Reflections on the eve of local elections

Posted by Raashida Khan on 02 August 2016 3:10 PM CAT

The upcoming local municipal elections have caused me to reflect on the state of my heart. I have become increasingly saddened and disillusioned.    

In 22 years, the sad thing is not that our poor and marginalised are still poor and marginalised, but that the inequality gap has widened to be one of the highest rates of inequality in any society in the world. If we had all grown poor or grown poor equally, we would have at least addressed one of the worst crimes of apartheid.

The sad thing is that even with such a huge proportion of our budget going to social development, we have not eradicated beggars at our street corners, and that these beggars are still primarily black. At least if they had grown amongst other race groups, then we would have addressed the crime of inequality at its severest point – at the poorest and most marginalised of our society.

The sad thing is that even as our education system should have been the one equaliser, our education system is in shambles and we have failed the youth of our country. We promised them freedom and equality but we have given them an inability to compete on the world, or even an African stage, angry minds, demanding hearts, empty pockets and armfuls of debt.

The sad thing is that instead of being the promised beacon of light for Africa and the rest of the world, we collectively bow our heads in shame because of the many debacles around finance, management, leadership and all too often collusion and corruption at State Owned Enterprises such as the SABC, SAA, ESKOM, TRANSNET, IPCI, e-Tolls, among others.

 The sad thing is that instead of welcoming our expats back, we are sending more talent away, to look for greener pastures, less crime, more freedom than our situation allows our citizens. 

 The sad thing is that the words ‘Ubuntu, simunye, respect and community’, are no longer worth the paper they written on, unless they are written on our devalued rand notes, to be bartered and traded as commodities on the battered, tenuous stock exchange; values fluctuating while being prostituted to the lowest bidder.  

And yet, we have much to celebrate and applaud too. As long as there is even a handful of us left, with love for this country we must hope and strive towards that better tomorrow; maybe a distant image on the horizon, but surely within our reach, if we all pull together? I urge you to practice your democratic right and make your mark on 3 August. Extend this action to an ongoing campaign. Join one of our collaborative platforms where citizens can have a voice, and collectively raise this to address what we perceive to be challenges. Visit Joburg City Network where you are able to create your own shared purpose community or Corruption Watch Connected where you can join the movement against corruption on your terms, register, and join like-minded people to collaborate for change.

 

The views of Raashida Khan, passionate South African and Account Director do not reflect the views of Indigo New Media, where we nurture and encourage individuality, respect and tolerance.

 

Note from Janice Scheckter, MD and collaboration activist Indigo New Media. ‘Both myself and Indigo would stand proud to associate ourselves with the passionately written piece’.

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