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Why join ACTA

Pre-1994 it was normal and expected for indigenous black South Africans especially females to be regarded as sub-human and incapable of achieving anything academically. Their male counterparts however were would be subjected to direct torture and humiliation. Because of fear of uncontrolled expansion of the black middle class, the apartheid government ensured that only a very few selected black South Africans were spoon-fed opportunity to be educated or to be economically viable. The selection was overwhelmingly based on ability to compliant and to be able to accept that it was normal for the black majority to be poor and remain loyal to whites for their survival. Tightly controlled and selective empowerment also explains the divide and rule policy of the then government.

Perhaps the greatest damage which the policy of selective empowerment is that it made a few of our black brothers and sisters to feel elevated and removed from blackness. The elevated group would then prefer to operate in a transition zone and were correctly labelled “coconuts”. They key agenda would be to defend their as it guaranteed life-long admiration. Actually, they would become automated in their defense of selective privilege and ultimately their self-hate was not necessarily driven by the apartheid government or white person.

Eventually, the apartheid government or white persons became comfortable because when the selectively empowered individuals got into key positions; they were very effective in oppressing their own. To the selectively empowered, South Africa was a good country when majority lived in abject poverty, access to borderline healthcare was a preserve of a very few, entrance to higher education was only for their families and relatives; and there was high drop out and failure from schools and tertiary institutions. These individuals were the first to volunteer to lead structures which were formed to try to empower blacks. When they got into or retain positions however their activities were destructive and aimed sowing disunity amongst blacks for the apartheid government had wired them to live the life of a chameleon for life. They would be the first ones to remark that: [“It is difficult to unite black people”. “Doctors are divided”. “Women are not united”. “Black lawyers only take care of themselves”].

Unfortunately, the status quo remains despite RSA being more than 20 years into democracy. Blacks are still  worst  off  in  a  country  in  which  they  are  the  majority.  Unlike  what  would  be  expected  in  a democratic country, success is not by choice. What guarantees success and progress in the life of a black South African is not his or her IQ but opportunity which is based on where one was born or who he or she knows. A black South African who succeeded was because he or she was exceptional while it was normal and expected for white person to succeed, and he or she is never praised.

Sometimes, a pseudo-opportunity is provided together with a lot of hurdles and zero support to ensure that a black person fails in order to confirm that indeed majority of blacks have a low IQ; and are not capable of achieving in certain professions. Challenges are continuing even when blacks have been “given” opportunity to self-govern.

We are where we were pre-1994 because we are allowing ourselves to function the way we did. Many of our own who have zero social and political consciousness volunteer to assume leadership position for self-preservation, fame and/or to protect white privilege hoping that they and their own only; will remain living with less fear in the protected transition zone. For example, even they themselves will tell you that a profession they are in is extremely difficult and they understand why blacks are failing, PhD can only be done by few blacks who are exceptional, blacks cannot lead an organization; etc. They are wired to do everything for personal gain only, while being automated to criticize fellow blacks, including blacks in leadership. It is only them, they think; who can lead. These individuals hop on off when they have sucked what they wanted to suck or their modus operandi has been discovered.

If we do not actively change how things are done currently we will perpetually complain about lack of transformation. Things cannot remain as they were and as they are. South Africa will remain unstable and the situation will most probable worsen if progress in life of a black citizen continue to be based on opportunity which is provided selectively, and to a very few.

There is a need to have a common voice and an all-inclusive platform to agitate and drive transformation uniformly across all sectors in RSA. It is the only way to move South Africa collectively forward.  Being fragmented is the reason why transformation is not taken seriously by some.  The Academic Transformation Association (AcTA) was formed with the primary aim being to unify blacks in academia; irrespective of professional, tribe, religion, gender, sexual orientation and political affiliation. AcTA believes that everyone if supported is capable of achieving. The only way to end poverty and narrow the income gap is to deliberately facilitate expansion of the black middle class by ensuring that success becomes a choice provided to every South African.