Guest Column

SA’s like a smartphone: It would be fab if we could figure out how to use it

2015-06-30 20:21
A smartphone is as good as the user  configures it. Picture: Daily Sun

A smartphone is as good as the user configures it. Picture: Daily Sun

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Video

Eskom can re-open tariff hike talks with Nersa - expert

2015-06-30 15:52

Although the National Energy Regulator has rejected Eskom's proposed 25% price hike, the door is still open for talks on price increases. Watch.WATCH

@MthunziMbatha

Smartphone owners who use half the “smart” features of their handsets are a thousand a dime. It’s like South Africa. It has all the constitutional and institutional gizmos, but when it comes to functionality, the country sometimes exhibits the features of a “brick phone”.

The Constitution is rated among the best in the world with the necessary checks-and-balances institutions to match. It doesn’t get better than this – at least on paper. So how do we manage to get things so wrong so often? Lack of political will, someone said.

Take Eskom for an example. The power utility doesn’t have the greatest scorecard for delivering on its mandate. Calling the parastatal a “power” utility is quite humorous considering that it sheds its load more than it sheds light on why we’re often in the dark.

But there could be some light at the end of the tunnel. The way Eskom manages to loadshed thousands of communities at the flick of a switch shows the utility has the technical know-how to manage a sophisticated electricity grid. If only this technical expertise was used to keep the lights on.

Another bright spark is the South African Revenue Service. Damn, Sars is one well-oiled machine. The institution even exceeds tax collection targets. But something goes wrong once the money has been allocated to various state entities.

Couldn’t we use similarly skilled personnel and good controls to ensure that we get value for every rand spent?

Government departments are no exception to institutions that can be efficient and inefficient at the drop of a hat. It took a few quick and smart moves from the Gauteng education department to get Curro private schools’ franchise management to commit to reforms or lose their operating licence. If only the same vigour would be used to rid us of mud schools.

Our political heads are known the world over for conflict resolution prowess. It makes one wonder how we have disasters of the Marikana magnitude when we’ve brokered peace between rebels and governments who could barely spell the word.

South Africans are not “a bunch of losers”, as one minister referred to the national football team. We are a great people who, with the right political will, can excel like a smartphone used to its optimum.

NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.