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Francois Frank Prinsloo
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My garden boy and tea-girl’s little house far-far away

09 July 2014, 07:58

I would have given this article more vulgar title, more in line with the content therein, but decided for more neutral title, that still coveys the message in less confronting way. Something along the lines of negroes of ante bellum (pre-war) South comes to mind when this title comes to mind, and rightfully so. The master and the slave, the white and the negro…

Most whites, including myself, have grown up with the idea of having maid(or the more political correct term: domestic worker/servant [strange how words can have meaning in one language or dialect then have completely different meaning in another language] for those over socialised soocialists) to clean and do all the house choirs. Same thing with the gardener and his work. In return they get a petty wage that barely keeps them from starving, yet never allows them to truly achieve a higher standard of living or better state of affairs for themselves or their children.

Often these slaves’ homesteads are far outside of town, one might practically say they are in another town in most cases, which means that the commute between there town and the commercial/rich part of town is quite costly and time consuming. Whenever this was an active ploy by the Apartheid regime to make the slaves/serfs poorer or maybe it was social engineering scheme maybe even a security manoeuvre or just plain stupidity. It leads to heft costs of transport anyway.

Now this isn’t the only thing these poor wrenches have to put up with, the fact that squatter camps and townships are poorly planned, often over crowded, and generally just few stone throw’s away from biblical destruction by plague and pestilence, doesn’t seem to even register on most politician’s political radar of electiveness. And sadly, most of these things are solved relatively easily in theory but that comes later.

Master on the other hand doesn’t have to content with such things, but you know you could always just clean your own house and do your own garden. I am probably sure some people might jump on their laagers and call it economically stupid to end such slavery and dehumanization. Think about the family of the poor slave and how they will suffer… And so on, but to be frank, as a white person I find it demeaning to pay a black/coloured/{whatever else we can oppress} to do our dirty jobs for us.

What makes us better or more important to do such “menial” labour tasks such as washing and mowing our laws? Don’t these things build our characters and teach us self-respect as people and a “volk”. This is something the oppressed aren’t so oppressed about. Work is the foundation of all great things in life; yet work inherently isn’t pleasant, hence why we as people like to shift the load to others at any given opportunity.

In the process we lose our backbone and guiding light. We become corrupted by our laziness and weak. I don’t like picking up my dog’s crap that litters my yard, but I do it, then afterward I look at my yard and see it clean, I can feel proud knowing I did that for myself by myself.  It is all these small things we should do to redeem our humanity from the shallowness of narcissism and modernity [or is it post-modernity now?]. If any people want a future in this country, it is through work that they will find it here, and will continue to hold it through work in the many facets that make this country.

As a white man, I believe, it is through a policy of work that we will find our future. By that I mean not the directing others to do work for us but by actually throwing ourselves into the laborious situations. In the matter, we will slowly overcome the mental legacy of superiority which Apartheid has instilled into us. Hell, it might actually remind us of our humility and humanity. It might just show us that we aren’t as special as we believe we are, it might just show us there are things we should still work on. Anyway, I digress too much now.

Back to the point I skipped earlier, if communities and government (mostly local in this case) could work on a program to increase the sizes of squatter camp lots and distribute the population in more urbanized way, one could administer these communities easier with an eye of actually providing basic services over the long term.

Some residents can even be moved to the other part of town or closer to the main town to make the commuting cheaper and easier. Wouldn’t it be nice if people didn’t have to spend ¼ of their wage on transport?  With a more urban planning the distribution of medical, postal and social services could also be improved, tracked and better planned. Though to make this possible the municipality would have to buy a lot of land adjacent to the township and help the people relocate.

 All being said and done, I think this phenomenon of maids and gardeners should come to an end in this country. Some other more human solution should be found to provide for these people and improve their lives. I am not seeing that happening right now.

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