The Day of Reconciliation, 16 December, is a public holiday which has been celebrated annually since 1995, following the end of Apartheid. The intention of the day is to foster reconciliation and national unity.
The date was chosen because it carries significance in both the Afrikaner and African cultures. With this in mind, the Government claimed they chose a meaningful date for both ethnic groups, as they recognised the need for racial harmony.
As beautiful and sincere as this all sounds, how significant is the day almost 30 years later?
In the pursuit of answers, The Newcastillian – Online News looked more in-depth into the past actions of people as appose to their words. And political analyst Xolani Dube, a man whose career is dedicated to analysing the happenings of our country, weighs in on the subject.
In opening, Dube states it is nothing more than a day which was created by the Government to celebrate its own achievements since 1994. In fact, he highlights that South Africa is still facing overwhelming racism, people are still dispossessed, and social justice is still out of reach. “We have just been invited to celebrate the Government’s own achievement. If you take stock and ask is there really social justice in our country, the answer is a simple a no.”
The entire population of South Africa, in Dube’s view, is still struggling to find its way into total social cohesion. Reconciliation between its people is but an ideology which has been hampered due to politics.
When asked for his advice and views on how the country’s people can find a sense of healing and reconciliation, he states, “Politics is a social constraint which is largely made up of greed and selfishness.”
These human flaws, he explains, eats away at society’s moral fabric. It is only by addressing our problems head-on that we as a country can move on.
“We are facing anarchy, which is being caused by the social elite. There is no way to stop it from happening,” Dube confirms. This he says, is primarily due to the working class and the impoverished still facing the very same overwhelming difficulties as yesteryear. The way forward, according to Dube, is as follows: “The working class will have to act brutally, in a similar way as to how the social elite treats them.”
Looking back on our walk to freedom, clearly, an adjustment to our opinions and beliefs is required by all people.
Our vulnerability to politics and that known South African individualistic approach to everything, which is devastatingly hindering our progression, needs to change. Our dependency on guidance from biased leaders is removing our ability to think with a more futuristic mindset, whereby inclusive progression powered by conscious thought becomes the order of the day.
If you or I would like to experience genuine reconciliation in our lifetime, then clearly a communistic styled, democratic themed and presented Government, does not work—ask the previous two. Aggression and hate are not the answer to our problems; it is ironically our lives and country’s undoing.
Keep it simple. Place your flag above your political agendas. Regardless of the language, race or culture of your countrymen, defend them and care for them, because if we do not change our trajectory, surely chaos shall follow us the rest of our days.
Happy Reconciliation Day, we hope it means more to you than just the public holiday.
Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.
Authors: Quinton Boucher and Calvin Swemmer
Edited: Calvin Swemmer