It’s time to stand up to tsot­sis

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Open Let­ter to Pub­lic Ser­vants of South Africa Mar­ius Oosthuizen

DEAR Pub­lic Ser­vants, thank you for choos­ing a life in ser­vice of the peo­ple. Thank you for be­ing will­ing to work in our mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, our pro­vin­cial struc­tures and na­tional de­part­ments. Thank you for fix­ing our roads and wa­ter systems and for be­ing the back­bone of our govern­ment.

We know that you are suf­fer­ing as a re­sult of po­lit­i­cal in­ter­fer­ence in your de­part­ments.

We know that you have watched oth­ers en­rich them­selves while you have to strug­gle to buy school uni­forms for your chil­dren, to af­ford trans­porta­tion and to feed your fam­ily.

We know you have been dis­re­spected, mis­man­aged and un­ap­pre­ci­ated. We know that, as po­lice of­fi­cers and teach­ers, you are un­der­paid.

We know that, as school teach­ers and nurses, you of­ten do not re­ceive the sup­port you need and have to work un­der dif­fi­cult con­di­tions to de­liver ed­u­ca­tion and health care to the fu­ture lead­ers of this coun­try. We know that many good peo­ple feel like leav­ing.

My fel­low South Africans, who hap­pen to work in the pub­lic sec­tor, we need your help. Our coun­try is los­ing di­rec­tion as bil­lions con­tinue to be stolen from the peo­ple. Preg­nant moth­ers are left dy­ing as they wait for nurses and doc­tors and equip­ment and ba­sic medicines, that should have been paid for by all of our hard-earned tax.

We need your help to stop the rot.

Crim­i­nals have in­fil­trated the in­sti­tu­tions where you work. They have pre­tended to have the peo­ple in mind but have been greedy, abu­sive and self-serv­ing – they are crim­i­nals. We need your help to find them, eject them from the sys­tem and re­build a re­spectable pub­lic ser­vice.

You are all at risk of be­ing un­fairly seen as be­ing cor­rupt. All of your fu­tures will soon be at risk, your salaries gone and your jobs lost as the peo­ple be­gin to re­ject cor­rupt and ly­ing politi­cians ward af­ter ward, town af­ter town and city af­ter city.

Be part of the so­lu­tion, not the prob­lem. Help all of us unite against the small mi­nor­ity of crim­i­nals steal­ing our fu­ture. If you know who stole, tell some­one.

If you know who they are work­ing with out­side the sys­tem to ex­ploit it, tell some­one.

If you know how they are go­ing about their thiev­ing, tell us all so that we can put a stop to it.

Ev­ery rand that they steal is a rand that should go to our chil­dren’s fu­ture. Be the one to take a stand and stop them.

There is cor­rup­tion in all sec­tors of our so­ci­ety.

Pub­lic ser­vants steal­ing from the pub­lic through mis­man­age­ment.

Busi­ness peo­ple steal­ing from their cus­tomers through col­lu­sion. Re­li­gious lead­ers steal­ing from their flock through lies and abuses.

But there are also good peo­ple in South Africa who are hon­est, hard-work­ing and want a bet­ter fu­ture. You are one of those peo­ple. Some­times good peo­ple have to fight for what is right. Don’t be scared, be brave and stand up to the tsot­sis around you. Fifty-six million South Africans de­pend on you. Mem­ber of fac­ulty at the GIBS. He teaches lead­er­ship, strat­egy and ethics.

WRITE TO US

UN­DER­PAID: Nurses, seen here cel­e­brat­ing In­ter­na­tional Nurses Day, are among the un­der­val­ued mem­bers of the pub­lic sec­tor, the au­thor says.

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