By Jimmy D.
|Me at Freedom Park overlooking Pretoria|
|Antoinette Sithole, Hector Pieterson, and Mbuyisa Makhubo|
during the 1976 Soweto Uprisings
What South Africa is still struggling with is rebuilding after apartheid. 90% of the wealth is still held by the 8% white minority. Dale McKinley, one of our speakers and a former member of the South African Communist Party, spoke about how the African National Congress, (ANC) who took power after the apartheid regime fell, with Nelson Mandela as their leader, allowed for the white minority to stay in control of the economic “house”, while being able to take control of the social aspect of politics. The ANC believed it was important to fix the social aspect of politics to create equality and then later figure out how to redistribute the wealth, but as we see today unemployment is at an all time high and South Africa holds one of the worst Gini Coefficients. The Gini Coefficient determines wealth gap between the population within Nations. The ANC wasn’t wrong in what they did and I believe it was very important that they did whatever they had to do to reverse the apartheid era rules. As with any political action there must be a trade off, in this case it was social freedom and equality for all, while allowing the white minority to stay in control of the economic power. If this wasn’t done then the apartheid regime may of stayed longer than 1994. Also what is important to note is that it has only been 27 years since the apartheid regime came to an end and South Africa fully gained independence. I believe that South Africa has come a long way in the short time that has passed and that they have a bright future, especially with the determined people who work and live in South Africa.
Lastly, I would like to include a poem I wrote based off my observations while we drove through Johannesburg.
“Untitled” By: Jimmy DiGiulio
As the road winds in, the skyline comes into view,
Artwork littered around the streets, wall to wall
Trash lying beautifully on the ground as if it belonged,
Poverty is just as prevalent as the cars weaving in and out of the people,
Struggle and sacrifice unite those who reside.
|One of the buildings in the Alexandra Township in Johannesburg|