The Nations Money Anxiety

2017-04-25 13:08

ANC members and society are invited to have a say on what the ANC, the next generation ANC should look like and respond as. Not only is this limited to health or education but on organisational matters themselves of which leadership structure and character are a part. Also what is part of this broad topic is the character of the nation being built. Who are we? What do we want to be?

South Africa is experiencing an era that is influx, fluid and perhaps too fast for proper and deliberate thought. This era is seeing the country far more interested in money and money matters than any other thing. Life itself is not in the eyes of many needing a serious look.

As country, we have the apartheid legacy and the cruelty it left behind. Many think this legacy could have been resolved in less than two decades.

The new government has also made many mistakes. Some of these mistakes are such that we should have expected them from an apartheid government. The biggest of them all is our handling of HIV Aids. Infact, this is the single biggest mistake the ANC government has made to date and none will ever overshadow it. Indeed, our handling of HIV Aids did not involve us being accused of self serving financial corruption. Because of this, this disaster is underscored and brushed aside.

In our mishandling of the epidemic, we created 4 million orphans who require billions monthly to survive. These children also need hundreds of millions of medical attention monthly. They will need to be schooled for free up to their tertiary education. We also lost over 1 million adults, who died prematurely. As South Africa's life expectancy rises above age 60, we are confronted with the sad reminder of those we carelessly did not help to achieve this milestone.

South Africa was ravaged so badly, the military, the police, teachers and industrial workers bore the brunt of the epidemic which without doubt contributed negatively on the economy in terms of their productively alone.

HIV Aids denialism left us with a monumental problem on top of a monumental apartheid problem. This alone set the African body in particular several decades back if not a century.

Had we really known that it was not by chance that many town's shop fronts became funeral homes we would have not been so arrogant, had we been very close to the people we would have known that we are losing communities, we would have known that graveyards were opening for late night burials due to overbooking of all graveyards during working hours.

But, as is service delivery slowness or the Marikana massacre and other life matters like HIV Aids and so forth, we as a people of South Africa are less interested in that than when we hear a rumour about a tender gone wrong or the rand's volatility. That and that alone creates so many civil society groups and marches like there is an illegal war ala Vietman being protested. Life taking racism and deadly xenophobia really do not rile us up much either.

Helen Zille can say whatever she wants and Zapiro can draw anything, these life issues matter very little until money is involved somehow and made a huge issue by the media. Money makes South Africa go around and it motivates us to all sorts. Is our righteous overzealousness over corruption blinding us to the other important things about us?

Many would argue that money make life, that without money we won't be able to afford the very HIV ARVs. But what start first? Money or life? What is it that we must prioritise? Was money management not a part of the debate as to why ARVs were not being made available to give life? Is money not the course of the Marikana killings and massacre?

I have written before just how much I dislike the term "tax payers money". I have always preferred "public funds" term instead. The latter leaves me wondering whether we are not classing and separating people, whether we are not alleging that some don't have rights over the money but tax payers only. Often the term is used to exclude VAT. It is a middle class term that seeks to place them at a better status requiring better than the others.

Money issues are important, honest management of public funds is none negotiable. Could it be bigger than life itself?

How do we make our churches less enthused by money related protests but those that involve life? Nothing since the fall of apartheid has made church leaders jump around like the public corruption campaigns. Nothing! But why?

The ANC needs a leader that will understand this and that and offer leadership on what it is that the people make a super priority, what it is that we value the most? Indeed, anti-corruption should be in that list but what else? Why is there nothing else but that? We have even turned funerals into humanity-less stages where we pay less attention to the meaning of life but the money gossip, allegations and counter allegations. We are loosing our human side, to comfort each other during death, to mourn and to feel. Its anger over money and who may have received it unfairly or planning to receive it unfairly that is a priority nowadays.

We are so overzealous over money that even when confirmed corrupt individuals join in the mobs with pitchforks we ignore their own skeletons and start raising them up to be what they are not. As long as we are able to get the rumours, allegations and gossip over money, we are prepared to ignore that we know you once built a R16 million mansion on R25000 salary. Such overzealousness has blinded us into a fix of frenzy like wild dogs with rabies.

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