South African Students Congress

Audit the accumulation regime not just lifestyles

23 February 2010

Our country ranks high amongst countries with a huge gap between the rich and the poor. The levels of economic stratification in our country are unbearably high. This is caused by the unjustifiable salaries earned by executives both in the public and private sectors. Our government should enforce remuneration ceilings for employees both in the public and the private sector.

Government should also keep a close eye on the exorbitant profits earned by cigar-smoking businessmen through exploiting South African workers. This is because while we pay attention on the amounts looted by government officials, the capitalist class continues, daily, to loot millions from our workers in the form of profits in order to gamble with them in the New York and London Stock Exchanges. This is our major concern.

We recognize the concerns by COSATU that the lavish lifestyles lived by many parliamentarians and government officials need to be audited. This is a brilliant idea that needs to be supported at all costs. We also need to extend the audit of lifestyles to all politicians in government and outside. The lifestyles of trade unionists, student and youth leaders need to be equally audited. All those who live lavish lifestyles but continue claiming to represent the poor need to be exposed. Capitalists masked as revolutionaries need to be equally exposed in our society.

Our country suffers from the misuse of public office to pursue private business interests either by politicians, their spouses, relatives, associates and stooges. It is not only government officials and parliamentarians that use their positions of influence to enhance their narrow business interests; political leaders are guilty of this too. This needs to be done before our country becomes a fully-fledged crony capitalist state. As a result, capitalists and opportunistic politicians alike ransack our country. An observation was made in the 2007 Polokwane congress of the ANC by the then president that the ANC was quickly turning into money making scheme and turning away from its original orientation.

As part of our contribution to the lifestyle audits we have resolved to develop a student governance policy that will guide the lifestyle our SRC’s should live, in order to ensure that we curb problems in the student governance sector. Those of our structures that live lavish lifestyles will be reigned in. We expect other organizations to do the same rather than become defensive and conjure up wild conspiracy theories and cry foul.

The possibility of lifestyle audits being used for factional squabbles within the movement and society is an ever-present possibility. In the same breath we take exception to those who want to use this process to achieve objectives other than those that the audit was meant for. Despite the presence of this, it is not sufficient ground to delegitimize these audits. Journalists should equally desist from spicing up lifestyle audit reports in order suit their ends. This casts doubt on the whole process. It is in the public interest to know the lifestyle of self-acclaimed revolutionaries, but this should be based on fact than fiction.

For details Contact

Mbulelo Mandlana (President)
071 879 3408
Lazola Ndamase (Secretary General)
082 679 8718