South African Leadership “Transformative Government”  

 

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By Cam Jennings

There are still some serious issues that the citizens of South Africa are facing, two of which are unemployment and violence. Unemployment can be broken up into the four racial groups African, Indian, White and Coloured by researchers and from the fifty three million population within the country the white population is the least effected, then the Indian, coloured and the most effected are the Africans. Cheap labour from the pool of unemployed is just part of the capitalist machine from an industrial age that is pre-twenty first century.

Unemployment allows employers the opportunity to control the exchange rate of reward for labour, and a high level of unemployment, especially within the unskilled and semi skilled workforce is a modern form of slavery.

Segregation gives way to Apartheid which provides the specific mechanism for maintaining cheap labour and power and through an elaborate complex system of continued dominance and control the most effected are those indigenous peoples who have been suppressed and ill treated who are still oppressed, even though there has been more than twenty years of change.

Supposedly, South Africa is the most developed country in Africa and yet has such a strong link between capitalism and poverty. I see two children from one family skipping down the road of life together, holding hands in a commonality between unemployment and poverty and oh how they struggle to survive. It is not clear to the writer if there is a Marxist answer to the Myriad of issues within the capitalist system in the South African context. It is clear however, that anarchy is not appropriate in violent revolution to achieve the social reforms that are required and needed in South Africa for the proletariat to rise beyond their continued oppression. What is required is access to quality education and the encouragement and support to pursue this opportunity.

If we assume that two percent of the world owns the capital then just over one million South African people hold the power over the other fifty two million workers. Okay, it is a very flawed argument but it gets the point across that the rich are few and the poor are many, within South African society. Multi generational unemployment is a common element within society and it would be one area that the constituents could focus on between now and the next election. It is time to radically change South Africa with an educational opportunity for all South African citizens that is a need and a right for all, and not just for the privileged.

Violence is a major concern within South Africa along with crime in general. It is widely acknowledged that South Africa has a very high rate of murders, assaults, rapes (adult, child and infant), and other crimes compared to most countries. Around 40 people are murdered everyday in South Africa and these numbers are regarded as being consistent with a developing nation. There are approximately the same number of murders daily in the USA with six times the population of South Africa, there is still some work to be undertaken in reducing the numbers. What are the motivational factors behind the violence in South Africa, identify these and then work on effective grass roots methods of eradication.

Part of the violence may be due to xenophobia, or be due to what is known as a violent hate crime, which can also be violent attacks on individuals on account of their race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, disability, or other similar attributes, or a combination thereof are serious abuses of the rights to life, liberty and security of the person, threatening the equal enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms. The most recent example of xenophobia would be during the 2008 period when Zimbabweans were targeted, either having their houses burnt to the ground or where they themselves were murdered.

Youth unemployment and youth gang culture also involves a level of violence related to turf and territory, profit and loss. Youth gangs exist and thrive within South Africa, some of these involving the purchase, distribution and sale of illegal drugs. It is far safer and better for the individual in their daily struggle to be either associated or directly involved with the strongest local gang, or at least a gang, rather than to be solo in the quest for survival. Prevention and intervention and social reform is not possible without the effective solutions from both government and non government collaboration and consultation.

Transformative Government or Transformational Government is not possible in South Africa presently. The high expectations of the democratization of South Africa have been dulled and numbed over the past twenty years. Transformation has stalled, the pace of reform too slow and the economic growth too limited. What social reform has been successfully implemented during the Zuma Government ?  Let us argue that transformative government commenced in 1990 under President de Klirk and when Mandela was released from twenty seven years of being imprisoned. Let us also argue that the next transformative move was the 1994 election where the African National Congress won 62.5% of the votes, and on May 7th 2014 President Zuma’s Government won 62% of the vote.

Mandela was not a prefect man and was mortal, just like any politician and person. Mandela did however possess the ability to establish unification and to fuse people together and to have them focus on the aims and objectives and to enthusiastically strive to achieve the end goal. What was unique about the batten being handed to Mandela by de Klirk was that Mandela continued the challenge to bring South Africa together by establishing trust with all parties concerned in the process of negotiation and or government.

Transformative Government maybe possible but without real trust and truth and transparency, little social reform and development will happen because the political spin doctors will simply broadcast free prescriptions with painless pills that are merely placebo in the short term. When South Africans call themselves South Africans first and then secondly identify their ethnicity and or origin, then the day will come where they can be a united group and common voice and demand government to transform itself and lead with vision and direction towards a better tomorrow for all South Africans. Without trust truth and transparency in South African politics, there is no Transformative Government.

 
 
 

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