The dominance of white monopoly capital has become a mundane excuse for developmental economists in the SADC region and I wish to highlight its relevance in Namibia and South Africa’s socio-economic stability.
Some people think that money owned by wealthy white people is not streamlined towards economic growth initiatives in the economy, however, there is lack of evidence to prove this.
Researchers cannot exactly clarify the composition of black or white capital sizes, but in this paper, I will relate to ominous and related sectors or common prevalent markets where white monopoly capital plays a key role.
From experience, we can justify to a certain extent if white capital plays a fair role or bias in capital ownership and distribution, is it tight or liberal, open or closed? Are there clear interactive instruments to harmonise business resources between matured white monopoly capital and poor capable black people? Without policies and again waiting on forceful measures, we can access harmonising strategies to bring trade equality, trust and capacity building.
We must understand that government tactics of depending on tax payers’ money to diffuse dominance and foster equality are not effective, as the mainstream markets are highly competition and performance-driven.
The risk factor is so much pertinent to competitiveness in such a way that reckless spending will not guarantee you survival, as opposed to government. Enterprises apply strict measures to avert failure and they daily improve their position to respond to calculated and unexpected risk based on predictions and experience.
The efficacy of white monopoly capital is the extreme speed at which funds were used to outsmart infant industries and enlarge the gap between African sectors and global Western companies. European products attract more local white capital investors whereas African goods receive lesser attention or interest. White monopoly capital is used to import services but less attention is given to create fully African brands in services.
African products are perceived as poor standard and treated as minor and we fit only as raw material suppliers and not finished goods. With the amount of white monopoly capital in South Africa and Namibia most privatised sectors would have impacted a wider group, as opposed to a smaller group. Clearly the two groups look at each other as opposites and not as a team. One race is only seen fit as a labourer, consumer, SME, BEE, etc. While the other is perceived as the owner, manager, investor, etc.
In most cases, white monopoly capital is operated in well-structured, multi-layered, responsive, and dynamic ways that operate as a strong singular body that targets big markets. It takes years to build a track record of capital and some instruments can respond to various market shocks, while progressing at the same time.
Governance is a word by definition but good governance is a visible and reliable practice where you gather various resources to form an economic system that responds to everyone’s needs, primarily nutrition, health, technology, resources and infrastructure.
In the formation of the private sector, the governance is around safeguarding resources to bring about uncompromised quality outputs to capture a bigger segment and building deeper financial linkages. Little is done with more at an affordable rate, within the applied schedule, capital growth depends on harmony, fair spending and resource maximisation. Markets will always accommodate low-cost, high-revenue sectors.
In South Africa, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) collected more than R300 billion in government guarantees to back loans from domestic and foreign markets. Meaning, if they fail to perform they risk losing tax payers’ money, hence their effort is monitored by lenders. If self-governance fails, then you are slave to your lender but remain less accountable to their own tax-payers. In the recent two years, downgrades have been affecting the investors’ willingness in funding SOEs. Therefore, the debt is funded by those that have the capital power and they call the shots. If the SOEs fail to repay the loans, then tax payers’ money will be used.
White monopoly is used to maintain strong employment ratios. In one example, South Africa is risking losing 3 000 jobs in the poultry sector, the US is also planning to import 800 000 MT of yellow and white maize on aggregate, leading to further job losses. If the government cannot secure jobs, the markets will always seek ways to shift funds to other areas where they can realise justifiable gains.
We cannot fight a system that helps us maintain the cause of employment, unless if we design better employment strategies that are tangible.
The property market is one area where listed funds thrive and build strong returns for the white capital in Namibia. Many trust funds-linked individuals invest in plots and sectional titles. The properties end up paying themselves off from rental income, this can only be blamed on incompetence of the municipality. They also have financial power to be patient or act swiftly and with careful planning, backed by harmonious cooperation to avert shocks.
Namibia’s bond market is facing a slowdown and growing withdrawals and we will once again desire for white capital boost in our country.
The retail sector is key for white capital, as the sector has proven to be profitable in Namibia and guarantees good returns. In clear essence, racial recognition and equality are more of a social struggle and no policy can enforce fairness if there is no voluntary engagement and mutual trust.
The effect of white monopoly is, for example, only offices in certain parts of town, high value is only placed in certain areas of town, shops, service stations in certain areas are barely owned by opposite races. On the market side, monopolies influence uncompetitive collusions, market-fixing, unfair mergers, and customer exploitation, etc.
It is no coincidence Donald Trump won the US presidency with the promise of winning global financial dominance and safeguard capital flow.
In Namibia and South Africa, it is not the same situation as the minority has control over dominant sectors and the majority live in squalor and despair.
The black people and their government have not been effective enough to mobilise equal access to economic resources that was segmented and privatise before apartheid. They asked on how to penetrate the dominant white economy and get hold of their capital and give to the poor. Colonialisation was characterised by economic inequality and resource grabbing to ensure the defensive interests of the white people but today no one can point out exactly who is the rightful owner of the resources. Do the houses belong to us, do the cars belong to us, do the crops belong to us? I do not agree that they do, however, forceful land removal and forced labour under racial segregation boosted white monopoly and we therefore have to think how they are ahead of us and how their systems so firm and resilient. The countries went to the extent of pulling Chinese resources that did not make a significant change but raised only capital outflows and corruption.
We focus on tax and state revenue to improve our standard of living. White monopoly capital thrives in difficult trade climates and has power to shape or block overall access for minorities because of unequal privileges bestowed.
There is deepfelt hunger in preserving sensitive capital formations by dominant parties while the others depend on government policies to implement equality.
Rodney Dan-Ao !Hoaeb is a Trade and Investment Researcher Committed to seeing a radical economic shake-up in Namibia.