DECEITFUL SWORD THAT KILLED OUR FUTURE
On one hot afternoon I was sitting next to my geriatric half blind retired father under a huge marula tree behind his hut, that was a rare chance for me as I grew up not used to him because as a mine worker far away in the city, he would only come back home twice a year and just for a very short time. He worked hard for the better part of his life raising us up to what we are today.
We know very well that he never had a rest doing everything within his power to see us through, and to us he was always our hero, a respected patriarch. He never had a car except for a bicycle and a cow-driven cart that broke down and he could not afford to fix it up and it became our playing arena as we did not have toys like what kids have today.
Though he worked very hard but it was sad that he could not afford secondary school fees for us all, six children in the family, especially my three elder brothers who were forced to drop out of school to look for work to add on to his meagre and eke salary to support us, the youngsters.
As happy as I was sitting next to him, he told me a very sad story that spoiled my day; that he tried in vain on numerous occasions to persuade his bosses to allow him to use his pension money to build us a decent house. They also denied him a loan to pay for our school fees and therefore our (once bright looking) future was stifled from then, the loan denial alone, was just enough to augment and further stoke the ravaging poverty fire. Today my elder brothers can’t find work after they became victims of labour reduction at their work place, the main reason being that they don’t qualify for any job as they don’t meet (work) education requirements.
They are today hooligans roaming the village at night trying to feed their children. One was last month convicted for livestock theft and sentenced to five years behind bars. I’m now trying very hard to help out their kids to get up especially, around educational spheres. One thing that spurs me on, on this endeavour is their earnest preparedness and readiness to do better in school.
A few days ago if not weeks, I learned from the media that Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande is contemplating using workers’ pension moneys to pay off students’ debt at tertiaries that amounts to billions of bucks. Now if Blade can use other people’s money for wrongful beneficiaries, why can’t our parents use it for a more direct course? My simple question is; why would the bosses reject our parents with their pension monies to pay for their children’s education? Statistics show well that many more black workers can’t afford that (tuition) and it’s not their fault, it’s also in today’s Numsa report “Whites earn four times more than Blacks”.
Is old age payout more important than education? Is production and promotion of unskilled people important to their country? Why couldn’t they ask my father to produce receipts from the school if they felt that he just wanted to waste the money? I think here we need the intervention of both Ministers of Labour and of education to resolve this social issue that has no direct connection to politics.
How many children can’t access university education because of lack of money whereas their fathers’ pension money is being abused by these rich companies, who in the meantime commercialize the money and get hefty profits whilst we are severely suffering at all levels? What about free education instead of many other unnecessary free issues.
Free Education and Training first, skills that will put a spark on personnel development, the primary requisite to socio-economic development and attainment thereof on a larger scale, national, and also a direct positive input towards real emancipation, suffocating and sending poverty on a death row!! We also view this as a Government responsibility that has eluded it for aeons, looking only at itself in the mirror with its only understandable well executed task being an interest to promote itself and the cliques around itself and forget about the people they are supposed to serve, and also forget to satisfy the voters who sent them there; a regrettable fiasco.
This is ANC- African National Corruption Government’s sadism on us. We are nothing else but dromedaries and sheep sacrifices on the altar.
By: Modiba Kadi