My name is Kenneth and I write cool Mac and iPhone software. This is my personal weblog where I post about stuff I find interesting. I usually write about Mac development, the business of shareware and the Mac community in general.read more →
South Africa, or “The Rainbow Nation”, as some call it, may seem like a beautiful country with amazing leaders. After all, 4 Nobel Peace Prize have been awarded to South African politicians.
But in reality, all is not well. Far from that. Here is why:
- Electricity shortages
Since mid-2007, Cape Town has been experiencing repeated power outages, sometimes lasting a few days. Now electricity shortages have reached the whole of South Africa, and every day there’s 4h without any kind of power. If you do the Maths, this means that a sixth of the time, there is no electricity. For a year, there will be two months without electricity!
Not only South Africa is affected, but all of Southern Africa. Countries like Swaziland, Botswana or Zimbabwe, who rely on South Africa for their electricity are also down. There are even rumors that Eskom (South Africa’s electricity utility company) is cutting neighboring countries’ power for every weekends.
In 1997, we were warned this would happen. An official document described that if the target economy growth per year goal of 6% p.a. was reached, we wouldn’t have enough power by 2007. The actual growth rate for the past 10 year was 5% p.a. They were warned, and yet the incompetents in charge did nothing. This is how corrupt the country is. The wealthy men in charge use their power for personal gain, and they of course are safe while the rest of the country is in a chaos.
No electricity sounds like a mere inconvenience. After all, our ancestors have lived without power for centuries. But it has far bigger consequences on the country as a whole. Car accidents are so common here that there isn’t a day going by where I don’t see at least one road accident. How much worse do you think not having traffic lights will make it? The road will be a total chaos. There will be traffic-jams everywhere.
South Africa is a dangerous place. Every home is equipped with an alarm system. But of course, alarm systems require electricity. Perfect opportunity for someone to break in. Garage doors and gates too are powered by electricity. If you’ve left your door closed when the power cut arrises (which, by the way, is the safe thing to do if you don’t want your car stolen), you’re stuck at home.
The biggest result of this that affects everybody first-hand is refrigeration. Food is kept in fridges and freezers for a reason. Otherwise, they rot, melt, or become inedible.
In Cape Town, during one of those power cuts that lasted 5 hours, more than a hundred tourists were stuck hanging on a cable between Table Mountain and Cape Town. 900 were stuck at the top of the mountain. For FIVE HOURS!
Entire businesses are going down. Any business that relies on computers now has major problems. No work is going to get done while the power is done. And on top of that, there is data loss, file corruption etc. Communication too is down. All modern wireless home phones rely on electricity, and thus and unreachable and unusable during the cuts.
Do I really need to go on?
This is supposed to continue regularly until 2013, when they will finally have finished building the first new power plant.
- Led by a rapist
As if the electricity shortages weren’t enough.
Have you ever heard of Jacob Zuma? He is president of the leading political party, the ANC, and soon-to-be president of South Africa. Problem is, this man is a RAPIST! And by rape I do not mean where the woman wakes up the next morning and realizes she’s hungover and probably shouldn’t have done what she did. By rape I mean violently forcing a woman into nonconsensual sex.
That’s what Mr. Zuma did, and he got away with it. And now he is about to become president. You must wonder, how did this ever happen in a democracy? Yeah, that’s what I’m wondering too.
In court, he claimed that he took a shower after the rape, thus protecting himself from HIV/AIDS and other diseases. What a great example for his country…
To top it off, he is also facing corruption charges.
- Crime, Rape and AIDS
from South African political satirist, Zapiro.
South Africa is ranked N°1 for number in homicide per capita and rape.
Statistically, a teenaged girl has more chances to be raped than to learn to read.
Combined with AIDS, this makes South Africa the most dangerous country for women. One in five South Africans is infected. By 2010, we are expecting a cumulative death toll of 5.7 millions due to AIDS. Imagine if everybody in both Durban and Cape Town died. That’s how many people 5.7 million is. Alternatively, picture everyone living in Los Angeles and Paris combined dying. (Note: City populations include only the city itself)
Due to the incompetence of our leaders, no effective action is taken to prevent the epidemic. Indigenous locals rape virgin girls because they traditionally believe that having sex with a virgin will cure them from AIDS. But obviously the only thing achieved is spreading of the epidemic.
DISCLAIMER: I am not South African, but I have lived here for more than 3 years, which is more than enough for me to be disgusted by this country forever.
Update (2012): I believe in free speech, so I did not censor any of the comments below. However, while I stand by my opinion in this post, I think it’s important to mention that I vehemently disagree with many of the hateful and racist things that have been said in the comments.
This entry was posted on Thursday, January 24th, 2008 at 9:07 pm and is filed under English, Politics, Rants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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