25 April 2019 - The Uhuru Reporter
All our problems will be solved when we give the poor money...
I have realized in my short time on the Twitter “wokesphere” that there are going to be no easy solutions to the problems we are facing as a nation. The rampant poverty, ever increasing unemployment, highly contrasted by an increase in graduates, and a purported lack of opportunities has presented a very complex economy that not one of our “parties” seems to have a clear path to fixing.
Now, I am, personally, not an economics or a politics expert, but just another concerned citizen at the edge of an election, and I know that it's important to decide who to vote for. There has not been, in my view, a more important election in South Africa post ‘94 when the power was "restored", and the democratic voice of ALL could be heard. Alex Borraine said in his book, titled “A country unmasked”, that he thought it would take at least a generation or two to see any real result of the process of Truth, Reconciliation, and healing that was the ‘94 election. Now 25 years later, exactly one generation after Apartheid South Africa, we sit at a point of that very reflection.
There is no better place to take a sneak peek into the “new” South Africa than the “Twitterverse”. Made up almost entirely of the supposedly “woke”, the educated, the businesses, the “influencers”, political figures, celebrities, the “average Thabang”, real and fake news agencies, and not to mention us, the quasi-intellectuals, social activist, political-ideal-pushing, quite often uninformed, with very little to no experience and no real understanding, or real-world-experience political activists. One cannot even question the effectiveness of the platform for “peddling information”, and the fact that such groups of individuals choose the platform is nothing but a point of marvel.
The question though remains, “How to fix the economy and get the country going again?” And the range of answers offered by the parties is astounding, making it really hard to choose who to vote for. One may consider the ANC but the Twittersphere seems to blame 100% of our problems partly on their “socialist” approach and on the cadreship, tenderprenuership, and corruption that they say is inherently synonymous with the party. The party’s head is also under a lot of scrutinies for being labeled "the most surprised person in the country".
This has only birthed the “blame-game, bogeyman, scare tactics, and self-congratulatory" politics of the DA. The party revels in constantly bouncing between blaming the ANC for EVERYTHING, to the, “Blah Blah province is the best run province”, which has no real evidence or backing anywhere, to scaring people with the “keep X party out of Y province” or scapegoating foreigners for being a burden on our public service. The party does very little to propose any new ideas or a change in methods apart from changing the ‘guy in the chair’, let alone the fact that their stronghold province is crime central, has a high cost of living, prone to service delivery protests, and is literally single-handedly what shoots the country’s inequality coefficient a couple dozen points up.
On the other hand, you have your earthmoving parties, like the EFF and BLF. Labeled as pro-black, anti-white Marxists, the two are stirring their own pots of wonders. The BLF is infamous for their position on white people, which the EFF CIC was blamed for, but the human rights commission absolved him of hate speech. The common element between the two is what many are calling the populist idea of “black economic empowerment” through expropriating land without compensation. This idea is under constant criticism but the surprising thing is how well this is being received amongst a disillusioned black youth. This approach to some is the absolute worst as it has broken countries like Zimbabwe, but could there be some genuine appeal to it since it is resonating with so many? My only criticism being: is there room for racial rhetoric in our politics since we are building a South Africa that works for all?
The reality of the decision to be made comes back to me every morning and evening when I take a taxi to and from work. I realise, as thousands and thousands of us are bussed to and from our locations, into extremely rich neighborhoods, to work mostly minimum wage jobs, that there is a lot that needs to change. We have done too little in the last 25 years to solve the economy, alleviate poverty and improve the quality of life for an entire subset of our society. And what a lot of the parties seem to be advocating for is a way to sustain a bad situation that is heading towards absolute disaster. Our poverty has reached a point where it has become self-sustaining and this is not a good thing. We have reached a point where crime and other illegal activities are the only means of survival for a very large section of our society and this does not serve us nor the economy well.
While some pop-up, reactionary, fly by night parties like “The Cows” have come in to offer other alternatives, in my view, they offer too little to the poor. The general consensus within the parties is that we need to increase production, trade and investment to create opportunities. However, a quick look at the Atlantis Green Energy Special Economic Zone, which papers reported that it was under attack from a serious lack of skills, is telling of the poor quality of labour and skills, coupled with a lack of sustainable income, means bad employees and no buyers - and this is a threat to capital, and thereafter, investor confidence declines, even with government deregulation.
At the end of the day, the honest truth is that any party that is going to fix South Africa has to have a plan to invest directly into the section of the population that the country forgot. There has to be a plan for fixing our locations, adding skills and improving the quality of our domestic product. We need to build a real middle class. The group of society that works and buys. Support for location-based entrepreneurship and development is key to putting money in the hands of more people so that the “markets” can truly be open, and not exclusive.
Honorable party mentions are GOOD for trying (maybe a little too hard) to be the all-around good guys, and ATA for literally being the only party I have seen campaigning in my location.
The Uhuru Reporter - @capeuhuru
The Uhuru Reporter
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