A recent common complaint in my social circles has been the creeping colonization of our country by the Chinese – all sorts of people are complaining about finding Chinese shops, from big malls in the cities to small shops/cafes in the smaller towns and dorps. Why, I’ve even seen Chinese pedestrians walking back from the shops (presumably, because they’re carrying the ubiquitious plastic bags) in my own neighbourhood, and this is a first for me.

My son travels on a monthly basis on business to three African countries : Angola, Nigeria and Ghana and he says he sees growing evidence of Chinese business enterprises in all three countries. Apparently the Chinese are heavily into big construction projects all over Africa, and sadly, they insist on importing their own Chinese labourers to work on these schemes.   How they get away with this beats me – actually, I know how they get away with it – the word is ‘corruption’ which is endemic all over Africa. But it’s a crying shame, given the vast, unemployed, unskilled pool of labour readily available in Africa. They’re hungry for jobs, education and (often) food. And yet African government ignore their own citizens  and permit the import of foreign labour. Makes no sense at all.  On a recent flight to Luanda, Angola, my son said there were so many Chinese passengers on board that the flight attendant gave the safety spiel in Mandarin!  That should tell us all something!

Given the high level of rhino poaching in South Africa – and it has reached epidemic proportions –  forecasters are saying that within 30 years there will be no rhinos left.  And this to feed the Asian trade in traditional medicine. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that many Asians regard powdered rhino horn as an aphrodisiac? Which – scientifically speaking – it is not. But that doesn’t seem to matter to the greedy traders and poachers. Public opinion and sentiment says it does the trick to revive a wilting willy.  One of the  cruel ironies of this situation is that in China, if anybody is caught poaching the Chinese National Animal, to whit, the Giant Panda, they automatically receive the death sentence.  Finish and klaar. No messing around. That’s it – bang, you’re dead.

What a pity that African countries don’t adopt the same strategy – poach our rhinos and elephants for the horns and ivory and you get the chop. Again – corruption is the answer. Greedy politicians are making way too much money out of the trade to stop it.

A recent joke doing the rounds on the internet showed a sign proclaiming : Dried testicles from rhino poachers – best natural Viagra!  Now there’s a brilliant thought, don’t you think so?


Filed under POLITICS, SOCIAL COMMENT, Uncategorized


  1. Alma

    My goodness Alison what a sorry state of affairs. All true though and I don’t think much will change as long as we have the fat cats
    reaping the profits.


  2. That ignorance makes me so angry! 2013 marked the year of the most rhinos poached in your country to date – and all because the Asian market is becoming more affluent and more people are able to pay whatever prices for “aphrodisiacs” and ivory. Animal welfare awareness campaigns in China are still in their infancies and endemic poverty in Africa keeps on drawing young men to poaching. This sorry state of affairs will not change soon.


  3. I nodded my way all through your post, Alison.

    I wish the South African government would adopt the same strategy: Poach our rhinos, elephants – and any other endangered and protected animals for that matter – and you’re dead, regardless of your nationality or political connections. Are we really incapable of tracking down these poachers? What is preventing us from succeeding in this war?

    The public response to the story of that American hunter who ‘won the right’ to hunt and kill a rhino, clearly shows how incensed and protective ordinary people feel about this whole sorry debacle.


  4. Pauline

    Just a thought, why can we not EXPORT these people on a slow boat to China? When you buy goods from one of the shops, no till slip is given.I wonder if sars could check up on the vat we may be missing. It will hurt them in the pocket if they get stung.Let us start a campaign.


  5. Yes indeed, the Chinese have arrived in Africa and they are unashamed to admit that they are there to benefit the motherland and not the host country. The rhino poaching is appalling and so is the devastation they engender to the environment and natural resources.

    However, without intending to, they bring benefits too. For example, they repaired the Benguela railway in Angola to get access to the Congo mines but, as a result, people are able to ride to market to buy and sell. Compared with western aid which pussyfoots about, I like the Chinese honesty.

    Chinese tourists are growing in importance. I am sure if they could see rhinos in the wild, they would think twice before buying horn in their markets. And is Viagra exploiting the Chinese market? If not, why not?

    In short, I believe the ‘yellow peril’ can be turned around. They learnt not to spit in the street prior to the Beijing Olympics because it would offend visitors. Now the west needs to show them that their kind of aphrodisiac isn’t acceptable either.


  6. Lindsey van Heerden

    it would be a good thing if the colonisation could be slowed down – but as you say it’s greed and corruption and people wanting to make money in this lifetime that are making it a bad thing. There are so many amazing things in Chinese culture that we could benefit from but the way this is happening …it’s like a silent creeping invasion. I lost my livelihood – I’m a textile designer – because of this – but I love Tai Chi and so many things Chinese!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s