When we gained independence in 1994 and became a democratic country, everyone ululated with joy, very convinced that our tough times will soon be a thing of the past.
Our new government promised a better life for all.
This practically meant free basic services for all citizens, but to everyone's dismay, the contrary was correct.
Almost twenty years into democracy, we are still a country with high rate of unemployment, police brutality, home to drug pushers, corruption and shoddy service delivery.
We are still a country of people drowning in the pool of abject poverty, a country that reduced its school's pass mark so to convince itself that its education system is intact.
We are still a country of alcohol and drug abuse, a country whose people have lost trust in their leaders because of their leaders' endless scandals.
We are still a country of unenclosed and bucket-system toilets.
If indeed 1994 was a turning point, why are there still people without running water in Bushbuckridge? Why are there still communities without electricity in Tembisa?
Why in a country where poverty levels are extremely high, are we having e-tolls? The new smart ID cards that are apparently safer than the current green ID book have been introduced, but they won't be given for free, poor citizens will have to fork out money to get them, as if it was their fault.
It cannot be called 'a better life for all' if we are obliged to pay to get services that we are supposed to get for free.
It cannot be called 'a better life for all' if we still have leaders who steal government money to enrich themselves at the expense of the people they are supposed to serve.
If we still have service delivery protests everyday, there is obviously nothing to smile about. If our leaders are only visible when elections are nearing and we consciously buy into their recycled unfulfilled manifestos, we have ourselves to blame?
If the people who are deployed to parliament spend much of their time mocking and ridiculing each other instead of addressing the challenges that face the masses, where are we heading to as a nation?
The brains that drafted The Freedom Charter must be turning in their graves. As things stand, there is nothing much to celebrate. A better life for all remains a dream, until such time when real action takes effect. For now we have no option but to do as PW Botha once said: "We must adapt or die."
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