What about the prom­ises made about so­ci­etal ills?

The Sunday Independent - - METRO - ZINGISA MKHUMA zingisa.mkhuma@inl.co.za

It’s tough to be a work­ing class South African, es­pe­cially now that we are feel­ing the eco­nomic crunch with the Vat hike that has made the cost of con­sum­able goods and ser­vices – such as food, elec­tric­ity and bank charges – go up.

We now have to brace our­selves for yet an­other ma­jor petrol hike we are told, and then you get a clear pic­ture of why we are such a de­pressed na­tion that we would spend a for­tune on al­co­hol and drugs just to get by.

The story on our page 1 talks to the fact that we can’t af­ford ba­sic ser­vices, pay­ing school fees, prop­erty rates and taxes but a huge chunk of our GDP goes to­wards “mind-al­ter­ing sub­stances, with al­co­hol, painkillers and dagga” fol­lowed by other hard core drugs.

There is a whole gen­er­a­tion of kids roam­ing the streets stoned out of their minds be­cause they abuse dagga, nyaope and tik. I passed a street in Berea where more than 20 boys and girls, were lin­ing the pave­ment in­ject­ing them­selves with some sub­stance.

Those who are not on the streets abus­ing drugs, abuse al­co­hol in the com­fort of their homes. You see this at fu­ner­als where “af­ter tears” has be­come a sub­cul­ture. Many wouldn’t be seen dead (ex­cuse the pun) go­ing to a funeral with­out a cooler box filled with all sorts of ciders in the boots of their cars. And sta­tis­tics don’t lie. They con­firm that al­most 20% – one in five adults – abuse sub­stances of sorts, in­clud­ing cough mix­tures, just any­thing to keep us away from deal­ing with re­al­ity.

Once upon a time there was a big ind­aba at the Waterk­loof Mil­i­tary Base in Pre­to­ria that was well at­tended by all sec­tors of so­ci­ety aptly named the Moral Re­gen­er­a­tion Move­ment.

South Africa got to­gether to find so­lu­tions to our so­ci­etal ills. There were speeches and prom­ises made. What hap­pened to all of that?

Isn’t it time that we re­vive that move­ment and keep the prom­ises that were made?

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