Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Yes the struggle(s) continue

In light of the upcoming elections of our democratic country I thought it would be interesting to look at the struggles South Africa continues to face and the triumphs this incredible country has achieved in just 20 years.

While I do not dispute that both nationally and globally the struggles which continue are a consequence of the CRUEL, BIASED, DISCRIMINATORY AND DOWNRIGHT INHUMANE treatment of both racial and religious groups and the mismanagement of countries as a result of colonialisation and supremacy, times are however changing and the race struggle (although I do not in anyway forsake it) has become much more complicated than it ever was. Colour is not the (greatest) problem, the education, governing parties, corruption, disease epidemics, misinformation, greed, arms deals, civil wars (among groups of the same ethnicity although differing in religious affiliation albeit ever so slightly) are the problems we face today.

South Africa stands proud amongst a continent which has its colonial past to thank for a downfall into corruption, violence and poverty. However, South Africa managed to avoid a civil war when the world expected one and violence was at its peak, our economy is growing (even though recent corruption has caused a decrease in this growth) but both our education and rate of literacy is improving, tolerance is on the increase (even though it seems Facebook tolerance is on the decrease), the poverty gap is decreasing and health care for the largest HIV epidemic in the world is being provided. 
If you want to help your country, if you want to fight its struggles they are a plenty but educate yourself on where the issues of your own country lie and how to fight them. 
With elections coming up, you can decide on the leader you believe in and the country you want your children to grow up in.

1. Poverty

South Africa still has an embarassingly high level of poverty, although on the decrease from 57.2% in 2006 to 56.8% in 2009, today it stands at approximately 46%. 

Now what can we do? One option is to invest in education. If business interests you, start a business and allow it to flourish here investing in our economy. Teach, tutor, donate your time or money; force your government to improve the standards of teaching and increase the numbers of teachers. Whatever you believe is right, just do it.

And South Africa is not the only country suffering poverty, it is a global problem which is improving all too slowly

2. Education

The ministry of Education will have us belive that due to Matric pass rates increasing, our education system is successful. However with pass rates as low as 30% necessary to obtain a Senior Certificate this does not show much. As well as this the pre-Matric drop out rate of students is unbelievably high.

 (source: SA stats)

However there is improvement:

People are aware of the lack of facilities, textbooks, resources and teachers available in lower income schools with strikes occuring too frequently, yet people naively accept that "it is getting better". 
The governement needs to be forced to "make it better", not just believe that it's improving with redundant statistics.

And the world over we could try a little harder to redirect funds.

(source World Bank statistics)

3. Corruption

I don't think any South African needs to be infromed about the recent corruption sagas plaguing our country; such as the presidential's home Nkandla and the Gupta wedding saga before that.
Arms deals, levies, mismanagement of funds, our current governement is rapidly sinking into corruption. And nothing is as lethal to a growing economy as corruption in its government and services.  

(source: SA stats)

It is not to say that the ANC is not capable of ruling our country justly, it is that the current men and women in power at the ANC are failing miserably.

4. HIV/Aids
Here the struggle really continues. People must wake up to this epidemic.
South Africa has a triple record: the highest number living with HIV, the highest number of new infections and the highest number on ARVs. 6.4 million South Africans are infected with HIV. This increased from 5.2 million in 2008 due to longer survival  as a result of ART and on-going higher numbers of new infections. As well as this, 469,000 new HIV infections occured among people older than 2 years in 2012 Condom use and knowledge about HIV is decreasing even though thankfully stigma is decreasing too. Although HIV testing has massively increased, 45% of HIV+ women and 62% of HIV+ men are not aware of their status. Even though it is believed that knowledge about HIV in increasing, only 27% of people had accurate knowledge about transmission and prevention and there was significant decrease in knowledge between 2008 and 2012. We need to wake up. What needs to be done:
o   Accelerate Social and Behavioural Communication campaigns which address risky behaviours such as multiple sexual partnerships, early sexual debut, age-disparate relationships, and inconsistent condom use.
o   Increase awareness of risk of acquiring HIV
o   Increase medical male circumcision
o   Target prevention, testing and treatment in informal settlements.
However, a major success has been achieved in mother-to-child transmission due to PMTCT reducing
transmission from 30% to just 3% (THERE IS HOPE).

We believe that in South Africa the struggle continues, we just hope that our generation finds the strength and educates themselves enough to choose the right struggle.
South Africa is a beacon of hope in both tolerance and democracy, believe in our country.


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