Never have I encountered so many South Africans who are thinking of, or trying to relocate to foreign, and ironically more welcoming, shores.
These individuals and families are not trying to leave South Africa because of concerns due to the struggling economy or the high crime rate, but because of concerns linked to the political landscape. These - mostly pale - natives do not feel welcome in the country of their birth.
And those who are not in the process of leaving, are trying everything to make sure they have an open back door when the paw-paw strikes the fan. Many South Africans are looking for a Plan B - desperately saving for a tiny flat in Portugal, pooling money with friends or family to buy a unit in a housing estate in Mauritius, trying to follow their adult children to Canada, Australia or New Zealand.
Some singletons who don't have the luxury of off-shore investments or capital for a pad overseas, are even hunting online for 'off-shore' romance, keen to follow a partner to a new life abroad.
Yet, somewhere deep down, many are still hoping against hope that Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa will be able to create a new dawn with a rainbow leading us to a pot of gold for the poor. But, following nearly two decades of fanning the flames of racial division - first under Thabo Mbeki and then perfected by Jacob Zuma - a new dawn looks like a pipe dream.
Everything in South Africa is political. Murder, land, education, policing, employment, sport, arts and culture... you name it and it is politicised. An issue of race - black and white.
This creates an extremely stressful society within which to carve out a semblance of a normal life.
A scary political factor is the religious leaders in KZN who have pledged their full support for Zuma, with thinly veiled threats about splitting the party aimed at Ramaphosa. The group has branded Zuma their "intellectual leader for radical economic transformation".
It is highly ironic, as in 2016 Zuma asked religious leaders to stick to spiritual matters and to leave economic and political matters to the ANC. How can men of the cloth pledge their support for Zuma when faced with all the damning evidence against the former leader? Other motives and factors are at play that have nothing to do with justice or a better future for the poor. Radical economic transformation is what they want, at any cost.
The easy birth of Julius Malema's Economic Freedom Fighters in 2013 did nothing to lessen the racial strain on society. On the contrary, the EFF leaders and their ever-growing membership have been fighting fit to sow racial hatred and fear from the very start. Zuma compounded this racial divide by never letting an opportunity pass to blame the whites.
Most whites took this in their stride, as apartheid can and must be blamed for many ills in our society, but since Ramaphosa took over something strange has happened. As soon as he promised that expropriation without compensation would become a reality, the blame-shifting and white bashing reached fever pitch. Malema says the EFF is "cutting the throat of whiteness" and the message seems to be that blacks will remain poor if whites remain rich. As the ruling party, or at least its leader, tries to reclaim the moral high ground, Malema has lost his punching bag, and without Zuma the EFF supporters' attention needs to be diverted to a new target to keep their outrage and anger alive.
The EFF is constantly playing the race card, and it's not only whites who get the rod. The latest instance of EFF racism is the bashing of Deputy Director-General of Treasury Ismail Momoniat, an Indian descendant, by the EFF's Floyd Shivambu, who accused Momoniat of feeling superior to his African colleagues. Dangerous politics.
Many young men and women who support the EFF have nothing to lose, except a bleak future.
These have-nots believe the only way they will ever be landowners or live a life of relative comfort, is to take from the haves. And I fear they are right.
If Zuma and Malema could bury the hatchet, they would be the perfect fit to garner enough votes to win the election in 2019, but I don't think even Malema would sink as low as that.
Ramaphosa can do everything in his power to bring about a miracle, but I fear the money pots are not deep enough, the human capital not honed enough and the support structures far too inadequate to provide millions of unskilled people with an acceptable future.
Not that the EFF will be able to fulfill their followers' hopes and aspirations. But, as the song goes: Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose...
And, with sky-high unemployment and no available jobs, people literally have nothing left to lose and are very susceptible to raised fists and loud slogans rendered inaudible by megaphones in the hands of megalomaniacs sporting red berets or shower heads.
Are you a single guy with a foreign passport and a predilection for opinionated women? Drop me a line.
Posted on: 11:33 Thu, 07 June 2018
Confirmed Covid-19 cases in Garden Route District: