SA’s elite will not be making the sacrifices. That is the title of Richard Calland’s article, and his conclusion seems to be, therefor, that the middle class must make the sacrifices, but to what end? It appears the income gap between the middle class and the poor offends Mr Calland’s sensibilities. He calls on the middle class to make the sacrifices needed to prevent South Africa from going the way of “Argentina circa 2001“. He even calls on the middle class to devote time to fixing things that government should have fixed, such as the education system.
Clearly the plight of the poor is not the fault of the middle class, so why single out the middle class? Probably because they represent the formal sector of the economy, which is visible and has nowhere to hide. In short, they are easy targets. When the wheels fall off, if they do, these are the same people who will have nowhere to hide and still be easy targets.
His call reminds me of a local community initiative to clean our streets every Saturday morning, an initiative I take exception to because, amongst other things, it utilises free child labour to clean streets which should have been cleaned by the municipality, who we employed to do that job. The initiative, although well meant, is simply wrong on all levels, just as Mr Calland’s call is also wrong. It is plugging holes where there should be no holes. Instead we need to build dykes that don’t leak. And calling on the middle class, who are not part of the privileged elite, to fix the mess that the privileged elite caused in the first place, is also wrong, on all levels. Instead we should be calling on government to do the jobs for which they are employed.
By contrast, look at Direct Democracy Forum policies which are pragmatic, practical, and address the needs of all our communities, not just those of the privileged elite. We tackle the problems of unemployment and inequality head on without stealing from a single soul. DDF policies are designed to empower and enable not to cripple and subjugate. We will not need to raid the pockets of the middle class to address South Africa’s problems. Instead we will employ an equitable tax system and promote upliftment and independence rather than dumbing down and dependence, a process we have been engaged in since the ANC came to power.
The poor and the ever widening gap between them and the elite are not the problem of a single sector of the economy (namely the middle class). Instead inequality is the problem of the entire economy and requires an all embracing solution.
So the solution, we will argue, is to be found at the next elections, when you can vote for policies that will work. Remember:
The buck stops at the ballot box.