Letter from Suburban HellWritten by Peter Tracey
I never found my piece of perfect suburbia but I found a row of old houses and a working class Afrikaaner community that had lived there from before the World Wars, many had escaped the brutality and inhumanity of Europe’s violence to seek out a better life in sunny South Africa. I bought one of those old houses via a bank loan, other than shoddy workmanship on the roof overlaps, the house is massive compared to the tiny houses with low ceilings that I was accustomed to in the townships.
I never got to live in Linden as I’d planned, I like the laid-back vibe there on Saturday mornings, and their heated indoor swimming pool (even though Linden is not a place where people of colour go to get a warm welcome). I’m over 10 years in my old house now and it must be said, I’ve lived among all race groups but nothing compares to living next to a blue collar Afrikaaner family like the ones next door and across the road - at the oddest of times speakers blast out windowsill rattling music; violent arguments ensue all night through the thumping of their music and growling pit bulls interspersed with sounds of kinky sex and men screaming like women (Oscar wasn’t lying about that).
Sounds exciting, but not if you’re trying to sleep and besides, I’m known to break out and dance in public when Londonbeat’s song ‘I've been thinking about you’ comes on the radio at my local supermarket.
So I found out that it costs between R15 000 – R25 000 per night for ONE night’s stay per person at any one of our luxury Game Lodges which means that other than a handful of indigenous people, our wildlife in its natural habitat is enjoyed only by the rich minority and wealthy tourists.
Locals with shallow pockets should get free stays all year round I say – why has the government not demanded that between 20 and 30 % of visitors be made up of low income earners or people who do not qualify to pay tax? – They have the database with the names, it’s because they’re once again embroiled in time-consuming squabbles centered on self-interests (among themselves).
As far as I’m concerned both parties are hiding something - Pravin Gordhan claims it all has something to do with fiscal discipline, compliance with current laws, clean audits and so on and the ANC says they care less about all that and would rather see more deals going through for their own benefit because of the need for “transformation” – it’s a pity that “transformation” to the ANC means a few of their friends and relatives scoring big on deals involving state resources without adding any value to the deal or to the population in general.
Gordhan’s stance needs closer scrutiny too, millions of people live in abject poverty and he worries more about rich peoples’ concerns, his focus should be on allocating resources towards uplifting the needy in a self-sustainable manner – yes you might as well ask, do poor ratings not give rise to weaker currency and more costly imports leading to increased food prices? And I will let you know that a weak currency spells heaven for exporters and forces importers to reconsider their options of importing everything from far afield, including flowers from Israel and Belgium and the likes.
As for making borrowing expensive, why the hell are we borrowing from the World Bank and IMF? Let us use the money that we have finish and klaar.
Peter Tracey is an Independent Analyst and writes in his Personal Capacity.
He covers many issues and trends ranging from the political and socio-political to the economic and socio-economc and then of course he also covers identity issues. Ons hier by Bruinou.com ken Peter iemand wat nie 'n lap om 'n gesonde vinger draai nie... and all opinuion pieces by him are either written specifically for Bruinou.com or are republished with his kind permission.
You can also view this and other entries by him on his blog called The Last Word.