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Hey Roy, I could have it totally wrong... but unfortunately, having been born and bred there, having lived throught those awful Apartheid days, having worked in the media industry reading and listening to every horrible story about the unimaginable violence and crime against all sectors of the greater SA community (not just one ethnic group) for several years, I know how potent events like this can be.
It doesn't take a lot to polarise the still fragile SA Tensions run high, crime is still out of control, real poverty is still the reality for the vast majority of the population and they're right - not a lot has changed for the better for so many people besides the fact that they can now vote.
I don't and didn't mean to sound superior - it's just I know the country and it's cultural nuances, and it ain't all pretty Of course, I have friends and family in SA who seem totally blind to the realities around them, living as they do in their posh houses in exclusive gated communities with security guards and razor wire fences... Ironic innit
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Quote: real poverty is still the reality for the vast majority of the population and they're right - not a lot has changed for the better for so many people besides the fact that they can now vote.
Last time I was over there we visited Cape Town......travelling from the airport into Cape Town was certainly an eye opener. Apparently the shanty towns were to be moved away from the worlds eyes before the World Cup and people were to be re homed in brick built dwellings ..........I'm not sure if that has actually happened.
...when you see where and how the majority of the black South Africans live I'm amazed there hasn't been an uprising already. Its shocking....and yet they are such dignified and proud people.
Quote: I have friends and family in SA who seem totally blind to the realities around them, living as they do in their posh houses in exclusive gated communities with security guards and razor wire fences... Ironic innit
....probably a contentious comment but get chatting at a BBQ...(Braai) ....and you soon find out that God doesn't exist for the black population either...only the whites....and the scare mongering is rife.
I usually moderate the amount of alcohol so I don't jump in with both feet and spoil the party....but its laughable.
Lol @ Cathy - yep, I tend to keep well away from discussing SA at BBQs or any other social gathering as I get really sad / mad - depending on what's being discussed. I haven't actually socialised with many SA's though....
Also I find that there are quite a few English people who feel no pain being racist bigots when they find out I'm South African - as if I'm a racist by mere virtue of my birthplace. It's shocking how many times I hear that "Apartheid was the best thing to happen to SA" and that "blacks should have been kept in their place". I kid you not, heard that little nugget just the other day in a pub while talking to the landlord. I was seriously shocked cos not even the recently departed Eugene would have had the guts to say that in public
THOSE QUOTES ARE NOT MY VIEWS!! Quoting what I've heard in this here country I've settled in
Anyhoo... peace on earth for all men
In the old South Africa, did the whites get a grant or pension simply for being white? Enough to allow them to live in the exclusive gated communities. Were there no poor whites or rich blacks?
No.... SA government pensions wouldn't be enough to allow ANYONE to live in a rich gated community, then or now. There weren't any grants simply for being white either, as far as I'm aware although white schools were subsidised and black schools weren't amongst many other disparities. I stand corrected though if anyone knows any different!
And yes to your last question - there are plenty poor, very poor, and poverty stricken whites and many, many rich black people. There is a burgeoning new middle class.
There's money there, make no mistake - it's just in the hands of a minority (of all races) - no different to any other country in the world... except that SA has a first world economy with a largely third world population (in terms of poverty, lack of housing and basic amenities, cultural differences & clashes... and so on).
The problem in SA is that when the ANC came to power there were promises made - the greater electorate were promised housing, running water, toilets, jobs, properity etc... (in no particular order) and when all was said and done, despite huge efforts by the government to deliver on those promises, it didn't happen fast enough and it's still not happening fast enough. So many of those that were on the bread line then are still there, if not worse off than before.
It's a brave new world... and I have confidence it will eventually settle. I truly hope so anyway!
Judi Jakabout. Yes I to have heard many English people in the UK making comments about SA apartheid history. Do you not think they are genuine in what they feel.
I gather a lot of them do not like to see their culture being eroded by mass immigration.
Do you not think you could help making a difference in SA by living there instead of UK?
Lawrence. I think you ought to think about what you wrote, and reflect on it. Do you mean you think its OK for English people to be racist??? Do you think it is ok to be racist??? I hope I incorrectly interpreted your comments.
And what is wrong with Judy living here, I would say she has as much right as you or I, perhaps more.
Strawman do not put words in my mouth.
I definitely do not think it is OK to be racist, but also confirming what Judi has said on comments made to her. As my comments have made you jump to conclusions , I have read between the lines of Judi as saying that they only made those comments because she was from SA--- the racist country
Quote: I gather a lot of them do not like to see their culture being eroded by mass immigration.
The bigoted views tend to come from the older generation in SA...70 +....most of the SA I have come across on my last visit were embracing the change. As Judy said there is a growing wealth among the black SA...so presumable the divide will eventually be the haves and have nots.
...or perhaps they know that now they have no choice. Its is a truly remarkable and beautiful country (book a holiday there and you'll see what I mean )and most that leave must surely do so because of fear concerning the political climate....if things were more stable I'd move there tomorrow, its fantastic.
Bigoted, thats a nice word to remember, refering to my generation. The comments made to me was from under40's both for and against the new SA
I wasn't referring to you Lawrence or your generation ...I was talking about the people I have met in SA and the views of some over 70+....just an observation...nothing personal to you.
@ Lawrence - I think the people in the UK (as in born and bred here, not SA expats) that I referred to earlier feel "comfortable" sharing their taboo views with me because I'm a white South African - ergo I'll automatically agree with them as an ally. Which I most emphatically am not.
Quote: I gather a lot of them do not like to see their culture being eroded by mass immigration.
Who don't like to see their culture eroded? English people (as in UK)? Where is the mass immigration to? Confused here...
As for why I moved here rather than stay there and make a difference... eish... one lone person is never going to make a difference. And I burnt out there - I had what many many people have in SA - compassion overload. I couldn't handle the psychological burden to be honest. I was a "priviledged" white woman (only in the sense that I had a comfortable life compared to the millions who didn't) and as such felt the divide very keenly.
It's a kind of guilt that we feel - powerless to do anything. I couldn't handle seeing kids living on the streets as young as 6, begging for money so they could buy glue to sniff. I couldn't handle the overwhelming Aids problem. And on the other side of the coin I couldn't handle the thought that one day my family could be the next crime statistic. So I make no apologies for coming to the UK - it was the best thing for ME and my daughter. Maybe others have the fortitude to deal with these issues, but I had got to a point where it was leave or go on the fritz.
Oh.. and Cathy is absolutely right - South Africa is one of the most beautiful places on earth. If you can get there, go. The kind of things I have been talking about aren't obvious on the face of things... unless you read the papers! It's safe enough to travel there - just take care as you would anywhere else.
Just been reading the latest on the BBC website...... I see the nutty white folk have been shouting obscenities....
I lived and worked in South Africa for eighteen months in 1984/5 at the time the apartheid regime was starting to change. I worked for VW in Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape, VW were one of the most progressive companies and were trying to integrate the workforce, in that no matter what race you belonged to, if you could do the job you were paid the rate.
I heard many points of view about the political situation from, as it was both sides, but the thing that struck me most was the black people were very tolerant of "their oppressors" but that tolerance was not reciprocal.
I have many friends among the British ex pats, and one particular person and her SA husband are committed Christians, her daughter is at university in Cape Town and has recently acquired a boyfriend, who happens to be a black person, her parents are really upset and are threatening to disown her if the relationship carries on, so much for Christianity and tolerance, I am appalled at their attitude and have told them so.
I also have many friends who are black and correspond with one of them quite frequently, he still works for VW. He is still concerned about the way the politics are developing in SA and notes that the violence appears to be not only from the black communities but from the white population as well. He also keeps asking me when are we returning for a visit and insists that the Eastern and Western Cape are relatively safe.
As Cathy and Judi say, South Africa is one of the most beautiful places on earth, and I have many happy memories of my time there, and if the opportunity arrives for you to visit then all I can say is go, I know you will enjoy it.
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