The present government or any government that will come after it, by their mandate, is primarily responsible for all the people of South Africa of all races, backgrounds, histories and privileges. This we accept. Be that as it may, black people have been excluded from the development of the country’s people for at least three hundred years. This exclusion was accelerated in the last century, itself a long period in time with infinite consequences. The present government has inherited that back-breaking burden. Therefore the pursuit of the black agenda cannot add to that burden. While their mandate as government restricts their scope of action, their responsibilities in all spheres of our existence and progress as a people and nation must be overwhelming.
It is easy to criticise government because criticism is talk and talk is cheap. Black Forum-SA is not a critic of government or industry; it is purely a civil assistance body. We believe that we all: government, civil society, religious bodies and NGO’s as well as individuals, are hankering for the betterment and advancement of this blessed land of ours.
We are therefore not regrouping our native forces in the form of Black Forum-SA, because the current government is not making any effort or progress. Rather, we intend to partner with them (or any government that will or might replace them) and assist them in some of their endeavours
in this grand and noble pursuit.
What we can do?
We can’t repair history, we can’t reverse the wheel of time, we can’t repair the damage of centuries, but we can repair humans and the future. And it is black people that require reparation through repairing the system that repressed and continues to repress them. We can and we will repair the present and future of our black people through intervening on their behalf, by fighting their battles whether legal or at the work place or business. Otherwise our freedoms are hollow; the flag is a mere thread and our national anthem a threnody.
The freedom that has been achieved is not able by itself to reverse the ravages of many cold years of exclusion. The exclusion resulted in black poverty, black indignity and the domination of blacks by others in all spheres. This domination has become acceptable as a natural condition. To us, this is unacceptable.
THE BLACK AGENDA
As earlier mentioned any sitting government has a job to govern South Africa for all South Africans. That is their main duty. So someone else must drive the black agenda.
Black Forum-SA has decided to be that someone to fill the void and drive the black agenda. As Black Forum-SA we take upon ourselves the responsibility to drive the black agenda. We are not going to waste time lamenting the inequality of our society; we are instead going to use all our powers to equalise it. And our power is in our resolve and in our numbers. We will not be
hindered by political affiliation, religious affiliation, ethnicity or class. Ours is a black agenda.
White superiority and the domination of other races is not an ‘apartheid thing’. It is a global phenomenon, so it must be agreed that the ending of apartheid was the ending of a regional mutation of white supremacy that would not affect the global phenomenon in the least. So even if we were not in South Africa, as long as we are in the South, the black problem persists, and a black agenda is therefore imperative. But in actuality, we are in South Africa. The problems with which Black Forum-SA finds itself confronted, are therefore unique to South Africa. While certain other countries have been neo-colonised from the outside, in our country it has emanated from within. The former colonist is an integral member of our society and that makes our situation a very special case. It is to deal with these neo-colonial handicaps that Black Forum-SA has been established. The problem, which is systemic, is a system that is not enabling for the black individual, whether at school, at work, in business or in life in general.
Black Forum-SA refuses to accept the gift of freedom from our forebears as if we just had to also accept the blemishes with which it came. We were handed this freedom with a handicap and in a place of utter weakness. It is this weakness and these blemishes and handicaps that concern us. And it is they that suggest that there should be a specific and robust agenda for the black citizen. Doing nothing about this is tantamount to a mockery of our freedom, a condition that will sustain the status quo of the past 350 years. If this situation is not addressed and the current situation remains unchallenged, the vast inequality between whites and blacks will continue interminably, confirming the old racial stereotypes.