We had a Dream, But Now the Dream is Gone
We had a dream, now the dream is gone, dead.
There was a time when we had a dream, a dream shared with men like the late Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu, Steven Biko.
We had a dream of a South Africa where all the people of this land were free and equal. A dream of a land where opportunity depended not on the colour of ones' skin or the association with a religion or ancestry.
When Nelson Mandela stated "Never again will this beautiful land experience the oppression of one group of people by another" we believed the dream was reality.
We had a dream that lasted through the worse times under the old regime. Those of us who believed in this dream endured discrimination for our beliefs, persecution and hostility from the enforcers, spoke our minds in fear of reprisal.
ANC is Now A Racist OrganisationNow today, what do we see? We see a swing towards many of the worse aspects of the old NP ruled SA; ever rising increases in legislated racism - the latest highly discriminatory "empowerment " legislation" is a good example of where Zuma's ANC wants to head. It's a return to Verwordian style apartheid, where opportunities will exist only for a select group based on race and nothing else.
This is only the latest policy based on racial discrimination supported by Zuma's ANC. Other laws already exist, the ANC plans to introduce even more.
Zuma's government has moved far away from the principles set by leaders like Nelson Mandela that this correspondent voted for in 1994. The idea of voting for today's ANC is as distasteful as voting for the Nationalist government would have been in the 70's and 80's. It's not an option decent or thinking people can consider.
A Far Cry From Madiba's ANC
It's hard to believe the same organisation that stood for equality for all, non-racialism, and conducted it's affairs mostly with honesty and integrity is the same racist ANC we see today.
We never thought we would see the day the ANC would become a racist organisation. The ANC today is an insult, an insult to Nelson Mandela and all that he and his colleagues stood for.
ANC Failures, Fact and Fiction
ANC Failures, Fact and FictionFact: When the ANC came to power in '94, it faced many problems, not the least was a bankrupt economy, and inflation levels as high as 28% per year. It faced large scale housing shortages, poor standards of living, lack of basic services for a large percentage of the population.
A Fact: In the first 5 years the ANC led government brought inflation down to the lowest levels seen since the mid 1970's, under 3.5%
A Fact: A number of vital government services were radically improved, e.g. Revenue Services which had previously been dominated by "jobs for cronies" and was a nest of inefficiency and ineptitude. Further down some agencies with a poor reputation for customer services like the telephone service were improved.
For a while, we saw a small drop in unemployment, and an improvement in the standard of life for some.
A Fact: In the last 10 years of ANC rule, and especially since Zuma became the head of state - it's become hard to award the title "president" - unemployment levels have risen to the highest ever.
Poverty has increased - it's a fact; the very poor have got poorer. Yes, some are now in far better circumstances than before, but they remain a minority.
The number of homeless people is higher than it ever was. All one needs to do is pass through any town or city margins to see the masses living in intolerable conditions.
If we look at Khayalitsha on the borders of Cape Town we get an idea of the problem. A problem so bad busses taking overseas visitors from the airport to their hotels in the city detour nearly 40 km to avoid the highway route, so visitors don't see this as a first impression of the country.
A Fact: When the ANC took over in 94, they inherited a national infrastructure that worked. Main routes between economic hubs were up to developed world standards. Communications and power systems worked.
Example. Power outages were virtually unknown - they did happen of course - maybe once every couple of years. and when they occurred, were usually fixed quickly, in less than 4 hours in most cases. A blackout lasting longer than that meant an extremely large problem
Compare this to the situation today when blackouts happen weekly in many cities and urban areas.
We can discuss the reasons at length - it's enough to say too may new connections were made with no plans to increase supply capacity. We will never say every citizen should not have access to safe power, but who except the terminally incompetent doesn't consider what can be provided.
We can point a finger at the lack of maintenance - it seems no-one understands the need to undertake routine maintenance, leaving things until they break. The there's no-one with the skill and ability to make the repairs. Roads are falling apart, except for the profit making toll roads. (Most of which anyone used to European toll roads would refuse to pay to use)
We won't even talk about communications. A ten year old visiting from the USA recently asked his grandmother if the net was broken it was so sow - that's the normal state these days.
A Fact: We must lay the blame on the ANC for failing to retain skilled people in all fields, instead pursuing a policy of empowerment at any cost. After the initial "chicken run" of the early '90's, mostly before the '94 elections, when many (white) people fled the country believing their days were numbered. Since then few have left unless forced to do so to find employment where they can use their skills.
A Fact: Many people today, I mean those who have never before wanted to leave, those who still don't want to leave, find themselves giving serious thought to leaving. The reason skilled people are leaving this country today is nearly always economic.
A Fact: When educated, trained skilled people cannot get work because the job is reserved for a particular race group, we can only point a finger at Zuma's ANC government for their race based policies - there's nowhere else to point the finger.
Fiction: The ANC blames every predicament it faces on the past.
It's one thing to blame everything that is wrong today on the iniquities of the past. Zuma's ANC does so constantly. Everything that is wrong, every failure of the ANC is blamed on the past.
Twenty years after taking power it's hard to see how everything wrong today is the result of the old regime. In fact it's no more than an excuse, an eye-blinder to divert the attention of poorly educated citizens (the main voter support base of the ANC) away from the parties failures.
Abandoning Traditional FriendsA Fact: Zuma's government has disregarded the long standing friends of this nation, the countries that took a stance against apartheid, the countries that were aour traditional trading partners, the bread and butte rof our foreign trade. I speak of course of the Western nations, America, United Kingdom, Western Europe
Instead his party has favoured dealing with nations in the far east and eastern Europe - with nations with some of the most appalling human rights records.
It' not so long ago South Africa was considered THE champion for the human rights cause, the nation looked at as a shining example. We can no longer hold our heads up as this same nation. Zuma's ANC has failed miserably to take a stand against abuses in Africa, China and elsewhere.
A Fact: These nations have no regard for the well being of South Africa or it's citizens. They seek onlt opportunities to dump poorly made goods on a willing market.
A Fact: These nations are not the friends Zuma's ANC thinks they are - they seek only to build their foothold on this continent, no matter the cost to our citizens
ANC Failed to Achieve Goals
After 20 years, the ruling ANC government has failed miserably to achieve nearly all of it's goals.
While the very-rich continue to get richer, the middle class has got progressively poorer in the last 10 years while the poor find themselves worse off than ever.
We can look at the high crime rate affecting all communities. Normal people live in fear of crime. They don't venture into our beautiful countryside, don't step outside at night unless in large groups. Children run in fear from armed gangsters. Old women and children are raped in their homes and elsewhere. Farmers are attacked for no apparent reason, thugs commit murder and grievous assault to steal a cellphone.
If we remove the serious crime, especially violent crime from the equation we can see a lot of so-called petty crime is situational. People find themselves with no other options.
It's a terrible thing for a son to see his mother starve. What does this son, daughter, father. mother do when unable to find work, not even fair pay work, just work that pays enough to buy a loaf of bread a day. The answer my friends is simple - they steal, the do crime.
We do not apologise for their actions, condone their criminal activity. But we understand their plight.
Not enough members of the ruling cadre today have experienced the desperation of hunger for themselves, had dependents and been without shelter for children or parents. They will say they suffered and were deprived under apartheid, were persecuted for their desire for freedom.
But were they in dire-straits, very unlikely.
ANC is ResponsibleIt's not the wrongs of the past that is the cause of the ANC's failure. It's the ANC themselves who have to accept responsibility for their own failures.
They must answer to all citizens for the state of nation today. Without pretending things are a lot better now than before. Zuma's ANC must admit to their own failure.
The party members involved in corruption and underhand dealings must step down. Their leader should resign, if for no other reason than respect for the memory of Mandela and other leaders of his generation.
They must step down out of respect for all those who died, sacrificed all or part of their lives, were persecuted for wanting freedom and justice for all. The ANC today dishonours all people who suffered in their cause. And these people came from all groups of our multi-ethnic nation.