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Ignorance is Bliss Syndrome

25 September 2012, 07:21

South Africa is by far the strongest and most modern economy in the whole of the Southern Africa but 75% of the population earn less than R 1800* per month. Yes, there is need for salary increments in most sectors and recently we saw the miners taking to the streets for 22% salary increments. This is well and good that in a democratic country we have the right to demand such by toy-toying in the streets.

However, the incident at Marikana didn't  really paint a picture of democracy, nor did it show good judgment for miners, the unions, and the government. The massacre and the strike itself had an adverse effect on the economy of South Africa. In the 6 weeks during the strike, the country lost approximately R4, 5 Billion, the price of platinum dropped by 2&, it depressed the rand and spooked foreign investors into selling their mining shares. The government allowed the strike to stretch far longer that it should have, with each day the Rand was losing value in relation to other currencies. Is it that they chose not to care how the longer the strike dragged on, the more the money was being lost?

Is it that ignorance or lack of care for the workers and the economy? Because l believe the impasse could have been resolved long before the loss of lives, or the loss of money that we had during those weeks. The government ignores that the general population lives below poverty and obviously something is got to give and the Marikana incident happened.  

Ignorance also fell on the participants of the strike; miners didn’t seem to care about the damage they were causing. A strike to be heard is well and good but the damage that is done in the process also affects the economy in the long run. Barricading roads with stones, digging trenches means that tax payer's money will have to go into repairing these roads. Is toy-toying and chanting is not enough to be heard? We have a tendency to do extreme damage when on strike, we litter the streets, damage the reputation of the country and to what end?

Is it because we do not have enough knowledge of the economy or we simply do not care, that is the government's baby as long as we the strikers get what we want? And then when we have economic problems we have a scapegoat, the government? The educational system should play its part as well, to educate the masses of the economic situation of the country, so everyone can understand better. 

Should it be ignorance is bliss or ignorance ends bliss?

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