OUT TO LUNCH
A heavy cloud of hopelessness and helplessness hangs over South Africa at the moment. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such gloom among my fellow countrymen. Even the imposition of sanctions in the 1980’s and the nervousness ahead of the 1994 election are minor compared with what we are seeing today. And when I talk of “my fellow countrymen” I am not referring solely to the dinner table conversations among the white chattering classes.
Surprising as it may seem to some of our sanctimonious lefty commentators my daily activities bring me into contact with people of all races and, being a nosy sort of bloke, I like to ask them what their perceptions are of the country and its future. I suppose it’s possible some will just say what they think the white “baas” wants to hear but judging by the well informed responses their concerns and my concerns overlap.
Over the years I’ve struck up a pretty good relationship with one of the gentlemen who fills my car with petrol and we usually mull over the state of the nation while he fills up my gas guzzler. The other day he asked me what will happen when the country runs out of money. He had clearly given the matter some thought and when I asked him why he thought the country might run out of money he reeled off a long list of non performing SOE’s such as Eskom and ended up mentioning cabinet minister’s salaries and perks, suggesting that they were unaffordable. He didn’t know much about Venezuela when I attempted a reply to his question so, instead, I used Zimbabwe as a comparison and he immediately knew exactly what I was getting at.
Last week Ferial Haffajee wrote a piece for the Daily Maverick website with the bold title “R.I.P. Ramaphoria: Born December 2017, Died June 2019”. In the article she highlighted how some of Ramaphosa’s more ambitious economic stimulus plans have yet to bear fruit with unemployment on the rise rather than the other way round. There seems to be no clear cut plan for sorting out Eskom’s woes (although, in his defence, Cyril does seem to have managed to keep the lights on during winter) and the pitiful state of other cash leeching entities like SAA, Transnet and the SABC now doesn’t even make front page news.
The real issue though seems to be that Cyril is only President in name and the Zuptoids are still in control. Even Peter Bruce, the great white imbongi, seems to have had his ardour for Cyril dampened of late. That might just be the result of moving from Gauteng to a properly run province of course.
The greatest damage to South Africa’s recovery has been done by what I will term “Operation White Hatred”. White South Africans have been called rapists, land thieves, unwelcome visitors and even vermin. Crackpot white quasi academics living on daddy’s money in London label respected, long established organizations like the Institute for Race Relations as “white supremacist hate groups”. Talk radio hosts like the best selling author Eusebius McKaiser regularly devote part of their shows to an Orwellian ten minutes of white hatred while other pale skinned, self hating loons on social media campaign for the elimination of their entire race or, at the very least, their political impotency.
The good news is that “whiteness” as it is called may not be a problem for much longer. I don’t have figures to support my theory but I do know that most people I know with white skins and transferable skills are planning their exit, particularly if they have young children. Memories of what happened in Germany in the 1930’s send a strong signal that a scapegoated race is a doomed race. Like the Jews, South African whites will increasingly be blamed for everything that goes wrong in this country.
The narrative is already there, spouted even by members of the diplomatic service and by high ranking politicians. The South African Human Rights Commission puts a telescope to its blind eye and declares that it sees nothing. Meanwhile, when a particularly dim person compares black people to monkeys or uses the dreaded “K” word she can expect swift retribution.
It’s only a matter of time before “Operation White Hatred” is ratcheted up a few notches and whites are compelled to undergo a state audit of their assets by a completely “independent” commission of investigators. If the commission finds the net value of the assets to be higher than the amount recommended by the state then the surplus will be disposed of and the proceeds redistributed as reparation for past sins. Naturally, the “recommended amount” will be fixed at a level that allows a white family to barely survive as punishment for historical crimes (What Thuli Mandonsela might refer to as “reparation for compound disadvantage).
Eventually, the older whites (those of us who are too old or broke to leave) will snuff it (probably with the help of the state) while the bright young things will already be getting on with their lives in some less Marxist utopia. The evil of “whiteness” will then be a thing of the past and South Africans will have to find something else to agonise over.
During my last visit to the petrol station I asked my friend what he and his family will do when all the whites have left South Africa? He looked worried and asked me if that could really happen. I am certain I would have reassured him with the quotation that “politics is the art of the possible”.
I’m off to London for two weeks to catch some sun and welcome in the next prime minister. The Out to Lunch column will, hopefully, reappear on July 31st.
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