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10 August 2011 at 09:01 - Posted by Anonymous

South Africa in an alternate reality


I don’t know how many of you News24ers know much about the notion of parallel universes, but here’s a very brief, very abridged version of the concept:

The alternate reality theory is based on the idea that there are infinite parallel universes, which are similar to ours, but differ slightly in some ways. They exist at the same time as our universe does, but because of those slight differences, they’re fundamentally different to what we have here.

I’d like you to bear this in mind, as I consider what one small change in South Africa’s history may have made, and what life in a parallel universe, in a parallel South Africa, might be like.

In our alternate reality, when the ANC took over in 1994, they made one very important decision differently. They committed to improving education standards, and instead of downgrading the education systems in all our schools, they upgraded all the former Bantu education schools. They also created a government subsidy system for all promising and gifted students, particularly those with technical ability.

In that alternate South Africa, there are now five years of matric students, who have been through the system, who have a world-class education, and are skilled in entrepreneurship. They’re articulate, literate, reasonable, and rational – and they have a keen interest in the world, and a desire to learn.

Their universities are filled with the best and brightest minds in the country, and there’s an abundance of skills in the medical and technical fields, as well as in business. In fact, their business magazines have a tough time identifying movers and shakers to feature – because there are just so many of them! Of course, since a degree from a South African university in that reality really opens international doors, companies are also fighting harder than ever to hire top graduates.

But government, in that South Africa, knowing that jobs are scarce, also made it possible for those who did not seek tertiary education, to create their own economic freedom. They did that by choosing to give youths small business loans, instead of social grants.

That South Africa now not only has a highly skilled workforce, it also has one of the most active and vibrant entrepreneurial spirits, in all parts of the country.

Our parallel South Africa is a roaring success, and it is not only a global economic force to be reckoned with, but because its people are educated, political debate is reasoned and logical.

The funny thing is, however, that in that alternate South Africa, there is also no need for AA or BEE.  That is because everyone is now on a level playing field.  Competition for top jobs is still tough, but that is because there is an abundance of candidates, each one more skilled and more able than the next.

Not only are the people of that alternate South Africa happier, more stable and more united than ever, but skilled professionals from around the world are flocking to their doors. They’ve also got their own youth league to contend with too.  But it’s run by a young woman who is working towards her masters in political science.

Don’t you wish that we could make a quantum leap, and go live in that alternate South Africa too?

We could have been there. But we chose arms deals, Breitlings, and sushi instead of education.

> By Tamara Aspeling

> Taken from Tamaras post on News 24. See full post - click here

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