Are all South Africans sufficiently disillusioned by the mess this country is in?
I don’t think so.
As a boy, I grew up in the “previously advantaged” white society. I only had a vague understanding of the enormous effort, dedication, resources, management and technical skills, that were required by government to maintain the infrastructure and living standards that I was born into.
On my Dad’s farm, where I grew up, old man worked harder than any of his farm workers. He got up earlier and went to bed later than any of them. Hell, he was so sunburned; his skin was darker than most of them!
I didn’t even know about apartheid until I was about thirteen years old – when we moved to the city.
By law, whites were effectively separated from blacks and prevented from visiting the “locations” where they were staying. Most whites did even not know (or care?) that the lives of blacks were filled with suffering, hardship, and drudgery.
The first time I entered a “township,” as the “locations” where renamed, was on the back of an Army Unimog during “peace-keeping” operations, in the late ‘70’s.
To say that I was shocked at the living conditions would be an understatement. Truth be told: if I had to live under those conditions, I would have been a bigger terrorist than old Nelson ever was. But that’s not important right now.
Comes 1994. I tried to imagine what it must have meant to black South Africans:
To call no man your master, or “Baas!” To be a first class citizen! To move about, without restraint, to any part of the country! To plan your own future! To be free! To be governed by the people you voted for.
These were the rights I grew up with and took for granted; now it belonged to us all. Happy days, at last!
Unfortunately, after a few short years of new-found freedom, the euphoria and elation disappeared. And, although no one could realistically expect the new government to bring instant change, their incompetence, and lack of ability to manage the country, quickly became painfully obvious. The country was under new leadership but very little had changed for the common man.
The new ruling elite have distanced themselves from the people who voted them into power, and, overwhelmed by greed and self-importance, have done a dismal job in living up to expectations. One only has to visit Zimbabwe and Mozambique, to see the consequences of incompetent and corrupt governance.
I honestly feel sad for the black citizens of this godforsaken country, who have spent their lives living in hope and fighting for a better future; only to have their hopes, dreams, and expectations, dashed.
Sorry to piss on your parade, but believe me when I say that the average black South African will NEVER enjoy the standard of living, and comfort, that the average white South African enjoyed during the previous era.
Since 1994, the general infrastructure of the country deteriorated so rapidly, that blacks had little or no opportunity, to appreciate and enjoy quality service delivery and first-rate standards, or to benefit from it.
Most municipalities, and provinces, are bankrupt and cannot deliver even the most basic of services. Education is a joke, health care services are unreliable, roads are potholed, trains and taxis are unsafe. Crime, unemployment, corruption, and incompetence, have drained the country’s resources.
Our president is a joke – and a criminal. (Tell him I said so, Sakkie!)
The cops are corrupt and rotten to the core – and getting away with murder.
Most rural blacks wait for handouts from government. They are still living a life filled with suffering and hardship. Many wait in vain for grants which are infrequently paid.
Cities have become derelict cesspools filled garbage and illegal, drug-smuggling, immigrants. Municipalities in small towns have closed down. Criminal gangs have settled in the country; top lawmen and politicians get away with millions in shady deals. Women and children (mostly black) are raped and killed. Farmers (mostly white) are killed. Hospitals are in shocking conditions and people are dying through lack of competent staff. Corruption is at an all time high. Skilled people have fled the country in their hundreds of thousands.
Things are getting worse by the day.
And so, my black brothers and sisters, please believe me that I am not gloating when I say: “We have both lost.” You will never have the quality, or standard of living, that I grew up with. And I will never have it back again.
Lastly, I repeat this question: Are all South Africans sufficiently disillusioned by the mess in this country?
Only time will tell. If the ANC is still in power after the next election, I’ll know that the mindless masses still haven’t suffered enough.
And please, don’t expect me to take any pity on your suffering – I do not suffer fools gladly.