Workers Day

With a total of over twelve million foreigners landing in south Africa in 2011 and a recorded one point two million people in January of this year, one is left to wonder why one celebrates a day like workers day when our unemployment rate has steadily increased over the last ten years to almost thirty percent.

Reading a newspaper, the ruling party would like you commemorate the memories of past south Africans who had lost their lives in the struggle for equal rights for workers. They will have you believe today is about those brave souls who fought the oppressors and, against all odds, went on to create unions, some of the largest in Africa. But how can one turn their heads away from the beggars on the street and not think about the millions of people who are without work. That’s almost fourteen million people without something to do come tomorrow morning. What of them?
Well, with an expected fifteen million foreigners coming to our land this year, surely there is a way to grab there attention? Surely they have some extra cash they don’t mind blowing on something worth the experience.

Let’s look at the obvious. Cape Town is renowned for many things. The arts and culture, the nature and natural beauty, the vibes, sun and beaches. And the night life is just another attraction point. So why would the City of Cape Town be making it so difficult for clubs and pubs to run their establishments? I get that these places are not usually run by people who portray the strongest pillar of morality in our society, but with the strict rules and lack of assistance from provincial or national level does not help the honest man make an honest living from a somewhat less than honest business. But since the birth of Jesus, man has had brothels and pubs. We are a lascivious bunch when the lights go down. So would their – the governments – help not boost employment? People are needed to run these places. Not machines, but people.

South Africa, with it’s huge wide open spaces of land. Why do we not have a hemp land. A town that grows hemp. Hemp for material to make clothes and super strong rope. To make canvass. Hell it is even more indestructible than other Construction products such as medium density fiber board, oriented strand board, and even beams, studs and posts. Because of hemp’s long fibers, the products will be stronger and/or lighter than those made from wood. So why all the huge forests that require machines to operate, not an entire village? Not to mention that hemp oil can be used in an engine, why are we not exploring this more? Why leave it for first world countries?
I get that this is a fairly poor country but with one of the richest soils in natural minerals in the world I don’t see why? Maybe those FAT cats at Arora can help explain the poverty. Names like Zuma and Mandela might prove to have some of the answers as to why some of our wealthy gold mines have been reduced to dirt and rubble? Now, the east rand mines are something I grew up very close to. I saw it grow and sustain itself in terms of constant employment for many years yet I saw it’s demise within three.
So what is workers day in a place with so few people who work?
How is one suppose to connect with a holiday that seems entirely contrived?
Maybe the ostentatious President could take a step away from his fourth honeymoon, fat and corrupt nephew and lavish life style to answer some of the more pertinent question I, as a south African, would like to have answered…?


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