Thursday, May 7, 2009

The king has new clothes

We have a new president in South Africa, the ruling party for good or bad, is the African National Congress. My view of the president is not  a happy one. I don’t have a see  a bright future or that there will be a change for the better in governance. President Zuma, to me ,as an ordinary white African,seems an already corrupt individual .Who through delaying tactics , promises and threats made too his cronies in power, managed to get out of the reach of the law by his manipulations. Likewise ,certain people should not have been allowed to be members of parliament . Because of the current laws that rule who qualifies to be a member. For one ,Winnie Mandela, already convicted of crimes and is very likely  directly involved in criminal activities in the past but was never brought to book for them. That is my view , maybe I am mistaken.
President Zuma President of South Africa Mr Zuma

A fixed term president we have got ,but who in his own eyes is a king. Not a figure head of government, but the ruler of this land’s people. A Robert Mugabe in the making? What do I feel is wrong with South Africa? Well I believe that the health and wealth of a state is governed by it’s belly. The encouraged urbanisation of the rural peoples by the ANC, to increase the voting numbers of city areas more in their favour, is gradually going to work against them.Less food is being grown by those who will be consuming it.  An urban population has to be fed , housed , given the functioning  needed infrastructures to allow them to develop and succeed. Living in cities needs a certain type of sophistication of having a marketable skill in order to earn money. That skill must be in demand and the wages sufficient to provide for an individual and his family. Taking a person from  farmlands ,where even though he may not receive a good salary but can feed and cloth his family and put a roof over their head and provide for a future. Then encourage him to into a city with promises of wealth , where apart from the labour of his back and in competition with many others he has no skill. Where there is a housing shortage, a decreasing chance of finding  a living wage, an over stressed and under funded city infra structure  . This is asking for trouble. Unable to grow or provide food , or a place to live , these people are at risk. 
The shear numbers of people flocking to the cities is forcing shortages. Food prices are increasing as the urban load increases demand . The salaries offered is reduced as labour supply exceeds demand vastly. Over crowded, damp filthy living conditions are causing illness. The already overstretched public health system is imploding due to high administration costs, lack of qualified health workers. Due to spending and not planning for the future the national power grid is nearly in melt down. It is alright providing for electrification for all but it needs to be planned and paid for by all. It was never free and was always behind demand for supply. The sewerage and water system is also almost beyond recovery. You can only force so much effluent down a pipe in a day and those pipes need to be maintained and replaced. They are not. New built up areas are just tacked onto the existing system and new water supplies are only an after thought as the dams run dry. Because the cities are doubling in size every ten years, the road systems are inefficient and out of date, maintenance is not done properly and the roads are eroded by ever increasing traffic.Public transport is often non existent and already overloaded.

Education is also in distress here.  There are 11 officially recognised languages used in South Africa. More often than not pupils are not taught in their home languages. Partially due to insufficient translated text books in subjects. Non qualified teachers, languages that have no comparable native words or insufficient technical words. Also because English is considered the language of commerce and of educational excellence ,children are taught in English. Not spoken by their parents they become strangers of language in their own homes. Having to learn from a book, ideas and concepts beyond the education of their elders. They receive no help.

This lowers the speed of learning , but the schools cannot afford to go at a progressively slower pace.The only solution that has been found to allow these pupils to move on further through education is to lower the exam standard. To make higher education and universities open to them standards of entrance for the previously disadvantaged is lowered.

This forms a vicious circle where increasingly under educated people are teaching or being the instructors of those coming after them.  This is not the case for all Africans, as in every people there are some bright especially talented individuals who will unfairly be pulled down by the others.

For all it’s faults  the Bantu administration education system worked. The qualifications were regarded as the same as those of the whites in the apartheid structure . Under funded ,poorly equipped it was ,but it could have been  kept and brought into the modern system as a working functional entity. Modernised and properly equipped. It was after all the medium through which the present ruling elite were educated and went on to further education else where.
The one thing that will pull this country down is the we are owed mentality that pervades Africa. Blame is always laid on colonialism. The world owes Africa because of the past and that you don’t have to work to get anything.  If it isn’t free and you want it it is alright to steal it, because everything is due to your being previously disadvantaged. If you wait and complain long enough you will be given it for nothing ,is what the young African of today has grown up to expect in South Africa.

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