Johannesburg - If unemployment continues South Africa is
inviting anarchy, a debate panel heard in Johannesburg on Wednesday night.
"We need and our government needs to ensure (poor)
people live properly... by allowing them economic participation," said
Lawrence Mavundla, president of the National African Federated Chamber of
Commerce and Industry (Nafcoc).
He was one of four experts speaking at Constitution Hill on
constitutionalism, redress and reconciliation.
"The reality is our people don't live according to the
rights enshrined in the Constitution," he said.
"Our government is going in a different
He believed government had the same policies it had in the
past during apartheid and this needed to change.
Law enforcement officers who used excessive force were
similar to apartheid police, just with a new name, he said.
"The houses built for our people today are worse than
what they had during apartheid. We are taking them backwards."
He said South Africa could not carry on this way.
"The salaries paid to directors compared to workers...
we need some equality. The gap is too big. We need to bridge the gap," he
"The bread price is the same in the shop."
He said the problems in the country "belongs to all of
"Whatever happens to this country we will all sink
together. It doesn't matter if you are rich or poor."
Political analyst Steven Friedman said people needed to
realise that race would still matter for a long time to come.
"The racial hierachy that existed before is still part
of society," he said during the debate.
"Not much has changed in the past 18 years."
He referred to a recent survey conducted by the University
of Johannesburg that found that 18 years into democracy it took black students
about three months after graduation to find a job, while white people with the
same degree got it straight away.
Friedman said those in the economic elite need to be aware
of certain realities. One reality was that some people lived in extreme
"Another reality is that it isn't so easy for black
people to slot in properly into the economy," he said.
"We are in a process of change but that change hasn't
gone as far as it could."
He said progress meant shifting power to enable people to