Cry the Beloved Country

Let’s address the elephants in the room.

There are two issues here: Apartheid and the current government.

Apartheid was categorically wrong. I have lived through it, recall how my mother was told to remove me off the bench, because it was for “whites only”. I recall very well that beaches, libraries, were segregated. There were separate queues for whites and separate queues for non-whites. When you are a child, you don’t understand this, but you can relate when you see the pain and embarrassment on a parents’ face.

The current Government is also categorically wrong in many ways; knowing how long and hard the fight was, you would think they have the peoples’ best interest at heart. As always they watch the poor suffer more.

We also need to accept that Apartheid benefited blacks too, albeit to a lesser extent. During that period they actually experienced improved life expectancy and literacy rates amidst a booming rate of population growth. It is said that people even migrated from other African countries to such an extent that the government had to erect an electric fence on the northern border to try and keep them out. The rights of blacks and other non-whites – were severely curtailed and as a result they were not entitled to things which whites took for granted.

It’s close onto 3 decades later though ….

The government in power is the one voted in by the people and for the people. This is a party which holds majority supports, the same party many hoped would bring about a better life for all irrespective of colour. A party which boasts historical icons, the people our grandchildren one day will be reading about in set works. South African has had 4 Black presidents’ even before the USA elected Barack Obama, so “our change came” with Tata Madiba.

Yet we are still living in a country where majority of the people are starving. A country with the highest inequality on the planet where 60% of people earn less than R2500 per month and real unemployment exceeds 40%.

In the words of Martin Luther King:

“Let us be dissatisfied until the tragic walls that separate the outer city of wealth and comfort from the inner city of poverty and despair shall be crushed by the battering rams of the fires of justice. Let us be dissatisfied until they who live on the outskirts of Hope are brought into the metropolis of daily security. Let us be dissatisfied until slums are cast into the junk heap of history and every family will live in a decent, sanitary home. Let us be dissatisfied until the dark yesterdays of segregated schools will be transformed into the bright tomorrows of quality integrated education.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?

South Africa is one of the most unequal countries in the world. Our inequality is easily identifiable poverty, lack of jobs, poor service delivery. We cannot continue to blame this inequality solely on Apartheid, maybe it’s time to acknowledge that policy and political failures are also to blame.

Many have conveniently forgotten Zuma’s R250 million upgrade, that R250 million could have assisted so many starving people. Not to mention the politicians who amassed wealth from their shady dealings tender fraud, jetting off to Dubai, shopping sprees all on taxpayers money and still keep their jobs in parliament.

Maybe we should take a page out of Trump’s page and build a fucking wall.

Unfortunately for the rest of the economic drivers of society, like you and I, we are like donkeys, working our a$$e$ off to keep the taxes going so that it replenishes the millions, billions lost to mismanagement, theft and blatant lack of accountability. We see politicians and key stakeholders literally getting away with stealing from the government coffers whilst the people suffer. The fact that it happened and still happening is indicative that we are not going to get out of this dark hole any time soon. We are slowly failing politically and economically, when will those in power address key social questions.

A country is similar to a company, the company will only survive if it is managed well. Every company has a dashboard, it takes regular snapshots of how its administration is fairing, key reports are churned out, and liquidity of the company is closely monitored. When times are tough, we tighten our belts, we spend less, we find ways of saving, if things are going well then some companies expand and uplift. Basically a good company is profitable, values its assets, thinks long term and does everything possible to sustain itself. The last thing a company wants is to implode.

So let’s take a government.

Surely there should be a dashboard as well, SOE’s should be managed with a fine toothcomb, taxes should be spent wisely and every cent leaving this institution should be accounted for. Government should ensure that all citizens of the country have basic and essential services, they should ensure a fair distribution of wealth and resources throughout society.

How does a government implode; when they only think about themselves and not about their citizens? Eventually the citizens up rise and we have anarchy. Every single person in SA deserves basic essential services and when the government takes that right away, we have protest and demonstrations daily.

  1. It has nothing to do with being black or whatever other colour you want to point too. It’s simply common sense.

If I were living in a shack, with several tyres on my roof to hold it down. When all my belongings floated away when heavy rains flood the muddy pathways of numerous shacks. I too at some point will be in the street protesting. But would I be resorting to criminality, NO!

Even though protests are happening so often, it seems the government is nowhere near fulfilling its promises made in order to get elected. What I don’t understand are people opting to loot burn and destroy rather than build? I think the argument of poverty is lost when it turns criminal. I think any reasonable person comprehends that apartheid unjustly treated non-whites however blaming apartheid for everything and not moving beyond it is what is causing chaos. We all need to work together to correct the imbalances but it can’t be done through murder torture or looting.

Dialogue and acceptance on both sides of the poverty line is the only way we can build a unified country. How much longer should we continue to blame apartheid, whilst our beautiful South Africa burns?

We no longer have Apartheid, we now have Apart-Hate system. Threatening to burn a truck driver who is earning an honest living, looting are criminal acts disguised as protests; these acts should be dealt how other criminal behaviour is dealt with; to stop these acts from continuing. We need qualified people in crucial posts, not family members of politicians who ultimately squander the money. There is no border control, what we now have is those crossing the border; filling unskilled or semi-skilled jobs which is resulting in Black on Black anger. Maybe we should take a page out of Trump’s page and build a fucking wall.

Having political power is meaningless if you do not have economic power.

We watch parliamentary proceedings, it laughable, Parliament is just a place where people play candy crush or catch up on a few hours of lost sleep. Its banter going back and forth, motions to order, rhetoric and a place where people who think they have power when in actuality they don’t come together to show us how incapable they are of resolving key social issues affecting our country.

I personally could not care less who runs this country; it could be a purple person, as long as they can do the job, i.e., strengthen the economy, provide a healthcare, act in the interest of the people, APPLY law enforcement, put an honest police force out there, stamp out the obvious & arrogant corruption, etc.

If you have corrupt people in power both pre and post-apartheid then this fissure will keep growing. If the citizens can agree that the present ruling party have failed to manage the basic needs of the country like infrastructure, water and electricity etc. If citizens are played off against one another, then this will never be resolved.

We have a highly concentrated economy. The answer to job creation and poverty eradication lies in addressing the issues causing the destruction of our economy. Until the economy is transformed this kind of protest and criminality will continue. All citizens of South Africa have been promised better lives for all yet there are still many who live with pit toilets, no proper sanitation, no power, and this cannot be blamed on the other citizens who the anger is targeted at. We do not implement policy and ensure service delivery so why target us, hold the people the majority voted to rule the country, maybe then we can all get somewhere.

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