20 Apr

Why are South Africans angry?

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The disturbing images we are seeing about our country on local and international television channels are disturbing to say the least. There is an underlying social problem that is causing all of this. People are angry. The defacing of memorials, xenophobia, service delivery protests, et al stems from the frustration of a population that has not seen the dream of liberation being materialised.

 

Even after 21 years of liberation, the poor are still not better off. Policies that have been implemented to correct the injustices of the past have only benefited an elite few. The politically connected obtain tenders. Once obtained, they show off their newly acquired wealth by buying expensive cars and huge houses. The egotistic attitude of ‘look at me I'm rich’ is rubbing salt to the wounds of the poor.

 

Unemployment is unacceptably high which results in high crime rate. A hungry person that cannot find a job will do anything to feed his family. The dream that was promised is not happening and one has to ask why. Why is this happening when we are a rich country with all the resources to feed our people? 

 

Minerals

 

We have one of the biggest reserves of minerals in the world. In the main, they are untapped. We missed the last resources boom due to policy. Through public, private enterprises we can unlock the wealth for the benefit of the poor. 

 

Tourism

 

Our country is recognised as one of the most beautiful and diverse country in the world. Tourists love coming to our country due to the "one world in one country" perception. Yet we introduce laws that hinder foreign tourists. This could be a major source of employment. 

 

Infrastructure

 

The infrastructure that we have equals that of any first world country. Proper stimulus for manufacturing should be a priority.

 

Strong Financial Institutions

 

Our financial institutions are mature and structured. We are one of the few countries that were not affected by the global banking catastrophe.

 

Stable Government

 

Although we do not agree with government's policies, we are still perceived to have a stable democracy. Our elections have always being fair and a true reflection of the will of the people.

 

Problems

 

Yes, we have lots of problems with ESKOM, corruption and lack of leadership among them. These are issues that can be resolved. There is enough goodwill in our country to make a success of it. A key issue is the fact that we are able to express freely how we feel about the ills of our country. The freedom of speech is enshrined in our constitution and we have a very vocal press that exposes our problems in a very effective way. 

 

We also have a strong Civil Society that takes government to court if need be. In recent years Section 27, a public interest law centre, took the Department of Education to court and won. Our Chapter 9 institutions, although under intense attack, are still functioning and reporting abuse. The Public Protector is a good example. When we live in a country where this can happen, there is still hope. We cannot lose hope and we must continue to fight for what is just and right. 

 

What is the answer?

 

It is practically possible to eradicate poverty in our country but we need to want to do it - will you put your hand up and become a part of the solution? The time for standing back and doing nothing is over. For our country to continue growing all that call it home need to stand up and take action. 

 

We need a COETSA (Convention for the Economic Transformation of South Africa), an economic CODESA. Only through dialogue can we change the imbalance of our society. As stated in my other blogs (COETSA 1, COETSA 2, COETSA 3) there needs to be a definitive moment that maps out an effective strategy to address the imbalance. Only then can the ills of our society be effectively addressed. This is my suggestion to the issue. Do you the reader agree that there is a need for an intervention such as COETSA? I would sincerely appreciate feedback in any shape or form.

  

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Read 1426 times Last modified on Monday, 20 April 2015 14:41
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