MyNews24: Zille, Madonsela miss the point

2019-06-03 11:08
Helen Zille. (Getty Images)

Helen Zille. (Getty Images)

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I think that both parties (Zille, Madonsela take up tea-time to discuss all things privilege) have missed the point to the extent that they cannot hope to be reconciled.

I have three reasons for my general comment.

The first is that they are avoiding the need to face facts, to grasp the mimosa thorn, so to speak.

Equality in any situation other than in the eyes of god, perhaps, is a myth. Everyone is their own person who can elect to associate with others of similar philosophy/belief for mutual support in groups that have a general nature. One such group is of those who do not believe that they can control their own destiny; that their fortune good or ill is caused by spirits ('ntokolosh) that demand tributes through self-appointed representatives (sangomas). Another such group is those that believe that they are on their own and that if they don't look to their own needs, no one else will.

The first are peculiarly, but not exclusively, African, and the second are typically, but not exclusively, Asian. Western culture is a compromise, with the main emphasis on self help. This concept has to be agreed before there is any chance of solving South Africa's social problems.

The second point, in two parts, is land ownership. The first is the anecdotal observation that there is no country in the world in which 80% of the population owns 20% of the land. In the densely populated countries on the north coast of Europe, it might approach a 50/50 split, but nowhere else. The second is that until the government of South Africa is able to include the tribal trust lands in the area for redistribution it is ignoring the most iniquitous example of land exploitation in the country.

The third point is that there are statistics, statistics and damned lies. Compound  interest is a case in point. Whether you compound over 10 or 20 or 100 or 344 years, what you get is the cold comfort of a payout in a worthless currency - Zimbabwe is my witness.

There is no answer to South Africa's problems for as long as its citizens blindfold themselves to reality.

Basil Clayton



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