Reflections on the Economic Conditions in South Africa.

Well, it has been almost 49 days since I embarked on my RTW trip! There is no way I can comprehend my experiences in words on this post. But I can try to sum up some of my thoughts and such. For those who know me well, I get my energy from people and talking to those around me. So when I went to Johannesburg a couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak to some people from Taiwan that had migrated here over 30 years ago, during the Apartheid. I learned so many things at the ground level, from the experiences that they had gone through…

The Employment Economy

I was fascinated by my conversation with the Taiwanese community. So many questions were boggling my head. Why would they migrate to a country where there was intense racial segregation? What was it like growing up in a country with such intense racial discrimination and what was it like for an oriental? How was the country like for an oriental? Was it difficult growing up? When I was talking, I realised that perhaps they did not want to answer all of my questions! But I kept persisting to find out anyway.

Companies in South Africa must have a proportionate amount of Blacks, Whites and Coloured people in their labour force. I believe it is something like over 90% must be Black. Regardless of skill level. So what will companies do? How can companies survive if they cannot find Black people with the correct skill set? Is this why there is such a high unemployment rate? Is the high unemployment rate really due to poverty or is it because they do not have the correct skills? Is there a reverse causality effect here?

Safer in the 1980s

The one thing that really stuck with me, was when they said that it was safer in the 1980s. Residents could leave their door open and  continue to be safe. Now, when I drive by the houses, it feels like every house is a fortress. Electric fencing, high walls and security personnel. What has happened? The Johannesburg city seemed so dangerous. As my host family drove me around the city, I could see how unsafe it was. I did not leave the vehicle and used my camera with discretion. There were no White people in the Johannesburg city area. In fact, outside the city I had seen numerous White beggars around.

I am constantly fascinated by my experiences and learning about the culture and people in South Africa. My brain is constantly absorbing new information about my current location. Sometimes it is difficult to keep up with it. I wonder.. What will I learn next?