Only well-organized, law-abiding, armed communities can halt South African violence in 2022, most-likely the most violent year South Africa has seen over the last two decades.
South Africa is a perfect storm, a ticking time-bomb waiting to explode. South Africa has a criminal economy fueled by political greed, complacency and incompetence all snowballing into the now cancerous criminal infection crawling its way closer and closer to those expecting it least.
Unemployment is at an all-time high, gender-based violence numbers make South Africa a global leader with 250 rapes per day, while trust in the South African government is at an all-time low. South Africa, if purely defined by the state, has become the country representing corruption, bloodshed, destruction and mass poverty. Citizens live in fear because of the 60 murders that happen every single day.
While it may seem overly pessimistic at first, it’s time to call out the African National Congress (ANC), which has practically single-handedly transformed the nation into a filthy cesspool of corruption.
In the previous 48 hours, Inanda had seen yet another woman being raped and murdered. Another case of gender-based violence, however, one must question why a group of adolescents would repeatedly gang rape an old woman to the point that she collapsed in front of a police station and died. Our nation is suffering from a moral fiber epidemic.
It is a disgrace to witness Cyril Ramaphosa̶ ̶ the state president ̶ smiling as he received part one of the state capture report, which is basically a summarised biography of the ruling party.
As parliament burned to ashes because of a dysfunctional government, a homeless man was arrested. Despite this, not a single minister or senior ANC official appeared in the dock with Zandile Mafe, 49, as he stared blankly into the camera flashes, seeming bewildered and confused. Mafe has been thrown to the wolves to bear the brunt of the blame for national incompetence. Whether he was the one who lit the match or not ̶ he has become a scapegoat for a much larger catastrophe.
It is also worth noting that none of the so-called “12 instigators” of the July riots, which drove major portions of the nation to its knees, have been apprehended or prosecuted. As a result, the South African government has effectively alienated itself from the people, and residents, wealthy and poor alike, resent it.
We must recognize that the ANC’s loss of power in most metro areas will not automatically result in a reduction in service delivery difficulties. Sabotage of national key points and local infrastructure seems to be on the rise as well.
It is down to civil society to guarantee that South Africa does not experience the most violent year of the previous two decades. Civil unrest and violence will obviously escalate because of all the factors listed above, possibly making 2022 the bloodiest year on record.
Criminal activity is flourishing in South Africa, and many people who would otherwise avoid being involved in these activities, are now opting for it as a means of providing for their families. However, this does not excuse the horrific brutality that many people are subjected to.
One good thing came out of the July unrest: South Africans from all walks of life rose to the occasion where government had failed so miserably. New standards were established for the way communities may fight back when the government fails to do its job.
Even if things improved, the South African police would not be able to regain their former glory in the next decade. This is the same police force that has allowed state-owned guns to be freely distributed to crime syndicates, while the minister of police, Bheki Cele, is hell-bent on disarming law-abiding citizens.
To protect themselves, and their communities, from becoming unstable in the near future, communities and people need to adopt four steps:
- Every member of the community should be a part of a well-coordinated patrol team. Crime and political crime like the staged pandemonium we saw in 2021 can be prevented by the public’s awareness of their presence in the community. If they want to keep up with evolving trends, they need to build a solid information system that forecasts crime patterns.
- People who are actively participating in the community safety initiative should create an established channel of communication.
- Develop your skills on an individual level, but also as a group. It is possible to teach a community to handle and coordinate crises by holding group training sessions. It teaches communities the value of incident planning in order to be most successful in their preparation.
- If you own a firearm for self-defence, it should be carried always, and all legal regulations should be followed, as should frequent training.
Local communities in South Africa are poised on the precipice of a complete and irreversible collapse, or they may choose to work together to establish a secure and sustainable future through hard work on a local level.
A national election in 2024 is unquestionably important, but it is not the only solution since the present situation is much too severe to rely on others alone to restore stability.
We must take responsibility for our own success if we are to have a prosperous future.