Economic resources are the goods or services available to individuals and businesses, which are used to produce valuable consumer products. These are the resources one requires to be economically free and have a sustainable livelihood. With a lack of these resources comes dependence on a job for individuals and households to sustain themselves. While being employed has proven to be an effective source of livelihood, it is quite problematic as it does not assure lifetime security. Having a job essentially means that you are paid to ensure that your employer’s economic resources yield products, these are products that you and others consume, thus returning the money to the employer. The employer is always someone who owns the means of production. The means of production are the classic economic resources, which include land, labour and capital. Entrepreneurship is also classified as an economic resource, but it is insignificant as it is of no use without the above mentioned trio. In this article I argue that black Afrikans living in South Africa will continue to be poor for as long as the economic resources of the country are in the hands of white supremacists who monopolized all economic activities.
Land is the most important economic resource as it is the source of every other natural resource and drives all primary economic activities. The natural resources that can be extracted from the land include all fauna and flora, as well as fossil fuels and precious metals found beneath the soil. In South Africa, the land and other natural resources are owned by whites who stole them from blacks following their arrival in 1652. The land has since been used for agricultural activities followed by industrial production at a later stage. All these economic activities were and are still for the benefit of whites who use cheap black labour to extract and process the raw material from the land into consumable goods. At first, the whites used excessive force to gain power over the natives and enslave them, this was subsequenty supplemented by ‘non-violent’ mechanisms such as the introduction of Christianity and education to the natives. The most excruciating concern with white supremacy is that, not only did they claim ownership of something that we all found on earth, but they had the audacity to do that in nations to which they are foreign. To this day blacks believe that demanding their land back is being vindictive and they should therefore obey the masters and keep working their land for the benefit of whites. As a result black South Africans remain poor, despite originating from one of the richest countries in the world. While whites become richer using the land of the natives and the natives as the labour force.
Labour refers to the human capital required to transform natural resources into consumer goods. Black people are therefore unable to benefit from the economic production as they are merely a necessity for the production process. Two other contributing factors to the black labour remaining poor is that they are paid slave wages and are expected to be the consumers of the products they produce. Labour is improved through education and training, hence the educational systems white supremacists introduced to black nations that are intended to produce ‘hewers of wood and drawers of water’. The high population of blacks in South Africa makes labour abundant, this makes black labour easily disposable and replaceable. This also affords owners of the means of production to capitalise and pay the working class minimal wages. A significant amount of the money made from economic production lands in the hands of the white bourgeoisie in the form of profit and the tad that the working class earn is returned back to the whites during consumption. Therefore the black working class will remain forever poor, unless they are given an opportunity to own and control the means of production.
Capital represents the monetary resources individuals and corporations use to purchase natural resources and land in order to initiate economic production and trade. In the case of South Africa, upon their arrival, white people used force as capital. In that way, they were able to acquire the natural resources and land. From these natural resources acquired through armed robbery and murder they were able to generate more capital to invest in secondary and tertiary economic activities. White supremacists and capitalists also designed South Africa’s economy in such a way that those with capital will be able to generate more, while making it impossible for those without to acquire, unless of course they are prepared to sell and oppress others. Without capital, and from the slave wages the black working class make from selling their labour, clearly black South Africans shall never be economically emancipated.
It is clear that with the current political and economic system, black people will forever remain poor. Unless there is radical change. This essentially means that the land and wealth of the country will have to be redistributed equally among all who live in it so as to eliminate the inequality and economically emancipate the poor. This is an idea that white supremacy and monopoly capital together with the black bourgeoisie protecting them are against. The black nation can choose to betray the coming generations or unite, realise that they have been robbed, rediscover their Afrikan identity, and reclaim what is theirs. By any means necessary.