According to Julian
Casablancas: “Greed is the inventor of
injustice as well as the current enforcer.
The google definition
for Greed is an intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth,
power, or food.
Greed is often
associated with taking more than you require
or what is due to you – in basic terms it means that you are “taking a lot”.
Join me as I unpack the concept and app of
According to the
TAKEALOT, you can get whatever you want when you want it
Within the South African
Economic context, we have come to learn about two sets of people who have taken the concept
of TAKEALOT to a new level – President Jacob Zuma and The Gupta’s.
In the book by
Peter-Louis Myburgh, “The Republic of Gupta – a story of state capture” It gives us a well-detailed description of
how the Gupta’s made it to where they are today.
How it all started
The Gupta family was
born and raised in India
Their father, Shiv Kumar
Gupta, established a collection of businesses that would go to helping his 3 sons,
Ajay, Atul and Rajesh for the future.
He ensured that they attended
the most prestigious schools in the country, had a chauffeur to drive them
around and had security guards accompany them.
Because their father was
a businessman he was set on getting his children to do the same and sent his
children to different markets in the world at an attempt to start up new
They first traveled to
China, and then to Singapore where they made a loss on their attempt at
It was at this point
that Shiv decided to send Ajay to South Africa
Ajay’s first venture in
Johannesburg was a shoe shop in the Killarney Mall. It didn’t do well and was
soon closed. But a computer company, which he named Sahara, soon began to do
This is where the Gupta’s
wealth started from their computer company Sahara Computers which was
officially established in 1995.
While working in this
company they made a turnover of R12.7mil by 1999
They bought a house in Bedfordview
Soon each of the gupta
family members made their way to South Africa and by 2003 had all settled in.
It was at this time that
they started making influential connections.
One such connection,
through Aziz Pahad led them to meeting President Jacob Zuma.
This would be their
entry into big business deals with state owned enterprises such as Transnet,
Eskom and the department of minerals and energy.
According to BBC.com with
Transnet, they were involved in ordering 600 trains from China.
Only once the trains arrived in South Africa, did they
realise that it could not fit on our railways due to height limits.
This resulted in the SA government losing R1.5bn.
At the time, no one knew that the Gupta’s were
responsible or involved.
According to timeslive.co.za the next big expense
incurred was when R4bn was spent by Eskom on coal in an attempt to prevent load
shedding. The quality of the coal was not up to standard and was useless in
effect – it would later be discovered that the Gupta’s were the suppliers and
gained a further R564million for doing nothing.
Without realizing it, the relationship between President Jacob Zuma and the Gupta’s
became one of puppet masters and the puppet…
I found an interesting
quote by Mwai Kibaki that says “Leadership is a privilege to better the lives
of others. It is not an opportunity to satisfy personal greed.”
It is clear that in all
the self-gain, this quote cannot be attributed to our President.
Imagine if the money
gained through these examples above was used to better the lives of the people
of South Africa, we would have better and more hospitals, schools and basic
housing… but… Welcome to the world of takealot.com where extraordinary
people come together to do extraordinary things…