Tuesday, 20 March 2012

"If we make peaceful revolution impossible, we make violent revolution inevitable"- JFK

When a government resorts to firing rubber bullets at a crowd protesting for better living conditions, then we may have a slight problem, but when that same government happens to be a former liberation party... hold on to yourselves. 2012 has seen a paradigm shift amongst South Africans, less talk more action!

Riot in Cape Town Suburb of Rondebosch:  http://www.bet.com/news/global/2012/01/31/south-africa-s-protest-crackdown-sparks-apartheid-dejavu.html   
In the 1960's the people had enough. No longer content with being submissive and after long often pointless discussions with the opposition, enough was enough. MK, the "spear of our Nation" was formed as the military wing of the ANC utilising guerilla warfare tactics and sabotage all in the attempt to be heard! De ja vu much?

These protests erupting in townships and impoverished settlements, have been around since early 2000's, however the severity has exponentially increased. In 2009, pre-Waka Waka, President Jacob Zuma made a public promise to South African's that the housing and service delivery plight would be resolved three months into his term. Failing to do so, majority of the 'have nots'were enraged-naturally. (No wonder DA support is growing in rural settlements. 200 protesters stoned policemen and their vehicles. Its like a rerun of '76 check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQsZH6BGJf0 (mind not the racial comments, weak minds).

Bear in mind that South Africa did not have the 'assumed' civil war that opponents feared which is great, except for the pent up anger. Imagine being literally promised fundamental changes that would completely revolutionise ones lifestyle after endless violence, submissive legislations and forceful separation just to have a new slave-master at the helm. The new South Africa has been categorized as a Social Democracy-contemporary social democratic policies include support for welfare, Keynesian (public sector driven) macroeconomic policies and collective bargaining agreements to balance the power of capital and labour.   

There must be greater forces at work here. South Africa did not host the FIFA World Cup via draw or chance, surely the billions of Rands that multiple foreign direct investors pumped into the tournament would be seen in our social infrastructure. Quick flashback: Marshall Plan- Post WWII Berlin was divided into democratic west and communist east. Competing for support and driven by their ideals the Americans implemented a strategy of sorts to feed territories under Western democratic occupation with currency. Being the most powerful at the time, the dollar didn't just bring economic and political change but also social change. Western Berlin was quoted as being " a beacon of democracy" within the "Iron Curtain". Change, for better or for worse can be argued; the 26 reported conflicts that have occurred in Eastern Europe since 1989 to the present, was not stimulated by sharing of wealth, ethnic cohesion and internal forces. 

Bottom line is that the ANC is becoming synonymous with the formerly oppressive NP. History does repeat itself no-doubt but this time more of us are 'intellectuals'. Essentially, we can read, think, critique and act! Question is will we wait for the issues driving so many impoverished people to affect "the haves" before we act. A final thought: Former ANCYL president Julius Malema might be an egotistical, idealistic, crass individual but he stands for and "will always fight for", economic freedom. Hugo Chavez had the same stance and when he came to power he removed economic power from the concentrated elite and shared it with the population. Its no wonder he's the bad guy in western media.

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