Ralph Mathekga

Ralph Mathekga: South Africans will soldier on into 2020

2019-12-24 17:06
Uyinene Mrwetyana's rape and murder galvanised the country in fighting gender based violence. (Supplied)

Uyinene Mrwetyana's rape and murder galvanised the country in fighting gender based violence. (Supplied)

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This is a country of contradictions, imperfections, disappointments, promises, and hope. Whatever you make of it, no place is like South Africa, writes Ralph Mathekga

South Africans had a tough year, and they can't wait to usher in the new year with hope of turning things around.

It has been a mixed year with disappointments as promises of a prosperous country where all shared resources are being shuttered. South Africans have never been this far from each other. The economy has shrunk, and unemployment is visibly high. Corruption is still a problem in the public sector and in the private sector. Our political system has hit a wall; it is incapable of resolving our major social and economic challenges. Politics is just for the indulgence in power; nothing more and nothing less.

South Africans are accustomed to daily revelations of yet another revelation of corruption in the public sector.

The private sector also has its share of shame; with accounting firms implicated in state capture as the Zondo commission carries on with hearings.

South Africans are no longer surprised by what would otherwise be outlandish events happening among them. The death of Bosasa Boss Gavin Watson is one of the bizarre events that would spook a nation for a while.

Not in South Arica. We quickly move on as we treated to yet another disaster. Events in our country push our limits to a point where we lost a sense of what is normal and what is not.

It has become normal that we experience power cuts. All we ask for is to be told exactly what time we should expect load shedding. We are asking to be switched off at exactly the time we were promised it is going to happen.

We have also accepted it as normal for President Cyril Ramaphosa to come out and claim to be surprised by events he should be knowing about, such as load shedding.

South Africans have also experienced a year of intense violence against women and children, with the rape and murder of UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana.

That has been devastating for women and all in the country.

Yet more incidents of this nature continues as if it is business as usual.

The criminal justice system is also under threat by the gangs, and the message to this effect is often sent from the Cape Flats which should rank among the most dangerous gang wars.

What is taking place in the Cape Flats is nothing short of a civil war; yet South Africa carries on with business as usual.

In this gloomy picture, South Africans have raised their heads and cemented their place on a global scale.

The Springbok winning Rugby World Cup in Japan was a clear indication that South Africans stubbornly hold on to moments of glory, amidst the storm.

The crowning of Zozibini Tunzi as Miss Universe was yet another demonstration that South Africans have a way of stealing great moments of glory now and again.

This is a country of contradictions, imperfections, disappointments, promises, and hope. Whatever you make of it, no place is like South Africa.

With all this mixed feelings, South Africans will soldier through into another year with some hope just enough to survive another year. Who know, things just might get better after all.

- Dr Ralph Mathekga is a political analyst and author of When Zuma Goes and Ramaphosa's Turn.

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views.The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.

Read more on:    gavin watson  |  uyinene mrwetyana  |  springboks  |  south africa
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