This is much unfinished, but publish and be damned. Large photo posts take a long time to compose, and as we draw towards the end of holiday, I am still working on the last big post. I will write a bit more though about our experience in South Africa, from a personal aspect.
In my youthful years I was passionately against Ian Smith in Rhodesia. Smith was eventually tossed away at the behest of Britain and the world, and Rhodesia went on to become become Zimbabwe with equal rights for black people. Job done, but then it all went so horribly wrong in Zimbabwe as white people were the elite and subjected to attacks by black people which was and still is as much about the poor uprising against the rich. Unfortunately it is skin colour that boils down to who owns what. Whites in Zimbabwe don't own much now and most have left. The country is now a basket case and while it should be able to at least feed itself, it can barely do so. Colonialism was not a good thing, but what has followed with independence has not been good either.
Ipso facto it would follow that I was also anti apartheid in South Africa. What right minded person could not be. Surely the black people in South Africa should have equal rights and a vote. It came to pass in the 1990s after a long campaign which included the hero of South Africa, Nelson Mandela and many others, including some white people. My thoughts about South Africa before we visited, was that a brutal and corrupt white political elite had been replaced by a brutal and corrupt black political elite. I may not have been wrong about that.
Yet, it is a functioning country. There are a few old white people still in the political elite, but I don't think many now. White people are still in a position of power in many areas of business and commerce. The serving class is mostly black. While our service staff were mostly black, at times there was a white person who was not in charge but just doing the same service job as black people. But yes, in most places it was white bosses in charge of black staff.
There is an official government policy to employ more black people than white. There is quite a number of unemployed white people in South Africa, and some who are quite poor.
South Africa has eleven official languages but most chat is in Afrikaans, which is Dutch and German based with some local African language thrown in. Formal business and commerce is mostly conducted in English. Generally anyone who is a tourist would come across could speak both Afrikaans and English.
Afrikaans seems to be spoken loud and it is a guttural language, with rolling rs and throaty stuff like Arabic. African people have no problem with speaking to people a long distance away. It can feel a little threatening to meek people like us.
At the end of the day, I have no idea of what black and white relationships are like in South Africa. One of our stupid politicians said that white farmers from South Africa should be given immigration priority as they were being killed on their farms by black people at a rapid rate. I came across a really good fact check South Africa website. Yes, some white farm owners have been killed, but it is mostly robbery or a labour dispute problem. Generally white people are very safe in South Africa. The murder rate among black people is much higher. If any farmers in South Africa should be given priority entrance to Australia, it is probably black farm owners who are also under threat.
I think I've already recounted this in a comment, but one day during a break of our coach travel, we came across the slowest ATM ever. A black man was using it, and we wondered why he was pissing around. His transaction eventually concluded and he was followed by a dark haired white woman. I didn't hear what was said, but the white woman said, don't worry. I am a local. You are quite safe here. Her transaction took just as long as the black person's, as did ours.
We still had plenty of time before we had to board the coach. We walked around the corner with the intention of going to the big shopping centre we could see. But there were loud black men everywhere and it being Friday evening, some were drunk. I, who would normally say, we have a perfect right to walk to the shopping centre among all these black men, was quite pleased when R said, I think we better go back. I did not argue.
We boarded our coach and it turned the same corner we had walked. I saw an about 60 year old white woman in tailored clothing, hair beautifully coiffed, good and quite heavy makeup, dripping in gold bling, step out of her Mercedes and walk among all the black men into the shopping centre. Those at the bottom of the socio economic end, who have been discriminated against because they are black, did not attack the rich white woman and would not have attacked us. I really wonder why.
For me it is an intangible thing, pride in equality, but post Apartheid all those black men became a equal to that white woman in theory, and to us. I think if I was a black man, I would pleased and satisfied with that, but not the mostly, not always, inequality of wealth between blacks and whites in South Africa. I remember when Apartheid ended that there were quite a number of white working class people who did manual labour. I wonder what happened to them?
But what would do as a white South African? More specifically concerning your children. Flee the country for your children's better future? Hang on in there and see how things go? A difficult decision many will face.
South Africa is not for understanding. There is an important vote before parliament soon about whether white South African farmers should have their farms taken away from them without compensation. I can only suggest to the black people of South Africa, do you want to go down the road of Rhodesia? Black people in South Africa, take you pride in that you are equal to white people and you are advantaged in the employment market. Get your children well educated and they will be in positions of power, government, education, technology and commerce in years to come. It will take some time for anything like economic equality but it will happen, and without upsetting the applecart.