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The real state of the nation

05 March 2012, 07:10

There was a time in the early ‘90s in SA when I, and no doubt many others, thought for a while that we had taken a giant step in the right direction by getting rid of apartheid – with the Nats – and creating a new dispensation for all.

The rainbow generation was going to heal the wounds of the past, create a new country where all would benefit and with Madiba at the helm we would once more take our rightful place in the world but now as a utopian society where all were equal and all would be treated equally. Face it, that was the dream!

At that stage in our history there were plenty of reasons for us to be hopeful as everything was in place for a peaceful transition: all we needed were cool heads and incoming leaders with morals, imagination, standards and the abilities to secure what they had been given, to then use it wisely and to take us forward.  

The country worked – the people worked, the economy worked, the infrastructure worked – and although - as in any other advanced country - there were both wealthy people and poor, few were starving, unemployment was at reasonably low levels and with sanctions lifting the economy was bound to take off again and create enough opportunities for all. Our educational standards were world-class and universally accepted, our healthcare facilities also, and SAfricans were feted world-wide for their abilities, their fortitude, their determinedness and their decision to change what had been.

So what went wrong?

The ANC went wrong, purely and simply.

Whilst Madiba was running the show the decline was less apparent - his persona able to harness the patience, respect and harmony needed to maintain momentum whilst the masses learned what democracy, and capitalism, entailed - and even under Mbeki there was still some semblance of responsibility and sense of duty.  That the ANC had used the unions to come to power, and subsequently retain power, was seen as a temporary measure to ensure both stability amongst the voters and cohesion within the government.  Under the circumstances, and given the hatred that existed for the Nats, this was deemed to be acceptable as long as the ANC remained the senior, governing party. After all, come elections the unions did not stand for election, nor did the communists, as they were seen to be part and parcel of the governing party but not eligible for positions in government. They were there to bring votes in for the ANC and that we could live with as long as the integrity of the state and the country remained intact.

The ANC under Zuma and his merry men however decided that “to rule until Jesus came” they would not govern as a party brought to power by the will of the majority, they would instead merge with the unions and create a socialistic state where the masses, through allegiance to either unions or party, would forever maintain this status quo. Nothing remotely capitalistic, or democratic, about this system but the masses – desperate for their share of the wealth that their leaders had obtained – went for it in a big way. This left the country at the mercy of a handful of rogues – much like the central committee ruling from inside the Kremlin - who proceeded to loot the place.

Today we have a shambolic, basket-case of a country where the gap between rich and poor is greater than ever and widening, where nothing works properly and where a low intensity war is raging between the haves and the have-nots.

The ANC have preached socialism to the masses for nigh on 20 years now whilst their inner circle have raped the country, undone all the positives created by FW de Klerk and Madiba and become opportunistic, greedy, corrupt crooks who steal from the very people who elected them, blatantly and with no regard, or respect, for the rule of law which has become just as abused.

Their bling, their power and wealth, their cavalier attitude towards the citizens and taxpayers of this once great country have made us the laughing stock of the world. We now welcome every starving African north of the Limpopo, we welcome the drug lords from Nigeria, we laud the rogue states - and their leaders such as Mugabe – we have crooks, layabouts and communists in government, we have no regard for life, we rape, murder and dehumanize babies, old women and the ill and infirm. In short we’ve become little better than thugs and barbarians, the very opposite of what we once aspired to.

SAfrica’s economy was a fragile thing when the ANC inherited it, much needed to be done to generate new industry – the mines were even then dying – and education and employment opportunities had to be the first priority as they had been neglected and without them no growth would be possible. We suddenly had a huge population who were in need of education, healthcare, social assistance, work, housing and everything needed to be upgraded, increased and improved.

Instead the ANC cadres took, took and took and now when the country is in dire straits there is nothing left for the people who have done all the building, creation and work never mind those who have not benefited at all. 

At the rate we are now going with corruption virtually endemic, municipalities bankrupt, roads in a pitiful state, general health care a disaster, education at its lowest point in our history and the rule of law ignored by the enforcers thereof as well as the lawless, we’re witnessing a descent into another madness.

It is now high time, after almost 20 years of poor governance where few have actually benefitted compared to the masses who are now less well-off, to get rid of these blood-suckers and demand that we, the people, have a say in who runs the country, how it is run and for whose benefit.

It is no good telling us how much is intended to be spent - of our money - on upgrading this and that when all we really see is infighting, wastefulness, corruption and rampant criminal activity - and that’s only amongst the ANC leadership.

We now need to see good and efficient governance, from local authority right through to national, we need to see our money going to decent teachers, to the fixing of roads, to the rehabilitation of the railways, to caring healthcare, to the building of schools and to job creation.

We do not need games being played - at our expense - in courts, in parliament and in municipalities where the winner takes all and the losers turn to the mobs for support. That is barbarism and we are supposed to be past that stage.

Jacob Zuma and his ineptitude must be voted out, people like Malema the mobster must be taken down, the judiciary must be respected – and left alone – and we need people in government who are willing to work, to take responsibility for their actions, and to provide services.

No longer must we tolerate the couldn’t-care-less attitude of ANC cadres in public service who are only there because of their party affiliations, no longer must we tolerate ANC leaders who believe that their wealth and power makes them untouchable. Those dismissed from public service for crimes should be disallowed from ever again serving the people, in any capacity, and those found guilty of crimes against the people should be incarcerated forever. Murders, rapists, child-molesters, armed robbers – all must be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law and then we may start seeing the light of day again.

Without all of us being honest, diligent, hardworking and willing the barbarism that stares us in the face will eventually succeed in replacing what little we have left and it will purely be our own fault.

I dare the ANC to stand alone at the polls, so too the SACP and the unions, and see if they can continue to hold us all to ransom with their ineptitude, corruption and loose morals. If we’re supposed to be a democratic country let us see them adhere to the principles of democracy come voting time or let them stand down and enable capable, honest and interested people to have a chance. If this doesn’t happen then I’m afraid our downward spiral is bound to continue at an accelerated rate and we are all doomed.

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