Friday, August 03, 2007

Volunteers beware Cape Town?

What's it like to live in South Africa? Liz Cincotta went there to do volunteer work in 2002. She wrote a report on her experiences for yesterday's Age:

... inner city houses were enveloped by layers of security: barbed wire fences, window bars, alarm systems and guard dogs. Many people carried firearms or other weapons. Carjackings, home break-ins, rape and other violence was commonplace.

This became all too real one morning when I arrived at my office to find someone I knew bloodied and bruised. She had been pack-raped in her home the night before, her boyfriend shot as he intervened.

Several friends were held up at knife point. I was chased more than once, but got away each time. There were attempts to break into my house most weeks and sometimes I would go to sleep with the sound of gunshots nearby. I lived, day to day, waiting for my number to come up.

I struggled with two overwhelming emotions: shame, for being better off than most, and fear, for my physical well-being.

The crunch point came five months after I arrived. Tiija, a fellow volunteer and friend, was thrown from the window of a moving train. She was close to death, but woke from a coma three months later ...

I returned home seven months early ... I was an altered person when I landed in Melbourne ...

South Africa is no happy blueprint for the future.


  1. South Africa: it's an entrepeneural opportunity!

    The existence of products like the Flame Blaster tell you all you need to know.

  2. You might want to look at South Africa Sucks to get a more complete picture of the Multicultural Wonderland of the New South Africa.

  3. Gosh, I just don't know why anyone would want to run away from all that "enrichment."

  4. They've even got a special agency to convince the bad, evil white folks to come back to South Africa:

    I don't understand it. Why do they want the bad, evil white people to come back? I thought it was always a good thing when bad, evil white people go away.

  5. Hey, I think us whites are so bad, we should be given an island, say, Australia, where no other people can mix with us an get contaminated by our evil ways. I'll vote for that.

  6. A close mate moved to Sydney, in his apartment building there were seven apartments full of young South Africans, mostly Accountants and Engineers - they all had only arrived in the last year or two, but were saving to put deposits on houses so they could settle down. One girl, who had done her university studies in England, arrived in Sydney to find three girls living in the same apartment building who had all been to the same private school in Cape Town.

    On a more personal note, all the girls are very conservative, and very beautiful.