Friday, March 26, 2010

White apartheid

We read of Coronation Park, in Krugersdorp west of Johannesburg, a leafy former caravan site beside a water reservoir and a public picnic park frequented by middle-class families at weekends.Ringed by yellow-brown hills of earth dug up by generations of gold miners, the park was used by the British as a concentration camp for Afrikaners during the Anglo-Boer war at the start of the 20th century. Now it's home to some 400 white squatters living in cramped tents and caravans and sharing a single ablution block.. The local council cut electricity to the camp after failing to evict the white squatters. The council wanted to develop the area into a wide screen viewing area for soccer matches ahead of the soccer World Cup, which South Africa hosts in June and July.

At least 450,000 white South Africans, 10 percent of the total white population, live below the poverty line and 100,000 are struggling just to survive, according to civil organisations and largely white trade union Solidarity.

White poverty in South Africa is a politically sensitive subject that gets little attention, but it is not new.The weakest and least educated whites were protected by the civil service and state-owned industries operating as job-creation schemes, guaranteeing even the poorest whites a home and livelihood. But with that economic safety net now gone, South Africa's unskilled whites find themselves on the wrong side of history, gaining little sympathy from those who perceive them as having profited unfairly during the brutal apartheid years.Formerly comfortable Afrikaners recently forced to live on the fringes of society see themselves as victims of "reverse-apartheid". South African President Jacob Zuma visited a white squatter camp near the capital Pretoria last year ahead of his election, saying he was "shocked and surprised...The vast number in black poverty does not mean we must ignore white poverty."

1 comment:

Bernardo van Heerden Albayez-Baez said...

Your opinion regarding the white poverty is excellent as is your mention of the "significance" of the fact that previously there was a concentration camp for afrikaners on that site and now "almost another form of the same".The same oppression just another regime and different time-zones-frames.The country South Africa,the nation, meaning its people,black and white,they are all approaching and some already entering,an eye-opening phase where all are witness of capitalist barbarism and its ruthless devouring capability.It sees no colour nor does it care.South Africa still has a very colour-conscious society and if capitalism can continue to expose its indifference to colour in this form,the majority will soon realize that we are all indeed one,we are ONE NATION ,not only in South Africa but the whole WORLD,ALL COLOURS, in need of a Socialist World Government. South African poor people,black and white are victims of the system.The government of the day has its defenders of the system in place.The objectives-profit,exploitation,growth with more profit.The masses are excluded from the system and hence when minority groups are seen suffering in large numbers,it reminds us of the colonial abuser with his "scorched earth"policy.We are merely tasting the beginning of the new abusers' "scorched earth"policy.