|Why is the “Tutu tax” debate important now?
The importance and uniqueness of this debate is not that this is a new discussion (it is not), but that there is a special moment/time (a Kairos) in which this debate is currently occurring. This is therefore “early warning prophecy” at work to avoid a tsunami on the way forward.
- It is about noticing how “economic liberation” is taking centre stage in our national debate, and
how some are calling for an Economic CODESA, and we ignore it at our
peril. If a very reasonable proposal by Archbishop Tutu is rubbished by
some people in the way it has been, then those doing so should not complain
if nationalisation and other similar proposals move higher up as a
priority for the poorest South Africans…
- Secondly, in three years
time we will celebrate 20 years after the 1994 election, and 20 years
after liberation is normally a time of intense reflection and perhaps
the start of a “new transition” which would need to be managed properly
lest we go the Zimbabwe route. The questions will therefore intensify,
- Thirdly, we do not know how long Archbishop
Tutu and Madiba will still be with us and we need to start thinking
about what will happen when their voices are no longer with us. We must
therefore thank God that he has sent Tutu to re-start this debate while
he is still with us.
- The various warnings
from COSATU and the Moeletsi Mbeki warning of our 2020 “Tunisia moment”
is also hanging over us and in 2014 we will only be 6 years away from
that moment if we don’t start reversing the situation now.
- The recent London riots – and why it occurred - should also be taken as a warning for us….
- Couple this with the good-intentioned
but often inefficient and sometimes corrupt government programmes to
alleviate poverty, as well as
- a growing restlessness
from amongst the poor themselves and some organising that are beginning
to happen and we will notice that a cocktail of things are beginning
to coalesce. We are talking here about a national security situation
and no amount of militarisation of the police force will be able to stop
- This is therefore about
discerning the signs of our times and doing something big to
avoid something really negative, hence the “Tutu tax” proposal….We
need to arrest this situation, otherwise the issue will become not if
something like or bigger than the London Riots will happen here, but when….
- We therefore need to urgently (the urgency of now) come up with a realistic and implementable
proposal about this as soon as possible
Written by Rev Edwin Arrison 29 August 2011