Tuesday, September 18, 2007

2007. Post Apartheid SA - NZ, 1997, SA Dispatch, "The Press" Article, Immigrant Hassles

< 1997. Esslemonts & Traction Engine, Macleans Island, Christchurch.

September 1997. Alleman's dispatch: " Whites are forced from senior jobs, especially civil service. There's massive corruption from town councillors and ministers. Many government tenders go to black companies, only companies in name. When a higher tender goes to a black company, they employ a white company to do the work and pocket the difference.

Wifey went to a welfare office, asking to care for a 10 year old black orphan, who'd been raped. Some whites adopt Aids orphaned blacks. White farmers and elderly killed. Carjacks - blow your head off at a stop street. In 1996, 130 000 sheep were stolen in the Eastern Cape. People don't report crimes, especially if a 'disadvantaged' cop is behind the desk, as usually nothing gets done. My farmer nephew and his widowed mother sell sheep in Khayalitsha. A black points a revolver at my nephew - 'Click-Click!' - misfire. A third shot shatters his arm. They rush to the cop-shop and report the shooting, but cops didn't take a statement. If your house gets burgled, or you get carjacked and resist (criminal gets killed) you go to jail, as you've violated his human rights, a crime.

Organized crime: Drugs are everywhere - mandrax in Koffiefontein. Sheep stealers drive trucks on planned routes. Carjacking 'orders' are placed for specific colours and models - regular 'delivery.' Huge 'industries' - people clocking in daily for 'work.' Nigerian, Russian, Romanian, other international gangs. A man was called as a Swaziland court witness: 'State your occupation!'

'Carjacker Your Honour. I've never committed a Swaziland crime, as that's wrong. I only carjack government cars in SA. No one misses them.'"

In NZ, the Treasury generated, compulsory superannuation scheme was rejected in a postal referendum. The National government's idea of compulsory savings for individuals was questionable, as my temp labourer wages could never support my family, nor let me save. National's Shipley ousted Bolger, becoming NZ's first woman Prime Minister. Shipley sacked her Treasurer, Winston Peters, who'd made anti-Asian comments. Before elections, he stirred up anti -immigration feelings.

The Press
10/12/1997 leader column confirmed my suspicions: "What a mess is NZ's immigration policy. Confused and changeable in the way it selects migrants, it mishandles them when they arrive. NZ fails to make full use of people settling here... Settlement policy is so weak it is virtually non existent... Prospective migrants started being tested for English proficiency... It's real purpose is to reduce migrant numbers... It has cut the immigration flow... reducing investments from immigrants and slashing access to skilled settlers."

A SA plumber couldn't get plumbing work in Christchurch, as he wasn't a registered plumber. To register, he needed to work with registered plumbers, who wouldn't employ him, as they resented foreign competition. A SA company director milked Christchurch cows. After six years' residence he became a maths teacher. His immigrant father-in-law, farmer, couldn't find NZ work. The teacher got Wellington work, teaching farming subjects via NZ Correspondence School. He commuted to Christchurch bi-monthly to see his family.

A SA accountant, who'd immigrated the same time as us, couldn't get accounting work in Christchurch. He sold houses, then worked as a Nelson accountant. His family stayed in Christchurch to complete the children's school year. He disciplined a subordinate for absenteeism. She got him suspended from his job on false sexual harassment charges. His health failed, and he attempted suicide.

Over three years, I'd applied for over 350 NZ primary school teaching jobs. My teaching days were over. My deafness caused my military, drama, biology, teaching and personnel background to be useless. As I hadn't stated I was deaf in my teacher applications, I reckoned there were hundreds of NZ primary schools not needing over 40 year old SA male immigrants to teach non-composite classes.

A Chinese entomology professor had existed at Nottingham Avenue for nine years without finding professional work. NZIS ministers' tenures left immigration policy fluid and sometimes scandalized. In 2004, the Labour government's minister was demoted to back benches for lying about immigration.

Leah worked as a teacher-aide, also doing primary school relief -teaching. Leah was forbidden teaching year 1, as she didn't have a NZ primary teacher's diploma, although her SA pre-primary diploma included primary teacher training. I queried National Minister of Education Creech why teacher-aides, with NZ Qualifications Authority (NZQA) ratified teaching qualifications, were paid low-wages (NZ$10.19/hour gross), and why there was no pay-parity amongst primary, high and kindergarten teachers? (Later, NZ primary and high school teachers got pay- parity). I stated that Leah, a qualified and experienced teacher, did primary school relief-teaching, yet wasn't paid primary teacher's pay. As Leah didn't have a Kiwi primary diploma merit didn't apply. Leah's NZQA ratified diploma was OK for her to teach junior-primary children in SA and England, but not OK for NZ Ministry of Education primary school pay, due to NZ's inflexible teaching levels.

A Secretary of Education lackey recommended Leah retrain as a primary school teacher, or seek kindergarten posts.

1997-1998. El Nino gave Canterbury its hottest summer in decades. Wang and I sweated in over 30 degree Celcius humidity, despatching tons of Christmas cookies. At our Christmas party, Crumbles deigning to call me to his office, sacked me in front of other workers saying, "We ken only employ ya forwa two morwa months next year?"

Pissed off, I drove to Nottingham Avenue. It was the fourth time I'd been sacked during two years of Christchurch labouring. The ECA gave no job security.

Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

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