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began settling near the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa in 1652. Over the next three hundred years, South Africa saw many battles for land and power, typically resulting in a continued white rule. The British and Dutch fought many times for the right to rule the country, often switching hands at each battle. Both countries brought their people, culture, and resources to SA, using them to suppress the local population and maintain control. Eventually even the non-natives grew tired of the imperial rule and demanded independence. South Africa received their independence from Great Britain in 1901, changing governmental types several times over the next couple decades. In 1948, the National Party was elected into office, beginning the apartheid rule.1 As time progressed they declared themselves a republic in 1961solidifying the apartheid regime. The minority white rule deemed themselves superior, requiring all blacks and coloreds to live in their ³homeland.´ The homelands quickly turned into townships, slums that were barely fit to house animals. These townships housed anywhere from a couple hundred to tens of thousands of blacks- all required to live on very low wages with little to no education, no electricity, and no running water. Although petitions, squatter movements, and strikes within and outside of SA opposed the republic regime and apartheid rule, nothing changed until 1994. Upon the republic stepping down and the country¶s first real democratic election, SA elected its first black president, Nelson Mendela. The non-white majority was ecstatic at the thought of finally moving out of the townships and having equal rights. Much to their dismay, there was no immediate change in their physical or economic situations. More than 15 years later, the majority of the poor still live in townships. Some of those townships have electricity and running water, but providing those necessities has only solidified their location in the townships.
Issues Today, South Africa is one of the most developed countries in Africa, experiencing a relatively high GDP of $524 billion (26th in the world) and a growth rate of 2.8%. Despite the positive outlook of their economy, 48% of youth between 15 and 24 are unemployed (with national unemployment near 25%), 50% of the population is below the poverty line, and more than 13% of adults cannot read. They also have the 3rd most unequal distribution of wealth in the world2.
History of SA CIA World Factbook ± South Africa
It is easy to point out the issues in South Africa and label colonization as the cause for those issues, and for the most part, that is correct. Colonization put whites on top, starting the unequal distribution of wealth, and then entrenched the black majority in poor living conditions, giving the country a personality of segregation. South Africa has more issues than just postcolonization, though. They have the highest number of people with HIV/AIDS, a very unequal distribution of wealth, a high rate of pollution, and many cases of poor governance and corruption. All of these issues have a great affect on the development of South Africa. Probably one of the most detrimental and often overlooked is the unintentional continued segregation throughout the country. The Truth and Reconciliation program that began after 1994 opened conversation between a suppressed black community and the ³superior´ white community. The hope and plan was to reduce racial tension and help desegregate the country. However, the majority of blacks still live in townships. Schools are often still segregated, not by law, but due to zoning that places all the youth from a township in one school and all the youth from single-family homes in another. This unintentional segregation is keeping many blacks poor due to a lower level of education in the townships. The African average of student to teacher ratio for poor communities is 50 to 13. Such a high ratio is not beneficial to learning and is caused by insufficient funds for education, low numbers of qualified teachers, and high population density. The high population density is also one contributor to the number of HIV/AIDS victims in South Africa. More than 60% of the population lives in an urban setting. The high number of people suffering with HIV/AIDS puts great stress on families and the country as a whole. Development initiatives that target poor families must touch on HIV/AIDS awareness/prevention because their programs could be useless if the families they invest in die after a short while. HIV/AIDS is also a large reason why many people contract tuberculosis, the leading cause of death in South Africa. The low immune system caused by HIV/AIDS is much more susceptible to infections and diseases. With the large number of deaths each year, the population growth rate is -.38%, much of that coming out of the work force. As the work force is affected by death, disease, and dismay, the distribution of wealth only solidifies. South Africa has one of the highest Gini index numbers at 65. This puts a large amount of stress on the government. With 50% of the population living below the poverty line, there is high demand for taxing the rich and giving to the poor. Businesses are required to hire a certain number of black South Africans when the company reaches a particular size, mandated by the Black Economic Empowerment program4. A large number of South African business owners, instead of adhering to law, moved their families and businesses out of the country where they could make more money. This action, combined with other forces, caused a ³brain-drain´ of the country, a mass exodus of South Africa¶s wealthy and educated. On top of all of these issues, South Africa experiences an alarming number of corruption cases each year. There are many instances of corruption, but most notably is the situation with RDP
World Vision ± South Africa Department of Trade and Industry
housing. Funds are allocated each year for adequate housing to be built for the poor and once oppressed of SA. Unfortunately, some of those funds have never been used to build these muchneeded homes. A backlog of 7.5 million people in need of homes5 did nothing to encourage the proper use of these funds by political party members. In April 2010, a news article reported 1,910 government officials were arrested under fraudulent charges; the sum of their fraudulence was reported at R44-million, equal to $6,123,7006. Beyond the housing issue, South Africa¶s potential president-to-be lives a life full of corruption. Julius Malema is the ANC Youth Leagues current president, making him the candidate in waiting. He has been in the limelight of South African, and sometimes world, media. His actions reflect the characteristics of a corrupt leader. His comments sometimes contradict his actions and he is unable to defend himself. One incidence of this was seen in April 2010 when he, ³publically humiliated and removed a BBC reporter from a press conference after accusing him of µwhite tendency¶ and calling him a µbastard¶, µbloody agent¶ and µsmall boy¶´7. Malema lost much of his credibility at this time towards being a future leader in South Africa. His comments toward the white journalist only reinforced the racial tension that currently grips the country. Yet despite his decreasing credibility, the black youth of the country look up to him and model his actions. To elaborate, at a recent ANC rally, 25,000 young adults showed up in support of the ANC. Malema arrived late and commented on some of the officials in power using their position to benefit friends and family in a corrupt manner. This statement was well received by many groups, but it was a statement of hypocrisy. Julius Malema has been cited as having, ³amassed assets of over R4-million thanks to lucrative government contracts´8. In this thought process, Malema encourages corruption for personal gain, not for assisting family or friends. As youth leader of the most influential political party in South Africa, Julius has many followers. It is estimated that at least half of the 25,000 people that showed up to the rally were part of the ANC youth league9. Malema is well aware that he is a role model for many of the young adults in South Africa, yet he continues to act in a way that is not uplifting for his society. Aside from the corrupt government, South Africa also experiences one of the highest rates of rape in the world. Speculations label the causes of the rape epidemic to be a culture of violence, a poor criminal justice system, and a widely accepted myth. The myth claims that victims of HIV/AIDS will be cured if they have sexual intercourse with a virgin. Although this myth has no proof, some people still accept it as truth. The most prevalent cause, though, is the inadequacies of the criminal justice system. The past police chief was removed due to accepting a bribe from a drug dealer10 last year. His action is just a reflection of the police departments common inabilities to reduce and prevent crimes.
Knight, 2001 BuaNews, 2010 7 Hyde-Clark, 3 8 classicmalema.co.za 9 Malefane, 2011 10 BBC News
The police departments inadequacies are just one of the many issues that hinder the development of South Africa. As political, economic, social, and humanitarian issues ensue, the continued development of South Africa remains difficult. The following are several suggestions that may encourage change to some of the issues that currently grip SA.
Recommendations As South Africa encounters so many different issues, some of them can be addressed at the same time by specific programs. Some recommendations for future actions include implementing soccer clinics focused on HIV/AIDS education, reinstituting the Truth and Reconciliation program to increase government transparency, changing the tax code to promote business owners, and redeveloping the housing plan to move people from the townships. All of these recommendations are based off of research, brief exposure to the South African culture, and existing, successful programs. The soccer clinics would be focused on the young boys and girls between 8 and 12 of the townships. That age range is ideal since it is shortly after/during that time that many of the children become sexually active. Most people living in the townships label soccer as their favorite sport and will go to any means necessary to play a game. Since the majority of people living in the townships are black, the program would use white and black teenage South Africans to provide volunteer assistance and white and black adult South Africans to provide teaching and guidance. The goal of the program would be to use soccer as a means to get children involved, then teach them about HIV/AIDS, while providing an opportunity for whites and blacks to work together for a greater cause. The best time to implement this project would be in June/July while the students are on holiday. Many children are left home alone or with a slightly older brother or sister during the holidays since their parents must continue to work. The clinics would give them a structured opportunity to stay out of trouble. The program will also probably mostly draw in boys. This is perfectly acceptable since many young men engage in acts of rape throughout the townships, helping spread the HIV/AIDS virus. Another program worth implementing is the Truth and Reconciliation program that helped South Africa quickly evolve from the apartheid era. This program would not be focused on the white supremacy rule, but instead on facilitating a discussion and providing an opportunity for the government to be transparent. Over the course of the last 15 years, there have been countless cases of corruption from government officials. A properly implemented program throughout the country would allow South Africans to gain trust for their government. The program would occur monthly in all the different provinces throughout the country. People could bring their issues of mistrust to a formal hearing and allow for government officials to explain, defend, and/or apologize and ask for forgiveness. This would cross cultural boundaries within the provinces and allow for whites and blacks alike to speak freely. The hope would be that while increasing trust through transparency, whites and blacks would gain trust for each other and further reduce the level of segregation in the country.
Another need for secured transparency is to remove the recently passed Secrecy Bill11. The South African Parliament just passed a bill that would allow for more government secrecy. The government should immediately remove this bill to reinstate the country¶s trust. South Africa already has a record of corruption that will not get any better if they do not remove the bill. Just in the last year, 56% of respondents to a survey had paid a bribe. This ensuing issue of corruption and secrecy is reducing investor interests- a much-needed resource. Over the course of the next month, parliament should focus on removing the bill. The Black Economic Empowerment program is also one in need of revising. White business owners are forced to hire black employees despite whether they are qualified for the job or not. Many business owners do not increase the size of their business to avoid hiring unqualified employees. Some of that could be caused by racism, many would argue in either direction. Instead of the government requiring business owners to hire a certain number of black people in their business, they could encourage them by giving tax cuts. These tax cuts would be a positive incentive for business owners to hire more diversely. In a perfect system, this would decrease the number of unemployed individuals, increase the nations national income, increase the amount of consumption, and actually increase the amount of money available to the government (due to income taxes and sales taxes). The government could then invest in the poor more effectively. The goal of the program would be to both reduce racial tension and reduce the amount of unemployed individuals, both issues that are crippling the development of South Africa. Currently, the housing plan in South Africa is to slowly build proper housing for individuals who live in shacks. There is a massive backlog that is keeping many South Africans in the poor living conditions of the townships. Clearly, the current housing plan is not working. The government should completely revamp the housing plan. One possible new form would be to put the house building in the hands of the people that will be living there. The funds for building the homes is generally there and through several grants could be made completely available. The private sector could present contracts for building the homes that include local labor involvement. The local municipalities and a small business board would review the contracts to reduce possible instances of corruption. The locals would be paid a reasonable salary while building their own home. The program would decrease unemployment for the time but leave many individuals with new skills. It would also give the locals a sense of ownership over the home, improving property management. The program would need to occur over the course of several years. As each of the programs are implemented, the issues would hopefully be reduced or even resolved. All of the programs should focus on local empowerment to increase ownership of programs. The development of South Africa would increase and happen at a faster rate. With local involvement, government transparency, and a country focused on being less segregated, South Africa could become an even more developed country.
Works Cited "About SA - History." South African Government Information. 5 July 2010. Web. 22 Feb. 2011. <http://www.info.gov.za/aboutsa/history.htm#Segregation>.
"CIA - The World Factbook." The World Factbook. 20 Jan. 2011. Web. 17 Feb. 2011. <https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sf.html>. Global InfoMine. Web. 17 Feb. 2011. <http://www.infomine.com/>.
Hoekzema, Trevin. "Trevin in South Africa." Web log post. Trevin and South Africa. July 2010. Web. 10 May 2011. <http://trevinhoekzema.blogspot.com/>.
Implementation Completion Report. Rep. no. 32786. The World Bank, 29 June 2005. Web. 29 Nov. 2011. <http://wwwwds.worldbank.org/external/default/main?pagePK=64193027&piPK=64187937&t heSitePK=523679&menuPK=64187510&searchMenuPK=64187283&siteName= WDS&entityID=000160016_20050701113922>.
Knight, Richard. "Housing in South Africa." Richard Knight. July 2001. Web. 22 Feb. 2011. <http://richardknight.homestead.com/files/sisahousing.htm>. Malefane, Moipone. "Malema Swipes at Zuma, Guptas." Breaking SA and World News. 27 Feb. 2011. Web. 08 Mar. 2011. <http://www.timeslive.co.za/Politics/article939585.ece/Malema-swipes-at-ZumaGuptas>.
Nunn, Nathan. "The Legacy of Colonialism: A Model of Africa's Underdevelopment." 20 June 2003. Web. 17 Feb. 2011.
Wonacott, Peter. "South Africa Parliament Adopts Secrecy Bill - WSJ.com." Business News & Financial News - The Wall Street Journal - Wsj.com. Wall Street Journal. Web. 29 Nov. 2011. <http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204443404577054042196590350.html ?mod=googlenews_wsj>. "World Vision - South Africa." South Africa Country Profile. World Vision. Web. 29 Nov. 2011. <http://www.worldvision.org/content.nsf/sponsor/sponsor-south-africa?Open>.