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Stateman's Address

DIT IS GENOEG! Dis tyd vir ‘n draaipunt!

‘n Goddelike Omkeer Strategie!

Terwyl politieke groeperinge meeding vir die siel van die nasie… en almal asem ophou … selfs biddend … roep die bloed van die onskuldiges vir regspraak! Rooi bloed! Die bloed van onskuldiges … kinders, vroue, bejaardes, armes en boere, regoor ons land! Genoeg is nou regtig genoeg! Dis tyd vir ‘n draaipunt! ‘n Omkeer strategie! In plaas van vingers wys, van rassehaat, van arm teen ryk, oud teenoor jonk. Kom ons vat hande as gelowiges, as omgee-vir-mekaar-mense, burgers van ‘n nuwe vredevolle Suid-Afrika! Kom ons raak betrokke in ons eie gemeenskappe om vir almal se veiligheid te veg! Saam vorm ons ‘n net wat alle onwettige bedrywighede aan die lig bring. Ons hou die staat verantwoordbaar om regverdig remidiërend restitusie en straf toe te pas.

Dis tyd vir VREDE, ware vrede, waar mense reg leef, eerstens teenoor God en dan teenoor mekaar.

Plan van aksie:

Jesus bring herlewing in harte wat na Hom toe draai!!! Net dit wat Hy begin is volhoubaar.

1) Raak betrokke by formele lokale gemeenskap strukture: GPF – Gemeenskap Polisie Forum, Wykskomitee, BADISA, Sakekamer, Skoolrade ens. Hou op om ‘n kritiese toeskouer te wees en neem deel.

2) Doen ‘n waarde bepaling gemeenskap Profiel. (Asset Based Community Development)

3) Vorm ‘n neutrale waarde gedrewe sleutel rolspeler samewerkende forum: Gesondheid, Opvoedkunde, Sakelui, Wetstoepassing en Regering/leiers met kerke wat morele etiese waardes handhaaf.

4) Bereik konsensus oor werkbare meetbare aksieplan waarvoor ALMAL verandwoordelikheid neem. (Bou mure) volgens die prioriteite wat die gemeenskap bepaal het.

5) Hou aan werk en bou aan insluitende deursigtige verhoudinge wat genees!! Dit is tyd vir Biddende Aksie!

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Stateman's Address

Herbesin die gesondheidswaarde van fisiese samekomste v gelowiges

Is die dae van groot groepe mense wat fisies byeenkom finaal getel? Daar word gewaarsku dat COVID 19, maar die 1ste van nog baie virusse is wat die bestaan van die mensdom bedreig. Daarbenewens is daar nog die werklike gerief van dienste aanlyn kyk, sonder die geskarrel en worstelings om die hele gesin reg en bymekaar te kry vir kerk. Mense kan kies en keur watter boodskap vir hulle die meeste relevant is.  Die meeste mense getuig dat hulle geestelike lewe verdiep het tydens die sosiale distansie grendel tyd. Families wat saam aanlyn dienste gekyk het, getuig van groter eenheid en interaksie rondom geestelike aspekte. 

Paulus het ook van tegnologie gebruik om die gemeentes te bereik met die waarheid toe hy nie hulle kon besoek nie. Die NT is opgeteken en geskryf vir geslagte wat sou kom, as ‘n oplossing van beperkte reistoegang. Ons is dus dankbaar vir die menige vorme van kommunikasie waarby ons die boodskap van die Evangelie van die koninkryk aan die mensdom kan uitdra.  

Watter rol speel die fisiese samekoms egter dan tot ons volgehoue gesondheid, geestelike welstand en weerstandbiedende immuniteit? 

In Afrika en Asia waar fisiese distansie met mense baie nader en korter is, het die gevreesde pandemie toe nie so ‘n groot effek gehad soos voorspel is nie. In informele nedersettings waar daar feitlik geen sosiale distansiëring plaasgevind het nie, was COVID 19 getalle merkwaardig laag!

Die skrywe vra nie dat ons alle rede en veilige maatreëls oorboord gooi nie. Ons het egter nodig om denkend die voordele van die fisiese samekoms te herbesin.  Paulus het nieteenstaande die feit dat mense sy briewe sou kan lees, verkies en verlang om fisies by die gemeentes besoek te kon aflê.  (Rom 15:22-25; 1 Cor 16:5-7; 2 Cor 1:15-16) 

Wat is dus die geestelike, psigiese en liggaamlike gesondheidsvoordele van die fisiese samekoms van gelowiges? 

IMPARTATION: 


Want ek verlang om julle te sien, om julle een of ander geestelike genadegawe mee te deel, sodat julle versterk kan word; dit is, dat ek saam bemoedig kan word onder julle deur die gemeenskaplike geloof, van julle sowel as van my (Rom 1:11). Hier is duidelik ‘n geestelike genadegawe ter sprake, wat net deur fisiese aanraking en kontak oorgedra kan word. God het nie in die hemel gebly en met ons uit die hemele gekommunikeer nie. Hy het vlees geword en onder ons kom woon. Jesus se vleeswording impliseer die sintuiglike ontmoeting en aanraking tussen God en mens.  Dit is die nommer een manier om ‘n belangrike boodskap oor te dra.  Selfs aanlyn bemarkers verstaan dat ketting eposse nie regtig werk sonder die fisiese kontak tussen agente en mense nie, juis te meer as die konneksie deur ‘n vriend plaasgevind het.  Paulus verwys hier egter na ‘n geestelike geskenk, versterking en aanmoediging wat in die geestesrealm gebeur wanneer ons fisies byeenkom as gelowiges. Die wederkerige opbouing en aanmoediging is ook kenmerkend hier, dat beide die spreker en ontvanger seën uit die ontmoeting geput het.  Natuurlik impliseer die fisiese ontmoeting ook ware omgee. Mense gee spontaan tot ‘n nood wat hulle kan sien. Wanneer ons nie meer mekaar sien nie, is dit moeiliker om deernis te hê.  Die fisiese besoeke van Paulus was dan ook om gewoonlik offerandes wat bymekaar gemaak is op te tel, geskenke en pakkies uit te ruil.  

GROEPSDINAMIKA 

Wetenskaplikes is dit eens dat daar verskeie groep transformasies plaasvind in ‘n skare wat vir dieselfde doel byeen gekom het, soos ‘n kerkbyeenkoms teenoor ‘n skare mense by ‘n lughawe. Mense hou op om hulle te gedra in terme van hul idiosinkratiese oortuigings en gee voorkeur aan die hand van gedeelde norme, waardes en begrip. Mense prioritiseer wat gesien word as waardevol vanuit die groepsperspektief.  Verder sien mense ander in die skare as deel van die uitgebreide ‘self’ eerder as ‘n “ander”. Dit lei tot groter intimiteit en baie navorsing toon hoe gedeelde identiteit groter vertroue, respek, samewerking, wedersydse invloed, hulp en verwagtinge van ander se hulp tot gevolg het.  

Mense geniet die hegte en ondersteunende verhoudings van ‘n groep waarmee hulle identifiseer as gevolg van gedeelde identiteit. Meer nog, sulke hegte verhoudings in ‘n groep stel mense in staat om saam te werk en meer doeltreffend te wees om hul gedeelde doelwitte te bereik. [1]

GERIEF BRING NIE NOODWENDIG GROEI NIE

Dawid verklaar na die sonde oor die sensus: “Ek bring nie aan die Here my God offerandes wat my niks kos nie.” (2 Sam 24:16-25) Felix wys die boodskap van Paulus van die hand, omdat dit nie nou gerieflik is nie, en mis die ewigheid. (Acts 24:24-25) Ons almal hou van gerief, niemand wil meer wasgoed was met ‘n skrobplank nie! Daar is egter ook ‘n gevaar dat gerief ‘n afgod kan raak. Fisiese oefening, regte kos keuses, leer om nee te sê, is onombeerlik tot liggaamlike gesondheid en gewigsverlies. Jy kan nie video’s van ander mense se fiksheid kyk en dink jy gaan gewig verloor en fiks word nie.  Mens ontdek die waarde van lofprysing, wanneer jy opstaan en met jou hele hart, siel en liggaam die Here begin loof!  Lofprysing is nie vir toeskouers nie.  Netso al die ander geestelike pligte: Gebed en intersessie, Bybelstudie, Dissipelskap, besoek die wees en die weduwee, lê jou hande op die siekes, en funksioneer in die gawes van die gees moet fisies uitgevoer word.  Hierdie take is natuurlik ook baie makliker wanneer ons dit saam verrig.  Die geestelike reis van die gelowige is gekenmerk deur self verloëning en gehoorsaamheid. (Mat 16:24) Daarom kan ons nie net bestaan rondom dit wat gerieflik is nie, gehoorsaamheid vra by implikasie iets van jou.  Alles wat ons saam deurgaan is beter, makliker en meer behoudend – gedeelde smart – gedeelde lag.  

ONS KOM NIE BYMEKAAR OM NET TE ONTVANG NIE MAAR OM TE GEE

Julle het verniet ontvang, gee dit ook verniet. (Mat 10:8) Niemand kan stry hoe lekker dit is om te kan gee nie! Geestelike groei is ‘n wederkerige wisselwerking van ontvang en gee, soos asemhaal.  Hoe moet dit dan wees, broers? Elke keer as julle bymekaarkom, het elkeen gewoonlik ‘n bydrae om te lewer: ‘n psalm, ‘n onderwysing, ‘n openbaring, ‘n ongewone taal of klank, ‘n uitleg daarvan. Sorg dan dat alles tot opbou van die gemeente verloop. (1 Cor 14:26) Hierdie vers verduidelik NT liturgie. Elkeen bring iets om te gee! Dis die grootste onderskeid tussen aanlyn byeenkomste en fisiese samekomste. D.m.v. die aanlyn materiaal ontvang ons, maar by die fisiese samekoms kom ons om te gee.  Die grote van die samekoms speel natuurlik ook ‘n rol, hoe meer mense, hoe minder kan almal deel. Daar is waarde in die huiskerk en ook die groter samekoms. Elke gelowige moet deel wees van ‘n geestelike gesin! Hier bedoel ek ‘n huiskerk.  Want ‘n huiskerk is jou geestelike gesin, waar jy verantwoordbaar gebou word, en waar verhoudinge en omgee vir mekaar kan verdiep. Die Jesus beweging was in die eerste 200 jaar uitsluitlik ‘n huis-gesentreerde beweging. (Acts 2:2, 46; 5:42) Die gesamentlike liefdesmaaltyd was wesenlik tot die eerste gelowiges se oorlewing. Saameet en vir mekaar sorg was hoe hulle vervolging kon weerstaan.  Geen mens weet hoe nodig hulle ‘n geestelike gesin het, totdat hulle en nodig het nie. TV en aanlyn bedieninge is waardevol maar die predikers kan jou nie in die hospitaal besoek, vir jou kos bring, of hulle motor vir jou leen nie.  Ons het mekaar nodig. Lojaliteit aan ‘n klein groep van mense raak die opvoedingsplek tot gebalanseerde geestelike volwassenheid.  

ONDERSTEUNENDE TOEWYDING 

Hulle het almal elke dag getrou by die tempel bymekaargekom, van huis tot huis die gemeenskaplike maaltyd gehou, hulle kos met blydskap en in alle eenvoud geëet, en God geprys. Die hele volk was hulle goedgesind. En die Here het elke dag mense wat gered word, by die gemeente gevoeg. (Acts 2:46-47) Almal weet hoe moeilik dit is om te gereeld te oefen. Daarom is saam oefen net soveel meer doeltreffend! Gelowiges wat gereeld saamkom, vorm ‘n band van omgee, aanspreeklikheid, verantwoordbaarheid, liefde en heiligmaking wat nie moontlik is op jou eie nie.    

GEESTELIKE AUTORITEIT EN GESAG 

Maar nou het God die ryke verskeidenheid van sy wysheid deur die kerk bekend laat word aan elke mag en gesag in die hemelruim, soos Hy Hom van ewigheid af al voorgeneem het om dit deur Christus Jesus, ons Here, tot uitvoering te bring.(Eph 3:10) en op hierdie rots sal Ek my kerk bou, en die magte van die doderyk sal dit nie oorweldig nie. (Mat 16:18) Ons elkeen het geestelike gesag ontvang om ons persoonlike demone te verslaan. (2 Joh 2:14) Daar is egter sekere geestelike magte in die geesteswêreld wat net gesamentlik deur ‘n groep gelowiges wat gehoorsaam is in ‘n lokaliteit verslaan kan word.  Dit impliseer die gemeentes wat saamwerk in ‘n gemeenskap onder die hoofskap van Christus. (Eph 1:22-23) Die kerk verstaan nog nie die heerlikheid en krag van God wat deur ‘n groepering in ‘n lokaliteit kan werk nie. Die solidariteit, wisselwerking, diversiteit wat net moontlik is deur die Heilige Gees verander gemeenskappe. Dink net aan die uitstorting van die Heilige Gees op die 120 in die bo-vertrek: het ‘n massiewe sosio-ekonomiese impak gemaak. Jubeljaar het in die hart begin! 

ONS ONTHOU ERVARINGS BETER AS INLIGTING

Die Bybel is ‘n versameling van mense se ervarings met die Godheid. Niemand het soos ‘n joernalis hierdie ervarings gedokumenteer nie.  ‘n Mens vergeet nie sommer wat jy self beleef het nie. Aanlyn inligting is nie genoegsaam om hierdie tipe impak te maak nie. Ons moet dit wat ons gehoor het, gaan toepas en uitleef.  Die samekoms van gelowiges is die lanseer platvorm van groot dade van geloof en sending. Dink maar aan die uitstorting van die Heilige Gees, by 2 geleenthede. Die uitstuur van Paulus en Barnabas. Die gelowiges wat saam gebid het vir Petrus in aanhouding.  Die samekoms is ‘n sensoriese gebeurtenis, en het daarom meer ‘n blywende impak om ons menswees.  

Daar is navorsing gedoen oor die effek van oogkontak. Ons verhoudinge verdiep, en ons verbintenis met mekaar deur mekaar in die oë te kyk. Kommunikasie is ook baie meer effektief a.g.v. oogkontak, gesigsuitdrukkings en stemtoon. [2]Aanlyn kommunikasie is kragtig, maar beperkend. 

Aanraking is seker die mees onder ontwikkelende aspek van ons geloof. Aanraking word as die diepste sintuig beskryf.  Ons vel is ook die grootste sintuiglike orgaan. Natuurlik is aanraking nou bemoeilik met die vrees vir virusinfeksie oordraging.  Aanraking het ook ‘n baie lang geskiedenis in verskeie kulture.[3] Ons gaan nie gesond bly sonder aanraking nie, ons moet net nuwe gesonde manier vind om wel aan mekaar te raak. Soos om jou hand op iemand se skouer of rug te hou.  Die vyand het aanraking verdraai deur seksuele ondertone, en nou ook die gevaar vir infeksie. Tog is aanraking deel van die evangelie van Jesus, wat melaatses, dooies en siekes gesond gemaak het deur aanraking. 

DIE BALANS TUSSEN INDIVIDU EN LIGGAAM.

Die boodskap en demonstrasie van die koninkryk van God bestaan om die realiteit van God se wêreld sigbaar te maak in hierdie wêreld. Hierdie demonstrasie van goddelike heerlikheid gebeur gelyktydig tussen die wisselwerking van die inspraak in die individu as tempel van die Heilige Gees, en dit wat hierdie tempels saam verwesenlik.  Die een kan nie sonder die ander nie. Mens raak nie deel van die liggaam deur aan ‘n gemeente te behoort nie, maar deur wedergeboorte en die aanneming en lewe vanuit Christus se geregtigheid.  Ons kan derhalwe ook nie as eilande funksioneer nie.  Die individuele ontmoeting met God, raak uiteindelik ‘n kollektiewe ontmoeting.  Soos selle in ‘n liggaam die liggaam laat leef, is die twee realiteite van sel en liggaam albei dié Liggaam. Selle wat hulleself van die liggaam afskei, is ‘n vorm van kanker, wat teen die liggaam begin veg.  Maar die liggaam kan nie sonder die selle nie.  

Sien en ontwaak tot die belangrikheid van die kollektiewe bymekaarkoms, plek van ontmoeting! Die samekoms van gelowiges is meer as net een persoon wat ‘n preek. Dit is meer as net ‘n paar liedjies saamsing as toeskouers! Dit is God se mense wat met hul God ontmoet!! Dit is ‘n geestelike ontmoeting, want God is GEES wat ‘n behae het daarin om tussen Sy kinders te wees. Dit is Christus in en onder ons die hoop op heerlikheid. Dit is ‘n genesende, herstellende, regeneratiewe, versoenende ruimte van bevryding en vryheid! Dit is ‘n plek waar die HEILIGHEID van God die oorhand kry en alles in almal vul! Dit is ‘n plek van LIG! Dit is ‘n plek van samesyn, verbondenheid en eenheid! Dit is die hemel op aarde!


[1] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2210600615000635

[2] Manusov, Valerie. “Effects of Gaze on Hiring, Credibility, Attraction and Relational Message Interpretation.” Journal of Nonverbal Behavior (1985): n. pag. Print.

[3] Classen, C., 2012. Back In Touch The Deepest Sense. A Cultural History Of Touch. Urbana, Chicago, and Springfield, IL: University of Illinois Press.

Categories
Stateman's Address

Towards Biblical solutions for restoring a God honouring Heaven-Kingdom Economy.

The ultimate test of any religion, ideology or worldview is the benefits it ultimately brings to the poor, the marginalized and oppressed.  If we say we are Christians, we have to take poverty seriously.

But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? [1]

Although poverty in its many forms has been with us for ages, over-population and ensuing unemployment is becoming the prevalent crisis of the decade. The underlying question to more and more people, even those having a job is: How does one earn a living? Or bluntly said: “How does one make enough money?” Enough? What is enough? According to the bible enough are food, shelter and clothing? (Mat 6:25; 1 Tim 6:8) In a consumer-based driven economy, enough is never enough.  Tech companies have found a way to make cell-phones, tv’s and computers consumables. With a rapidly growing and consistently younger population, the employment question is central to the enquiring mind. How will I ever make it, if my parents or no one I know isn’t even making it? Crime, theft, extortion, corruption, prostitution, sex-trafficking, gangsterism is for many the only sensible path to earn a living.  The achievement of a superior qualification does not guarantee employment or better earnings anymore. 

Dr. Ruben Richards, relates a moving story of while mediating peace talks in Lavender Hill notorious gang-war stricken area, he took a short break and saw a 9-year-old youngster patiently waiting for someone who was in the negotiating room. Making small talk Ruben asked the boy: “So, what do you want to be when you grow up one day,” Without blinking and with a sense of pride and confidence the 9-year-old said, “I want to be just like my daddy, a gangster!” That daddy happened to be one of the most notorious gang leaders in the room.[2] There are many people particularly children and women trapped in a destructive way of earning a living! Similarly, some businesses are keeping people poor, to ensure a constant workforce.  

How NOT to earn a LIVING. 

The bible is implicit regarding its warnings about how to not earn a living!  

Purposeless Toil (Prov. 23:4); lies (Prov. 21:6); interest to family members (Exo 22:25; Deut. 23:19); dishonest gain (Eze 22:13); ponzi & pyramid marketing schemes[3]; fraud, over-promise-under-deliver; slavery & oppression of the poor (Prov. 22:16); unjust scales (Prov. 11:1); quick-profit (Prov. 13:11); default on payments (Ps 37:21; Rom 13:7); passive income (2 Thes. 3:10); extortion & bribes (Luk. 3:14); violence (Prov. 1:19). 

Why do we have to pay taxes?

Generally: How do governments make money? Taxes, natural resources, tourism and investments? Oliver Wendell Holmes, former Justice of the United States Supreme Court, said, “Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society.” This phrase is engraved on the IRS headquarters building in the US. But like man, governments have also found unjust ways to abstract more money from its citizens, without delivering on it’s civil, safety, security, infrastructure promises. 

When God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Gen 6:5) He sends the flood as a punishment.  Only one family was saved: Noah and his 3 sons. Thereafter God added another divine instruction to man: “Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man.” God was saying that He will never judge the earth again like this. Per definition, God gives this role now to human government. This is rearticulated again in the NT: Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, 14 or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. (1 Pet 2:13-14) Even Jesus acknowledged the role of government: “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Mat 22:21) That be it, an evil, godless, secular, government that later murdered Jesus, innocently, and persecuted Christians.  But the Government’s role is clear: They are God’s agent on earth to punish, evildoers. People who selfishly has no regard for the safety, well-being and progress of the community. 

Many governments are wedged into a destructive, systemic misappropriation of funds, and fail to fulfil their primary divine mandate. In the South African context Dr Nthabiseng Moleko summarises her experience in the Public Sector: 

In my short life, I served in the public sector and I saw many things, but perhaps the most disheartening was the conduct of many of our leaders. I focus on the public sector, which does not hold the monopoly on corruption, deception, nepotism and the like, despite what our papers seem to want us to believe. I focus on them as they hold the key to changing the lives of the poorest of the poor, the oppressed, the most vulnerable in our society as they are mandated to. The private sector has a significant role to play in this regard, but it rapidly diminishes when one starts coining words such as “shareholder value” and “profit”. As I worked in the public sector, I began to see in different instances why the poor were not receiving the support they needed. It was because of people who either refused to do their work, those who wanted to block others from doing their work, or simply because those tasked with doing the work simply did not know how to do their work. Then of course there are those who make it their work to take and loot the money intended to actually do work targeted at the poor.[4]

Our president has been courageously fighting to keep our Country unified to over-come the COVID 19 pandemic, but if he is not going to punish corruption of funds intended for COVID 19 relief immediately, harshly, and decisively people are finally losing all trust in Government tipping the Country into self-regulated anarchy! Inefficiency, laziness, entitlement as a result of nepotism, carder-deployment and political social-tax robs from taxpayer’s money to feed their own greed has to be punished harshly because it is treason against humanity.  

During the Mediation Foundation for Peace and Justice[5] conference at the Cape Castle for the restoration of land and the dignity of the people under the leadership of Alan Nelson the 18/8/2018 keynote speaker Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng reminded participants that corruption is not only a government practise, the private sector has also been inundated by corruption scandals.[6] Corporate corruption, including deliberate bankruptcy, thin capitalization, illicit financial flows, transfer (mis)pricing, trade mispricing, jurisdiction shopping, and tax evasion.[7]

How do the righteous earn money? 

Is what every believer should ask and fulfil in the fear of the Lord in their lifetime.  According to Rabbi Daniel Lapin: 

The business professional also must value his employees as well, for they are his most valuable asset. He must attend to their welfare. Recognizing them as spiritual beings with their own divine aspirations, he must not only endeavour to compensate them fairly but also help them find transcendent meaning in their work. Ancient Jewish wisdom prohibits an employer from instructing his worker to perform meaningless work. For example, he may not hire the worker to dig a hole one day, fill it the next, and thereafter repeatedly dig and refill it. This prohibition applies no matter how generous the pay maybe, because it leaves the worker with no sense of accomplishment, and therefore, no sense of the value of his contribution. [8]

Mankind had to work before work was cursed as punishment for their sin; subduing, tending, keeping and naming creation. (Gen 1:28; 2:15, 19) Work is thus supposed to be a blessing. Also, one is exhorted to find satisfaction in their own toil (Eccl 2:24; 3:13) raising up someone to steward it for the next generation to not see it going to waste. (Eccl 2:17-26) God is elated to see us prosper! “Let the LORD be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.” (Psalms 35:27) Righteous Work is the greatest remedy available for both mental and physical afflictions.” [9]

The role of agriculture. 

God’s provision to man is on the earth. Food, clothing, housing is found in nature. Gardening, and agriculture is the first profession of mankind.  (Gen 4) 

From the Agricultural Thinktank perspective: How do farmers make money? They plant something of value, mitigate the VUKA[10] risks factors: climate change, soil degradation; droughts, diseases, labour, the threat of EWC and land invasions, making debt to produce enough healthy, desirable, nutritious food and sell it to the highest bidder. It is a huge accomplishment to get the product to the gate: but then the financially successful farmer has to battle sufficient off-take: On average, a farmer gets only 15% of the retail price from white bread, bulk wine farmer 7%, a citrus farmer 9%.[11] For the farmer to compete in the narrow shelf-space available in the retail-driven single-channel market system, he has to comply with strict food-safety, traceability, consistency, and scale requirements. Most do not comply hence the decline in single-owned farm units, and the rise of industrial farms.  

Since 1996 the number of commercial farming units dropped from 60 900 to 39 900 in 2007. Of the current total, only 1.5 per cent (673) of commercial farms account for a third of total gross commercial farm income. In the food retail sector, the market share of the major retail chains has risen from below 10% in the late 1980s to around 68% in 2012. [12]

The Census of Commercial Agriculture report indicates that the total number of farms/ farming units in 2017 was 40 122. The total income for the commercial agriculture industry in 2017 was R332,8 billion, which was significantly higher than the R85,9 billion recorded for 2007. [13]

The conclusion is that bigger industrial commercial farms produced significantly more than small-scale and commercial farms with fewer people employed but generally paying better wages, and providing social-support infrastructure. According to Scott Drimie, director of the Southern Africa Food Lab and associate professor of Health Sciences at Stellenbosch, 100 commercial farmers produce about 90% of all of South Africa’s food.[14] The rest of the farming community are struggling and hence does not have enough funds left to do much social development. Agriculture is also the only sector that is required to provide housing, and social care to its workers, understandable the low wages paid. On the other hand, the employment offer is for the lowest expertise. The Developmental Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) reveals that as little as 673 farms had a turnover of more than R10 million or an average of R17 850 283.[15]

The RICH and POOR Gap. 

South Africa is burdened with a huge wealth-poverty gap. (Gini coefficient 2014-63.0)[16] The biggest portion of our population does not have access to the most basic services, water, sanitation, electricity, quality education and frightening complete social degradation. According to Stats SA, 2,193,96 South African households live in informal settlements – 13% of the country’s population. 

Furthermore, the deepest disparity is the question of unequal wages and salaries. What are the Biblical justice and the ethically right way to think and act? Some suggest a national bench-marking salary standard, measured on several output measures. 

But does higher wages necessary lead to bigger sharing and giving? In the African context, many workers annually deposit money into homeland accounts.  The total volume of domestic remittances is estimated to be between $11 billion and $13 billion, equivalent to 4% of GDP. [17]

The white minority capital argument led to a juxtaposed form of racism criminalizing wealth and white-owned business enterprise.  Pinning a collective sin to a singular culture-ethnic group is dangerous, as evidenced when the Soviet campaign of political repressions, including arrests, deportations, and executions of millions of kulaks (prosperous peasants) and their families in the 1929–1932 period.[18] Or the Hutu genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda 1994. [19] How does one peacefully get the better earners to voluntary share their wealth?

Wages in the agricultural context is complex due to the huge number of low-qualified human hands needed in the fruit-picking sector. Currently, labour represents about 7.65% of total production cost on an average grain producing farm, compared to a 34% average on an apple and pear farm[20] The narrow profit margin of these industrial enterprises does not give much space to truly give a more equal wage, given the amount of skill and responsibility disparity between a general fruit picker and the CEO of a multi-national company? The inconsistency, unreliability, and problems associated with human labour has led to an overall automatization in the sector.[21] The question of labour in the agricultural sector is at the core of the negative sentiment against it. Agriculturalists are seen by many as the enslavers and abusers of the poor.  Agriculturists may however become the national hero’s as several analysts have noted the potential of agriculture to generate one million job opportunities focusing on winning industries, and available arable land.[22]

Sharing willingly or taken by force? 

Until this happens, the labour question deepens in a totally unequal society with dual economies: Why do those who have not share with the have nots? According to the Department of Social Development, there are currently 220000 NGO’s and community-based organisations registered.  These NGO’s rely on government but also private corporate CSI funding to survive.  There is hence a lot of sharing already going on! 

Sharing is also a highly personal activity, located towards one’s own family, or church.  It is most likely that sharing has not been reaching the right people.  At Pentecost sharing, and consequent fulfilment of Jubilee happened willingly, from the heart! Voluntary sharing is one of the first fruits of revival and participants of the Jesus movement. (Acts 2:44-45; 4:32)

But not all giving has helped the poor. Dambisa Moyo argues convincingly that foreign aid feeds corruption, debasing social and human capital.  “Aid has been, and continues to be, an unmitigated political, economic, and humanitarian disaster for most parts of the developing world.” [23]

Sharing resources without someone taking responsibility, utilising the given resources to improve their income and earnings is water down the drain.  The biblical way of eradicating poverty – is a matter of personal responsibility. The farmer leaves portions of his harvest, the poor pick it up themselves. Everyone must share, and everyone must work! (Lev 19:10; 23:22) 

Economy of mutuality and inclusion

Over and above the economic reality of the cost of wages Henry Hazlitt reveals that economics and ethics are, in fact, intimately related. Both are concerned with human action, human conduct, human decision, human choice. There is hardly an ethical problem, in fact, without its economic aspect. Our daily ethical decisions are in the main economic decisions, and nearly all our daily economic decisions have, in turn, an ethical aspect.[24] Thus there is a need for a Biblical Consensus on the tenets of redemptive entrepreneurship. This is what “ethical trade[25]” and the “International Christian Chamber of commerce” institutions try to achieve, Christians who do ethical business. Moreover, Christians that see their occupations as a redemptive purpose! 

Dale Partridge shows in his book, People Over Profit, that short-term profit gain, at the cost of the people, eventually lead to long-term decline. History has proven that all lasting commerce is born from a dedication to high character, high quality and high customer loyalty. [26] Roche & Mayer started a collaborative research program between Oxford University and Mars to study the current capitalist system of increasing worldwide inequality, presenting a new model of ‘economics of mutuality’. 

Our view is that we may soon need a new, more mutually beneficial and more complete form of capitalism that holistically optimizes value for all three inputs—the people, the planet, the financial capital—to reform the current system of financial capitalism that may one day collapse.[27]

Helmut Gollwitzer a concerned pastor, theologian and thinker known as a democratic socialist debated that regardless of our Christian political biases; we need to strive toward a social togetherness – “perfect togetherness without any conflict.” [28] This local community togetherness and economic justice cannot be achieved politically, culturally, economically or legislatively! This task lays at the Church community’s feet. To disciple the “ethos” where we reside and beyond. (Mat 28:19)

Those who are in Christ Jesus already have the solution! 

Building Bridges, Repairers of the breach! 

God has already moved and provided a Kingdom-based Non-Babylonian Economic Re-Generative Strategy. 

A bridge-building movement is emerging in SA, as a counter-measure against increasingly populist, racist, and dividing rhetoric from some political leaders and groups. The bridge builder initiatives were sparked informally and spontaneously on many fronts throughout the country. Like the Bela-Bela solution-based farmers conference held in Limpopo, 23-24 August 2018.   48 Speakers from various backgrounds, positions, and sectors came to showcase solutions and existing stories of hope in Agriculture. Since the Bela-Bela Land summit others were held at Komga Farmers Union, 29 October 2018, East London.   A Christ-centred Land summit was held in Sandton, Gauteng, February 28-1 March 2019, with a follow up in Middelburg EC, 20-21 May 2019, and 24 October 2019 in Paarl. All these LandSummits were intended as Bridge-building initiatives to develop and restore trust by showcasing stories of hope!

The Christ-centred focus is not geared to enforce religious exclusivity, or proselytism. The values that Jesus Christ portrayed, and so many South Africans from all backgrounds and race worship and adhere to, is seen as ‘n unifier.  Hence people abandoning their religious denominations and divisive doctrinal differences, to unify and rebuild the social fibre so critically needed for strong social cohesion is based on the person and example of Jesus Christ. 

It was forthcoming, that many of the stories and models showcased at the Landbou Weekblad Bela Bela event, had a strong personal faith in the person of Jesus Christ as their source and motivation.  The organizers of the two Christian Land Summits, thus viewed the shared Christ-centred values as a method to fast-track bridge-building of new cross-cultural relationships vital to the transformation of agriculture.[29]  It should also be noted, that although these values were the backbone of all the dialogue during these summits, the focus was healthy ‘Christ-centred’ relationships and not formalized religion.  The Jesus-narrative provides sufficient foundations and commonality to foster healthy relationships, and eventually sustainable projects. This is an important point to consider as many good projects failed due to corruption: the lack of intrinsic moral practically out-lived values.  

The issue of “the right heart” is elucidated when people truly surrender their heart to Jesus. As Analize Crosby AGRISA policy analyst explains: “The personal cost of sharing is too high to enforce it by law or war, it has to come from the heart.”[30]

This question of trust and equality is disentangled within the Christ-centred narrative.  Various autonomous role-players naturally gravitated towards one-another, without any traces of the obstacles and hindrances of prideful superiority.  Former Zimbabwean Farmer Boet Pretorius , who was one of the first farmers to lose his farm in Zimbabwe; puts it succinctly: “until you love God first, then your people, you will not rule or keep your land”. This was also the conclusion of the first Land Summit: 

Aid amplifies ‘god’ complexes and strengthens inferiority complexes. The question was asked: “Who are the poor?” The Christ-centred perspective is: 

•          Poor relationship with God – Poverty of Intimacy

•          Poor relationship with myself – Poverty of Being

•          Poor relationship with family – Poverty of Trust

•          Poor relationship with community – Poverty of Security

•          Poor relationship with Creation- Poverty of Stewardship 

Thus, all mankind is considered poor, and in need of healthy relationships. From this point of view, a more natural and equal base is established to build relationships of trust.

TENET 1: CHRIST-CENTRED REVIVAL 

Christocentric, spirit-filled believers already have a sense of ‘togetherness’ not achieved through any human effort. Currently, there is a movement growing all across the country as streams of biblical, kingdom-purposed-faith-based individuals, churches and NGO’s are seeking the lowest point of departure. True humble, meek, and ego-less spiritual fathers (Isa 33:21) are calling the church into action: to again become the most attractive religion that toppled the mighty roman empire to convert to the ideals and values of a revolutionary Jewish artisan from Galilea. Even the World Economic Forum calls for a new social covenant where trusted local father figures re-align local societies to an equitable, mutual-responsibility, human-dignity focused common good. [31]

  1. The Christian Church grew most rapidly in the 300 years. (Stark 1997:161–162; Hirsch, 2006:18-22; Viola & Barna 2008:246–250) 
  2. The Christian Church became the State Religion because of its exemplary demonstration of intrinsic critical values: great acts of mercy and kindness • mutual support and love • self-control • respect for life • To do good to each other. • Avoid evil such as theft, deceit and jealousy. • Show hospitality to strangers. • Take care of each other and share their food with each other. • Prove mercy toward all people. • Conduct care and nursing of the sick. • Households testify to dignity, personal responsibility, honesty and obedience. • Ethnic variety is accepted. • Women, children and slaves are treated with respect. • Respect for life prevents abortion and childhood murder. • Martyrdom and the willingness to ‘ take up your cross ‘ (see Mark. 8) [32]
  3. Apostolic travelling teams mentored, taught, and held churches accountable to these values resulting in the writing of the NT. 
  4. The member’s active involvement of doing the work of the ministry, filled with the Holy Spirit, modelled on the example of Jesus and the apostles created a missional culture of mature believers living the gospel.  Their redemptive works were proof of their accuracy, not doctrinal documents. 

TENET 2 Asset Based Community Development.

Various Christian entities have already been strategically moved into place to change the Social-profile source document. We cannot achieve solutions, and togetherness if we are not working from the same source documents. There is currently no consensus regarding the Government’s land audit, and the suggestion is to rather profile the community than the country. Prof. de Wet Schutte with the Unisearch Program uses diversified Focus group prioritizing of needs analyses.[33]Johan Olivier (Ranyaka) follows a more town-planning, architectural-infrastructure-mapping approach.[34] Asset-Based Community Development’s premise is that communities can drive the development process themselves by identifying and mobilizing existing, but often unrecognised assets.[35] Currently, Prof. Deon Pretorius has created an Online application to do a statsSA community Profile so that the correct figures can be given to all the Government Departments: Human Settlement, Education, health, rural development, Social Development, and Agriculture. 

TENET 3 Morpho-genetic Social Developmental Approach.

The more we explore the significant challenges of our time, the more we are coming to realize that they cannot be understood as being isolated from each other. There is no single solution to the complexity of the challenges we face. [36]

From a Biblical Community Developmental perspective of how God made a nation of a bunch of slaves, it is understood that God’s way of restoration begins with a father, in a specific location, who through his obedience creates a new family, extended family, culture and nation.  This approach provides an explanation and strategy for development based on the complex interplay between contexts and people acting in contexts. Each community basically takes ownership of their own challenges through a Christ-centered-value-driven, non-partisan, pluralistic, multisector, pragmatic approach that begins to build local capacity, to achieve the common good of everyone in the community. In most instances a dramatic negative like the SundayRiverValley[37], Harrismith[38], and uprisings, gives way to a radical peaceful collaborative when the right people take lead.  

TENET 4 Funding of God-inspired initiatives. 

An army is as strong as it’s supply-chain. If we cannot get the resources to the troops on the front-line, we will lose the battle.  A great protest was mounted by the people, including the wives, against their fellow Jews. Some said, “We have big families, and we need food just to survive.” Others said, “We’re having to mortgage our fields and vineyards and homes to get enough grain to keep from starving.” And others said, “We’re having to borrow money to pay the royal tax on our fields and vineyards. Look: We’re the same flesh and blood as our brothers here; our children are just as good as theirs. Yet here we are having to sell our children off as slaves—some of our daughters have already been sold—and we can’t do anything about it because our fields and vineyards are owned by somebody else.” [39] Nehemia could not finish the wall until economic restitution had taken place. Simply put: the funds are not getting to the right people! Through nepotism, carder-deployment, racial-preference, and BBEEE white farmers are seen as the enemy (privileged), while many of these farmers held the solution-key to mutual economic growth. By means of the AMOS[40] network of farmers who have already proven their Christ-centred heart and passion, who have already made enormous financial contributions to restoration and healing, there are already plans/businesses/projects that are waiting for FUNDING. Hennie Viljoen proposed an “everyone must give approach”[41] Mines, banks, supply and value-chain, government, and the farmers all give a portion towards an equitable, profitable, right-partnership farming enterprise.  He who increases his wealth by interest and usury gathers it for him who is gracious to the poor. (Prov 28:8) 

TENET 5 The Fruitful village. 

How does a community/town/village/city look when God’s Kingdom has come? Although God’s Kingdom is in part an eternal future expectation, there is a part that needs to be established by His church here and now. (Luk 17:21; Mat 10:7) Eventually, all these father-family-faith-based projects begin to heal and restore communities by doing/executing/demonstrating Peace & Love solutions locally and hence gaining influence in Government, Health, Education, Law-enforcement and Business sectors.  

The Kingdom expands through Christ gaining territory in hearts through deep discipleship-based relationships.  Sin is the destruction and disruption of relationships: hate, offence, jealousy, pride, sloth, laziness, entitlement, deceit destroys relationships and family. God’s Kingdom is restored when relationships/community/family is restored. 

The relational process takes time, it is a long-term generational process.  

It is said that: “Throughout human history, most people live and die in the social class into which they were born. We cannot bring change to the individual if we do not affect the culture.” The best way to transform a culture is through raising healthy children, within a healthy extended family, the Church. “it takes a village to raise a child” or “it takes a church to raise a village”[42]

If we ever want to change communities, it begins at the ECD level.  Early childhood is a period of tremendous growth. Extending from conception to the age of 6, early childhood experiences carve out pathways towards health and well-being that persist throughout life. Supporting early childhood development, especially for the most vulnerable children, requires coordinated action to ensure health care, adequate nutrition, quality education, support for parents and protection of children’s rights.  But we need a new-employment-outcome-based kind of education. Children do not only need knowledge, but they also need skills, root skills in terms of character development, and technical production/entrepreneurial kind of skills that will give them a trade when they leave school not a certificate on paper.  

May your kingdom come and will be done here on earth as it is in heaven!


[1] 1 John 3:17 ESV

[2] https://discoversociety.org/2020/08/05/on-the-frontline-blood-in-blood-out-can-art-change-gangsterism/

[3] https://www.crown.org/blog/are-multi-level-marketing-companies-a-good-idea-for-christians/

[4] Moleko, N., 2017. Been Chasing Destiny. 1st ed. South Africa: Ngezandla Publishing, p.562.

[5] http://peaceandjustice.co.za

[6] https://www.janenchantal.com/report-of-the-restoration-of-land-and-the-dignity-of-the-people-conference-in-the-cape-of-good-hope-castle/

[7] Bracking A qualitative reframing of private sector corruption Considerations from the natural resource sectors in South., 2020. Anti- Corruption Resource Centre U4, [online] August 2013 No 7(U4 Issue), p.2. Available at: <https://www.u4.no/publications/a-qualitative-reframing-of-private-sector-corruption-considerations-from-the-natural-resource-sectors-in-south-africa.pdf> [Accessed 13 August 2020].

[8] Lapin, R., 2014. Business Secrets From The Bible: Spiritual Success Strategies For Financial. 1st ed. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, p.33.

[9] The Forbes Scrapbook of Thoughts on the Business of Life, New York: Forbes Inc., 1968, p. 427.)

[10] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volatility,_uncertainty,_complexity_and_ambiguity

[11] http://www.grainsa.co.za/what-is-a-wheat-producer-s-percentage-share-of-retail-white-bread (retrieved August 2018) 

[12] Bernstein, Henry. (2013). Commercial Agriculture in South Africa since 1994: ‘Natural, Simply Capitalism’. Journal of Agrarian Change. 13. 10.1111/joac.12011.

[13] http://www.statssa.gov.za/?p=13144

[14] http://www.702.co.za/articles/2138/how-south-africa-can-keep-on-producing-enough-food-for-everyone (Retrieved 31 December 2017) 

[15] Statistics South Africa, 2005. Census of commercial agriculture, 2002. Pretoria, StatsSA.


[16] https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SI.POV.GINI?locations=ZA

[17] https://www.technoserve.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/South-Africa-domestic-remittances-report.pdf

[18] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dekulakization

[19] Kinzer, S., 2010. A Thousand Hills. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

[20] Saayman, Lehanri &  Middelberg Sanlie. The Effect Of Higher Wages On Production Cost And Mechanization: A South African Maize Sector Study. The Journal of Applied Business Research – March/April 2014 Volume 30, Number 2 https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/14e9/b6dc7d78af29c2340b041d01dba3ff2717f8.pdf

[21] Le roux, Daniel. Autmotion and employment: the case of South Africa. 2018. http://suinformatics.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/automation-employment-case-1.pdf

[22] Meyer, F., 2012. FARM SECTORAL DETERMINATION: AN ANALYSIS OF AGRICULTURAL WAGES IN SOUTH AFRICA. BFAP December 2012, [online] Available at: <https://www.hopcal.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/article_files_61_bfap-farm-sector-determination-report-draft-17-dec.pdf> [Accessed 13 August 2020].

[23] Moyo, D., 2014. Dead Aid. Haffmans & Tolkemitt.

[24] http://jpatton.bellevue.edu/biblical_economics/morality-economics.html

[25] https://www.ethicaltrade.org

[26] Partridge. Dale, People over Profit, Thomas Nelson, 2015 

[27] Roche, B. and Jakub, J., 2017. Completing Capitalism. 1st ed. Oakland, CA 94612-1921: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

[28] See Gollwitzer,  Protestant Theology  : 191 –  2. Gollwitzer draws very briefly here on the imagery found in Mi 4.3f, Zec 3.10, and Rom 14.17.

[29] https://landsummit.co.za/14-models-2019/

[30] https://landsummit.co.za/the-heart-of-the-law-and-the-law-of-the-heart/

[31] http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GAC_NewSocialCovenant_Report_2014.pdf

[32] Dreyer, W., 2011. Praktiese Ekklesiologie En Bedieningspraktyk Met Verwysing Na Die Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk Van Afrika (Afrikaans).

[33] http://www.unisearch.co.za

[34] https://ranyaka.co.za

[35] https://www.nurturedevelopment.org/asset-based-community-development/

[36] Friesen J. Dwight. Thy Kingdom Connected (ēmersion: Emergent Village resources for communities of faith): What the Church Can Learn from Facebook, the Internet, and Other Networks” 

[37] https://herald.pressreader.com/@Deon_Pretorius.2/csb_ik_tdjif_gzuXh-IDPUy-_sjz7BnQdPRXsLmbL9DXMD4a-I1o5UKqkbPAccX08wa

[38] https://www.goodthingsguy.com/people/sam-twala-fixing-problems

[39] Eugene H. Peterson, The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language, (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2005), Ne 5:1–5.

[40] https://amosafrica.net

[41] https://landsummit.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/2019-February-28-Land-Summit-Everyone-must-give.docx.pdf

[42] Mitchell, M., 2001. It Takes A Church To Raise A Village. Shippensburg, PA: Treasure House.

Categories
Stateman's Address

The way of the dragon vs the way of the Lamb

Let’s be weary as to not rule over one another as believers. We are destined to rule through Christ over our sin, our uncontrolled emotions, our thoughts that is raised against the knowledge of God, our destructive habits, and overcome satan and the rulers of darkness. We shall not rule over man.

We are called to be commander FOR the people, not OVER the people. (Isa 55:4)

We were not instructed to rule on earth or have earthly kingdoms.  “Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”” (John 18:36, NKJV) We will one day rule with Christ, over cities, and receive a crown as a reward for our earthly faithfulness and obedience. Jesus never wore an earthly crown, but the crown of thorns. He never aspired for positions, grandeur, recognition, or making an impression in the flesh.

When the King of Kings, Lion of Judah, the sovereign ruler was revealed, He appears as the slain lamb.  “saying with a loud voice:“Worthy is the Lamb who was slainTo receive power and riches and wisdom,And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”” (Revelation 5:12, NKJV) The power from below, is the power of the dragon. The two beasts/dragons that appeared from the earth and the sea, devours, kill and destroys.

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” (James 3:13–18, NKJV)

Being salt and light is not about ruling but about spreading the love of God through serving, and doing good. (Acts 10:38) We gain ground, by going low. This is how the Kingdom is advanced. Through weakness we wax strong.  The least in the kingdom is the greatest. The meek inherit the earth.  The power you attain in the flesh you have to maintain in the flesh.

Jesus gave authority. Man usurps and desire power. The true heart of the father is revealed in how we empower people.

Our prayer meetings and initiatives are vital and important as to show our true dependence on God.  But the true fast that the Lord requires, is a fast demonstrated in how we serve people, brake the bonds of the oppressed, and bring peace. (Isa 58) We cannot continue to oppress people, and try to redeem ourselves with more spiritual activities. What powerful revival will flood this nation when instead of praying more in isolation, we start going out in the streets praying for people in need.

Listen to this message in Afrikaans, recently on Radio Namakwaland, ‘Kollig’ with Martie-Louise Hunlun.

 

The Way of the Dragon or the Way of the Lamb: Searching for Jesus’ Path of Power in a Church that Has Abandoned It
by Amazon.com Learn more: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0718022351/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_CeURCbCSHM4KB

Categories
Stateman's Address

South Africa needs more than an economic solution, it needs a moral transformation.

It has been said: “South Africa needs an economic solution.” The main reason for war is; Economic gain or survival.[1]  Even territorial expansion, and nationalism has economic undertones. The huge price and sacrifice of war is justified by the believed future financial gain.

Helene Lewis Opperman, wrote a terrific book on psycho-History “Apartheid Britain’s Bastard Child”[2] explains in great detail how the power-hungry greed of Rhodes, was the main drive behind the Boer war.

The current discrepancies of inequality, 37% unemployed citizens, white people generally earning more than black people, the impenetrable market monopolies, passive economic gains of capital requiring no real labor, feels unfair and unjust. These wrongs needs to be corrected. Populist political parties propagate a ‘Robin Hood’ short term approach, as the apparent solution.  The Political Sphere constitutes opposing parties competing against the other, resulting in divisions on local Municipal platforms, instead of fighting for all South Africans.  The greatest threat and danger currently in SA is the premise that theft, expropriation without compensation, forceful over-powering, entitlement as a just compensation, retribution for the mistakes and pain of the past.  This is a short-term band-aid solution and does not deal with the source of the pain.

Inequality is as old as civilization.[3] Think about your first spelling test in grade one. There are those who passed, and those who did not. Even children sharing the food, there is inequality, for one’s food is nicer than the other. Traveling and visiting different countries, one is acutely aware of perceived well-being proficiency and comforts in one country, vs another’s abject deprivation, shortages, lack and broken systems.  Before God we are considered equal, but in talent, intellect, physical abilities, we are not. The Biblical theme is to use that what one has received each according to their own ability and multiply it. Multiplying one’s talents, resources, gifts and abilities involves business, and hence an economy or market.

The market is also as old as man-kind. At first, we bartered goods, to get what we need. Later currencies were introduced. But central to market is relationships, which involves communication, ethics, morality, and perceived goodness.

In September 1970 Milton Friedman published an article in The New York Times Magazine, “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits.” Friedman, who has received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1976, is probably the most influential economist of the second half of the twentieth century. His views have become the mainstream economic thinking. [4] Greed and profit for too long has been the focus of Capitalism, at the cost of moral and ethical right-wiseness. Eventually pure market capitalism implodes on itself, as the inequality increases exponentially culminating in more protests, civil unrest, crime, influx of immigrants, and civil war.

Henry Hazlitt, reveals that economics and ethics: …are, in fact, intimately related. Both are concerned with human action, human conduct, human decision, human choice… There is hardly an ethical problem, in fact, without its economic aspect. Our daily ethical decisions are in the main economic decisions, and nearly all our daily economic decisions have, in turn, an ethical aspect. [5]

The Bible addresses a wide range of economic topics. For example, the parables of the pounds (Luke 19:12-26), of the hired servants (Matthew 20:1-16), and of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) are essentially economic in nature. They deal with money, interest (usury), profit and loss, wages, entrepreneurship, and contractual relations.  The Bible does not directly expound principles of economics. It does, however, provide the essential framework for the systematic development of economic science.

He who is loose and slack in his work is brother to him who is a destroyer and he who does not use his endeavors to heal himself is brother to him who commits suicide. Proverbs 18:9 AMP

“Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth or a foot out of joint.” Proverbs 25:19 AMP

“One sinner destroys much good.” Ecclesiastes 9:18b

YOU WILL BECOME POOR IF:

Neclect discipline and correction – Poverty and shame come to him who neglects discipline (Prov. 13:18)

Not living a life of purpose – he who follows worthless pursuits will have poverty in plenty (Prov. 28:19)

Talking and not doing – mere talk tends only to poverty (Prov. 14:23)

Wickedness – their abundance, wealth and pre-eminence will not remain (Ezek. 7:11)

Pride – the Lord will cast Tyre’s wealth into the sea (Zech. 9:4)

Spending unwisely – she had spent all that she had and was no better but rather worse (Mark 5:26); when he had spent everything (Luke 15:14)

Laziness – do not love sleep lest you come to poverty (Prov. 20:13)

Letting things go – a negligent hand causes poverty (Prov. 10:4)

Wrong priorities – he who loves pleasure will become poor (Prov. 21:17)

Addiction – the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty (Prov. 23:21)

The greatest exclusion is racism: People feel excluded by definition of their race, not their performance. This is a huge problem: For sentiments, perceptions, are very hard to break. Yet leaders like Madiba, Vusi Thembekwayo, Thuli Madomsela, Judge Mogoeng Mogoeng, and others are breaking these perceptions by a Christ-centred ethic, fairness, values of hard work and common good.

“Changing a nation does not start with the president, it starts with the church.”[6]

“Reform the Church to reform the land” [7]

As a recent survey of the history of Christianity in sub-Saharan Africa notes, ‘South Africa is a nation of black Christians’ (Isichei, 1995: 299-322). While South Africa is certainly not an exclusively Christian country, Christian discourse, practices and social formations have come to predominate in public and personal religious life. Notoriously unreliable census data can only hint at the magnitude of Christian affiliation. Although declining from 77 per cent in 1980, Christianity still accounted for the religious affiliation of 66 per cent of the South African population in 1991. By any reckoning, Christianity provides the basic religious frame of reference for the majority of South Africans.[8]

One can only pray for the true Christians, sons and daughters of God, followers of Christ, to arise in South Africa:

For [even the whole] creation (all nature) waits expectantly and longs earnestly for God’s sons to be made known [waits for the revealing, the disclosing of their sonship].Rom 8:19

Evidently, if we say South Africa needs an economic solution, we need to acknowledge that in reality we need a moral solution.

 

 

 

 

[1]https://owlcation.com/social-sciences/The-Main-Reasons-For-War

[2]Helene, Lewis Opperman. Apartheid Britain’s Bastard Child, http://a.co/d/hP5DPMw

[3]Branko Milanovic The Haves and the Have-Nots: A Brief and Idiosyncratic History of Global Inequalityhttp://a.co/d/4qOaYjR

[4]http://evonomics.com/role-of-morality-in-a-capitalist-economy/

[5]http://jpatton.bellevue.edu/biblical_economics/morality-economics.html

[6]New Nation Movement https://www.facebook.com/groups/331893774048946/about/

[7]Dr Andre Pelser

[8]Chidester. David, Tobler. Judy, and Wratten. Darrel, Christianity in South Africa: An Annotated Bibliography, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1997

Categories
Stateman's Address

The missing Link in the Land Reform debate: Healthy Relationships

Our Country is facing a Relationship Crisis not a Land-reform or Economic crisis.

The original sin of apartheid is not the 1993 land act, it was the violation of a relationship.

With a consumption per capita Gini coefficient of 0.63 in 2015, South Africa is one of the most unequal countries in the world. Being the most unequal society points not to the numerical values of amounts in our bank accounts, but the national deficit of broken relationships due to corruption, greed, lies, deceit, entitlement, disrespect, hatred, suspicion, and self-interest.

We are seeing growing public indignation at the perceived disconnect between perks for a few and the rights of the many. [1]

The guiding principle of the South African Government, as captured in the NDP, is that “no political democracy can survive and flourish if the mass of our people remaining in poverty, without land, without tangible prospects for a better life. Attacking poverty and deprivation must be the first priority of a democratic government”.Much has been done by Government to provide free primary health care; no-fee paying schools; old age and child support grants; housing; and free basic services (water, electricity and sanitation) to poor households. Although these policies and interventions have resulted in notable gains in poverty reduction since 1994, the country continues to face the challenge of high poverty, high inequality and high unemployment. This points to a deeper problem namely a relational problem: Trust between civil society and government is on an all-time low because of corruption, incompetence, incapacity, laziness, entitlement, and egotistical self-interest.

In their groundbreaking book, based on years of research, Pickett and Wilkinson provides hard evidence to show, how almost everything – from life expectancy to depression levels, violence to illiteracy – is affected not by how wealthy a society is, but how equal it is. The Age of criminal responsibility is lower in more unequal countries.
Infant mortality rates are higher in more unequal countries.
Levels of trust are higher in more equal countries.
Health and social problems are worse in more unequal countries.
Life expectancy are lower in more unequal countries.[2] Inequality points to one thing: Profit, and materialism has become more important than people.

Although the EFF is right in putting it’s finger on this throbbing nerve in South Africa, it has no plan to solve or heal it. Land grabs, race hatred, African Nationalism, expropriation without compensation, nationalizing the country towards a socialist state has been done by the previous Apartheid Government and failed. It failed because it divided our Nation, who whether we believe it or not, are more united than most believe or are willing to accept.

Cultural integration took place whether unconsciously whether we all liked it or not and cannot be stopped.  Most Black South Africans opposed white supremacy and colonialism through the liberation struggle, yet new languages were adopted, lifestyles altered, and values affected.  We all lost some part of our original cultural heritage in effect.   An aspect of division to many, but in fact actually proof our interdependence is the issue of the Afrikaans language. The white Afrikaner’s claim to the language proved to be incoherent with the facts as explained by Robert C. H. Shell, the tower of Babel: The Slave trade and the Creolization at the Cape 1652-1834. Creolization: The mixing of people brought a cultural blend which ultimately led to the formation of new identities. The complexity of the early Slave trade, where year after year new cultures and languages were brought to the Cape, and working together necessitates that one understands each other, a new mixed language evolved.[3]   Afrikaans by definition is a mixed language.  Many whites have been raised by black or coloured mothers.  Then there is the question of intermarriage, resulting in possibly very few people who can claim a 100% pure ancestral lineage, based on DNA testing.   Our History are so closely linked and integrated like different colours of sand mixed in one container it is impossible to separate.  Even if integration is from 9 – 5 O’clock, the work place has offered a neutral ground of tolerance, and relationships had to be fostered and maintained.

As a strong Christian-value based nation we need to recognize the Bible is a compilation of relationship rules. Sin is basically about breaking relational rules and thus breaking relationships. Relationships is the glue that keeps all the parts together.

The priority in SA should be relationship reform, not land-reform.

Fundamentally the Christian faith is built upon our relationship with a relational God. God is in essence a harmonious relationship of not three Gods, but one God in three persons.  Before the fall God established four fundamental relationships for each person; a relationship with God, with self, with others, and with the rest of creation. These relationships are the building blocks for all of life.  When these relationships are functional and healthy, humans experience the fullness of what God destined for mankind.

Sin is in essence a betrayal and termination of these relationships.

Sins like: Pride, envy, greed, covetousness, idleness, egotism, and rage

Sin in its fullest sense refers to disorientation from right relationship with God, which then leads to disorientation from right relationship with self, others, and all of creation. That disorientation results in wrongdoings. Sin is dislocating God from the center of reality. Cynthia D. Moe-Lobeda

As ideological economic and political system, neither pure capitalism nor pure socialism leads to an ideal outcome: for South Africa, rather, the solution lies in constitutionalism enacted correctly.

The Preamble of our Constitution declares that the people of South Africa recognize the injustices of the past, honour those who have suffered for justice and freedom, and respect those who have built and developed the country. It then declares that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in their diversity, and that the freely elected representatives of the people of South Africa have adopted the Constitution as supreme law, to

  • heal the divisions of the past and create a society based on democratic values, social justice and basic human rights;
  • lay the foundations for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by the law;
  • improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of all people; and
  • build a united and democratic South Africa able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations.

In conclusion, the prayer is delivered that God may protect our people and may bless South Africa!

The Constitution of South Africa was birth when opposing parties reconciled, united, and began to work together as one Nation on founding a premise, a set of laws to protect and guide all the diverse people of SA towards healthy relationships.

The one most basic ingredient that is most needed, in any solution offered by any party, is the missing link of healthy, respectful, reciprocal, valued relationships.

Solutions driven by love, reconciliation, peace and shared prosperity will last forever. We need to recognise that we are one people, one nation. As long as we are divided, we are not going to achieve anything. Mogoeng Mogoeng

Human rights vs Human Wrongs:

  • We have chosen human rights, at the cost of mutual reciprocal responsibility.
  • We have chosen economic gains and profits at the cost of the people working for those profits.
  • We try to correct wrongs by laws and policies but ignoring the intricate network of relationships involved.
  • We tried to silence the poor with grants, and houses, but in the process have forgotten and abandoned the fact they were crying for dignity and inclusion.
  • We try to give more people work but regarded them as objects and figures on growth charts, dehumanizing them.
  • Unions won CCMA cases but lost relationships, vital inherent provision to the worker’s future.
  • Politicians win votes from a minority electorate, but did they build a nation?
  • Leaders lobby for votes, where they should have built bridges.

There is no one size fit all solution to the very complex Land Reform issue, for this reason we have no other option but that local communities begin to directly engage, build trust and empathy through listening and dialogue, and together find their win-win fitting solutions.

Like with the hearings we need to move from town to town, with a team: We need to mobilize specialized teams of peace-makers, mediators, and problem-solvers all over South Africa, to assist with this process.

You cannot transform precarious informal settlements to dignified communities without public participation, thus unlocking the value and richness within that communities. Outside interventions is not sustainable. Finding the plans and ideas in a community and bring them into fulfillment is what brings lasting change.  Long-term, lasting relationships is the glue that keeps all the parts together of any type of intervention.  Only the local community can provide that lasting energy, not National government nor State departments.  Sustainable poverty alleviation is only successful when we help reconnect broken relationships.  The poor are protesting not only for jobs, money, houses, they’re grieving because main stream society has forgotten, neglected and abandoned them.

The land reform projects failed mainly because farming is difficult, and a farmer needs the help, support, guidance, peer-to-peer mentorship and advice of his or her neighbors. We grow and learn through a network of relationships, and a process of applying that knowledge, making mistakes, and making improvements, until we become good at it, then we can begin to help others. Any intervention that ignores this process will fail.  It is all about growing and maintaining healthy relationships.  Presenting any programs, solutions without building the actual relationships between all parties, is why projects and land-reform fail and thus become unsustainable.

The Paternistic role the relationship between Farmer and Labourers as a “paternalistic despotism of a racialized kind because it became a position of dominance and class discarding the relationship.  Farmers who build healthy relationships with their workers, and their wives and children, creates a fruitful village, a closely-knit farm-family that look after the other’s interests.  When the government tried to take over this role, which they could not even fulfil, the farmer withdraws, and further deprivation occurred. Let the farmer take up his or her role, and monitor it, assists, guide, and nurture it.   Government fought for the rights of the poor, by ESTA, labour legislation and minimum wages, excluding the farmer, instead of working through the farmer.  Enforcing and enhancing a relationship!

Lessons Learned when healthy relationships are missing

Building a company, a business where the CEO and management are disconnected with the workers and labourers will not remain profitable, cost-effective or productive. Relationships count.

Trying to connect people through religious activities to buildings, organisations and rituals dissatisfy our yearning to connect to God and fellow believers. Church should lead by example to reconcile man, to God, to self, to their neighbours, and to purpose.

Creating a program to uplift farmworkers without building healthy relationships between workers and managers/farmers, workers with workers, and workers with their families is not sustainable.

Developing leaders on the farm/business without the management having a healthy relationship with the leaders leads to the very leaders becoming the voices of dissonance and rebellion, and protest in the end.

Training and capacity building without the relational ingredient lead to workers being trained by the farm but finding employment elsewhere. Relationships is what keeps people loyalty.

Building infrastructure without public participation and engagement leads to people getting what they not really need nor want.  A Relief, then Rehabilitation, then Developmental approach to poverty alleviation is now considered the best practise worldwide. [4]

Economic empowerment without developing and growing together leads to the empowerment project becoming a separate entity often in competition with the farm.

Values and rules enforced without respecting and modelling it within the relational framework leads to rules never being internalise and eventually becoming a piece of paper in a file. Rules should be modelled from the highest to the lowest level on the farm to become part of the organisational culture.

Unions won CMMA cases but lost relationships, and thus alienated the worker from any future provision and care, embedded in the relationship.

Even marketing based on building and maintaining relationships are proven to be most effective.

There is simply no single one thing any of us can do, without a network of friends and family.

Many jobs are lost because of a struggling economy. But many people are losing their jobs because of relationship issues, miscommunication, unethical behaviour, gross negligence, low work ethic and production levels, lack of integrity and character. Healthy relationships is the consequence of an healthy heart and soul. Love your neighbour as yourself.

True Christians should be the most employable people on the planet, because of the serving, meek and humble attitude, their integrity, passion and highest standards.

It is not time to make things right in SA, and build bridges, reconcile, make peace, seek justice, love mercy, and rebuild the ancient ruins of right living!

 

[1]World Economic Forum, The new Social Covenant.

[2]Wilkinson & Pickett, The Spirit Level (2009)

[3]Elizabeth A Eldredge, Fred Mouton. Slavery in South Africa captive Labor on the Dutch Frontier,

[4]Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert, When helping Hurts, how to alleviate poverty without hurting the poor and yourself. Pg 139

Categories
Stateman's Address

My Submission during the Land Expropriation… Hearings

As a pastor, a father, a community leader, a bridgebuilder, a peacemaker and social strategist I am fighting for equality, inclusion, cohesion, and the common good of all.

On the deepest level, people are crying and grieving for an economic solution. However, you cannot fix the economic recession, huge inequality, and precarious poverty with one idea “expropriation without compensation”. The deep-rooted land reform question is simply too complex to solve, in one populist statement: This is a Robin Hood approach, of taking from the rich and giving to the poor. We remember Robin Hood for his bravery, but he did not build a nation.

Emphatically, I do believe that any man or women, who really wants to farm, should be given the opportunity, but redistribution of ALL land and ALL property, is scaring away the very people the young prospecting entrepreneur needs for mentoring and support.

Expropriation without compensation should be an option in clearly defined circumstances, such as absentee landlords, unused land, hopelessly indebted land, land held by speculators, land acquired by illegal means such as corruption or fraud, and unproductive land, and the value of land upheld. The experts of law disclosed that the Constitution does not need to be changed for this purpose.

Whether the Constitution remains unchanged, or changed. Whether people will receive land or not, eventually it will be discovered; money and prosperity follows and prevail where there is Justice, Fairness, Generosity, Order, Integrity, Faithfulness, Passion, Innovation and Hard work.

As a matter of fact the innermost heart of humanity isn’t about ownership. Jesus Christ practised a life of making many rich, yet he owned no land, and left behind no earthly possessions.

A man’s true wealth is not determined by what he owns, but by what he gives away.

In the end, it is how we stewarded the land that determines whether we produced enough, delicious, beautiful fruit, commodities and produce.

I have personally seen that in our various attempts to train people farming, from small garden projects to herb garden initiatives, a small percentage of the original attendees actually succeed in farming. It takes a certain love, passion and determination to be a farmer. Farmers are also not made in classrooms, nor in political rallies.

Let us rather take the hand of the existing farmers, glean all the knowledge we can from them, work with them, partner with them, and grow a vibrant sector that can flourish with the strength of the youth and the wisdom of the old.

The first step of any reconciliation process, is to first see and recognise the inherent treasure and riches in another. Then to form trusted, reciprocal, respectful friendships that become partnerships, and so collective potential be unlocked!

For this to happen we need to decentralise the process to the lowest level, where parties in the spirit of nation-building  can meet, and find solutions together that is for the common good, builds dignity, and is inclusive.

Then we will see all people in South Africa prosper together!

Categories
Stateman's Address

‘n Oproep tot VREDE in Suid Afrika

Die Here is besig om ‘grond’ te gebruik om ons oë oop te maak in SA.[1] Nog nooit het ons oor enige saak so baie gepraat en geredeneer, as tans oor die Grond Kwessie nie.

“Nadat Hy dit gesê het, spoeg Hy op die grond en maak met die spoeg ‘n bietjie klei aan. Toe smeer Hy die klei aan die man se oë en sê vir hom: “Gaan was jou in die Siloambad.” Siloam beteken die een wat gestuur is.” (Joh 9:4-21)

Ons verlossing gaan daarin lê dat ons nie onsself as grondeienaars sien nie, maar gestuurdes. President Cyril Ramaphosa se woorde “stuur my” is dalk meer profeties en rigtinggewend as wat ons dink.[2]

Daar is ’n spreekwoord in Swahili wat sê: “Wanneer twee bulle baklei, is dit die gras wat daaronder ly.” Dit is algemeen bekend dat Sosialiste/Kommuniste nie werklik omgee vir arm mense nie, hulle is net in wese woedend teenoor rykes.[3]Suiwer Kapitalisme verryk die individu ten koste van die geheel.[4]  Ons land is verdeeld tussen die wat veg om hulle rykdom te behou, die ekonomie in stand te hou, terwyl ander uitroep vir verlossing van ‘n geskiedenis van uitsluiting, marginalisering en die sinkgat van armoede.[5]

Die beste oplossing vir grondhervorming is nie “die beste plan” nie, maar is een waar swart en wit bymekaar kan kom met vergifnis en dienende harte om saam die oplossings te vind.[6]

Wanneer ons hande vat, kan niemand vingers wys nie. Ons verskeie kulture is baie meer geïntegreerd as wat ons dink. Swart en bruin ma’s het baie wit kinders help grootmaak. Ons genetiese poel is so vermeng dat baie min Suid-Afrikaners daarop kan aanspraak maak dat hulle ‘n suiwer wit of swart ras is. Ons tale is deurweef met stukkies en brokkies van die ander.[7]Ons oorspronklike inheemse kulture is verlore en word nog net in museums bewaar. Ons almal gaan elke dag winkel toe en ons koop dieselfde produkte. Ons is almal Suid-Afrikaners, inheems, uniek, ’n diverse Nasie met ’n spesiale boodskap van vrede en harmonie.

Ons almal soek mens-waardigheid, sosiale regverdigheid en waarheid. Ons land gaan gebuk en is besig om te sneuwel onder landswye korrupsie, leuens en bedrog van beide die regering en privaat-sektor leierskap. Ons verklaar dit is genoeg![8]

’n Nuwe maatskaplike verbintenis (Social Covenant) moet gesluit word tussen die mense, die privaat en die staatsektor sodat die lewensomstandighede van alle Suid-Afrikaners verbeter kan word.[9] Hierdie verbond kan net in die lokale gemeenskap op grondvlak geskep word waar leiers en mense nie meer oor mekaar praat nie maar met mekaar.[10]  Om die Konstitusie te verander of nie, beleide te skryf, en druk op die regering toe te pas gaan nie harte verander nie. Ons benodig ‘n wesenlike harts-verandering waar boere en werkers, en gemeenskappe hulle harte na mekaar draai, en saam begin oplossings soek.  Hou op protesteer en baklei, en begin innoveer, skep en bou aan ‘n nuwe toekoms, waar armoede aangespreek word, en burgers in vrede met mekaar saamwoon.[11]

Die enigste manier waarop hierdie LAND gaan oorleef, is om inklusief te dink, te praat, en te doen, om nie meer van hulle te praat nie, maar van ons.

Ons almal hunker na waardigheid, regverdigheid en vrede. Daar is geen waardigheid in korrupsie, bedrog, diefstal, leuens en oneerlikheid nie. Ware waardigheid is wanneer ons bou aan ’n beter toekoms vir almal, ook ons kinders. Daar is geen regverdigheid as net een groepering wen nie, en daar is geen vrede as ons nie almal deel is van die oplossing nie.

Ons kan ’n nuwe nasie word deur saam te werk, saam te bou en saam te regeer. As Rwanda na die ergste volksmoord in menseheugenis as ’n nasie kan opstaan deur saam te werk, hande te vat, korrupsie uit te wis en geregtigheid na te streef, kan ons verseker ook.[12]

Ons demokrasie is in sy onstuimige tienerjare. As ons egter by die waardes hou wat ons voorgeslagte en verskeie leiers, asook Madiba nagestreef het, sal ons ontwikkel tot ’n volwasse, jong verenigde nasie wat die wêreld in die oë kan kyk.

Mag die leuse “Eendrag Maak Mag”[13] nuwe definisie kry vir alle Suid Afrikaners.

Vrede gaan egter nie maklik kom nie! Ons sal almal moet hard werk en bid daarvoor, met alle erns, geduld en deursettingsvermoë.”Ek het een groot vrees in my hart, die dag wanneer witmense hulle tot liefde gewend het, sal uitvind dat swartmense hulle gedraai het om te haat.”[14]

Here stuur my! ‘n kampvegter vir Vrede!

 

[1]Gideon Basson, tydens ‘n mannegebed byeenkoms in Citrusdal, 25 Julie 2018.

[2]https://www.thesouthafrican.com/sona2018-read-the-full-text-of-cyril-ramaphosas-address-here/

[3]George Orwell, The road to wigan pier, 1937 (Chap 11) Mentioned in chapter 1 of Jordon P Peterson, Maps of meaning, the architecture of believe

[4]Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Harvard University Press, 2013

[5]https://www.news24.com/Columnists/Jan_Gerber/what-white-people-need-to-understand-about-the-land-20180727

[6]Dr Arno van Niekerk, Facebook Post. Facebook post. 4 Julie 2018

[7]Elizabeth A Eldredge, Fred Mouton. Slavery in South Africa captive Labor on the Dutch Frontier, Pg 141994.

[8]Arno van Niekerk. Genoeg. Hoekom is ons hier. 2015

[9]http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GAC_NewSocialCovenant_Report_2014.pdf

[10]New Nation, Landbou Thinktank Consensus. 21 Julie 2018, Bloemfontein

[11]Read Full Transcript of Barack Obama’s South Africa Speech | Time.pdf Madiba’s 100 year Celebrations July 17, 2018

[12]Stephen Kinzer, A Thousand Hills: Rwanda’s Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed It

[13]http://www.dievryburger.co.za/2014/03/oorsprong-van-eendrag-maak-mag/

[14]Alan PatonCry, The Beloved Country

 

Categories
Stateman's Address

All land belongs to God.

 As a pastor, I’d say that although I recognise people’s needs, although I know about historical, deliberate displacement of families and the emotional trauma thereof, although I am able to feel, as deeply as I can, the straightforward pain of being imposed upon, and being reduced to poverty, the question of correcting all these realities can’t be reduced to ownership of land.

 The fact is that the innermost heart of humanity isn’t about ownership. This is a currently hyped politically opportunistic venture into persuasive words to stir emotions and gather votes.

 I am a pastor. My vision and concern is to hold care for the human heart supreme, and by so doing, to honour God. Remove God from the equation, and you have humans fighting and squabbling and grabbing land much as predators and scavengers fight over food.

 We are more than that.

 I could spend a lot of time pointing to what Jesus Christ practised, but I can cut to the chase: he owned no land, and had no need to, because he created it.

 His was the sun that volcanoed out our still-cooling earth: his is the mysterious crust on which we walk, wondering how we have come to be here. His is the strange vigour of life which we realise as we engage with our ongoing sense of purpose.

 Owning land means nothing if we don’t know how to husband the land, and the husbanding of families, as a point of significant engagement, has a long way to go, in our country. The hard work, the economic challenges, the discipline of development have been largely ignored in the call for compensation.

 As we argue with one another, and make presentations about what land belongs to whom, we forget how to honour the land, as we try to beget honour for ourselves. Land owes no-one anything. If we feel strongly that we are owed land, let’s not become arrogant and fall prey to ignorance. The entirety of history reflects boundaries and ownership claims. South Africa is no special exception.

 We have the opportunity and the ability to rise above self-pity, greed and opportunism. Our rhetoric and purpose should reflect this. Practically, there is no solution to ownership. Stewardship is a more relevant word, and husbandry the practicality. Owning land means nothing. You have to know what to do with it, and with educational aspirations being as dismal as they are at this time, handing over land for the sake of handing over land is futile.

 I am a pastor. I object to the political rhetoric that destabilises, for the sake of political purposes, our human sense of collaboration. Let the dispossessed speak to the possessors, let owners speak to those who do not own, let us allow the language of collaboration rather than promote the rhetoric of antagonism.

 And let us remember that stewardship and husbandry of land mean more to the people than ownership of land.

 It’s of little use to own a car if you don’t know how to drive it.

 It is of no use to claim land if ownership is the main intention, and fruitfulness neglected.

 Let us be practical as well as ethical, spiritual as well as material, and frank in our words with each other.

 And let us remember that he who created not only land, but also the celestial heavens, dwells in our real hearts.

 I am a pastor, not a politician. I do not seek votes. I seek the conviction of hearts and the concrete building of God’s kingdom. I seek economic opportunity. I seek minimisation of impediment to meaningful work. I seek family foundations. I seek that which really can be done, not the naive daydream of empty ownership, the rhetoric of which sprouts from manipulative politicians. I seek the real walls of healing homes, not the pretended paint that covers nothing.

 

Jan Oosthuizen

(Thanks to Dr Wally Willies for putting words to my voice)

Categories
Stateman's Address

Making a peace offering for Land Expropriation

There is a Swahili saying, “When two bulls fight, it is the grass that suffers.”

Let us appease for the sins of our forefathers by cultivating the economy of this nation through Ethical Inclusive Agricultural Enterprise.

Together we can make SA the Eden of the world again.[1]  The best way to irradiate inequality, unemployment and poverty is growing the economy. Agriculture is the quickest and most sustainable way to do this.[2]Give the most productive commercial farmers a chance, remove the hindrances and legislative restrictions, smooth our path for international success.  No other sector of a country’s economy can sustain rural development as the agricultural sector. It populates the countryside, creates jobs for unskilled workers and draws secondary and tertiary businesses to remote villages. Alleviating the pressure on the cities. [3]

People cannot eat, title deeds, or land in the state. The land itself will not provide you with food on your table. We need a thriving, growing inclusive economy, to sustain and empower the National Development Plan. We need money to build houses, pay for the workers.  We need money to provide services and build infrastructure.  We need money to improve the quest of the poor.  We need money to start new SMME’s and pay people better salaries to go and spend their money at these businesses.

The best answer for Land Reform is not “the best plan”, but one where black and white can come together with forgiveness and serving hearts.[4]

When we take hands, no one can point a finger. Our cultures white and black are more integrated than what is believed. Black and coloured mothers have raised many white children. Our genetic pool is so mixed that there are very few South Africans that can claim they are of pure white or black descent. Our languages are interwoven with bits and pieces of the other. Our original indigenous cultures have all been lost and preserved in museums, as we shop together for the same goods every day.  We are all South Africans, indigenous, unique, a peculiar people with a special message of peace and harmony.

Our democracy is in its turbulent teenage years, but if we hold true to our values forged by our forefathers and leaders, like Madiba, we will grow up into a mature young unified Country standing tall in the World.

The poor are grieving for dignity. A new social Covenant is needed between the people, the private, and public sector to provide work and living conditions for all South Africans that shapes dignity and cultivates potential.

The only way this COUNTRY will survive is where every citizen learns to become productive and creative not in taking, but in giving.  One person, one work! There is no dignity in getting something one has not worked for.  There is also no dignity in saying sorry without offering restitution. There is no dignity in corruption, fraud, theft, lying and cheating.

True dignity is providing a better world for our children.

Dignity is working together for a common good!

We can become a new nation, by working, and building and ruling together.  If Rwanda can rise as a nation, after the greatest deadliest genocide recorded in history, by working together, taking hands, eradicate corruption, pursuing justice and productivity so can we.

 

Jan Oosthuizen

 

[1]https://www.thesouthafrican.com/land-expropriation-to-make-sa-a-garden-of-eden-ramaphosa/

[2]https://www.netwerk24.com/landbou/Nuus/afrika-is-gereed-vir-landbourevolusie-de-jager-20180612

[3]The role of agriculture in economics by Dr Philip Theunissen computus management building.

[4]Dr Arno van Niekerk, Senior lecturer/Economist, University of the Free State