On-line, 25 November 2002, SA the darling of continent's journalists
Members of the South African Press Agency spoke to young journalists from 17 African countries during a recent workshop organised by the African Union of Journalism in
Most of the journalists who attended the course come from countries that are ravaged by war or writhing in the clutches of famine. When they read about
Tolerance, they say, is the positive force that runs through South African society that stands it in good stead for the future, despite the highly publicised vicious circle of crime and the controversy surrounding South Africa's strategy (or lack thereof) of combating Aids.
Take Mookho Kobeli from Lesotho. She said she found
"Though I have not visited
"Through media reports that I have read, I think the minority are still rich while the majority are very poor."
Mustapha Dutch, a journalist from
"I think the South Africans are willing to overcome the division of the past and work towards building their country and the continent."
He said the political stability in
"It is also not a selfish country because a lot of South Africans are investing in
He said a number of South African companies were investing in his country which was moving away from socialism towards a capitalist economy.
"We used to buy everything cash, including cars and building houses with cash, but slowly SA investors are introducing bank loans.
"I'm 41, never had debts before, and we all wonder how will the system work even though most people are excited.
"The investors have also introduced us to supermarkets, South African Airways has bought our airline, some media houses are owned by them, and so on.
"By doing so, it is addressing a problem of illegal immigrants running into
Dutch maintained that
A Ghanaian, Matilda Asante, said she saw
"I have read a lot about SA and I think given its history it is doing well but there is a perception that it does not address critical issues like HIV/Aids, which is destroying people."
According to the information she had
"As far as I understand a lot of South Africans are infected and only rich people can afford treatment.
"If countries like
She believed that in
"I think SA does not have a strong health vision, especially on HIV/Aids,"
Esther Nakkazi from
Nakkazi said her late cousin was employed as a teacher in the
"My cousin's body was chopped to pieces by South Africans who accused her of stealing their jobs.
"She had been working in
"South Africans are hostile. When you meet them they are not friendly people. They think they are better," she said.
She said South African leaders had painted a picture that the unemployment rate was not high.
"When I heard why my cousin was killed, I asked myself if South Africa
Nakkazi acknowledged that South African leaders had done good work in dealing with the conflict in
Ali Mohamed Halane from Somali said his country needed to learn from
He said he wished Somali political leaders could tolerate each other as the South Africans did. Currently their transitional government and factional leaders were trying to come together and work towards building one government.
"We do not have a strong economy because of the type of leadership we have in
He commended the South African government for the good work they had done in
"My country is ungovernable but hopefully one day we will have a government that will unite all the Somalis," he said.
The high crime rate, however, painted a dark picture for