The Bain connection

It always fascinates me in news how the same names keep coming up.

While I was doing research for another article, I found something interesting, an article from News24 in 2001 about Coleman Andrews and his massive payout from SAA.

There was an interesting line in that story: “There was much concern about the cost to Transnet of Andrews and the consultants – such as Bain & Company and McKinsey – whom he employed at SAA.”‘

Which led me to thinking, just how often does Bain’s name come up in our government scandals?

The famous one is Sars – with Bain apologising for their role in the mess Tom Moyane caused according to Biznews.

According to Business LIVE, Telkom insisted earlier this year that its contract with Bain was above board despite Bloomberg’s report that it wasn’t subject to an open tender process.

Business LIVE again, had an article earlier this year about Bain’s link to the mess at Transnet – with Trillian Capital Partners trying to get them involved there.

There’s even a link to Eskom, Tebogo Skwambane. According to the World Economic Forum, “Before founding North Road Consulting Tebogo worked for Bain and Company, in the US, UK and South Africa. Tebogo has held managerial positions at Eskom Enterprises where she was Strategy Manager in the CEO’s office…”

Bain Capital, which was spun off from Bain and Company in 1984, had as its first CEO Mitt Romney a big noise in the Republican Party who they wanted to make president in 2012.

This is part of what goes through my head whenever I see someone claiming that those who oppose corruption are just fighting for white monopoly capital, just how many times companies like Bain keep coming up in relation to state capture.

It isn’t just the once, it is a pattern of behaviour, and it shows that corruption isn’t quite so fussed about racial or national boundaries.

This is also why I’ve slowly been losing my belief in the left to right political spectrum as actually being a real thing.

Bain is a Republican company – which is to say it is aligned with the right wing of a very right wing country. In a lot of ways the Democratic Party is to the right of the British Tories, and they are the left in America.

And yet their name keeps coming up with regards to the ANC, which is supposed to be so far left it governs in a tripartite alliance with the Communist Party.

Do the labels we apply to our political alignments actually mean anything when the rubber meets the road? I’m increasingly uncertain on this.


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