Hogan = hope

Health24’s news editor, Marcus Low, is not overwhelmingly a party animal. But last week he was cheerleading cocktails all round when Manto Tshabalana-Msimang stepped down, and Barbara Hogan stepped up to solve, oh, the HIV/Aids crisis, the TB epidemic, rising healthcare costs, demotivated health care workers and, presumably, spend the rest of her average day walking on water.

But once Marcus went to work listing Barbara Hogan’s five biggest challenges, he sobered up pretty quickly.

Talk about a job description.

And talk about a legacy: anyone whose departure from public office precipitates headlines such as the giant Argus screamer, RELIEF AS MANTO GOES, should be too appalled to accept another position in government. But then, the beetroot-and-garlic champion has always been famous for her defiance. So now we can look forward to her tender ministrations from the office of the presidency. Feels like we might be out of the fire and into the frying pan, but still, it’s a step in the right direction.

We’re heading into interesting times. We haven’t seen the last of the internal wobblies from the ANC. We don’t yet fully understand how big the ripples of the United States' financial meltdown will grow, and what price we’ll pay for it (though we do know we’ll pay a price).

But, give or take a president, at least we know roughly what our next government is going to look like. And we know what its opposition looks like. There’s something approximating cautious optimism on many fronts. Don’t know about you, but I’m tired of waiting and wondering, tired of the emotional drain. So I’m rooting for the system: in giving us Hogan, it’s given us hope.

(Heather Parker, Health24, October 2008)

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