Tuesday, December 4, 2012

SMEs - lack of growth part of a bigger problem?

I recently viewed a video that was being circulated on email. It showed Gareth Cliff asking questions of a music talent show hopeful. He asked the fellow what he did, and the hopeful essentially described himself as running a small spaza store. Gareth then said "Oh, so you are a vendor" to which the hopeful replied "No, I am a Zulu". While the video was being circulated as a source of amusement, I believe it underlines the serious divisions within our country.

How often do you hear people say I am a South African. Almost never. We are black, white, coloured Indian, Jew, Greek, English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa, Muslim, Hindu, whatever, but never South African.

In the USA they are Americans even when it is clear from their accents that they have only been there a short while. In Australia the same, In fact almost everywhere it is the same. But not here in South Africa.  When last did you hear a Zimbabwean say they are Shona. 

A Zimbabwean student once said to me, "Before I came to South Africa I was just a human being. Now I am a black person who is subjected to the worst racial treatment possible, from South African black people. You South Africans are not nice people." What an indictment of our society from a 21 year girl .

Until we see ourselves as a single nation we will continue to expend  energy on stupid and unnecessary divisions which add no value to our country whatsoever. Instead of learning and working together, and building strong country bonds between countrymen, we instead focus on dividing and ruling, encouraged by a government that claims to be a non-racial government.

It is time we put paid to this political manipulation, as it only benefits a small minority, and not our country. Then maybe we would have greater efficiency in businesses, less worker hostility to capitalism, and great growth in our country, which means our SMEs would be able to grow too.