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17 May 2001
African Renaissance 

Our Head of State now has his own aeroplane! Which other country can boast that? 

Okay, I can hear the Americans already. Why do they have a plane for the President? Easy, they are world leaders in arms and defense, their economy is so strong they should slow down otherwise they'll have to cope with an even better economy, they're a proud nation who believes in themselves and their country and of course, they have so much money that they don't know what to do with. Land of milk and honey? We all know it's not.

Nevertheless, can South Africa and it's people afford the 34 Billion Rand arms deal? Barely. Can South Africa afford a 300 Million Rand plane for it's president? No.
An emphatic no.

The final straw for government (yes, they are mostly black) was having the president stranded when his jet broke down. And having to hitch a ride with some Arabian prince to the States, was a major embarrassment for the ANC. So, they've placed the order. Over and above the asking price, it will cost the tax-payer a further 200 Million Rand to fit the "hotel with wings". Then we are not even considering the running cost of such a plane. Never mind the qualified people to fly the thing.

Is this what was meant by change? Empower the selected black man to such an extend that others must suffer? With our unemployment rate, our underpaid and understaffed government services and collapsing infrastructure, they have the money to buy an airliner type jet? Is this a front they're putting up for the world to think that they're winning the war against poverty and inequality? Or is this a show of blatant disrespect to the nation and their black brothers.
When will the ANC wake up and smell the roses? When will it finally dawn on them that there is more at stake than money and pride? When will they realise that South Africa and it's people are slowly but surely dying? With so many other priorities they occupy their minds only with themselves and their image.

We have one of the highest infection rates of HIV/AIDS in the world, we have the highest amount of crime and rape cases in the world. A record to be proud of? Active police men and women are being put on early retirement due to stress factors with a lifelong pension being paid to persons as young as 35 years of age. What is being done about our crime rate? Police stations being closed down is now a common occurence. Specialised units are being integrated into "normal" police duties with total ignorance from government side to the unique skills that these people obtained over years of service. Salaries are ridiculous with many law-enforcers now taking bribes and resorting to sometimes illegal sources of income. Vehicles break down, the public is being ignored and most of the time, you'll get no response when your rights have been violated.

South African schools are turning out the dumbest of kids anywhere in the world (it won't surprise me if that statement is 100% true). Teachers strike and kids have the worst discipline I've ever witnessed.

Hospitals are closing down due to lack of staff. Cuban doctors are slowly but surely killing patients instead of helping them. Free medical treatment has never materialised due to lack of funds. Pharmaceutical companies have to come to the rescue with HIV/AIDS drugs to try and save a nation. The major corporates are doing the same for their staff. Government is just not capable.

And who is suffering? The mostly white taxpayer? The ANC's own brothers and sisters that voted them into power, that's who. The millions of jobless and homeless black people out there.

In the past the white man could still afford a gardener and / or a maid. With the fancy laws in place stipulating minimum wages for domestic workers, most of these domestics are now without a job. With fuel prices yo-yoing more up than down nearly on a bi-weekly basis, the economy can't take much more. The white man is broke. The black man is even worse off. And the ANC and their comrades are sitting pretty in their chauffer-driven Mercs and BMW's.

How long will this aeroplane be flight-ready or airworthy? They couldn't afford to keep the old smaller jet in the air, how are we going to afford the new one?

Beats me!