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A new "New" South Africa

18 March 2012, 22:05

As this is still a free country and we are still a democracy perhaps we should look, as others wiser than myself have said, at fixing what we’ve got – from within – rather than tearing everything down or going at one another with words, knives, guns and knob kerries.

Warfare between the races or between capitalists and socialists isn’t going to solve anything, as many of us who have been down thatroad know, so there must be a better way.

Certain basics need to be in place when attempting to build a country, a company or even a household.

You need a place to rest your head – a place to call your own – the ability and means to earn a living, basic services and the knowledge that nobody can rightfully prevent you from having this. You also need reliable and efficient education for your children, healthcare and governmental services such as tax collection, transport, refuse removal, running water, electricity and military and policing structures to defend the individual and the independence and sovereignty of the country.

These are the basics, everything else is a nice to have.

When you have a country of 50-odd million people, many of whom don’t have any, or even some, of the above it’s no good looking at glorious solutions, dreams and illusions as you need first to put the basics in place. You are truly attempting to build castles in the sky, or structures on sand, if you do not first lay the foundations.

With this in mind, how about the following – and I’m quite prepared for any to add to, or subtract from should they feel so inclined,as it’s a very brief opening gambit, a framework, to work from.

Let the suggestions merely be realistic and of a positive nature, that’s all I ask. No trolling in other words.

Firstly, start at the beginning with education as the beneficiaries thereof will be the leaders of tomorrow. They are the future for without them we have none.

All children between the ages of 6 and 18 would need to attend school where they would be taught the three “R”s – reading, writing and‘rithmetic - in English. Obviously a revamped education system would go further than this, much further, but again, get the basics in place. Adult education would also have to be integrated into such a system and there would be no problem in having other languages as 2nd languages, as we have now,but the medium of education must be in a universally accepted language that is used throughout the world. Let’s forget the ideals and dreams and get real.

When everyone can read, write and perform basic arithmetic we’ll already have progressed beyond where we now stand.

Those young adults capable of more than this basic education can offer them, and qualifying for such, would be able to attend university and it would be free, at government’s expense.

The only provision is that once qualified they wouldperform a social service for a given period, passing on their knowledge andaiding others to achieve similar. This needn’t even be of a long duration - muchlike lawyers and others used to have to perform whilst learning the ropes fromthose already qualified and operating.

Similarly re-introduce apprenticeships, training school sand the like for teachers, nurses and aspiring tradesmen. We now have enough hawkers, it’s time for educated youngsters to start emerging.

National conscription for all those not attending varsity, along similar lines, would need to be introduced where other skills would be added and they would in turn pass these on and engage in community uplifting projects, also for a pre-determined time.

Next, housing, which would entail the unemployed – of all ages – being drafted into construction where houses, hospitals, schools, water treatment plants, power stations, farms, co-ops  would be built, and maintained.

We’re not talking slave labour here but construction on a large scale with the people directing these projects having the skills andqualifications necessary to do so and the workers being fairly paid for theirskills and labour.

We have the labour - and the requirement - all we need areengineers, draughtsmen, architects and associated trades and believe it or notwe have those in abundance. Many of them are retired, or working on projects inthe rest of the world, but they are there.

Then we would need to address law & order byprofessionalizing the services. Well trained forces of police, soldiers,airmen, sailors, paramedics etc would be created which would be better paid, wouldoffer careers and would be able to sustain the policing and integrity of thenation.

Small is sometimes better, especially if properlytrained, professional and well equipped - after all we are at peace and farfrom the trouble spots of the world at the moment.

Naturally our borders would need to be tightened up,refugees repatriated and stricter controls enforced. We cannot build a newcountry if half of Africa is residing here -producing nothing but draining ourresources - and drugs, guns and crime have become a way of life.

Concurrently with this we would also need to re-introducethe death sentence for capital crimes such as murder, rape, armed robbery – anycrime involving violence actually - and corruption. Crimes against the peopleor the state need to be viewed as seriously as possible and if honesty is toonce more become an ideal then those guilty of dishonesty need to be dealt withaccordingly.

Our next port of call would have to be the economy andhow it’s organized, and this would go hand-in-hand with how our politicalsystem works, or should work.

We would need to scrap income tax – also review all othertaxes – and increase VAT to a level where the budget could be balanced. Allwould then be taxed equally on what they purchase and there would be noloopholes, dodges or escape. Government would collect all taxes and this would becentrally dispersed, for use in construction, education and the provision ofbasic services as stated above.

Politically, only small changes are necessary as withinour current system we do have the checks and balances in place which can caterfor what needs to be done and how it is done, it just needs streamlining.

Introduce a qualified franchise voting system wherepeople would have multiple votes based on what they have, who they are and howhard they work.

People would have a vote for owning their own home, forhaving a job – or being a business owner or shareholder – for their qualificationand for their level of education. This would negate the possibility of either afool - elected by fools - or a megalomaniac becoming all-powerful.

Such as system – the details of which could be worked outby a committee of academics, economists and others, learned people qualified todo so, much like our constitution was – would ensure stability and freedom forall within the confines of giving those who have worked harder - or are moreable - more say it in how the country operates.

Our current system is skewed in favour of the illiterateand unemployed and that should not be the ideal we are aspiring to – we need inall aspects to raise, not lower our standards. To base democracy, especially ayoung democracy, on the lowest common denominator is foolhardy at best.

I realise that the above can be called national socialism– as in Nazi – or communism but if the truth be told we are in need of a newsystem and not one linked to any other which doesn’t work for us.

Surely we should be tired by now of basing everything wehave on somebody else’s system, on somebody else’s values and on somebody else’sviews?

South Africa is different to any other country in that wehave a truly multi-cultural, multi-lingual and multi-racial land but too muchhas been ruined by neglect, by one population group bullying the others, by onelanguage group dominating others and by capitalists and others - like themining barons of old, the British and the inept and nepotistic ANC - exploitingthose incapable of understanding the differences between capitalism, socialism,communism, democracy, tyranny and freedoms of whatever kind. This continent hasbeen plagued for 50 years now by the past and it’s going nowhere. If we are tobecome the leading country in Africa we need to come up with our own ideas,values, views and strategies.

South Africa is only 360 years old – exactly, this yearon 6th April - and yet we’ve seen so much strife, so much meddlingby foreigners, so much hardship and so much in-fighting that we can’t see thewood for the trees anymore.

We need now to foster a nation of South Africans, regardlessof our races, our origins and our backgrounds or upbringings.

We need to all be South African and if we haveto start from scratch to achieve that then let’s do so with a clean slate, allof us.
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