Better-off blacks as bad as whites

MY conscience would occasionally prick me, but my comfortable lifestyle ensured that I did absolutely nothing about the iniquitous system that existed.

I enjoyed a good education, lived in a nice house, owned my own car, ate well, had electricity, a swimming pool, took overseas holidays and had a sprawling garden.

Today, 15 years later, I continue to enjoy all of the above. My conscience no longer pricks me. I no longer live in a safe cocoon, being pale, male and 55 years old. I have had to stand on my own to make a living.

I cannot find suitable employment in government or business, the result of affirmative action and empowerment policies, vigorously pursued by the current government. This has forced me to find my entrepreneurial spirit, creating my own means to sustain the lifestyle that I have been accustomed to.

What concerns me is that the cocoon that I lived in during the 1960s 70s and 80s has been taken over by an emerging black middle class who have moved into suburbia, drive flashy vehicles, dress well, earn substantial salaries ... the pain that their parents, grand parents and most of their fellow South Africans endured, conveniently forgotten.

The majority still live below the bread line in tin shacks, travel in taxis, trains or buses, have unacceptable sanitary conditions ... the list goes on.

Do the emerging middle class, the black diamonds, have a conscience about the "poor" South Africans or are they adopting the same attitude that I did?

Peter Bachtis, Benoni