PLEASE NOTE:

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

 
Sifiso Mkhonto
 
Comments: 0
Article views: 2346
 
 
 

The solution to the Cape water crisis lies in Ubuntu

07 February 2018, 13:07

It seems safe to say the Cape Town water problem is neither a superficial one nor a technical one, at root. Rather, it goes to something far deeper. It highlights the deep dysfunctionality of our society. We suffer from a deeply ingrained individualism, which has been driving us to disaster.

Recently Mmusi Maimane, the leader of the opposition, called the Water Crisis “A very frightening reality. It fuels one with anxiety, makes you think to yourself, what do I now need to do? It makes you worry about what does it, in fact, look like? And what will it mean?” 

His words reminded me of the proverb, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. 

We have placed the blame for this on secondary problems: on city officials and government, because they were warned as early as 1990 of the looming crisis. Paradoxically, city officials shift the blame to government, and vice versa. Some blame nature. Some blame the 60% of our population who fail to comply with the law: car washes, farmers, poor planning, and the list goes on.

But I have yet to come across a post or official media statement which addresses moral action and Ubuntu.

How do we lift ourselves up above such disaster instead of playing our seemingly endless ad hoc games of avoidance? I particularly find it strange how Day Zero is now pushed back by four days, like the latest score in the game. When will we reach a point where we abandon our games and simply do what is right?

We pride ourselves, as South Africans, in our philosophy of ‘Ubuntu’. Yet it is clearly not having the effect that it should. Ubuntu, it is said, is a quality that includes the essential human virtues: compassion and humanity. Yet instead, we break the foundations of the law and order to feed our individualism. This is far from Ubuntu.

Ubuntu – a quality we are clearly not practising – can make change happen. It offers our society more accountability, moral people, and law-abiding citizens. Ubuntu gives us the freedom to make progress.

As demanding as the truth may be, it will lead us into a prosperous society. While we could write a book about the possible causes of the Water Crisis, it all comes down to this: in the words of the black nationalist Marcus Garvey, “The ends you serve that are selfish will take you no further than yourself; but the ends you serve that are for all, will take you to eternity”.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu describes Ubuntu like this: “When you do well, it spreads out.” This is true – yet here, too, lies a problem. My own doing well in a water crisis has not spread out to save the city. We have not yet lifted up Ubuntu to the level where ‘doing well’ is not just about you and me, but about a society which can be so organised that it really works for all.

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 more from our Users

Submitted by
Phillip Dampier
Misstating American public broadc...

The SABC's larger problem is that there is significant evidence the government does exercise control over the SABC's policies and programming for the benefit of the government in power.  Read more...

0 comments 815 views
Submitted by
Fuel War
Would you work from home for 30 d...

The war of attrition against fuel price corruption has begun. A new initiative has been launched to combat the rampant corruption in the fuel price. Read more...

0 comments 961 views
Submitted by
Sally Ann Martin
The damage narcissists inflict

In an ideal world, we could round up the narcissists of the world, put them in front of a large pool of water and rejoice as they wither away. Read more...

0 comments 676 views
Submitted by
Reid Abrahams
Letter to the editor: Water repor...

The lesson is clear - give people the slightest window of opportunity and you open the flood gates, as it were. Again, that’s just human nature.  Read more...

0 comments 726 views
Submitted by
Wilfred Alcock
Amaberethe is not the solution

As a country we must earnestly embark on programmes at improving the well-being of every individual in society so they can reach their full potential. Read more...

0 comments 204 views
Submitted by
Sally Ann Martin
Is it an 'ism' or is it art?

While we might agree that there are certain common themes that may be generally found to be beautiful, what is beautiful is indeed a question which can realistically only be answered by the individual based on their own perceptions.  Read more...

0 comments 247 views
 

services

Press Code We subscribe to the Press Code.

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2018 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.