Schlagwort-Archive: State

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.

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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!

„I am a proud member of the ANC“

A guest article by Sibusiso Buthelezi, blogger on www.thesbu.com

– ANC-SPEZIAL: 100 JAHRE –

© Sibusiso Buthelezi - proudly ANC member, former head in Gauteng Department of Public Transport, Roads and Work AND blogger on http://www.thesbu.com

Deutsche Zusammenfassung:

Mit 15 Jahren widmete sich Sibusiso Buthelezi dem Afrikanischen Nationalkongress, einer Organisation zur Vertretung der Rechte von Schwarzen. Frustiert musste er die Bevorzugung von Weißen bei Toiletten, Banken, Menschenschlangen oder Geschäften ertragen. Schilder, die mit „Whites only“ versehen waren, dominierten das Leben im Südafrika der Apartheid. Buthelezi kann sich erinnern, dass Weiße innerhalb der Geschäfte kaufen durften, während Schwarze ihren Einkauf vom Außenfenster aus abwickeln mussten. Der ANC bot ihm deshalb die Hoffnung, sich dieser Benachteiligung zu befreien. Buthelezi betrachtete den Kampf des ANC nicht als einer gegen die Weißen gerichtet, sondern vielmehr gegen ein „System des instrumentalisierten Rassismus“. Seine ANC-Mitgliedschaft verbindet er mit Eigenschaften wie Stolz und Ehre, betont Buthelezi. Der ANC ermöglichte ihm eine Beschäftigung in der Kommunal- und Länderverwaltung, wurde jedoch später durch die selbe Partei „schlecht behandelt“. Der ANC müsse noch lernen, die Fähigkeit einer führenden Partei anzunehmen, so die selbstkritische Ansicht des Parteimitglieds. Doch auf der heutigen Jahrhundertfeier besinnt sich der ANC in erster Linie auf glorreiche und vor allem auf die gefallenen Genossen. Dieser Tag widmet sich dem alten ANC-Kader wie Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu, Solomon Mahlangu, Bathandwa Ndondo und allen voran Nelson Mandela.

© ANC is remembering today freedom fighters like Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu, Solomon Mahlangu, Bathandwa Ndondo and above all Nelson Mandela.

Guest article in English:

I am a member of the African National Congress – and I am proud to be associated with this glorious revolutionary movement. I was 15 years old (1982), my late father advised that I go find the ANC as it was the only true representative of the aspirations of the people of South Africa. I had been frustrated by the „Whites only“ signs in toilets, bank queues and some shops – blacks had to buy from the window outside the shops. Schools for whites were much better than the schools I went to.

I joined the ANC with the hope of liberation. I had anger and hatred towards whites and the police. The ANC comrades that I met, way back in 1983, moved quickly to remove all racial and ethnic thoughts that lingered in my mind. By 1984 I had been exposed to the most advanced thinking about the world we live in. From the various reading materials that we brought to my house by the ANC cadres, I understood the primacy of democracy, that the struggle against apartheid was not a gripe against whites as a racial group. That ours was a principled struggle against a system of institutionalized racism. This became very clear in 1985 when Oliver Tambo commanded that the youth render the country ungovernable, thus making apartheid unworkable.

This is the ANC I joined, this is the ANC I am proud and honoured to be associated with. The ANC that taught me the principles of non-racialism and non-sexism. This is the ANC of Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu and Nelson Mandela. This is the ANC that produced Thabo Mbeki. The ANC of Solomon Mahlangu and Bathandwa Ndondo. The ANC that taught us never to betray the masses of our people, the thousands of ordinary people, the overwhelming majority of whom are working class Africans, who through their daily experiences, struggle and battle against adversities, together as comrades, in pursuance of the vision of a South Africa that would be a better place for all its people.

At university I got to understand the Strategies and Tactics of the ANC, the strategic content of which is the total emancipation of the black people in general, and the Africans in particular. I learned the skills of organizing communities around their basic needs. The ANC gave me the privilege of participating in the transformation of government, from municipalities to provincial administration. Two years ago, the very same ANC treated me badly (see my blog http://www.thesbu.com) – that notwithstanding, I have been long in this organization to know that it has the capacity for introspection, self-criticism and corrective action.

I know and understand that the ANC was not well prepared to adapt to being a ruling party with control over state machinery and resources potentially for patronage. This ANC is now grappling with challenges it never prepared for, the competition for elected positions and government posts, the reality of being an open organization, that draws within its ranks even the most unscrupulous in society. It is such deviant characters that have occupied the driving seat at all levels of the organization. But this organization has survived for 100 years. I have no doubt it will cleanse itself – drawing from its capacity to introspect, self-criticise and take corrective action.

I am a proud member of the ANC. The ANC has a proud history of struggle; my generation will live to reclaim the proud character of this organization.

As we reach the critical milestone of the ANC Centenary – we owe it to the fallen hero’s to bring integrity and sacrifice back to this glorious movement of the people of South African.

History Documentary from South Africa

The real face of Apartheid

(Editor: Annalisa Wellhäuser)

The largest film festival in Germany, the „Berlinale„, has been attended by „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“, the German Gateway to South Africa. With thanks to the Berlinale section Generation, we have observed selected events and made a report. „History Uncut: Manenberg“ and „History Uncut: Crossroads“ – a documentary collection –  are focussing on South Africa during the apartheid.

Afravision (Brian Tilley, Laurence Dworkin): History Uncut

Co-curated by Darryl Els and Claus Löser

Sunday, 2/13/2010, Cinema Arsenal at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin

Episode 1: Crossroads

Switch off the lights, the movie starts, open your eyes: as if I had used a time-machine for a journey back into the past ,out of a sudden I find myself in May/June 1986 of the former Apartheid-State of South Africa. Place of the setting: „Crossroads„, an informal settlement for „ black„ South Africans ,important centre for movements of resistance; actually it was given the status of an „emergency camp„ and therefore being immune to the mass clearance of townships by the state. Of course the government was not pleased about this immunity…..So here I am….in the middle of a brutal battle between-well, one does not even know who belongs to which group, it is a chaos…People ,especially boys who are only teenagers are running from one site to the other…they are chasing each other….shooting….screams…wherever I look I see destroyed and burning houses of corrugated iron sheet…It is this group with the strips of white cloth, they are attacking us…it is the „Witdoeks„, our vigilance committee. Why are they doing that? It`s our own people! Where did they get the weapons from? We have to fight back…self-made arms out of wood, stones, gunpowder in plastic bottles, which are being thrown…on the street: two men on the floor…covered by blood all over… they are dead…. I see women sitting on the street corner with their babies and the things which they still managed to rescue from their homes…they are waiting for help….

© Scene from „Histroy Uncut: Manenberg“ (Source: Berlinale)

© Logo of film festival „Berlinale“ (Source: Wikimedia)

Cut- change of scene

Women standing with their babies at the entrance of the parliament of Cape Town. They are hopeless and are looking for help. „ We don`t know what you are talking about, we cannot do anything for you„, they get told in Afrikaans by a politician. As a symbol of protest the women start to feign crying and lay down their crying babies in front of the parliament.

According to the TRC, the Truth Reconciliation Commission of South Africa, South African police contributed weapons to and supported groups of „black„ South Africans like the ,,Witdoeks„, a vigilance committee in Crossroads, and thereby „used „ them in order to suppress movements of resistance during the time of Apartheid. Thus the government seeked their aim without being blamed for anything. In total 60.000 people became homeless and 60 people died.

Episode 2: Manenberg

It is September 1989, the election day of the tricameral parliament of South Africa. „white„ and limitedly „coloured„ and „indian´` South Africans are allowed to vote.

The „black„ population is excluded from the right to vote. In „Manenberg„ , a township for „coloured„ South Africans there are protests taking place. And me- I see, no, I experience closely what happens on that day in the streets of Manenberg: I am in a house and I am looking out of a window. The police pitches up out of nowhere and starts shooting randomly with rubber munition at the residents of the place. Yes, it even seems like they do so because they enjoy seeing other people suffering. The police men throw stones at the people, use tear gas and chase them into their houses with whips. The inhabitants ,especially young people, react by throwing stones as well and by building street barriers out of car wheels, litter, pieces of furniture and stones to which they set fire. It is a seesaw. The police arrives frequently and it results in a conflict: Shooting, screams….I`m afraid that they will discover me, but I`m lucky-they don`t.

Cut- Change of scene:

A boy is lieing half covered in a bed, his entire body is full bullet wounds caused by the rubber munition of the police. Another boy`s head is bandaged up and his nose is covered by plasters…A women expresses a direct appeal to the South African government, she claims a democratic, NON- racial discriminatorial electoral system.

These scenes were never shown on South African television; they are part of the archive`s material of the video collective Afravision, which contains the biggest documentation of video of the history of resistance. Afravision was founded by Brian Tilley, Laurence Dworkin und Mokoenyana Moletse in order to keep records of the numerous battles in South Africa in the 1980s .

An extraordinary and fascinating contribution to the Berlinale of 2010. Uncut and pure- this film shows simply the reality and truth-the tragic reality of the past South Africa. Such a close experience of history; it feels as if having been present at that time. It is unbelievable, because suddenly it is not a „story„ anymore that one happened to read in a „history book„ and that seems unreal and far away from oneself. Out of a sudden it is my own reality too. I`m part of it. After watching the film, I`m only left with one single thought dominating my mind: While I can return into my secure reality of the present Germany, this „ film„ did continue for the people in South Africa at that time. Those people, who I met just now, could not flee in contrary to me who just switches off the movie. For them it was a nightmare and they did not know if it would ever end. This is horrible.

The 2010sdafrika-editorial staff would like to thank to the team of Berlinale section Panorama for supporting our service.