South Africans are, by nature, as politically charged as a car battery in the shape of Ronald Reagan’s face. We interpret all sentiment into some backhanded plot to subvert us from our political comfort zone. And frankly speaking, as an honest white South African, we hate to have our boats rocked. The flippancy with which nationalization, forceful land grabs and “All whites are criminals” dilutes the arena is the Freddie Kruger of white peoples’ dreams. The fucking race card is so common nowadays that it should be made by Hallmark, and the continued assertion that I have done something wrong, and am personally responsible for 18 years (minus 4 for Madibs) of despotic misrule is kinda starting to wear thin. I was granted a fantastic education, but I don’t have treasure troves of golden doubloons hidden in the massive underground vault where apparently white people keep all their ill gotten gains, and occasionally do backstroke in a giant pool of money. I was cut off at 22. No trust fund, no cash handouts, no container ship of slaves; I Two-Minute-Noodled my way through an internship and im not sorry for anything. That being said, I don’t deny the atrocities of the past, and the subsequent skid mark it has left upon society. Transformation is essential, but its not an overnight process, and it is happening. But is spending enormous amounts of money on changing city and street names really going to put a chicken on every table? It seems our politicians are politically vegan…
Two years ago a series of street names were changed in order to reflect a more historical and politically correct landscape in Durban. The project cost just under 34 million Rand and appeased sufferers of the evil Nationalists. It started out as a fantastic initiative, removing the legacy of Verwoed and Vorster, but renaming Point and Alice road, didn’t really resonate. We get it, the ANC is in charge, your will is our command, but altering an historic landscape and placing each others’ names on a sign, is turning a pat on the back into a handjob. If they are so keen on imposing their legacy, maybe they could use some of the 33 billion Rand lost to graft last year alone, to build new roads, to new housing establishments and leave a lasting inheritance that they could actually be proud of? Don’t be daft, charitable public service and noble causes don’t buy BMWs. Anyway, the Durban programme caused havoc, as GPS’s struggled with the new adaptations. So much so, that ambulances were left lurching as paramedics took 20 minutes to put “Masabalala Yengwa Avenue” into their Garmins, before realising they didn’t recognize the location. After months of litigation, the high court ordered the names be reverted back, and the whole exercise proved pointless. In fact the only people going in circles more than the politicians were the ambulances trying to figure out where the fuck they were.
And now attention has turned to the Mother City. 24 street names, 2 civic centres and a footbridge are all to receive the names of honourable ANC stalwarts, because god forbid Modderdam road doesn’t reflect diversity. In fact, in a situation such as this, with the greater majority of the Western Cape claiming Afrikaans as their mother tongue, an unobtrusive ambivalent name is probably more representative of the community than the proposed change. In fact, besides Coen Stytier Avenue, none of the names bear testimony to any apartheid relics, yet the cost involved in the name change is in the tens of millions. I must be honest, we are told every day how the evil white man has denied “economic freedom” (which no one can actually define) and are bombarded by rhetoric that makes George Bush and Omar Al Rashif sound like hot tub partners, to the point where irrelevant name changes appear from the outside to be a way of getting back at the minority.
With Coen Stytier being the only exception, the biggest and most valid name change proposal came from the Khoi San community to change the name of the entire Cape Town district to //Hui !Gaeb. Yes, your Garmin would probably give the screen from the Matrix. Yes, if you enter that as a piece of Linux code then you get a picture of Winnie Mandela deep throating a granadilla lolly. And yes, only 0.5% of the population would have any fucking idea how to say it. But they aren’t re-wrapping an existing name, if anything Cape Town is the re-wrap. It wont happen, because it would cost billions, but millions have been wasted on illogical insistencies on warped priorities by those in charge already. We should never deny our past, but there seems to be an increasing vendetta to erase any fragment of white heritage, and no matter how hard certain people try, I am not ashamed of who I am. I am a South African and the future lies in building something new together, not taking from one person and palming it off to another.
*I realise that this view might go against the status quo, and that whites in this day and age should live in shame and be subservient for the wrongs of the past. But I work hard and don’t apologise for what I have. I standby the fact that “Queen” or “Alice” road are no insult to anyone, and open no wounds.
***Follow @Stroobz as he sings all the verses of the National anthem with pride, and tries to make a baby smoke a cigar.