Politicians must walk their talk

2009-08-21 16:38

I SIT daily and think about what exactly is wrong with South Africa. I ask myself: why are we are moving in the wrong direction?

Promises of a good life are self- serving. When you promise people 500 000 jobs you are doing it for yourself and not for the people. That promise is made in the clear knowledge that it will never be achieved. It is brutal politics.

Politicians say what the poor want to hear so that they can be applauded. The clear message is: Sit right where you are, we will do everything for you. Don’t worry, the problem is not you, it is the councillors, that’s why you are so poor, it’s the government not you.

Communities are idling with their talents hoping the government will deliver as it has promised. No one is encouraging ordinary people to explore their talents. No one is encouraging communities to become accountable and responsible for their own destinies.

Yes, the government must provide basic services. Yes, it must support communities through education and training subsidies, but the most crucial responsibility of government is to send the correct message through its deeds and words.

Our creativity is dying and is being replaced by the new skill of plotting and conniving to get into the good books of those who have.

This feel-good language keeps the poor poor and keeps those who are in government in government because people think it is not the party but the individual politician who makes these promises.

They forgive the party and fire the individual and hope that things will change. They sit there hoping for a miracle. They observe and hope.

While the poor are observing and hoping, the leaders are indulging themselves with their tax money and when they take to the streets, all the leaders say is that what they are doing is illegal and could lead to their arrests. They go to that troubled community and give a feel-good speech.

Our democracy lacks leadership. We are mostly led by words and not deeds. That is why you find that leaders talk of a crime-free society and yet keep employing people with criminal records.

Competence is no longer supreme, loyalty and connectedness are. This does not inspire the broader community to work hard knowing that a reward is guaranteed.

The appointment of Judge Sandile Ngcobo as the new chief justice instead of Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke does not surprise me. We live in a society where independent thinking is a crime.

- Sefu Sekgala, Tshwane

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