Wednesday, January 23

South Africa - Zimbabwe in Slow Motion

Everybody knows what a disaster Zimbabwe is. Many who can flee the country already have, with a good portion of them going to South Africa. What most people do not know, is that South Africa is headed down the very same path:
As probably the whole world knows by now about Robert Mugabe and the White Farmers in Zimbabwe, probably very few know that the exact same thing is happening in South Africa. The only difference is that the practise of seizing farms is on a much smaller scale, and the media keeps relatively quiet about it, and so does the Government. - Anamnesis
It is not easy to find stories about land reform in South Africa, other than a couple of them that heap praise on the process, which it very well might deserve, as long as your comparing their process to how land reform being done in Zimbabwe. But I did find this one story confirming the violence:
More than 1,500 white farmers have been murdered over the past decade of peaceful majority rule in South Africa. - BBC
And they aren't just being murdered; They are often first tortured and then butchered to death. This story and others have comments from blacks encouraging South Africa to speed up the 'reform' more along the lines of how Zimbabwe has proceeded. Seeing how well that has worked for Zimbabwe, it makes me wonder just how smart the Government of South Africa really is. Sure Apartheid is over, but it makes no sense to destroy an industry in the spirit of 'reform'. What kind of reform is it anyway? In almost all cases, the land is lost to all practical farming use once it is taken away from the professional farmer. Often the recipient often does little to farm the plot. Even if some do, they are only working a small piece of the original farm and they will produce little more than what is needed for home use. Land 'reform' is also destroying businesses that were providing employment and salaries to local workers and turning those workers into new slaves, tied to the land that has been given to them.

Africa can be great, but first they need to stop looking back constantly. While something has to be done to help lift the black populations of 'colonial' Africa out of poverty, it makes no sense to punish the whites in the process and by that I mean that they should not dismantle the farms. Instead they should try to build on their success. How about starting more farms with the workers being shareholders of them? (How about making the mine workers shareholders of the mines they work.) How about more vineyards? Along with that there is a need to build up an education infrastructure. Land does not make a person a farmer. Education, knowledge and experience does.



Previous:
Why is the UN Pleading for Food for Zimbabwe? - 2 Aug 07
Zimbabwe photos - Land reform - 22 Aug 06

More links:
Land Reform, Africa - Wikipedia
South Africa, Agriculture - Wikipedia

2 comments:

Charles said...

There is no end to the commentary about the plight of white farmers in South Africa. There was no mention of the plight of the poor black South Africans who are routinely physically abused, under paid, and basically treated with less humanity than white South Africans treat their dogs. This is a sad fact. There are debts to be paid by white South Africans for their evil deeds done to black South Africans. Kindness begets kindness!!! Additionally, white South Africans generally enjoy a life of luxury that cannot be replicated any where in their European ancestral homelands. Many have maids and gardners, people with similar earnings in Europe and North America cannot afford such luxuries.

anjasmith said...

Hi! cool article. thanks for the mention of my tiny blog.

Allow me to reply to charles:
An attitude of 'pay back' is just what I fear is doing more harm than apartheid in the first place. Yes, I believe you that there are problems. Some black people are still mistreated, but believe it or not, white people are now being just as badly treated as black people. It seems like no one is safe in south africa, and people that really don't deserve punishment, are tortured and murdered. How do you explain the two missionary sisters in pietermaritzburg that were helping the black community all their lives, beaten, tortured and murdered?? Why? because they were white?

In my recent trip home I saw more black people driving fancy flashy cars and flying first class than white people. It is not only white people living in luxury (and exploiting the poor??).

You are right, kindess begets kindness, and it starts with me, and with you.
Peace.