PRESS RELEASE: DR PETER OBEREM, PRESIDENT, WILDLIFE RANCHING SOUTH AFRICA (WRSA)
TO ALL MEDIA OWNERS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ISSUED: Tuesday 21 April 2015, Pretoria.
Almost 2 500 years ago, Aristotle said, “Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime”. More recently, the perhaps less ‘politically correct’ Lennox Sebe, inaugurated as the first president of the Ciskei, echoed these sentiments by implementing a policy of a meal a day as “empty stomachs have no ears”.
It is astounding to see that we have not learnt from history’s oft-seen and oft-repeated mistakes. Twenty years after our first democratic elections, this country is being rocked by appalling scenes of xenophobic criminality. No matter how we spin the story, the root cause is poverty and a lack of delivery of the basic human rights to an increasingly numerous and vocal mass of poor, marginalised individuals in South Africa.
This is not the time for apportioning blame, nor is it the time for recriminations. What is required of all citizens of this country, including the politicians (especially those in power), as well as the privileged ‘haves’ who have something to lose, is:
- To stand together.
- To unequivocally condemn the violence against the foreigners in our midst.
- To put our collective shoulders to the wheel and see to the transformation of this land into one that cares, one that shares and one in which all citizens work towards a better future.
It is up to us – those who have – to support government’s social development initiatives as best we can. It is in our own interests.
WRSA has of late focused much of its resources on the transformation of the wildlife ranching sector through concrete support for the National Planning Commission’s land-reform plan by finding, planning and submitting two land-reform projects to the Department of Rural Development, through promoting transformation in our industry at a number of WRSA and government-initiated imbizos, and through supporting Minister Nkwinti’s and the NDP’s land-reform plans as well as their agri-village concept to the point at which these become a reality.
It is unfortunately very South African that we at WRSA must divert our attention from these alarming happenings, the very real threats to this country’s future and the critically important tasks of reform and upliftment, to focus on small, insignificant matters such as whether colour variants are a threat to the genetic diversity of our game animals in the national and provincial parks. WRSA has officially distanced itself from this public debate and will continue to focus on what is important for South Africa as a whole – that is, economic growth, food security and jobs – all of which are the focus of our and government’s transformation and social upliftment goals.
Focus on the plight of our marginalised compatriots; focus on how we can assist in their very real plight; focus on supporting those who are trying to make a difference; and focus on working together to achieve this – it is the only way that we can ensure a long-term future for all the people of our beloved country. We must put our petty differences aside and focus on the encouraging words of the late, great John F. Kennedy: “…ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.”
For more information, contact Dr Peter Oberem: firstname.lastname@example.org