South Africa is a country facing crisis and we need to act speedily to avert two things:
• Dictatorial rule by the African National Congress
• A bloody violent uprising.
I may seem to be a force of doom, gloom and despondency; however this is the pending reality which will explode itself into life if South Africans do not take charge of their country. I am not going to do an in-depth analysis in this article, but I am going to point out a few worrying things about the direction in which South Africa seems to be heading.
I do acknowledge much has been done since 1994 after the first democratic elections were held, however what has been done is not enough. Old school writings will tell me “Rome was not built in one day”: whilst this is true, there was a clear dedication and concerted effort towards building Rome, with a clear plan and sense of direction about what needed to be achieved. These qualities seem to be lacking in the case of South Africa.
South Africa is liberated
Indeed South Africans seem to be liberated from minority rule, but there has been no significant economic liberation for our people. The private sector remains in the hands of the minority; however BEE is not necessarily the answer. BEE will only enrich a few and leave the masses of our people still socially excluded. However, the problem with the economy lying in the hands of the minority is that when reforms in the market economy are being suggested, so as to open up participation to the broader population of our country, the controllers of the economy will resist and this will further deepen the crisis of unemployment. South Africa needs a radical shift in the economy, one that will allow for more labour absorbing sectors; it is sitting on a ticking time bomb to have around 30% of the country’s population unemployed. It’s only a matter of time before they rise up, violently, if nothing changes.
Political participation is open to all
The constitution of our land gives every citizen the right to affiliate with a party of their choice or even start a political party if they feel they have the support to do so. There are so many political parties in South Africa; one would start wondering that they want to match up the number of churches that are growing in our society. The plurality indicates the diversity in South Africa. While this is good, South Africa has failed in the last 16 years to produce a contender for power to rival the ANC. Instead the ANC repeatedly comes back with a huge majority. This is through a democratic process of course, but the continuance of one-party dominance has never really yielded too many results in any part of the world. Opposition parties are failing to provide a viable alternative and this is short changing the country in the long run, as the ANC continues its patronage, looting and corruption of state resources and there is nothing that can be done.
The ANC will remove any threats to it and entrench dictatorial leadership. The Scorpions are gone and as a result the probes into the arms deals are shut down. Their replacement, the Hawks, seem to be an insult to the birds with the same name. Schabir Shaik was pardoned because he is a friend of the ANC president – simple. The issue of being “sick” is nonsense. Mzilikazi Wa Afrika was ambushed and jailed because of his journalist tendencies that irk many in the ruling party. Ministers sleep, drink, eat and drive all in the costs of millions of rands. I mean even Malema used about R3.4 million of the taxpayers to get bodyguards, for what Juju? I wonder. The ANC has increased the number of wards across the country, no fundamental reasons have been given, but we all know that there will be more jobs for comrades.
The proposed Protection of Information Bill smells of silencing all of us and will prevent access to any information. Well Lindiwe Sisulu already says that details of flight travels of the president are classified, though they have been given out in the past. Amazingly the media must now be given strict measures because they are exposing too much, maningi, corruption being done in the ruling party. Oh what a coincidence that the son and nephew of the president are now feasting millionaires. It is not too bad though that even the ANC Youth League that doesn’t get voted into power, is today controlling a state entity the NYDA worth R360 million and over. Well comrades must eat.
The more the ANC stays in power do you think they will ever imagine a day that they lose power? Never, you would be mad to think the contrary, because apparently the ANC must lead until Jesus comes. But then again Ace Magashule once likened Zuma to Jesus – if only it were true because at least after Zuma we would know that the ANC will lose power. The ANC already buys votes with food parcels, they might increase grant to 21 years in the next 5 years because they want a state-dependent citizen, actually NO, rather an ANC-dependent citizen. Eish… there is more but let me rest.
Education is open to all
Yes it is a remarkable thing that around one million kids now enter the schooling system in grade one every year. While this is good, the crisis is that the quality of education is taking a serious dive into uselessness. Even in Africa, though we are the largest economy, we range amongst the worse countries when it comes to numeracy and literacy levels. 16 years is enough to shape the education system – ask Zimbabwe they will tell you, never mind the fact that they have gone bad as a country, they still beat us in education standards. Shucks. Some kids still study under trees; others still walk in (and not on water) to get to school. Others have more than 8km to travel by foot. Scholar transport, feeding scheme initiatives are on and off. Oh never mind the fact that three provinces can’t account for R44 billion spent by the education department. However if it was spent, one should be able to account for it because accounting is merely proving where the money went. South Africa is in a crisis if so much money can just be lost, up in smoke, to no good. Education of our country is only favouring the continued development of those kids coming from already developed families. Education should be a tool to eradicate poverty, but in South Africa it is a tool to perpetuate poverty, through underdevelopment of children – mainly those from rural backgrounds.
There is a rainbow nation
Well Madiba made us believe that we have a rainbow nation; I think he should have advised us that this is what we seek to achieve. We are far from achieving a rainbow nation. You still have universities that offer certain courses only in Afrikaans and yet many black students want to go to universities of quality standards. There is no rainbow nation if there are a select few that think it can put up its own land of the Boere in South Africa. What rainbow nation if black people still continue to view themselves inferior to white people. Yes we walk on the same malls, drive the same cars and eat in the same restaurants as people of South Africa, but we continue to undermine each other. A rainbow nation is a state whereby all South Africans would respect each other as equals without passing unfounded diminishing things about each other based on race, sexuality and religion. In a rainbow nation, gay people would live free and not be afraid to declare their sexuality. In a rainbow nation, white people in their majority should be willing to give up a part of their wealth to assist in dealing with the many challenges facing South Africa.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup
While the event was well organised and good in many shapes and forms, such as showcasing South Africa to the world and dealing with the Afropessimism that is rife across the globe, we still need to sit down and ask; was it worth it? We are talking here in terms of money and value added to our people. It doesn’t help to have a stadium that is one of the best in the world and yet you can’t maintain it. Our street vendors that sell in stadiums couldn’t conduct business because all selling rights were reserved for some foreign multinationals that add no value to us. FIFA made a killing, in the excess of $1 billion and their executives are eating nice fat bonuses, what are South Africans eating? Well back to pap and vleis bhuti.
Hotels were short changed as they were given back, with no compensation, some of the rooms they had reserved for FIFA. Host cities like Durban are crying that they have not been paid by FIFA. What is taking so long? Many are without jobs and white elephant stadiums will remain. If the World Cup was the motivation, why did the King Shaka Airport have to be built in Durban? Well it is a flop. They should have just renovated the old airport. The new airport is accessible at a high cost for many airport users and there isn’t much of a difference from the old one – it only serves interests of the elite.
The headings in this article are the positives, but these positives have serious shortfalls and negatives underlying them. There are just more bad things than the good ones in South Africa. This doesn’t mean that we must lose hope, but faith on its own is not enough. We need to see action, we need to see change. We need a political will on the part of government to change things. Citizens are continuously feeling raped by government as they pay tax just for the fat cats to feast on it and make no meaningful changes with it. There is a cry coming from a little corner, even Gareth Cliff added to it when he said, “We’ll take you [ruling party] down, either at the polls – or if it comes down to the wire – by revolution.” My analysis is that if the ruling party is not changed in the next 20 years, a revolution is inevitable.