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Who do South Africans belong to anyway?

24 April 2013, 07:13

When I read this article,, I was reminded of the speech where JFK said, "ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country."

In the South African context, this seems to have developed a different connotation to what Kennedy had in mind. In a welfare state, too many people asking what their country can do for them is creating a disaster that WILL reach a tipping point sooner or later.

Who DOES South Africa belong to?

The ANC?

ANC supporters?

Coloured people?


The answer is: none of them, and all of them.

South Africa is neither owned by any one race, nor does it own us.

Another story that I read today, about NUM comparing union members jumping ship for NUMSA to rhinos being poached.

It would seem, in the consciousness of those few powerful people who would be the puppet masters of South Africa, that people are commodities or toys.

We are not.

This is where democracy falls slightly flat though.

In a country like South Africa, where democracy simply means having a larger crowd who shouts louder, OWNING the people of South Africa seems to be the paramount concern of politicians and trade union leaders.

In a country like South Africa, where the vast majority are uneducated or undereducated, politics becomes a game of monopoly.

Instead of focusing on delivering more, better services, all our politicians seem focused on is amassing more numbers. More crosses on the ballot sheet have come to mean political success in South Africa. Screw good governance. Forget competency. All our leaders care about is having MORE. More state money.

More sheep following them. More racist rhetoric that achieves nothing.

Until we stop fighting about who owns South Africa, and realise that no one owns our allegiance, this will be a self perpetuating cycle of failure and acceptance.

I am a South African. I was born a South African, to South African parents. I may not live in the country, but as long as I remain a citizen of the country, I have as much right to have my say, to the freedoms, rights and opportunities that the country offers.

I can choose not to avail myself of those - for a while or for good.

But South Africa does not own me. Just as I, like every other one of the 55 million South Africans, have every right to a 1 in 55 millionth say in my country's future.

We don't belong to our country - but our country belongs to us. Each and every one of us.

Anyone who says any differently, or who remains fixated on who owns what based on stories that are hundreds of years old is clearly living in the past, and not a part of the future.

While we're at it though, did anyone see the report that 79% of South African land is owned by government?

Fighting over scraps, numbers on the ballot, rhinos for the slaughter. That's how they see us all. That's been the goal of their propaganda all along.

Are we really going to let them win?

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