South Africa on the Slippery Slope!
It came like a shot in the dark that South Africa fell into the hands of thugs, thieves, looters, alleged Jacob Zuma supporters, disgruntled hungry citizens and angry people. Today, city upon city is under the yoke of these elements and it is clear that the South African Police force is out of depth and with the deployment of the army, the presence of awe has yet to manifest itself. Cry! The beloved Country, yes cry the beloved country because the once icon of peace is now the spectacle of chaos and looming anarchy. The time to act is now. Can South Africa save itself from itself? South Africa appears to be under the nihilism of an orchestrated plot to overthrow the democracy and to establish a new order of kleptocracy.
South Africa is more than two decades into its democracy that was ushered in with a seamless panache that suppressed the underlying problems that were ripe for violent revolution. It was the triumphant leadership of late Mr.Nelson Mandela through the CODESA talks and the eventual transition from a government of National Unity to a fully fledged independent ANC government. The scene was set for an upward trajectory that had inspired investor confidence and provided the impetus for a new South African century.
The century was just too far too see the project of the next African renaissance’s success because corruption became the business and political skulduggery led us into this nefarious situation. In the main the micro and macro economic plans began to quiver under the strain of badly executed socio-economic policies. This is a reflection that the government has made toddler steps in establishing growth and investor confidence. The 2020 Euler Hermes report is very interesting and full of warning signs. The warning signs are so clear and it is very surprising that it has been ignored. Here is one part of the report:
- Rich natural resource base (gold, platinum, chrome, manganese, vanadium, coal and diamonds).
- Key strategic economic and political player in the region
- Judicial and business environments aligned with advanced standards
- Exchange rate flexibility helps to cushion external shocks and the central bank has an established track record of proactive and credible policy stance
- Deep financial markets and a sound banking sector (overall ample liquidity, good asset quality, satisfactory capitalisation)
- Dramatic deterioration of public debt ratios because of the activation of state guarantees to SOEs
- Large budget deficit because of growing wage bill, public debt interest payments and transfers to loss-making SOEs
- Structural issues weigh on potential growth (low productivity, public sector inefficiencies, skilled human capital shortages, weak competitiveness) while product and labor markets remain highly rigid
- High dependence on volatile portfolio investment flows to finance the current account deficit
- Underinvestment and aging infrastructure (energy and transport) limit the development of a diversified industrial base
- High poverty, income inequality and unemployment (above 30%) are sources of social tensions
In pictures this is how high poverty, income inequality and unemployment looks which strengthens prejudiced views:
As I sit here writing this article, my heart is pounding with anxiety because the looting is becoming insuperable and the violence internecine. Our honourable President addressed us and he expostulated that the chaos we are witnessing is not tribalistic or ethnically driven rather, it is the asinine acts of criminals which is crippling food security, economic security and social security. Mr.Ramaphosa, our President looked sad and worried about all of us because he understood that the behaviour our people, who chose peace of civil war to bring in democracy today, chose noisome actions of disgust that shamed our national identity as the rainbow nation. I just felt that he should have deployed the army, instituted a state of emergency and set tight curfews. What his actions reflect for me is a telling sign to criminals that there is no consequence for criminal activity yet; there will be no severe retribution and there will be no push to rope in instigators. His arguments and reasons for the chaos we see in my view were not irrefragable but, I kept the 2020 Euler Hermes report in mind so that I do not lose sight of fact that his members of parliament failed him. It is my view that they failed him because they refused to act on such perspicuous evidence and advice.
It was 12 July 2021, 470 days of various COVID LOCKDOWN MEASURES and I was afraid as I penned this. Afraid of what might happen later in all the hot spots or right here in my hometown. I was further appalled by the fact that 900,000 children were not successful at schooling during the 2020 academic year and; the newsfeeds showed young people looting with glowing smiles. More stodgy and asphyxiating was the news report that came as a live feed on the 8:00pm news from KZN. The Community Policing Forum representative and the news anchor mentioned that people in BMWs and other luxury vehicles came and looted the store of all appliances, clothes and foodstuff. This bespeaks of something very wrong with the South African society. Have we become voracious material beings such that we have slaked our desires with looting? This is so pejorative. I read these words on the screen and I cannot believe that it is actually happening. So what must we do?
I know that we as South Africans would not be the flotsam of Africa because I saw more South Africans refusing to be part of the criminal activity. There were so many of us condemning the wanton violence on radio, on social media and on other platforms too showing that we can rise from this ashes. It is going to take great effort. While the saga of Mr.Jacob Zuma zooms in the foreground, we are witnessing that the unprecedented chaos is larger than his jail term. We are in the jam because we have for instance, made such a fuss of schools attaining a 100% pass rate and paid little attention to this red herring:
Structural issues weigh on potential growth (low productivity, public sector inefficiencies, skilled human capital shortages, weak competitiveness) while product and labor markets remain highly rigid.(2020 Euler Hermes report)
Our schools began churning out A symbols and Bachelor passes, which is a good thing too, but it overshadowed the skills market and therefore, we have 900,000 unemployed youth. Do the math and you will see that from the 1 million plus that wrote the NSC exam, higher education in the country had space for roughly 100,000! The point I am making is that you had 900,000 youth out there feeling useless and hopeless and they became the fodder for the criminal element in society. It is not surprising then to see them become the rebrobate looters of today. We need to revisit our schooling system again and find out how we can make more pupils employable and skilled when they leave school because, if we don’t, the 900,000 of 2020 will be met with the 900,000 of 2021. The debate on this is huge and the space cannot handle it here. However, I will say that each school, like prior to 1994 had an academic stream and a trade stream which leveraged all kinds of potentials in all kinds of children, needs to be revisited with an intent to reinvent it in context of of the 4IR. When we finished grade 12, the trade schools were a good option because skills were ignited in younger years. Today, we are on tutor frenzy because, higher education has become so over rated that we have blindfolded the children to the vastness of careers that have sprung up on the www.
The www has opened vistas of opportunities but, it requires skill and focus because the competition is so great. I ponder on this in light of the chaos I witness at this time and night and insalubrious taste in my mouth. It is the feeling that we have a generation of youth soaking their caprice in wanton inactivity whilst the child in war torn Yemen and Syria as examples, are struggling but not giving into criminality and wanton acts of violence. This is striking! The people of Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Libya and Khasmir with all their issues have not looted, burnt, pillaged their own land. Their land was raped by foreign forces and devilish allies and they are trying to rebuild and to revive. What is wrong with us? Is it the culture of entitlement that has enveloped us? In a way it is and I think the stalwarts to fought against Apartheid will have strong words on the current state of affairs and it will be nothing short of being full of snide remarks and observations.
My observations were captured by this but it resonated no meaning anymore because of the wanton looting, violence and inept police force who shot live ammunition into crowds marching peacefully earlier in the years gone by. Today, we see video footage of some SAPS members looting and in the main taking no decisive action. I was captured by this and I tried to refocus, which I think was redeemed as the words filled the page. Here is it:
1 to 31 July
In July, South Africa celebrates former President Nelson Mandela’s birthday. 18 July has been declared Nelson Mandela International Day, but as South Africans we embrace the chance to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s life for the whole of July. This gives everyone the opportunity to heed the call to action for people to recognise their individual power to make an imprint and change the world around them.
A global movement for positive change begins with small actions. As each person acts, they fuel momentum toward positive change, raising awareness and expanding the reach of Mr Mandela’s values – fighting injustice, helping people in need and practicing reconciliation.https://www.gov.za/NelsonMandelaMonth2021
I slept with a heavy heart and got up earlier to pray to Allah, the High the Great for help because this situation with people shows mindlessness. In the stream of consciousness I could not get this two contrasting images out of my mind all because they reflect criminality in two ways that shocks the senses. It shocks the senses because it tells you how we, as human beings have become in the race for domination. The constant asking of probing questions as to why the wanton looting goes on in South Africa left me catatonic. Decent South African citizens and oppressed people the world over are catatonically affected by dehumanising fatigue and are looking for a saving grace in the leadership of people they trust. It is tough. The two sets of opposing images that plagued my mind and induced a bout of insomnia are:
Mr.Jacob Zuma faces 16 counts of corruption, racketeering, fraud, and money laundering, accepting a total of 783 illegal payments. Zuma pleaded not guilty in May 2021. The couple on the right enjoying their looting spree. You are a criminal if you stole. The status does not allow you to sin and steal differently. The political quagmire has turned us into cretinous beings. Faugh!
Insomnia is not a curse when it comes at a time like this because you have reason to occupy your self mindfully with acts that make you feel good and less rarefied. It connects you with the suffering of the people who lost their businesses and more. The effect of the looting spree and wanton violence caused the South African currency to dip to very low levels and investor confidence was shattered because of the ignominy the situation created. Yet, the Israeli currency and investor confidence does not waver. The question is why? I think that when there is sophistication in your crimes against humanity, you have a status of a victim that needs constant world sympathy but, when your crime is feckless like the looters of South Africa you are condemned to the trash bin. In reality both are scum in deed and should not be given the light of day. This is what gave me sleeplessness because we are not, as a collective people of the world, the means of the stultification of oppression in all its forms fairly and justly. We, in our selective morality, pick and choose our victims and when mayhem like this happens we look for sophisticated answers when we had to begin by putting criminals behind bars and not take sides. Today, the citizen has become the protector of lives whilst the greater arms of government power are subdued into a political quagmire and don’t have the might to stem out the evil.
Perhaps the evil of the world is too much to condense here like the invasion of Iraq on a lie and my opinion is not the proclivity of the ordinary. I say this because, ‘conventional opinion is the ruin of our souls.’ However, the point made is that our current situation on the global trends of oppression, corruption and chaos is the harangue that leaders have to listen to and; take charge by calling a spade a spade. They have to stop the menace of social engineering and give criminals what they deserve i.e. the death penalty or begins bars with no parole. Life is just as sacred for the citizen that will lose his sleep to protect the lives of others because of wanton looters and criminals.
Criminals have taken control of our lives and the law has become impotent. It is us, the global citizens of the world to condemn looting in all its forms and to say to the world enough is enough. Cry, the beloved country South Africa who at this hour is under the rage of criminals and an over stretched police force that is now aided by the army. I think as a way forward as individuals we should do seven things so that we improve individually. There is something quantum in the collective change of one individual at a time. Like the ocean, one drop began its existence, one of us can change the destiny of humanity. We have to believe that. The seven things, we should do is what my friend Yawar Baig taught me. They are:
What will I do? I will follow the 7 Keys to Success – Yawar Baig.
1.Connect with Allah (swt) and Nabi Muhammad (s)
2.Take Risks i.e. be action orientated. Concentrate on the CASUAL & COMPENSATING LOOP.
3.Focus on what you control and influence.
4.Analyse objectively and face the brutal facts.
5.Set extra-ordinary goals.
6.Create Road maps with milestones.
7.Relentlessly measure results – yours first.You must become the change you want to see.
This is my hope because every person is fearful of loss of any kind especially when it is violent. I leave you with a sense of hope in what we have control of i.e. your emotions and life. Yes, we must take measures to defend life an property by never with a sense of recklessness. When it has a successful plan to it, you will not cry for this beloved country. You will work for its greatness. You will work for its greatness. Our land needs us because:
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day.
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools. The way to dusty death.
Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player.
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.
Macbeth. Act 5 Scene 5