Vavi: Capitalism the real enemy

Vavi: Capitalism the real enemy

2013-05-10 11:55

Johannesburg - The capitalist system is the real enemy in South Africa, Congress of SA Trade Unions general-secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Friday.

Problems such as xenophobia, corruption, gender-based violence, and substance abuse are rooted in economic misery, he said in Johannesburg.

"All of these are rooted in another set of three even bigger demons; unemployment, poverty, and inequality, which provide a fertile breeding ground for all the others."

Vavi was speaking at a seminar hosted by the University of the Witwatersrand's African centre for migration and society.

He said the latest figures on unemployment indicated things were getting "even worse".

Statistics SA reported this week that the official unemployment rate in the first quarter of the year had risen to 25.2% from 24.9% in the last quarter of 2012.

Vavi said this did not reflect the full extent of the problem, as it excluded discouraged work seekers and those reduced to "cutting hair at the corner of the street".

South Africa also has the most unequal society in the world, he said.

"If we do not address this, the demons... will be unleashed," he said.

The "real enemy" is the capitalist system, which undermined social cohesion.

He dismissed business concerns that a proposed national minimum wage would lead to job losses as "propaganda and lies".

"A national minimum wage would be a significant step towards securing greater social cohesion," he said.

  • Wessel Oosthuizen - 2013-05-10 12:03

    He says, getting into his BMW and pouring a glass of Johnny Walker blue.....

      DerpyHooves - 2013-05-10 12:10

      When he does those stuff, he is actually undercover, exposing all the evils of the so-called "free-market". Or he is just a fool.

      Richard Payn - 2013-05-10 12:24

      Vavi...When you travel you must not forget to pack your IQ.

      TheJaydedKing - 2013-05-10 12:30

      He is correct regardless of what he drives.

      Theo Schoeman - 2013-05-10 12:32

      The biggest single problem with this country is definitely not capitalism... The biggest single problem is totally un-educated morons running it and totally incapable of realizing the negative affect what their brilliant solutions will have on the long term for our country. A once super power Russia failed dismally under socialism... but in South Africa we can make it work - OMG please help us

      Alan Smith - 2013-05-10 12:43

      "The "real enemy" is the capitalist system, which undermined social cohesion" And I suppose that Stalin's Soviet Union, Mao's China, Castro's Cuba and Chavez's Venuzuela were all shining examples of social cohesion. Vavi has obviously never read a history book.

      Revelgen - 2013-05-10 12:43

      Vavi, you are a deluded idiot. Your Socialist policies are destroying South Africa, just as they have other countries. Overseas the power of the trade unions has been severely reduced because they became the exploiters, just as they have here in this country. But eventually, the sh#t hits the fan. Entrepreneurs create jobs - look at Raymond Ackerman who has created jobs for over 50 000 Black folk at PnP, and Basson who has done the same for nearly 100 000 Black people at Checkers. All your kind do, Vavi, is destroy business, causing hundreds of thousands to lose their jobs, while Cosatu lives well on an income of well over ONE HUNDRED MILLION RANDS PER MONTH on workers' dues. So please just stop talking absolute rubbish, while not walking your talk.

      Consider Aswell - 2013-05-10 12:51

      So true Wessel, and he is talking rubbish when he says we have the most unequal society in the world. I work throughout Africa and the division between the 99+% extremely poor and less than 1% is vast indeed - in another country students study at night at solar powered streetlights. In SA even the poor has much more. The real demon is not Capitalism, but badly managed departments and businesses that need a few billion every few months (like SAA) to achieve the next BEE goal. Poor show service and mediocre performance are rewarded as outstanding, and thus our standards suffer and fall. And with that follows the currency, efficiency, GDP yet everyone demands double figure raises. Cry the beloved country.

      Sikhulule Mzansi - 2013-05-10 13:12

      Isn't SA faced with a multitude of multifaceted problems and pin-pointing only one detrimental to the effort of trying to solve issues? Whats your say? follow discussion on

      Richard Fahrenfort - 2013-05-10 15:25

      Vavi is actually correct but he is not telling the whole story. The single greatest threat to society is inequality and the biggest and most sinister contributor to our social inequalities is money, not just capitalism. The very nature of capitalism means that someone somewhere along the line has been exploited. The monetary system has corrupted our social values and is also open to exploitation of all kinds from top to bottom ie: from bribing to blackmail to invoice padding to embezzlement to kickbacks to price fixing. All the money based economies and government styles have failed because they were all based on a monetary system rooted in debt and inflation as well as the mechanism of intentionally perpetuating scarcity of such basic and fundamentally necessary things that could be available in abundance such as energy, food, personal transportation and housing. No matter how well meaning and honest a politician is they will ALWAYS be crippled in the efforts by their 'lack of budget' or lack of public participation. Everything in politics has to do with the budget. There will never be enough jobs...ever... and there will never be enough money. Technology and automation means that the machines can do the work cheaper and better than people can. And that's a good thing! A resource based economy applied with the scientific method is the way forward for all people. Please visit and/or watch the zeitgeist movies (specifically 2 and 3) free on youtube

      Bullet Proof - 2013-05-10 16:00

      No Vavi, you are the problem, not capitalism

      Attie Stone - 2013-05-10 17:04

      "The capitalist system is the real enemy in South Africa, Congress of SA Trade Unions general-secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Friday." Vavi........... The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery. 0

      Michael Heys - 2013-05-10 17:25

      If they only realised that to practice "Don't breed more than you can feed" will greatly improve the long term unemployment, poverty and inequality problems that we have. But that requires a bit of IQ.

      Renier Lubbe - 2013-05-10 23:16

      He wants communism because in communist countries only the "leaders" elite and rich live in luxury. The rest work and starve. What he seems to forget is that in a communist country nobody is allowed to go against government. He will no longer have a job or was he promised a high post in the "new communist SA"

      Kelly Reagan - 2013-05-12 06:29

      For most of the past century, we had two superpowers - the USA which was/is capitalist, and the Soviet Union which was communist. The Soviet citizens lived like peasants, until the country collapsed. What emerged is Russia, and it is embracing capitalism...and it is working for them. Communism and socialism is the worst possible scenario - it removes all forms of freedom, everyone ends up working for the state, everyone becomes a number, censorship of the media etc etc

  • Annelise Venter - 2013-05-10 12:04

    Me thinks you might be one of the demons Mr Vavi!!!

  • Kevin Brown - 2013-05-10 12:09

    Your house in Sandton, your 750i beemer and the single malt whiskey in the drinks cabinet tell a different tale.....

  • Izz Thatso - 2013-05-10 12:09

    Why does anyone take the leader of an organisation representing just 2% of the population seriously? How about laziness and ignorance being the root of all evil?

      Theo Schoeman - 2013-05-10 12:22

      AMEN !!!

  • annman - 2013-05-10 12:12

    Champagne socialists and caviar communists finding a scapegoat once again. Pure capitalism can be abused, but pure socialism/communism has lead to entire countries collapsing and has NEVER worked ANYWHERE. These guys have no grasp of policy, economic and ideological balance. They only see things in black and white, the pursuit of those with little knowledge of the global system or human sociology.

  • Solomon Almeleh - 2013-05-10 12:13

    The real enemy is the lazy, uneducated and stupid people who blame all their problems on capitalism.

      Jacques Shreky Stander - 2013-05-10 12:28

      Thank you !!! Breeding like rabbits and then wonder why we have a unemployment issue ?!

  • Melt Olckers - 2013-05-10 12:13

    Then why did the Soviet Union collapse and why is China's communists embracing Capitalism. Not even to talk about the starving millions in the communist paradise of North Korea.

      Andreas Jablonski - 2013-05-10 14:06

      Well said - North Korea, shining example of communist success.

  • Jimmy Don - 2013-05-10 12:17

    Ah man you gotta love these hypocrites like Vavi ..

      OldNick - 2013-05-11 12:54

      No we don't! I'd rather he just did us all a favour and died.

  • Dorrien Venables - 2013-05-10 12:17

    "The capitalist system is the real enemy in South Africa" as compared to other economic systems such as socialism? Zwelinzima should think before he speaks, do more then complain and start proposing solutions. We should be looking at proper implementation of a free market economy.

  • Radek Tanski - 2013-05-10 12:18

    Actually the real enemy is politicians who claim to be helping the people just helping themselves at the expense of everyone else... Vavi included.

  • Rudolph Stoltz - 2013-05-10 12:20

    So here it comes. What we have been waiting for for the last 19 years. Communism revealed soon. The total take over.

  • Kyle Brown - 2013-05-10 12:27

    Capitalism is to blame. That is such a lazy, simplistic and painfully dangerous statement thrown around by men with limited understanding of world systems! Although capitalism is to blame, it is too often used as a scape goat by African thinkers shifting blame onto a system but offering no real practical solutions to combat these problems. How arrogant and vague is that statement?! Your statements are read by people who misinterpret and misunderstand these big and vague ideas and then like you, throw them around like they're groundbreaking! For goodness sake! Give us something real! Something practical! Something we can work with. Arrogant little man.

  • Muffin_man_can - 2013-05-10 12:30

    You have communism cancer on the brain Vavi, hard work and capitalism are the only cure. Start to earn your salary by working instead of spewing communistic lies.

  • James Smythe - 2013-05-10 12:31

    It is clear that such people as this have failed to learn from the lessons of the 'great experiment' of Communism under the theories of Karl Marx, which lasted 70 years and brought only misery,repression,brutality and death! The truth is that it is capitalism (with all it's deficiencies) which has brought the distribution of wealth to the widest possible extent so far seen in this world and to the largest number of people, without favour of one above the other, through offering paying work and opportunities to all who are capable. Communism on the other hand has only taken away by redistributing, very unequally, what already existed as a result of....capitalism! Communism kills productivity - and people! There are NO exceptions to this rule - not in history or in the present time!

  • Warren Rodel - 2013-05-10 12:31

    A communist idea, but communism does not work, this guy seems to think so.

  • Thanduxolo Galada - 2013-05-10 12:37

    Vavi the enemy is carelessness, eating public money, driving fancy cars and catering of R16m. The enemy is lack of political will. The enemy is called Zuma and the ANC of today.

  • Michael Ndalama Mwale - 2013-05-10 12:44

    Capitalism will always be there Mr. Vavi. It was there before you were born, and it will be there when you die. People who thought of themselves as cleverer than their peers have tried to destroy it only to find themselves being publicly exposed as the dummest people ever to tread on Mother Earth. Wise people acknowledge the strengths and weakenesses of capitalism and then make it their occupation the quest to find ways of dealing with its weaknesses. Stop crying Sir and start acting like a wise man.

  • John Morreira - 2013-05-10 12:44

    COMMUNISM: Destroying innovation; destroying motivation;destroying the nation.

  • BLUESILVER2012 - 2013-05-10 12:46

    Vavi, you talk absolute trash. If your supporters see how things work in China, your "people" would burn you, Blade and every other hypocrite within the ANC alive for lieing to them for all these years.

  • Cane Corso - 2013-05-10 12:47

    Says the man living in the lap of luxury. Luxury mansion and luxury German sedan. Just look at how fat he got over the years. Capitalism is really bad for him.

  • Bradley Brits - 2013-05-10 12:48

    You're wrong vavi..capitalism has been implemented in various forms and works through promoting hard work and excellence. The actual enemy is corruption, incompetence and social engineering..

  • Philo Pillowcase Simelane - 2013-05-10 12:50

    And he wears 7000rands shirts. Drives a 760Li and lives in a 4miilion mansion. Capitalism sucks.....add Johnnie Walker blue there and the air conditioning......

      Puple LeMoo - 2013-05-11 10:38

      If you are right and he does then SARS needs to investigate him. He reported a R500,000 per annum income in 2012 - remember the article last year where he was asked about his income right before a COSATO conference? Last time I looked you can't afford a R 4 million house on R25,000 per month (the amount per month after you have paid your tax).

  • BraSteve Myaluze - 2013-05-10 12:58

    Capitalists? Those people that we call entrepreneurs when we are begging for jobs with an unemployment rate of 25%. When we go on strike we call them capitalists

  • Karol Gembicki - 2013-05-10 13:00

    Reading all the comments nothing more need be said ,just that he is a snake with a forked tounge , talking poison he wont drink .

  • Derek Smith - 2013-05-10 13:02

    Viva brawa are living proof that one can actually speak even if you have only 3 brain cells!! You are a medical wonder!!!

      Andre Jacobs - 2013-05-10 23:31

      Derek derek derek--not so load man--- the sound may damage those 3 brain cells and then he has nothing left,-- poor man.

  • Diphetogo Culture - 2013-05-10 13:04

    m read all de commnts de mst r gupta famil,u r ryt MR VAVI

  • Kosie Nel - 2013-05-10 13:05

    Said the communist, whose Cosatu is the main cause for post apartheid economic decline! Viva Northern Korea, Viva Castro!

      Andreas Jablonski - 2013-05-10 14:29

      Yep and let's all strike for more pay until the business / mines close down. Then we will all be equally poor and be free to suffer hunger and poverty. vIVA! Nkandla!

  • Cane Corso - 2013-05-10 13:06

    Vavi reminds me of that fake commie Blade. Same tastes when it comes to the lux life and German sedans. Hypocrites delux.

  • Jan Buurman - 2013-05-10 13:08

    What is capital? It is the pooled funds of ordinary people, like your workers, that looks for a long term return above inflation, so these people can have pensions. The major cause of these bad social conditions is an explosion in population growth, from 10m people in 1970, to 50m people now. With such an oversupply of labour, the price of labour should come down!

  • Shane Asselbergs - 2013-05-10 13:09

    How much do you earn again? If you want communism then you yourself should accept communist wages.

  • Henk Tredoux - 2013-05-10 13:09

    No Vavi!! It's arrogance, ignorance, greed and corruption! By the way......if it wasn't for capitalism there would be no unions!!! Moron!!

  • Thando.Vavi - 2013-05-10 13:16

    Vavi, when you pay your gardner and domestic servant half your salary , I'll agree with you.

  • ARTFUL DODGER. - 2013-05-10 13:17

    Vavi, you are one of the greatest CAPITALISTS.

  • Njabulo Maunze - 2013-05-10 13:19

    capitalism benefits white people and exploit blacks that is why u say vavi is a moron just share yo wealth and all will b well. just lower yo profit margins and give yo loyal employees decent pay then no one will complain

      ARTFUL DODGER. - 2013-05-10 13:44

      NJABULO, stop being a total idiot, can't your very small brain understand that this Vavi is taking you all for a ride, he lives the brightlife, great car's, hugh house, servants, gardeners, and lot's of business's he runs, with your money. ( SO DON'T BE A TWIT ALL YOUR LIFE.)

      Andreas Jablonski - 2013-05-10 14:27

      Maybe it benefits whites because they still work for a living, whilst workers strike for more pay and less work. Keep on striking, soon the mines will close down, then the Chinese will show you how it's done.

      Revelgen - 2013-05-10 15:51

      Njabulo, do you know how to get wealthy? You get a decent education, work hard, sometimes take big risks in starting your own company. THAT'S how it's done. Communism/Socialism destroys initiative, making people lazy and inefficient. Have you never heard the old Russian proverb: 'If I stand uop I get 1000 kopeks an month. If I lie down, I get 1000 kopeks a month. Why stand up'? Whichi is why Communist East Germany got poorer and poorer; so much so that West Germany's prosperous (capitalist) economy absolutely staggered when the Wall came down and West and East Germany merged. Wake up and learn from history man, or you will be stupid all your life.

      Attie Stone - 2013-05-10 17:18

      Njabulo; Your ridiculous comment tends to make me realise that trying to discuss sense with you is like playing chess with a pigeon. No matter how good you are, it will knock over the pieces, crap on the board & still strut around like it's victorious. It's just pointless.

      Michael Heys - 2013-05-10 17:31

      Who is Vavi sharing his wealth with???????

  • timothy.tanzer.5 - 2013-05-10 13:20

    Capitalism pays your salary Vavi.... stop playing both sides.

  • Willem Engelbrecht - 2013-05-10 13:26

    Isn't COSATU the sole beneficiary of Kopano Ke Matla Investment Company (Pty) Ltd, their investment arm who own shares in TopTV, Saatchi & Saatchi (SA) (Pty) Ltd etc? That is big words from a man in an organization that relies and capitalist principles to generate money!

  • Altus Kirsten - 2013-05-10 13:32

    Blah blah blah....

  • Lindela Phahla Ndzulu - 2013-05-10 13:33

    Entrepreneurship is the only way Vavi rather than encouraging people to be job seekers.Its time that SA start to be job creators rather seekers and government to assist us in this process. Those who are studying as well should have the same mindset oherwise we will always be facing the crises of unemployment. That is my viw.

  • Hercules Leonardo Giorgino - 2013-05-10 13:36

    Unions are the real enemy

      OldNick - 2013-05-11 13:00

      and greed, and stupidity ...all three roled up into one neat package called Vavi.

  • Teboho Bongane Parkies - 2013-05-10 13:45

    Vavi should not blame capitalism cause it has the elements of socialism,the role player in capital economic system is the President with good academic intellectuals,good work ethic someone who understands business objectives

      Mello Maase - 2013-05-10 14:27

      i concur

      OldNick - 2013-05-11 13:04

      I agree...I think.

  • Kyri Demetriades - 2013-05-10 13:48

    Dear Mr Vavi please,please name me a single system other than capitalism which generates wealth,creates jobs and allows for individual freedom.As you are well aware we are NOT a capitalist economy at all.There is far too much government intervention.

      Mello Maase - 2013-05-10 14:25

      take an example from China

      Revelgen - 2013-05-10 15:53

      Yep, Mello, we will. China only started to grow prosperous when they embraced capitalist principles. Which is why you see Chinese goods by the million here now.

      Michael Heys - 2013-05-10 17:36

      He doesn't know that Capitalism is when you make money, Socialism is when you run out of other people's money!!!

  • Jan Chrzciciel - 2013-05-10 13:57

    Of course it is. A failed comunis state woukd be much better. BTW, when last did cosatu create any jobs or increase productivity? Just asking.

      Mello Maase - 2013-05-10 14:22

      Cosatu is only a union not a corperate or business institution nor government

  • Hilbert Wouters - 2013-05-10 13:58

    Populist talk in the purest form, without one suggestion of how to improve anything just criticize the obvious and label it 'the enemy'.

      Mello Maase - 2013-05-10 14:15

      I concur

  • Mark Palmer - 2013-05-10 14:01

    Mr Vavi,surely you mean Communism/Socialism? It is not a coincidence that Rich countries are capitalist and poorer countries are socialist! Socialism is fine for while but then you run out of money!

      regte.boer - 2013-05-10 14:18

      No that is just capitalist propaganda and lies.

      Mello Maase - 2013-05-10 14:18

      I dont know which world r u living in. How do u label China, Southern America etc. Remember there is no pure Communism. The countries like US, UK etc thrived on slavery and colonism

      Revelgen - 2013-05-10 15:55

      Regte Boer (obviously you are Black, or else being sarcastic), but if not sarcastic, you are terminally unaware of the lessons of history.

  • Ruca Fallen - 2013-05-10 14:30

    Opposite of Capitalism = Socialism. Average IQ of China = 100 – tried Socialism, didn’t work. Average IQ of Russia = 96 – tried Socialism, didn’t work. Average IQ of Cuba = 85 - still trying Socialism, still can’t make it work. Average IQ of South Africa = 72 – get the picture, dumb ass?

      Mello Maase - 2013-05-10 14:35

      i have little to do with people who cant debate but hurl insults. this a social platform to discuss issues. u r the one who reduced the average IQ of SA

      Tumelo Radebe - 2013-05-10 15:27

      My friend go check your china facts. The government there owns most land,business. Fact!

      Tumelo Radebe - 2013-05-10 15:27

      My friend go check your china facts. The government there owns most land,business. Fact!

  • NoAbsolutes - 2013-05-10 15:02

    So in Vavi's socialist paradise everyone will get paid at least R12000 a month, with free housing, transport, medical, food at work, etc. Can't see it lasting very long ......

  • Wesley Graham Umpleby - 2013-05-10 15:06

    The job losses being a concern are propaganda and lies? I think we need to start with educating all the people that listen to him so that they can reasonable discern for themselves that he is speaking rubbish.

  • NoAbsolutes - 2013-05-10 15:12

    In SA, rather than capitalism, isn't the problem that there are too many parasites (like union officials and "intermediaries") who consume the wealth but contribute nothing towards making it directly? That won't work under socialism either.

  • Teboho Bongane Parkies - 2013-05-10 15:25

    A country with a poor education system will never deal wit challenges of a capital economic system,uneducated,unskilled youth ar mostly subject2unemployment

  • No.You're a handbag - 2013-05-10 15:26

    Aren't trade unions capitalist?

  • pages:
  • 1
  • 2