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Mary Jane Mphahlele
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Maybe we do have a good story to tell

30 April 2014, 22:15
South Africa is known as one of the countries which suffered human rights violation, economic and racial discrimination and oppression.

It countersigned sacrifices and resistance of the oppressed people and minority of white’s compatriots.

Today, South Africa has established itself on a new leaf of freedom and liberation from its previous apartheid government.

With the establishment of our constitution in 1994, every citizen in our country enjoys fortification of their rights by the constitution. It has become the best country to live in after apartheid.  

South Africa has done a lot for itself from a country with its kind of history. Under the leadership of African National Congress we’ve seen a lot of vicissitudes, led by former president Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki and current president Jacob Zuma.

Since 1994 to the 2008 global financial crisis, under the ruling party, South Africa has managed to pull a record of uninterrupted economic evolution, growing double the rate of the last 19years. In 20 years of democracy, five million people are working with a total employment rate of 14 million.

We have many young people going and graduating from universities than in 1994 with more than 1.4 million benefiting from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.

With the provision of work by Public works and Community work programmes, we have a youth employment mounting to 40%.

Nearly 5,000 farms have been reassigned to black people and benefiting over 200,000 families. Since 1994, about 80,000 land claims were made with a beneficiary of 1.8 million.

An additional augmented 16 million people receiving grant from 3 million. We now have over 3.3 million houses built and about 12 million houses with access to electricity more than in 1994. Adding to the fruits of democracy, South Africa has around 92% citizens with access to portable water.

We have as a country, had our own downfalls. Recently, under the leadership of Jacob Zuma our country has experienced what could mark the end of our ruling party the ANC. Under the leadership of our current president, we have seen the levels of violence, poverty, unemployment snowballing drastically.

It didn’t take our current president more than a decade to change our economy. The ANC that we have today, is not that which Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko, Chris Hani, to mention a few, struggled for.

Our unemployment rate has mounted to 60%, under the leadership of Zuma. We have more qualified young people roaming the streets with degrees and PhDs. The only jobs provided are informal jobs. While unemployment rates are rising, our president’s salary is taking a toll as well.

Our president earns R 3 544 932 annually while South African MPs now earn R889 383, British MPs get up to R844 032 and French MPs about R780 261 annually. An unreasonable president’s salary for a developing country. Our democracy in this present decade is marked by greediness and mismanaged of state funds.

Our large earning president whom has more wives than brain cells, has recently constructed a homestead which cost tax payers R 246 million.

Our country, under the leadership of President Jacob Zuma has earned itself the title of being the rape capital. It looks like Congo has got itself a wife. The previous year and the present year we have also witnessed police brutality.

The apartheid police brutality culture has found its way back into our democratic country. Our constitution is being undermined by states organs, which should be protecting our people.

Our education has experienced difficulties with lack of study materials in rural schools. It has taken our minister of education Naledi Phando donkey years to deliver books in Limpopo.

The same program (NSFAS) introduced by government to fund previously disadvantaged students has become a nightmare for most students. At the commencement of this year, thousands of students were protesting for allocation of funds from NSFAS. There were students who were on NSFAS last year but didn’t have their debt cleared, apparently due to insufficient funds.

Our country has been listed on ListVerse as the most dangerous place to live in. According to ListVerse, any nation described as the ‘rape capital of the world’ should be one to take extra special care in. Although rape had shown a declining trend to 113.7 in 2004, it increased in 2005 to 118.3 per 100 000.

Another damning statistic for South Africa is its appallingly high murder rate. Most crime is confined to poor areas but it hasn’t stopped gated communities springing up all over South Africa and armed guards protecting wealthy tourist groups.

Farming in South Africa has become one of the most dangerous professions in the world. The murder rate for farmers is 313 per 100 000 – about 8 times the national average. And like anywhere, sex can be very dangerous in South Africa, where more than 10 million people are infected with HIV.

Our currency is battling due to strikes. Recently we had strikes which cost our mine industry millions daily. Our rand is becoming weaker against the US dollar. Our SANDF also needs financial aid; the government would have to fork out R88-billion a year to resuscitate the chronically ailing SA National Defence Force, according to a Defence Review report.

In 20 years we have ten times more people in unlawful resident and more illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe, Nigeria and other countries.

Our roads, railways, military, police, municipal services, old age homes, hospitals and orphanages have literally fallen apart and are worth nothing anymore. Recently we had a few hospital who were said to shut down and their accident and emergency department, due to financial crisis to the National Health Services.

Now we as citizens of our beloved country, who immensely love and care for their country we should be mindful of the party we choose to cross our mark on. We have to be mindful of who we choose to represent our needs and craft a better future for the next generation.

Maybe we do have a good story to tell.

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