed the question, "How could we expect an open opportunity society when the 'new' government has kept the apartheid economic system, which was designed and evolved over decades, to restrict opportunities to the select few?"
He then went on to aver that it was a legacy of apartheid and that the "old" government had convinced the "new" government to keep the status quo.
Lemercier then calls for the designing of a "new" framework that empowers a creative and flexible local workforce to replace the old system with its financing, training, standard, incubation, research, teaching, lecturing, media and mindsets that are modelled to service centralised, protected large economic interests.
My question is – what exactly does he mean by all this? Is he perhaps suggesting the implementation of the type of system abandoned by the erstwhile USSR to enable it to survive in a modern dynamic world? Or has the TTN (Transition Network) come up with some "brilliant" economic and social system which would solve our problems?
Whichever way you look at it, it is not the economic system as such that is failing us – it is the sheer incompetence and lack of morality of the people in authority that is the root cause of our problems.
One only has to look at the inflated number of people in all levels of government, the corruption, misappropriation of funds and the parlous state of our infrastructure, state hospitals and education, together with the number of "protests" against service delivery to see this. As an example of overstaffing and its economic effect, an "unofficial" survey shows that whereas five of the world's major airlines employ an average of 147 people per aircraft in active use, SAA has 957. Is it any wonder that it needs a reported R8-billion of tax payers' money to "bail it out"?
Pat Killeen, Walmer Heights, Port Elizabeth