South Africa’s long walk to decline

The Separate Amenities Act might sound like an innocuous measure covering the remit of an obscure local council. It was, in fact, one of the most pernicious laws ever devised by the old South Africa, allowing the country’s white overlords to segregate every public facility – parks, buses, beaches, even lavatories – according to race.

And 25 years ago today, the very parliament which had passed this law voted to repeal the Act and consign its handiwork to oblivion. This debate in the National Assembly in Cape Town was the moment when South Africa under FW de Klerk began to sweep away the legal edifice of apartheid.

As those blows were struck, ordinary South Africans believed that the struggle against apartheid was destined to succeed – and that success would mean freedom, certainly, but also jobs and homes and perhaps even prosperity for millions who had been deliberately impoverished by the white regime.

  • FactsWillOut

    Ending Apartheid was the equivalent of forcing a homeowner to invite a bunch of arsonists into his well-built home.

    • Drunk_by_Noon

      In a way, you are right.
      South Africa had quite few native inhabitants before the Boers came to farm. As the farms become more productive, starving blacks from elsewhere in Africa moved to the areas to find work on the farms.
      As their numbers, and associated violence increased, the whites, for their own protection, enacted apartheid laws.
      Most blacks in South Africa or Rhodesia cannot trace their ancestory back to any local tribes that predate the white man’s arrival.
      What few tribes were indigenous to the area, and there were not many, were whiped-out (genocided) by Zulus and other predatory African tribes.

      • FactsWillOut

        It’s the age old “I gotsta gets me some o’ dat loot” syndrome.

      • P_F

        That’s the factual based history, not taught in the schools anymore.

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    Why would anyone believe that a black run South Africa would look any different than a black run Zimbabwe, or the rest of black run Africa?
    But hey, it’s all worth it, because now blacks and whites can all go to the same beach.

    Can we ask the obvious question as to why all of these primitives seem to have such a problem with corruption?

    • FactsWillOut

      Nothing a bit of albino blood won’t cure.

    • k

      CDA has a BIG problem with corruption and I would argue that it is almost as BIG as S Africa’s… we just negotiate better/peacefully with the under belly

      I suppose you can say it is the difference between…
      raw/in-your-face vs sophisticated/word-play-implications

  • Hard Little Machine

    The ANC is a creation of the CCCP and KGB. Openly. It’s one of the last vestiges of Soviet style corruption and incompetence. It functions this way by design. Keep people poor and angry and you can control them

  • P_F

    Some cultures & races (read; most) are ‘INCAPABLE’ to administer & rule.
    It’s NOT the fault of the culture/race who could rule effectively & provide a fair administration. This blame game has to stop & people need to do some introspection, if they want to succeed & prosperous like the hardworking, sensible people of the west.

  • Dingo

    Please read and remember there was no internet during “apartheid”. Only 40 years of propaganda. Thin k about it. Would “apartheid” have been so bad if South Africa didn’t have more than 50% of the worlds gold and a host of precious minerals.

    In 1988, a German book was published on South Africa during the height of apartheid. Below are some of the facts referencing 1988

    In 1972, SA blacks owned 360,000 vehicles. (More than all the black African states together)

    The monthly income of blacks per capita in 1988 was R352 per month in South Africa – Malawi and Mozambique was less than R20 per month.

    In 1988 black people could undergo a complicated heart valve surgery for just more than $ 1 while black Americans had to pay $ 15,000. In a Pretoria hospital between 2,000 and 3,000 of these surgeries were done per year.

    In 1970, black workers earned R1,751 million, or 25.5% of the total wage fees in SA and increased to R17,238 million in 1984 (1,000% growth) and 32.3% of total wages in SA.

    In the 1986/1987 financial year, whites paid R9,000 million and blacks R171 million tax. Indians paid R257 million and coloreds paid R315 million on tax.

    Between 1962 and 1972 the UN paid $ 298 million to underdeveloped countries compared to South Africa that spent $ 558 million on the development of its black areas.

    The budget amount for black education increases every year from 1970 to almost 30% more than any other government department.

    From 1955 to 1984 the number of black scholars increased from 35,000 to 1,096,000. In 1988 71% of the adult black population could read and write versus 47% in Kenya, 38% in Egypt and 34% in Nigeria. On average during the year 15 new classrooms per working day were built for black scholars.

    In 1985 there were 42,000 black students enrolled at SA universities.

    There were 5 black universities and 28 higher education institutions funded by the government.

    Soweto with its population of 1.2 million had 5 modern stadiums versus Pretoria with its 600,000 whites who had three. Soweto had 365 schools versus Pretoria 229. In Soweto in 1978, there were 115 football fields, three rugby fields, 4 athletic tracks, 11 cricket fields, two golf courses, 47 tennis courts, 7 swimming pools, 5 bowling halls, 81 basketball fields, 39 children playgrounds and countless community halls, cinemas and clubhouses.

    In Soweto in 1978, there were 300 churches, 365 schools, 2 technicons, 8 clinics, 63 kindergartens, 11 post offices and its own fruit and vegetable market.

    The white government built a huge hospital Baragwanath 3,000 beds in Soweto. One of the largest and most modern hospitals in the world.

    Its 23 operating theaters were equipped with the best equipment money can buy.

    Here blacks were treated at a nominal cost of R2 for an unlimited period.

    In 1982, no fewer than 898 heart surgeries were done here.

    Next to the Baragwantha Hospital is the St. John-eye clinic, famous for the treatment of glaucoma, previous fix retinas, traumatic eye injuries and rare tropical diseases.

    There were over 2,300 registered firms, 1,000 taxi operators and 50,000 car owners in Soweto.

    Dr. Kenneth Walker, a Canadian physician, visited Soweto and made the following observations:

    He saw several houses worth more than R100 000 with various BMW’s at the door.

    Only 2% of homes are shacks with neat buildings with lawns. If he had to choose between the decaying apartments in New York, Detroit or Chicago than he would rather stay in Soweto.

    He’d rather be very ill in Soweto as in some Canadian cities.

    He says the city has more schools, churches, cars, taxis, and sports fields than any other independent African states.

    In 1978 the South African government built a highly modern hospital MEDUNSA on the border of the independent state of Bophuthatswana at a cost of R70 million on 35 hectares. In this “city” there were living and sleeping facilities for male and female students.

    Black doctors, dentists, veterinarians and para-medical staff were trained. It is the only specialized university of its kind in Africa and one of the few in the world financed by white taxpayers exclusively to benefit blacks. Almost all students who mainly came from the national homelands costs were taken care of by the government.

    The practical training took place in the nearby Garankuwa Hospital farm where the whole range of human ailments is covered.

    Garankuwa had the facilities for kidney transplants, isotopes units with specialized laboratories where 200 doctors were trained practically every year.

    South Africa provided training for the airline personnel of Swaziland, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zaire and the Comores.

    In 1979, when the train traffic to the Malawian capital Lilongwe was interrupted by rebels, SA sent transport aircrafts with fuel drums to keep their economy going.

    In 1986, 80,000 black businessmen from Africa visited Cape Town to finalize business deals.

    South Africa provided the grain needs of its neighboring countries and wider. In 1980, Zambia received 250 000 tons of maize, Mozambique 150,000 tons maize and 50 000 tons of wheat, Kenya 128,000 tons maize and Zimbabwe 100 000 tons. Other countries that also received South African grain were Angola, Ivory Coast, Malawi, Mauritius, Tanzania and Zaire.

    At least 12 countries of Africa, according to the “Argus African News Service” were so dependent on SA grain that a total ban on imports and exports would have destroyed them economically.

    About half of Lesotho’s male population worked in South Africa, about 146,000 in 1983, and earned R280,6 million which was about half of Lesotho’s treasury.
    In the 1982/83 financial year SA budgeted R434 million for assistance to the independent neighboring states.

    SA produced more electrical energy than Italy, as much crude steel as France, more wheat than Canada, more wool than the US, more wine than Greece and more fish than Great Britain.
    South African trains ran on more rail lines than in West Germany, carried more passengers than Switzerland, have better punctuality record than Austria and exported car parts to 100 countries.

    SA mines bore down to the depth of 3,480 meters and holds the record for the deepest vertical shaft at 2,498m deep into the hardest rock in the world.

    They were accused by the world that they were a police state:

    In SA 1.4 officers for every 1,000 people while the world is as follows: UK 2.2, Israel 3.5, New York 4.3, and Moscow 10 per 1000. In South Africa there were 16,292 white policemen versus 19 177 non-white.

    They were accused of killing their political offenders:

    In 1979-1980 there were no deaths in SA prisons. In the previous 10 years 37 died versus 274 in the same period in Wales and England.

    They were accused that they payed starvation wages:

    In 1974, the average monthly income of black workers in South Africa were $ 127 versus the $ 140 in the US, the richest country in the world.

    They were accused that they locked up thousands of political prisoners:

    In 1983, 127 such prisoners are confined in SA and 11 whose movements were limited. A further 32 were under house arrest.
    3rd Degree’s photo.

    Originally posted on “3rd Degree Journalist” Facebook page :