Every February 2nd, the great and good of monopoly capital convene at the FW de Klerk Foundation to remind us all of just how out of touch they are.
In 2017, they invited Christo Wiese as keynote speaker, and he went big, making statements that would leave your jaw on the floor.
But in the spirit of “One South Africa”, Voetsek has put together a handy guide to reality for him.
Statement one: “mantra that rich are getting richer and poor are getting poorer is empty”
According to the World Bank, the wealth of the top 1% in South Africa has doubled since the fall of apartheid. Thomas Piketty, arguably the most respected economist of our times, estimates over 80% of this group remains white. Meanwhile, the World Bank finds the number of people living below the poverty line increased by 1.6 million over the same period.
For those people, the only thing that is empty is their stomach!
Statement two: “business magnates are vilified for wealth, whilst sports stars are admired”
Last month, Voetsek revealed how Christo Wiese – South Africa’s richest man – made his fortune ripping off black South Africans.
Whilst he saw his wealth rise to ZAR90 billion, he paid many of his staff just ZAR2,500 a month – ZAR1,000 LESS than what the government recommends is the minimum required to live.
That he thinks this behaviour is worthy of “admiration” is an indication of how little he understands the plight of so many black South Africans.
Statement three: “Oxfam report is not evidence based”
The Oxfam report on inequality uses information from the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook, and compares it with the Forbes list of billionaires – two of the most respected sources you can find. Moreover, unlike many other reports, Oxfam openly shares its methodology to be scrutinised. So rather than making empty statements, perhaps Wiese would be wise to scrutinise this methodology instead?
Statement four: “SA is following a trend of looking inwards”
There is something to be said for the direction South Africa’s political system is heading. However, if there is one thing we have learned from Brexit and Trump, it’s that the left behind are never truly left behind for ever. Ignore that, and it will be at your peril.
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