Betrayed by my country, but I don't want to jump ship

2020-01-29 11:04
The writer says he feels betrayed by what's happening in South Africa. (iStock)

The writer says he feels betrayed by what's happening in South Africa. (iStock)

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I am your average middle-aged man, but I feel younger.

I am a simple man.  I live a modest life. I love a good laugh, I love sunshine and I love good wine.

In South Africa I get all of these things in abundance.

I have a wife I love deeply and a son who is the only star in my night sky, the reason my universe exist. They come first. All day and every day.

The expropriation without compensation saga is simply the last straw.

I have watched on as the ANC have persisted with their failed BBBEE and EE policies, when international investors have clearly pressured for an environment with less red tape and a more productive labour force.

Who wouldn't?

No sane person would set up shop in South Africa under these conditions ... and the world market is the most competitive game of them all.

Now, many have left, taking their jobs with them. Even "our own" Anglo American and Sasol have all but given up on us.

Investec is following suit.

I have watched as corruption and nepotism have eaten away at our society like a cancer and the body is now shivering with pain, ready to collapse.

I have watched as our currency has slowly become worthless.

I have watched as our very lives  have become worthless.  

I have watched as state institutions and state owned enterprises have been ruined and our state coffers have been emptied.

I have seen how our watchdogs have become a laughing stock.

We have all witnessed the particular ineptitude of our Public Protector, an "agent of chaos" in her own right.

It is, however, the Human Rights Commission which grieves me most, jumping at every opportunity for sensation like a disgusting, cheap tabloid.

Dragging a swollen eyed, grieving mother to the place her son had recently died, for a photograph that belies the very empathy they supposedly stand for.

Yet, they are nowhere to be seen when the sticky subject of farm murders and calls for genocide threaten to tear our people apart.

Whether these claims are true or not is irrelevant.  They should be there for those who feel most affected, offering a shoulder to cry on, a warm heart and a compassionate ear.

The SAHRC, in my average-Joe eyes, should be a bastion of what the New South Africa is supposed to stand for, protecting and caring for all. They have failed horribly and worst of all, they don't seem to care.

South Africa is teetering on the brink of total collapse.

You have to be an incredible optimist not to realise that.

Companies are struggling and worse, our state debt is nigh un-serviceable - one in three of us do not have employment and those that do often cannot work, because there is no electricity.

Make no mistake, the ratings agencies are scratching their heads on whether to downgrade us to junk status or to skip directly to leaking styrofoam cup status.

Security in ownership translates to security of investment. Period. The mere fact that the ANC is even entertaining the idea of expropriation without compensation is beyond ludicrous and has, in itself, caused almost irreparable damage.

Going through with it will strip us of our last ounce of credibility. It will impoverish the entire country and by default, the entire continent.  

I feel utterly betrayed by my country. I don’t want to jump ship. I love South Africa.  I live a modest life. I love a good laugh, I love sunshine and I love good wine. In South Africa I get all of these things in abundance, but I have a wife I love deeply and son who is the only star in my night sky, the reason my universe exists. They come first. All day and every day.   

Jaz van der Westhuizen 

George

Read more on:    bbbee  |  jobs  |  corruption  |  economy
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