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Public vs Private service 101

By Andile Mngxitama

Political process is about public service. Even in bourgeois societies (like in the Northern European region of Scandinavia), one gets elected by the public to serve that public through the state; one goes to parliament to force the ruling party to fix the public sector to serve the people; and if it fails one fights to take over the state to provide public service to all. That’s why one is in politics.

The private sector was created by capitalism to commodify public service such as healthcare, education, water and electricity. To this end public service is transformed into objects of trade. Any private provision of these basic needs is anathema to socialists and Radical Black Nationalism. No private provision of basic needs is good for the greater society. It’s about creating a two tiered system with those with money accessing the private goods. Also, such a system of private provision can never be a substitute for a system that serves the public sector. In South Africa (SA) we have the multi million rand Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls (OWLAG). It can only produce an insignificant black elite. The entire private schooling system in SA produces about 12 000 matriculants annually, whereas the public schools produce close to half a million very bady educated children.

The problem here is that the elite and politicians have abandoned the public system. The answer to the education and healthcare crisis in the country is to be found in the public sector. So there is accordingly no need for experimentation with the private provision of public services. What we need is leadership with a vision and a commitment to address the mess ups in the public schooling and healthcare sectors.

Black First Land First (BLF) has the vision and framework. All we have to do is to force the politicians and their families to use public hospitals and public schools. This will literally change the quality of public services, overnight. It’s really easy – we need a Private Members Bill which we must force parliament to act on. This is one reason why white monopoly capital has done everything to stop BLF from going to parliament.

Anyone talking about establishing one private school, like the leader of the Reds of Mazzotti, is bamboozling you. A million children start school every year – that’s the magnitude of the problem and we need to think on that scale. BLF has provided the answer.

Anyway, is the private provision of public goods compatible with Marxism-Leninism or does ideology not matter anymore?

2020 is the year of awakening and organising!

Serve the people; fix the public sector. You were voted for that purpose, not to provide charity.

Andile Mngxitama is the President of Black First Land First (BLF), a radical black consciousness organization.

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