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A much-needed, different perspective of SA

02 January 2014, 09:00

There’s something wrong with some of us. Specifically our mindsets. I refuse to believe the landscape of South Africans thought patterns are limited to the articles and commentary posted on News24. This site is one of the top 10 sites  South Africans visit. I’ve never seen so much interaction between South Africans on any other website as on News24. Although I am glad that we have a public platform on which we can air our views, no matter how ill-informed or prejudice they may sometimes be, I have to say, we are quite a redundant bunch, aren’t we? I’ve been logging in and out of News24 for 2 years now and nothing much has changed : Zuma, ANC, DA, Hellen, racism, ANC, “kill the boers”, DA, Zuma, corruption, cANCer, ANC, atheists, Zuma, every hour, every day, every comment, every article,  every year, forever and ever, Amen.

South Africa is a beautiful country and it is home to amazing people. The make-up of this country is overwhelmingly diverse. We are diverse people, surrounded by diverse animals and plants on a geographically diverse piece of land. It’s ironic how when we have something to say, it’s more often than not bleak and painfully mundane. Please do not misunderstand me, I do care about the issues raised on News24, but I don’t appreciate how we react to it.

Yes, we have many obstacles to overcome but, you will see on a world wide scale, politicians cannot solve problems. And we love politics, don’t we? There are several sections on this website, it’s evidently clear that no one cares about the latest business or technology news as much as we care about  Jacob Zuma and the ANC. As I said, politicians do not solve problems. Do you know what solves problems? Innovation. And having this opportunity to exchange problem solving ideas with fellow South Africans deserves much more attention than our history of apartheid and our government that is said to be under-performing  . . . (right now someone is saying ““under-performing?” What an UNDERstatement!”). South Africa boasts with a few innovative individuals. They are South Africans that looked beyond what we nag about all day.

The first ever human heart transplant was performed by South African surgeon, Dr Christiaan Barnard, at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Townin 1967. A talented man, he was also the first to do a heart-lung transplant as well as pioneering post-operative intensive care system that noticeably decreased patient mortality. The world's first automatic pool cleaning unit, the Kreepy Krauly, was invented by South African Ferdinand Chauvier in 1974. Used globally by medical staff to reduce the risk of HIV/Aids infection through needle-stick injuries, the Smartlock Safety Syringe was developed by Hendrikus J. van der Meyden and Alexis A. Wadman in 1992. Kimberly was the first town in the southern hemisphere to install electric street lights on September 2nd, 1882. A South African doctor named Percy Amolis invented the Retinal Cryoprobe, commonly used to repair detached retina and remove cataracts. The world’s first computerised ticketing was invented by South Africa's premier ticketing agent, Computicket. Now enjoyed around the world, Appletiser fruit juice was first squeezed in 1965 in South Africa. South African physicist Allan Cormack, along with Brit Godfrey Hounsfield, developed the CAT scan, while working at Tufts University in the UK. Their achievement was recognised, winning the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Pratley's glue is the only South African invention that has been to the moon, while Mark Shuttleworth is the only South African person to have gone to space. Dolosse, the large concrete structures used internationally to protect harbours, seawalls and coastlines around the world, was invented by South African, Eric Merrifield. Used mainly for land surveying, the tellurometer (microwave distance-measuring device) was invented by Dr. Trevor Lloyd Wadley of the Telecommunications Research Laboratory of the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). There are many more that I did not mention.

Are you bored now? Possibly. I know I’m not bored. In fact, something lights up inside of me every time I read about these remarkable South Africans. They give me both a sense of pride, and a sense of direction. I romance at the thought of South African youth moving away from their ancestors’ narrow-minded, prejudiced and  racist ways of thinking and taking full advantage of the potential (ecological and mineral wealth) that exists in South Africa. The current state of South Africa and the way we think is very sad. There’s so much talent and recourses that goes to waist because of political agendas. Peter Gabriel sang: “For every job, so many men, So many men no-one needs.” It is true indeed, Peter. Seeing that we have some of the cleanest water running in our taps (3rd in the world to be exact) and we have the cheapest electricity in the world, we don’t need much of anything. All we need is inspiration to be innovative like the aforementioned South Africans were. They’ve changed the lives of millions.

When it comes to innovation, science and technology, no one needs to be politically correct. There is no need to tip-toe around hard facts and science. Your “feelings” and subjective notions are irrelevant. Is it not in this way that South Africans can sit around the same table to plan and execute as a team to achieve the exact same goal which is a better life for every single South African and generations to come? If so, should we not perpetuate this idea more then we advertise the color of our skin? I understand that politics is important and there needs to be leaders and decision-makers but all in good measure.  Our whole lives do not depend on the elections. Atleast, that’s what it looks like on MyNews24.  For example, you cannot force anyone (with that fiery zeal we often do) to vote for any specific party for any specific reason. Everyone can vote for whoever they want, it’s a constitutional right. The best you can do is to let that person know that his vote will not only affect him, but also, his children and their children, his family and every other South African. If you can make him see that, then you’ve done enough. Is that not a rational way of communicating? No harm done. After that, move on.

Lastly, let’s be a little less negative about what the future holds. It’s a new year, one can never underestimate the power of time. Time changes things . . . or shall I say things change over time? Let’s broaden our horizons and try new things. More importantly, let’s change the way we think.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

Read News24’s Comments Policy 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.

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