Guest Writer: Wanton greed

Candice Nolan / Apr 24, 2020

Guest Writer: Wanton greed

My family’s recent visits to the shopping malls were greeted with horror when we had to pay  close on R1000 for measly wares, which all fitted into a regular hand carrier basket. I am grateful that we can still “haal uit en wys” and apply die Wet van Transvaal, but the disturbing aspect is the wanton greed!

Retailers and suppliers are profiteering during this human disaster called COVID19 just to please their executives and shareholders. Let’s take our dear Dischem, who were until recently owned by a family of pharmacist but since listed on the JSE. They were found wanting today, as reported by eNCA, caught with their proverbial finger in the cookie jar.

Wanton greed

They applied inflated prices on a number of critical items to stem the COVID infection rates. It is most disturbing to see suppliers and retailers trying to make a quick buck out of a human disaster. Shame on you Dischem! More disheartening is the fact that the institutional shareholders of Dischem, i.e. the pension funds, banks, insurance companies, investment funds and super wealthy who remain silent about this wanton price gouching.

The silence of business leaders also points to their complicity and their double-standards. These upstanding citizens, expensive suited, cigar smoking, holier-than-though business leaders were quick to voice their opposition to “Mshowerlozy” – aka Babakududuzane, when the ever stoic Thuli made her state capture announcements. Is there a difference?

Certainly not, yet they remain silent unlike the vitriolic banter they spewed in the newspapers and TV expressing their disappointment of JZ (not Beyonce’s husband) and the politico-economic decisions he made. Remember when the erstwhile Nene was fired, the JSE lost close on R350 billion in valuations (our pension money gone up in cigar smoke).

History on repeat

I have the same disgust as the thousands of Jews exterminated in WW2 by the big German companies that used enslaved Jews to produce the very chemicals, boilers, bricks, etc. that were used to exterminate them. Oh, how forgetful we have become! 

More disconcerting is the fact that the vast majority of Dischem cashiers are black women. I wonder if their high-and-mighty bosses, will pass the increased cost onto their staff or will it go into the usual company coffers to be declared as shareholders dividends. 

We must call out this wanton greed. As pension fund contributors, it’s our duty to hold our pension funds to a much higher standard of moral conduct. When next you receive a pension/provident fund nomination form, apply your mind thoughtfully and nominate a representative of the highest moral standing.

Shame on you Dischem and every other trader, retailer who exploits people’s suffering to make a quick buck. I certainly will not put my foot inside a Dischem again and rather support those businesses that operates their business as our Creator demands from us – “love they neighbour as yourself”.

Clyde Preston

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