Herein you will find the 10 steps to South African belonging. Herein is the compromise required for national health, stability and success. Do your best to bring about these steps and South Africa will be a better a place for you and your children.
As race is the predominant body through which most South Africans live and identify, consciously and subconsciously, it is that body that must unite for the benefit of South Africa’s future and the achievement of one true national identity. Being South African must transcend all else. Understanding and solving South Africa’s post-apartheid and post-colonial problems can only be properly achieved through unity and mutual understanding. Issues economic, power and land-related can only be properly transformed when all South Africans understand each other, their histories and their visions for a South African future. South Africans black and white must accept themselves as one; only then can we achieve the legitimate and emotional buy-in required for transformation.
South Africa is demographically unique in Africa. Its white population is large compared to other African countries and its history is heavily written in white favour. As such, many of its whites misunderstand the context, realities and consequences of colonialism and imperialism thrust upon our country since 1652. Buried in this sphere of misunderstanding, black South Africans battle to comprehend and accept the processes that converted Europeans into Africans. This conversion has been particularly sharp for the Afrikaners who, by and large, consider South Africa and Africa their motherland.
As such, herein you will find 10 steps to help combat our differences to bring about mutual understanding and one true South African identity. This is not only vital for national morale but paramount in the struggle for transformation. There cannot be sincere transformation if whites and blacks do not identify as one voice and do not believe in the same goals.
This piece does not speak for the Coloured and Indian voice, both of whom have long and fantastic histories in South Africa. Rather it is confined to the narrative that is most prominent in our current stalemate: Black versus White. As such, it looks forward to the response from Coloured and Indian voices who need to be written into this solution. Any step from any South African that is reasonably thought through and helps bring about the goals of this manifesto should be added here.
- White South Africans must fall out of love with their European heritage, the first world and the old South Africa. There is nothing in the developed world that cannot be emulated here and bettered with a will to do so and a commitment to South Africa. This is especially true for white, English speakers who may find themselves still identifying as European and longing for a “European culture”. White South Africans must fully and confidently embrace being South African, and more broadly being African, or risk being alienated in their home country. To achieve this, white South Africans must never de-politicise. They must insist on their rights through citizenship and must never be ashamed of their presence in Africa. However, they should never underestimate the destructive force of white history in Africa, nor over value its input or glorify its contribution. White history in South Africa must never be celebrated.
- Black South Africans must untie pigment from Africaness; that is being African should not require black skin. Being African is a state of mind that should be granted to any who wish to identify with it. The tie of pigment to national borders is a colonial hangover which must be discarded. Black South Africans must always celebrate being African, but must avoid its exclusionary undertones that seek to alienate white South Africans. Black South Africans must thus always denounce ethnic nationalism and ethnic nationalists. Ethnic nationalism believes that “true” and “real” South Africans look or speak a certain way. This must be vehemently rejected for the sake of this manifesto, the inclusion of all and the good state of our national health.
- White South Africans must destroy all statues and change all names of all things which are dedicated to colonials, politicians or prominent white people from the period between 1652 and 1994 unless those white people were explicitly and intimately involved in the struggle against apartheid and colonialism. This also excludes dedications to white people who brought about and contributed to the period loosely defined as The Great Trek. The Great Trek must be understood as a uniquely African movement undertaken by African people – the Afrikaners – and these names should remain. As such, Piet Retief, Paul Kruger and their like should remain in the South African psyche and their names preserved but Jan Van Riebeeck, Cecil John Rhodes and their like must be deleted from South African history. All apartheid leaders must be deleted and their names forgotten. White South Africans must insist on the destruction of the Rhodes Monument. It must be replaced by a larger statue of the amaXhosa Prophet, Makhanda Nxele. This should be symbolic of the long awaited return to his people and the victory of all black South Africans against the colonial machine.
- Black South Africans must accept The Great Trek as a uniquely South African movement and instrumental in the formation of our country. Black South Africans must accept the Afrikaners, and all white South Africans, as indigenous people of, and belonging to South Africa. Black South Africans must push for the Rhodes monument to be destroyed and education to be de-colonised. Universities must, where possible while maintaining success, decolonise education in so far as it still leaves our citizens capable of entering the global work space. Yearly, they must be held accountable for their decolonisation efforts. Black South Africans must be educated in their home language if they choose it. Decisive steps to build schools and tertiary facilities that seek to educate using a black African language should be undertaken by government. English should remain as lingua franca and be taken to Matric.
- White South African farmers must accept the black displacement created during colonialism and the Great Trek and so, through use of a moral compass and for the sake of their children, sincerely look to engage government on land reform that will return stolen land – and transfer skills – back to the descendants of displaced black Africans. There has to be a legitimate and workable plan in place within two years and both government and farmers should be held accountable if land reform is not implemented and its goals not met. The Afrikaner, and all whites, must accept that the land was stolen. They must accept that the land was not empty; that the “empty lands” theory was one created for the colonial agenda. Whites must also accept that land does not need “to be used” in order to be owned. They must accept that any negotiations for land conducted with black chiefdoms during the colonial era were conducted in an illegitimate era and cannot be upheld in modern South Africa. Black South Africans must understand that returned land will not necessarily defeat poverty nor create a better life without the proper transfer of skills. They must thus understand that radical land transformation is dangerous to the integrity and health of South Africa, which is a health that must be maintained at all costs. Black and white South Africans must avoid radicalist talk and denounce all radicalists.
- Black South Africans must accept the forces of world history that brought Europeans to Africa. They must accept that all of our forefathers were subject to a time not of our own, a time that was run by rules, leaders and an understanding from a previous era. They must accept white English and Afrikaner rights to South African identity and land, and must engage land redistribution with the sensitivity that South African whites who are alive now arrived in Africa because they were born in Africa. Black South Africans must not lose sight of their value and contribution in African and global history. Black South Africans must include their ancestors more often when naming and glorifying statues and events. Too often the anti-colonial struggle is trumped by the anti-apartheid one, and the heroes of that era forgotten. Black South Africans must rediscover, write and glorify their history for the purpose of upholding the intergrity of black people everywhere.
- As language inclusion is key to South African unity, South African government must enforce that all South Africans from all schools must take a black African language to Matric. This should be written into law immediately. Afrikaans should not be compulsory in non-Afrikaans schools.
- Black South Africans must accept Afrikaans as a South African language. Afrikaans schools and universities where Afrikaans is medium must be allowed to continue to use Afrikaans as a teaching medium. Afrikaans must be preserved.
- All South Africans living abroad, most of whom are white, must be given a five year period in which to return to South Africa. They are valued as citizens and their skills will serve us brilliantly as we seek to build our country going forward. There must be a wide campaign and concerted effort to get them to return by offering job opportunities in key skill-deficient areas including government. However, if they choose to commit to their new countries, their South African citizenship must be revoked and their right to vote removed.
- All South Africans must insist that politics remove itself from sport. It is vital for the South African psyche that transformation be removed from sport immediately. Sport is integral to the South African effort for unity. If it is tarnished with politics it will compromise the ability of its citizens to reconciliate according to this manifesto. Transformation in sport polarises different sports, their players, their viewers, and re-energises racial understandings of the world. Remove transformation not for the sake of sport – but for the sake of national morale. White and Black South Africans must insist that Springbok rugby, like soccer and cricket, is played on SABC for the benefit of all South Africans. Supersport’s monopoly of Springbok rugby is contributing to its elitist status and hurting the standing of the sport.
All South Africans who read this manifesto must accept these key points as necessary to uphold the integrity of South Africa. If you cannot, South Africa cannot move forward into a new era and will remain poisoned by its past. South Africa will not progress in good health without these changes in thought and in action. They are vital for the preservation and celebration of all our culturalisms and the country that we hold most dear. Implementing this manifesto will see that all efforts for transformation, economic, power and land redistribution will be easier achieved while maintaining moral integrity and economic growth.
God bless South Africa, its future and our children who are left cursed or blessed with the decisions we make here and now.