Monday, April 14, 2008

Famine in South Africa - Preposterous (or is it?)


The first time I read this comment my mouse was hovering over the delete button. My thoughts were that this was written by a foreign woman with no clue about the real situation in South Africa. Then a few thoughts filtered through - at first random thoughts. One was of the murdered girl who had visited her murderer (and been sexually abused for months) in order to get food. Then I started to think about crime in general (in South Africa) as the simple process of the disenfranchised poor reaching out and striking out with all the pent up rage that comes with the travails of being poor. Here is the comment in full:

The WC2010 in South Africa is going to be a huge flop mainly because of the growing famine in that country. In its entire 150-plus years of recorded agricultural history, South Africa has NEVER suffered famine - and was a major food exporter to the rest of Africa.Now many malnourished children are treated in hospitals countrywide - and SA has to import many tonnes of grains because they only have 9,000 of the original 85,000 'white' commercial farmers left to produce excess-food - on only 0.76% of the entire land surface. More than half of the 47m population can't afford even a loaf of bread a day.
Then 350,000 tourists will descend on them like locusts and eat up their food supplies. I predict massive food-riots and attacks against football-tourists. Many whites now are already attacked for their food supplies, like this Pretoria woman this week. See the Alerts - famine' and "Boer genocide' pages on: http://groups.msn.com/crimebustersofsouthafrica


Obviously South Africa doesn't have empty Supermarkets like Zimbabwe, but it is true that we (like many other countries) are now net importers of food. Obviously tourists coming here don't compete for basic foodstuffs - they'll be eating in restaurants. But the food-riot future is not paranoia, it's already happening all over Africa, and COSATU is mobilising to get our own people marching too.

How does this affect me in my Rosebank? Well think about it. As more and more people can't afford basic foodstuffs, how do you think that will impact on urban and suburban crime (already at unacceptable levels).

Of course protesting doesn't help. What they [COSATU] should be doing is frogmarching people to patches of land and giving them bags of seeds.

2 comments:

Abby said...

One of the projects that my charity is focussing on growing of food in rural townships. Whilst it is not the solution to the problem, it will help get those in dire need of food, some form of nutrition while teaching them basic food growing techniques, marketing and commerce. Unfortunately my charity is still in incorporation stage, so it will be at least another 6 months or so before the projects are started. This will hopefully alleviate a few peoples need to commit crimes to get food.

The government seems to have blinkers on lately... perhaps its because they eat in restaurants ?

Nick van der Leek said...

That's an excellent idea. I also think we all need to start to learn how to farm small patches of land effectively n- which crops for which soiuls, all the subtleties. I did a spot of gardening last year and realised the extent of our ignorance in terms of something simple like growing food. I mean how important are web statistics in the real world; to find, make food etc.

I think the disease of the western world is narcissm. Everyone wants to be a celebrity, and everyone wants to be rich.