I’m tired of this growing rhetoric perpetuated from all sides of the country. There is a lot of assumption, opinions and baseless information floating around on social media — all of which is creating a great divide in the country.
I’m going to put some of my thoughts down on specific issues related to this;
Let’s start with what has been seen as the biggest issue that has been at the core of our nation, Land.
When the first settlers arrived, land was taken from native tribes across the entire region. Natives were fighting for their own homesteads and places as well. Farms, cities and towns were built around resources, wars were fought by different colonists against colonialists i.e. Boer War as well as the natives i.e. Zulu vs British — and so the issue of who the land really belongs to is ultimately redundant. Everyone has a stake to it.
During the Apartheid Regime, many households were displaced. The land act itself removed families into townships from urban areas, demolished houses and infrastructure all in the sake of controlling and isolating the black majority. People were segregated by race, as an example, Durban in KwaZulu-Natal has Indian communities, African Communities and White Communities. Cape Town has Black, White and Coloured communities.
People were forcefully removed from their homes, without compensation. Forced to live in squalor, to become shack-dwellers.
During the transition into a democratic, free and fair country in 1994, the disposed land was given to the ruling party — as the controlling government of the time had majority of the land under its control and rule. This land still sits with the current government.
Ultimately, the land act should rectify the injustices of the past, the land in which government controls from forceful removal does not mean that it has to forcefully remove the land from current owners. In fact, it needs to distribute the land so that millions who live in squalor, shacks and in poor conditions, can finally have a place that is their own, not a forced, downtrodden settlement.
Taking away Farms
The notion that farm land will be appropriated is a moot point — majority of the land that was originally appropriated was in, and still is in urban areas.
There are some farm lands that will be shifted, however, ownership does not mean non-existence. The rhetoric that only white farmers are successful is sheer here-say. The number of black farmers outweighs that of white farmers, let alone the majority of farm workers are black.
Where white farmers are critical, and this is a key point, is that they control the money, equipment, land and resources needed to keep the farm operational. Ordinary farm workers are not making deals to buy equipment, dealing with banks for loans or speaking with agriculture and seed producers.
The transfer of ownership means that there also needs to be a transfer of skills and knowledge. This will be the key determining factor in the success of food security in our country.
Let’s look at how the land issue spurs this notion of Farm murders. There has been much debate over white farmers being slaughtered in heinous crimes. There have been many cases of farm workers being killed as well.
Urban dwellers, like myself, who really know nothing about the rural lifestyle will cast aspersions and throw tantrums regarding this. I see it differently. Crime is crime, and murder ranks high on our list. Urban dwellers know the affects of crime that they experience daily, in townships and in city centers.
Farm crimes happen- however due to the rural nature, it is hard for police to navigate the vast land that we have. This is the reason for farm security, farm communities and farm watches.
Most recently, a black man was killed for fishing on a farm by a farm security worker. In another incident, a black child was killed for picking sunflowers. In another incident, a black women was put into a cage and transported. In another incident, a farmer worker was shot in the head by a farmer and was ‘mistaken for a monkey’
In other cases, White farmers are being killed in apparent raids on their farms — there has been a global outcry against such crimes, however subjective. With the few remaining white farmers in the country, it is clear that this is an issue that is bringing up stark review as they are a minority — this however is not a genocide as it is made to believe by certain groups and Australia.
The call for refugee status for white farmers is, by no mere feat, appalling. This really reflects the stance of the Australian government and it’s policies that are intertwined with sheer and blatant racism.
To merely mention that a white farmer is a refugee, undermines, defines and mocks them off the bat. To offer a ‘safe haven’ in a ‘civilised’ country that seeks to increase their own food safety — by perpetuating a ‘genocide’ is simply propaganda to stir hate amongst South Africans.
To call this a genocide is to slap Rwanda, Syria and Rohingya in the face. Where was Australia when these people faced persecution? There isn’t a genocide, last time I checked there were still plenty of white individuals going about their days as per usual.
I’ll end this on a positive note.
I believe that this continent has the most potential in the world. I believe that it is time for Africans, of all races — who are born here, to rise up and claim what is their own birthright.
We are not the West, nor the East, but we are Africans.