Editorial: Hope vs reality ... And now to a new decade

At the start of this decade in 2010, South Africa was on a high. We were celebrating a magnificently staged soccer World Cup, hosted in Africa for the first time.

It was a South African peak as a united citizenry opened its hearts and homes, happy to host the many nations that graced our shores for this global sporting spectacular.

But no sooner had the final whistle been blown, than the bubble burst as South Africa faced up to the realities of being a developing country.

It is telling that we end the decade on another sporting high – after the Springboks tore the form book and surprised many by winning the rugby World Cup in Japan.

So the symbolism has been great, but the reality has been tougher for citizens.

The economy has not performed as well as expected, more jobs have been lost and inequality has widened. The man entrusted to steer the country, for the best part of the decade, was more interested in lining his pockets and those of his family and friends. His lieutenants did not just watch on, they partook in the looting. What was left was a country with disfunctional state-owned enterprises, a weak economy and a struggling populace.

And when President Cyril Ramaphosa finally took over the reins in February last year, there was hope that things would get better.

Yes, we expected things to move at the speed of the Gautrain, but that has not been the case.

The wheels of justice are slowly starting to turn on those who plundered the state coffers, but it’s a long way to go for justice to be served.

A new decade begin. All we can do is hope that the gender-based violence, the high crime levels and the sluggish economy all disappear. 

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