7 Things About Racial Tensions In South Africa You Should Know About

Race is and has always been our country’s initial root of all things damaged and broken. I’m a ‘born-free’, I just wish we were free of these fault lines running beneath the races in this country which seem to crack open at any given opportunity. So as a young, WHITE South African I have the following to say.

1. Jacob Zuma

Nkandla is probably the most blatant disregard for our democratic country and its dissociation from the Apartheid regime. It seems our “Number 1” doesn’t know much, except how to extort money from the public in every possible way. I find him extremely dismissive of any culture in this country that isn’t his own. The ‘rainbow nation’ that his very own political party fought for is no longer a priority, but an ideal of the past.

2. Julius Malema

“White people” are not an evil race; we are as much a part of this country as anybody else. Julius believes that we as whites have no place within this nation; it’s easy to forget that we all built South Africa together. As much as I didn’t choose to be born right here, in Johannesburg I wouldn’t want to have been born anywhere else.

Seeking vengeance has only one possible outcome for us: Our democracy’s demise.

The ANC didn’t trust this man; the most dishonest politician in our country deemed this man criminal. So he started his own political party – The EFF –should we vote for him and end up funding his extravagant lifestyle?

The “shoot the boer” debacle is not only repulsive, but a metaphor of how the oppressed can so easily turn into the oppressors. I don’t believe any racial group in South Africa would ever want this to become a reality.

Nationalisation and land redistribution: If these two words don’t frighten you, we’ve already lost the battle

3. E-tolls

Ah man, not only am I paying inflated tax rates –which are already not being put to use appropriately as it is –I now have to pay to drive down a certain road in Gauteng.

Not only does this disrupt business operations, it also prevents family members from seeing one another. The South African public is already battling to support the ANC’s exorbitant expenditure, the unemployed as well as a poorly run public sector. The average working South African could probably afford it, pay it reluctantly, however there are many living hand-to-mouth who are thoroughly mortified by any sort of increases in expenses.

4. Education system

Not only has the quality of education decreased at a dangerously wild rate, but also there seems to be more and more issues every school year in terms of funding. One of the major issues still appears to be the admission criteria into university, it seems students are either not prepared to start university and those who are prepared aren’t able to enter certain faculties due to the admission criteria. This has a serious impact on the general morale of the youth as well as our future as a whole.

5. General apathy

I have been baffled during a few conversations with not only people around my age, but even older than I am of all races, where I have heard something along the lines of “I don’t really care, why should I vote? I don’t even know who to vote for,” “I don’t know the difference between the parties really,” “It doesn’t matter, the ANC will always be in power even if we don’t like it.”

Shocking that this is what our parents fought for, so we could use our votes and use them wisely.

6. Segregation between the races

Seems to be a very clear divide of “us” and “them”, even now, even after 20 years of democracy. I’m 20 years old, I know no other way of life, and I never experienced the profound racism and oppression in our country. However, on a daily basis, I do feel prejudiced against for being white, I see “whites” being racist towards blacks, coloureds & Indians and vice versa. It is not one race over the other; it is all of us.

7. The blame game

Dear white people, people of color did not turn this country to shit. Our dear leaders that we put in power played their role in this. We are all apart of this society and we all need to contribute toward its future.

Dear people of color, my mother marched while she was at university and both my parents voted to abolish apartheid. It is an old, old debate about moving forward or being stuck in the past etc., but do you not see some sort of truth in it? No one is asking either race to forget what happened, however, let it not create bitterness, let it not give power to our anger.

There will always be differences in cultures, but that doesn’t mean we can’t all have each other’s best interests at heart. I just want to live in a place where we look out for each other, create a culture of giving and understanding. We all need to change our way of thinking in order to construct a better future for our people. TC mark

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