Finbarr O’reilly of Reuters reports: “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. …”
“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.
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.
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.” …
Finbarr O’reilly’s photojournalistic effort was featured in the New York Times too where one reader wrote correctly as follows:
Lower middle class people living close to the line have been discarded by the governments Black Economic Empowerment policy which forces companies to hire people with black skin.
After the 1994 elections a lot of white people lost their jobs and have clearly never recovered. The BEE policy has resulted in poor performance across the board especially from a governmental service delivery perspective, as highly skilled and qualified people with years of experience were replaced by people who were black but lacked the necessary qualifications or experience.
As usual, Adriana Stuijt, a pro-Afrikaner activist living in the Netherlands, posted the most poignant post at the NYT:
“The important point completely missed by the photographer and by the journalist is the fact that these aren’t ‘whites’- these are Afrikaners, a 3-million-strong minority. There are two kinds of ‘whites’ – the wealthier mercantile English-speakers who can flee the country with their British passports when times get rough; and the Afrikaner artisan-working class, which have no familial ties to their Northern-European roots and have a very difficult time emigrating to other countries. I am also appalled at the fact that the photographer took pictures of these very young and vulnerable children: Afrikaner children are being widely targeted by kidnapping gangs in South Africa. Basically these Afrikaners, being poor, have clearly lost all their privacy-rights as far as this photographer was concerned. Did the man at least make a donation to the only private charity which is allowed to help these Afrikaner people by law, namely Helping Hand of the Solidarity trade union movement? The ANC-regime denies these Afrikaners all food-aid, and many also are denied the right to medical care in public hospitals. Many of these Afrikaner women give birth inside their own shacks without any medical help. And according to a recent documentary by Dutch investigative journalist Saskia Vredeveld, they are so chronically underfed now that the newborns are beginning to die of malnutrition.
My book is timely. Last week, I completed Into The Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons For America From Post-Apartheid South Africa. It’ll soon be off to the publisher.