J. Francois Barnard – February 2017
Three hundred years ago, my ancestors traveled from Germany to the harbor of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, to set sail for Africa. With them they brought their Christian Faith and their dreams for a better life.
The Cape of Good Hope gave them exactly that – hope. They set off as farmers cultivating the land. They moved a little more inland towards the Little Karoo and later took part in what later became known as the Great Trek.
Wherever they settled, they cultivated the land, built towns and structures, and roads, and by 1899, South Africa was a beacon of civilization in Africa.
My paternal grandparents were in education and farming, and my maternal grandparents were farmers. My late father became an engineer who developed breaking materials for railway rolling stock. My uncle, retired now, was a civil engineer who designed bridges. I have a cousin who supplies machinery and spare parts to mining companies, and I designed sections of computer wide area networks for four provincial departments of education.
In short, in some way or another, we involved ourselves in establishing infrastructure in South Africa over 300 hundred years. The word “civilization” means “advancement,” and that is what we were called to do in Africa.
Sadly, however, our beautiful country is now run by a government that is not interested in civilization. They actively work against the very people who have been responsible for the advances made in this country. They break down and never build up. They steal more wealth than what they can ever generate.
And I take this very personally.
When you break down what I have established for the good of everyone, without replacing it with something better, you insult me. I take pride in what I do, and I rejoice in seeing others improving it and advancing beyond me. But when you break down the infrastructure I established, for no other reason but for being destructive, you seriously exasperate and frustrate me.
Then I start to ask questions about why I am still paying tax towards a looting government; why I am remaining in a country where advancement is taxed, not encouraged; why I should allow the so-called BEE-parasites to suck me dry if I attempt to build a business.
Three hundred years ago, my forefathers were without hope, and the Cape of Good Hope sounded like a solution to them. Today the world as we know it is much smaller and easier to circumnavigate, albeit with fewer destinations of Hope.
So I am looking at undeveloped destinations where I can live out my calling of establishing civilization.