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Genesis 1, 28 says that we should "go forth and multiply, and replenish the earth." Not all Bibles have this "replenish the e...

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Our environment, Its governance comes before anything else. David Lipschitz Article to the Cape Times published Mon, 8 Aug 2016

- How big business "ignores" (actually gets the law changed) the law.

ASKING people what the job of government is I get the answer that government's job is to create jobs.

Government's real job is to create an environment that is conducive to sustainable job creation.

The first step in achieving this is a government's job to create a "common weal" defined as the happiness, health, and safety of the people of a community or nation. Common​-​wealth comes from the application of common​-​weal.

And that first step is based on governance. For me my simple (after a lot of thinking) definition of governance is defending our borders.

So government's first job is "defender of the environment". Defender of our borders: who enters.

What comes in and what is allowed to go out. Defending our fish. Defending our land and removing pollution and corruption ​our​ land.

Once this is in place and according to section 24 of the constitution, the people must be protected ​in terms of the Bill of Rights ​in chapter 2 of the constitution.

The Bill of Rights in sections 8 and 9 of the constitution says that everyone is equal before the law and that a "juristic person" is also equal.

Therefore, a company like Eskom enjoying monopoly privileges is illegal in terms of the constitution.

Once we can be pure in our eating, drinking and breathing and pure in our thinking we have the ingredients for liberty, equality and fraternity.

And Parliament, representing "the will of the people", can put in place supporting mechanisms so that everyone is treated equally, rich and poor, and so that small businesses can compete with big businesses on a level playing field.

And where the environment is protected, both the natural environment and the environment inside our heads.​

At the moment this playing field is hopelessly skewed in favor of big business​ and government has become the biggest business of all​. A big business can afford a team of people who help it to obey "the law" and it can afford to hire people that help it to legally ignore the law​, effectively by creating new "laws".​

A small business is more honest because it cannot afford to disobey "the law"​.

"​The law" represents the will of the people. And​ in this regard, "the people" are considered to be 100 percent equal with equal opportunity ​and equal access to markets and customers.

Eskom and the cities being the only providers of electricity and the cities being the only providers of water are examples of a scale which is skewed in favor of certain people, and this flies in the face of constitutional law and the spirit of the constitution.

And once these fundamentals are in place, ​Parliament can put in place supporting structures that support job creation and which more importantly help employers keep their employed staff.

And parliament can ensure that government is governed.​ Which is parliament's job after all - "protecting the will of the people".

In light of South Africa's recent election of its representatives, let us remember our and our elected representatives' responsibilities, and let us acknowledge that our environment and its governance comes before anything else.

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