Steve Biko: Without Wealth Redistribution Black Bourgeoisie Will Become New Oppressors In South Africa

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Steve Biko. Source--YouTube.

[From The Archives]

Bantu Stephen Biko (Born December 18, 1946, murdered September 12, 1977 by the apartheid regime). The following is excerpted from a prescient interview he gave over 41 years ago. His warning has come to fruition.

There is no running away from the fact that now that in South Africa there is such an uneven distribution of wealth that any form of political freedom that does not touch on the distribution of wealth, proper distribution of wealth will be meaningless.

The Whites have locked up within a small minority of themselves the greater proportion of the country's wealth; and, if we have a mere change of face, of those in governing positions what is likely to happen is that Black people will continue to be poor and you will have a few Black people filtering through into the so-called bourgeoisie. And our society will be run almost as of yesterday. So that for meaningful change to occur there needs to be an attempt at re-organizing the whole economic pattern and economic policy within this particular country-- a judicious planning of private enterprise, which is highly diminished and state participation in industry and commerce, especially on industries like mining, gold, diamond, asbestos and so on. Like forestry, and of course complete ownership of land. Now in that form of judicious planning of the two systems we hope to arrive at a more equitable distribution of wealth.

We see a completely non-racial society. We don't believe for instance in the so-called guarantee for minority rights because guaranteeing for minority rights implies an admission of a portion of the community on a race basis. We believe that in our country there shall be no minority, there shall be no majority, there shall be just people. And those people shall have the same status before the law and they shall have the same political rights before the law. So in a sense it shall be a completely non-racial egalitarian society.

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