The world is changing fast and to keep up you need local knowledge with global context.
This morning Alec Hogg wrote about Brazilian economist Edmar Bacha, who used a mythical country called Belindia to explain his nation’s challenge. He described Brazil as akin to a merger between a small first world island of prosperity like Belgium with a country possessing a sea of poverty, like India. He then looked at how South Africa is another pronounced example of Belindia. Its history has left us with unique challenges which can only be overcome by sensitive, authentic leadership. Not by the current fashion of incentivising political entrepreneurship, a process which turns its Belgians into easy targets for plunderers and cronies. Off the back of this Biznews community member Barry Davies sent in a response that expresses his thoughts on the current challenges. He believes South Africa is at a crucial turning point and if the wrong choices are made, it could lead to another Zimbabwe. Barry looks at BEE and likens the policy to a common day form of racism. It’s an interesting piece that’s sure to stir a debate. – Stuart Lowman
By Barry Davies
Why is South Africa so hung up on racism?
The short answer is because our current government needs us to be.
The millions of South Africans who embraced the concept of “A Rainbow Nation” inspired by a social genius, Madiba, have been tricked by our government.
A well-qualified South African is replaced by a barely qualified South African based on the colour of his skin.
A job is reserved for people of a certain skin colour.
Government will only do business (tenders) with people of a certain skin colour.
Sound familiar? It used to be called Apartheid. Now it’s called BEE, for the current version just add more B’S and E’s.
Apartheid was an affront to human dignity and social justice, morally corrupt.
We are told that BEE is different. What rubbish and double talk is this?
It is exactly the same, a system based on the colour of a person’s skin. A morally corrupt system. An old saying “2 wrongs don’t make a right” springs to mind.
Yes the inequalities of Apartheid must be addressed but find another Morally Correct way of addressing past wrongs. Upliftment is the answer.
Education must be the first, build from the ground up for a solid foundation and not from the top down as is the current situation. Surely it would be of greater benefit to the country by having new schools, bursaries, computers and trained teachers than expensive fighter jets that we can’t afford to fly. (The arms deal/swindle)
Use the country’s current skills to supply national needs and to train the next generation. A situation where a person is employed for what he/she is worth and not for the colour of his/her skin.
BEE has proved exactly how morally corrupt it is. It is slowly and steadily destroying our economy and robbing our children of any chance of a future. A system that has allowed the politicians and their friends/family to become hugely rich at the expense of the rest of the South African people. (See Alec Hogg)
Yes, the current government would like the people to sit and argue about racism and the colour of your skin because we then lose sight of the non –service delivery, Guptagate, Nkandla, Nenegate, fancy cars and overseas trips. All signs that the politicians are getting rich while the people get little or no benefit. Divide and rule!
When racist laws are passed (BEE) and racial quotas, that are set for everything, are accepted by South Africans as a just system, the dream of a “Rainbow Nation” will never be realised. (The previous Racial System failed and so will this one… eventually)
Race or skin colour is only an issue if you make it one. Choose not to see South Africans as Black or White but as South African, like any nation some good some bad but all South African.
There is enough wealth in this country for all to have a reasonable standard of living; it should be available to all South Africans who strive for it, irrespective of skin colour.
My hope is that there is enough emotional wealth in this country for us to put aside small issues, like race, and realise that a better future is available to all if we work and live as one common Nation. Proudly South African.
The real problem is a corrupt government sowing seeds of dis-unity while bankrupting the country and robbing us all of our future in a “Rainbow Nation”.
Cyril Ramaphosa: The Audio Biography
Listen to the story of Cyril Ramaphosa's rise to presidential power, narrated by our very own Alec Hogg.