It’s a Sad Story

While I am sitting at home in the dark I am thinking about all my travels and the incredible places I have seen. Yes, I’m in the dark. Not because of load shedding but because the power went off during a storm. We had load shedding earlier in the day but the power goes off at the slightest whim. At least 6 times a week.

The guard is patrolling outside in the rain. I can see his flashlight beam bouncing off the trees and reflecting off the rain drops. There are flashes of lightning every few seconds. It’s almost 11:30pm. The dogs are lying close to me. It’s as if they can sense that when it rains like this it’s more dangerous than ever. The bad guys know that people think they won’t invade their homes in the rain. In fact, they love the rain because it masks the sound and it’s dark, especially when the power is off. It’s a dangerous time to be on a farm.

I check the electric fence again. Just to make sure the battery backups are all working. I check the doors again. I look through the window to see where the guard is. I call him on the two-way radio. He sounds nervous.

I check the cars outside through the window. Just a week or two ago the bastards stole the wheels off one of the cars and the wheels off the trailer. They managed to lift the car and put bricks underneath the chassis. It’s standing there, miserable, waiting for new set of wheels. They came back again a few days later, probably to get the wheels off the other cars as well. Luckily we saw them coming.

We’re a mere 12km from town but it’s pitch dark. The radio crackles. One of the workers report back that the power is off in the entire area. We have to make sure you see, because the bastards sometimes cut the power to the farm.

I worry about the irrigation pump that needs replacing. It’s the second one they have stolen in less than two months. The insurance company is refusing to pay for this last one. That’s more than R10,000 down the drain. The last time we welded the bloody thing onto two steel railway blocks. I wouldn’t be able to get the motor off with a tractor. They did. Fuck knows how.

I check the cellphone. Battery is ok. That’s important because we don’t have land lines. The cables were repeatedly stolen 10 years ago and Telkom refuses to replace them. No phones, no electricity. Thank god we have water.

I’ve been trying to sell this place. The home where my kids grew up. The home where mom and dad lived with us. I was made an offer about 7 years ago. Today I can’t sell it for 20% of what I was offered back then. We are economic prisoners.

So, I think about other places. Other countries. Countries where you have electricity all day, every day. Countries where the only people that have armed guards are politicians. Countries where there are phone lines and broadband everywhere. Countries where the marginal tax rate is a mere 15%.

I think about the places I have visited where you get into a load of trouble if you jaywalk. Where you receive a spot fine for littering and where urinating in the street will get you locked up for the night.

Yes, there are countries where basic services are actually delivered. Where municipalities actually function and where the police actually manage to uphold the law and protect their citizens. There are places out there where you can walk into a supermarket and buy absolutely anything and when you come out there are no car guards harassing you for R5. Where you don’t have to double check if your car is locked because someone might be jamming your remote.

There are many countries where the life expectancy is over 80. We are at number 159 on the list with a paltry life expectancy of 61. Yes, there are countries out there where you will actually live longer. I mean, The Sudanese have a higher life expectancy than us.

I think about my kids and in particular about my son. A white Afrikaner male. I think only the SS during the Second World War was more hated than white Afrikaner males in South Africa today. We are the oppressors, the occupiers, the colonists. We are viewed as the cause of all suffering and pain in this country. My son is too, even though apartheid was over by the time he was born. And for this reason he will probably struggle to find a job in the country. He is doomed like so many other young white men. Doomed by law. Doomed by Black Economic Empowerment and Affirmative Action. A necessary correction at the expense of our youth.

I have deep roots here. My family has a rich and long history here. From arriving at the Cape of Good Hope in the 1680’s, to trekking across the Drakensberg mountains to fighting the British during the Anglo Boer War. The roots are deep.

But, it is time to go. It’s time to leave this god forsaken country and go on our own little Great Trek across the oceans. To start a new life and build a new future. I will no longer be part of this failed country. A country filled with criminals, murderers and corrupt politicians. I will not wait until I have to bury a child or a wife. I will not allow my children to get married and bear children in this place.

For years we have been told that we are not wanted here. So I will leave, with my taxes and my job creation, and my businesses and my skills. They can have this country. My ancestors have moved many times before and I will do the same. They can keep it. Destroy it. Take the farms. Pilage the stores. Make more labor laws to protect the incompetent. The country is burning while our president laughs.

Marthinus Strydom


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