GOB!G Quote of the Day

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Do white beggars have a say in the future of SA!

One familiar observation I've been making lately on the SA (South African) roads along traffic lights is the increasing number of beggars since democracy and BEE. Not that anyone hasn't been noticing them, but of interest to me is that the beggars have changed to be mainly Zimbabwean and often, blind and elderly, assisted by a younger able-bodied person. Of eye catching and thought provoking interest though, is the increasing visibility of white beggars at the traffic lights.

  • I have noticed this in both Pretoria and Johannesburg alike. I always try to read a bit too much into it when I see a white beggar. Many questions spring up to mind.
  • Where did he go wrong? Was he kicked out of a job?
  • Is it the result of economic restructering in SA?
  • Couldn't he outsmart the BEE engineers?
  • Doesn't he have access to family, friends and relatives to help re job or small provision or newer guidance? Does this mean or say anything about where SA is and where it's going?
  • Can this say anything about SA economic and social future?
Those are just the questions I think of and I have zero answers for each one of them. But nevertheless, they're interesting to ponder and the answers can be insightful. I can't even explain to myself why I never asked such questions re black South African beggars. I guess it's because it's a familiar face of any major city in South Africa to find black beggars across, but surprising to come across a white beggar.

My suspicions: a thourough thought around the presence of the white beggar can say a lot about where SA is and where SA will be in the foreseable future. It could say something about the working and destructive policies. This makes me recall a newspaper street-pole teaser screaming something like "BEE failed: Manuel". Trevor Manuel is the 10-year plus serving South African minister of finance. Probably the longest serving in the world. Makes me think of that white beggar on Atterbury Road and N1 offramp twice.

"Judge of a man by his questions, rather than by his answers." - Voltaire

1 comment:

Steve Hayes said...

I have a friend from a working-class family in England. She lived in South Africa for 15 years, and their family went on a holiday to Britain and the Nat government would not let them return.

When she was here in the 1960s she used to say that when South Africa has solved the problem of the black and the whites it will only uncover the underlying problem: the haves and the have nots.

And I remember when the ANC was celebrating its election victory in 1994 Nelson Mandela said, for the benefit of the media, that one thing was absolutely non-negotiable: the RDP. And yet the RDP was abandoned within a year. The only vestige of it left is in a kind of folk saying, when people talk of "RDP houses", and I think that if you ask people today what RDP means they will either look blank, or say it means a cheap and nasty jerry-built house.