South Africa "going to the dogs"??

Jun 23rd, 2007, 10:45 PM
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South Africa "going to the dogs"??

My pharmacist is from S. Africa. I was chatting with him today and mentioned I'd been to S.A. about 40 years ago. He said I went at the right time; that now the country is going to the dogs (his words) and nobody is doing a damn thing about it. I heard similar comments from another South African I spoke to recently. What are they referring to, does anyone know?
orangetravelcat is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2007, 10:58 PM
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orangetravelcat,

I think your pharmicist wishes that he still lived in South Africa. He is seeing how well we are doing as a democratic nation and thus regretting that he ever left this beautiful country.

Like all other countries South Africa has its faults. People complain about crime, but you find that in every country in the world.

Our economy is on a all time high. Tourists are streaming from all aroung the globe to visit our awesome natural sights. Whales in Hermanus. The Big 5 in the Lowveld. Even the perfect surfing spot at Jefferey's Bay.

Compare the South Africa of 15 years ago to the South Africa of today. No apartheid. No ratial issues. A Tourist industry that is thriving.

Come and visit us and I guarantee you will want to come back anually!

I think your pharmacist should take an anti-depressant and get over himself!

Regards-JP
JPhermanus is offline  
Jun 24th, 2007, 01:39 AM
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JPhermanus, have you taken anti-depressants? Sounds different than most South African guides and researchers told me at the campfire. But those are certainly a minority...

WS will no longer invest into your country, mainly because of an inefficient bureaucracy. To quote their CEO Malcolm McCulloch (a South African), "It's just too difficult to get anything done here." WS will start new enterprises only in SADC countries with "more welcoming attitudes and processes. Even Zimbabwe is a better bet". Strong words by a South African-based company, so I guess that some things have gone worse.
nyama is offline  
Jun 24th, 2007, 01:53 AM
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It's hard to tell whether your pharmacist is genuinely referring to the kind of issues that Nyama mentions or whether he is one of those South Africans that are nostalgic for South Africa under apartheid where life was indeed better for the white population! A lot of apartheid supporters fled South Africa when that era ended (before for those with foresight, since for those who realised they didn't like it after the fact) and I find those ex-pat South Africans often a lot more negative about SA than those still living there.

Don't get me wrong, there are many, many serious problems facing South Africa and I don't doubt for a second that the CEO of WS is spot on in his assessment of SA as a business environment.

But I suspect your pharmacist is not referring to economic issues with his comment.
Kavey is offline  
Jun 24th, 2007, 02:53 AM
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I find Malcolm McCulloch's statement about South Africa a bit questionable. How can Zimbabwe be a better bet if people have to go to supermarkets with wheelburrows full of money to pay for groceries. A litre of petrol costs $5 in Zimbabwe.

I agree that South Africa has a lot of problems, but please keep in mind that we only found the right political foundations 13 years ago.

By giving South Africa the opportunity to host host the soccer world cup in 2010, I can see how the rest of the world looks at South Africa: It is a country still busy re-building itself but it has the potensial to be great.

Is being patriotic a sin, nyama? Should I be on drugs to be patriotic about South Africa?
JPhermanus is offline  
Jun 24th, 2007, 11:13 AM
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JPhermanus, you don't be on drugs to love your country. I made that statement as response to your anti-depressant advice since your post reminded me a little on a glossy travel brochure, maybe a little too positive for my taste. Patriotism? It often covers the truth, and that's why I'm not a big friend of it.
nyama is offline  
Jun 24th, 2007, 04:12 PM
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Perhaps his friend was reacting to this story which is from early June:

"JOHANNESBURG , SOUTH AFRICA -- A man in his 30s is set to be charged later this week in the shocking beheading of a 21-year-old woman at a mini bus depot in JHB central Monday. This girl named Stacy Wilson was pulled off a bus and chopped to death with a machete by a man police only identified as Samuel.

Cops gave no motive for the horrendous murder, which happened before dozens of terrified onlookers.

The man delivered several machete chops to her body before he severed the young girl's head along with her right hand. He was later named as 'Samuel". Onlookers said that he had even held the head for a bit before dropping it. He was arrested by Metro cops. He is set to be charged soon after the "post mortem results" are provided to the police.

On the same day -- and only minutes after telling a CNN journalist that crime in South Africa was on the decline, national Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi told local reporters he couldn't give them any information on the country's crime statistics.

He told a CNN journalist who had asked him about the recent high level of crime in South Africa: "There's been a percentage decrease."

By contrast that day -- and while Selebi was being interviewed by CNN, the Minister of Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula told the local reporters that the number of house robberies and hijackings had increased."
tuckeg is offline  
Jun 24th, 2007, 10:36 PM
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I confess that not being a game lodge expert as are many on this forum, I had to Google to find out what WS was. Or Malcolm McCulloch for that matter. I also admit that I have absolutely no idea as to the size of their potential "investment".

But I'm nevertheless pretty certain that it's a pittance relative to the huge and growing number of investments and votes of confidence from many many more substantial companies.
ArthurSA is offline  
Jun 25th, 2007, 06:03 AM
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Orangetravelcat,

If you are listening to anybody who makes the statement that to visit SA 40 years ago was "at the right time" then in my opinion this is the sort of of person that I would steer clear of for any advice with regard to my country. I say this assuming that you are the sort of person who feels that staying in a country where 90% of the population were being totally deprived of all by 10% of the population purely because of the colour of their skin would not be correct. To me it is obvious that many in the 10% grouping would have been living in bliss at the expense and lives of their fellow South Africans so you should expect these sort of comments from these folk. Bliss? - An example of this could be if you ask your pharmacist how many of his fellow pharmacy students in his day were black? When he answers "none because the law did not allow them to be pharmacists" then ask him how come he did nothing about matters like this to ensure that SA did not go to the dogs as he puts it. He might answer you by saying "I did not want to greedily give up the bliss!"

As new South Africans, who are proudly building a brand new country, we dont need pharmacists like the one you speak of and hope that he stays where he is!

With all of the above said I leave it to you to decide whether you should value his opinion or not.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa


Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Jun 25th, 2007, 06:54 AM
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Well said Selwyn!
matnikstym is offline  
Jun 25th, 2007, 07:45 AM
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Indeed.

I wondered same thing when I asked whether he might be "one of those South Africans that are nostalgic for South Africa under apartheid where life was indeed better for the white population".
Kavey is offline  
Jun 25th, 2007, 08:05 AM
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Sounds to me like the same type of person that would have preferred to visit the US South in the 1940s, or if he had a time machine, perhaps during slavery.

I have been to South Africa three times for vacation since 2000, and its one of my favorite overseas travel destinations -- and I've traveled fairly widely and never felt unsafe (including trips in the Western Cape, Guateng, Kwazulu-Natal, Northern Cape and Kruger).

Michael
thit_cho is offline  
Jun 25th, 2007, 08:12 AM
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I second Selwyn on this. I have met numerous white S. Africans, particularly in the UK and most of them have a common gripe - SA is going to the dogs. Sure things aren't as good as they were for the white minority during the apartheid years. But whats happening today is hardly surprising. Depriving a section of the population of their rights and dignity is just accumulating problems for the future. Things could get a lot worse before they get better. But I for one believe that S Africa has done well to be where it is today.

As for those who prefer SA of 40, 30 or 20 years ago, there is not much that can be said of this minority that look at the past through rose tinted glasses, often missing out the horrors and atrocities that were commited in the name of a 'better' SA. Infact I am surprised that there hasnt been a Nuremberg-type trial bringing people to justice.
amolkarnik is offline  
Jun 25th, 2007, 10:10 AM
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There are a lot of blacks that wish for the old days. Job security, pension, safety and security, corruption are just a few of the important issues. There are a lot of improvements visible to the eye, but beneath all that, just how many of the population has really gained from the dumping apartheid? I do not agree with the system, but I did hear a lot of complaints from blacks and coloreds that things have only gotten worse.

Poor poor whites. Reverse discrimination, affirmative action, racism(blacks used to try that on me so often when they couldn't win an argument), and there is a hell of lot more. Gov't taxes everything. Holidays for everything, so when do their kids go to school or the banks open.
luangwablondes is offline  
Jun 25th, 2007, 10:17 AM
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Nyama,

Agree 100% with you Selwyn!

I would like to hear your views after you have finished reading the above posts!

JP
JPhermanus is offline  
Jun 25th, 2007, 12:56 PM
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Luangwablondes,

How many so called Blacks have you spoken to that gives you the authority to say "There are a lot of blacks that wish for the old days"? I ask this because it seems as if you are the expert who is making one hell of statement with authority. Thus I would like to know by what authority (i.e how many black South Africans you have spoken to and over what period of time you did so) you make this statement? Btw my comment with regard to your statement, which I have a small amount of expertise in the form of close contact for 4-5 days of the week with township folk for the last 9 years, is "what absolute drivel"!

You also wrote, "but beneath all that, just how many of the population has really gained from the dumping apartheid?"

How about the answer that just one gain of the so many is that every black South African kid now has the opportnity to go to school for virtually no cost and is not taught in the medium of Afrikaans. Furthermore they can go to any school they want to and not ones where the schools are subdivided by colour such as in "the old days".<sic>

You then wrote, "Poor poor whites. Reverse discrimination, affirmative action, racism(blacks used to try that on me so often when they couldn't win an argument), and there is a hell of lot more. Gov't taxes everything. Holidays for everything, so when do their kids go to school or the banks open".

I think you made an error and should have started out your writing by saying "poor, poor blacks" and dated your statement 1652-1990.

What I really find amazing is your line reading, "I do not agree with the system". Do me a favour and stop me from laughing.

Just my twopence worth.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Jun 25th, 2007, 03:30 PM
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To answer your question Selwyn, a hell of a lot of blacks. Seems to me you live in a gilded cage. How many people that worked their entire lives lost their pension, had been raped, had family and friends experienced violent crime, and live in fear everyday that some sort of crime maybe committed against them in the course of their daily lives. Now they are exposed to low cost labor in huge numbers from -- guess who- the Zimbabweans and the gov't is doing nothing, although the gov't blames the crime on them. There is a lot more, but it would fall on deaf ears. There are many people in this world that really care to go through life in a safe and secure environment. Something the previous administration provided.

Wow, This gets me going. SA is a wonderful country, but when people go searching for places to live that are safe in the numbers that South Africans do, and you dump on me, for stating simple observations and what was expressed to me by 'normal' blacks, somone has been taking too many pills(thanks nyama) or leads a previleged life. Sure you go to the townships, but then you go home safely at night. I came to South Africa the 2nd time in '95, and bought the 1st of 5 landrovers to tour Africa in. I needed to do a lot of improvements, maintainance and kit these out. So I interacted on a daily basis with average South African-all shades. I traveled all over South Africa, so I wasn't limited to one area. Rural or urban. I don't travel in a cloud. So I think I am qualified to have an opinion. Having been shot at by hijackers on the very 1st day of departure from Joburg to seeing various crimes in action, you would think that would be unusual experiences. But nay, alot of people were not surprised.

I also have seen the difficulty that the boers had to go through in this transition period. I wish I had documented it. Amazing stuff.

I haven't gone around and dumped on SA, mainly because I like the country.
Capetown especially, partly because it didn't seem as violent as many other areas. But as an option to live there, I would need to live a long ways from major population centers and in protected communities that seem to be popping up all over SA. What about that? But I also can't live in constant fear of something happening to me. I've met too many people that have been robbed at home, had family and friends shot, even raped, had the police arrest the perps, only to be released later. Geez, I gotta stop. There is too many things wrong in this country that is going to take decades to work out, at least.

Did I say I like South Africa? But I don't go around harping it is the best. I don't go telling people to go to townships to get robbed or something else. Yeah. You irritate the hell out of me when you seem to ignore the fact that TAs are selling tours to townships- like near Capetown- putting tourists in harms way. Did you think I wouldn't know about this?

So don't try to sell me the crap you're passing on this forum. If this makes you laugh, I will gladly suffer it.

And I am one that had to jump on the corruption bandwagon to make things happen for me in the course of just registering and making the landies legal. Just to get things done in what should take an hour or less, could take months if you don't pay up. Or having to pass a few rand to a cop for speeding in my series landrover for a speed that can only be achieved if I drove off a cliff.

Then there is the racist card that many SAn blacks have tried to pull on me. Me--- a racist- thats a good one. So, I proceed to dump on them, Americans have lots of practice in reviewing those thoughts of racism, and shut them up quickly. If you listen well, and hear the defense weaken, I use to pull the racist card on them before they did. What a hoot.

In general, the change to democracy is a damn good thing, but to tell us that it is all good today is a lie. It takes time. A lot of time.

I have traveled all over the world, and this is one of the only countries that puts me on edge, 24/7.
luangwablondes is offline  
Jun 25th, 2007, 04:10 PM
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JPhermanus:

''Like all other countries South Africa has its faults. People complain about crime, but you find that in every country in the world.''

I dont think anyone in Canada has ever been killed for a cellphone and I also dont remember reading about a 80 year old women that was raped on a farm recently-but I could be wrong-every country in the world complains about these types of violent crimes daily.

Selwyn-have you ever spent a night in the townships or do you leave when the sun sets?

I worked in a township ER for 2 years so spare me this ''everything is rosy'' outlook.
safarinut is offline  
Jun 25th, 2007, 04:27 PM
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luangwablondes,

What a great mail!! As a matter of fact let me not understate this as your last writings have to be declared as being a fabulous mail.

The one line you wrote viz. "There are many people in this world that really care to go through life in a safe and secure environment. Something the previous administration provided" really puts who you are and what you stand for into perspective so very clearly. It also brings me to the conclusion that I am not prepared to waste my time and energy on even bothering to answer such pearls of amazing wisdom. After two visits to SA in 95 (wow whats that 12 years ago), lots of discussions with blacks (next thing you will tell us is that you can speak a black language too), a couple of corrupt speed tickets and its a case of hooray lets welcome Luangawablondes the South African expert.

With me being born and raised in this wonderful country, having lived through the horrors of Apartheid (which you so gleefully say was good for all), being incarcerated for challenging the system in the 70's and now being very actively part of building the new South Africa on a daily basis as well as having taken more than 2000 visitors into townships over 9 years without anybody as much as needing a band aid for protection who am I to match your great South African knowledge and background. Thus I bow to your expertise, oops I mean superbly, crappy expertise.

I remain very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa


Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Jun 25th, 2007, 04:28 PM
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JPhermanus

<<I agree that South Africa has a lot of problems, but please keep in mind that we only found the right political foundations 13 years ago.<<

Zimbabwe found the right political foundation 27 years ago!!

I would like you and Selwyn to move to the townships,run your business from there,leave a little cash in your register daily and let us see who complains of crime.
safarinut is offline  

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