THIS WAS ALLEGEDLY WRITTEN BY A BLACK MAN. It is a worth read for all: From 1910 until 1961 our country, South Africa, with basically the same borders that it has today was a colony of Britain. It was called the Union of South Africa. That was a period of 51 years.
It wasn’t until 1961 that South Africa became an Independent Country and was officially named The Republic of South Africa.
During the time when the country was under the British, the South African whites were very dissatisfied with the way things were done and they wanted nothing and absolutely nothing less than self-rule; self-determination. The right to decide their own future. Now, everybody knows that the Afrikaners and Boers are fiercely patriotic and proudly nationalistic. I must confess that I know of no other people who are so proud of their identity, so confident of their abilities, and so optimistic about their capabilities and prospects like the Afrikaners and Boers of South Africa. (I cannot help but feel pure unalloyed admiration for the spirit of nationhood; volksheid, that the Afrikaner Boers have among themselves. Something that the black people should perhaps emulate).
In Parliament the Afrikaners and Boers fought British domination tooth and nail until they won the government in 1948 under the auspices of the National Party until 12 yrs later they won total independence from the British and could call the country their own. Now, the Afrikaners and Boers were not only passive talkers. They were shrewd planners and industrious men, hard workers who were not shy to roll up their khaki shirt sleeves and get dirty from work. The Afrikaner Boers were not only hard workers, but they were hard thinkers too. And they were tireless community organisers too. The following explanations will attest to the assertions I made above.
While the Afrikaner Boer fathers and grandfathers were debating in parliament about the future of South Africa, Afrikaner Volksbewegings (Civil Society Movements) were doing a great job in organising communities across the country to solidify social cohesion. And private funds were established to send bright young Afrikaner Boer students to Universities overseas to learn the wisdom of those times. As a result bright eyed young Afrikaner Boer scientists graduated from European universities with degrees that equipped them with the knowledge of how to convert iron ore into an industrial product called steel which proved to be a commodity whose commercial value was inestimable. Now, they the decision makers set up an industrial milk cow named Iscor/Yskor.
In 1958, even before they got independence from the Britons, the Rep. of South Africa withdrew from the British Commonwealth. They now had a challenge of importing fuel at inflated prices from countries which were members of the commonwealth. But like I said before, the Afrikaners and the South African Boers, are smart thinkers, shrewd pragmatists and tough minded business dealmakers. They had earlier, a few years before, sent their clever sons, bright and sharp young Afrikaners to study abroad about what was then a relatively new technology of converting coal into fuel. With the new witchcraft which they have learnt overseas, they, helped to establish an oil processing giant which they proudly named the Suid Afrikaanse Steenkool and Olie Ko-operasie/ South African Coal oil Industry ; that is SASOL to most. This was another cash cow; die geldelike melkkoei, if I may borrow the Afrikaans phrase.
With cash generated from the self made industrial milk cows, they could simply and very easily launch and sustain secondary industries; Transport (SAA, SAR,), civil service (Post Office), Infrastructure(Telkom, EVKOM) etc.
The Rep. of South Africa even establish their own research organ, the CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) When the ANC took over government, South Africa had already made serious progress into research about Nuclear Power (Electricity) generation.
There’s no enough space here to explain everything that the Afrikaner Boers, had done for their country. But my point is; what are black people doing to lift themselves up just as the Boers wanted to lift themselves up and free themselves from the Brits? What are black people willing to do except wail, whimper and cry?
Where are Black Civil Society movements? Even up to today, the Afrikaners still have AfriForum. The name might have changed from Broederbond, Volksbeweging, or whatever the Afrikaners decided to call it, but the Spirit is still the same; the Spirit of self-determination and the indomitable desire to have the freedom to decide your own destiny.
The Spirit of Volksheid(Nationhood, Community, Togetherness, Unity, or brotherhood if you like). The right Spirit. The Spirit without which nothing can be accomplished.
Maybe when Oliver Tambo said in 1979 that the ANC must sometimes imitate their enemy, he had in mind some of the few things I mentioned here which the Afrikaner Boers have without any shadow of a doubt accomplished; and accomplished so magnificently.
Education for South Africans during the reign of the NP was something to be admired. It was an education that empowered them to create giants like EVKOM, TELKOM, YSKOR (I am deliberately using Afrikaans abbreviations), SASOL, SAS (Suid-Afrikaanse Spoorwee) and others. What kind of education do we feed our kids today?
And lastly, what have we created in the twenty three years that the ANC, a black man’s liberation organisation, has been in power? Where is Black Power? What are we doing except except complain and project ourselves as victims?
Written by: “Mmatlou Josias Ntjana”