How are you today?
Wow! Thursday already, days come and go so quickly. I’m meeting a few sad faces lately, some angry people (all races), desperate people, people who are tired and feel that South Africa is going in circles. I am going to tell you the truth from what people on the streets are saying, what people that meet me off chance say, and what I am seeing. You won’t believe it, that South African Africans are also fed up.
https://www.news24.com/Columnists/GuestColumn/life-was-better-under-apartheid-when-freedom-is-no-longer-enough-20170627 There are a series of articles when you type in the Google search engine the keywords, “It was better in Apartheid”.
Let me quickly take you on a crash history of South Africa, you can read the detailed accounts by purchasing my book The South African: True Colours based on a true story on Amazon, Waterstones, Kindle, hear the audiobook on iTunes and Apple etc. Apartheid started in South Africa in 1948 and ended in 1994. South African Africans, Indians and some coloureds were classified as “Black” later on the government gave the classification “Asians”.
It was a different life before apartheid ended, by the way, Apartheid or post-Apartheid, there is hardly anything a fifteen-year-old then can give as a comparison when they’ve left the country so young. The elders say there was (for all races) employment through contacts (Indians often say this), hardly any crime, the monetary value was better, safety, protection, banking was straightforward, paperwork was straightforward, cost of living was proportional to the wages. People knew that the end of the month and Christmas time was going to be busy. People were after equality and equal opportunity because you couldn’t open up a business and there was no way you (black, coloured or Indian) could be in possession of gold or diamond without being implicated if you did happen to come across one, however over time lifestyle and living changed along with technology, inventions and policies. Will you believe me if I tell you that there are so many South African Africans saying that things were better during Apartheid than the way it is now?
I was roughly fifteen years old when apartheid was coming to an end. If you read my book The South African: True Colours you will see that many youngsters at that age and older didn’t even know they were living in Apartheid all those years. Parents protected their children, how can they tell their children that they can have everything if they wanted, be whoever they wanted to be in their lives when they were removed and moved to segregated areas, where there were black and white entrances and their kids were never taught by a white, black or coloured teacher. The best education went according to race? If you’re South African of any race this paragraph will make you angry and we also know that not all White South Africans were well off.
In 1998 the Affirmative Action law was passed and in 1999 Affirmative Action was implemented. I was supposed to believe that I am living in a free country where the percentage of Indian people entering university is now incredibly low, dictated by race and corruption. South Africa was supposed to be a free country which in fact became a country with reversed Apartheid justified by the words “Affirmative action”.
According to this article, The issues with South Africa’s education system South Africa has invested by March 2016 R213.7 bn on education. That is more than what the United Kingdom or the United States of America spends on education, yet South Africa’s primary school education ranked 126 out of 138 according to World Economic Forum 2016–17 Global Competitiveness Report and so, of course, it does not surprise anyone that South Africa’s higher education ranked at 134.
So how bad is it? It’s worse than Zimbabwe, Kenya and Swaziland according to the above article.
While I was living in Spain, I was told say three to four years after Affirmative action was implemented that South Africa had to lower the pass mark because people weren’t making it and yet South Africa keeps building school after school after school with all this funding instead of also trying to keep the country’s standard of education up.
Currently in South Africa – Out there it’s becoming really petty
Look if you’re working in a clothing store in South Africa, a country where there is a high number of South African Africans, 2.5 % Indians etc. The majority of South African Africans employed are likely going to have to clean toilets in shopping centres, pick up boxes, etc. It’s the same in the United Kingdom; a country with a high percentage of British Whites will be doing jobs as window cleaners, shop assistants and with that, they too have to mop the floor if cleaners weren’t hired, pick up boxes even wash pots in hotels. There is a percentage of all other races/foreigners doing these jobs too, but you hardly come across them all the time or you’ll find them doing other jobs which they have been boxed into (according to culture) or the area where most of them live in. Like for example in Heathrow airport, I come across a lot of Sikhs doing cleaning jobs too. It’s a matter of percentage, ratio and where communities live (according to cultures) as I’ve noticed with Indians and the Polish.
How is South Africa supposed to level up if this is what employees have to deal with? It’s also a question of management.
Let me leave you with a question. Put yourself in my shoes for a second. When you read The South African: True Colours and The South African: Roamer you’ll understand what I mean. Briefly, if it takes so long for a person to get a job and the South African nation have to currently rely on their own people in their race to help them because Affirmative action has become another law to hide corruption how can I as a person who took a year or more to find a job, then got held at gunpoint in my first full-time job, and then left with £1300 to my name to start a life in another country empower the very country I was born in when my books do make it to the number 1 bestseller in the New York Times one day? How do I empower my own South African people when I am against Affirmative Action for the position it left me and many others like me in and still leave many people like me back then even now?
I am just being honest, many South Africans living overseas feel exactly the way I do, so how can you call South Africans back to this place? How can you call South Africans back to South Africa after letting them down so badly when they have been driven out by rape, murders and suicide of their loved ones, violence, crime, low standard of education, low salaries, abuse in jobs, unemployment, no opportunities, etc?
If South Africa does grow, and in all its history, it’s the lower class and middle-class citizens that have never felt the difference.
T. Dench Patel