“There are two worlds, the one in which people are convinced they live, and the one that is considerably more dramatic, the one that is real”

Monday, October 7, 2019

Friends need help

There are many desperate – I know - but this Mom and Dad I’ve got to know, so it’s personal.

Under the crazy South African Minimum Wage laws jobs are lost daily. The government isn’t going to help employers who go broke … the opposite will apply and, adding salt to the wound, it overpays with taxpayer money officials to ensure enforcement.

81 years ago, in 1938, the US passed similar minimum-wage laws that businesses couldn’t afford. Job seekers were losers immediately, then good-luck in the form of inflation arrived! Prices so soared employers were soon able to offer jobs at more than double the legal-minimum: they didn’t have to break the law to build their businesses and job-seekers didn’t have to beg! Unemployment was at record lows. 

Not in SA … Ramaphosa’s on the (wrong) ball. As inflation rises, his fat-cats push the minimum, more lose their jobs.

It doesn’t have to be that way. SAfricans can help SAfricans without breaking the law. It was done when I was young, and it can happen again.

The Mom and Dad I know would happily spend time in your company. Perhaps in return, you’d have a billy-blikkie of hot food and a box of goodies to take home. See, they aren’t the type to simply sit, chit-chat – she loves to push a mop, help with kids. And he enjoys cutting grass and cleaning gutters as much as being good company for a farmer who may be busy in a dangerous spot.

A reasonable box of goodies means it doesn’t (have to) end there … what is now the Green Point Sunday Market in Cape Town started 30 years ago when 5 of us offered bric-a-brac under the giant gum trees.  The market’s moved, the gums may be gone but there are rising numbers needing – not charity – just a little nudge up.

Needed too is a lot of trust … from both involved. It needs a grown-up view of the conundrum facing those SAfricans who’d like a little help and those who’d like to, but worry how – no one wants to be arrested for engaging.

When government bowls underhand, stand straight, grab a handy stick and whack a four. 

If you’re about Pretoria North-ish perhaps you’d like the company of one or other of my young friends. If you’re in the same position as them, let me know for perhaps – only perhaps - someone from your area might be looking for you: not to break the law. There possibly a box right beside the window that needs a wipe.  

Pic: tes.com

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