‘It’s a scary mess we are trapped in’

2017-03-08 06:00

GIVEN the alarming rate of unemployment and the ongoing retrenchments in different sectors of our economy, it’s not even necessary to be a sangoma or some economic analyst to foresee the inevitability of dangerous tensions between foreign nationals and locals.

But because as South Africans we are more preoccupied with ourselves first and have thrown out our government’s “Batho Pele” (people first) motto and so used to react rather than be proactive to social situations, the obvious almost always escapes us.

The short cut that we are very good at is labelling survival situations, xenophobia etc.

Practically, in everyday life, South Africans are generally at peace with foreign nationals. Problems begin when competition for the means of survival, that is employment opportunities, are viewed as unfair and discriminatory to locals in favour of foreign nationals be they documented or undocumented.

That’s one of the main reasons why our youth, both skilled and unskilled, become victims of whoonga and all other kinds of drugs. How are they expected to be sober when frustrations got hold of them? And what about the endless and boring, not-so-edible speeches they have become accustomed to?

All this, while they’re keenly watching and listening to those speech-deliverers on televisions and radios greedily doing the “eating” from their own service delivery resources while at the same time paying themselves hefty salaries in their name? They even fight and kill one another to occupy public positions in their name. How can they remain sober?

Poor law-enforcers are not spared in the whole scenario. They’re in the middle and are expected to be a panacea to our historical socio-economic situation while they themselves are also members of the communities affected and infected. Underpaid and seemingly under-trained, arrogant, rude and highly demoralised police force members, corrupt to the core to survive the harsh reality of their material conditions, at the same time watch their bosses doing the “eating”. They have become a scapegoat from all sides as if they are responsible for our socio-economic dilemma. They should just fight crime by all means!

Not to be left out while shouting and bemoaning corruption in the public which is a reality, our private sector is engaged in its own corruption: price-fixing, collusions, illicit financial outflows, etc, etc.

Caught in the middle it’s the “masses”, the “people on the ground” or the “ordinary people”!

It’s a scary mess we are trapped in!

JOSEPH B. GUMBI

Pietermaritzburg

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