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Thread: A case for RE companies

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    Platinum Member desA's Avatar
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    A case for RE companies

    As a recently returned expatriate to the sunny shores of the new South Africa, I have noticed a number of changes - many of which are for the worse, in my view.

    Along the journey, I've noticed many fat-cat new-rich business tycoons with amazing senses of self-importance, as well as a huge number of what are probably termed 'poor whites'. Some 650,000 I'm led to understand, amongst a light-green population of arguably less than 2 million souls.

    Being the good-natured, colour-blind sort that I am, I initially welcomed the changes in the service industry, where dark-green staff dominates the lighter-green variety by some 99.9% : 0.1%. Good for the emerging new middle class I initially thought.

    As I began to open my new eyes a little more, I've come across light-green youngsters with absolutely no hope of finding a job due to the colour of their pale-green skins. This must be a terminal disease.

    I see laws where the concept of BE = Black Empowerment is pushed with great gusto. In parallel I'm almost finished wih an excellent review of the pinnacles of dark-green achievements in Africa. (Chika Onyeani, Capitalist Nigger, Jonathan Ball Publishers, 2000). This is an enlightening must-read for alternative shades of green.

    I see new laws being proposed to force greater transfer of light-green lands into the hands of the darker-green uber farmers of the future. I also note an increased drive to force more & more businesses to enter the ranks of the BE faithful.

    I see a huge affliction on the Rainbow Nation - a blight operating under the name of Affirmative Action. This affliction essentially postulates that any applicant for a position is welcome to apply, as long as he/she is of the dark-green variety - skill level does not seem to enter the equation.

    Well, being a truly well-meaning colour-blind (expect for shades of green) fellow that I am, I have decided to develop a new form of business model. The name for this is RE = Re-affirmative Empowerment, or Recovery Empowerment, as you will. This model proposes that there now exists a desperate need for light-green members of the SA business community to stand shoulder to shoulder & to provide opportunity to the youngsters from our own ranks. We owe this to our children & succeeding generations.

    I propose to develop the following slogan:

    Proudly South African - an RE company.
    In search of South African Technology Nuggets(R), for sale & trading in South East Asia.

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    Platinum Member desA's Avatar
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    Last edited by desA; 26-Sep-10 at 07:00 AM.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    The last story seems to relate more to the problem with centralised bargaining. You do have to wonder if the employers would have banded together in such solidarity if it had been a mixed crowd, though. Certainly no chance if they'd all been "light green" as you put it.

    The consequences of BEE on the white youth is a thorny problem and I'm stuffed if I know the answer to it. I'm not sure RE is the answer though - it is sure to increase the forces of polarisation.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Platinum Member desA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    The consequences of BEE on the white youth is a thorny problem and I'm stuffed if I know the answer to it. I'm not sure RE is the answer though - it is sure to increase the forces of polarisation.
    The forces of polarisation are an inevitable consequence of an unfair dispensation. It is a totally natural aspect of all capitalist societies. A totally integrated society occurs nowhere on the planet, as far as I've researched thus far.

    The Chinese-Taiwanese/Asian way of thinking will teach the 'we demand' group some bitter lessons, I suspect. As the penetration of this group into SA increases, the more their sphere of influence will spread. This is the Chinese way.
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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    @DesA

    Couldn't agree more.

    I see MTN is also on the selling shares to the non-light-green bandwagon.
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
    ~GS Elevator

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    Platinum Member desA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianh View Post
    I see MTN is also on the selling shares to the non-light-green bandwagon.
    Thanks 'adrianh'.

    The question of selling off shares towards the BE/BEE bandwagon, in order to meet a certain prescribed quota, must surely have implications as the quota limits are raised, over time. At what point does the BE/BEE percentage ownership begin to completely dominate the company ethos & fabric? What if 51% becomes the percentage of the day? Will it be enough?

    I believe that the remaining lighter-shades of green will have to band together into cohesive networks, with strong self-preservation strategies, if the succeeding generations are to survive into the future.

    With the level of wealth transfer over the past 16 years, & the power of the trade union money behind them, surely enough critical mass should have been gained in order for these groups to fund, develop & support new enterprises for their team? Why should the present companies that elect to retain their interests (light- or medium-green) be forced, per new legislation, to capitulate to the 'we demands' of the day? This does not make sound business sense, in my view.
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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    The problem with the ligher shades is that they have never been able to band together. The various groupings may have looked after their own, but never after one another.
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
    ~GS Elevator

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    Platinum Member desA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianh View Post
    The problem with the ligher shades is that they have never been able to band together. The various groupings may have looked after their own, but never after one another.
    Precisely. Excellent points.

    The BE/BEE drive is working into situations where it can divide & conquer a weak, selfish/self-centred foe. The foe seems to now be very much in the position of 'victim'.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Well, if it's a war you see, you're giving ammunition to your enemy.

    I would urge you to step back and look at the big picture before adopting a reactionary stance.

    The situation hasn't developed in a vacuum. BEE and AA has been a reactionary response to the injustices of apartheid. Continuing the cycle down racial lines isn't going to solve the problem or alleviate the pain of transition.

    The inherent flaws of aligning social redress along racial lines is already showing in chunks. And more and more people are starting to take notice.

    The line on just what is "fair" racial discrimination is moving. It is only a matter of time before we can legitimately start questioning whether the issue is one of race at all.
    Last edited by Dave A; 26-Sep-10 at 12:26 PM.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Platinum Member desA's Avatar
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    What I'm seeing is a huge number of people that have been made to feel guilty for the sins of their ancestors. The BE/BEE bandwagon is riding this railroad to the logical conclusion of 100% ownership, as I see it.

    I recall with interest, on a flight from Jhb-Dbn, some years ago, the idea of the Rainbow Nation being scoffed at by the then adviser to the Minister of Agriculture. She felt that Mandela & Suzman's dream was only that - a dream & that it would never work.

    I take note of how the Chinese-Taiwanese textile owners operate. You will see more of this cohesive fabric in play as the Chinese progress deeper into the SA economy.

    For the ones currently wanting to either toe the line, or living in an alternative reality, I suspect that it may already be almost too late to form RE companies & associations. Fully-integrated societies are not common throughout the world. Rather, there are many RE-type groups which operate within an overall social fabric, or social contract.

    An example is Thailand - Chinese & Vietnamese groups have essentially taken control of Thai business over the past 100-150 years through a combination of hard work, money control & astuteness. No handouts were given to them on their way upwards. Now, in return for their position of dominance, they regularly trickle down wealth to the original people as well as work opportunities. Not everyone is happy with 10% of the population controlling 80% of the country's wealth & eventually a more fair & equitable balance will follow - probably end up only controlling 60-70% of the wealth.

    I'm beginning to see the need for the re-emergence of the Capitalist Mhlungu & associated RE groups, alliances & companies. Be proud of your heritage. Please note, I do not excuse apartheid & its sins, but, neither do I accept reverse-apartheid & its sins.

    Now, this resurgence does not have to be a confrontational issue at all, but merely one of preferring to cultivate business relationships with groups you feel comfortable with & trust. The Asian community in SA is already heavily involved in its own RE networks. Some have been very crafty in calling themselves fully BE/BEE compliant - making good use of their position & shade of green. Very crafty. There is no shame in preferring to provide employment opportunities to members of one's own group in order to give them a head-start in life. There is also no shame in preferring not to accept BE/BEE money/finance for a new business venture, but keeping the operation within one's own group. This makes for sound business.
    Last edited by desA; 26-Sep-10 at 03:37 PM.
    In search of South African Technology Nuggets(R), for sale & trading in South East Asia.

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