That we are doing it in the most costly way imaginable shouldn’t come as such a surprise, seeing our historic legacies, present composition and very human condition.
But it does raise the issue of patience on the side of the economically and socially disenfranchised in a fully inclusive democracy.
Success means full economic deployment, not an invitation to at least one-third the population to wait a future turn (probably only enjoyed by children or grandchildren) while another one-third of the population has some right to ask why they are so poorly endowed with education, skill and experience and therefore only able to earn a relative pittance over a lifetime.
In a genuine participatory political system, this is the stuff of anger, rebellion and demands for a better deal compared to the raw one on offer.
Uneasy must lie the crown of those governing this unruly participatory lot, for these realities in impatient modern times can only be suffered for so long.
Also, as in ancient times all over the world, uneasy rest the heads of the relatively few in society who have real assets and income-generating ability. For what future burdens will be dreamed up for them to share in addressing this overall shortcoming in society that is so glaringly on display every day nearly everywhere in this beautiful country?
Cees Bruggemans is Chief Economist at FNB.
Natasha Marrian "Cosatu set to push for minimum wage policy" Business Day 7 June 2012
Niall Ferguson "Civilisation – The West and the Rest" Allen Lane 2011
Stephen Timm "How to avoid SA becoming yet another failed state" Business Day 5 June 2012