South Africa would do well to heed the famous words of Albert Einstein, “It is madness to repeat the same action in the hope of achieving a different result.” That brilliant quote sums up the best advice for the people of South Africa who want change. With the 2014 elections coming up, we can certainly use the power of voting for a better, more favorable political party. It will be madness to vote for the African National Congress (ANC)party and expect different results.
Centuries ago, black people of South Africa lived in mud huts, had no electricity, running water and there was no infrastructure. There was no education, no hospitals, and extremely primitive living conditions prevailed. Their life expectancy was short. This was their situation before they even saw a white person.
The centuries of self-inflicted poverty had no bearing on their current situation; apartheid is the beast and producer of such terrible living conditions. What happened to the incredible living standards of these people from then until now? It never happened. Only apartheid happened. Their ancestors are never blamed for keeping them in a Neolithic age.
Continue to blame the apartheid system and the people who brought you out of dismal living conditions. There was a time when the Europeans had not bothered to explore the bottom of Africa, until Van Riebeck found the Cape. What followed was kindness from these European people to the few scattered people who lived here. A opportunity to improve living, medical and educational conditions, and turn a jungle into a livable land . The educated Europeans had a significant impact on South Africa; it blossomed into a thriving country.
Black people must come out of living in the empty racial trap and stop blaming apartheid. To move on to a truly democratic society, the hatred and bitterness must stop. We cannot rewrite history, and we can only learn from past mistakes. We must move forward and stop blaming the apartheid system. We must not forget that Indian, colored and English speaking whites also felt the injustice of apartheid. It is not just the blacks that went through a struggle. In order to move forward as a nation, South Africa must learn from past mistakes and refuse to repeat the same actions that created such madness in the first place.
Stop generalizing that all white people are racist. Take a look at the majority of Indian, Colored and White people who have genuinely embraced the Rainbow Nation and live non-racial lives. We must focus on the strides taken by these people to bridge the gap and live as one united nation. Look at the heart and not the color.
Stop blaming apartheid for poverty. Apartheid did not cause poverty. Before 1948, there was no apartheid in South Africa. Apartheid ended in 1994, and if we continue to focus on this time only, we are not moving forward. Take a look at the days before 1948 and then focus on the now. Remember apartheid had no effect on the rest of Africa and ask yourself why these countries remain underdeveloped and worse than South Africa.
Look at the last twenty years and open your eyes to the truth. What do we have now? A crumbling country, a substandard education system and almost nonexistent medical facilities. Look around the townships, see the decaying roads and infrastructure and remember the shack dwellers. Do not forget the rural people who have no electricity or running water. Most important, do not forget the escalating rates of crime.
South Africa as a nation will benefit most from remembering that it is madness to anticipate change by repeating the same action. Your chance for change is within your ability to vote.
Written by Laura Oneale