Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Racist census to continue dividing a nation

Dear Statistician General Pali Lehohla,
         What’s it feel like to blow money on a grand scale on nothing more productive than bits of paper? And to make matters worse you are doing it without a thought for the majority who live in slums with nothing better to do than riot and trash the place.
         Eighteen years after racialism was supposed to have replaced 40 years of White domination that spawn the hated apartheid system in South Africa and kept Blacks as serfs you are still at it - classifying people according to colour. 
         Refresh my memory; what colour gets preference when Government jobs are dished out?
         Now that the Black African National Congress Government is in charge you are having an expensive census to put everyone in their place; Blacks, Whites, Coloureds, Indians, Chinese and any other colour of the rainbow nation that you can think of.
         It’s pure, unadulterated racialism.
         Surely we are all people now, all 50-million of us. So when your 300 000 part-timers call round at houses shortly, with those 75 question forms, everybody should refuse to complete the colour question.
         I hear we’ll be asked a host of things designed to improve the lives of everyone. Like: How often do you have sex? Have you done it outside your racial category? Have you had aids? If so how many times and in what racial group was the person who gave it to you?
          Sorry I’m wandering. What I really wanted to tell you is I’m organizing a National Census in opposition to your official one. I was shocked to read that you are only going to have the results of your one two years later when it’s completely out of date unless you expect us to put breeding on hold while you do your sums. And that’s stretching it even for African Time. And it’s going to cost a very reasonable R2.8 billion plus.
          I don’t know which Government official’s salary that equates to but no doubt the meddling press will tell us, if they are still allowed to by next year. I don’t suppose you’ll be happy about my rival census but South Africa’s a free country; at least it was yesterday.
          Mine will be a cut price one. With any luck you will have a lot to thank me for because it will make the official one unnecessary and the nation will save a packet.  Oh! I forgot your Government is not in the business of saving tax payer’s money. It’s on a glorious spending spree for the good of the few at the expense of the many.
          I’m calling for volunteers to go to their nearest shanty town and question just 10 hut owners and their families. Here’s what they will be asked.
          1. Have any of the ANC’s Promises become a reality for you and give us an idea of how they have improved your life.
            1.1 How long have you lived in abject poverty?
            1.2 How many times a year do you get a square meal?
            1.3 Have you been forced to connect electricity illegally?
            1.4 How many times has your shack been burnt down in the last year?
            1.5 How many people, above 20, live in your one roomed tin hut?
Then come the Billion Dollar questions as it were which you may not be too happy with, but I’m afraid I have to ask them to complete the picture.
            2 Have you heard of the Government Census scheduled for October 2011? If so answer the following:
            2.1 What would you do with R2.8-billion?
            2.2 Have you ever eaten a 14 page census form? If so did it alleviate your hunger?
            2.3 How many houses for the poor do you think could be built with that money?
            2.4 How many trees do you think would have to be cut down to produce the paper to record all the questions for 50-million people? And if you had the wood instead how long would it last your community when used for heating and cooking?
          I know it’s being a bit familiar but do you mind if I call you My Pali from now on; it’s so much friendlier? You have to be Pali to go into people’s homes and ask them all kinds of intimate questions.
Imagine how long it’s going to take, especially among unsophisticated people with huge families, to fill in forms with 75 questions. In our President’s house, as an example, it could take a week or more at a rough guess. What with all his wives and I don’t know how many children.
How does it help to know things like in the Western Cape 35 000 of us live in houses with brick walls and corrugated iron roofs while another 20 000 have houses with tiled roofs and no walls.
Your Government won’t do anything about it anyway.

At the end of the day My Pali the exercise won’t feed or house anybody and you will have blown enough to keep the poor in food for years. Is that something to be proud of?

       Jon, Classified: Unemployed, homeless, starving. Race: Other. 

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