Our young lead­ers must rise to the fore

CityPress - - Business - Muzi Kuzwayo busi­ness@city­press.co.za

It doesn’t mat­ter whether you are on the left or right of the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum, the world is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a se­vere drought of lead­er­ship. The right has fallen over the edge of fas­cism, and the left has for­got­ten its rea­son for ex­is­tence.

It is sad that our of­fi­cials are more con­cerned with gov­ern­ment ten­ders and per­sonal sta­tus ahead of cre­at­ing a utopia that the world will envy – where poverty and ig­no­rance are a thing of the past.

The stock mar­kets are grow­ing be­cause of fi­nan­cial wiz­ardry rather than in­vest­ment and the build­ing of real busi­nesses.

Man­agers are be­com­ing phe­nom­e­nally wealthy, while work­ers be­come poorer. Man­agers blame gov­ern­ment, and vice versa. It is a down­ward spi­ral.

Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma has promised a rad­i­cal trans­for­ma­tion of the econ­omy, but when that state­ment is scru­ti­nised, it means ab­so­lutely noth­ing.

It is a “get out of jail free” card with no tar­gets or pa­ram­e­ters by which progress can be mea­sured.

It is a noise that is de­lib­er­ately cre­ated to dis­tract every­one.

When I hear some­one say the words ‘white mo­nop­oly cap­i­tal’, I ask: “Re­ally? Have you not ad­vanced be­yond the un­der­ground work­shops that the Aza­nian Peo­ple’s Or­gan­i­sa­tion used to hold in the early 1980s? Clearly, you have no po­lit­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion.”

The phrase “white mo­nop­oly cap­i­tal” was un­wel­come in the Free­dom Char­ter-aligned move­ment be­cause it ran the risk of alien­at­ing white sup­port, and was seen as anti-non­racist.

It is that kind of think­ing that made it easy for the ANC to sign the sun­set clauses dur­ing the ne­go­ti­a­tions.

You can choose to be cyn­i­cal about it, or you can choose to look be­yond the pro­pa­ganda and recog­nise that this coun­try has more than dou­bled the black mid­dle class and has some­what al­le­vi­ated poverty through so­cial grants since apartheid.

In­deed, there are many prob­lems, such as a fail­ing health sys­tem and bal­loon­ing cor­rup­tion, but those are only symp­toms. Our real prob­lem is lack of lead­er­ship.

Mem­bers of the Eco­nomic Free­dom Fight­ers (EFF) are like vi­cious-look­ing dogs in Par­lia­ment – they have bark but no vi­sion. A dog can bark to alert you when the crim­i­nals are around, but it can­not ad­vise you on how to im­prove your se­cu­rity sys­tem.

The DA mem­ber and mayor of Joburg, Her­man Mashaba, has shown that he is a stereo­typ­i­cal South African politi­cian. Af­ter just a few months in the job, he called for a fourth in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the CEO of City Power, Sicelo Xulu.

When his DA col­league, An­thony Still, dif­fered with him on the grounds that three other in­ves­ti­ga­tions had cleared the CEO, Still was fired.

Lead­ers do not make things hap­pen by them­selves, they in­spire their fol­low­ers. Our strug­gle promised a new dawn based on non­ra­cial­ism, which our lead­ers have sadly de­ferred.

If we want to suc­ceed in ev­ery way – whether so­cially or eco­nom­i­cally – we have to hold fast to our dream.

In the beau­ti­ful words of black ac­tivist and poet Langston Hughes: “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a bro­ken-winged bird that can­not fly.”

The hos­tile in­ternecine rhetoric will only help to break the wings of this na­tion, and it must stop.

The adults in Par­lia­ment should act as such, and work on chang­ing them­selves and the coun­try for the bet­ter.

Imag­ine his­tory stu­dents learn­ing about EFF leader Julius Malema 100 years from now. “Who was he?” the pro­fes­sor will ask. A bright stu­dent will raise his hand and re­ply: “He was the leader who cried that the se­cu­rity in Par­lia­ment squeezed his balls.” What a waste of youth. Young lead­ers must de­liver a new vi­sion that will take South Africa and the rest of the con­ti­nent for­wards if they want to be re­mem­bered in the an­nals of his­tory. Kuzwayo is the founder of Ig­ni­tive, an ad­ver­tis­ing agency

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