Every country is unique and most have some claim to fame. South Africa will be remembered for one of the most dramatic regime changes, allowing millions to vote for the first time. It will also be remembered for the country with the most envious constitution, which accommodates all races, genders, religions and more. In fact, anyone will find it difficult to discriminate against a citizen of South Africa.
Time has passed
Some water has been under the bridge since those heady days of spectacular change. The question now begs: Has the new regime managed to progress along its intended path of better housing, education, jobs and more? It has had a good 20 years to deliver on all its promises, but the answer is a sad one: No.
We all know the press can be harsh and not always truthful, but the “good news” stories have been few and far in between. Occasionally we saw how a small business entrepreneur managed to go from zero to hero. We saw how thousands of people received new, proper homes and how the poor were given access to free water and electricity. Many will attest to a better life, but most do not see a bigger picture that may ultimately threaten their newfound comforts and handouts.
The sad, bigger picture
In the bigger scheme of things, the ruling party leaders have succumbed to large scale plundering of the economy. Millions of the public’s Rands have disappeared into private enterprises and private bank accounts local and overseas. Thousands of senior party members find themselves in top positions, untrained and even unqualified for their responsibility of looking after the people. Lower down, thousands of people have been appointed into a bloated civil service, where absenteeism and corruption is rife. Their unions have successfully landed them salary increases that make the civil servants of first world countries drool.
The next generation of South Africans are ill equipped to take on jobs, due to the weakened education system. More pass matric, but no-one mentions at what pass rate. Teachers are also hiding behind a union, many of them guilty of corruption and not caring about their profession. The police force has been headed by people who have criminal records and the post has constantly been re-filled. The effect of this is a police force that is also corrupt. Frequently the press would report on police officers found guilty of some crime. Police response times to emergencies range from 4 minutes to 4 days.
It’s time for a change
Another regime change is the only thing that will save South Africa from ending up in a cul-de-sac where the banquet is over and there are only crumbs left. The current leadership does not favour a situation where they have to beg the IMF for a loan – that would be acknowledging failure.
It’s not too late to save the country. It has great potential and a robust economy. We hope someone is sitting up and watching the end of the road approaching and taking action before it’s too late. The citizens can take action by voting in the upcoming local elections. The results should be a revelation and hopefully trigger the regime change we need.