South Africa's public service has ground to a halt due to strikes across all public service centers. Of course, striking is nothing new in South Africa, and it is a method that was used very effectively by the ANC before the 1994 elections. Now, the chickens have come home to roost, and the ANC has to deal with the very problems that they used to create for the previously 'white' government.
Striking in this country is never just a matter of downing tools. It inevitably leads to violence, intimidation, destruction and in several cases, death! This is a culture that the ANC bred under the previous government, and has lost control of since they took over the South African government.
South Africa will remain a country that is little better than a 3rd world country
While South Africa was able to host a successful soccer world cup little more than a month ago, the pride of that event has been swept aside with little memory of the success of the world cup. A country that has experienced so much hardships and strife finds it difficult to learn from its past. Instead of growing from what it has learnt from the past, it finds itself in a position similar to that of a new puppy that just cannot be potty trained!
Pre-1994, strike action was used to force the government to provide freedom to an oppressed majority. Now, that same majority uses its freedom to injure, loot, destroy and intimidate, all in the name of that same freedom, which in fact is not freedom, but anarchy, since this freedom demands no accountability. A democratic freedom that has no accountability, provides not for stability, but anarchy!
Reasons why strike action in South Africa is detrimental to its democracy
1. It is undemocratic
While strike action is a legitimate method of getting employers and others to comply with the will of the masses, the South African rendition of strike action is undemocratic. While each person, under our hailed 'progressive' constitution has a right to think and believe what he wants, there is no provision for forcing others to believe or do the same.
Strike action is, and always has been (at least under the management of our communistic labour unions), a method of intimidating not just employers, but also those who do not participate in striking.
These strikers seem to confirm the whole psychology of mobbing. People are willing to do much more with a thousand people behind them than they would if alone. In essence, mobbing is the coward's way of doing things. During this strike period, striking teachers have even beaten and injured school children that still wanted to be taught! Strikers have gone into hospitals looking for workers that did not join them in the strike, in order to force them to join the strike! That is COMPLETELY undemocratic!
2. It is destructive
The nature of South African strikes is by default destructive and violent. Being destructive against another's property shows that the concept of democracy is not understood, since, at the core of democracy is the idea of property ownership. The fact is that at the helm of these strikes stand labour unions that are communistic at heart, and to communists, true property ownership does not exist. Hence, the way these people behave during strikes!
3. It is detrimental to the health of patients to the point of death
illegal for them to do so). In cases like these patients' health deteriorate greatly and at times they even die as a direct result of such strike action!
One of the effects of this strike is that 7 patients of which 3 are babies have already died due to the negligence of striking nurses. Of course, the question whether those nurses should be held accountable for those deaths in a court of law must be probed. Death due to negligence is a punishable offense, and those nurses should feel the brunt of the law!
The fact that these nurses are providing essential services that have a direct effect on the well-being of patients should provide enough ammunition for justice to be applied to their actions, according to the law. Or, are our laws proving to be ineffectual, since no-one wants to apply the law to these situations?
4. It is detrimental to the economy of the country
|The strike by the army in 2009!|
If these people continue to demand more and more money than the government could afford, the time would come when the government literally runs out of money to give. Where will the govrnment then cut in their spending? We already know that service delivery in this country is of a drastically low standard. Is this where they will cut first? With chronically bad service delivery, and garbage and sewage not handled properly anymore, South Africa would eventually end up as a cess-pool of disease!
Also, if the government runs out of money, and could no longer meet the demands of the unions and the populace, what would be the people's next response? Could this lead to complete anarchy with every man for himself? Isn't this the aim of communism anyhow? Bring a country to its knees through some kind of evolution, and then to take over? Only time will tell!
In some sense South Africa is battling for the survival of its collective soul, in another sense it has already lost the battle. Every year South Africa goes through strikes and it seems like an endless series of waves from the ocean that simply will not come to an end.
Is there a solution to this? The problem with giving people rights to partake in strikes and the like, it would be impossible to take those rights away! When a people cannot be responsible with the rights they have, should they still have those rights? We must be held accountable for the way that we make use of our rights! I have a right to move freely across this country and to live wherever I choose. However, if I murder someone I give up that right and I end up in jail. I can then no longer make claim to that right. The same should apply to those who abuse their rights during strikes. Each person who has abused his right at this time, whether it is by intimidating others, violence, destruction of property or death through negligence, should be charged for those crimes in a court of law, and should not be treated differently because of the strike!
Will our legal system have the necessary backbone to apply the law to those that have committed crimes during the strike?