South Africa‘s Social Development Minister, Lindiwe Zulu, recently sparked a storm of controversy by attributing a tragic fire incident in a hijacked building to the legacy of apartheid. The incident claimed the lives of over 70 people and occurred in a makeshift slum primarily housing illegal foreigners. Minister Zulu’s comments have drawn widespread criticism, with many arguing it’s an attempt to deflect responsibility for the country’s ongoing challenges.
Controversial Statement: Minister Zulu’s statement, “Whether we like it or not, this is the result of apartheid, and we are expected to have changed those conditions within the 30 years,” has ignited outrage nationwide. Critics argue that while apartheid created deep-seated inequalities and social injustices, it cannot excuse the government’s failure to address pressing issues like hijacked buildings turned into slums.
Chronic Problem of Hijacked Buildings: The tragedy occurred in a neighborhood plagued by illegal occupations, a longstanding problem. These buildings, often in deplorable conditions, have become hubs for crime and pose significant risks to occupants. Many residents are undocumented migrants, making them vulnerable to exploitation and compounding the challenge of regulating these spaces.
READ: Cyril Ramaphosa and South African Government Offer Permanent Residency to Surviving Undocumented Foreign Nationals
Public Frustration with ANC: Minister Zulu’s attempt to shift blame for the failures of the African National Congress (ANC) government has faced strong criticism. The ANC, in power for nearly three decades, is increasingly under scrutiny for its perceived inability to address critical issues like housing, unemployment, and crime.
Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu, has landed in hot water after she tried to blame Apartheid for ANC failures while speaking at the scene where over 70 lives perished in a fire at a hijacked building.
“Whether we like it or not, this is the result of apartheid, and we… pic.twitter.com/GJQUFTuUJQ
— THE TRUTH PANTHER (@TheTruthPanther) September 2, 2023
Demand for Concrete Solutions: South Africans, both on social media and in political circles, are frustrated with the ANC’s perceived inaction. There are calls for practical solutions to address the problem of hijacked buildings and improve living conditions. Critics argue that blaming apartheid, which officially ended in 1994, diverts attention from the current government’s responsibility to enhance citizens’ lives.