Let’s wake up to reality
THE TIME has come for John Godsiff (Cape Points, January 23) to become much more precise about the relationship he sees between education and society.
The DA is wholly committed in policy and practice to the building of a society where opportunities – to meet life’s necessities and make social, cultural and political progress – are open to all.
Our country is trapped in the politics of the tribe, the big-chief syndrome and ethnic nepotism – in both black and white society.
Nepotism and the crony society is everywhere, a legacy of the National Party’s apartheid kleptocracy and the ANC’s Leninist centralism.
Freedom requires that we bring the largely feudal patronage machine crafted by the last generation of ANC and SACP personnel to be trained by the Soviet Union to an end by building an alternative approach which we call the “open-opportunity society”.
The concept was distilled through two centuries of thought and rests on two fundamental pillars
The first is a belief in the compelling importance of a modern stateof-the-art education system available to all in order to both cultivate inde- pendently thinking citizens, without which a vibrant democracy is not possible, and to get the brains of our young people geared towards participating in a modern globalised economy. The second pillar is, quite simply, that governments cannot create sustainable jobs. Public service jobs are created to provide services to citizens – but it is the private sector that creates jobs that generate wealth. It does so in a manner that government simply cannot.
Compare the efficiency with which Home Affairs renders citizenship services to Pick n Pay’s distribution of everything a household needs – and more – at a competitive price.
To make private enterprise the engine of growth requires that we roll up our sleeves and get to work, that we use every opportunity to get an education and acquire a skill, that we stop thinking that government is a cow to be milked and we cease the whingeing and whining and get on with life.
Few are so naïve as to think that education will solve the nation’s problems. It is, however, one of many key assets that government finances, controls and manages. In the Western Cape – where the DA governs – there is a clear, deliberate and organised plan to reform our school system led by Donald Grant.
Grant focuses on accountability and school leadership as the key drivers of change. The vision and plans are on the WCED website http://wced.wcape.gov.za/
Click on the Back to School 2010 button and you can select a range of options that are self explanatory.
Left with empty coffers by the previous ANC-led provincial administration, progress here will become visible over the next number of years. Godsiff suggests that government should do more than that but he does not say exactly what.
Here are some possibilities. We could for example use our tax system to make (late) marriage and having small families very attractive in financial terms; use the justice system to more efficiently compel absent fathers to meet their maintenance payments; calibrate our social welfare system to make it attractive for divorced mothers and fathers to stay in touch with their children; and make it highly unattractive and costly for young women to fall pregnant. We could (and should) provide special opportunities for young women to obtain a quality education.
The religious sector, private enterprise and the public sector should provide crèches for the children of working class families. Then the rest of government should take the drugs off the street, enable small businesses to develop and pat MEC Robin Carlisle on the back for his sterling work on public transport in the Western Cape.
The DA has no vision, Mr Godsiff ? Wake up man, you are in deep slumber.