By John Fraser
Sadly, we have to take the EFF seriously. This band of populist prats have a presence in Parliament, are skilled at rabble-rousing, and are listened to by many wretched South Africans who see them as their only hope for abetter life.
So when the red-beret fashion-thugs say it is wrong for a white man to be appointed as the CEO of the power utility Eskom, they are preaching to the willingly converted.
Until he takes up his new Eskom post, André de Ruyter will be winding down as the boss of packaging group Nampak.
His critics look at this group’s recent troubles, pinning the blame on him.
If he is that useless, why has he been appointed to one of the most important jobs in the country?
Of course, he isn’t useless at all.
As anyone who understands the packaging industry, or who takes the trouble to find this out, it is highly cyclical.
When the economy is buzzing, people buy more. More goods moving around the economy means more demand for packaging of those goods.
Take a look at the current lame, lacklustre SA economy, with almost stagnant GDP, and you may understand why packaging companies have not been flourishing.
One sad academic and so-called economist has written a diatribe against the Eskom appointment, suggesting a level of racial indifference was operating in the selection of de Ruyter, who he described as a ‘Boer’, and not in a nice way!
As I have tweeted about this gap-toothed economist chap: he is well balanced – with a chip on both shoulders.
Quite frankly, the record of some of Eskom’s recent black bosses has not always been exemplary.
One chap is currently being investigated by the accounting profession, with the danger that he may be barred from practising as an accountant.
A cruel and inhumane punishment, I am sure you will agree? But a sign that something has been rotten in the Megawatt Park kingdom.
Surely the point is that sickly Eskom is the biggest threat to the South African economy (unless one takes the EFF seriously) and it needs an honest, capable, dedicated boss.
By all means, celebrate and applaud every black South African who rises to the top of the ladder. But why attack every white who does so? Unless there is a nasty blacks-hate-whites￼ racist agenda festering under the surface.
I don’t know André that well, and he may not know me from Adam (or Eve?) but I did watch the excellent work he did while chairing the Manufacturing Circle, a strangely-named lobby-group for those who run factories.
He gave some superb media briefings and speeches, demonstrated a comprehensive grasp of his subject, clear thought, superlative communications skills, and a clear commitment to the cause.
He launched a new 1m plus employment-generation strategy and had some forward-looking ideas for reviving the industrial wasteland of the Vaal triangle.
Unlike the red beret brigade, I was not shocked by the news of his Eskom appointment, but instead, on reflection, thought that he was an inspired choice.
OK. He is not black. He may come from a Boer heritage. But who really gives a shit?
Except, maybe, those whose agenda does not align with the economic salvation of this country.
Self-enrichment, tender tampering, and cadre deployment is so much more rewarding.
Just as Julius Caesar faced the thrusting of knives when he popped into the Forum for a quick ciggie or that low-life on the Orient Express was used as a pin-cushion by a line-up of unlikely assassins, de Ruyter will have to watch his front, back and sides.
But he has the backing of the Cabinet, of sensible and rational business organisations. And, for what little it may be worth, of moi.
So what if the EFF is sulking?
Sometimes you can judge someone’s calibre by their twisted race-related loathing of their enemies.
EFF off Malema, and let’s give André a chance.