We are nearing our elections in South Africa, taking place on the 7th of May and we are celebrating 20 years of democracy. This is the first election taking place where those who are “born free” (those whose lives began after apartheid) are eligible to vote for the very first time. One would think this is a major milestone for every young adult.
However, unlike the 1994 elections which took place when we had our first democratic election and everyone went to cast their vote for the very first time, we now unfortunately have a new generation who do not want to cast their vote at all.
Our own Archbishop Desmond Tutu has welcomed the “Vote No” campaign – a campaign started by our former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils and other ex-ANC members encouraging “South Africans to be aware of the value and consequences of their vote.”
This new generation has no memory of the apartheid era and have no loyalties to the ANC. They feel they have been let down by their own government. Most are well educated and despite this are unable to find suitable jobs. Instead they are witness to the corruption taking place and the inability of our government to identify with its people.
They feel betrayed.
There are many protests taking place on a daily basis due to poor service delivery. I must admit there is no excuse for poor service delivery. We have one of the most efficient tax collection departments in the world so the Goverenment has no excuse for under delievering.
I am in support of those who make the effort to protest against poor service delivery but I am shocked at the total lack of respect my fellow South Africans have for other people’s property. Driving back from one of our mines yesterday, we were diverted and had to use an alternative route and we were witness to the destruction caused by one of these protests.
We were left with a picture of total destruction in our path – vehicles being stoned and trucks being burnt. Our roads marked by black residue from burnt tires.
Are we perhaps heading for a civil war? Do I Want to sit back and let this beautiful country be destroyed by those who should be protecting it?
Some interesting readining: