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Koos Kombuis

I’m sick and tired of poor people

2011-09-16 17:21
I’m sick and tired of poor people. I’m sick and tired of living in a country where almost everybody is poor. I’m sick and tired of being constantly accosted by beggars, constantly being asked for money, and of constantly seeing people scavenging through dumpsters in search of scraps of food. I wish poor people would all just disappear.

I realise that this opening paragraph sounds quite offensive. It was meant to be shocking because I was trying to get your attention. Now that I have it, let’s examine exactly what it was that I said.

I didn’t say I didn’t LIKE poor people. I’m sure that most of the poor people I meet every day are quite nice deep down. I just wish they weren’t so poor. The fact that they are poor stands in the way of me getting to know them. How on earth can you get to know someone who starts every conversation asking for something to eat? I mean, can’t they think of other things to talk about? Have they got no hobbies? Haven’t they read any good books lately?

The real question

"Yes, but you said you wanted poor people to disappear. Isn’t that a nasty thing to say?" Not really! Indeed. I WANT them to disappear. In fact, I want them to go home. There’s only one tiny little problem, though; many of them haven’t GOT any homes to go to. Well, okay then, if they can’t go home, why can’t they go to work or something? I’d like them go to work. There’s only one tiny problem…

Look, it’s not as if I want them to disappear into thin air. I just want them to get off the streets and do something more interesting with their lives. I don’t like them hanging out at traffic intersections with pieces of cardboard dangling from their necks stating how many children they have. If I’d wanted to know how many children they had, I would have preferred to ask them that in the course of a normal conversation!

There seems to be more and more of them every week! Where do they all come from? Why are they so poor? Why isn’t anyone doing anything about it?

As good as it gets

When I open the papers to see what the government is up to, they seem to be spending all their energy on (a) appealing for permission to carry on singing "Skiet die Boer", (b) drafting new secrecy laws, (c) squabbling amongst one another, and (d) arguing about nationalisation. Pardon me for sounding stupid, but I don’t see how that's going to help!

Are secrecy laws going to create jobs? Is singing outdated Struggle songs going to help the economy? Is anyone really interested in the squabble between Zuma and Malema besides Zuma and Malema (and their close friends and relatives)? And, once we’ve nationalised the mines, how the hell are we going to get the gold and the diamonds out of there, with garden shovels?

On second thoughts, why HAVE mines in the first place? Years from now, we’ll only be stuck with loads of gold and diamonds nobody can eat while Joburg and Kimberley are slowly sinking into pits of dirty water! Ag no, sis man!

Is this as good as it gets? Is this the New South Africa?

We’ve had democracy for almost two decades, and all we’ve got to show for it are a couple of soccer stadiums that aren’t exactly the right size for cricket or rugby, a couple of submarines no-one knows how to drive, a whole lot of empty guest houses, and two groups of people who each know exactly half of the national anthem!

No wonder the comrades are planning a revolution. Right after their next round of sushi, in fact.

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