Jacques Moolman, president of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry
For three years the Parliamentary Committee on Section 25 of the Constitution has laboured long and hard and finally brought forth a bill that seems unlikely to get enough votes to make it law.
But even if it is rejected by Parliament, the bill is nevertheless significant in ways the private sector ignores at its peril.
While some of the awful economic impacts the bill would have had, if enacted by Parliament have been made clear, some implications have been overlooked.
There is much more to it for it revealed most starkly the vision of what some ideologues hope for in our future – a society with little or no place for private business.
Embedded in the civil service at all levels of our government are unelected people with immense power. They can draft bills and get them before Parliament without their political masters playing any real part in the process – one example, among others, being the sneaking into the draft expropriation bill the daft idea of allowing land claims back to 1800.
The same sources are behind constant attempts to centralise economic activity in the hands of the state and through regulation to ride roughshod over individual liberties enshrined in the constitution
If their ultimate aim is some vision of a workers’ paradise, it is not one the private sector nor its employees should pray for. Nor should anyone who values the freedoms protected by our constitution, above all the right to own private property, ignore attempts to impose it.
Because every attack on individual liberty, however small, sends a loud warning to potential investors and job creators that says, “Look somewhere else in the world before considering South Africa.”