When the government of South Africa sought to protect the labour force from unfair labour practices, it was no doubt a laudable intention.
However, what becomes apparent to me, a mere layman, is that the new dispensation went so far to swaddle the baby that they choked off the oxygen to the parent – that is to say the employers of said labour.
They gave the labour unions huge power out of all proportion to the good that should have been achieved, creating a situation where labour effectively dictates to employers.
Industry, the education system, the police and army are all so unionised as to make them ridiculously ineffective a lot of the time.
When one trains in the army (make that a good, well-disciplined army) one has to do drill and weapons training. Many, many people are under the impression that all the square-bashing and shouting and associated hard-arsed training is just unnecessary bluster, breaking their darling children down.
Thing is though that when real action occurs all that training kicks in. Nobody questions when a member of the patrol, leader or otherwise, yells DOWN! The training kicks in and you get DOWN. Why do you do that? You do it because your TRAINING and your own instinct for self-preservation, and the good of the team, kicks in.
It is generally accepted that in a good army the leadership is well trained and professional and that by its very nature the military should be an autocracy of sorts. Precisely the same should be the rule in industry and commerce – perhaps less rigid? The bosses, the employers, the leaders should be in charge not the workers and cleaners who lack the experience and training for such positions.
MOST IMPORTANTLY those who think a job is just another name for the security of a monthly stipend should be rudely awoken to the fact that WORK is the means by which that remuneration is EARNED. An unproductive workforce is something that employers should be able to rectify quickly and easily.
The lack of will to break the power of the unions speaks directly to the government’s lack of will to chance losing even a portion of the huge, union-controlled, vote. As long as that is the case they will be unable to even try to properly run the country.
I have no doubt that among South Africa’s vast population, and even among the ANC, are people of integrity and great ability but they will never come to the fore where ineptitude rules because of that feudal mentality that gives privilege and power to the least capable and most sycophantic.
Should capable people, under such a bad dispensation, actually find themselves in a position to achieve anything, through hard, disciplined work, they will not last. Stories will appear to discredit them. They will be threatened and then, to appease voters who do not want to pay for services nor follow the rules, those good people will quietly be redeployed to positions of neutrality or dismissed – if they are not already (suspiciously) dead by that time.
Sadly, that is the feudal village mentality – calling for loyalty to the chief at all costs.