By George Annandale (News24 user)
It was reported that the South African government feels snubbed after not being invited to a Bric (Brazil, Russia, India and China) summit.
Trade and industry director-general Tshediso Matona said, "South Africa was not there quite simply because we were not invited. The department of international co-operation must look into this. We must be in that club. We belong there."
Poor South Africans, once again we are rejected. We are entitled to the centre of the world stage despite our "proud" record of violent crime, our rapid falling life expectancy, our economic growth considerably lower than other emerging economies, one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, low and dropping position on world productivity ratings, being identified as a unattractive investment target for mining, collapsing infrastructure.
Truth is, only fellow citizens walking around wearing rose coloured shades, believe we have anything to offer the world. Do we really think we have something to contribute? I thought with Mbeki out of our lives we would be outgrowing his "illusions of grandeur" and his visions of "the Africa century".
It is time people like this "badge hunter" and his boss, Rob Davies, realise our "tortured past" does not entitle us to positions of power and membership of organisations. The principle of entitlement only works in South Africa.
Imagine their state of shock when they realised that they could not even use the "colonial guilt" stick to beat the organisers with, although I'm rather surprised that someone has not yet accused the Bric Block of being racist but that may still happen. Suffice to say, maybe they, the confused will soon realise we have to perform to get ahead.
If our hard done by friends look critically at our performance over the past 15 years, and stop believing what they want us to believe, they will notice the brutal truths of our dismal performance as a country. Looking at measures of success and measuring yourself against benchmarks determines your worth. In the case of South Africa, we do not measure up in a number of critical areas.
First, life expectancy, which is globally considered a critical measure, has dropped from 65 in 1994 to 51 in 2007. Second, our average economic growth (GDP) grew by 4.5% per year over the past four years. We are told it is good. The truth is, other emerging economies and resource based economies like Chile, India, Indonesia and even African countries like Tanzania and Zambia have grown by 6-8% per annum over the same period. It seems our leaders, instead of boasting about our economic growth, should hang their collective heads in shame.
Thirdly, we find ourselves in a situation where we live in a criminally insane society with one of the worst crime rates in the world and our President attributes crime to perceptions and an unpatriotic media.
Fourthly, in the recently published Global Competitive Review, South Africa finds itself at number 49 out of 57 countries measured. On top of this, we find ourselves having one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, number three, in fact.
To complete a dismal picture, add our collapsing infrastructure, (Rail, Roads, water security and Eskom) and I think we can safely say it is a bit presumptuous to demand recognition as a leading light in the Global village.
Unless South Africans understand the issues and bravely face the truth, we will have no chance turning back from the precipice.
Rob Davies and his DG are doing us no favours by being indignant because they are not given the recognition they, with their inflated sense of self-importance, believe they are entitled to.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
By George Annandale (News24 user)