PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Percy_Makholwa
 
Comments: 4
Article views: 667
 
 
Latest Badges:

 
View all Percy_Makholwa's badges.
 

South Africans must look within for more

02 June 2014, 12:51

I am in my early thirties now and, I was exactly 11 years old twenty years ago and I will be 51 years twenty years from now. I am presently in the public service in the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements. The above is important to preface because It has been interesting to note that 20 years of freedom is something that is not easily celebrated in a country where people have died, killed each other; and lived as first and second class citizens-as was the formulation of apartheid.

 Prior to working in the public service I was privileged with a good education and am a graduate of the University Witwatersrand and am presently studying towards attaining an Mphil in human rights at the University of Pretoria, with interests in a Phd that would talk to black metaphysics (philosophy of being black, existence mentality and quality of thinking), democracy and human rights.

The last information is also important because during my studies and during my years in government-the later which started with an internship at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s Policy and Research Unit (PRAU) followed by a cadet program in diplomacy-I got understand that public service was really responsible for tangibles and intangibles- without even mentioning the efficiency of government in the delivery of these tangibles like housing, education, foreign direct investment and health care.

It seems to me that there is little appreciation of the intangibles in South Africa and hence the interaction over 20 years of democracy is polarized, some citing gradual success and some the lack of success on the part of government.

Intangibles and tangibles require definition, Departments like human settlements deliver tangibles like housing units, sanitation, thus  Government and business provide tangibles- money is put in and services are rendered, it is government and the selectorate (the selectorates are head of beaurocracy that should ensure the quality of output).

Intangibles are personal attributes and no beaurocracy and selectorate can ensure that these intangibles are realized. It is the purpose of the individual citizen to pursue these intangibles and these are: happiness, a conquering mind and life changing ideas.  In the most part, the whole employment and unemployment issue can only be solved by individuals. Therefore, while I appreciate that the constitution puts distributive justice as the responsibility of government and that our collective conscience in South Africa says it would not be right for the poor not to be taken care of by government- I also wonder whether or not we are demobilizing and depriving the citizen from looking within and finding a better world inside which she can recreate outside.

 One of our core mandates in the South African 1996 constitution is section 10 of the bill of rights –Human dignity: “Everyone has inherent dignity and the right to have their dignity respected and protected”.  The question therefore is: is the state and civil society the only ones that should defend that dignity, where is my agency?

I conclude with words of former concentration camp prisoner and survivor Dr Viktor Frankel in his book: Man’s Search for Meaning. “In spite of all the enforced physical and mental primitiveness of the life in a concentration camp, it was possible for spiritual life to deepen. Sensitive people who were used to a rich intellectual life may have suffered much pain (they were often of a delicate constitution), but the damage to their inner selves less. They were able to retreat from their terrible surroundings to a life of inner riches and spiritual freedom.  Only in this way can one explain the apparent paradox that some prisoners of less hardy makeup often seemed to survive camp life better than did those of a robust nature”.  

South Africa is not where it was 20 years ago, albeit that we are still facing large inequality- this is a good story for 20 years of democracy.  I also think that  we should ask a question that looks to the next twenty years- in 2034- Will we have something to celebrate, yes or no? Maybe that is not enough lets rather ask,  will the cause of celebration rest on government or individuals protecting their dignity and pursuing their own happiness?

I re-read the poem invictus after the passing to first democratically elected President, Dr Nelson Mandela. I am also reading Edwyn Cameroon- the only declared public servant with HIV/AIDS- it seems the real satisfying intangibles are not delivered through fair  politics and just government they actually come from within. 

In Sum South Africans have a lot to celebrate  and they also have a lot to be concerned about at the tangible level, but the happiness, stability and prosperity of South Africans really depends on self created intangibles  that end up manifesting as tangibles.

Percy Makholwa- Communication Research and Strategy- Gauteng Department of Human Settlements- I write in my capacity    

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

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
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Siyabonga Dube
My Father is no different to my M...

As we celebrate women’s month it’s inevitable to not acknowledge the fathers who are heading up households on their own all around our country. Read more...

0 comments 24 views
Mr Zuma has a way

There is still a way out for you Mr President Zuma then walk away (regardless of mistakes you made). Read more...

8 comments 325 views
Submitted by
Trevor McArthur
Defending the opposition

In defence of the opposition to speak freely in parliament without being threatened by the police. Read more...

1 comments 95 views
Submitted by
Siriru Kandji
Don’t sweat on me

What happened to the days when men were men, and women were women, and vive la différence? Read more...

10 comments 263 views
Submitted by
MikeFraser
Consider this

Consider this. You are a member of a powerful, influential organisation/business. Read more...

5 comments 203 views
Submitted by
The Last Contrarian
The Contrarian Eats Frog

My ongoing adventure in Asia continues to subject my palate to new, exotic, and unconventional foods. Read more...

6 comments 186 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
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.