What it means to be South African.

This a cross posting from my personal Blog - http://michael101.wordpress.com/ and is my opinion and not necessary that of the executive editor.

South Africans have always been screwed over over by whatever Government is in power at the time. This happened when the British were in control, it happened when the British were kicked out and the Nationalist Government took over. And it still happens today under an ANC Government.

When the Nelson Mandela was sworn in as President, we all had different expectations. The Whites need assurance that they would not be tossed aside, Coloureds and Indians needed assurance that they would not take a back seat to Blacks and Black South Africans looked forward to better Education, Housing and Jobs.

Today if you are serious about your child’s education, you send them to a private school or a least to a former Model C school. The Minister of Basic Education refuses to take responsibility for the scandals that plague her department, instead blames others (but never seems to discipline them publicly).

The problem with poor education is that we are creating an unskilled labour force that may not find work. Lulaway, a mass recruitment centre in Gauteng found that most of the current crop of Matrics have the literacy and numeracy skills of a Grade One student. What we have done is create a labour force with no skills in a world where unemployment is already too high.

The recent mining strikes show just how badly South Africans expectations have been ignored. Mining is dangerous, striking for a better wage is acceptable, but the recent strikes went beyond what is acceptable on both sides. Both Mine Management and Labour should have been prepared to compromise on better wages. Police should only have been armed with Riot Shields and Batons, and miners should not have been armed. What we ended up with dead and injured miners, loss of income and jobs.

But the biggest injustice that has been done to South Africans is setting the minimum wage for farm labours at R71 (keep in mind that a packet of cigarettes costs anything from R20 for twenty and bread cost around R7 a loaf) is joke. Lets see farmers and politicians live on that and still support a family.

I am not a farm labourer and I am not a miner, and I own my own Business, but a wise old man once said “Shit rolls down hill.” With more jobs lost, there is less money in circulation, which means my customers have less to spend.

So at the moment being a South African is, lets just say, interesting.

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