Government Function, Our Common Tongue

In the NP years under Apartheid I remember I was taught SeSotho from Std 2 until Std 5, and that suddenly stopped when I went to high school and I was made to choose between German and Latin.

This was always curious to me, and I thought why Latin and German?  I am in South Africa, not man colonies of ancient Romans around, nor did I see any German outposts in South Africa.

Much later it dawned on me that this was most likely be design, to keep the “races” separated.

I’ve called upon Government to make it mandatory for white kids in particular to take a 3rd language, one of the local South African languages, as a bonus subject in order to bring the kids closer, because once you can understand each other, it is easier to relate to each other and to carry each other’s struggles on your heart.

This got me thinking that Government should also extend such a program to it’s adult white citizens, and make it mandatory, if you want to vote, then you have to pass the local African language of your choice, and that Government should provide this as a free service.

This will not only serve in job creation for the bunch of teachers who are unemployed, but it will also build a common bridge between the different cultures in South Africa.

 

Nigeria, black faces, black problems … who cares?

During the last week a lot of things has happened in the geopolitical sphere, and of these things the two which stood out prominently for me as a liberal South African which take great interest in the ongoing war between the West and radical Islam.

These two things were, as you might have guessed by now the attack on Charlie Hebdo which left 12 people dead along with the attack by Boko Haram on Baga which left between 150 and 2000 dead.

What puzzles my mind is the fact that the whole World (and Benjamin Netanyahu) came out in support of the 12 journalists killed by extremist Muslims in Europe, and even Goodluck Jonathan condemned the killings, but very few of them have come out and publicly denounced the massive terror attack in Nigeria.

Then it struck me like a stone between the eyes, and I remember Leanardo DiCaprio’s exclamation “TIA”

This is Africa yes, and sadly the World in general does not care for Africa.  It might sound as if I am painting the World’s population in one colour and with a huge brush by generalizing to this extent, but lets face it, Africa is like Las Vegas.

Generally the saying goes “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”, and this seem to be the attitude towards African issues too.

Last week something pretty nifty saw the day of light, the Janicki Omniprocessor.  A brilliant piece of machinery which takes human waste and converts this into water and electricity, and not only this, it powers itself!

After watching the video on YouTube I read some of the comments, and one of the comments read as follow from a user called Pavel:

“I think we should burn african children to create warmth necessary to survive during the cold african winters.”

Obviously, being an humanist firstly and an African secondly this irked my ire as to how someone could be so insensitive towards the plight of his fellow man.

Which brings me back to the Nigerian issue at hand, black faces, black problems, and the leaders of the World can’t care enough, nor can the general populace of Europe, Asia and the Americas actually really care for the sad state of affairs here in Africa.

People like Julius Malema, the leader of the upcoming EFF party in South Africa also fired a heavy worded barrage at Goodluck Jonathan about his silence on this matter considering the fact that this is happening under his “rule”.

Boko Haram is and will forever be a problem unless drastic measures are implemented to fight extremists like them.  The same with the extremists who were responsible for the massacre in France.

In Nigeria it is a bit different though, because things there are not as civilized as in Europe, and of course, there are black people over there, and this is a case where black radical Muslims kill fellow black Muslims, so why should the World care?

“Let the Africans sort out their own problems, let them sort out their own internal struggles in Nigeria and while they are at it, a few less Muslims won’t be a bad thing either right?”

So the problem with this outlook is, that hate only begets hate, and we as the rest of the World has a duty towards our fellow human being to make sure they also get to live a quality life devoid of terror, fear, famine and disease.  This is what makes us human and which sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom.  This is also the only way that we will evolve beyond our current limitations and venture forth and become a space faring species.

For if you take away our humanity, our sense of community, then you will be left with something barely “better” than the great Apes.

Sadly, this is not only religious issue, but it is also a racial issue, because bigots still exist in our World to this day, and the only way to combat this type of bigotry and acts of terror at the same time is through providing quality education for people from all walks of life, all religious groups and all the different political parties.

Only  once we start thinking critically about ourselves and about our place in the World within the greater community of mankind and our relation to those around us will we be able to determine if our leaders are really leaders who are worth while following.

So, I implore you who have access to the Internet to learn.  Learn as much as possible.  Get the facts regarding the topics and form your own opinions.  Don’t just read one or two pages, read extensively and arm yourself with knowledge, because as the saying goes, “Knowledge is Power”

When the opportunity arise (and it does so almost on a daily basis for me as a South African) and you are faced with bigotry and hate preaching individuals challenge their ideas, do not keep quiet, but do so in a constructive way devoid of disrespectful commentary, because this will only harden their resolve to be bigots.

When someone says “Die fokken kaffirs fok alles op!” remind them, that these people are people, they are not just “kaffirs”, because this type of hate speech also leads to extremist acts of violence, like the terror acts by radicalized Muslims on the fringe of society who were pushed out into the fringes after being marginalized  and shunned for their belief and their customs which differ from most of the people in the West.

The same goes for when someone berates groups of people like adherents of the Islamic faith.  Don’t keep quiet, because if you keep quiet you are basically condoning this type of stereotyping and bigotry and the World will be poorer for it.

So, here is to the victims of Charlie Hebdo, the unsung victims of Baga, and all the other nameless victims of bigotry, racism and oppression! Do not let their deaths and suffering be in vein, because you, and only you can stop this as you make your way through life by educating others around you.

PS: What happend to #Bringbackourgirls … and do #blacklivesmatter ?

Violent Strikes in the South African Agricultural Sector, why and what will be the outcome?

South Africa is a country with great potential and with a unique and diverse culture.  It is the only country in the World where the minority ruled over the majority with an Iron Fist until 1994, and although this was not something which was born in South Africa self, it was a policy which was thought out and implemented by the then colonizers of Africa, the British under Lord Milner, it did leave us with a unique situation.

A unique symbiotic relationship developed between the two major ethical groups in South Africa, to the point where neither group can function properly without the other group, and this is not to say that one group should preside in the Master role and the other in the Slave role, because we are all equal, despite what most right wing commentators would say.  The only difference between the “Masters” and the “Slaves” was, and is still the level of education.  This is not a matter of opinion, but rather a simple fact which everyone who is honest with himself would agree upon.

Lately though, South Africa has been plagued by violent protests throughout all the major sectors of the economy.

The transport, mining, agriculture industry and service delivery strikes were the most prominent and made it onto the headlines of News24 every single day, even while the top brass in the ANC were spending millions of taxpayer money on their party celebrations over December.

Because there are just too many strings to follow and to discuss, and because I want to keep this short and sweet I will only give my thoughts on the violent strikes and protests we observed within the agricultural sector, and I am not going to pussy foot around the subject.

The ANC led Government has had “control” over South Africa for the last 18 years and yet the majority of our countrymen are still living in absolute poverty.  The reason Malema was such a threat to the ANC “regime” was because he was speaking the truth when he said that Freedom doesn’t mean anything without economic emancipation, albeit it that he had a very poorly thought out plan of Nationalization to deal with the issue at hand.

He was a threat to the political scavenger elite who are currently running the country, and though everyone knows that nearly everyone in a Government position has his hand down the cookie jar in some form or another he was allowed this “benefit” until he turned on his Master whom he was willing to protect and give his life for, Jacob Zuma.  After this his political career was crushed and now SARS is picking clean the bones of his sorry carcass.

But let’s leave that for there now and focus on the violent strikes in the agricultural sector.

So the farm workers were complaining about earning R65 a day … to put that into perspective … 2L of milk costs R20, a bread costs R5, taxi fare, depending on how far you are from your place of work is R15 if you are within a 30km radius, and then somewhere in between you must still put a little away for a rainy day?

Of course these workers have reason to be pissed off, the cost of living is rising, they mostly have no running water nor electricity, no formal schooling, and yet everyone around them are pocketing it big time, from their perspective while they are struggling to put clothes on the backs of their children, while they suffer to make enough money to feed their children.

R65 a day is nothing in the bigger scheme of things, especially when your “Baas” quickly jumps in his luxury 4 x 4 Toyota bakkie and drives off to the Pick & Pay, grabs some braaivleis and 12 ice cold Black Labels for the rugby.

This is not only true for the Agricultural sector, but everywhere.  The reason I know this is because I take the time to speak to those less fortunate than myself, those who were, and are still part of the “previously disadvantaged” of South Africa, the poorest of the poor.

Though, this might not always be fact, it remains the perception out there, and we have to work together to change the perception.

I know a couple of farmers personally, of whom I can only say good things, they provide for their workers, they build houses for them, they make sure they have running water, electricity, they give them food, and they even share their ice cold Black Labels with their workers, but this is certainly not what is happening as a rule of thumb, and this is where our problem really arises.

White South Africans  are too LAZY and they consider it beneath them to do manual labor  because that is a “kaffir’s” job.

Because of this, the South African system has always relied on cheap, unschooled laborers for these types of jobs, and although we share a unique symbiosis it does not mean that we have to enrich ourselves at the cost of our countrymen.

These laborers are trapped in a never ending struggle for survival where they work to survive, and survive to work, a never ending cycle with no hope of getting out of this closed loop system.

In no World is this fair towards anyone … I challenge those of you who are privileged enough to be reading this, not because I think this is a great opinion, but because you are privileged enough to be sitting down on your ass behind a computer, most likely in a air-conditioned office, with your fingertips on a keyboard, from where you can access any information you want to imagine yourself in the shoes of those laborers.

You would too do anything to provide for your families, to provide the very basics, which the South African Constitution “claims” your are entitled to as the very basic of human rights, the right to education, the right to a decent standard of living, the right to running water.  You would also burn the country if your perception is that you are suffering in the sun while the “Baas” can do what he wants, because he not only has freedom, but he is free from the financial constraints which is hampering you to better your existence, and to start designing a life.

The ANC led Government refuses to acknowledge the fact that Farm Murders, which are some of the most horrific murders in the history of South Africa are hate crimes, because if they do, then they will acknowledge their failure as a governing party. It is part and parcel of this perception which is out there and because of the deliberate “racial” divide which they keep on promoting from within governmental rallies and speeches, and this only compounds the dilemma we are sitting with, and this puts the whole country at risk of being destabilized.

They (the Government) are not forthcoming with ideas on how to address the problem, and I guess they are hoping that the flimsy stitches of this “Rainbow Nation” will stay in place for a bit longer while they loot the State coffers.  Not once have Government offered the farmers some sort of tax break if they up the daily wages of these laborers  because let’s face it, the farmers, are not all the filthy rich bastard “Boere” who do not care for the fellow countrymen, no, a lot of them are suffering under the economic pressures of our time with the operational costs of running the farm skyrocketing because of failed policies implemented by Government which causes havoc in our local economy.

In my heart I want to believe that, if they could, they would pay their laborers a decent daily wage, but I know that is idealistic, and there should be measures put in place to ensure those types of wages if it is possible from the farmer’s side.

There are so many factors which can change the ebb and flow of this situation, and I am just a spectator on the side, but one thing I know for certain is this.

If we don’t all try and work together and start looking out for Government, then we will all be chewed up and swallowed by the Monster which is governing our country, because if all the farmers leave, what will be left but barren earth … how will we feed our loved ones?

Coincidentally I saw a poster which read “If there is no more food the poor will be forced to eat the rich” … scary thought?  Well, just ask the Pygmies in the Congo is this is so far fetched or not.

If this continues we will be facing a real civil war, and although I know there are those of us who believe that this is the only solution to our problem, I put this to you, it’s easier to destroy then to build, and with the destruction we only put ourselves back 18 years at the very least … and we will be spitting on the graves of those who have died in the last 18 years, we will be robbing future generations of hope, we will leave behind a legacy which I would rather not be part of.

I implore you, the reader, to get actively involved, to put aside your personal feelings of hate and mistrust and to try and work together, if not for you, but for your children, and their children.

The whole World is waiting like vultures, for the spoils of war, so let’s not give them the satisfaction of failing, let’s work together and fix this.

Frustration, how it can breed hate

Yesterday when I spoke to my mother she was truly fed up and it got me thinking about how a big contribution failed service delivery and inapt AA and BEE candidates made towards white on black racism in South Africa.

So, a little bit of history to explain where I am coming from on this.

The Old Lady gave about 30 years of her life to hundreds of children teaching maths, 10 years at white schools, and 20 at a black school.  Before she retired, the Education Department told her she would be getting X on a monthly basis, but it turned out that she is now getting Y, and the difference is big, being a lot less than she budgeted on.

Today she can’t come right with the Education Department’s “helpful” staff, because none are willing to really do something about her problem or are just to incompetent to do something about it, and that accompanied by the Mangaung Municipality’s dodgy water and electricity readings are driving her up the walls to the point where she, as a liberal aunty who always taught me to have respect and understand for people of all colours and social standing are making racial slurs.

She NEVER used the “K-Word”, and she even scolded me something fierce when I popped out of my car and shouted obscenities to taxi drivers who think they are above the law for some strange reason and drive on the shoulder of the road while the rest of us law abiding commuters are stuck in traffic, sometimes kicking up small boulders that chip windows and dent panels.

Well, never, until her trouble started with the above mentioned government, and partially government owned institutions.

I myself have experienced it, loads of times, especially when you go into Pretoria central and you see the inefficient way things are being done at the State departments, and it is always a mission to get something done.

I then realised how through a failed policy the Government helped to polarise the country.  Instead of decent skills transfer the ANC lead Government choose to get rid of the skilled people as quick as possible and to get their Cadre deployment up and running because of the promises they made, it was first noticeable in State departments and then it spread to the private sector in the form of AA and BEE.

Simply, most of the people who now were in control did not have the skills to deliver services or maintain the existing infrastructure, and to top it all off they literary raped the Education System to churn out less than desirable candidates who were, until recently fed utter rubbish in the form of propaganda from a certain Youth League that they are entitled to the riches of the land by becoming party members, and not by working for it.

It breaks my heart to hear my Mom utter those words, but, she is running into a wall of bureaucracy, with all the people she turns to being black and not willing to help her out once and for all, and having had the same type of issue before with Home Affairs I can understand how this can breed hate and resentment.

Bottom line is, we need to educate our people, each and every one of them, give them a decent upbringing as far as possible, and get rid of teachers who are only in it for the money, then we can produce a new generation with more than sufficient skills to run a country and who will not be fooled by empty promises by the crooked spin doctors who are now in the foreground of South African politics.

This will most definitely close the gap in the racial divide and smother the breeding ground of hate, not only on one side, but on both.

Knowledge is power, and in gaining knowledge our minds will be set free, and we will be able to build an efficient country delivering more than just basic services to everyone!

Racism – The Easy Choice

We, as a Rainbow Nation were off to such a good “restart” after the 1994 elections; but sadly it looks like our Rainbow Nation might be just as racially polarised as it was before then, or it might be worse, but everyone is so politically correct that it is sickening.

I  count myself as one of the lucky ones, I escaped most indoctrination from the then National Party government, my mother was liberal, having coloured friends, whom she still has today, 30 odd years later, and my father was way too liberal for my liking since he supported the ANC movement’s goals.

My young mind was stimulated with all types of information in the form of books, television and sounds thanks to my wonderful parents.  I remember spending my younger years running around outside, dashing into the house for a quick refill when my stomach was running on empty, teasing our then maid, now domestic worker Xaba and having a quick chat with her about where she was staying, about her kids, about school, about everything really, then dashing out to play outside again.

I was taught to “Live and let live” and to treat people, regardless of race or social standing with respect, and I could see it through the way my folks and my grandparents treated people.

To this day I live with fond memories of watching the Shaka Zulu series on TV, I remember singing We are Growing by Margaret Singana over and over while practising my warriors stance outside with a self made spear and a dustbin’s lid as a shield, I remember crying my eyes out when his two brothers killed him … I remember listening to Mango Grove’s funky pop songs with their heavy African inspired sounds.

Given, through the years I have also succumbed to the odd racial outburst and I am by no means innocent, but this was mostly due to frustration, where I would say “Fok die kaffirs” when I read about a white woman who was raped, or a white family who were slaughtered, or when I read about the corruption or something as “trivial” as animal abuse.

But then, then I remember.  I remember who I am, what I’ve been taught, and how fascinated I was with the black African cultures and Kings of days gone by; I was so impressed by their sense of nobility and bravery.  I remember and I realise what was taken from my fellow African brethren, and I remember all the good black Africans that I have met through my life, I remember that I’ve read the same type of articles in the Sowetan which reminded me that violence, murder and barbarism doesn’t only target a victim of a specific ethnic group.

Sure, violent hate crimes do happen between the colour divide,  corruption seems to be limited to select few of politically and economically connected elite,  but by judging the whole ethnic group on the actions on a corrupt few out of the 50 million odd people staying in South Africa would be to take the easy way out.

That goes for both sides of the major colour divide here in South Africa.

It is way too easy to blame a whole group than to tackle a specific problem, with specific culprits it seems, and I blame the lack of exposure to different communities and cultures along with a lack of education on both sides of the fence.

I could have easily become a white fanatical zombie after a 9mm got shoved into my face by a black man, but I didn’t, and for this I would like to thank my folks for the tolerance, understanding and compassion for my fellow human being which the instilled in my heart.

Given what I’ve written here I fully stand behind education and the transference of moral fibre between generations, and I will work tirelessly towards given the children of South Africa a chance, because they will be our Rainbow Nation’s salvation.

The Role of Government in Modern Society

One should ask, what is the role of Government in today’s modern society?  In my eyes the role of the Government must be limited, and there should be no room for self enrichment, since we must assume that these people are in Government because of their love for the people and their country and not due to their own desires for financial and political gain.

1. They should ensure a secure and stable environment to enable free trade, innovation, development and production through securing our national borders and protect against internal threats such as racketeering, intimidation, violence and corruption, and defend the country from any external threat to our way of life.

2. They should enable the citizens of the country to better themselves in every possible way though quality education by the means of creating quality infrastructure such as housing and roads; delivering basic services like running water and electricity to each home and telecommunication for further development in regards with education.

3. They should not be allowed to have parastatals like Eskom or Telkom. Any funding which the Government give to public enterprise ventures should be seen as loans after an in depth due diligence report was drawn up, and their must be little or no interest.

4. Financial institutions should be regulated in regards with the amount of personal loans they give out to an individual, and the interest charged on these loans, as well as keep an eye on bank administrative charges.

5. Lastly, the salaries of serving political figures and leading figures in the public sector like the police and defence force should be voted on by the public themselves.

Governing the Government falls in the hands of the citizens of the country, and we should not be lax in our attitudes or our resolve towards the Government, because this creates the perfect opportunity for the human condition called Greed to raise it’s ugly head.  We voted them into power, and it is our common responsibility to make sure that they stay on the straight and narrow, long past are the days of Monarchs and Feudal Lords who believed that the peasants where there to serve their every whim, the Government is the Public’s servant.

In essence I believe that people don’t need a Government, a body or entity that will herd them like sheep or cattle into specific areas where they think it is best for livestock, and of course, from which they as the Government would stand to gain the most out of.

Sadly there is no room in today’s society for such a view, since we as human beings are not responsible enough to govern ourselves and our inherent need for greed and hoarding.

Maybe through education we will be able to move past these factors which are holding us back sometime in the future.

Knowledge is Power – A brief overview of what happened in Africa

Knowledge is power, and there is no denying the fact.  This is why countries like America and China spend millions on gaining information, and protecting that which they have.

Look at the Great Firewall of China for one, and then do a search on In-Q-Tel and read up about their investments in software that can monitor posts, chats and tweets on the Internet.  There is also talk that In-Q-Tel (investment arm of the CIA) invested greatly in Facebook.

Knowledge and it’s far reaching affects does not stop there.  Think about the invention of fireworks, which eventually led to the discovery of gun powder and then think about the  consequences it brought.

Some nations or groups were just not content with what they had, and I believe that their quest for more land, more resources and ultimately more power also drove them to develop and research the technology which would allow them to acquire the fore mentioned.

History shows us that for those with superior technology anything was possible when going to war with people with inferior technology, take for example the natural inhabitants of South America and how their civilization crumbled before the Spanish, the Native Americans in North America, and the countless of black nations in Africa.

To quote Martin van Creveld:

War and technology have always been linked very closely. Indeed, without technology, there would probably have been no war. After all, without technology, if only in the form of sticks and stones, man’s ability to kill his own kind is extremely limited.

This should not come as any surprise for anyone, but again, it does not stop there.

It is also here that I have to say that not all colonization were achieved through the smoking barrel of a gun, but again a lot of it were, especially if you look at North and South America and a couple of countries in Africa.

Europeans needed new territory, more wealth, and more power and so the quest for land grabs started, and the solution was simple.  Either they traded for land from the original inhabitants, and failing that, they would just take it with their superior technology.

Being of European decent I can’t look past these facts, and I also can’t help but stare into the legacy these land grabs left us,  whom we have to deal with 300-400 years later.

Retaining the competitive edge meant that knowledge was not really transferred to the people whom were conquered or subjugated  since this had the potential to open the door for a rebellion and the loss of new found land and riches, which could not be allowed.

Now, 400 years later we are sitting with a huge dilemma.  Masses and masses of uneducated people who are a drain on natural and economic resources, but who are a political force of note because of their sheer numbers.

There has been a lot of social studies as to why poverty stricken people with low or no education have huge families, but not going in to too much detail, it is my opinion that it was triggered by the human desire for survival.  More on the topic at (http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/family/Publications/mtdesilva.pdf)

These people are here, and there is no easy solution for the problem.  I am pretty sure that most of World turns a blind eye to the human crisis on the African continent, because why fight for something if you can manipulate from the side and wait until they kill each other off so that you can come in, be the hero of the day and help them rebuild their nation … for a price of course, natural resources.  I am also certain that this is one of the reasons why African despots and dictators do not really worry about education their youth, because it is much easier to dish out propaganda to the uneducated than it is to a rational thinking man or woman.

Greed, and the lack of education will be the undoing of the human race and civilization as we know it.

Time to take charge and review our situation before it is too late.