Photographers' Blog

Hardship deepens for South Africa’s Poor Whites

March 26, 2010

SAFRICA-WHITES
Children walk through a squatter camp for poor white South Africans at Coronation Park in Krugersdorp, March 6, 2010. REUTERS/Finbarr O’Reilly

Sitting in a deck chair at a white South African squatter camp, Ann le Roux, 60, holds a yellowing photo from her daughter’s wedding day.

Taken not long after Nelson Mandela became the country’s first black president in 1994, it shows Le Roux standing with her Afrikaans husband and their daughter outside their home in Melville, an upmarket Johannesburg neighborhood.

Sixteen years later, she lives in a caravan and a tent shared with seven other people, including her daughter and four grandchildren, at a squatter camp for poor white South Africans.

She is one of a growing number of whites living below the poverty line in South Africa who blame affirmative action and the ANC-led elected government for their plight.

Le Roux had to sell her house after her husband died and she lost her job as a secretary at the city planning council — where she had worked for 26 years — after she took time off work to recover from the loss of her husband.

“They wouldn’t take me back because of the political situation,” she says, looking down at the fading photo.

“Our color here is not the right color now in South Africa,” Le Roux says, echoing the complaint of many impoverished whites, mostly Afrikaners who are descendants of early Dutch and French settlers.

While most white South Africans still enjoy lives of privilege and relative wealth, the number of poor whites has risen steadily over the past 15 years. White unemployment nearly doubled between 1995 and 2005, according to the country’s Institute for Security Studies.


Music by 20-year-old Ewald Spence, recorded at Coronation Park.

HARD TIMES
Seeking to reverse decades of racial inequality, the ruling ANC government introduced affirmative action laws that promote employment for blacks and aim to give black South Africans a bigger slice of the economy. This shift in racial hiring practices coupled with the fallout from the global financial crisis means many poor white South Africans have fallen on hard times.

At least 450,000 white South Africans, 10 percent of the total white population, live below the poverty line and 100,000 are struggling just to survive, according to civil organisations and largely white trade union Solidarity. South Africa’s population is about 50 million.

Many poor whites have ended up in places like Coronation Park, in Krugersdorp west of Johannesburg, a leafy former caravan site beside a water reservoir and a public picnic park frequented by middle-class families at weekends.

SAFRICA-WHITES
Children play on a tire being used to block the entrance to a squatter camp for poor white South Africans at Coronation Park in Krugersdorp, March 6, 2010. REUTERS/Finbarr O’Reilly

Ringed by yellow-brown hills of earth dug up by generations of gold miners, the park was used by the British as a concentration camp for Afrikaners during the Anglo-Boer war at the start of the 20th century. Now it’s home to some 400 white squatters living in cramped tents and caravans and sharing a single ablution block. Cats and dogs roam noisily through the camp, dodging heaps of rubbish, piles of scrap metal and abandoned car parts.

Water is heated and food cooked on open camp fires. The local council cut electricity to the camp after failing to evict the white squatters. The council wanted to develop the area into a wide screen viewing area for soccer matches ahead of the soccer World Cup, which South Africa hosts in June and July.

Some residents, including three black South Africans, have lived there for years. Others arrived in recent weeks.

“If you’re out of work and you haven’t got money, where must you go to? No one wants to help you — this is the only place to go to,” says Dennis Boshoff, 38.

SAFRICA-WHITES
Friends talk through the window of a one-room hut at a squatter camp for poor white South Africans at Coronation Park in Krugersdorp, March 6, 2010. REUTERS/Finbarr O’Reilly

ZUMA SHOCKED
South African President Jacob Zuma visited a white squatter camp near the capital Pretoria last year ahead of his election, saying he was “shocked and surprised”.

“The vast number in black poverty does not mean we must ignore white poverty, which is becoming an embarrassment to talk about,” Zuma said at the time.

White poverty in South Africa is a politically sensitive subject that gets little attention, but it is not new.

Under apartheid, introduced in 1948, whites enjoyed vast protection and sheltered employment. The weakest and least educated whites were protected by the civil service and state-owned industries operating as job-creation schemes, guaranteeing even the poorest whites a home and livelihood.

SAFRICA-WHITES
Lukas Gouws, 29, smokes at a squatter camp for poor white South Africans at Coronation Park in Krugersdorp, March 6, 2010. REUTERS/Finbarr O’Reilly

But with that economic safety net now gone, South Africa’s unskilled whites find themselves on the wrong side of history, gaining little sympathy from those who perceive them as having profited unfairly during the brutal apartheid years.

Trade union Solidarity says there are around 430,000 whites who live in squatter camps. Around the capital Pretoria alone there are 80 squatter settlements. There are over 2,000 much larger black squatter camps across South Africa.

SAFRICA-WHITES
Lukas Gouws tells off a boy for digging up snakes at a squatter camp for poor white South Africans at Coronation Park in Krugersdorp, March 6, 2010. REUTERS/Finbarr O’Reilly

Formerly comfortable Afrikaners recently forced to live on the fringes of society see themselves as victims of “reverse-apartheid” that they say puts them at an even greater disadvantage than the millions of poor black South Africans.

SAFRICA-WHITES
A family smokes together during a quiet moment at a squatter camp for poor white South Africans at Coronation Park in Krugersdorp, March 13, 2010. REUTERS/Finbarr O’Reilly

“Blacks get more than whites at the moment. They’re being pulled forward against us. That’s why all of us are here. It’s very unfair because they told us it was going to be equal, but it’s not equal,” said Boshoff.

This feeling of victimisation and abandonment by the state has forged at the camp a collective sense of fatalism, isolation and firm reliance on their Calvinist religion. Each of the camp’s ramshackle huts and tents is adorned with religious paraphernalia and an Afrikaans language bible.

Many poor white communities also struggle with alcoholism, violence and abuse but at Coronation Park, social problems have declined. “We kicked a lot of the worst ones out and the fighting and violence has gone down,” said Hugo Van Niekerk, who has managed the camp over the past few years.

Van Niekerk, who solicits donations and helps community members find odd jobs, successfully fought an eviction order last year from the local municipality but he expects little help from the council or government on housing.

“We won’t get houses from this government. If we were black maybe yes, but we are white.”

SAFRICA-WHITES
Andre Coetzee, 57, drinks a mug of coffee at a squatter camp for poor white South Africans at Coronation Park in Krugersdorp, March 6, 2010. REUTERS/Finbarr O’Reilly

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Comments
62 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Africa is for Africans.

Posted by Asar | Report as abusive
 

I guess, considering Rwanda, that it could be worse. It’s hard not to sound insensitive, but it may be true that they are reaping what they sowed. They failed to treat the black equally through all those years; can forgiveness and equal treatment be expected with so much resentment done? Nonetheless I can only wish the best to these folk.

Posted by vortex_bits | Report as abusive
 

Why doesn’t this article compare the homeless rates of black south africans and white south africans? 400 white south africans homeless while millions of black africans are homeless. For the rest of white south africans (who are relatively rich): give back the land you stole.

Posted by carolinacerda | Report as abusive
 

Equality for ALL going forward. The children are paying for the sins of their forefathers.

Posted by BubbaJ | Report as abusive
 

Wake up and grow up. No whites stole land from any Blacks, in particular, those alive now. Settlers arrived, as they did around the world and brought civilization and education to countries such as those in Africa,Australia, America etc. Times are bad and wrong for many people around the world inc South Africa but the whites alive there are NOT responsible for any past damage. The ANC have been in power for 16 years and have and still have “Apartheid in reverse” if you are white, you wont get a job or help.How is this a Democratic Republic, it is not, it is racist. Without White settlement, SA would be no better than Ethiopia or such other Country in Africa so they have alot to thank white settlement for and it’s time they stopped their racist policy of black empowerment. There are a handfull of whites left in SA so they would not be taking away any jobs, howcome they can get away with racism while moaning and groaning about apartheid which died out 2 decades ago? Wake up and realize exactly what is going on there, you know nothing unless you have been there and met and seen the people you think are so great and wonderful and badly done by,you try living under their rule.

Posted by livedthere09 | Report as abusive
 

The article does make the comparison in numbers between homeless blacks and whites:

“Trade union Solidarity says there are around 430,000 whites who live in squatter camps. Around the capital Pretoria alone there are 80 squatter settlements. There are over 2,000 much larger black squatter camps across South Africa.”

It also points out: “Most white South Africans still enjoy lives of privilege and relative wealth.”

Posted by Finbarr4 | Report as abusive
 

“Settlers arrived, as they did around the world and brought “civilization” and “education” to countries such as those in Africa,Australia, America etc.” Please check this. Settlers brought genocide and slavery, especially in America—How many indigenous people are left in the U.S. and what about the “schools” created in order to strip them of their culture and language. No society and culture is better than another. We are all different, which is a good thing.

Also, my comment was not meant to offend but you do have to admit that most, not all (obviously), white south africans have more opportunities than the rest of the country. Most of the white south africans I’ve met are relatively rich and have said very negative things about black south africans. Yes I don’t know what it means to live there but it does not help when people of that country talk negative about others in their own country.

Posted by carolinacerda | Report as abusive
 

Posted by carolinacerda “…No society and culture is better than another.” ??? the fact that you’re posting on this site is a product of our culture instead of making marks in the mud.

Posted by bluemen | Report as abusive
 

It appears poverty is color blind.

Posted by Wambua | Report as abusive
 

Yes, your right. I’m using the internet, a product of our culture to make this comment. The fact that I am using the internet does not make me better as a person than let’s say an ingenious population in the Amazon or the third of Americans who do not own a computer.

Posted by carolinacerda | Report as abusive
 

I can imagine how difficult it must be when your privilege runs out and your free ride comes to the end of the line.

Now that the roles have been altered for some, the government should at least be civil and humanitarian (unlike the apartheid regimes) and turn the electric back on in those camps, so the people can at least, at a minimum, sustain their basic needs in an effort to get back on their feet.

As for stolen land, its clear land was stolen and passed along to beneficiaries, in the same way authority, privilege and opportunities where passed through exclusive hands. The argument about stolen land is a matter of honesty.

Posted by rror | Report as abusive
 

Africa is everyone’s Ancestral Home.

Posted by Paris2006 | Report as abusive
 

Any trace of modern civilization in Africa was brought there by whites. Apparently many black Africans are rethinking the “benefits” of decolonization.

Really, native Africans should get down on their knees and thank the whites for lifting them up from the savagery which seems to be their natural condition. A sad commentary, but an undeniable one.

Posted by Mega | Report as abusive
 

During the 80′s I met quite a few white South Africans in Europe and I was surprised at how they presented with such an elitist attitude – not only towards blacks, but towards others as well… Probably if the original white settlers had a more just, inclusive, and less divisive attitude from the beginning, then they wouldn’t have precipitated the apartheid THEY now experience – which is just the reciprocal of what THEY entered into the system in the first place. When are people going to realize and accept responsibility for this… that, without exception, the response to our actions will always ALL come back to us… so, if we want to live in a better world, we’d better start with respect, kindness, and justice when we relate to others…!

Posted by peterboy | Report as abusive
 

Africa is for africans, but all the civilization, wealth, culture, health and the writing that we can find there, came out of africa. This is true. Trying to retaliate the white because the past is to retaliate the future because the present appartheid will be fight by the foreign in the same way that the black appartheid was in the past.

Posted by Jorgegaucho | Report as abusive
 

Really, some people are missing the point. To start with, white people went to other continents being pushed or asked to do so by their Governments or King/Queen etc, many generations ago. For the past hundred or more years, white south africans have worked hard and PAID for their land, they stole it from nobody. Yes White Settlement had its very,very bad history as we all know along with the good-many inhuman acts were committed in particular, in America. Lets be intelligent enough to leave History as History and concentrate on the present and future.All of Africa need help, not only white SA’s, Black and White are all equal and human and have exactly the same needs.
By the way, look at every Country in Africa after Independance and you will see thousands fleeing to Europe and other Continents other than their own – war,crime,intolerance of other tribes or cultures, etc.You get shot in your home or in the street by gangs prowling the streets 24/7/. A child is raped every 3 minutes, google news24.com.SA, would you want to live there? These white people did nothing, they are being refused work because of their skin colour. Dont blame them for what their grandparents did or did not do. The issue is about equal rights and democracy and this is not the deal they are getting. All people are special, equal, beautiful and the world would be revolting without different colours and cultures, I love all people and the issue should be about world poverty, no matter what colour, and aid should flow freely to all, no matter who. The rest of Africa are all Black and certainly need more help, lets concentrate of World Peace and World Relief for every single person we can reach.

Posted by livedthere09 | Report as abusive
 

I don’t know about the Black/ White issues, but with all the kids running around it looks like they need birth control more than anything.

Posted by UncleNed-222 | Report as abusive
 

A story well done! This shows a side that the majority of the rest of the world would never know about.

Posted by Cypresso | Report as abusive
 

They should be brought to the United States and Canada to settle. There will be no peaceful solution for them in the modern political climate in Africa. They are hardworking people with a proud history and they deserve to be allowed to come to the United States or Canada. They fought bravely beside us in World War II and against the criminal genocide brought on by Cuban and Russian troops in mid-Africa. It is time to bring them to our shores – they deserve it unlike so many millions of others here who have brought drugs, crime and disrespect.

Posted by cranston | Report as abusive
 

This shows us, yet once again, that multiracial societies rarely work. Sad to say, the solution probably is for the whites, blacks, browns and yellows to all “go back” to the continents of their forefathers.

Posted by Anthonykovic | Report as abusive
 

Mandela showed the white underclass the way. Become Mau Mau killers and scare the power structure into giving you the what you want.

Posted by veracity | Report as abusive
 

@Mega “Really, native Africans should get down on their knees and thank the whites for lifting them up from the savagery which seems to be their natural condition.”
Ha ha, funny stuff Mega. For a second I thought you were a typical moronic white supremacist with your first paragraph but after reading the second I realised you’re a comic genius, masterful in the art of sarcasm.
Yeah, Africans should thank us for enslaving them and teaching them the cultured way of the peace loving, war hating white man.
Get down on their knees no less??! Ha ha…seriously classic stuff!! You’re a freakin one man chuckle machine Mega!!
Comedy gold. Keep up the good work.

Posted by RandomName | Report as abusive
 

@lived there09 – Quote: Don’t blame them for what their grandparents did or did not do. The issue is about equal rights and democracy and this is not the deal they are getting. Good point!! Quit the historical blame game BS…… and let’s all learn to live together.

@RANDOMNAME …. you actually are the one who wins the prize of all commentators as the “moronic supremacist” – RU black American, because here’s a new concept for you — racism cuts BOTH ways. Before the white man arrived in SA the natives were a subsistence stone age culture chasing each other around with spears. That’s fact. Whether the arrival of the white man was an improvement is debatable and you entitled articulate your opinion with thought and intelligence. If that is beyond your capability go back to your comic books.

Anyone else who wants to comment on @randomname, feel free to do so…….

Posted by JJWest | Report as abusive
 

Too much by way of negatives and polarized views.
Two wrongs will never make a right.
A mature and compassionate attitude to this is necessary unless you want a back lash from the far right!!

Posted by tbink | Report as abusive
 

1) I wish Reuters could stand up and take a view on all the homeless people in the world. By focusing on a tiny section of homeless Reuters has lent itself subject to doubts regarding its intention.
2) I am not being insensitive to anyone, but has Reuters given a thought why this condition exists in S Africa? Ancestors of these very victims exploited the blacks in their times in unimaginable fashion. Reuters should run an addendum to this story describing exploitation of blacks in S Africa. I bet this article would appear to be a bed of roses. You may ask why these people have to suffer for the wrongs of their ancestors, which is a fair point. But then, that exploitation still continues. US, Europe and most of the developed world is still mindlessly exploiting Africa and parts of Asia. The manner of exploitation has changed – it has become more sugar coated and velvet gloaved!

Posted by True_Global | Report as abusive
 

Most if not all white South Afrikaners are descendants from other countries who settled in Africa centries ago for the wealth of it’s land. They didn’t give a hoot about the Native back then and it was the whites who brought war amounst it people…Besides poverty and war, What has the whites given back from what they stole from the land? (gold, precious stones and minerals) Did whites ever know that some day the tables will turn?
Even so in my country I now see whites doing what blacks was forced to do against their will back in the day… I’m not saying its right, but it is happening…

Posted by Senoj | Report as abusive
 

Oh yeah, this tells you how it is. South africa is still in steady downfall. I would think the dutch would help and get some of the whites out of there. This kinda points to the race issue. Alot wont talk about it, but this is a stark picture of reality. Reverse discrimination isnt any better.

I wonder how the black goverment is doing? By the few national numbers they give, i dont think so good. Got a criminal as your leader. I guess thats a good start! Aids in South Africa is like very rampant. They been crying for help for that for a while now. They cant deal with it. Well at least south africa is now in the same shape as the rest of africa. Keeps them all on the same level. SAD but true.

Posted by ccharles | Report as abusive
 

Where is the often truly well-healed and high nosed South African diaspora to support at least the white people in their former homeland? You were so white before and now you are invisible.
Around 100,000 former SA’s live here in Australia alone where the vast majority of them flew in as business migrants(read: business refugees) with their(tax free?)capital during the 90′s. Many of them settled straight into the most expensive suburbs of Australian cities. Have they made any donation, any pay-back for the cosy life-style they once had and mostly still enjoy because they could milk the living daylights out of that country? I honestly doubt it. Many of them have continued living behind tall walls, security systems and tightly sealed social circles…
No matter what colour your skin is or what religion, this should not be happening in the 21st century. Rampant, destructive greed versus rampant desperate poverty. Compassion where are you ???

Posted by Balkanskippy | Report as abusive
 

I find the commenst on here claiming that this is some kind of Karma to be the most disturbing. If you are posting from anywhere in the in the US, Europe, Australia, most of Asia, or are of Spanish descent in South America or are descended from most tribes in Africa, your ancestors did acts far for grievous than that of the former Government of SA the fact that they did them 20 or even 100 yers earlier seems to be irrelevant to you (most of the kids bove were not alive in Apartheid) In your case I hope it is some trans generation Karma and you get full dose for what your Great Grandaddy did.

Posted by Dysan | Report as abusive
 

South Africa is a ‘White Nation’ that was ordered handed over to the backwards african primates by the world jewi$h bank$ters. White South Africans will regain what is rightfully theirs – a ‘Whites Only’ South Africa.

Posted by transfer | Report as abusive
 

In every White nation, the White majority (we are only 9% of the world population and falling), has been castigated for the last 50 years, by “our” media, education institutions and Left wing politics, as the “evil, white, racist, oppressor”.

So what do you think will happen to us and our children, when we become a hated minority (I assure you we are already a hated majority) in the next 50 years?

See the pictures above. This future is real and it is coming your way sooner than you think.

Posted by NYB123213 | Report as abusive
 

Most of these people lived paycheck to paycheck even during the best of times. Therefore any suggestion that this is some sort of karmic justice is offensive. Those that are presumed to have benefited most from apartheid have long since left the country.

Too bad they didn’t establish a smaller, separate white nation in the 90′s instead of handing the whole thing over to the ANC.

Posted by sppan | Report as abusive
 

Some of the comments here smack of irony. Really funny how the white liberals in countries such as the US, Canada, even Oz comment on the atrocities and war brought to Africa by the white man. Last time I check the native black population of SA outnumber white ‘colonists’ 10 to 1. Is the same true of US settlers and native americans? Those native populations were decimated. Same with the aborigines.

Sure, white SA exploited resources, but anyone who says we decimated and warmongered needs to get his facts checked. Quite frankly, the only people allowed any sort of view on this, are the people affected by it. The rest – either keep quiet or bring forward an informed opinion

Get a clue, maybe even use google and wikipedia – easy enough for even simpletons to use – and get some facts straight before posting moronic drivel…

Posted by Lee82 | Report as abusive
 

Those of you who are suggesting that the genocide of the white South African is karma better be leery of the rules of the universe that you inflict upon others. I’ll bet that every single one of you benefits handsomely from some form of past or ongoing oppression that’s far worse than anything the Afrikaner ever did to the native South African. At least the native South African is still alive to terrorize the living generations of white South Africans. Don’t forget that the Afrikaner diaspora started with them getting kicked out of France for opposing the Catholic church. Those of you who think that white South Africans are getting their just desserts sound an awful lot like every other low IQ ingrate who has justified every incident of genocide to blight this world.

Posted by ericuys | Report as abusive
 

As a young white South African student I do not believe that anybody has given the whole story. Yes apartheid was a terrible crime, or series of crimes, against all people of South Africa, the “non-whites” for all the reasons we know of, restricted education, jobs, movement etc. And for whites because of the culture of fear and intolerance that was created and persists to this day.
At the end of it all, many more black South Africans are homeless or living below the breadline than white South Africans. As tragic as these people’s story is I do believe that they are in this situation because they took their lives for granted during the apartheid regime when white people were pretty much guaranteed employment regardless of their qualifications or even if they finished school and did not make the choice to better themselves. Now as more and more black people enter the work force with better qualifications they will obviously get jobs first. This is exaccerbated by BEE in which adequately qualified “previously disadvantaged” people (this includes white women) are chosen for jobs first. As tragic as their situation is this is not an issue of white or black it is an issue of unemployment and lack of service delivery in a young, developing African country. South Africa requires work, it requires motivated people to be the best that they can be for the future of their country and the people in this township are not that.

Posted by cosacl | Report as abusive
 

You all dont know a damn thing whats going on here,I am a 19 y/o white southafrican who has to disagree with the statement that most of us are well of..
We cant establish our own busness without having a 49 – 51 % partnership with a black man..
Now we are all threatened where our rainbow governement fails to protect us,infact they dicriminate against us..
PLEASE WORLD , I BEG YOU..COME SAVE US..else the white men will get tortured and torched to death,white children will still be used as SEX slaves for Soccer World Cup,burned and killed,White women will continue to die brutal deaths after being gang raped..Please help us world.Please

Posted by njarfie | Report as abusive
 

And @ “Yes apartheid was a terrible crime, or series of crimes, against all people of South Africa”
LIES THERE WERENT ANY CRIME

“At the end of it all, many more black South Africans are homeless or living below the breadline than white South Africans”
BECAUSE EVERY BLACK FAMILY TRIES TO HAVE 20 CHILDREN,EVENTUALLY THE PARENTS WONT BE ABLE TO PROVIDE SO THEY ARE FORCED TO LEAD A STRUGGLING LIFE.

—- OUTNUMBERED 10 – 1 —-

” Now as more and more black people enter the work force with better qualifications they will obviously get jobs first”
LIES,AN UNDERQUALIFIED BLACK PERSON WILL GET THE JOB INSTEAD IF AN OVERQUALIFIED WHITE.

Posted by njarfie | Report as abusive
 

Whilst two wrongs do not make a right, the blacks have a chance to uplift themselves through hard work and entrepreneurial skills. For this some have a sense of entitlement.

The whites are entrepreneurs and have always been, the blacks, in spite of apartheid, that were entrepreneurial DID make money. I knew a few

Economics should come before idealism and competition in the market place should be encouraged. It is 15 years after the end of apartheid , and what does the ANC do with money that could uplift the blacks and whites?…
1) They build a 40 million rand bridge they don’t need in Joburg, as an example.
2) The ANC Ministers steal and they embezzle through corruption in what has come to be known as the “gravy train”
3) They spend millions, no, sorry billions on a sports event (world cup) which they can hardly afford, who is going to pay for it- the taxpayer.

For all the complaining about the whites being wealthy- who subsidises the electricity and water in the townships?- the whites
Who pays for the maintenance of roads and infrastructure?- the whites
Who paid for my maids AIDS medicine- ME!

Again, it’s 15 years after apartheid, time to bury the BEE policies in favour of competitive economics. The incompetence of the government should be no reason that anyone should be struggling.

So whilst all you foreigners are all wallowing in the pit of political correctness just remember who is keeping the country afloat. And at the end of the day the whites need the blacks and vice versa.

Posted by Babgess | Report as abusive
 

Very easy for people from outside to comment on something you know nothing about and must depend on the media for information .
Let me tell you all out there a few things about this country and the people living here .
Our forefathers found only savages roaming part of this country . They did not travel long distances because 500 years after the rest of the world they still had not invented the wheel , so they had to walk .
The whites brought agriculture , education and religion to them savages . They tried for more than 300 years to teach them good manners and work ethics by employing them . For all this they got massacred and killed . The blacks refused to have their children schooled and educated .
Because of their habits of stealing and damaging things the early shopkeepers invented the counter in shops where you point and ask for your things . Because they refused to be educated in personal hygiene separate entrances were created everywhere to prevent them stinking the white people away . Their tendency to behave like animals (see the rape stats today after 350 years of education) made it necessary to provide township areas away from the whites .
Today in this country the blacks are in power and the few in top positions are abusing their power to enrich themselves and their families . They cannot handle a position of power without abusing that right .
I have nothing against any race or any kind of competition for work etc . but the reality is that most of the appointments done in the workplace is based on skin colour . Your qualifications does not matter , only skin colour .
One fact I can tell you , take away the white people today and within a year there will be no money or infrastructure left in this country . Already there are talks about pushingg us all out of this country and it is coming soon I think . We have paid our taxes all the years and today we get nothing for it , we cannot even claim old age benefits because of our skin colour , the roads are atrocious , hospitals are pathetic and public services non-existent even though our taxes are supposedly pay for that all . Maybe hey forgot to add the clause “to be financed with surplus money left after the government are finished with filling their pockets and greasing palms” Even law and order does not exist any more .
Wish I could go someplace where I can get a job with my skin colour , demand a free house , water , all kinds of grants and electricity , claim the land where my “forefathers” lived (even if my ancestry have got 5 different races mixed in the meantime) and get enough money to go on strike for 2 weeks at a time . I cannot even afford one day of rest just to afford to pay the bills .
I really fear for the lives of the visitors next month .

Posted by purewhite | Report as abusive
 

I could not have said it better myself (person who commented on 11 May 2010). I find it very intersting how people from all over the world who have never been or lived in South Africa have plenty to say. If you have never lived in South Africa you have no right to comment on what is currently going on there. yes I too am a white South African. Born and bred – yet like many other white South Africans found themselves having to leave due to the crime on a daily basis, lack of career prospects due to my colour and forced to living in a prison like cell when indoors. As much as I love and miss home, I could never return due to fear of not waking up one day.

The only way South Africa will ever improve is if they bring back the death penalty – you comit a crime you pay!! It will soon stop crime, at the moment its a free for all – people can do what they want as there are not enough police in South Africa to cope with it.

I feel so sorry for those South Africans who dont have choice of leaving. Some don’t have the easy way out with having a foreign passport and are stuck facing the music for something they had nothing to do with, yes it might have been from their ancestors, but like myself I was not around in apartheid days and had nothing to do with it.

South Africa made a HUGE mistake of bringing out “afirmative action” – Its a glorified word of Apartheid in reverse. Look at the UK – you are treated as a human being, no matter what your colour you get the job according to experience and merrit – the way it should be.

In 2002 our home in South Africa was broken into. My wife and new born child were out at the time and I was home with mom and dad. 3 black men broke into our home – walked straight up to may father and shot him at point blank range, another held a gun to my head and said if I say one word they would kill me too. They tied both my hands and legs behind my back and made me watch while they brutally raped and beat my mother infront of my eyes. They then took our TV, hit me across the face many times before I passed out. After coming round I woke up to find blood all around me, my dad dead and mother screaming, she died 3 days later in hospital.

Needless to say I left South Africa the following week after borrowing money from friends to leave South Africa. I now live in the UK and trying to patch my life together and give my wife and 9 year od daughter a better life. I still wake up now years later in cold sweats thinking of that night. What I am trying to say is those of you that know nothing about South Africa – keep your mouth shut. Just imagine yourselves loosing your family for the sake of a £50 television set.

I pray for Africa……

Posted by bowersmith | Report as abusive
 

BubbaJ: “Equality for ALL going forward. The children are paying for the sins of their forefathers.”

Even though U.S. Americans have committed a sin by stealing the land of the natives (and killing them), their offspring has it better than ever. Somehow your comment defies any logic.

Posted by f00 | Report as abusive
 

One white guy commented that whites brought civilization to Africa and south Africa could be worse than Ethiopia if weren’t for whites.But what he forgets its that if that the Whites would have been more civilized if they behaved civil and uplift their fellow brethren also to participate in the so called better “white civilization”. Instead they brought suffering to the natives.Not to condone white poverty but I think if whites had realized the good for all,we won’t have the white poverty in South Africa today.So it is fair to say that as much as whites were smart in building systems of civilization they were too damn at dealing with humanity at large.

Posted by olegaita | Report as abusive
 

Some are saying the whites in South Africa are being oppressed.At least they don’t have a Mandela version yet.And some are angry that “savages” have taken over.Well we better remain savage than slaves in our own land.Delusional as many white folks are,times will tell who the real savage has been.

Posted by olegaita | Report as abusive
 

When the apartheid safety net was removed, it meant that the country would move towards equilibrium. With no extra resources available, some white people had to become poorer, and some black people became richer. That’s a simply fact of life.

The Le Roux woman talks nonsense when she says she was fired because she took time off to grieve the loss of her husband, If she did not follow procedure (apply for a special leave – a condition that applies to all employees), then she would have been fired for going AWOL. If the apartheid administration used to be lenient towards such practices, then it’s not the ANC government’s fault that rules are being enforced.

Lastly: The whole poor whites thing is being blown out of proportion. The 450000 poor whites do not compare with the over 8 000 000 black South African who continue to live below the poverty line. Poor whites unemployment constitutes less than 5% of the population (national average is about 25%). The same white squatters refuse to move to RDP houses that the government gives to all poor South Africans free of charge, irrespective of race. It makes me angry when I think that I grew up in worse conditions than these. I would have considered their life a luxury compared to what I was subjected to, and I did not have a choice except to fight on for my freedom.
Although I sympathise with all plights that the human race faces (including the poor whites problem), I feel that this problem is not highest priority that faces South Africa. It’s only been 16 years against over 300 years of oppression that black people faced.

Posted by Anyile | Report as abusive
 

I agree with the above statements – black poverty still way outweighs white poverty. The old government gave Afrikaaners jobs regardless of whether they were capable of them or not – many of the people in these articles are completely unqualified so realisticly would the be that employable anywhere in the world? It is not reverse racist for them not to get the same privalages anymore. However I do have issues with some of the way the ANC is handling things – i know even black south Africans that cannot get jobs because they are not connected with the ANC. Black empowerment is not really black empowerment but a way for corrupt officials to help out their mates/family members.

Posted by ZaraTP | Report as abusive
 

I don’t think it helps anybody to point fingers. In the existing climate there are lots of poor people black and white. what are doing to help these poeple? Are we just sitting back, quoting statistics and slinging mud, while hundreds of thousands of children go hungry and uneducated? We call ourselves Christians? This is what the Lord expects of us, to help the needy (black and white)assist the widow and give love to everybody. Maybe not to far in the future we might also be in the unfornunate position as these people are today and would wish that somebody will just help ou through the rough patch!? Come on guys lets be obedient to the word of God and try and make a difference!!!

Posted by Daleen | Report as abusive
 

Everyone are always going on about the poor black slaves held by evil whites like slavery was invented by whites. Slavery has been around for thousands of years. Whites had white and black slaves and blacks had black and white slaves. Black slavery were abolished before white slavery.
http://elliotlakenews.wordpress.com/2007  /09/10/untold-story-of-white-slavery/

Posted by Jesica | Report as abusive
 

well as for the whites steeling the blacks land dont no were you got that from .if the whites did not teach the blacks wat to do thay would still be in caves. and if you ask any black would you bring back the old days most would say yes as we all had jobs .thars povity on both sides so lets stop blaeming 1anther and all help wearther black or white .were here once and once only so lets make the most off it mark miller wales uk .if any 1 would like me to send clothes to them in the poor areas please get back to me .

Posted by taata | Report as abusive
 

Many people are ill informed about the history of South Africa and are under the impression that the Black tribes always were dominant in Southern Africa.
That his impression is indeed wrong is confirmed byUN sources estimating the number of people of people in Southern Africa not to exceed 1,5 million.

The dominant tribes were the people commonly referred to as Bush men. They occupied as hunter gatherers vast tracks of land and many of their paintings depicting
wild life can still be seen in rock paintings in Drakensberg mountain range.

They were slowly driving off their natural habitats by the stronger Black tribes arriving from the North and white settlers moving inland in increasing numbers.
They are now found the Kalahari game reserve and other places. More information is available a thttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bushmen

The discovery of gold on the Witwatersrand and diamonds lead to an influx of fortune seekers and eventually to war between the Boers and Great Britain.

The illustrated Boer War by Thomas Pakenham is a worthwhile read and documents the utter destruction of the two Boer republics by superior force of an estimated
500 000 British soldiers . They were opposed 87 000 of mostly untrained Boers, who could shoot and ride well.

Many joined on a ad hoc basis often returning home to attend to domestics and
farming affairs which in their absence were run by their wives and young children and the elderly,

And the cost of the war were extremely costly to both parties. It cost the British tax payer more than 200M Pounds. At today’s exchange rate more than 323M US
dollars.

The War offices estimated that 400,346 horses, mules and donkeys were ‘expended’ Casualties of all kinds were high among the 364,693 imperial and 82,742 colonial solders. Twenty-two thousand died by accident and by Boer fire and were buried where they fell.
Another 18, 1168 died of wounds, disease or of poor medical care.
The Boers lost over 7000 of the 87,365 Boers. The latter figure included 2,129 foreign and 13,300 Afrikaners from the British controlled Cape and Natal colony.

Official concentration camps figures are not available. Estimates range between 18000 and 28000.Not much is known about the deaths in Black concentration
camps, it is estimated to be between 7000 to 12000 thousand of the estimated 107000.
Almost nothing is known of the some 50 000 blacks who either died or disappeared while serving in the British army

Some compensation was paid by the British the precise amount maybe available in British archives, but whatever is was it could not compensate for the loss of life
sorrow and hardship caused by the greed by the British imperialist which made some of the victors extremely rich but condemned thousand to hardship.

In sourcing some of the figures I have extensively used the illustrated Boer war by Thomas Pakenham. Allow me to end with a quote made by W E Gladstone 0n 26 November
1879.

By now it also be clear that the British were the first to practice apartheid and a list of apartheid legislation is available of the web. Blacks were sidelined in peace negotiations as it was deemed a war between the British and the Boers. The Boers
simply went ahead on the already existing foundation and extended it further
by the implementation of the failed homeland scheme for everyone.

These states were then meant to form after independence as sort of European Union, but alas as is shown in the middle East to today you cannot treat people merely as pawns on a chessboard as well intended the policy of separate development was
meant to be.

The Boers used in the latter stages a guerilla warfare. Unable to pin the Boers down ‘block houses’ were build across the breath of the land followed by a scorched
earth policy .Some of the ‘Block Houses’ remained tact and can still be seen today.

Unable to succeed with normal land warfare the British occupiers reverted to a scorched earth policy. This lead to the destruction 0f 30 000 farms and between 40-45
small towns. To hunt Boer survivors the British armed 10000 untrained blacks. This soon backfired and a reign of terror under the defenceless woman
and children followed.

Boer fighters made use of Black labour to water and feed horses while the Boers
lay waiting in ambush. Defenceless woman and children black and white soon found themselves en route to separate concentration camps for Black and Whites.

In all, 116,572 Boers were moved into camps, roughly a quarter of the Boer population, along with about 120,000 black Africans. a report after the war concluded that 27,927 Boers (of whom 22,074 were children under 16) and 14,154 black Africans had died of starvation, disease and exposure. In all about 25% of the Boer inmates and 12% of the black African ones died (although recent research suggests that the black African deaths were underestimated and may have actually been around 20,000).(Source -patriots files)

With many Boers in exile (Sri Lanka)a winter of discontent arrived for the Afrikaners. Dominated completely in all spheres, not allowed to speak Afrikaans in school, had to wear donkey hat and stand in class room corner if found out)
(Afrikaans a derivative of Dutch) they found themselves fighting for survival and lived in similar conditions as the poor whites of today.

In 1948 a Coalition party won the General election and a period of white uplifting arrived and the separate development policy (better known by the dreaded word
‘Apartheid’) slowly began to emerge.

This policy was aimed to untangle the mess left by the British occupiers and to ensure that a ‘homeland’ for each group became available under the rule of their
own elected leaders.

This piece of social engineering saw millions of ‘black and white money pouring into the bottomless pits of Black homelands disappearing in the coffers of those in
charge with implementation of the policy.

In the 1800′s a severe drought caused millions of Black people to vacate their ancestral lands and soon brought tribes in conflict with each other over available
resources.

It was known by the Nguni and Difagane (black tribes) ‘as ‘the crushing’
and ‘the scattering of tribes’ by the Sotho-Tswana. Europeans referred to this catastrophe as ‘wars of Calamity’

It is estimated that 2.5 million starving, homeless people wandered about southern Africa looking for respite. Severe drought in the 1930′s turned arable land into
dust bowls while the stock exchange collapse caused severe hardships world wide and the collapse of parts of the export economy.

All these set backs did not stem the black population explosion. This explosion made the apartheid policy redundant, let to uprising under the black youths
and finally drove the White government to the negotiation table and exploratory talks in the 1980′s with the ANC in exile.

The ANC in exile was in by the western world as the true government in exile fighting a godless, hated almost Nazi-like regime. ‘Inside Quatro’ an ANC prison camp paints a totally different picture of unspeakable torture and execution.

7 Mutineers who wanted a more democratic elected structure were summarily executed by gun fire and RPG in front of other mutineers of the failed
1984 camp uprising in Angola. Corruption, smuggling of diamonds and cars and misuse of donors money led to a lavish lifestyle by the elite, while the
ordinary fighter had to do with the bare essentials in true Communist tradition.

So what about those population figures. Whites and Coloureds account for +/- 9 to 10% of the total population and Indians 3%.
All x 1000
1860..1134,0
1900…5014,0
1910…5842,0
1920…6953,0
1930…8580,0
1940…10314,2
1948…11957,0 (National Party wins election(1948-1994 -48 years unbroken rule.)
Annual murder rate 7000, today 18000- 20000 average.
Total estimated murders 340 000 since ANC came to power including some 3000 farm murders of black and white)

W E Gladstone wrote on 26 November 1879, as follows condemning the first annexation of the Transvaal.

‘Look back over the pages of history;
consider the feelings with which we now regard
wars of our forefathers in their time,
supported…see how powerful and deadly are,
the fascinations of passion and pride.

Written and compiled to correct some of the skewed images of the South African history and to put in context the origin and context of apartheid.

Posted by Brentie | Report as abusive
 

Reading my comments the following is offered to clarify the following. The population figures obtained from UN Sources refers to 1700.The geographical area of
Southern Africa Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa totals 734 464 square miles (sq miles) i e 20%compared with the 3,681,760 sq m of the United States.

White settlers mainly Dutch settled at the Cape of Good Hope in 1652 to establish a refreshment station supplying fresh fruit, vegetables and water to spice ships bound
for India.

The black population explosion picture after 1948 under Nationalist party control is as follows, putting the allegations that millions of blacks were murdered to
rest.
1960…16002,0
1970…217094,0
1980…24261,0
1990…35014,0
2000…43686,0
2010…50000,0 (including an estimates 6 Million foreigners who fled the countries of their birth due to warfare and political unrest. This figure includes an estimated 3mM who fled the oppressive regime of Robert Mugabe a former struggle hero.

Many lesser biased black writers will readily agree that the expertise of white commercial farmers erased famine and with improved healthcare many survived
Who under lesser conditions would have perished.

Posted by Brentie | Report as abusive
 

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