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May 10, 2011

Things will never change

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10 May 2011

It's almost election time in South Africa, and I can't help but ponder, as a South African, what will happen and how bad it will get.

Politicians are mudslinging as much as they can. One of the DA's biggest mistakes was the whole unenclosed toilet fiasco in a Cape Town township, which has provided plenty of ammo for ANC spokespeople to call the DA "arrogant" and "racist". Now, the ANC is in the same situation after over 1 000 toilets in the Free State's Makhaza were also found to be unenclosed for eight years, leading to another investigation by the Human Rights Commission, which declared the DA fiasco to be a human rights violation.

Then there's apartheid-architect Hendrick Verwoerd's bust in Midvaal - something the ANC was certainly not pleased with. The bust has now been removed, but, as was warned previously, tensions have risen in the region as a result, with an ANC candidate being attacked and insulted in the town.

The race card continues to be drawn in a country where the majority are getting along just fine. Certainly we should be focusing on more important things, like providing better education and stopping crime and rape in the townships instead of breeding hatred and disappointment.

I wish there were some way that we could stop looking back at the past and look to the future together. But sadly, everyone still harbours resentments they've perhaps inherited from their parents.

There was an incident over the weekend at our residence, where two inhabitants decided to have a screaming match on their balcony: it sounded as though they were complaining about noise being made, but even though the worst insult I heard during the altercation was "You're a liar", my mother said afterwards that racism will never end. Sure, the people involved in the argument were different races, but they never mentioned race.

Onlookers did, and that is the problem. Our past resentments, sentiments and beliefs have a bearing on how we judge the world of today, and this means that things will never change. Not because the conditions are not there for change, but because we are not willing to change our personal perspectives.

What will it take?

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