I acknowledge that I may get a few hidings about this post but I really feel so strongly about it that I’ll take a few smacks. If it can convince one person to go to the voting stations on the 7th and to vote and to try and make a difference, I’ll be happy and feel that it is worth it.
I won’t say that we travel a lot but we live in JHB, and we do go away for weekends quite often because of the running.
Little towns like Middleburg, Witbank, Harrismith even picturesque little places like Dullstroom and Himeville are almost beyond redemption. Unclean water, potholes with tarmac around them for roads, filthy CBD’s with garbage and litter in the streets and sewerage swirling in between the mess. And then we are not even touching on the subject of the beggars, the “car guards”, the people selling “African arts” or any of the other con artists accosting you when you get out of your car.
And then the cities like Durban and Johannesburg. Firstly I don’t think we realise in what a state of high alert we live all the time. We stop at traffic lights, trying not to make eye contact with one of the four beggars, we try to keep the aggressive window washer away from our windscreens, we keep an eye out for the smash and grabbers and then there is also the threat of a highjacker or two. We get home and we almost anticipate what we’ll do if we do happen upon a burglary in our house or start to plan what we need do to prevent a highjacking from happening in our driveway. At night we go to bed with the panic button under our pillows praying that they won’t break in during the night and hold us all hostage. Going to the shops, you start to think what you’ll do if there is an armed robbery, how will you protect your child? Or what if somebody try to abduct my child – what will I do, how can I prevent it from happening? Driving next to a cash in transit van makes for a heightened sense of alertness and fear.
I know I may exaggerate a bit here but let’s face the facts, these thoughts are somewhere in your mind the whole time So that is our mind set, constant stress, constant fear, constant alertness which translates into aggressiveness, impatience and irritability.
And then the cities itself, rubble strewn everywhere, gardens, parks, sidewalks overgrown with long grass and weeds. Litter everywhere, beggars everywhere, potholes or more correctly pot dams, filth, decay and neglect where ever you look. Try and use a public loo in Durban or Johannesburg, I would rather burst than use it. The people are arrogant and aggressive. Cashiers in shops act although they are doing you a favour to serve you. You should consider yourself lucky that they deem themselves ready to cash up the stuff you are buying and paying for it. Why should I feel guilty because I’m buying stuff that is actually paying their salary, will it take so much to smile and greet the customer.
And then the total non integration – each and every race regard the other with mistrust and fear and pre-conceived ideas, ideas that are planted by the ANC and cultivated by their speeches and their corruption and hatred.
And then we have Cape Town. To achieve so much in a province within the limitations of the national government is amazing.
Firstly the look of the city. Clean, well maintained, neat, and not a single beggar in sight. Not feeling threatened to drive, even in the CBD and not scared of being highjacked or accosted when they “clean” your windscreen. Everything just works, people actually still follow the rules of the road, even the taxis. People stop at orange traffic lights, no skipping of red traffic lights, can you believe that!!
And then the people, everywhere, everybody are just happy and friendly. Regardless of sex, age, race or sexual orientation – they are all working towards creating better lives for themselves and their children and the rest of the people in the city. They don’t have time to worry about the pettiness of race relations because it is not an issue they have more important things to focus on and that is the common goal of improvement. The Western Cape is the only place in South Africa where you really see integration of people of all races. Once again this may be a bit of an over exaggeration BUT it is so much more obvious there, people are just more open to each other, there is just none of the mistrust or arrogance you experience here in Gauteng. Groups of people of all colours hanging out together, having picnics, hiking, running, having dinner.
And then the safety aspect – granted, this is still South Africa and even in Cape Town they have crime BUT it is so much less and far less serious than in the rest of the country. And why? Because they address the small problems, vagrants sleeping in the parks are asked to move away. There is tight control on petty crime in the city and this is done by private security companies employed by the City of Cape Town because they can’t rely on the national police force. But women can run alone there or run with just one friend, they can go out without fear and a chaperone and the pepper spray and the tazer gun.
Now I ask – if Cape Town or the Western Cape can get this right with their small budget and within the limitations of the national govenrment, how amazing can this country be if we all have the same attitude as the people in Cape Town and have the some governing in the rest of the country as what they have in the Western Cape. Gauteng has way more money than the Western Cape so why does it not work as efficiently here as there? How fantastic can this country be?
I really really think that if somebody want to vote for the ANC they need to visit JHB CBD and the Cape Town CBD and if they can then in all honesty say that Johannesburg is better then vote for the ANC.
What I also find upsetting is how many people from the Eastern Cape and the Northern Cape flock to the Western Cape because of the RDP housing, the health care and the education. And then when it comes to voting day they vote for the ANC. Don’t they realise that if the ANC comes into power in the Western Cape that they will have the same conditions as in the Eastern Cape and the Northern Cape? Why are the people so blind?
Look make no mistake, Cape Town is not Utopia, the have massive problems especially social problems like drug abuse, gangs, alcoholism and the abuse that go with addictions BUT they don’t ignore it and they don’t say it is Apartheids fault, they acknowledge the problem and try and solve it as a community and isn’t that what we should do?
What do we all want, our absolute basic need – regardless of upbringing, race, age and sex. We all want to be safe, warm, with a full belly and the knowledge that our children will have a bright future and be better off than what we are. Does the average child in South Africa have a hope of being better off than their parents? I don’t think so, not with the education as it is at the moment, not with the economy that is sliding into a deeper and darker hole each day with strikes and negative sentiment towards South Africa in the 1st World countries. Goodness, we are not even the biggest economy in Africa anymore. With all the natural resources in the this country and the strength of the banks and the infrastructure as it used to be the current government couldn’t even hold onto the number 1 spot because they are not governing but just lining their pockets and the pockets of their cronies and they don’t give a rat’s ass about the people that voted them into power.
And now – I’m going to stop because the more I write about it and the more I think about it the angrier I get because this is not a problem of race, this is a problem of greed, and plain old evilness.
Ohh just give me a slice of pizza and a Coke and then a slab of chocolate – comfort eating!