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Irukandji
 
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Was the struggle worth it?

08 December 2011, 23:18

Most South Africans are disillusioned by the state of the nation.

 

As a boy, growing up in the previously advantaged white society, I had only a vague understanding of just how strong the infrastructure was that served and supported the white population of our country.

 

I never realised what enormous effort, skills, and resources were required, by government, to maintain the standard of living I was born into, and which I came to accept as normal.

 

By law, whites were effectively separated from blacks and prevented from visiting the “locations” where they were staying. Most whites did not know (or care?) that the lives of blacks were filled with suffering, hardship, and drudgery. During the long years of the struggle, many blacks lost their lives, or lived a life of misery and servitude, in order to build a better future for themselves and their children.

 

I cannot truly say that I grasped the enormity of the outcome of 1994; or what it must have meant to black South Africans. To call no man your master! To be a first class citizen! To move about freely to any part of the country! To plan your own future! To be free! These were the rights I grew up with and took for granted; now it belonged to us all.

 

Unfortunately, after a few short years of new-found freedom, the euphoria and elation disappeared. And, although no one could realistically expect the new government to bring instant change, their lack of ability to manage the country, quickly became painfully obvious. The country was under new leadership but very little had changed for the common man.

 

The new ruling elite have distanced themselves from the people who voted them into power, and, overwhelmed by greed and self-importance, have done a dismal job in living up to expectations. One only has to visit Zimbabwe, Mozambique, or any of our neighbouring countries, to see the consequences of incompetent and corrupt governance.

 

I honestly feel sad for our black citizens, who have spent their lives living in hope and fighting for a better future; only to have their hopes, dreams, and expectations, dashed. Believe me when I say that the average black South African will NEVER enjoy the standard of living and comfort that the average white South African enjoyed during the previous era.

 

Since 1994, the general infrastructure of the country deteriorated so rapidly that blacks had little or no opportunity to savour and enjoy quality service delivery, and first-rate standards, or to benefit from it.

 

Most municipalities, and provinces, are bankrupt and cannot deliver even the most basic of services. Education is a joke, health care services are unreliable, roads are potholed, trains and taxis are unsafe. Crime, unemployment, corruption and incompetence, have drained the country’s resources.

 

Most rural blacks wait for handouts from government and are still living a life filled with suffering and hardship. Many wait in vain for grants which are infrequently paid.

 

Cities have become derelict cesspools filled garbage and illegal, drug-smuggling immigrants. Municipalities in small towns have closed down. Criminal gangs have settled in the country; top lawmen and politicians get away with millions in shady deals. Women and children (mostly black) are raped. Farmers (mostly white) are killed. Hospitals are in a shocking state and people are dying through lack of competent staff. Corruption is at an all time high. Skilled people have fled the country.

 

And so, my black brothers and sisters – please believe me that I am not gloating when I say: “We have both lost.” You will never have the quality or standard of living that I grew up with. And I will never have it back again.

 

Lastly, just reading through the comments on these articles, it is clear that most arguments are driven by hatred and racial tension.


So much hatred, anger and vitriol; this is certainly one of the most volatile periods in race relations of post Apartheid SA.

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