Problems that plague us will never go away

2015-10-08 06:00

JUST like the majority of South Africans­, I was amazed by the Facebook­ post shared by Diane Kohler-Barnard fondly asking PW Botha to come back.

Apparently Kohler-Barnard believes Botha offered a much better service to the public. It is obvious she is not the only one who believes this because there has been a number of people who have rushed to her defence.

This is unfortunate and clearly points back to our not too distant past.

Did Botha provide a better service to the public while he was president? For me, and all black people who make up almost 80% of the population in this country, the answer is a big “no”.

Most black people in this country were only able to access basic things like clean water, electricity and freedom of movement after 1994. The better service Kohler-Barnard and her ilk are alluding to was only a privilege enjoyed by white people who make up a tiny fraction of this country’s population.

Today I may be a middle-class professional, but in my school days I never sat in a classroom with electricity or had a book of my own.

I grew up drinking dirty river water, there were places I couldn’t walk into and benches I couldn’t sit on because of the colour of my skin.

What Kohler-Barnard misses is white privilege and by now it is very clear that the majority of white people feel the same way, judging from the number of people defending her.

I’m not a member of the ANC and I don’t believe they are saints, but what I know is that since 1994 millions of South Africans have electricity, clean water and live in brick-and-mortar houses. No other government in the history of this country managed to do that before.

The problems that plague us will never go away if we resort to making hurtful comments and posts on social media that are capable of dividing us even further.

F. Zulu


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