Xenophobia, Strikes, Protests and Oscar … what could happen if Eskom goes down

Not to sound like Siener van Rensburg, the South African version of Nostradamus, or a “Doomsday” Prepper in Hamerica,  but things are looking pretty bleak in South Africa at the moment.

The reasons?  Well, there is seemingly a plethora of reasons if you look at it from the outside, but if you take all of these things and you boil it down to the core it is about what the Have’s are getting out of the system, opposed to what the the Have Not’s are getting out of the system it is pretty easy to spot.  Opulence and wastage due to corruption and maladministration while millions suffer in squalor  is the problem.

Recently, one of South Africa’s brightest mistook his girlfriend for an intruder in the bathroom.  He fired a couple of shots and neutralized the threat behind the toilet door.

During the same time the whole Nkandla issue was in the news, people were asking questions about Marikna and the Gupta wedding guests at Waterkloof, Eksom was failing, service delivery strikes went mainstream, E-Tolls took it toll and Andries Tatane got killed for standing up against a Government for demanding that which they have promised, service and reform, and a couple of thousand people become the victims of violent crime

Over simplified statistics from 1994 – 2014 from CrimeStatsSA

Murders – 194 507Attempted Murders – 213 470
Assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm – 2 331 897
Unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition – 161 332

Let that sink in for a moment …

While all this was going on our political elite rallied to defend the choices they have made, rather than admit the faults they have made.

Now I am now someone who dwell on the past in general, if you make a mistake, well, then there is nothing you can do from it but learn.

Sadly, it does not seem to be the case in South Africa today.

Frustration on the ground in South Africa is boiling over.  The reason why fanatical groups such as the EFF can capitalize and gain momentum for their cause.  They know that “freedom” without economic freedom means nothing, and that one is still a slave to the system in such a scenario.  One of the very few points I can agree with them, but their approach, much like Steve Hofmeyer’s “threat” in from on Paul Kruger’s statute with a clearly military undertone with the commando detail with him at the statue is crude, one sided and ultimately disruptive in the sense that it is not building, but rather breaking down.

Cecil John Rhodes was no hero in the bigger picture of the South African story, but regardless, he was part of it, for better or for worse.  Even though I do not like the man or his legacy, I can appreciate what he has done for Africa, and I can also acknowledge the fact that he is part of my history.  Not because he was white like I am, but because his policies and action had such a huge impact on the landscape of what we call the Republic of South Africa today.

Yet, the statue itself if not the problem, it never was.  The problem is the ever increasing divide between the Have’s and the Have Not’s.  The inequity and the blatant difference between the lifestyles the Have’s enjoy in the stark contras with what the Have Not’s must endure is widening the gap, creating a us and them scenario.

A gap where one of the brightest gets away with a little slap on the wrist for taking a life, where a foreign national gets away with the murder of his wife and his South African accomplices end up paying on their own paying for his crimes.  A gap where a President allow the State to build him a mansion of R250 million and dine and drink on the best South Africa has to offer while millions go to bed hungry every night, a country where two siblings died of hunger in Soweto.

What does the Suicidal Dewani, Oscar and Zuma have in common? Money … and it seems that in South Africa your money determine how far you make it in life, and which bullets you can dodge, Matrix Style.

All this in a country where a normal man like Andries Tatane died for holding Government accountable on their election promises.

While millions suffer there are a good number of people living like there is no tomorrow without having any thoughts about the mother with the child on her back who is pulling a full trolly of garbage through the suburbs back to the recycling agent which can be as far as 15km’s away for a mere R1000 per month pittance.

A country with thousands refugees who fled their countries to come to South Africa in hope of stability and peace, are now again victims of violence in South Africa because of failed Government policies.

A country on the very brink of social collapse …

Now take all of these factors and add one failing power utility company and let your mind wander for a moment on what would happen if you take all of these problems and add a month long power outage, which is a very real possibility with the electrical grid under so much strain already, sitting at Stage 3 Load Shedding.  How will we survive the coldest months if we are already at our peak now?

The impact on South Africa would be devastating.  The Have Not’s will come looking for resources, and they will take what they want, if you like it or not.

Remembering Anene, Remembering Andries …

Last week Jacob Zuma delivered the State of the Nation address at Partliment’s opening and yet again he failed to address the real issues at hand in South Africa, but instead he spoke about TAX reforms which would just squeeze the already overburdened taxable population and the ultra poor just more.

One would have thought that more people would have something to say about SONA, hell, one would have thought everyone in South Africa would have had something to say about the State of the Nation with the 42c petrol hike, which is now going to be followed by a 87c hike, the partly State owned utility company, Eskom, who wants to increase it’s tariffs with 16%, the fact that Government lied to us about the E-Toll saga, of course there was little other things like the R250 million (and climbing) Nkandla and the R1.5 Billion spent on the Road to Nkandla  which Government upgraded under the National Key Point act of 1980.

I thought people would be fuming around the mouths about horror crimes like the violent rape and disembowelment of Anene Booysen, the rape of a 1 year old toddler in Limpopo, the rape of a 91 year old Gogo (grandmother) in Kwa-Zulu Natal, the violent murders on farmers, on the elderly, on children … but no …

Sadly, these horrific crimes and injustices against the population of South Africa are not the main focus of our macabre society.

The reason for this is our collective morbid fascination with the Oscar Pistorius incident which transpired in the early morning of Valentine’s Day.

Before I explain why, let me firstly say this though.  I feel for the families involved, no matter which way you look at it, it is a terrible and traumatic event, and nobody who is closely involved will ever be the same, and I wish everyone the best and that justice will prevail.

Here, is where my interest in the incident ends.  The reason for this is that the media hype over this incident has overshadowed everything which in my opinion, carries more weight than a single death, accidental or not.

You see, Anene Booysen is a 17 year old colored girl from Bredasdorp in the Western Cape. She went out with her friends, and then she left with her ex-boyfriend and a couple of his friends.

She was brutally raped, disemboweled, her legs broken and left to die by her assailants.

Then there is the brutal death of Andries Tatane, who died in a service delivery protest by the hands of the South African Police Force in Ficksburg because Government had failed to deliver on the promises they made since the fall of Apartheid, they were stuck in the same economic wilderness as before the fall of Apartheid, some even worse.

Every single day, there about 18000 murders in South Africa apart from the murders we are almost top of the log when it comes to violent rapes.

Rape.co.za puts the amount of reported cases of rape between 2009/2010 at 68 332. Because not all cases get reported to authorities this number may actually be much higher.

That is about 50 murders and 187 reported cases of rape per day on a population which is estimated at 50 million.

India, on the other has, with a population of 1.2 billion reports about 72 cases of rape per day.

Clearly one can see that there is something very wrong with our society, and this is where my grief lies.

The populace in general is making a big scene about Oscar Pistorius case and totally forgetting the marginalized John Doe’s on the street who are also victims to these violent crimes.  Not only are they forgotten, but it seems that everyone is avoiding the cause of these symptoms of our corrupt and amoral society.

This brings me to the cause of these cancerous symptoms, the ANC led Government with Jacob Zuma at it’s head.  It has failed us, the people of South Africa.  They have neglected the upliftment of South Africa as a whole through their never ending internal “struggle” for the spoils of war after the fall of Apartheid and their lust for power.

Liberation songs like “Umshini wami” which translates into “Bring me my machine gun” were sung by our President Jacob Zuma, the same Zuma who has not yet answered for corruption charges brought against him before he took office,  and other well known former political allies like Julius Malema who once swore to start killing in the name of Zuma, and who has now fallen out of favor along with being investigated for abusing his political ties for financial gain.

No, sadly only those with some sort of political connection and the politicians themselves got uplifted while the rest of the country suffered the evils of corruption and failed administration of State resources.

Corruption and mediocre policies, and the implementation of these policies, lies at the the very core of our sick society and yet we decide to make a fuss about one person who has been killed,  but we can’t save a second or two to think about the hundreds who are effected every day through violent crime?

We can’t spare a thought about the State of our Nation and the fact that all the politicians from the various political parties walked down a red carpet in fancy evening wear for the opening of Parliament like famous Hollywood actors on their way to the Oscars? (I assure you, no pun intended)

Something is very very wrong in our society, and I urge you to start thinking critically, stop being negative towards each other and have a little more patience with one another.

Look past the differences and focus on the things we have in common, and one thing we have in common, from rich down to the poor man on street is that we are “Gatvol”.  Gatvol of poor service delivery, gatvol of potholes, gatvol of the murders, the rapes, the spade of violent crimes.

We are gatvol because we have to pay premium prices to give our kids a decent education in a private school because the public education system has failed our children, the next generation to take over from us.

We are gatvol because we have to pay premium prices to be able to go to private hospital because public hospitals are death traps.

Now think about those who do not have the finances to afford these premiums?  They are just as gatvol, and everyone is yearning for change!  This is our common ground from which we can build.

The change we are yearning for will only come once we as a nation stick together and see past each other differences, it will only happen when we realise that we are all connected in the bigger scheme of things and that we are dependent on each other.

I beg you, the reader, to be positive, to start becoming involved in these pressing socio-economic and political issues and to voice your concerns.  Don’t be scared to enter into conversation and most of all, treat those around you the way you would want to be treated, then relationship build on mutual respect will prosper and we will be able to reach out to one another.

We can build a better South Africa, one in where there will be no more symptoms of poor governance like the rape on Anene, like the murder of Andries, the massacare at Marikana.

Let us all stand together against Government and keep these people like Anene and Andries and all the other countless of people who have been victims of violent crime in our hearts, lets draw strength from the sacrifices they and their families have made and lets fight for our country!

Be heard as one voice