Most of us who blog here seem to be white and DA. So much so, that I sometimes wonder if we are not simply bringing "coals to Newcastle". So I am constantly seeking an authentic or original voice and Thema Simelane, with his blog on poverty was "an authentic voice". I do not agree with much he said, but the poverty he described, is all too present in SA. He touched on the troublesome subject of black self -esteem and self -worth, which come under the wheels during the colonial and Apartheid time, and there he struck a true chord.
As one cannot unscramble an egg, the question is where do we start as regards self-esteem? The answer of course is EDUCATION. Outside of that hugely necessary parental love, a good education gives self-worth. "I understand", "I can", "I will", "I want to" are all based on a solid self-worth. This is a huge jump from muddling through and sort of learning on the job.,
This brings us to a comparison of the educational policies of the ANC and the DA. The DA's policy of up and skywards with education is stars ahead of the ANC mud huts, undelivered books and teacher strikes. Self-worth and self-confidence are the inner core of a good education and the ANC has trampled on it!
I am an older woman of sixty plus. Only recently did I learn something about the father's side of the family, because for years there simply was a shroud of silence, that could not be lifted. Suffice to say, that in the early part of the 20th century education was not a high value on the benchmark. Industrious Ouma married a gung-ho soldier with not that much more education then she had.She worked and inherited, he drank it away. (In those times a man had the right to all of his wife' money and property.) A tyhoid epidemic broke out in SA and spread like a bush fire. It was so bad that people died like flies. A cart horse was sent around to collect the bodies which were then collectively burnt, in an attempt to stop the spread of the plague.
Ouma and hard-drinking Oupa contracted typhoid fever and died. At 13 my father was the head of a household of 4 other siblings. If this story reminds you of the AIDS families where both parents have died, so be it. History does repeat itself.
The rag-tag family was shifted from one relative family to the other, where the under current was mostly, "Move on"
The turning point in all these travails and troubles came when my father managed to get a matric and subsequently a job, which he used to help his siblings. For the first time time some sort of stability set in.
I do not believe that every story has to end tragically. Calamitous poverty did not make my father an easier man, but education (albeit modest), allowed him to step out of the vicious circle of desasterous decisions and unending pain.
When the misguided Apartheid regime came into power, the first thing they did was to improve education. When the ANC came into power, the first thing they did was to dismantle a good educational system ( yes it was reserved for a few, but it functioned) that functioned. Their third world attempts to re-invent the wheel of education have been disastrous.
Helen Zille says that poverty is the enemy. I agree, only I would go further. Yes poverty is the enemy, but so are Jacob Zuma and the ANC
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