My New Year’s Wish: Improved Governance!!

2016-12-20 08:10

With the end of 2016 speedily approaching, I’ve had cause to reflect on the year.

My conclusion is that it’s certainly been South Africa’s “annus horribilis” (Latin for “a year of disaster and misfortune”) – that’s since 1994, of course!

Looking back over the year, we’ve seen:

• The Constitutional Court finding (in respect of the Nkandla matter) that our “President’s failure to comply with the remedial action taken against him by the Public Protector (was) inconsistent with his obligations to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic.”

• We’ve seen violent protest/unrest, on a grand scale, on the country’s university campuses – calling for (unaffordable) free university/tertiary education for all!

• We’ve seen the ongoing “spat” between our highly-respected Minister of Finance and the Hawks/NPA – with questionable charges being laid against the Minister … and then being withdrawn!!

• We’ve seen major disruptions within Parliament’s National Assembly with non-stop heckling etc whenever the President takes the podium – with many citizens understandably concerned as to the effect that these distractions would have on Parliament’s capacity to govern!

• We’ve been exposed to massive financial scandals within Government, ESKOM, SAA and the SABC.

• We’ve become somewhat “numbed” to the term “state capture”, much like the frog that is described in the so-called “boiled frog syndrome”. The term, “state capture”, is being applied to an increasing number of our political leaders, state institutions and state-owned-enterprises!

• We’ve seen the President survive two (as I recall!) “no confidence debates” – thanks to ANC MP’s stubbornly “closing ranks” and using their majority in Parliament to defeat the opposition parties’ motions of “no confidence”!

• We had an extremely “close shave” when the World’s main sovereign rating agencies recently just stopped short of downgrading the SA economy to “junk status”

• And many others!

On the other hand, the year did have a few (just a few!) good stories to tell:

• Continued evidence of SA’s excellent judicial system – as evidenced by the sound judgements handed down by our courts.

• A moral regeneration within segments of our society eg the creation of the “Save South Africa” Coalition.

• A call for moral regeneration from key ANC structures eg the ANC’s Veterans, and the MK Military Veterans, strongly expressing their concerns/speaking out about the current state of the Party.

• The magnificent manner in which the (multi-party) Parliamentary Ad Hoc committee, looking into the fitness of the SABC's board, conducted itself – all with the common purpose to do their job well, regardless of party affiliation!

• And a few more!!

Given the above “good” and “bad”, my wish for South Africa in 2017 is that our GOVERNMENT IMPROVES ITS GOVERNANCE by making decisions and by voting according to the following simple “rules”:

• Vote with your conscience, and for what is right, not according to race or party affiliation!

• Remain civil when in the House of Assembly – allow people to speak and “defeat” them with sound arguments, and not by loud heckling etc! Loud heckling and verbal abuse achieves very little and the person who’s the target of the heckling gets away with not having to expose his/her weak arguments.

• Govern when the situation demands this! For example, don’t be afraid to get involved in the (high-risk) big issues, like the #feesmustfall campaign/unrest – as Government, you’re expected to take the lead in these sort of issues – don’t “cop out”!

• Select competent people to serve within the State departments, provincial governments, and municipalities REGARDLESS of race or gender! And if it means “recalling” an incompetent Minister, do it! Stop counting the number of Whites/Blacks and men/women appointed into positions – selecting the right people for the job will ensure improved service delivery for all and, very importantly for the ANC, will result in a very happy electorate!!

• Admit it when you’ve made mistakes – we all make mistakes, and the people will respect you more if you admit when you’ve done wrong/made a mistake!

• Encourage foreign and local investment into SA because that’s the ONLY way that we’ll ever make meaningful inroads into our high levels of unemployment and widespread poverty – however, it does mean a tolerance of the capitalist because he’s the guy with the funds to set up the businesses, built the factories/offices etc – so upsetting the trade unions, a bit, may be necessary!

• Re-focus on RACIAL RECONCILATION – it’s been totally neglected in recent years – mainly for political gain/“point-scoring”. Racial reconciliation is vital for our country, in dealing with its past and for recovering from the morass than it’s currently in!

There’re many more items that I could add to this list, but if we could focus on just these (above), I’m sure that we’ll see SA regain its status as the economic powerhouse of the Continent – with improved living conditions (in housing, services, health and education) for its millions of poor and disadvantaged citizens.


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2010-11-21 18:15

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