SOUTH AFRICA TOO MANY BLIND EYES TURNED
By Vincent Lyn
Since March 2019, South Africa have spurned cries of xenophobia and has been spiraling into utter chaos and barbarism the likes that haven’t been seen in over a decade. With all of this South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has condemned “acts of wanton violence” against foreigners as crowds of people plundered shops and set fire to buildings for a second day in the country’s commercial capital, Johannesburg. Yet he was not even in the country.
South Africa has been crippled with corruption that leads all the way to the very top. The country has been swept up by rioting, looting and burning down everything in its path, killings of black on black and black on white has taken the country by storm to the point of now kidnapping children in broad daylight asking for millions in ransom. The government is state captured and it would seem clear why a new government can’t be newly elected? Yesterdays riots came after hundreds of people marched in Johannesburg’s Central Business District (CBD) demanding foreigners to leave. They targeted shops they believed to be owned by foreign nationals. Lerato Peete, a South African woman, told a local newspaper, that she was angry at her fellow citizens for attacking their African “brothers and sisters.” “I am so ashamed to be South African on this day,” she said. “How is it possible that a black person can be a foreigner in Africa? My mom was an activist, my father was an activist. I was born out of South Africa because we didn’t have a place to call our own.”
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari sent an envoy to South Africa on Tuesday to “express Nigeria’s displeasure over the treatment of her citizens”. The country’s high commission in South Africa described the situation as “anarchy”. The government alleges that Nigerian-owned businesses were targeted in Johannesburg and it has called on Nigerians to come forward to report what has happened to them. Ethiopia’s embassy in South Africa has advised its citizens to close their businesses during the ongoing tension, it also says that Ethiopians are advised to “distance themselves from any confrontation and conflict” and not go out wearing expensive jewelry. Meanwhile, Zambia’s transport ministry has said that truck drivers should “avoid traveling to South Africa until the security situation improves”.
It is rather obvious to see that the country has imploded into anarchy and the police and security divisions have lost complete control of the situation. My colleague and dear friend Debbie Els who’s on the ground in Cape Town has been reporting and attending Parliamentary meetings that have been in session. But to what end? Debbie and I know full well that talk is cheap and if the current situation is not fixed and very soon the horror that is unfolding will lead to all out war. Though in my estimation the point of no return has already been crossed.
South Africa has always been a bucket list destination for almost any traveler but a country wrought together with not only extreme violence and the stringent measures placed on its citizens because of the Covid-19 lockdowns the economy has been shattered. The government of South Africa declared the national state of disaster on the 14th March this year, citing the magnitude and severity of the Covid-19 outbreak and taking into account the need to augment the existing measures to deal with the pandemic.
Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, said in an additional announcement on May 30th: “Based on the COVID-19 epidemic expected trajectory, the first phase of the recovery for the sector will be driven by domestic tourism, followed by regional tourism and international tourism next year.” During the past two months of lockdown have wrecked the tourism sector. Many businesses in the sector fighting for survival and projections show that almost 600,000 jobs were at risk if the sector doesn’t come into operation by September 2020.
South Africa went into lockdown in March to reduce the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. On Monday, it moved to Level 3 of its lockdown plan which has allowed many to return to work, including a full reopening of the retail sector. However, there will still be a fair few restrictions in place — exercise can only be done between the hours of 6am and 6pm, and South Africans will be required to wear masks at all times while outdoors. The future is certainly dire and its anyones guess how things will play out? But with cries of xenophobia and Covid-19 that is very much part of our new normal the lives of the people of South Africa is very much in question.
To all my friends and colleagues there please stay safe and healthy.
God Bless South Africa.
CEO/Founder at We Can Save Children
Director of Creative Development at African Views Organization
Economic & Social Council at United Nations
Rescue & Recovery Specialist at International Confederation of Police & Security Experts