black economic empowerment kills afrikaners

Posted on | april 14, 2011 | No Comments

Alarming poverty among the 3-million Afrikaners

Poverty among the 3-million Afrikaners of South Africa is taking on alarming proportions: the ANC’s black-economic-empowerment programme is becoming a relentless juggernaut, a vicious ethnic-cleansing campaign to deprive the Afrikaners of any and all means of surviving in the country of their birth. Demographer Prof. Flip Smit says by the end of last year at least 800,000 Afrikaners have already fallen into absolute homelessness and poverty. And since 1994, another 300,000 of the 3-million Afrikaners have also had to vacate their homes because they can no longer afford them.

Malnutrition: only one meal a week
The conditions in which these children and the elderly Afrikaner people live are getting worse by the day. President Jacob Zuma made solemn promises after two visits to a white squatter camp that the regime’s South African Social Security Agency’s (Sassa) would help them. However says Helping Hand, none of these impoverished Afrikaners are able to access the social welfare system of the State. SASSA recently wrote that ‘ its funds were depleted and that it will only be able to consider applications for social grants as of April 2011.’

Afrikaners struggle to help their kith and kin survive
Despite the very rapidly-growing number of Afrikaner workers who are being fired from their jobs because of the relentless BEE programme, those fortunate enough to still have some source of income are still trying very hard to help their kith and kin survive. Mr Langer: ” If we depended only on the ANC-State to provide relief to impoverished Afrikaners, there would have been no hope left and no prospect of ever finding solution.” Many of these internally-displaced Afrikaner refugees are beginning to show alarming outward symptoms of malnutrition after several years of malnourishment: many now only get one hot meal a week.

More than 1-million Afrikaners have already fled abroad to escape the BEE-juggernaut – and many are able to send funds home. And together with a small army of volunteers monitoring poor-white communities inside the country, Helping Hand is waging a valiant battle to help as many people as they can, giving shape to a rescue action that involves the following:

Helping Hand established a national footprint of more than 100 branches within just one year: 2010. This rapid growth of Afrikaner-run agencies to help these families survive, is only equalled by the expansion of the Rescue Action Alliance (Reddingsdaadbond) in 1940.

Helping Hand branches took on more than 450 new projects last year to provide social relief to impoverished Afrikaners. “Dames Aktueel” was integrated with Helping Hand, forming the new “Women in Action” campaign which focuses on giving assistance to impoverished Afrikaner women and families.

An entrepreneurs’ conference was held for young people at the Reserve Bank and 7,000 career guides were distributed to schools to help pupils with their subject and career choices. Helping Hand Career Guidance Services was launched to offer career guidance to the youth. Private donors from abroad also launched a free website to help Afrikaners advertise their services and goods for free:

The Afrikaans Bursary Institute expanded from 13 bursary funds to 30 bursary funds — which enabled 509 young people to study further. Helpende Hand’s concept of “upliftment through education” was expanded further by the development of social aid programmes for Afrikaans nursery schools in poor communities. Training and feeding programmes were also implemented. And Helping Hand has distributed close to 12,500 school bags to underprivileged children in Afrikaans schools since 2008, besides helping them get their much-needed school-uniforms.

Black-owned Aurora goldmines use their white workers as slave-labourers
Meanwhile, some of the biggest human-rights violations in the history of South Africa are playing themselves out in the gold-mining town of Springs. In March 2010, the black directors of the Aurora mining group, a black-economic-empowerment company headed by a nephew of President Zuma and a grandson of Nelson Mandela — prevented 5 200 mineworkers from entering the Grootvlei and Orkney mines and sent them home until further notice. Today, only 16 mineworkers are employed by the Aurora mine company. A year later, most of these mineworkers now live like homeless wanderers: having lost their homes, cars, and also seeing their pensions and savings plundered.

Most of these mineworkers have not received any salary for more than a year. The rights of these mineworkers and their families have been extremely violated in various ways.

Helping Hand has handed out food parcels to the value of R131,000 to former employees of the Grootvlei mine in Springs in 2010. About 4,000 mineworkers from the Grootvlei and Orkney mines also were left unemployed after being abandoned overnight by the Aurora mine management.

According to Helping Hand Fund:

“Many of these people would not have had food during the coldest period in winter if it hadn’t been for Helping Hand’s generous donors who care about the poor,” said Dr Danie Langner, executive director of Helping Hand. According to him, winter is not yet something of the past and many poor people still need help urgently.

“The time has come for us to take responsibility for dealing with the growing poverty among Afrikaans-speaking people,” Dr Langner said.

Desperate miner commits suicide
Helping Hand was shocked when it came to know about the suicide of the 52-year-old Marius Ferreira. According to his wife, Susan, the family lost everything shortly before his death. At the time of his death, the Ferreiras were staying in Rusoord Retirement Village in a small house with borrowed furniture. The Aurora mining group owes Ferreira roughly R170,000. Similar to many other mineworkers, he worked at the mine for the biggest part of his life. As a child from a mineworker’s family, he started working at the mine when he was 18 years old, and for 34 years more, worked at the mine as fitter and diesel mechanic. Ferreira filled his father’s shoes who also worked at the mine his whole life.

Ferreira worked for seven years at Pamodzi Gold Limited before he was employed by the Aurora mining group in 2009. Ferreira worked as part of the care and maintenance team up until three months before his death, despite not receiving his full salary for a year. During the months he worked for the maintenance team, he was regularly called out during the middle of the night to pump acid mine water and arrived dripping wet at home.

Acid, radioactive mine water rising one meter a day due to inadequate maintenance
His job as part of the care and maintenance team makes Ferreira a fallen hero. Ferreira was prepared to keep working without a salary, since he realised that he, as part of the maintenance team, prevents an ecological disaster in the East Rand as long as the acid mine water is pumped.

Acid mine water daily rises with approximately one meter a day. Not only is the acid mine water destroying all plant and animal life, but the danger exists that surrounding mines could be flooded which will lead to further retrenchments of thousands of mine workers.

Aurora directors live in lavish luxury
Despite the fact that these men and their families – some beyond retirement age — are starving in their homes, the directors of Aurora is living in luxury.

Aurora’s directors include former President Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Zondwa Mandela and President Jacob Zuma’s nephew, Khulubuse Zuma. Two directors have recently purchased multi-million rand houses for themselves in Pretoria.

Moreover, the liquidators have recently received 10% commission, approximately R43,2 million of the R439,6 million sales transaction of the assets from Pamodzi Free State to the Harmony mining group. The liquidators could also pocket a further R60 million if the sales transaction of the “business assets” from Pamodzi’s Orkney and Grootvlei-assets are sold. These mines are in the market for R605 million. If the co-owner of Aurora Empowerment Systems, Khulubuse Zuma, only sells three vehicles from his fleet of 19 luxury cars, all overdue salaries, which have accumulated since March 2010, could be paid with interest to Aurora employees. The mineworkers’ rights on reasonable practice, dignity, a safe environment and access to food, housing and electricity were violated to the extreme the past year.Research from Solidarity indicates that each mineworker has an estimated eight dependents. A total of 5 184 mineworkers have already lost their jobs, which means that 41 472 people’s lives are drastically affected by the Aurora mining group. As more rumours of family killings and suicide attempts looms on the horizon, I wonder: how could a government under the pretext of job creation, allow a black empowerment company to destroy thousands of people’s lives for their own gain? How could a government, that recently announced in a budget speech they want to create five million employment opportunities, allow more than 5 000 hardworking mineworkers to lose their jobs? The retrenchments at the Aurora mine could be regarded as a big human rights violation in the history of South Africa; the retrenchments could even be regarded as a sign of the collapse of the state. The supreme authority of the South African law is tested through this situation and we are filled with expectation that the court will not fail the working class.

AUTHOR: Adriana Stuijt
E-MAIL: a.j.stuijt [at]


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