Last night at a Café in Cape Town I struck up a conversation with someone. Well actually a friend and I were cracking jokes and a dude waiting for his friend/date to arrive jumped in to join in the kaakpraatery. Between jokes about why lesbians buy dildos and whatever other nonsense somehow the conversation got to South Africa and how it’s being governed. Essentially I got caught off guard when the chap said that South Africa was better under NP rule and if SA wanted to move forward it must put white people back into power.
I proceeded to ask the guy why he thought so and he replied that the economy was much better then and I asked him how he got to that conclusion. He said that the rand exchange rate was stronger then and as a result the economy was better. I asked if he knew that the economy was distorted by government policies designed to bolster the economic and political power of a small minority and to exclude many of South Africa's citizens and this exclusion was on a racial basis. No he didn’t. I asked what else he thought the old government did better and he said infrastructure and development. I asked if this was so why did the ANC govt have to electrify so many millions of homes and have to finally give the majority of the population access to clean drinking water. This was met with a muffled pseudo knowledgeable response.
I asked if we could compare holistically the current administration, the two other post 94 administrations and all other administrations before that and dispute that Zuma’s administration is currently in the top 3 administrations the country has ever had. This as difficult as admitting you have a drinking or drug problem but if you can come clean about it you would have no choice but to admit that as a nation we are so screwed up that JZ has made it to the top three presidents of all time. Because this chap started this debate by saying our progress depended on putting whites back into power I asked if these whites he speaks of have a credible and respectable record in running this country and he said the dumbest thing I have ever heard. He said if you took apartheid out of the equation then yes. I was shocked, I asked how you could discount their single most defining policy and the guy could really not reply.
Ultimately my point was to say besides a lack of experience in administration blacks had so far done a better job and that while there is time give to learn and all the rest of it I don’t for a minute condone all government actions or policies. It’s time we were all real with ourselves; there are very few countries that have everyone happy with the people in power and we like everyone else have problems. If you said that this country has been going downhill ever since ’94 I would say that you either have a selective memory, have problems reconciling with reality or are plain out delusional. Now before this gets all black vs white I would like to say that I was telling this to a black guy, secondly I don’t like having to admit that Zuma is in the top three but who would be to blame for that? Could it possibly be the previous administration that happened to be all white?
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