By Dumisa Mbuwa
As we celebrate human rights month, it is important that we take an introspective look at where we stand as a Nation in relation to realising the freedoms promised in 1994. Did we achieve the fundamental tenants espoused in our republic’s Constitution? Is socio-economic freedom finally within reach for all South Africans? Most importantly, did we manage to transcend beyond merely being given suffrage?
The less affluent communities in South Africa post-1994 are decorated with burnt roads (from never-ending protests), non-existant public services, unemployment and crime. The promises of a better tomorrow that came with 1994 were just that, promises. “Tomorrows” are really reserved for whites, the political elite (ANC/EFF), and affluent, educated, Middle Class Blacks (MCB’S) who live in leafy suburbs where neighbours smile more than they greet.
In rural areas, the populace is currently diminishing due to mass migration (especially youth) into cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg. Leaving behind vasts amount of land to be left unused, and uncared for. While the older generation that treasures the agrarian economy is rapidly withering, the post ’94 generation of South Africans are more determined to pursue a life in the city rather than planting cabbages and onions in the fields or owning a farm.
This reality is compounded by a recent study by the Institute of Race Relations (IRR), which found that 92% of Black South Africans (who account for 79% of the population) who had received free land as compensation, opted for financial compensation instead.
The study also found that 78.3% of South Africans actually want good, qualitative education (particularly for their children) and jobs over land. While only 2% believe that land will truly alleviate poverty and unemployment in South Africa.
The Land Expropriation without Compensation policy that the ANC and EFF support is clearly based on what South Africans expressly do not need.
Both (ANC/EFF) are determined to emulate Zimbabwe and every single country that has failed (like Venezuela, Greece, Spain, Cuba, and Portugal) due to delusional, short-sighted, socialist policies. Especially for its youth.
Sadly, a majority of South Africans have been academically compromised by the ruling party’s post 94 (government’s) crippling education system that renders more South Africans dead (due to depression, unemployment and suicide) than church cults prevalent in the Eastern Cape save lives.
Over 70% of grade 4 learners cannot read. 10 years from now they will be illiterate, eligible voters.
How can they not when a majority of South Africans not only do not know about State Capture, even though its prime villain was former president Jacob Zuma, who is being charged for a legion of crimes by the National Prosecuting Authority.
This should come as no surprise especially when only 15% of South Africans actively read (a majority of whom being whites, particularly white women), and only 5% read to their children.
This is in addition to over 70% of the country’s children being fatherless and raised by single mothers, aunts, children, grandmothers and neighbours, in overcrowded households where poverty and suffering are common.
Is it any wonder then, that a majority of South Africans still vote for the ruling party, even though all the latter has done was to annex them into more, extreme poverty and suffering?
Anything that resembles hope in South Africa is slowly diminishing by the way South Africans no longer view themselves as a collective and have embraced indivudality, a concept foreign to traditional African values. Especially with president Cyril Ramaphosa pretending to be a genuine social agent, when he is yet another ANC leader that is bent on devaluing whatever is left our country with the same vigour he uses to fake jog.
The pathway to rebuilding a fallen nation like ours begins with a deep need to look into the mirror and ask ourselves: is it not clear that South Africa is in a far more dire position now than it was under racist Apartheid? That realisation is key in mobilising the people to make the Constitution a living document and not an aspiration.
The hour for us to cross the Rubicon and reclaim the South Africa that was promised to us has finally arrived.