Wow! I am absolutely astounded by the sheer volume of responses to my “gatvol” email two weeks ago. Now I know what they mean when they say “word gets around” I’m blown away boet! Gobsmacked, to say the least!
A big thanks to all of you who took the time to reply. You can view your replies at the end of this article.
Ironically, just after my letter, we are klapped with Xenophobia. Things now appear to be moving from bad to wors. (Personally, I smaak my wors medium rare – how about you?) Anyway back to the punt. One in five citizens now plans to quit SA, according to the Cape Times front page on Thurs 22 May. This is not surprising, considering that the Cape Times front page of 19 May displayed a shockingly disgusting and disturbing full colour picture of a burning man set alight by insane thugs. In my last letter I wrote: “I accept that bad news sells, but soon there will be nobody left here to buy it!” Wake up Mr. Cape Times Editor – I tjooned you my bru!
So what to do? Stay or waai? Eish, this is an agonising question my boet. Are things really better in other “first world” countries? I suppose it depends upon what you mean by better. If you talk safety, security, infrastructure, law, order and good governance, probably. If you talk lifestyle, climate, sense of humour, natural beauty, cultural diversity, depth of character, creativity, zest for life, biltong, braaivleis and boerewors, maybe not?
It would also appear that Xenophobia is on the rise in many other countries around the world. To quote Justine Gerardy, in the Weekend Argus of May 24. “Xenophobic attacks and immigration challenges are not new. They are not even particularly South African. For example in Russia, since the beginning of 2008, there have been 211 reported victims of hate crimes – with 53 murders. In Italy, just last week, police arrested hundreds of people in a (Xenophobia) crackdown. And even Britain, an island nation with no porous land borders or neighbouring dictatorships, is facing a historical immigration high.”
Even in the good old USA boet, this stuff is happening: I read the following report online at huffingtonpost: “At a fundraiser in Florida last Thursday night, (American Presidential Hopeful) Barack Obama accused anti-immigrant crusaders Lou Dobbs and Rush Limbaugh of “ginning things up” to such an extent that there was a rise in hate crimes against Hispanics last year. Obama said. “A certain segment has basically been feeding a kind of xenophobia. There’s a reason why hate crimes against Hispanic people doubled last year”
So that still leaves us with good old Australia, who themselves have some baggage regarding their Aboriginal population. Aussie does seem like a safe bet though, which is interesting considering that as a country it started off as a sort of floating prison. I was amused by the following anecdote from a South African who moved to Australia, could not adjust and came back home. He said: “Emigrating to Australia is like being invited to the biggest jol of the year, and then spending the whole night dancing with your mother!”
No offence to the Aussies mind you. I am not an Aussie basher. I really think they are an awesome nation with many great qualities and much to be proud of. (Rugby not being one of them!) Good on ya mates!
But getting back to our situation, those of us who do choose to stay here in ZAR have to keep asking ourselves “What can I DO to make things better?” Cause if we are not going to be part of the solution we will remain part of the problem. And please, if any of you feel that some of the ideas I am suggesting below will not work, don’t bother writing to me unless you have another suggestion that will. I’m really tired of people telling me that this and that won’t work and yet are unable to offer any alternative suggestions of their own. Its defeatist thinking and it achieves nothing! Verstaan jy? Kwaai my bru.
So here are some more suggestions to consider:
Join the million man march against crime (in JHB) on 10 June 2008. It should be a huge event.
Read the book “A Country at war with itself” by Antony Altbeker. It really puts our crime wave into perspective and, most importantly, suggests practical steps which can be taken to significantly reduce the crime wave. Three of the many interesting and well researched statistics from the book are:
“Since its peak in the mid 1990’s, the number of murders recorded in SA every year has fallen by 30% from nearly 27 000 to 19 000.”
“Only a small proportion of murders in SA are committed in the course of a robbery. Most are the result of what analysts have taken to calling “interpersonal violence,” a category of crime that covers everything from domestic violence to road rage, from a barroom brawl to a violent dispute between an employee and his boss.”
And finally: “…the number of cash-in-transit robberies recorded by the SA police in 2006/7, at fewer than 500, is actually quite small…In the United Kingdom, over 700 of raids of this sort are recorded each year. This is in embarrassing contrast with Germany, which had fewer than 20 incidents. In that country though, the largest security company in the field collapsed when its managers were tried for skimming cash off their payloads” Read a book review for this excellent book.
You could take some kind of action to help the victims of Xenophobia. For a list of suggestions on how you could help, visit SARocks.
Write letters to the editors of your local newspapers, whenever you feel that they are over sensationalizing crime and violence or perpetuating negativity. Get your friends to do the same. And don’t hold back – they certainly don’t!
Start a campaign to ban negative newspaper headlines from being displayed on lamp posts. (Thanks for this idea Kareen) We don’t need their version of life shoved down our throats every day.
Visit the blog SARocks and post your comments. Or send your own article to the editor of SARocks, Nic Haramboulis at the following email: email@example.com
Lobby your local MP’s to speak out against crime. This is one of our biggest frustrations in this whole situation. If our president, cabinet ministers and others in positions of power would just take a firm stand, speak up and declare a serious intention to fight crime, violence and lawlessness, things should improve significantly. (That is, if they follow up their words with sustained action)
Also if you have any more practical, positive ideas on what you believe we can do to make things better, please send me your suggestions. I deeply appreciate them.
And don’t forget to keep smiling and of course styling, wherever possible.
Until next time, I remain your passionately pissed off brother from another mother.
Tags: Cape Town, Gatvol, Good News About South Africa, Million Man March Against Crime, Motivation Speaker, Motivational Speaker, Motivational Speaker Cape Town, Optimism, Sales Trainer, Sales Trainer Cape Town, Sales Training, Sales Training Cape Town, Sales Training Specialist