We all drive to work in the mornings and every day see poor people begging on the road, sitting on the pavements at corners looking for any work they can get! We are all struck with the enormity of just how many people are destitute and struggling to make ends meet! This reality makes us concerned as to our own human frailty and we hide this by developing a attitude of disregard leading to thoughts like:” That will never be me”, “They should have stayed at school”, They are migrants from Zimbabwe and don’t belong here”, ”Not my fault”, “It is the governments fault!”
This last thought has struck the proverbial nail right on the head.... it is the governments fault! Let’s see we elect these so called leaders to lead so how is it that the country is in such a plight. But it is an age old problem you will always have poor people.. I beg to differ and here’s why I do”
We have 14000 rural villages in South Africa accommodating more or less half of the South African population that is 25 million people living in 14000 rural villages equals just under two thousand people in each village rural setup and this is after 20 years of so called freedom! A period of time where people were free to move wherever they wanted and if I am not wrong this began even 5 years previous to 1994, the time of the first national elections for all in this country. Ok let’s say the government under Nelson Mandela started a program to uplift the rural people by picking a group of young people from each rural set up brought them to the urban areas and trained them, a nurse, a teacher, a plumber, a builder, a farmer and so on and so forth…get the picture. One party faithful could have been assigned to each rural village to oversee what was to be done with the 1,000000 Rand in funds that would be allocated to each rural village and this representative would have to report and give account of how the money was spent at the end of each financial year. Infrastructure projects such as building a dam and the installation of running water into each dwelling in the village. A community vegetable garden and the construction of a village school and nursing clinic would then follow. A million Rand used to uplift 2000 people would constitute approximately R500 a head spent on each villager barring of course the money spent of the raw materials needed to see out these projects! This is R10000 per rural villager since 1994 on improving his life
Food security, a reasonable education, good nutrition, basic health care, more hygienic living conditions…..eventual self sustainability without government funds… Getting the picture ….does this all make sense?
In 25 years we could have spent 350 billion Rand alleviating poverty and uplifting people where they live. I am convinced that once we had the basic infrastructure in place we could start small industry in these rural villages, to employ the locals and even give them a stake in it! The government could subsidy business to go set up small factories there right in the rural areas. I think the utopian dream of a standard of life with a African culture entwined that equaled anything elsewhere in the world could have already been well on it’s way…sadly, or more aptly, tragically, it has not been achieved and South Africa which is the largest economy and richest country in Africa is heading for disaster!