Schlagwort-Archive: poverty

Ubuntu in Germany Column

South African government to rebuild trust and promote entrepreneurs

(Editor: Alex Smit-Stachowski is speaking in her column about life as a South African now living in Germany. The South African journalist lives in Krefeld, in North Rhine-Westphalia/ Germany).

The South African government recognises it should improve service delivery, “rebuild trust with the NGOs” and address that the “inequality gap is widening,” said Nonceba Mashalaba, Chief Director: Programme Monitoring and Evaluation – The Incentive Development and Administration Division at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in Frankfurt recently.

© Strong female business leaders from Germany and South Africa met at the “Frauen in der Wirtschaft in Deutschland und Südafrika" roundtable hosted by Brand South Africa in Frankfurt, recently to exchange ideas. Ubuntu-Columnist Alex Smit-Stachowski attended this event.

© Strong female business leaders from Germany and South Africa met at the “Frauen in der Wirtschaft in Deutschland und Südafrika“ roundtable hosted by Brand South Africa in Frankfurt, recently to exchange ideas. Ubuntu-Columnist Alex Smit-Stachowski attended this event.

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Anders Breivik und „sein Südafrika“

Norwegens Extremist fordert eine Trennung des Kaplandes in eine weiße und schwarze Nation

(Autoren: Ghassan Abid, 2010sdafrika-Redaktion)

Die norwegische Hauptstadt Oslo liegt rund 9.700 Kilometer Luftlinie von der südafrikanischen Hauptstadt Pretoria entfernt. Ideologisch betrachtet, fühlen sich südafrikanische Rassisten und nordische Rechtsextremisten jedoch nahezu unmittelbar miteinander verbunden.Die räumliche Distanz spielt kaum eine Rolle, wenn es um die Ablehnung multikultureller Gesellschaften geht.

    © Der norwegische Rechtsextremist Anders Breivik geht in seinem "Manifest 2083" über vierzigmal auf das Land Südafrika ein. Er kritisiert einen angeblichen Genozid an weißen Südafrikanern und fordert, Südafrika in einen weißen und schwarzen Staat zu trennen. Er fürchtet, die Buren könnten sonst bis in das Jahr 2050 nahezu ausgestorben und dem "diabolischen Verhalten schwarzer Südafrikaner" vollständig zum Opfer gefallen sein. (Quelle: flickr/ Panorama Mercantil)

© Der norwegische Rechtsextremist Anders Breivik geht in seinem „Manifest 2083“ über vierzigmal auf das Land Südafrika ein. Er kritisiert einen angeblichen Genozid an weißen Südafrikanern und fordert, Südafrika in einen weißen und schwarzen Staat zu trennen. Er fürchtet, die Buren könnten sonst bis in das Jahr 2050 nahezu ausgestorben und dem „diabolischen Verhalten schwarzer Südafrikaner“ vollständig zum Opfer gefallen sein. (Quelle: flickr/ Panorama Mercantil)

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Johannesburg-Bloggerin Laurice Taitz im Interview

Eine Frau über ihr Engagement für ein „schönes Johannesburg“

(Autor/ Editor: Ghassan Abid)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Johannesburg ist eine Stadt, die mit vielen negativen Begleiterscheinungen einer Metropole in Verbindung gebracht wird – Kriminalität, Rassismus, Verkehrschaos, Armutsviertel und Arbeitslosigkeit. Laurice Taitz hingegen bloggt nur Positives aus und zu Jo´burg. Sie liebt ihren Wohnort, den man aus verschiedenen Perspektiven her betrachten müsse. Arme und Reiche leben hier beinahe nebeneinander. Viele Gesellschaften sind in einer Gesellschaft integriert. Die einstige Goldgräberstadt hat sich zu einer riesigen Heimat von Millionen von Menschen unterschiedlichster Herkunft, Religion, Sozialschicht und Nationalität entwickelt. Die Innenstadt mit dem Constitution Hill, dem Verfassungsgerichtshof Südafrikas, bewertet die Bloggerin als schönsten Ort Johannesburgs. Ebenso faszinieren sie die seit hundert Jahren bestehende Public Library, die öffentlichen Kunstinstallationen, das künstlerisch-hippe Viertel Maboneng, die Shopping-Straßen unweit der Diagonal Street und das äthiopische Viertel im Osten der Stadt. „Die Stadt ist voller Gegensätze und Plätze, die es zu entdecken gilt“, sagt Laurice. Und dennoch bevorzugen Europäer eher Kapstadt aufzusuchen. Sie selber war bereits zweimal in Deutschland und auch in Berlin. Die deutsche Hauptstadt beneidet sie für ihre schöne Architektur. „Es ist ein Ort, welcher viele Lektionen für Südafrika bereithält“, hält sie abschließend fest.

© Johannesburg is offering a reams of public arts (Picture Source: www.todoinjoburg.co.za)

© Johannesburg is offering a reams of public arts (Picture Source: http://www.todoinjoburg.co.za)

© Laurice Taitz, Blogger from Johannesburg

© Laurice Taitz, Blogger from Johannesburg

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We would like to welcome on „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“ – the German Gateway to South Africa – the in Johannesburg based blogger Laurice Taitz.

You started your blog „nothing to do in joburg besides…“, in which you present a cultural view on this megacity. What is Johannesburg standing for?

Answer: Johannesburg is a city on the move. It was founded on a gold rush and it remains true to that, a city that in parts flashes its wealth and that also hides a rich seam of gold. It can be a difficult place to get to know but for me it’s a vibrant urban African metropolis.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which is from your point of view the most beautiful place in Johannesburg and for which reason?

Answer: The inner city is the most beautiful place because every time I am there I see that the huge efforts to revive it are showing results. Some of my favourite sites include: Constitution Hill, where the values of one of the most progressive constitutions in the world are brought to life each day; Johannesburg’s newly-renovated Public Library, a 100-year-old architectural masterpiece; the city’s growing collection of public art; the up-and-coming hip urban district of Maboneng; the maze of shopping streets of old Johannesburg around Diagonal street; the Ethiopian district on the east side of the city; and Braamfontein’s lively streetlife.

Diagonal Street on Google Street View

The city is full of contrasts, and places to explore. And while you didn’t ask, the second most beautiful place is Johannesburg’s suburbs in spring when the jacaranda trees are in bloom and this tree-lined city is full of purple blossoms.

© The Public Library in Johannesburg (Picture Source: www.todoinjoburg.co.za)

© The Public Library in Johannesburg (Picture Source: http://www.todoinjoburg.co.za)

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You demonstrate on your blog mostly lovely sights of Johannesburg. Why aren´t you writing on difficult topics like crime, poverty, xenophobia or corruption?

Answer: While I focus on what I love about the city and what it has to offer I never shy away from dealing with its less comfortable aspects, as these are part of the city’s challenges. As a former political reporter I am also acutely aware of giving readers the full story. I just don’t dwell on it because I see enormously positive changes taking place.

© Johannesburg is the home of different cultures (Picture Source: www.todoinjoburg.co.za)

© Johannesburg is the home of different cultures (Picture Source: http://www.todoinjoburg.co.za)

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Today, South Africa has developed a huge blogging scene. How would you evaluate the importance of blogs for the public opinion making process in South Africa?

Answer: I think that particularly the Joburg blogs that have emerged are helping to shape a new perception of the city for locals and foreigners. So many voices, filled with pride, in exploring a city, discovering its secrets and creating a sense of belonging from diverse perspectives.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Johannesburg is a big cosmopolitan city with many cultures and nationalities. Do you think that in Joburg is one society or rather several societies living side by side?

Answer: It depends where you stand. You can choose a pocket of the city and never see what’s beyond that corner but I think Joburg is many societies in one. A place where rich and poor live side by side, not always easily, and where people from all over Africa and the world congregate. The mix is what makes this city exciting.

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2010sdafrika-editorial staff: The most Germans and Europeans are preferring to live in Cape Town as in Johannesburg. How far could you understand this decision and which pros is Joburg providing?

Answer: I think people from Europe are easily seduced by Cape Town’s incredible beauty and promise of a cosmopolitan lifestyle. Who isn’t? But saying that, Joburg has a perceptible pulse all year round, and that makes it an exciting place to be with its mix of people, cultures, commerce and arts.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which perception do you have from Germany and Germans?

Answer: I have visited Germany twice and each time been struck by a country that has rebuilt itself into a modern and dynamic society and that continues to deal with its past but is looking to its future. It is a place that has many lessons for South Africa. I also fell in love with Berlin’s incredible architecture and hope to visit again soon.

© A spirit mix of religion and arts in Jo´burg (Picture Source: www.todoinjoburg.co.za)

© A spirit mix of religion and arts in Jo´burg (Picture Source: http://www.todoinjoburg.co.za)

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Laurice Taitz, blogger from Jo´burg, thank you very much for this urban interview!

2010sdafrika-Interview mit dem Architekten Luyanda Mpahlwa zur Johannesburger Städtekultur:

https://2010sdafrika.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/johannesburg-im-architektur-boom/

Blogger Akanyang Merementsi im Interview

Die südafrikanische Pressefreiheit findet keine Anwendung auf Blogger. Wer schützt die Netzaktivisten?

(Autor/ Editor: Ghassan Abid)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Die Pressefreiheit muss in allen Staaten der Welt, auch in Demokratien, ständig verteidigt werden. In Südafrika steht die Presselandschaft besonders unter Druck. Mail & Guardian, das Flaggschiff des investigativen Journalismus, ist mehrfach durch den Staat und einer Reihe von Konzernen vor Gericht gezerrt worden – aktuell durch die Unternehmens- und Managementberatung Bososa. Die Aufdeckung der Quellen, der Whistleblower, ist in den meisten Fällen das Ziel von juristischen Auseinandersetzungen. Die Verfassung garantiere das Recht auf Quellenschutz, wenn ein hohes öffentliches Interesse bestehe, so der Blogger und selbsternannte „Media-Freak“ Akanyang Merementsi aus Rustenburg. Er bedauert jedoch, dass den Bloggern kein Rechtsstatus auf journalistische Privilegien zusteht – ähnlich in Deutschland. In den USA hingegen existieren bereits Organisationen wie Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), die den Bloggern umfassende Hilfe in Öffentlichkeitsarbeit und Rechtsberatung- bzw. vertretung anbieten. Bezüglich der geplanten und vom ANC geplanten Presseregulierung, wonach im Rahmen des sog. Protection of Information Bill Journalisten bei der Veröffentlichung von geheimen Informationen mit bis zu 25 Jahren Haft bestraft werden können, führt Akanyang die Zunahme von Falschmeldungen an. Die südafrikanische Presse hat in den letzten drei Jahren nach Angaben des stellvertretenden Presse-Ombudsmann  für einen Anstieg der Beschwerden von 70 Prozent gesorgt. Falsche Informationen und unethische Meldungen dienen dementsprechend als Grundlage zur Presseregulierung.  Ferner bemängelt Akanyang die fortwährende Schwarz-Weiß-Einteilung der südafrikanischen Gesellschaft und vor allem die von Weißen betriebene Assoziation von Problemen wie Armut, Kriminalität, mangelnde Bildung und Korruption  mit der schwarzen Hautfarbe. Er hasst es, dass Schwarze per se  in „Verdacht“ gestellt werden.

© Akanyang Merementsi, media freak & blogger and worker in mining industry

© Akanyang Merementsi, media freak & blogger and worker in mining industry.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We would like to welcome on SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste – the German Gateway to South Africa – a Rustenburg based blogger Akanyang Merementsi. Dear Akanyang, according to your Akanyang Africa blog you are a “media freak”. Which aims are you following with your online media?

Answer: My blog addresses a range of topics and these include politics and media developments in South Africa (African and abroad). I am passionate about media and politics and this must have something to do with the fact that I almost became a journalist in my last year (2007) at North West University’s Mafikeng campus in the North West province.

At the time I developed a keen interest in media and politics which played a role in my becoming a writer for the university student newspaper, The Album. The stint, however, only lasted for a couple of months until sometime August that year when the university, strangely, decided to close down the newspaper due to lack of funds. In my first issue I had only written one feature involving a student whose residence room had caught fire and burned most of her belongings. I also contributed in the news snips section of the newspaper.

But as for political interests, I hope my Aquarius star attributes of curiosity and inquisitiveness have nothing to do with it. But I suspect they do.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You are criticising several cases of organisation that are in confrontation with press institutions. For example in the juridical case between the enterprise BOSASA against Mail & Guardian newspaper. Is the South Africa state sufficiently protecting bloggers and journalists?

Answer: On the Mail & Guardian vs. Bosasa saga I was merely concerned that there was such great silence from other media houses in the country that previously claimed to support press-freedom but had failed to come to the defence of M&G when it was being forced through the Court to reveal sources that had leaked certain information to it. And as far as I understand newspapers like M&G are protected by the Constitution from not revealing their sources if their revelations are “in the public interest”, which the Bosasa stories were, according to my understanding. Therefore it was sad that only one organisation was behind M&G in court while others like Democratic Alliance, Cosatu, etc. were silent.

So journalists enjoy more protection than bloggers (like myself or any other for that matter). This is because, so we are told, we are not and cannot claim to be journalists who enjoy some great protection from the Constitution.

I do not think bloggers can claim to be journalists and therefore claiming their rights, but I truly believe that we bloggers do not enjoy any protection at all to date.

Not even international organisations I have interacted with can easily help me fight any legal battle for me a South African blogger. Or if they were, it would be difficult as they would first have to find their peer in my country who would be willing to represent me. In June last year I asked Rebecca Jeschke, a media relations director at Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) – a US-based organisation that fights for what it called the Bloggers’ Rights – about her organisation and what it does. With offices only in San Francisco, Jeschke said the organisation’s “legal guide” whose “law [is] referenced” in the US “likely doesn’t apply to South Africa”.

Asked how EFF defended bloggers in other parts of the world – South Africa as an example, she said they worked on “an activism level”. “We can and do call attention to important international cases, and work on international policy issues. But we don’t do on-the-ground legal work for cases outside of the US”. Although they would not be personally helping bloggers if they faced lawsuits, Jeschke said, however, that EFF can be contacted for assistance and they “will try to help find appropriate legal assistance”. “But we can’t provide that assistance ourselves for cases outside of the US”, she said.

If you will remember a blogger had written a story for which s/he was fined over a million Pounds/Euros/dollars. This, the Court found later, was because, unlike journalists, she was not protected from not disclosing sources. What bloggers can only exercise but with caution is our right to freedom of opinion and expression which are enshrined in the South African Constitution. So this is an indication that bloggers do not have much protection as journalists do.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: What is your opinion with regard to the ANC’s planned Protection of Information Bill? Will the government be cutting press freedom?

Answer: I have not read the revised version of the proposed regulation, even the old one I had not finished reading. However, those that had read both versions and whose judgements I trust are of the opinion that the Protection of State Information Bill in its current form might be unconstitutional.

For example, at the time of doing writing veteran Human Rights lawyer George Bizos of the Legal Resources Centre reportedly had his submission to Parliament on the bill that: “as it stands, [it] runs contrary to and indeed threatens many of the fundamental values and principles enshrined in the Constitution”. This is the general view in the country and of course many of us are inclined to believe that for as long as the bill is not in line with the constitution as alleged – where the media and press rights and freedom and their constitutional obligations to report without fear and or favour are not recognised, where whistleblowers are protected and that any information can be leaked and or reported in the “public interest” – then we need to be worried and concerned as a nation because many secrets (often by political parties, corruptable businesspeople, government departments and private businesses) are very much likely to be covered up with the passing of these laws.

So by introducing a law such as this and the ruling party’s proposed Media Appeals Tribunal – our media would be very much limited to reporting alleged/suspected corruption where leaked evidence thereof do exist. Therefore, to a great extent, these laws would be “cutting press freedom”.

Having said this, however, the media (especially on MAT proposal) is as much to blame for many of its unethical and irresponsible reporting, some of which are way out of line with the South African Press Codes.

For example, I blogged on May 7 last year, asking: “Is Sunday Times living up to this Code of Conduct?” In another blog entry published at the same time, I asked: “Has Sunday Times breached the Press Codes on its ‘Dis-Grace’ story?” Below is just a few of my articles published on my blog in which I criticise the press/media:

  • M&G newspaper fighting solo Court battle to protects its sources
  • Is Rupert Murdoch doing a Bosasa on M&G?
  • Why our media should sleep on its ‘self-regulation’ bed now more than ever
  • Does the media report or assume news?
  • Is there ’copy and past’ in SA newsrooms?
  • What editors need to do to avoid a repeat of The Star and Daily Sun (newspapers) on Malema
  • Is Avusa Media consistent with columnists?
  • Did Avusa and Sunday Times “raise controversy without thought for the consequences” with Roberts’ column?
  • When should “sources” be used?
  • Interview with SA Press Council and Press Ombudsman
  • Did Sunday Times act “ethically” in publishing “Against The Rules Too” report?
  • Public Protector vindicates me on Sunday Times’ “unethical and unlawful” publication of Against The Rules Too
  • M&G playing political games with anonymous sources?
  • Was Mbeki wrong about Press Freedom in 1996?
  • Sunday World and Sunday Times “slave for formula”?
  • Has Mail & Guardian confused you on the Maharaj saga?
  • Was Sowetan’s Mathale “dare” Zuma claim misleading?

In February this year South African Press Council released figures in which it noted the increase of complaints against newspapers. Deputy Press ombudsman said at the time that there was a 70% increase over the last three years in the number of complaints about incorrect or unethical newspaper reports. He said the complainants grew from 150 in 2009 to 213 in 2010 and 255 in 2011.

While criticising the media on 13 March, Press Ombudsman Joe Thloloe said his office experienced “problems… with the way ([newspapers] ignored correspondences” from his office, naming The Times newspaper as one of the culprits. This, however, is not to say the press should be suppressed as it now is tempted to with these laws although the government has denied this.

© Screenshot to the blog "Akanyang Africa" by Akanyang Merementsi

© Screenshot to the blog „Akanyang Africa“ by Akanyang Merementsi

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: South Africa is still challenged with many socio-political problems like crime, corruption and poverty. Is the government by President Jacob Zuma doing enough for the South African people or which policies should be changed?

Answer: I would like to believe that the government is doing its best – though not enough – to fight poverty and corruption the country. On 11 March 2012, I was called an “idiot” by someone on Twitter when I put it to him that we – especially white people in the country – have a tendency of saying crime, education and corruption is a “Black problem” or the “ANC problem”. Which are not. So for as long we have people who still 18-years into our democracy see crime, education and crime as a “black person’s problem” then we have a long way to go in overcoming these challenges.

I would also like to believe that we have good policies in fighting these but sometimes lack of community involvement (for whatever reasons) is probably one of the reasons why there is little success in sorting out our education, crime and poverty and corruption challenges.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Some voices are denouncing the continuous fragmentation of the South African society in blacks and whites. Would you confirm this perception?

Answer: I have realised that we have accepted and see ourselves on racial terms: black and white people. To achieve the rainbow nation envisioned by former President Nelson Mandela will take probably longer than it took apartheid to rule South Africa. Seeing ourselves as just one human race will be hard-work and not an easy road, I must add.

One of the issues that often come up is that of white people failing to accept some of the awful things their forefathers had done to ours. And it is sad that some of these things still happen to this very day. To address this, I would suggested that we have some sort of a Race Debate because surely Desmond Tutu’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission did little job in helping both blacks and whites accept one another and our differences. But at the same time – as mentioned in my blog post published on 25 March 2012 and titled “My ‘Black Man Code’ or is it a ‘Trayvon Martin’ moment? – I think white people “… tend to treat us blacks with suspicion” and I hate it.

Associate Press Writer Jesse Washington coined The Black Man Code and he told his son to “Understand that even though you are not a criminal, some people [white in particular] might assume you are, especially if you are wearing certain clothes”. So to a “black male… [to] go above and beyond to show strangers what type of person you really are” – as Washington told his son to do – it will be difficult because this always gives us blacks The Black Man Code. Worse, it sometimes makes us experience that “Trayvon-Martin moment”.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which impressions do you have from Germany and Germans?

Answer: Unfortunately I cannot form any opinion of Germany and or its people because I have not had any interaction with them.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Akanyang Merementsi – media freak & blogger – thank you very much for this interesting interview!

Understanding the Malema Debacle

An analysis to the Malema-Zuma-relationship

(Editor: Leon Schreiber*)

The circumstances surrounding Julius Malema’s suspension has been extensively covered in the South African media. But just how did such an embarrassing situation arise? Why has an organisation with a proud history of integrity reached a point where its representatives are openly calling for regime change in democratic countries, provoking racial tensions and publicly insulting its President? And why did the top six leaders of the African National Congress (ANC), including President Zuma, decide to hold an embarrassing press conference last week where they were preaching unity, while it was obvious to all observers that there are great tensions between them? The answer is to be found at the ANC’s 2007 Polokwane conference.

President Jacob Zuma is no longer supported by Julius Malema. The suspended ANCYL president is using the chaotic lack of discipline & respect and embarrassing the ANC leadership. (Quelle: flickr/The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa + GCIS)

President Jacob Zuma is no longer supported by Julius Malema. The suspended ANCYL president is using the chaotic lack of discipline & respect and embarrassing the ANC leadership. (Quelle: flickr/The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa + GCIS)

It was during the Polokwane conference that Zuma’s camp let the Malema genie out of the bottle. They had identified the populist talents of the newly-elected ANC Youth League (ANCYL) leader, and these talents were very useful to Zuma at the time. Zuma’s supporters sat back and watched as Malema was given free rein to use whatever tactics were necessary to get rid of Zuma’s opponent at the time, Thabo Mbeki. The important point is that there were no limits to the lengths Malema was allowed to go, as illustrated by his infamous call that the ANCYL is prepared to ‘kill for Zuma’. But there was more to it than just this rhetorical flourish. Zuma’s camp allowed Malema to completely assassinate Mbeki’s character. He was also allowed to make pronouncements on the corruption and rape investigations which were being carried out against Zuma at the time. However, in the process of using Malema to advance his own political agenda (seeking the position of President), Zuma effectively sacrificed all discipline and integrity. Indeed, if integrity and discipline were still present within the ANC, Malema would never have gotten away with claiming that the alleged victim of Zuma’s rape ‘had a nice time’ whiles the case was still sub judice. In short, political expediency was regarded by Zuma to be more important than the principles of the ANC. In 2007, the ANC spectacularly surrendered all of its principles in the most public of fashions. And from Zuma’s perspective it had worked like a charm. The corruption and rape charges were controversially dropped and he was free to be elected as President of the ANC, while his opponent Mbeki was unceremoniously tossed out to sea.

During the ensuing four years, Malema has steadily lost favour with Zuma and his supporters. It appears as if Zuma initially believed that there would be no consequences to allowing discipline and respect to collapse. He may perhaps even have felt vindicated when Malema started making racist pronouncements against whites, because it gave the ANC an easy scapegoat to blame for its lack of progress in fighting poverty and inequality. If Malema could get young black South Africans to blame whites for the lack of service delivery and their continuing poverty, then the ANC’s hold on power would not be threatened by its own incompetence. This explains why the ANC initially did not even attempt to reprimand Malema for his clearly racist behaviour – it continued to work in their favour. However, the honeymoon came to an abrupt end when Malema started openly criticising Zuma, even ironically comparing him to Mbeki in an unfavourable light. Never mind his calls for nationalisation, racial violence and perhaps even regime change in Botswana (the ostensible cause for his suspension) – it was Malema’s decision to attack the Zuma camp (which includes powerful individuals like the ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe) which finally led to the marriage collapsing.

The embarrassing events of the past few months are very easy to understand when keeping the context of the Zuma-Malema relationship in mind: now that Malema has lost his value to Zuma, the ANC is trying to put the genie back into the bottle. But they will find that it is much harder to force Malema’s considerable girth back into the proverbial lamp than it was to let his (skinnier) self out back in 2007. This is because reinstating discipline and integrity will be almost impossible after it was sacrificed on the altar of Zuma’s quest for political power in 2007 for the entire world to see. The result is that Malema will continue to use the chaotic lack of discipline and respect which now rules in the ANC to embarrass the leadership. He will defy his suspension(s). He will openly criticize Zuma. He will call for a new ANC President to be elected in December. Why? Because Zuma had opened the floodgates at the Polokwane conference. And now the torrent may very well wash him away to the ocean, where he would join Mbeki in floating around aimlessly as pieces of South African political driftwood.

*Leon Schreiber is a South African PhD student in Political Science at the Free University of Berlin in Germany. The views expressed are his own. Follow Leon on Twitter @Die_Schreiberei

Sarah Britten in interview

„The poor who rely on service delivery by the government will suffer most.“

(Autor/ Editor: Ghassan Abid)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Sarah Britten ist in Deutschland weitgehend unbekannt. In Südafrika zählt sie zu den Who’s Who der nationalen Blogger- und Journalistenszene. Eigentlich kommt sie aus der Werbebranche und analysierte für ihre Doktorarbeit die nationale Identität Südafrikas aus der ökonomischen Perspektive heraus. Dementsprechend hält Sarah Britten fest, dass das Multikulti-Konzept in Südafrika besser funktioniere als in den USA oder Australien, wenn es beispielsweise um die muslimische Gemeinde geht. Zwar steht dem Land noch viel Arbeit bevor, doch verbinden eine gemeinsame Nationalflagge, Verfassung und Braai das Volk. Die infolge der Kriminalität ausgelöste Abwanderungswelle von mehrheitlich gut ausgebildeten Südafrikanern weißer Hautfarbe, welche als „brain drain“ bezeichnet wird, begegnet die Journalistin mit einer zu beobachtenden Gegentendenz. Denn zunehmend mehr Bürger kehren in ihre Heimat zurück. Die Regierung ist nun in der Pflicht, die Arbeitsbedingungen – vor allem für medizinisches Personal – zu verbessern und die Ursachen der Kriminalität anzugehen. Presse- und Meinungsfreiheit in Südafrika sieht Sarah Britten durch die geplanten Regulierungsvorhaben seitens der Regierung als nicht ausrangiert an, sondern eher als eingezwängt. Sie betont, dass die größten Leidtragenden der Secrecy Bill die Armen selbst sein werden. Deutschland besuchte Sarah Britten im Oktober 2011, wobei ihr Berlin sehr gefallen hat und sie diesen Ort auf Basis ihrer Erfahrung als beste Stadt für Touristen bezeichnet. Gegenwärtig bloggt sie für das renommierte südafrikanische Online-Medium Mail & Guardian.

© Sarah Britten, blogger, journalist and book author. She is also a blogging member of Thought Leader from Mail & Guardian.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We would like to welcome on „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“, the German Gateway to South Africa, Ms. Dr. Sarah Britten – blogger, journalist and book author.

You completed your PhD at the University of the Witwatersrand with focus on new national identity in South African advertising industry. Is South Africa counting to the successful multicultural societies?

Answer: We have our problems but for the most part we muddle through. In one respect, we manage multiculturalism far better than most: unlike other nations, Muslims are one of our many communities and are not seen as a threat as they are in the US or Australia.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: How would you describe South African identity? Does it exists?

Answer: South Africa is very diverse and we have a long history of division between groups. So we have had to work hard to find something we have in common. We have our flag, which is a very important symbol of the nation. There is the braai – our version of the barbecue – which is now celebrated as National Braai Day on September 24. And there are other aspects of life that only people who are South African or who live in South Africa will understand: minibus taxis, biltong, robots (traffic lights) and so on.

We also have our constitution, which celebrates its 15th birthday this February. This document is the bedrock of our democracy and I have worked closely with Media Monitoring Africa on the strategy for a campaign we are launching soon. We will be asking ordinary South Africans to publicly declare their support for our constitution, as a nation-building exercise.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: South African media are reporting constantly about the brain drain phenomena, which means, that well-trained South African citizens – especially whites – are emigrating to UK, Australia oder New Zealand. How should government counteracting to this challenge?

Answer: The brain drain dominated public discourse in the earlier part of the 2000s, but in the wake of the recession, some South Africans returned. In general, government needs to improve working conditions, especially for medical staff. The underlying factors that drive emigration – mainly crime – have been there for a long time. To address crime is no simple matter, because it means tackling the root causes,  poverty and a culture of lawlessness, as well as improving policing and the criminal justice system. Affirmative action policies have also been cited as reasons driving skills from the country.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You are blogging on Thought Leader, an editorial group blog of quality commentary and analysis from Mail & Guardian. Thought Leader is known as a thought-provoking forum. Do you think, that the freedom of speech & press freedom could be scrapped by the South African government (e.g. by Secrecy Bill)?

Answer: Freedom of speech and press freedom won’t be scrapped, but they will be constrained. The Secrecy Bill will have implications far beyond the media. Because it will make it more difficult for civil society to have oversight of state activities, especially corruption, it will impact all aspects of life. The poor who rely on service delivery by the government will suffer most.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: How would you characterize your profession as journalist and blogger? Which aims are you following with your editorial writings?

Answer: Blogging is quite different from journalism. Because it isn’t paid, I write about whatever I feel like – anything from politics to lifestyle – and I don’t spend as much time crafting it because I can’t justify it. Journalism, because I get paid for it, requires getting quotes from sources, checking facts, and crafting.

Both blogging and journalism are sidelines for me, as my main source of income is communication strategy and social media.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: What kind of perception do you have from Germany and German literature?

Answer: I visited Germany in October last year – Bonn and Berlin – and enjoyed my time there. There is so much culture and history, and Berlin is the best city for tourists I have ever visited. I would recommend it to anyone. Interestingly enough, my first book was translated into German! I don’t think we see enough German literature here in South Africa. I know German literature through my university comparative literature studies, and German philosophy has had an immense impact on Western thinking.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which further dreams would you like to realize, especially in editorial and literary context?

Answer: I have many projects in the pipeline – too many in fact. I would like to publish more serious fiction, as well as non-fiction and commercial crime fiction. I will be kept busy for a long time to come!

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Sarah Britten – blogger, journalist and book author – thank you very much for this interview.

Insight into Orania

1000 inhabitants, 10000 fellows and 70 businesses making Afrikaner homogeneity possible

(Autor/ Editor: Ghassan Abid)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Exklusiv konnte „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“ einen Einblick in Orania erhalten und mit dem Vorsitzenden der Orania-Bewegung ein Interview führen.  Bei Orania handelt es sich um eine nach außen abgeschottene Burengemeinschaft, die auf ihre eigene soziopolitische Souveränität beharrt. Bislang ist es nur Spiegel Online und NZZ Online gelungen, diesbezügliche Hintergrundinfos zu bekommen. Orania ist jener Ort, welcher als letzte Bastion der Apartheid bezeichnet wird und 1990 als privatrechtliches Unternehmen gegründet wurde. Einem Ort, in welchem keine schwarzen und farbigen Bürger wohnen dürfen, sondern nur weiße Afrikaner – die Buren. Einer Zuflucht für und von „Rassisten“, die über eine eigene Ora-Währung verfügt. Hingegen duldet die südafrikanische Regierung die Orania-Gemeinschaft und zeigte darüber hinaus bereits mehrfach die Gesprächsbereitschaft. Jacob Zuma und Julius Malema statteten dieser Gemeinschaft einen Besuch ab, welche sich selber auf das Selbstbestimmungsrecht nach Artikel 235 der südafrikanischen Verfassung beruft. „Die Erhaltung der Afrikaner-Kultur“ und die Aufrechterhaltung einer kulturellen Mehrheit werden als oberste Ziele verfolgt, so der Vorsitzende von Orania, Jaco Kleynhans. 1.000 Afrikaner und 10.000 Oraniërs [Sympathisanten] bekennen sich zum eigenen homogenen Gesellschaftsmodell im heterogenen Staatsmodell Südafrikas. Rund 70 Geschäfte bestehen in Orania, so Kleynhans. Auf die Frage hin, ob Orania nicht gegen Artikel 1 der Verfassung verstoße, wonach nicht nach rassischen (non-racial) Kriterien diffenziert werden darf, erwidert er, dass Orania vielmehr eine Gemeinschaft mit kultureller Identität sei. Orania hat nach eigenen Aussagen nur Kleinkriminalität und keine Arbeitslosigkeit. Jedoch betont Jaco Kleynhans, dass zunehmend mehr Afrikaner dorthin ziehen möchten und die Gemeinschaft dementsprechend an ihre Grenze stößt. Verbindungen zur Rassistenpartei ´Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB)´ von Eugène Terre’Blanche bestehen laut Kleynhans nicht. Die Anwendung von Gewalt, so der Interviewte, verstoße gegen die die Prinzipien von Orania. Hinsichtlich der Informationen, wonach verschiedene Parteien Südafrikas in Orania Wahlkampf betreiben, betont Kleynhans, dass in der Gemeinschaft solche Vereinigungen nicht zugelassen sind und vielmehr nach dem Verhältniswahlrecht gewählt wird. Denn Orania verfügt auch über eine eigene Volksvertretung; einem Quasi-Parlament. Zur abschließenden Frage, was der Vorsitzende vom deutschen Multikulti-Modell halte, lässt er diese im Grunde genommen unbeantwortet bzw. beruft sich erneut auf das Selbstbestimmungsrecht und diesmal im Kontext mit der deutschen Minderheit im italienischen Südtirol. Die Veröffentlichung dieses Beitrages fällt bewusst auf den heutigen ´Internationalen Tag gegen Rassismus´ und soll verdeutlichen, dass weiterhin enormer Handlungsbedarf bei der Bekämpfung von Vorurteilen besteht – vor allem in Südafrika.

© Orania-Flagge - Selbstbestimmungsrecht in Form eigener Symbolik und unter der Duldung der südafrikanischen Regierung

© Jaco Kleynhans, CEO of the Orania Movement

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We would like to welcome on „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“, the German Gateway to South Africa, Mr. Jaco Kleynhans, CEO of the Orania Movement.  The Orania Movement has been established in 1990. You are holding an enterprise character within South Africa. What does it mean, that Orania is an „Afrikaans cultural movement with the aim to restore Afrikaner freedom in an independant, democratic Republic“?

Answer: The Orania Movement believes that the future of Afrikaners in ‘n multi-cultural South African wil depend on our own efforts to preserve our culture in a part of South Africa where we can be the majority. The North West Cape is an area with a very small population and therefore we want Afrikaners to move here in larger numbers so that we can be the majority in the region and therefore control things like education, local government, etc.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: How many Afrikaner and shops/ firms are placed in Orania? Is your community getting foreign investments? And what is about taxes?

Answer: Taxes in Orania is the same than in the rest of South Africa. There’s about 1000 people living in Orania with thousands more ‘uitwoners’ (people who call themselves ‘Oraniërs’ but who don’t live in Orania yet. There’s about 70 businesses registered in Orania and economic development is a strong focus.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Are blacks or coloured allowed to live in Orania and if not, isn´t transgressing the article one of the South Africa constitution: „The Republic of South Africa is one, sovereign, democratic state founded on the following values: … Non-racialism and non-sexism…“ ?

Answer: Orania doesn’t focus on race, but only on culture. We’re a took for Afrikaners – thus people adhering to Afrikanerculture.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: How far is poverty, unemployment and crime facing Orania?

Answer: We don’t have much crime, only minor crimes from time to time. There is nearly no unemployment in Orania. There is an increase in poor Afrikaners moving to Orania and we are trying to find sustainable solutions for Afrikaner poverty. We do have a large worker class in Orania and people may sometimes view them as ‘poor’ as most Afrikaners still cant understand the need for a strong Afrikaner working class.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: In German Media, the Orania Movement has been described as the last colony of racists in South Africa after Apartheid. Does relations existing between Orania and the by Eugène Terre’Blanche founded Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB)?

Answer: Orania has no relationship with the AWB and we strongly differ in strategy from them. We don’t believe in the use of violence and strongly condemn the violent actions by right wing Afrikaner organisations in the past.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: The South African government is toleranting your movement. Orania has been visited by coloureds and blacks; in 2009 by ANCYL president Julius Malema and in 2010 by president Jacob Zuma. What do you think about the reasons, that your project hasn´t been prohibited yet?

Answer: What we’re doing in Orania is in line with the South African government and specifically article 235 which give cultural communities the right too selfdetermination.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: In 2004, Orania introduced its own currency, which called Ora. Which meaning has local money in a globalized world? And is the South African Rands accepted in Orania?

Answer: The Rand is accepted in Orania. The Ora is used to improve local trade and is an internationally recognised model of localization.

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2010sdafrika-editorial staff: The Orania Representative Council is acting like a parliament. Is it right, that the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Congress of the People (COPE) competed in the election of 2009? Is it allowed to the ANC to participate in Orania elections?

Answer: Our local election isn’t based on political parties so no political party can take part in Orania elections. We vote for individuals. In the South African municipality around us any party can take part in that election and we also host an polling place in Orania.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: What do you think about multicultural societes like Germany?

Answer: We simply believe in the right of all cultural groups to practice their own culture, language, religion and traditions in a fair way. We also strongly believe in selfdeterminination and therefore support the efforts by the Flemish people in Belgium , the German speaking people in South Tyrol (Italy), the Catalions in Spain and the French speaking people in Quebec (Canada) as they strive for greater selfdetermination.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Jaco Kleynhans, CEO of the Orania Movement, thank you very much for this insight interview!