How to create black industrialists — emulate a white scientist – by Prince Mashelle (Rand Daily Mail – February 23, 2016)

Bleloch became a world-famous scientist because he was driven by a scientific passion, not because he wanted to drive a BMW

“As for Dr Bleloch, he has achieved world fame and fortune. But the reward he prizes most is the knowledge that from his work has sprung a new expert industry.”

This is what AP Cartwright wrote in his book, Golden Age. He was describing a renowned South African metallurgist few people know today — Dr William Bleloch, the pioneer of the stainless steel industry in South Africa.

In the early 1950s, mining companies on the Witwatersrand wondered why South Africa’s huge deposits of chrome had to be beneficiated outside the country. Dr Bleloch told the companies that he had a scientific formula that could turn South Africa’s low-grade chrome into ferrochrome.

A mining company called The Corner House contracted Bleloch to lead its team of metallurgists in carrying out a vast experiment.

After more than a decade of scientific work, a whole stainless steel industry was born in South Africa. The country began to export finished products instead of raw material.

In recent times, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Mzwandile Masina has been promising to produce a hundred black industrialists.

The understanding seems to be that if you can finance a hundred business-minded Africans, you can parade them to the rest of the world as fine samples of black industrial success.

This is not different from former Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, who once toyed with the idea of dispatching the late Prof Ali Mazrui to show Boers in South Africa that blacks too can think. Of course Prof Mazrui refused.

Stupid Amin did not know how long and what it took for a person to reach the knowledge heights occupied by Prof Mazrui.

Deputy Minster Masina seems to be headed in the same direction — wishing to dangle a hundred black men as examples that people of his race can own factories.

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