Business Day

Get­ting used to junk

- Andy Clay Via e-mail

SIR — It seems to me that the new mantra for SA is “junk”. While we haven’t yet got there eco­nom­i­cally, the term junk is be­ing used more and more in ev­ery­day life. When this hap­pens it im­bues a psy­chol­ogy in the na­tion linked to the def­i­ni­tion of junk, which in part in­cludes but is not lim­ited to some­thing of poor qual­ity or lit­tle mean­ing or worth.

So, the week­end the Boks lost and the Bafana Bafana coach sug­gested we lower our ex­pec­ta­tions. Ap­par­ently we are the last coun­try in Africa that is not re­garded as “junk” for in­vest­ment, and it seems that as a na­tion we are pre­pared to ac­cept this.

A tele­vi­sion pro­gramme asked whether we want re­cy­cling to be com­pul­sory, and it seems the ma­jor­ity do want this, es­pe­cially mil­len­ni­als, so per­haps the other def­i­ni­tion of junk — ma­te­ri­als that can be re­cy­cled — could come into play. In my view the way to stop the rot is never to ac­cept sec­ondbest in any­thing. If it isn’t good enough, change it or re­cy­cle it.

Low­er­ing our ex­pec­ta­tions is pure non­sense, but we are on the tip­ping point. If we be­come the last African na­tion to be clas­si­fied as junk, eco­nom­i­cally we will go down the toi­let with lit­tle hope of a come­back. That type of re­cy­cling is too hor­ri­ble to con­tem­plate.

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