Fix our broken SOEs and award every voter R50 000
23 April 2019
Every single South African is an owner of Eskom, Transnet, Prasa, SAA and 711 other state-owned entities. We have entrusted Parliament to manage these on our behalf for 25 years. But the mismanagement of our SOEs has resulted in theft on a scale not seen since land seizures by colonizers.
The ZACP has a new and radical approach. We demand that government ownership of State-Owned Enterprises is handed over to citizens of South Africa. This has been carried through before, very successfully, in parts of Eastern Europe with the breakup of communism post-1989.
This is true empowerment resulting in firing of the politically connected elites and unleashing economic activity from the ground-up.
Here are the mechanics:
- Every registered voter should get a portfolio of shares in Eskom, SAA, Acsa, Transnet, and across all 715 state-owned utilities. (This goes right down to the quasi-commercialised entities like Pikitup and Rand Water, etc.)
- The process will cost the fiscus very little, because we are just converting one shareholder (the State) over to many – giving shares to every adult registered as a voter with the IEC.
- Shareholders can‘t know how much each portfolio will be worth on the day that the handover and trading begins, because the share prices of traded entities will immediately go up and down as per supply and demand.
- However, our calculation of what the privatised SOEs are likely worth to be worth based on a sum of their individual SOFPs (balance sheets) indicates a minimum value of at least R50 000 per voter.
- The distribution of share certificates can be automated and delivered via the banks, post office, social security payment services – all of which are already in place.
- Citizens can sell all, or some, of their shares as they wish; sit on them; buy others; use them as collateral for credit, or whatever. It’s their choice.
- We currently do not have a position on whether share portfolios should be equal for all as there is argument in favour of weighting the allocation toward lower income voters, but a minimum value of R50 000 per voter with a higher allocation toward poorer voters is realistic.
- Initially, Parliament will act as a proxy for the shareholders, but this will change as shareholders assign their proxy to other shareholders, special interest groups, lobby groups, NGOs, religious bodies,
- Shareholder AGMs of entities like Transnet won’t be held in a Sandton auditorium, but at FNB Stadium simulcast to the other major centres and on the internet. Woe unto the Board that fails to increase shareholder worth; they will be fired and replaced in a dynamic People’s Capitalism.
The inherent morality of this position is clear. The best form of upliftment is to let people have money, not just services. This gives choice, and opens up horizons of opportunity. Here is an opportunity to give real economic freedom to the people.
We expect the ruling elite to come up with all sorts of excuses as to why this is not feasible.
We are ready to provide solutions to every one of those excuses.
Issued by ZACP, 22 April 2019