The funny thing about my homeland – “Affirmative Action”

IMG20200111WA0006 1.jpg I received this picture from a contact recently showing a quote from the London Times, a popular famous newspaper. It discusses a concept being introduced here in South Africa called “affirmative action”. Welcome to a banana republic, if ever there was one. Fortunately I like bananas and have nothing to lose by this process, since I own no land and am a digital nomad, where the whole planet is my home, particularly the beach – and that is free public property and always will be.

Nevertheless, the concept of “affirmative action” is a political plan by the ruling political party, who have been in power since the dawn of Nelson Mandela’s New South Africa over 25 years ago, to repatriate land (read confiscate) from certain land owners, and claim it for themselves. The wealth-generating sector of society was originally the whites, under the illegal and immoral political regime called Apartheid in the old South Africa. And most of the private land is owned by commercial farmers. So I understand the desire of the new regime to want to take it away from those white farmers.

However, the ironic thing is that although the government does give some of the land to previously disadvantaged sectors of the population, in the form of little houses built on the land, or perhaps even gives a farm to the workers who served a master there, the government also keeps most of the land for themselves. They already are the largest “owner” of land in the country, and the new land that they are desiring will also be controlled by them – much like a communist state. It is not given away to private ownership in the form of handing over title deeds. It is kept on the books of the government, or so I’m told by a friend who is a professional land surveyor, who works on contracts for private and government projects.

The truth is that South Africa is basically a communist state. This is because the ruling party of the land is actually a “tripartite alliance” comprised of three political parties, namely the ANC (African National Congress of Nelson Mandela), COSATU (trade unions) and .... the SACP (South African Communist Party). In other words the Communist party is one third of the ruling political alliance in South Africa. Add to that the fact that we are probably controlled by China nowadays, as the smallest member of BRICS, and you have a communist rulership, albeit by democratic vote. Such is the nature of a post-apartheid society where the masses were brutalized by the capitalists and gold-diggers of the west – literally and figuratively - for a couple of generations in the previous century.

Now the ruling alliance want to impose “affirmative action” which also means land reclamation without compensation. They want to go the route of Zimbabwe and simply take the land away from the private commercial farmers who own so much of it. Initially it was going to be land reclamation WITH compensation, where you were forced to sell your land to the government, but at least you would get a fair price for it at the going rate of the day. But now even that is up for review, as they consider just taking it, confiscating it. The problem is that this will obviously chase away international foreign investment, without which the country will suffer even more. Also, the local disenfranchised workers have shown themselves to be incapable of farming. Or of running a large commercial farm that is meant to feed the masses. Any farm land or farming implements given to them freely by the state, usually gets run into the ground, goes to ruin, and the metal is sold off for scrap. It is a farce.

There is an inability to maintain systems that are already set up and running smoothly. Even at a huge government level, the state owned enterprises, like the national airline (SAA), the national power supplier of electricity (ESKOM), the national defense force (SANDF), are all bankrupt. They survive due to bailouts annually to the tune of billions, like a bottomless black hole, while the cost of power to the masses goes up dramatically. This is due to massive corruption and basically looting by the politicians and their cronies or cadres who are made managers, supposed to run these industries. Banana anyone?

As a result we only have power for 20 hours a day now, while we are obliged to suffer power cuts for the other four hours, like clockwork every day. At least they have co-ordinated the power cuts and warn each town in advance as to what their time slot will be for “load shedding” as it’s called. And it seems to be here to stay. Besides that, in a country with emerging drought conditions, our water supply infrastructure is losing 30% of water from the dams as it gets lost on the way to the cities due to eroding pipes. The functional systems handed over to the New South Africa ruling Tripartite alliance were never maintained and are now falling apart. Man cannot live on bananas alone, but must have drinking water. We took our tap water so for granted all my lifetime, but those days may be running dry, thanks not to drought, but to ineptitude at maintaining what was a functional water system.

And so a new word has emerged to describe our situation here in South Africa - “ineptocracy”. It looks like a darkening future, and a dry one. At least the sunlight, beaches and fresh air are still free and abundant. No one has claimed ownership of those...yet.

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  • @badseedalchemist

    Thank you for sharing this. It is a reminder not to take the things that we have for granted. I'm sorry for your countries state. There doesn't seem to be a lot of room for hope in this post, although I'm not blaming you for that. If anything I would blame your government. I do like your outlook on the beauty of nature and the beaches, though. At least we, as humankind has not screwed that up entirely yet, and I am glad that you can find some solace there. Good luck to you and your country friend. Do you see any routes for positive change? Or do you think it is basically a crap-shoot until banana clip revolution (maybe more than once?)

  • @porters

    Thank you for updating me on the state of your country - a very sad state it is! We hear very little over here in Canada about what is happening in South Africa so I very much appreciate your update. How fortunate that you have a lifestyle that is least affected but it always rises a point of helplessness on the peoples sides when there is so much corruption and greed in the ruling government. It brings to mind Anne Rand's book Atlas Shrugged where there was a break away society that had the knowledge and ability to build up a sustainable society so they left the other to the corrupt greedy bureaucrats which soon bought that society to ruin and went off to build there own once more.

    I love what they are doing with the Eco-villages thru @eco-alex and @orlev where they are reclaiming the land and disrupting the *cost of living * industry. Kind of balances out the negative with some positive action!