South Africa - Ouch!

Catching Up - History repeats itself!

We live in a funny old country.Only 16 years ago Nelson Mandela was still in Prison on Robin Island.Apartheid was breathing out its dying Gasp.White South Africa was about to move forward to a new untested formula of a non-racial South Africa.A governement of national unity - power sharing, a new constitution in the making

Fast forward (a bit) Nelson released, multi national (read multi-racial) elections. new President, new constitution. No bloodshed (although this was predicted by a few die hards - called "bittereindes" in South Africa). We win the Rugby world Cup. We win the Africa cup of Nations (soccer) we do quite well in the World cup soccer reaching he knockout stage (quite an achievement)

.We are the Rainbow nation, the darlings of the world.

Then fast forward a bit more, a dose of reality, Black empowerment becomes a fact of life. This is supposed to share wealth and give those oppressed souls from the past an opportunity for upliftment.Redress the wrongs of the past. Land repatriation based on historical land claims. Reality is that a few become very wealthy, but nothing really changes for the masses. We have unprecedented economic growth. Markets grow, all looks good.

Many South Africans who left South Africa at the beginning of New South Africa are returning home - somewhat of a diaspora.

More reality! Corruption, arms deal - Tony Yengeni jailed. Minister of health is an aids denialist while aids ravages South Africa's youth. Manto Thsabala advocates garlic and beetroot as treatment instaed of "dangerous" anti-retrovirals! Shabir Shake jailed, Jacob Zuma implicated and indited for corruption.Jacob zuma charged with Rape. He is acquitted but admits that he had consensual sex with the complainant (who is HIV positive!). Never mind, he took a shower afterwards.

Polekwane conference - the same Jacob Zuma elected president of he ANC (the ruling party). Th President Mbeki becomes a 'lame duck" president. He persues 'quiet diplomacy' while Zimbabwe has an electoral crisis of note. Mugabe refuses to give up Power.

Next problem Electricity crisis Eskom the sole power provider can no lnger meet demands for power. Our economic growth, new homes, businesses real estate development have pushed us to a point where power demand exceeds supplier. We introduce a new concept - rolling blackouts country wide to reduce load - load shedding (see my hub on this topic). High crime, unemployment at the lower end of the scale. Poor border control. influx of migrants from Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Anger from the locals. Xenophobia and xenophobic killings. Migrants are protected in makeshift camps whilst tens of thousands return to their country of origin.

Why does this sound and look like prewar Germany. are many of th problems similiar. Lebensraum victimisation prejudice and finally war!

Is history not just repeating itself? I hope not

Comments 36 comments

Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Fascinating hub, Sixtyorso. If the South African government were smart, they'd put some money into researching and implementing alternative energies. This would not only provide the needed energy, but jobs as well.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa Author

Yes They are looking. An experimntal wind farm was opened in the Western Cape last weekend. People are being encouraged to build new homes with solar panels. Eskom have done research on pebble bed reactors and a new nuclear power station is planned for in the next couple of years, but this is too little too late and will take years to catch up


About-The-Home profile image

About-The-Home 8 years ago

You paint a frightening,disturbing and worrying picture of South Africa.

Surely it has some redeeming features?


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa Author

It has many redeeming features. great outdoors, wonderful scenery, some lovely people.Cape Town and Johannesburg are world class tourist destinations. I was merely pionting out that the euphoria is gone and South africa has grown up rapidly to face the same sorts of reality that exist in other countries. I still live here and  not taken the chicken run but reality is there unfortunately.


solarshingles profile image

solarshingles 8 years ago from london

Sixtyorso, thank you for painting the South African reality, today. Yes, history is repeating throughout the all history of mankind. 'Historia magistra vitae', says old Roman saying. History is the teacher of life. A man is a very corrupted being. ANC (African National Congress) leadership are just the last prove for this statement. Their mouths are full of nice sounding populist words, yet their hearts and deeds are on the greedy money side. A few years ago, they were the poorest of the poor, today they are the richest of the rich with Jaguars, Mercedes and BMW, while their own population is starving. What a hypocrisy. South Africa is a very sensitive political creature, considering number of nations, cultures and number of languages. As any very young democracy it is very vulnerable.

Decentralized renewable energy is the most viable option for such a challenging country. SA natural resources are truly immense, and there is enough solar energy to power all Africa, not only SA. By my own personal experience with nuclear power plants, I firmly believe that SA in current moment should not build a nuclear power plant, because it is simply not enough politically stable. Highly radioactive nuclear material is simply far too deadly dangerous substance to expose it to any possible predictable high risk. (sorry, for my long comment, but I've met some truly wonderful people from South Africa and they all speak so many languages).


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa Author

You certainly have an admirable grasp of the realities in South africa and your comments simply enrich this hub of mine

Thank you


abouttravel profile image

abouttravel 8 years ago from Barcelona, Spain

Like many countries, these are worrying times for South Africa. On the one hand it wants and needs to grow and attract businesses, tourism and international finance. On the other hand it does not have the infrastructure to cope with the demands of its people.

What will be the way forward for this beautiful country? I truly hope that it will not slide into the predictable morass of other African nations. It has come so far in such a short time since Nelson Mandela's release from prison.

It is hard to see who will have the strength and committment to take it forward. I feel it is unlikely to be enriched by Zuma. What they really need is another Mandela who commands respect from all factions of the community.


solarshingles profile image

solarshingles 8 years ago from london

I think, it is about the leadership and the management skills. You simply cannot create a skilled manager to manage whatever business activity, overnight. Yes, you could change the president and the ministers just overnight, but you could only dream about the continuously good results/quality/responsibility.

Once, I'd studied some military clashes in very close proximity to RSA (also involved RSA military a bit). More about that topic is nicely written in the book Executive Outcome. The statistics clearly shows how very devastating has been lack of basic technical and managerial skills and basic responsibility about any business activity, considering any infrastructure installation/factory. And we should also not forget that the very same applies for the institution of the SA government, as well.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa Author

One hopes. cometh the hour cometh the man?

Thanks for commenting once again - a rich vein of enhancement to this hub


JazLive profile image

JazLive 8 years ago from Decatur

Several communities in United States found themselves invaded like Iraq -- when a group of people organized themselves for prosperity, that does not include the government; the prosperous community is disrupted -- the most recent example is the community in Texas, where over 400 children were taken from their homes based on a hoax caller; who claimed that under-aged girls were forced to marry and have children.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa Author

Yes JazzLive life is like that envy jealousy and greed are only 3 of the deadly sins but are the elements which lead to all problems!

Thanks for reading and taking the trouble to comment


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 8 years ago from California Gold Country

I've read about 4 of your hubs so far, all fascinating and enlightening. South Africa may be Africa's hope., while there still is hope. I think most people in N. America know too little.

Your techical expertise can be helpful to many people. You have a rare combination of life ecperience, knowlege and writing ability. Looking forward to reading more.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa Author

Rochelle Frank Thanks for your very flattering comments. I have always believed in South Africa and I find that our problems and challenges no different to the rest of the world. We have just had to experience everything at an exponential speed compared to say the USA.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

I feel it is interesting to see your country and my country are very different, but also similar in many ways. Racial prejudice is still alive and well at the moment here in America, even though we have come far we still have far to go. One thing I always found so hypocritical growing up in a small community was how many wealthy residents said they were in support of securing the border, but they knowingly hired illegal immigrants to work on their house and garden for them. I actually wrote about this topic for my college entrance exam because to this day that always sort of disturbed me. Of course I believe people should emigrate legally, but I find it interesting that illegal aliens are willing to do jobs most Americans would not want. This is a very hot topic, so not exactly like your country, but we still have our issues with equality and race. Good hub!


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa Author

SweetiePie. Funnily enough many wealthy South Africans are also hiring illegals to do gardens and housemaid work while calling for stronger border control. Even more similarities! The fact remains that locals then feel deprived even though in some cases they are not prepared to wrok for what the illegals work for, hence the mob violence and xenphobia. There is also a laissez faire atttitude to the illegals in that police do not arrest illegals for being illegal, but will arrest (and deport) them if they are caught in the commission of a crime.

Thanks for reading and commenting.


Marisa Wright profile image

Marisa Wright 8 years ago from Sydney

South Africa is a beautiful country. I spent three years in Swaziland and remember travelling the Drakensberg, the Garden Route, the Cape - wonderful.

I remember being shocked to find that the Swazis treated Indians very badly indeed. I thought, surely a people who have experienced racism would go out of their way NOT to be racist to others? Not a bit of it. I think there was a sense of "getting their own back" for wrongs that had been done to them. This is not an exclusively African trait - unfortunately I think it's just human nature.

The troubles in South Africa are a combination of inexperienced people suddenly being handed power, people who've been wronged seizing the chance for revenge, and an African culture which sees nepotism as a virtue, not a sin. I wish I knew the answer!


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa Author

Marisa you are absolutely spot on. The cultural differences are the real issue. despite these South Africa has come a long way. However, we need to face reality too.

Thanks for reading and commenting.


ColdWarBaby 8 years ago

History may be the teacher of life but the student has thus far failed to learn the lesson.  The cycle has been repeating since time immemorial and shows now signs of stopping.  The wheel continues to turn, crushing everything in its path.  The difference now is that the effect has become global rather local or regional.  Rather than destroying one or two nations, this time, the wheel may crush the entire human race.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi ColdwaWarBaby

Thanks for your comment which only serves to emphasise the point. I live by the maxim history repeats itself but not neccessarily by getting stuck in the past.

Thanks for stopping by and taking the trouble to read my hubs and comment.


franciaonline profile image

franciaonline 8 years ago from Philippines

It's good to keep returning to your site. Incidentally, I remember, it was just a couple of weeks ago that Nelson Mandela celebrated his 90th birthday. I still remember 1985 when I was in Ireland for a short course. Being there, I had the opportunity to join a civil society-sponsored concert with "Free Nelson Mandela" as the theme. It was a powerful moment. We all wanted the dismantling of apartheid. But after one big structural issue like apartheid solved, there are still other issues that never die. For my part, I have now accepted the fact that we will never reach that elusive utopian moment in one package. Our glimpse of the utopian dream is our active participation in social transformation effort.It's enough that I am a participant in a Utopia that is a work in progress.

South Africa's dismantling of apartheid is an inspiration not only to us,Filipinos, but also to every freedom-loving citizen of the world.

franciaonline


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi Francia thank for stopping by and commenting. Yes we have achieved miracles in 14 years and yes we have many problems to solve but we have a great bill of rights (constitution) and have never had a civil war. One must not forget the good things too.Mandela is the shining light of South Africa in a way our own Ghandi or Mother Theresa.

thanks for stopping by and enhancing my hub with your valuable comments.


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA

A fascinating snapshot of your history as a country...we are all struggling against the same things; corruption, greed, dishonesty and patriotism...and the few against the mighty.

sigh. What a thing that unites us as people. thanks for sharing the view with us!!


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa Author

Marisue

Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Much appreciated. Our similarities are often our differences too.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

G'day sixty, I worked in you beautiful country for 2 years in the early 70's, and when I left to return to Australia I felt that the transition of power would not be without bloodshed. 

However I was very happy when this did not eventuate and from where we are sitting there appears to be a relative harmony between the different peoples in SA.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi Ag thanks for stopping by and commenting. I think if you visited now you will find quite a difference. Obviously, living here, the changes are harder to see as they take place over time (like growing older!)


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

sixty I don't know how old your avatar photo is but my guess is I could spot you a couple or three years. Do they still make Mainstay over there? Nice drop!


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi Ag I am 61 and the photo is about a year old. We still have Mainstay Cane spirit here. I am more of a beer man (have to limit that these days) and latterly I enjoy my dry white wines and the new generation Rose wines made from red grape (not the sweet stuff - ugh).


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

G'day mate , I've just hit the big 70 myself, and I only tried that Mainstay a couple of times. WOW!!!!!

Being a diabetic I have to watch what I drink, preferably a nice light beer with a bit of a bite. We have one over here called "blonde" which is not bad!

I'm not much of a wine drinker don't mind a late picked semillon?


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa Author

HI Ag Still got a few to go to get to that milestone. Semillion is good too but a little sweet for my taste


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

Sixtyorso- I was researching alternative energies and found this link where solar energy is being tried out. Hope you guys have the electricity to supply all the gold and diamonds before my marriage is due next year..LOL

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,325705,00.html


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa Author

Countrywomoman have a look at my hub on electricity load shedding http://hubpages.com/politics/Electricity-Load-shed for a discussion on this topic. The electricity situation in South Africa is very troubling.


muley84 profile image

muley84 7 years ago from Miami,FL

There is an old saying that lawmakers make laws that benefit themselves. It is also true that most folks seek political power, not for what they can do for their countrymen, but for themself. South African politicians are no different than American politicans.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

Muley Too true! Of course now all charges against Zuma have been dropped and he has been inaugurated as the 4th President of the Republic of South Africa. The "bloodless coup" has ben completed and a mostly new cabinet appointed. At first glance this is mostly leaning a bit left.


prziloczek profile image

prziloczek 7 years ago from Wisbech, Cambs, UK

I am not so sure that Weimar is a fair parallel myself. More perhaps Zimbabwe or (God forbid) Uganda.

We in the UK have our power cuts to look forward to when the Global Warming fiasco has closed down all the power stations. (Would you believe that people could be so silly?)

And, like you, we are busily growing an under class that has nothing at all except really unruly boys in murderous gangs. Luckily, at the moment, they are limited to night time generally and they also like to congregate away from the "civilized" parts of this tiny country.


prziloczek profile image

prziloczek 7 years ago from Wisbech, Cambs, UK

I am not so sure that Weimar is a fair parallel myself. More perhaps Zimbabwe or (God forbid) Uganda.

We in the UK have our power cuts to look forward to when the Global Warming fiasco has closed down all the power stations. (Would you believe that people could be so silly?)

And, like you, we are busily growing an under class that has nothing at all except really unruly boys in murderous gangs. Luckily, at the moment, they are limited to night time generally and they also like to congregate away from the "civilized" parts of this tiny country.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi prziloczek Thanks for your thoughtful comments. The parallels area amazing!

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