Developmental state requires firm foundation

ERIC Miyeni writes "Black people need a developmental boost to grow", then advocates a "developmental state" as the vehicle.

The truth, he says, is: "Afrikaners built a developmental state for themselves . apartheid South Africa."

That is open for debate, but what cannot be disputed is that they started from their state of backwardness, dispossession and defeat by building on three foundations.

The first: a living faith in the true God as He revealed himself in the Bible and creation. It was in many ways a flawed understanding, but it gave them a sense of worth and identity that their dire circumstances could not take away and the denial of their dignity by others did not shake.

Secondly, they appreciated the value and indispensability of a good education. They erected their own farm schools, built hostels in towns for farm children and teachers' colleges and at least one university.

Thirdly. they took to heart the lessons of history: nobody was going to help them. They had to acquire knowledge and expertise. They had to erect their own banks, mining houses, factories. They saved funds from their meagre incomes and supported their enterprises unwaveringly.

They had leaders they could trust, living in simple homes without enriching themselves at the expense of others .

Foundations have to be laid straight and firm. No "developmental state" will succeed unless people have the paradigm necessary for genuine development. Afrikaners set an example regarding foundations. Their mistakes in building the foundations can be avoided. That is what history should be about.

DC Coetsee, Stompneusbaai