Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Monday, March 17, 2008

I benefited from apartheid
It does amuse me how many white people have such a difficult time stating this. There is a complete ignorance that the economy of the country was built on incredibly cheap and mobile black labour sourced from designated areas created by the apartheid state. That millions of jobs were reserved for whites only, even though whites are less than 15% of the population. That we were schooled in a stable first world system paid for by giving nothing to the majority of the population whilst spending lavishly on the white elite.

It's a view shared by Karl Gostner, who has set up a blog inviting white people to 'acknowledge the horrors of the past'.
"There is no doubt that I benefited from apartheid, he said. I went to a well-funded school. I never had policemen raiding my home, arresting my parents, teargassing my classroom or anything else that constituted the teenage years of many black South Africans who are my peers. The fact that I have a successful life today is because I did not experience the violence of apartheid."

Whilst I don't neccessarily agree that young South Africans should apologise for their role in apartheid that happened before they were born, I think it is critical that all white South Africans acknowledge that they have benefited out of the consequences of the apartheid state.

See the blog here.