Your editorial (State procurement gets new burdens, July 19) highlights inept government in the nonpayment of millions of rand on road-building contracts. Sanyati, a road-building firm, had to put 2500 people out of work. The CE of Sanyati, Malcolm Lobban, brought the matter to light.

Whether it is nonpayment or slow payment, it seems that basic service providers are "brought to their knees by financial chaos and corruption".

Your second editorial, Risks of misapplying BEE, makes a strong case for black economic empowerment without ignoring the risks of misapplying it.

I want to suggest that the two editorials relate similar problems - both scenarios face the risks of cadre deployment resulting in incompetence and inadequacy, whether in the government or private practice.

My point is that South African society will resist lasting change if it is "top heavy", driven by policies such as BEE or manipulated by a culture of cadre deployment. For change to be lasting it has to be "bottom up", that is, coming from the grassroots.

Service delivery protests are an irony in post-apartheid SA. These are not a "legacy of apartheid" but in fact expose the consequences of cadre redeployment driven by state policies.

SA underwent fundamental and radical change in 1994 when power was peacefully relinquished. This transition was successful because a broad spectrum of our diverse society supported the change. Individuals on the ground and in responsible positions began to think and act differently, resulting in elections and a new constitution.

There are many hopeful signs this is happening again.

Mr Lobban is just one person among many who are putting their lives on the line for the common good.

Jan Reinecke

Bordeaux