Home / News / News24.com | Why are South Africans so complacent?

So the price of petrol for South Africans has topped R15 per litre, with more price hikes looming. The price hike we are told is because the Rand is performing so badly against almost every other currency on the planet. 

Here is a fun fact: just over the border in Botswana, the price of petrol is R10.50, in Namibia R 11.69, in Lesotho and Swaziland R 12.78. Yet the Namibian Dollar, the Swazi Lilangeni and the Lesotho Loti are all on a par with our Rand and the Botswana Pula is about 76 cents to our Rand. Also, wait for it… South Africa supplies much of the fuel to all these countries. 

Can someone, other than a South African politician, or bought economist please explain this logic to me?

Where does the money go? We know the official explanation, but where does the money really go? 

But what does the average South African do about this and the too many other abuses perpetrated against its citizens by the ruling party? Simple answer – nothing. Sure, we draw up and circulate some lame petitions or some hare brained scheme for us all not to buy petrol from some designated petrol chain. But as Winnie the Pooh’s Eeyaw says, “Everyone says, but nobody does – pathetic!”

What would happen almost anywhere else in the world? 

The Australian government passes a bill to restrict bail to bikers on the grounds that biker gangs are responsible for major crime and the Australian people blow up in protest calling it a misuse of power. What would the average Australian do in South Africa? 

Americans freak out every time Trump commits a social gaffe, snubs the queen or forgets to open the door for Melania, never mind his economic and political agendas. What would the average American do in South Africa? 

A British court rules that bed and breakfast owners cannot refuse to accommodate a gay couple and the British public come out in outrage. What would the average British citizen do in South Africa? 

Other countries hold their governments accountable, why don’t South Africans?

Are we really so hopeless, helpless and powerless? Or are we all just living day to day, desperately trying to live our lives, feed and educate our children, earn our living, keep our businesses alive and our noses above the rising tide of rising petrol prices with its knock on effect to every single element in our floundering economy. 

All this while Cabinet ministers get paid exorbitant salaries to sleep through parliament and jet off to exotic locations on mind numbingly expensive paid “business”trips. 

What’s the answer? I don’t pretend to know, but I do know that for so long as we accept the blatant corruption, unashamed misallocation of public funds, mindless decision making and self-serving leadership we will continue to circle the drain.