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South Africa to vote amid graft scandals, high unemployment

4 Comments
By ANDREW MELDRUM

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First off, as a South African living in Japan, I appreciate the coverage JT - and a well written and well informed article.

Is South Africa doing better in terms of standards of living, economic output, and crime since Apartheid ended? I’d sincerely like to know.

This is quite difficult. Economic output is greater especially when you're looking at South Africa after it's final years of Apartheid in which the country had been embargoed due to the discriminatory nature of the Apartheid regime. Also, despite a handful of white South Africans who claim 'times were better when SA was ruled under the National Party [The party that brought in many discriminatory legislation]" - not only were a bunch of the politicians corrupt but they were also quite bad at running the country and Economy.

Regarding standard of living - while a large number of black South Africans have moved into middle class (and 1% has moved into extreme wealth due to corruption and failed systems designed to counter Apartheid [such as Black Economic Empowerment{BEE}] I would say on average living standards have increased - and many white South Africans have remained living comfortably despite many ... issues. Now it comes down to the MASSIVE (and I truly mean massive) population that lives in extreme poverty (worse than what Apartheid even offered). I would still say it's a better position, to be in extreme poverty yet have your freedom versus being in poverty and never having the freedom to escape or like ' do anything.

Crime is a mess and if you google Crime Stats SA - you should find disgusting statistics, it is a mess and is the only reason for why I decided to leave my country. (But for a country that is 25 years old into its democracy, compared to the likes of America today after hundreds? of years of democracy for example - I would say, it's kind of understandable)

@SeaDog basically what @theFu said, what happened to Zimbabwe is not happening in SA - it is only constantly being threatened. It is expected especially around Voting time that the ANC promises to give land back[granting the ANC votes{although voters have lost faith in them due to their constant failed promises over the years}], but Cyril understands that it would force the economy into a hole as SA would lose major investing, the currency would tank, skilled labour would flee the country (Russia, Australia and Canada are some examples of countries offering South African farmers and skilled labour work abroad).

Although you are spot on with the attacks on white farmers, although it is not as serious as Zimbabwe - it is still bad.

While I hope to provide some insight, there is too much information to put into my post and so please do not make any assumptions without further research.

Source: White South African, Bcom undergrad.

Apologies for my atrocious writing and format.

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Property rights are critical if a govt wants investments from inside or outside the country.

I won't pretend to have any answers, only spent a few weeks in SA. At the time, it wasn't safe to be out after dark for non-locals. We did go out, but were extremely careful where and pre-arranged transportation. Had the most concern in JNB.

Fair treatment for all, regardless of race, should be the goal. For centuries, whites "stole" land from the natives living and working on it. In the 1910s, a law was passed to legally give whites the best land and limit natives and mixed race people to a small amount of the land. They also force-ably relocated many different ethnic groups.

Govt corruption with returning the land is a problem too.

It is a difficult issue and most of the land needs to be returned. They need to handle it better than Native Americans are treated in the USA, who were also pushed off their land.

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Is South Africa doing better in terms of standards of living, economic output, and crime since Apartheid ended? I’d sincerely like to know.

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The racial discrimination that prevailed under the Aparthied system has been replaced by one in which white farmers are having their farms confiscated with many of them being murdered. And so the food production will fall and South Africa could well become like Zimbabwe.

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