Tuesday, September 25, 2007

2007. Post Apartheid SA - NZ, 1999-2000, SA Dispatches and Work Wraiths

2000. Esslemonts near Rakaia River

Leah continued her self-employed business, teaching SLD pupils at home, at schools and at Seabrook McKenzie Centre. Her earnings were subsidized by the dole. Jake and Luke grew up in Christchurch and became musicians. Jake became a self-taught bass-guitarist, harmonica-player, clarinetist and singer. Luke's piano and theory teacher was a Cape Town expat, and Luke learnt tympani at high school. My deafness induced family to be my main involvement. Detachment from noisy social situations characterized me: antithesis of my old SA life. My nausea, nystagmus and blackouts caused me to fear surfing and swimming. My old Perthes hip caused me to jog lopsided, so I preferred long walks. The Port Hills and Southern Alps called.

October 1999. Alleman's dispatch: "Government considering closing many black schools. Few pupils pass. Few teachers teach - just draw monthly pay. New political squeak: 'Transformation' means whites must be substituted with blacks. New laws will make business life difficult. Corruption and crime is a SA Lifestyle. The faster they 'transform,' the faster corruption and inefficiency accelerates.

I have a maximum of eight years before De Beers retirement. I'm refusing to be interviewed by a Promotions Panel, as it won't promote me after 12 years' service. Why give false hope? Why pretend? To promote a white male is now a crime. We have a new apartheid, but are forbidden to say so. Business liberals, who were against old apartheid, support new apartheid laws.

We have weekly, bus, truck, taxi accidents. When you drive in a city, you can't assume a minibus-taxi will stop at a red light or stop street. They drive like they always have right of way. To disembark or pick up passengers they stop - anywhere. Government wants to introduce a scheme to state-subsidize black taxi buyers. Newspaper report: White women controlling netball, unacceptable. Two netball executive women executed - shot in the backs of their heads."

In April 2000, NZ mayors met in Christchurch to discuss NZ's unemployment problem. NZ's social welfare was unsustainable with high unemployment and big bureaucracy. Amidst clamour to get work wraiths off their derrieres, NZ employers were silent. Labouring and process-worker jobs Christchurch offered me wouldn't sustain my family, as those jobs needed to be subsidized by state dole, state accommodation supplement and state Family Assistance. Despite Leah doing professional tutoring, we were labelled "working poor," meaning low-income families having parents / partners working to earn a combined wage, subsidized by the state.

July 2000. Alleman's dispatch: "Civil Aviation Board replaced top management with affirmative -action employees. Board sold pilots' licences to blacks, who fraudulently passed exams. Rural train stations decay. Eskom left Colenso. When municipal services decayed, Colenso shrivelled, then Zulus demolished buildings for shanty materials.

SA is stuffed with Nigerians, Malians, Zimbabwians, Zambians, Congolese, Arabs, Angolans, Tanzanians, Chinese... Farmers killed almost daily. Places like Hillbrow you wouldn't recognize - slummy high-rise buildings with no electricity, water or sewage. It's risky driving through Hillbrow. Amidst chaos of useless cops, insufficient courts, overcrowded prisons, impotent Welfare Department, the economy surges ahead. And Afrikaners manage it.

Government income reached record high - Tax department implements a programme designed by Stellenbosch University, and rakes in money. Personal tax reduced from 45% to 42%. Company tax dropped 35%. Exemption of tax interest gone from R2000 to R3000 per year. You can now invest up to R750 000 outside SA. Rand falls. Petrol prices rise - R3.50/litre - rising almost monthly. No end to government schemes - unemployment pay; limited gun ownership; quick 'transfer' of 30% of agricultural land to 'peasants' - wealth transfer from productive to unproductive people. Disaster will result, like in Zimbabwe where Mugabe's minions invade white commercial farms.

Estimated: 60% of women in Carltonville are HIV positive. Natal - 40% are HIV positive. (Approx. 50% of Zambian high school girls are HIV positive). 40% of SA tertiary students are HIV positive. 1700 Aids cases are diagnosed daily in SA. PC no-no's: Aids and skills shortage - while citizens emigrate."

In December 2000, when I applied to Riccarton WINZ for an emergency benefit to repair my broken molar, a male employee sniggered at a nearby workstation. When I complained to the service-manager he said, "We do not consider the male employee was at your meeting. There's no indication he sniggered at the interview." (WINZ letter, December 2000).

In January 2001, a Durban lawyer friend wrote: "SA has a depressed economy, with increased corruption and government bungling, particularly in health, education, police, justice and prisons. There's a breakdown in law and order."

Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

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