So how have the 20 yeas since apartheid ended benefited South Africa?
Certainly it has benefited some people. Many black, Indian, or mixed-race people who were shut out of the economic system, land holding, etc., have become wealthy or at least middle class:
On the other hand, rising GDP looks like it’s more of a global trend than a specifically SA one.
Tim Stanley, of The Telegraph, weighs in on the “Things have gotten better” side:
“South Africa has held four free national elections – a massive achievement in a country of 53 million people. There are now fair courts and civil rights. Yes, there is corruption and current President Jacob Zuma is often accused of it. But there is also a free press and oversight. As a result, South Africa has fallen from the 38th most corrupt country in 2001 to the 72nd today. And in the 2013 election, there were signs of the emergence of pluralism thanks to a cross-racial democratic alliance headed by Helen Zille, premier of the Western Cape. …
“the economy has doubled in real terms and South Africa is now the economic super power of the region. Not only is this proof that an African economy can be run efficiently as part of the global community but it’s also a model that many other countries are following – with enormous success. With booms in minerals and telecommunications, African capitalism is in the ascendant. …
“But crime was always high under Apartheid – it’s just that a media blackout meant that it went unreported. Drugs, drink and gangs were common in the shanties, the product of decades of brutal marginalisation. This historic legacy combined with failed expectations after the end of Apartheid to produce an explosion of violence that exposed the white community, for the first time, to serious crime.” (emphasis added)
According to NPR, Desmond Tutu is more ambivalent:
“‘I didn’t think there would be a disillusionment so soon. I’m glad that (Nelson Mandela) is dead. I’m glad that most of these people are no longer alive to see this,’ a reference to a host of chronic problems such as corruption and poverty.”
WND (World Net Daily?) an organization whose credibility I don’t know, claims that South Africa is in free fall. By contrast, the BBC claims that South Africa has been almost incomparably successful since the end of apartheid. The Economist, though, is less cheerful, “Sad South Africa: South Africa is sliding downhill while much of the rest of the continent is clawing its way up,” arguing that South Africa has seen less economic growth than the rest of the African continent since the end of apartheid, and so is effectively under-performing. And in Business Tech, University of Witwatersrand Vice-Chancellor Adam Habib says that, “South Africa is unraveling– and no one seems to care.” (Since he is actually from SA, I trust his opinion a little more than the others.)
SA’s overall Human Development Index score has fallen since apartheid ended in 1994:
And here’s life expectancy:
Many people attribute the collapse in life expectancy in SA to AIDS, but statistically, the only way that many people are catching AIDS is if the vast majority of people in SA are having unprotected sex with hundreds of other people, which is both incredibly stupid and incredibly easy not to do, so yes, I lay full blame for declining life expectancies on the people engaged in life-shortening behaviors and the government that has failed to stop the epidemic ravaging its own people.
Obviously the crime rate is through the roof.
SA has one of the world’s highest murder rates (at least outside of Latin America,) one of if not the highest rape rate, and I hear it has the world’s highest rate of infant rape.
I have heard that there is a myth in South Africa that having sex with a virgin will cure AIDS, so often when a man discovers that he has AIDS, he goes and pays a local family for the right to have sex with one of their daughters. If the AIDS doesn’t clear up, then obviously the daughter wasn’t a virgin, and the family is compelled to offer up someone younger, more likely to be a virgin. If the youngest daughter happens to be a baby, then the youngest daughter happens to be a baby. This process continues until the AIDS goes away or you run out of daughters.
In my research, I have talked to people who live in South Africa and love it there, and people who live in South Africa and are terrified. I have read posts claiming that South Africa is thriving and on the upswing, and posts claiming that the whole place is a post-apocalyptic nightmare.
And I’ve seen a lot of pictures of burned out, broken, boarded-up buildings and trash:
These are photos taken and uploaded by “The Real Realist” during a drive through Yeoburg, formerly one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Johannesburg. Now it is decayed, broken, boarded up, and overflowing with trash.
In other words, it looks like Detroit.
But maybe it always looked like that. Here are pictures Real Realist took of the Johannesburg Jewish Museum:
There are hundreds more such photos and stories. Go and look for yourself.
Some more perspectives:
I find this interesting because I first heard about something like this in a Reddit thread I ran across while looking for photos of South Africa. I can’t even find the thread, now, but someone in it described a phenomenon whereby a occupied business building (occupied by people doing business, I mean) would suddenly be invaded by hundreds of people (and their chickens) who had suddenly decided to live there. This of course made it difficult to do business anymore, so all of the business people had to relocate elsewhere. Meanwhile, the squatters, not knowing exactly how the buildings worked, would throw their trash and excrement into the elevator shafts. When the shafts filled up, the people moved on.
The only way to get rid of these squatters was by hiring small armies of men (the police will not do it,) to physically remove them in the middle of the night (being asleep makes it difficult to fight back,) and then the building gets surrounded by barbed wire and crews have to come in to thoroughly clean it before it can become an office building or anything else again.
I wrote this off as “unverifiable rumor” until I found this Christian Science Monitor Slideshow (see #15) with a photo of one of the men tasked with cleaning out these hijacked buildings:
Let’s talk demographics:
According to Wikipedia, when the Brits arrived in SA, the Cape colony had roughly 25,000 slaves, 20,000 white colonists, 15,000 Khoisan, and 1,000 freed black slaves. However, that data is marked, “citation needed.” If we trust it, though, whites were, at the time, roughly 1/3 (33%) of the population.
If we squint, it looks like whites were just over 1/6th of the population in 1910–probably around 20%. By 1990, they had fallen to about 11%. Today, they’re at 9%.
What happens when you become a tiny minority in the country your ancestors built?
You lose it.
There is no practical way for 9% of the population in a “democratic” country to control the other 91%.
Love it or hate it, a country belongs to the people in it.
Yes, the whites saw this coming. They knew the demographics. They were even trying to encourage family planning, which was moderately successful:
Sorry, Boers. (And Brits.) You ran into a 3,000 year old unstoppable Bantu migration wave and lost. Your buildings will be burned and looted, the wealth your ancestors created, murdered for and died for will be taken by people who have no idea how to maintain it, and your entire country will crumble away. A few of you remain, in walled-off communities supplied by private roads, electricity, water, and police. If you don’t get killed, well, you might have a pretty good life.
One of the things I’ve found interesting about the Boers, during all this research, is how much they remind me of a lot of the NRx/alt-right/Moldbuggian types. The Cape Colony began, after all, as a corporation, founded by the Dutch East India Company. When the British took over the Cape, many of the Dutch, rather than deal with someone telling them what to do, decided to take the exit option and go found a new state. This was no trivial undertaking, and required (among other things,) militarily defeating the Zulus, starting a new country from scratch in the middle of nowhere, and fighting off the British.
They eventually failed because they were numerically overwhelmed by the British, both migrants they had allowed into their country and troops sent from abroad. Exit is useless if you do not or cannot secure your own territory.
There’s a fail state to democracy, which Malema so succinctly identified: long term, you don’t need to wage a war to take over a democratic country. You just have to out-breed your opposition.
Given a finite planet, (which we have,) breeding wars can only end in catastrophe. But the other option–not playing–means losing your country.
Could you get around this by simply not being a democracy? Saudi Arabia doesn’t let women vote, but I don’t see anyone putting pressure on them to change their ways. Singapore also manages to be a pretty decent place, (though it is tiny,) due to what looks like good management. Bring back the old Dutch East India Company. Let those who buy stock be shareholders; let the company buy what it can and manage it for the sake of its owners.
Conclusion: only let people into your country whom you like and would hypothetically be willing to marry and have kids with. Keeping a large population of subjugated people is impractical and cruel. If you don’t want them to be equals, give them their own country to do with as they please.
With a leadership that looks toward Zimbabwe as a model, I expect South Africa to look ever more like Zimbabwe.
But hey, the Afrikaners were racists.