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Aug 11, 2006

Proudly South African

I had an appointment yesterday with a sales rep from a reputed security company in South Africa. Since I moved to my new place, I've not really spent much on the upgrading its security. The townhouse came with all its typical SA decorations - burglar bars, security gates, intercom, electric fences... A rendition of the kind of lifestyle the residents of South Africa face nowadays.

The debate on the SA's high crime rate is a favorite topic between the people here. One can hardly remember a day that does not contain any reference to the crime. Typical arguments that source crime ranges from lack of employment to illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe and Nigeria.

The infamous Rivonia offramp is now patrolled at night by 2 police vans. Patrolled is actually the wrong word - more like sitting and waiting for something to happen. I can only feel sorry for these policemen that have to lay await for something to happen. What about the crime lords that have to put something on their tables - they can kiss the Rivonia offramp goodbye now, because some dumbasses decided to hit the same place twice in 2 weeks, and that too high-profile individuals. I can imagine the group that hit the offramp standing in front of the presiding underworld judge answering to their stupidity - "who the *@&(* hits the same place twice".

The sales rep showed me a range of options from pull-shut mechanisms, to reinforced steel, to plastic-free paint covers. I plan to take a few quotes before making my mind. Its funny - little children dream of one day playing with angels, or going to this chocolate factory. We South Africans dream of one day moving to a land where we won't have to lock our doors at night, or walk on the streets without worrying about the people walking around of you. Many South Africans see New Zealand and Australia as typical places where this dream can be fulfilled.

So, in spite of all this, what makes me "proudly South African" (a government initiative to discourage people from leaving SA by stressing the positives of SA while sweeping the problems under the carpet)? I've thought about this for a while, and came up with this - its that little glimmer of hope that something positive can be concocted. That one day, the butterfly would emerge from its cocoon.

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