28 October 2014: 10:02am
Non-racialism is expensive
Apartheid colonialism ensured that it reproduces its unequal legacy into the democratic era. Our past is not equal and so, our present will also not be equal and I am willing to cast the same judgment about our future. This is reflected by the gini co-efficient in South Africa that is currently standing at 0.67, the highest in the world. In society this is reflected by the huge gap between private schools and public schools, suburbs and skwatta camps, public hospitals and private hospitals, universities in cities and universities in the former Bantustans, the list goes on and on. These gaps are not created by a democracy.
In South Africa you can exist without the government if you have money. You can send your children to the best schools in the land, take your sick parents to a private health care institute, pay a private security company to look after your house and safety. This lifestyle occurs in the metropolis (essentially the white community) where a standard of living is artificially high. This is supported by the instance of assets, number of cars per household, domestic assistants, swimming pools, security guards, huge green grass backyard, braai areas, staircases, dogs and so on.
To achieve non-racialism, it is the black people who must aspire to these standards and dilute themselves with white people. Black parents will have to pay thousands of rands and send their children to St Alban’s College and Diocesan School for Girls for there to be non-racialism in those schools. Black people will have to go stay in Sandton for such an area to be considered a non-racial settlement. Essentially, where there are black people and white people together there is money involved. In other words, non-racial communities are money communities. You will never ever find non-racialism in township schools or supermarkets in rural areas. Non-racialism is financially expensive.
THE BLACK PERSON DEPRECIATION
In search of this non-racial dream, black people wish to achieve that standard of living of the metropolis, and they want to do so very quickly and fast. They begin to adopt a culture of short-termism in their way of going about their business and material self-advancement. Their struggle towards quick and fast financial advancement gains legitimacy because it forms part of social change and non-racialism ushered in by this democracy as a prerequisite together with the opportunities it comes with in the political and public sphere. However, unlike their white colleagues, they do not have historical assets, and they have extended families to support. A salary of a white teacher will not have the same effect as a salary of a black teacher, if numbers in their families who depend on such a salary is anything to go by. As a result, black people rely on either debts and patronage to finance their dreams. After being deep inside this lifestyle to a point of no return, the black person tries to acquire these resources to maintain their artificial lifestyle either by hook or crook! Going up the ladder towards quick and fast financial accumulation occurs in a number of ways, including:
• Management positions in the public sector
• The university student leadership where benefits are attached with being an SRC member including kick backs for deals and contracts
• Accepting to front as a black face on a BEE deal for a white owned enterprise
• Trade union leadership that supervises billions of pension funds, even shop-stewards who influence service tenders of catering and cleaning etc
I do acknowledge the new generation of young black professionals and entrepreneurs who are rising up the echelons of financial advancement in a fair and square manner through their abilities, hard work and expertise even sometimes without affirmative action. In as much that is the case, they are only a few.
What I must also note is that these positions attained by black people to achieve their non-racial dream, they are fragile and insecure. They do not occupy them solely to transform society for the better to achieve the strategic vision of the nation. Rather, it is a matter and means of surviving and maintaining the climbing towards quick and fast financial advancement in order to fit in the bracket of a non-racial lifestyle.
by:Pedro Mzileni [columnist]
28 October 2014: 9:57am
We, African descendants, are pathetic. It’s been over 90 days since 200 odd girls were kidnapped and they have not returned. The number of girls missing is still sketchy. It’s been less than a month since the whole TB Joshua debacle and we are mum on it. Heritage Day has been labelled Braai Day. The are other injustices taking place and have been left unresolved. What do we do? We look for other things and jump onto American fads like the ALS Ice Bucket thing forgetting what is happening at home. Americans, in doing the Ice Bucket challenge, are raising awareness as to what’s going in their territory. They do not care about us Africans and our African issues! The rest of the world could not be bothered either. They are too preoccupied with what is going on in their territory; anything that is happening outside is none of their business unless it has a detrimental effect on their functioning.
South Africa, we have completely lost the plot too. We hide behind the comfort of screens facing our reality through 140 characters or status updates. We challenge society by making a mockery of a few. We have become insensitive. We don’t know how to relate to each others as humans. We treat each other as ploys to fulfil a void in our lives. We have turned our backs and the very same people who we expect to protect us. We are not loyal to our past, instead we ridicule it as the stupidity of our ancestors. We have become generic models mimicking the rest of the world, we rely on handouts and on others, we are not authentic to our customs, cultures and all other traits that make us African. We are by-products of globalisation. We essentially have become mini America prior to the big economic boom. We are in a rut filled with societal struggles that have become such a norm. We have accepted Heritage Day as Braai Day fuelling the corporate world. We accept corruption as being part of everyday life. We say what is a government without corruption? We accept crime as being part of the cycle of life and without it there is something lacking in the world. We are materialistic. We find comfort in material objects that bring us temporary happiness.
You question who am I to even raise such points and say such when I am a product of this and that. My dear, it is not about what made me. It is about what am I doing to ensure that the next generation does not suffer such ordeals. We need to look beyond the lines of race and gender. We need to look beyond the haves and have nots and leave a legacy behind that will benefit society as a whole.
Disclaimer: I opted for this platform as a tool to free you from the slavery of the tool! The same tool that has controlled and restricted us to be nothing but statistics and market research.
By Sanelisiwe Owethu Ntabeni