Social attitudes in South Africa

Came across a report today, which has been published in a book by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC). Reflections on the Age of Hope makes for pretty interesting reading – and interpretation.

The one that interested me the most is this:

The HSRC study revealed that the most trusted institutions in the country were churches, trusted by 80% of the respondents, and the SABC [South African Broadcasting Corporation], trusted by 75%.

WTF? The masses trust snake-oil salesmen and the government propaganda machine, more than any other institution? This can’t be right! If the sample can be assumed to be fairly representative of South Africans, then this statistic explains why the masses persist in delusional thinking, and voting the Hog Trough Cartel (a.k.a. the ANC) into power at every election.

Here’s another:

The least trusted were the police (46%), political parties (43%), and local government officials (49%).

Less than half the people trust the police. No surprises there; our last Police Commissioner, Jackie Selebi has been tried, convicted and sentenced for corruption, and the incumbent, Bheki Cele appears well on his way to distinguishing himself, likewise. Most of  the remaining police officers are relics from our apartheid past, and were trained to serve the government, not the people.

Further, less than half the population trust political parties and local government officials, but it seems the public broadcaster (SABC) is doing a bang-up job of convincing them to vote for these loathsome creatures anyway.

Now this one’s no real surprise; it’s inevitable:

But as much as 75% of the population felt that they don’t really trust people from other race groups, so, despite the strides we’ve made since 1994, and race relations improving, we still don’t trust or like each other too much.”

As a matter of fact I distrust people of my own race group (Indians, if you didn’t figure it out yet) much more than people of other race groups. And the reason why is that I don’t like the fact that so many of them seem to be hovering around President Jacob Zuma, wherever he happens to be.

And finally, these two are no-brainers:

  • About 83% of black and 58% of white respondents listed unemployment as their biggest concern;
  • 73% of Indians and 68% of whites were concerned about crime, as opposed to only 36% of blacks;
  • Even though a sizeable number of Black people don’t have formal jobs,the ANC policy of Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) and cadre deployment [deployment of mostly incompetent ANC cronies] into strategic positions in the economy, is really hurting the credentials of competent black job seekers.

    White folk and Indians are more concerned about crime because they are materialistic and hence tend to have a lot of shit which they would like to guard well. Which is fair enough, I suppose…

    Death’s a blast. Go on try it, why don’t ya?

    There are two radio adverts that I listen to every day while on my way to work, and I chuckle every time I hear them. And that’s not because they are amusing; but because they are so damn presumptuous about what people want or need.

    Both are adverts for government agencies; one for the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) and the other for the public broadcaster, The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). Both exhort the public to shell out money for something that no sane person would ordinarily pay for. Both these agencies invite you to become an unwilling partner in what can only be described as a monstrous fraud scheme with the sole aim of aiding and abetting gross incompetence in the case of the SABC and legalised extortion in the case of SANRAL.

    While the SABC tries to persuade you to pay your TV licence because apparently it’s the right thing to do, SANRAL on the other hand tries to convince you that the new roads they’re building is going to be so great for everyone (including the environment), you should gladly pay the exorbitant toll fees they’re proposing.

    The SABC offers all of 3 television channels spewing forth some of the most pathetic rubbish, masquerading as entertainment, and probably just one decent radio channel. To top that they have some of the most incompetent people in management, and are constantly plagued by management upheavals, in-fighting and gross mismanagement of public funds. While SANRAL does offer some decent roads, the toll fees they’re asking of around 50 cents a kilometer is pure extortion. Why are we paying taxes and ridiculously inflated surcharges on petrol prices anyway? Shouldn’t that pay for the construction of roads? Or is that revenue just to keep our fat-arsed politicians forever pigging at the trough?

    I wonder how the ad agencies who came up with those advertising gems approached their task? Being asked to come up with adverts for the SABC and SANRAL must surely be tantamount to getting a contract from a funeral parlour to dolly up their macabre service offerings which can only go along the lines of hurry up and die, our services are tuned for your demise, or our services are to die for.

    Surely, the SABC and SANRAL don’t seriously think that we are all going to get a warm happy feeling after listening to those pathetic adverts and are going to pay with a smile? But then again, where government is involved, unadulterated stupidity is a given.

    Say, what? #1

    I’m starting a new series on this blog which will basically interpret what certain people said, what they actually meant, what they should have said or what they are probably secretly thinking. Naturally, most of the subjects who will be analysed will be politicians and the clergy, not because they are the source of the most lies told, but because they do say some of the dumbest things you’re ever likely to hear.

    For my first subject, I chose Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa. I will analyse the speech [full text here] he gave in Parliament today, in response to the well-deserved lambasting he received from almost everyone, over his State of the Nation Address he delivered last week.

    Well, here we go:

    We requested that this year’s State of the Nation Address coincide with the 20th anniversary of Madiba’s release.

    We did this both to celebrate that historic moment and to pay tribute to his legacy as a leader, a revolutionary, and the founding President of our democratic state.

    What he was secretly thinking was We did this to cash in on the limelight of a truly great leader (Mandela), one I (Zuma) don’t think I can ever emulate. Why must I always bask in the shadow of him?

    Last year, when the State of the Nation Address was delivered at 11am, SABC 2 viewership was 1, 5 million and E TV viewership was 487 000.

    This year the SABC2 viewership at 7pm, shot up to more than 2, 5 million and ETV rose to slightly more than 1, 3 million.

    What he didn’t say was Thank you a-holes for wasting your evening listening to my boring drivel. I hope you will tune in again next year for the next installment of Promises and Lies. What he was secretly thinking was I hope those cameras don’t catch my ANC buddies dozing off here in Parliament while I drone on.

    We have achieved a lot since 1994

    What he was secretly thinking was You palookas should see our bank accounts? We’ve been cashing in since 1994.

    Millions of our people have access to many basic services including water, housing, electricity, social security and others that they never had before.

    What he forgot to add was Millions more don’t have basic services, but you know there is only so much you can do in 15 years… and we did have all those struggle comrades who had needs too…

    However, we still have a lot of work to do, and we never hide this fact

    What he was secretly thinking was Shit, I wish we had finished by now. I still need to enjoy the benefits of being a struggle hero, and all those wives…eish.

    The debate on the State of the Nation Address has demonstrated the richness and diversity of political engagement in our society.

    What he was actually saying was The State of the Nation Address has demonstrated that these people are cotttoning onto my pathetic lies and poor leadership qualities

    We welcome the statement by Honourable Patricia De Lille, that the Independent Democrats are ready to roll up their sleeves and dirty their hands to work hard to build our country.

    What he was secretly thinking was Because, we struggle heros in ANC are sure as hell not going to dirty our own well-manicured hands

    Honourable Mike Ellis, there is no need for anyone to defend the President.

    What he omitted to say was Because I have appointed my good buddies’ brother Mo Shaik as head of the Secret Service. He will ensure that I have Mo than enough protection. In fact, his acquaintances are already doing a good job beating up pedestrians who have the audacity to flip the bird at my speeding motorcade. Freedom of expression and state security do not mix. So sorry.

    I knew exactly what I wanted to say in the State of the Nation Address, and I said it.

    Actually what he meant was I knew exactly what I wanted to say, but that asshole spin-doctor who wrote my speech, got it all wrong. As soon as things calm down, I’m going to fire his ass.

    The State of the Nation Address covered the new era we are entering as government.

    This is an era of doing things differently, an era of ensuring that our work is determined by clear outcomes, and of increasing the pace and form of service delivery.

    That is our new way of doing things.

    What he actually meant was, We’re going to make more promises, and do even less, but we hope you won’t notice.

    That is because we have not changed our priorities

    Meaning We, the politicians will serve ourselves first, as always.

    Drone, drone, drone, drone, yadddah, yaddah, yaddah, blah, blah, blah…and much later…

    We said in the State of the Nation Address that we want South Africans to be safe and to feel safe.

    We fully understand the feelings and views of South Africans about crime and corruption.

    What he meant was We haven’t got the slightest clue how to ensure your safety, but we think understanding your feelings is the first step…

    As Honourable Mbalula and Jeffery pointed out, we have a number of interventions in place to improve the functioning of the criminal justice system.

    Such as appointing ANC-friendly people in key judiciary positions who will be sympathetic to our cadre’s indiscretions, while ensuring that the police will always serve the ruling party first, just like they did during Apartheid.

    We are working on several initiatives to address corruption in government procurement.

    What he didn’t say was But we hope they never get implemented because then our deployed cadres will have to find other sources of extra income.

    The demand for water will only increase, and our sewage management infrastructure will come under strain as time goes on.

    What he omitted to say was Because more and more shit is going to come out of Parliament.

    At this point I’m not going to bother with the rest of his speech, as my head hurts from reading all the deceit…

    Show me the funny…the laughter continues, # 1

    I’m often accused by believers of posting caricatures that belittle Christians only. Here are a few examples posted on my Show me the Funny Page:

    Gabrielle (20:17:32) : edit

    Wow, y’know I’ve got some comic strips showing the atheists being just as dumb, if you’d like to see them sometime. Y’know, to make it fair and all :).

    anonymous (06:54:08) : edit


    Please do not get angry or take offense at this. I am only curious. Why is it that all your little cartoons are aimed at Christians when you claim to be against all religion?

     And my personal favorite:

    Febe (10:58:20) : edit

    Is there any comic strips of Hitler , lenin or even of stalin? These great athiests , how about hitlers SS , But Jews were not the only group singled out for persecution by Hitler’s Nazi regime. As many as one-half million Gypsies, at least 250,000 mentally or physically disabled persons, and more than three million Soviet prisoners-of-war also fell victim to Nazi genocide. Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, Social Democrats, Communists, partisans, trade unionists, Polish intelligentsia and other undesirables were also victims of the hate and aggression carried out by the Nazis.

    While the last comment continues to proliferate the oft-debunked myth about Stalin, Hitler and Lenin killing and sowing the seeds of destruction under the influence of atheism, the simple truth of the matter is that there is just so much more caricatures of Christianity easily available, than any other religion. The even harder truth to swallow may be that while believers, especially of the Christian faith spend an inordinate amount of time defending their myopic views, other more creative people are giving the world thought-provoking caricatures which are not only intended to make us laugh at ourselves, but to create social commentary about our ignorance and unjustified fears.

    And politicians who are caricatured daily in the newspapers and magazines, are also not immune from the treatment meted out to religion and culture. If you invite ridicule, don’t cry foul when you become cartoon bait. While watching a video posted on an on-line newspaper this morning, about a documentary which was canned by the South African public broadcaster, the SABC,  South African constitutional court judge, Albie Sachs was quoted as saying “A society that takes itself too seriously risks bottling up its tensions and treating every example of irreverence as a threat to its existence. Humour is one of the great solvents of democracy.”

    So in the spirit of promoting social dialogue about irrationality, here are a few more cartoons which I have stolen from a social networking site of which I’m a member. Unfortunately they are all aimed at Christians. However, my offer to Gabrielle and anonymous still stands: if you find any material which casts the other religions and atheists, in a similar light, please make them available to me for posting here.


    Sanctimony, is not a virtue

    Sanctimony, is not a virtue

    Yep, the clergy sure are (applies to all religions)

    Yep, the clergy sure are (applies to all religions)

    Quite strange why all-powerful gods do not have access to all-powerful technology

    Quite strange why all-powerful gods do not have access to all-powerful technology

    So, I look forward to posting some material that is not complimentary to the other religions and atheists, especially atheists.