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LETTER: There’s looting and there’s looting

Food parcels. Picture: Thobeka Ngema

Food parcels. Picture: Thobeka Ngema

Published Jan 25, 2022

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THE word “loot” also appears in the Hindi and Urdu languages and is used quite often to mean overpowering, overwhelming, robbing, destroying dignity and even raping.

Watching Julius Malema questioning proprietors of restaurants as to the ratio of local black people to foreign black people made me realise there's certainly another very important statistic that needs to be most urgently researched and checked out as a matter of national urgency to avoid a certain cliff-hanger situation that can easily make the July “looting” seem like a silly joke in comparison.

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And that is profiteering, especially as far as all basic food items are concerned.

Basic is no longer a reserved term for just bread, rice, maize, beans, potatoes, tomatoes, milk and onions, but actually, now with a broader, open society, should include bread rolls, biscuits, canned goods, tea, coffee, cereals. Basics are everything that is classified as food.

Just as insurance companies are legislated to divulge “commission” paid to agents so all food items must declare the level of actual nett profit that goes into the coffers of giant magnates at the dire expense of a starving populus, many of which are now forced to eat from dining areas of public dirt bins!

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For certain,there are many food items that carry a few 1 000s% profit with gross impunity.

Many item are reduced as “month-end specials” and actually demonstrate quite often a discount of up to 40%! This can certainly not be a real loss but probably indicates the real normal price that the item should be sold at during even mid-month!

Are we such fools to believe otherwise?

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Nobody is requesting any business institution to incur a deliberate loss or not to make a reasonable profit. But to be in the food business borders on a pious space that morally should dictate not to fill one’s stomach at the ruthless expense of seeing others sell their souls to feed their families.

Reducing and disclosing actual nett profit (after ALL currently audited expenses have been taken into account) with all food items could become a start to applying similar action to all other non-food items as well.

In the long run, this could actually reduce inflation and even make for a more modest level-headed society.

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Ignoring such ideas that try to attempt to equate different levels of society eventually cause a pot that simmers to reach boiling point and finally explode into anarchy.

Anarchy, the magnitude of which makes July types of looting a joke.

Ebrahim Essa, Durban

Daily News

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