Given the response – clear and compelling evidence of our right to free speech – that I’ve read this weekend on News24 regarding the article, “Why SA will fail” - and my light-hearted response - methinks it’s time for South Africans to stop and consider where exactly they are, what’s to be done and then to take a stand.In other words, let’s stop talking and do something for a change.
SA is in a precarious state today for various reasons, some of these being Apartheid and its legacy of a poorly educated majority and a socially divided nation, poor decisions made by successive governments, the global financial meltdown and general world-wide instability, this in turn caused by poor trading conditions, greed, overpopulation, natural disasters and so on and so forth.
I think we should all by now realise that SA is not an island and that all occurrences worldwide have an impact on everything, and everyone else. Such is the world in which we live today and we’re wasting our time, and energy, in blaming one another for the situation we now find ourselves in. That’s history, done and dusted, and we need to move forward.
South Africa in particular has very specific problems which need to be addressed and solved if the country is to grow and fulfil its promise of becoming a prominent nation and a leader in Africa.
We, as a people, thus need to now stop throwing stones at one another, identify the root causes of the problems we see and generate solutions which will benefit us all. We alone can make or break this country, no one else.
The ANC are merely a government, incapable of creating jobs or feeding us. They are there to govern - hopefully to the best of their ability - and provide a framework wherein we can operate both fruitfully and profitably. For our part, we can either stand with hands on hips and taunt one another or we can stand shoulder to shoulder and move the obstacles that block our way – it’s our choice.
It’s also a choice we now have to make as we’re running out of time.
We need to build a framework of ideas and concepts that will enable us to raise all to a sustainable and competitive level whereby we can compete in the world’s markets and thereby gain our share, or more if possible, of the available work and profits. That must be our aim or else we are fully wasting our time.
If SA is to grow, and succeed, then it’s going to take hard work, ideas, money and motivation. Begging bowls are out, probably forever, if we look at the world today.
We need to win
Our Olympic squad have done us proud but to even compete they had to achieve certain levels, or times, and we need to do the same. Nobody is going to give us any medals just for competing; the real world doesn’t work like that. We need to be winners, not whiners.
Firstly, we need to raise – as soon as is practically possible – the level of education, the standard of teaching and an awareness, amongst the youth, that they can succeed only if they are educated. We cannot have a nation of hawkers, or petty thieves, just as we cannot all be rich, or be mining magnates or businessmen.
We need artisans of all kinds, technicians of all kinds, teachers, nurses, doctors, secretaries, scientists, hairdressers and shopkeepers - and that’s just off the top of my head. Once you have a qualification you can work anywhere on the planet; that’s the world we live in today and the youth should be forever thankful for it, not resentful of the past.
Stop the burning, stop the looting, stop the strikes, stop the violence and put away the thought forever that you’re entitled to something, for whatever reason, because you’re not. Nobody’s entitled to anything and anything destroyed has to be rebuilt and somebody’s got to pay for it. If you can’t pay for it then don’t abuse it.
We all need to work at something to receive an income and only then can we look at achieving a standard of living. Thereafter, with more work, we can buy cars, and houses, and boats, and toys and the all the things our little heart’s desire. It must however start with education and it must be followed by work – there is no other way and if anybody believes there is then I’d like to hear from them because they could revolutionize the world.
Next we need to inform government that this is what we need to achieve our dreams - and a future for our children - and that they are please to make it possible by building the necessary infrastructure, training the necessary staff and providing the necessary tools like books, computers and desks.
It really is that simple because if they don’t listen then we just won’t vote for them anymore and we’ll get their successors to provide what we need. That is democracy, and freedom.
Burning schools, boycotting classes, teachers raping students, students playing truant – or falling pregnant to access some kind of free money – just isn’t going to crack it any more. They need to go to school, educate themselves and then earn a living. That is the only right they really have and it’s up to them – with us - to do it. Nobody else can take responsibility for that.
No free lunch
This is the message we need to pass onto our children – that there’s no free lunch so you’d better learn to cook. Now, get back into those classrooms and apply yourselves, or else.
The second part of my solution involves parents and/or adults so you kids can now grab those books and head for bed.
We, the mature adults of SA, need to now get a grip and take the mobsters in government on, as in telling them what we want them to do for us, our children and the future of this country. We elected them and we can sure as hell eject them via the same process, and you better believe it.
We cannot allow this situation to deteriorate any further. Government, in all its forms and guises, must be told unequivocally that we, the people, taxpayers and citizens of SA, will no longer allow them to not do what we require. If this means penning a letter and posting it together with your water and lights account, with your income tax return or to your local MEC, do it.
Let us bombard them from top to bottom with our concerns, our thoughts and our ideas. If they have no idea what they are doing, then let us tell them what it is they should be doing and nothing works like pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard if you will.
Let us start a media and telephonic campaign and tell them, constantly and with unstoppable energy, what we expect them to do. Let us demand answers to questions we have asked and for solutions to problems we identify. Let us keep on at them – all of them – until they have no other alternative but to answer us.
A while back I read an article by Clem Sunter wherein he stated that (some of) the prerequisites for an “Arab spring” were general unhappiness with the ruling party – or rulers, mass unemployment amongst the youth and large-scale access to social networks.
The web, or net, enables us all today – as never before – to have our say and to voice our opinions so instead of just sitting and giving vent to our frustrations at a keyboard, why not direct our concerns and queries at those responsible for solving the problems? Is there an easier way?
So, let’s get the info we need and make it available on the net. Let’s get hold of the fax numbers, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, postal and physical addresses of all those responsible persons in government. Let’s spread all this info right across the net, on Facebook and every other social feed available, and let’s start writing, or phoning, them.
The ANC came to power on the back of threats to make the country ungovernable, exactly what they are now talking about doing again in the Western Cape. A pretty scary prospect when one sees what their followers actually achieved.
Politicians paid by us
We can do the same – not by making SA ungovernable – but by making those in their offices in Pretoria and Cape Town aware that we are on their case and that we are not going to stop until we get results.
Let’s see, just for starters, how these high-flying elite deal with a flood of phone calls, with an avalanche of e-mails – all clogging their phones and servers. They may well laugh it off, at first, but anybody who has a cell phone or e-mail, or an address, knows how annoying it can be when these things start cluttering up your life, when the phone won’t stop ringing and when your e-mail, or post box, is constantly full.
These politicians – our civil servants whose salaries are paid by us - believe that they are now safely isolated from the masses, from the people who elected them, and that they cannot be touched by them. Let us touch them then.
I am serious, let’s get those phone and fax numbers, those e-mail, postal and physical addresses broadcast and let’s take them on ourselves.
You can of course just wait for the next election and then vote for some nameless fat cat again, and again that’s your choice. Me, I’d rather let them know how I feel - right now - as a warning to others who may think that they too can ignore me whilst taking money from my pocket.
Of course there’s the obvious to consider- that too many, as in the elections, will say, “Not my problem - I can live with what I’ve got, let somebody else deal with the problem”. To those I can only then say, do so – continue to be part of the problem but for heaven’s sake, stop complaining.