Pretoria: 29 November 2018
Sheer laziness among South Africans coupled with an entrenching penchant for particularly Government hand-outs could lead to a hefty price to pay – the loss of control of the country to foreigners, Mr Phumulo Masualle, Premier of the Eastern Cape has warned.
Mr Masualle issued the stern warning while addressing dozens of youths, their parents and community members at a send off event of a group of youths due to travel abroad for employment in tourism cruise ships around the world.
The youths at the Lusikisiki event last week, are part of a group of about 170 young people from several municipal regions in the Eastern Cape that recently received training under the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) driven Maritime Youth Development Programme (MYDP) initiated in partnership with Harambe, a non governmental outfit based in Johannesburg, two years ago.
The Eastern Cape leg of the initiative is sponsored by the Office of the Premier of the province. The group that was bid farewell on Wednesday last week at Mbotyi, in the Ingquza District Municipality along the Wild Coast on South Africa’s eastern seaboard, is the second such group of youths from the Eastern Cape and the third so far after Gauteng, to be trained and found employment by SAMSA in mainly MSC Cruise ships around the world since launch of the MYDP by SAMSA jointly with Harambe in 2016.
In his address of guests at the event, Mr Masualle, in a non scripted speech, pulled no punches and virtually tore into the audience about some of the serious challenges facing South Africa particularly with regards productivity and unemployment.
Mr Masualle said while unemployment of particularly youth – estimated at over 40% in the Eastern Cape province alone – was a serious problem, one of the greatest challenges the country should no longer shy way away from however, he said, was an apparent deep seated laziness among people generally, and which increasingly rested on a self-destructive entrenching penchant for Government handouts.
Just about everyone wanted everything for free, which was unworkable, never mind that it kept people away from effective engagement and control of their own economy, he said.
He said Government’s social security grants and related were already heavily strained as the number of people dependent on them was increasing, yet on the other hand, the economy was struggling, leading to reducing tax for collection.
He pointed out that Government was ‘not a producer of anything’, but served the role of redistributing resources from the productive to the non-productive, alternatively those requiring assistance, such as health, education and similar social services.
But those in productive activity, therefore generating taxable income, were far less than those engaged in an economic activity currently – an untenable situation, he said.
Even so, Mr Masualle said, Government continued to support people even with free housing.
Yet rather curiously, he said, was that when windows of the houses cracked, the average South African, living in a house handed to him or her for free by Government, turned around to complain that Government was building free houses with braking windows.
“Our people cannot even fix cracks that show in the houses they receive for free from Government. When glass panes break, they turn to Government and blame it for building them houses with breaking windows.
“In this venue, where are holding this event, we are closest to the sea, and occasionally watch cargo vessels passing by. But we are only visitors to the sea. We have not the faintest idea what is going on in the oceans economic sector.
“Truth be told, we are a lazy people,” he added, contrasting South Africans with foreigners from neighboring countries, who he said, had a strong healthy attitude for work and productivity.
He said as an illustration, while South Africans by and large, milled around doing very little in productive terms, an increasing number of foreigners from African countries had taken over and were running just about every trading store, and even spaza (informal) shops both in urban and rural areas all over the country where black people resided.
“We need to wake up from the slumber, as otherwise, foreigners with the right attitude for work and productivity, will take over everything including control of our economy,” warned Mr Masualle, starkly.
To the youths departing for work in tourism cruise ships across the world, he urged them to not only remain assistants, but to learn and absorb as much knowledge about that particularly industry as they could, with the goal of then transplanting such knowledge into products and services that will position their own country, South Africa, central to ocean tourism, and particularly cruise tourism.
He said South Africans, specifically black people who are in the majority in terms of the population, could not continue to be onlookers in the development of their own country’s economy, and yet they could not be meaningfully involved unless they got up and actively engaged in productive activity that generates self employment.
For Mr Masualle’s full remarks (wholly delivered in isiXhosa) but reproduced here with English subtitles, click on the video below.
Below are more videos of some of the youths celebrating their achievements to date and in song, expressing their gratitude to the organizations and institutions involved in their finding employment.