What exactly is ‘white monopoly capital’? Mzwanele Manyi offers a definition

11 March 2017 - 12:43 By Nathi Olifant
Jimmy Manyi. File photo.
Jimmy Manyi. File photo.

White monopoly capital is not the white corner café owner‚ but rather the massive firms that “control” the bulk of the country’s economy.

This is according to Progressive Professionals Forum president Mzwanele “Jimmy” Manyi‚ speaking at an ANC Youth League event in Durban on Friday night.

He said that draconian laws in South Africa's Constitution were preventing the transformation of the economy‚ not the corner shop owned by a white person. He said government needed to strengthen the arm of the Competition Commission and pass anti-oligopolies legislation.

An oligopoly is a state of limited competition‚ where the market is controlled by a small number of firms.

Manyi was one of the panellists at the eThekwini ANC Youth League’s economic freedom discussion – which was held under the theme of “monopoly capital vs transformation” at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Howard College on Friday night. Other panellists included former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng‚ newly-elected provincial ANCYL chair Kwazi Mshengu‚ PPF chair Thembakazi Myaka and eThekwini ANCYL chair Thembo Ntuli.

Manyi said it was important to know that not all white businesspeople fell under the banner of white monopoly capital.

“A corner shop of a white person is not white monopoly capital. Some small factory of white person is not white monopoly capital. And a white person just walking down the street is not white monopoly capital.

“What is monopoly capital? It is the extreme end of a capitalist of this country. These are the people that control the oligopolies of the industry‚” he said.

He named banks‚ cellphone firms‚ the “construction cartel”‚ auditing firms‚ the wood and paper industry‚ metalwork and fuel companies as those that would meet this definition.

“I’m counting all of these so that we understand what we are talking about‚ so that you understand why is it important for the government to come up with anti-oligopoly legislation to tighten the arm of the Competition Commission‚” he said.

Manyi also expressed concerns that white monopoly capital owned R15-trillion of the Johannesburg Stock exchange‚ with only 3% owned by black people.

“Isn’t that a shame? If you look at top positions in this country you find that black people‚ Africans in particular‚ are nowhere. Africans‚ black people‚ occupy 10% of all positions at the top and the rest are occupied by white people‚” he said.

Manyi also called for changes to procurement policies to realise the government’s objective of radical economic change.

“There are defective procurement policies which by their very nature ensure that that the status quo remains‚” he said.

Manyi said policies that needed reviewing and done away with include the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act‚ whose regulations were in fact working against black businesses and empowering white businesses.

TMG Digital/TimesLIVE