Offside - Independent Writer at Africanism Magazine
Cowards get strength from fellow cowards and Africa appears to have given birth to cowards. They prefer to destroy than building. Building is not for cowards but is for the brave. A continent is built from blood and sweat of its youth; but this does not apply to paper tigers. The cowards have called for the statue of Rhodes and other white educators and leaders to fall. Not in any way the writer is advocating that the statues should have remained, but if they wanted them to fall, then the question is what were they replacing them with or if it was necessary to replace them at all? When they statues were falling, if South Africa had young blood tigers, they would have built something to replace them. Their argument was that the statues reflect the past, apartheid, white supremacy etc. What they conveniently forget is to come up with the replacement symbols that will reflect the current and future that they wish for, black power. They would have worked and proposed a symbol to reflect the current and the future. Now they have nothingness. There are many African academics and scholars they could have been proposed to replace or erected side by side with the apartheid statues. The statues are symbolic value and students cannot claim that they don’t have value. If they didn’t have value then why destroy them.
The 2015 fees must fall movement in tertiary institutions in South Africa reflected the entitlement mentality. They just wanted to receive and receive. They were not mentioning (loudly for that matter) the unwillingness to repay from students that were financed and benefited from institutions like NEFSAS (or similar programs). There are droves of students that benefited from government study loans and they are currently working. In a normal society, the beneficiary should pay back the money to boost the coffers to support the falling fees. There is no question that education should be affordable. There is no doubt that the less privileged should have affordable education. But the education cost will be easily affordable if all stakeholders play their parts. The failure of the education institutions and government were clearly highlighted during the protests. The missing critical leg of students paying back the study loans received was glaring. It is obvious that government lacks monitoring and collection methods. If there was commitment to South Africa from the beneficiaries of study assistance, the monitoring and collection methods did not have to be perfect. Reasonable citizen will realise that s/he was assistance and find it in her/himself to pay back the loans so that they can assist other learners. Unfortunately, Africans lost the spirit of Ubuntu. Africans are naturally considerate but the invasion has changed that culture to the culture of selfishness.
While South African learning environment was recovering for the shocks of fees must fall, then the cowards wanted Afrikaans to fall. Instead of fighting for their African languages to be added as a medium of instruction, the cowards want to destroy what was built by someone else. The previous protests were somehow justifiable but the “Afrikaans must fall” lacked logic. It was just lazy, ill-informed individuals trying by all means to avoid studying. Instead of finding a way to introduce other African languages or one of their choices as the third medium of instruction, they wanted to destroy the existing. The excuse is that Africans have too many languages, and the question would be which one to choose. Who said South Africa cannot introduce all languages as medium of instruction? This is the indication of limited imagination from young South Africans. The other contributing factor is that they are not proud enough to push their own languages while they envy Afrikaners that managed to build their own. How was stopping Afrikaans from being medium of instruction would have helped them. Or how is it affecting their academic progress. The argument is that Afrikaners are doing well academically because they are using their mother tongue. Maybe the English must write in Afrikaans and Afrikaners must write in English to avoid language advantage. It is not like blacks were being lectured in Afrikaans. The argument that if they don’t have their own language as medium of exchange why Afrikaners should have their own is sound. But if the Pretoria and Free State Universities requested to add one more language, the protesters wouldn’t have known how to respond.
In its simplest form, the idea is to get the youth to focus on building than destroying. They need to understand that they have responsibilities towards building a country to what they want it to be. They clearly have the energy which appears to be misdirected. Protests by youth are necessary, however at times they should not focus on self-interest but the interest of the country. They should always provide alternatives and propose solutions that include a pledge to contribute/give back something for every concession they receive. They must keep in mind that their actions will have long-term impact on their future. Their actions today will determine their future.
Sometimes political and racial rivalries will lead wasteful destruction and devious efforts to undermine the development of South Africa. Everyone will agree that significant co-ordinated efforts between black and white is still far off. But counter proposal from Africans is required for every change that they need to make. They shouldn’t destroy for the sake of destroying. The challenge is that foreigners are not willing to extent hands in peace and give back what was stolen. First on the table, as every politician will tell you, it will be the transfer of land.
Because South Africa has experienced a glut of horrendous protests, it is true that following the protests, South African leadership will start paying more attention to youth in tertiary institutions. Ultimately, is the responsibility of leadership to give attention the youth, engage them to understand their challenges and what they are willing to sacrifice to get what they want? Regular engagement will results in cleaner changes and attract interest from youth to change from destroyers to builders. Destroying the existing infrastructure will only take South Africa backwards.
It is now unclear after the protest on what the next step would be. There are theories that they are being used by foreigners to destabilise the country, have they achieved what they wanted. To cover up the real challenge Africa is facing, extreme poverty. The theory is that foreigner are initiating and funding these protest as a distraction the country from the real issues. They make Africans to continuously put out fires and not focus on economic development. Irrespective of the resolution, no significant follow-up will happen. Government would add a little more grants into student funding and the country to continue accumulating foreign debt.
The community service delivery protest and fees must fall protests could have been game changers if they were followed up by action from students. Once the government settled protests, they should get pledges from Protestants on what they commit to do in exchange of what they are getting. Otherwise these protests just become a spread of poison which could wide spread and lethal to the development of South Africa.
Even thou the economic and education transformation process seemed to be getting somewhere for the past 20 years, black and white rarely paraded common ground. There was never a vision for a cooperative future after the sunset clauses were agreed on. It is not possible that South Africa could have had a common cooperative vision because the transitional negotiations were concluded on the terms of foreigners and not South Africans. The compromises were pro foreigners; hence 20 years later, the peace resolutions are coming undone.
Ideally, foreigners with billions of rands in African resources should have sat down together with the legitimate owners and plot joint ventures to ensure that at least half of the stolen wealth is returned to rightful owners. Instead, they decided to be greedy and hold on to their stolen wealth. This meant South African peace transaction was factitious peace. Credit to the foreigners, they outsmarted Africans and found a way to hold on to their stolen goods for a little bit much longer. The outcome of the negotiation resulted in increased poverty amongst Africans and soaring welfare spending to pamper over the cracks of the negotiations. However, African negotiators had to compromise to get peaceful resolution. If was left for the newcomers to push for more concessions, but instead they were chasing unsustainable tenders and nice time. Instead of focusing on taking the economic struggle forward and focus on building sustainable businesses, most of youth focused on their entitlement mentality. They even fail to deliver quality service on those tenders. Poor service is one of the factors that are causing decay and proves that most Africans are intellectual and culturally destroyed. Most of white people give their comrades a tender/contract; the comrade will make sure he/she delivers.
Political leaders’ settlement during the political transition had limited benefits to Africa as reflected in frustration from students and communities. The country’s leadership is failing to address inequality and service delivery to ordinary people.
ANC will retaliate with its own marches against DA/EFF alliance if they win election in 2019
Offside -Independent Writer at Africanism Magazine
The Democratic Alliance (DA) protests on Friday, 07 April 2017 were protests by apartheid beneficiaries against democracy. It was strange to see apartheid beneficiaries, with their black servants, protesting against democracy… but hey, South Africa is a democratic country, right? The protests follows on the heels of their leader, Helen Zille‘s comment praising colonialism: that it was not all bad. The turnout for the protests proved that indeed colonialism was effective in colonising the mind of Africans to an extent that they will march alongside the people who stole their basic right – their land.
The interesting challenge is that the DA protests against democracy and comments embracing colonialism put unnecessary pressure on their alliance partner, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). The EFF, through its Chief in Command Julius Malema, regularly demand urgent meetings with the DA leadership to discuss their continuous racist statements and action. This is a minor challenge between two partners that are funded to distract South Africa. They will find an effective way of promoting white capital monopoly as long as the West is funding both parties to work together to continue economic colonisation of South Africa.
DA led marches are standard tools that the West uses on poor nations – they create short term problems through the media, fund them to popularity, and encourage poor nations to use solutions that will have long term negative implications. A recent example is when the USA funded the project to give the Office of the Public Protector more power, while London provided legal resources to the EFF. The problem they wanted to resolve was to allow the office of the Public Protector to charge President Zuma with corruption over Nkandla. The Nkandla case was a short-term problem; however the power given to the Public Protector’s office, is permanent. It is not clear if EFF comprehended that Thuli Madonsela was not a permanent public protector and that the future public protectors could potentially abuse the powers given to that office.
The march was the beginning of a trend that will destroy South Africa. This will lead to people not accepting election results. The oppostions want to remove the leader they did not vote for. It does not matter if the protestors had legitimate reasons to protest as they were exercising their democratic rights to protest against government. The firing of Pravin Gordan (the pharmacist and promoter of supreme Western economic status) appeared to be driven by the President’s personal motives. Unfortunately it is politics and they are personal. Pravin was a political appointed by Zuma and he could be reshuffled as the President wished - that, is politics. President Zuma had exercised his powers as bestowed in him by the constitution of South Africa.
Consciously or subconsciously, the Friday protest will lead to retaliation from the through its own marches against DA/EFF alliance led municipalities. Protests like these will become popular, and worse, if ANC lose the 2019 elections , they may not accept the election outcome and we all know where it will lead South Africa. This new trend will grow, take shape and be used by people with wrong motives. Rest assured, it will be one of the most frequently used tools by self-serving politicians .
President Zuma is a short-term problem for the DA and EFF, and unfortunately, the opposition are using long term solutions that will destroy South Africa. The challenge is that they are getting their funding from the same source and the President is moving the cheese from West, East and Russia. The two organisations are under immense pressure from their funders to remove President Zuma to maintain the economic cake in the west.
Unfortunately, they are creating long-term problems for South Africa
South Africa must stop paying SASSA social grants
Independent Writer at Africanism Magazine
The model of grants in its simplicity is not good for South Africa. South Social Security Agency (SASSA) grants must be replaced with Expanded Public Works Program (“EPWP”) stipends. South Africa must revise the current grants system and channel these grants towards supporting EPWP, which must be expanded to include community economic development activities.
The current structure of social grants simply creates and encourages a culture of laziness. The able beneficiaries of the grants are unemployed, and they should rather earn stipends for achieving predetermined hours per month towards a community development project/s. South Africa must apply a principle of no community project involvement, no stipend. The beneficiaries will actively demand projects in their communities and this will advance community develop, and that is what is desperately needed by South Africa.
Social grants beneficiaries are for sale
Politicians are using grants as a carrot for votes and unfortunately the stick is poverty. It is understandable why politicians want to keep the majority in poverty. They are afraid that once the poor can be economically empowered, they will become independent and their votes will not be guaranteed. Political leaders are failing to respond to rising youth unemployment, instead of developing sustainable solutions, they keep on advocating for increased social grants. They tell the poor what they want to hear - that the grants (more especially child support grants) should be increased. Promoting the current social grants system is reactionary and anti-revolutionary, is a clear indication that they do not care about the poor and the country. If they cared, they would be proposing cultural regeneration. Cultural regeneration will only happen when people earn what they deserve instead of charity. Every South African must be given an opportunity to earn a living if they contribute to the development of the country. It does not matter the quantum of their contribution, the main measure is that at least they will be contributing towards developing their communities.
Nearly 20% of South Africans have been put in extreme poverty since democracy. The number of South Africans who benefit from social grants has more than doubled over the last 20 years. Politicians are destroying the country by putting more and more youth on social grants. They are converting potential economic engine into charity case. The reality is that South Africa cannot afford to be a welfare state.
Cost of distribution
The whole tender mixed-masala of 2014 and 2017 between SASSA and Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) about the grants distribution contract should have given South Africa a warning that the current grants structure is not best for the country. The method of distribution is expensive and corrupt. South Africa has a network of economic cluster departments (i.e. Agriculture, Rural Development, Economic Development, Trade and Industry, Developmental Funding Institutions, Public Works etc.) that can be used to distribute the stipends, there is no need for a private distribution company to make billions by distributing the grants; those billions could be saved and put into community projects.
SASSA as a standalone institution is wasteful and must be incorporated into the Department of Public Works or Independent Development Trust (“IDT”). Contractors provided work through government tenders must employ a certain minimum number of workers from EPWP.
Furthermore, the method of distribution also has negative psychological effects on the nation. South Africa is psychologically damaging South Africa by paying the grants through social development. The source of the funds may sound insignificant however social development represent charity and that supports the entitlement mentality that we have developed as a country. Beneficiaries of social grants unconsciously feel like they are charity cases and they stop trying to earn a living and they become choosy. Converting the grants to EPWP will boost confidence and pride of the beneficiaries and will motivate some to develop businesses out of the program.
Unlike the current EPWP structure EPWP of temporary work for the unemployed to carry out socially useful activities, the new stipends should be permanent. In addition, the program must be expanded to include all economic activities in communities. The proposal is that people should not just be given money but they should earn it. Productivity of those activities is another story. The principle is that the stipends must be earned and it must be increased from the current level because beneficiaries will be contributing towards economic development activities.
The current EPWP provides an important avenue for labour absorption and income transfers to poor households in the short to medium-term, the proposed program should provide economic development opportunities and EPWP Projects must employ workers on permanent basis in economic development projects.
South Africa cannot continue to promote a nation that is sitting around waiting for social grants. Government should develop projects in each community. The key is to get beneficiaries to be economically active; the value contribution of these projects will be assessed at a later stage as long as the beneficiaries are moved from receiving grants to earning stipends. Imagine the economic impact if social grants beneficiaries are paid stipends to make bricks, tiles, hydroponics, aquaponics, running community retail shop, cultural villages etc. These economic activities will revitalise rural economies.
Our achievement in the field of poverty eradication, by any measure, is pathetic. The social grants are not necessarily bad, but their structure does not meet the need to economically liberate Africans from poverty. Social grants may have helped marginally, but it is misleading to use social grants as a yard-stick for measuring economic progress; it does not help South Africa to focus on fictitious poverty reduction policies, instead it should focus on genuine economic development strategies. Social grants are making poverty look slightly better, while in reality is hauling Africans deeper into poverty. The EPWP will get South African economically active and economic inequality will be narrowed.
Communities must be granted power and resources to initiate and implement their own community projects. Government must just be a monitoring agent that ensures that only deserving projects are allocated funding. South Africa should target a significant percentage of social grants to be spent on projects that create economic activities in communities. The program must encourage better trade between communities to improve economic activities between communities. Money should circulate in communities longer than it currently does. This will stimulate economic development in poor communities. South Africa will lift the bottom into economic activities and the economy will be developed from bottom up. The bottom should be a priority.
Perpetuation of entitlement mentality
The current structure of the social grants perpetuates the culture of Africans expecting things for free, the mentality of entitlement as if the world owes us something. South Africa should encourage a culture of people believing that they can lift themselves out of poverty (with, of course, a little encouragement from government policies). Government should sponsor economic activities to create an economic ripple affect amongst poor people. South Africans must develop a culture of achieving more with the little that they have. Social grants may have worked in some countries, but that is not what South Africa and Africa needs.
Independent Writer at Africanism Magazine
South Africans have a tendency of criticising other people’s initiatives from an arm-chair, and I am one of those. However, those who wish not to be criticised should not broadcast misleading private initiatives that are design to abuse state resources for selfish reasons. They must just do what they have been doing for many years; silently exclude Africans from accessing white capital. When it comes to economic issues, South Africans are not as ignorant as they had been (so I believe), they are starting to see through silly strategies like this. The SA SME Fund is to advance white capital monopoly but disguised as something that South Africans must embrace.
Apparently, Africans must be happy with initiatives like this because they have positive impact on the economy, while in reality the promoters of this initiative are just gambling and burning cash that they swindled from the poor Africans to advance white businesses. The focus of the articles is not on their money, that they earned by exploiting Africans, however on their audacity to propose that government must match their R1,5 bn fund that it is mainly earmarked for minority. The country already has Small Enterprise Finance Agency (“SEFA) and National Empowerment Fund (“NEF”) which have limited capital. The focus of government and black executives should be to recapitalise these institutions rather than condoning exploitation.
The initiative to support SMME is great however it must not be disguised as a social initiative to support the economy while it is clear that the initiative is designed for white empowerment. The primary objective is to ring-fence funding to grow white capital and reinforce economic slavery of Africans. The support of the economy is incidental. The call to Government to match the R1, 5b is unfortunate and unnecessary. If the government supports this initiative, it will be continuing to formally promoting institutional racism. The government funds, if available, should be better used to recapitalise SEFA and NEF, and not wasted to promote white power. If they cared so much, their miraculous interventions must be directed towards expanding existing institutions, instead of creating a start-up. Claims will be made that government institutions like NEF and SEFA are ineffective and corrupt. The reality is that they are similar to white financial institutions, the likes of ABSA, FNB, RMB, Investec, Discovery were built out of corruption, comradeship and cronyism, however because they are white, it is called network.
The target market of the fund is established businesses that are already supported by Banks. South Africa is in desperate need of funding to support start-ups, and not expansion capital. Banks are already doing it, so what is the song all about? Anyone can do expansion capital while start-ups require commitment and a soul. The initiative clearly excludes start-ups because by targeting start-ups, the majority of applicants would have been Africans and it is not their target market.
The distribution of the funds will be done through existing fund managers “because they have experience”. The truth is that the promoters of the fund want to empower their own. The disguise this by claiming that they are looking for experience fund managers. It is known that white is equal to experience and experience is white. Efficiency is white. Scalable businesses they are referring to will be white.
It is noble to think we are not racist, but the reality is that everyone is racist. A white CEO (leadership) will consciously or subconsciously be pro-white businesses. It is normal to look out for your own. The promoters of the fund made their intentions clear by appointing a white old CEO. The allegation that the initiative is led by Jabu Mabuza does not make it pro-African, and the black executive supporting this fund are just tagging along with their masters. The promoters of the fund saw an opportunity to empower their own by leveraging on government funding in the name of SMME, jobs and the economy.
The promoters of this initiative are making the money by servicing and exploiting the poor and they must be treated like heroes when they invest back the money that they swindled from the poor. Even if others may claim that they are not making money by servicing the poor but their clients or the clients of their clients are marking money from servicing the poor.
Government participating in this fund will be an endorsement of continued exploitation of Africans. The presentation of the fund is appealing, the lipsticks are fitting. However, government participation in this fund will be a seal of approval that Africans are mentally colonised. They endorse obvious colonisation strategies.
The initiative is brilliant, however the point is - if private sector wanted to do good and work together with government, why not recapitalised the existing institutions or otherwise do it on your own without calling for government to contribute.