South Africa – the re­make

The Citizen (KZN) - - Opinion -

It is blind­ingly ob­vi­ous what needs to hap­pen. South Africa it­self must be placed un­der busi­ness res­cue. There is no time to waste. The res­cue prac­ti­tioner will take full charge of the coun­try with the power to take all de­ci­sions, in­clud­ing run­ning the coun­try’s fi­nances, much like Les Ma­tu­son will be do­ing with our bloated leech of an air­line. Les is ba­si­cally an ac­coun­tant with su­per­pow­ers. In­stead of res­cu­ing damsels in dis­tress, he res­cues com­pa­nies in dis­tress.

We’re go­ing to need a big­ger Les. And who­ever it is can’t come from this coun­try. We need some­one who is nei­ther white nor black, male nor fe­male, rich nor poor. We are a na­tion quick to judge and can­not af­ford to have the per­son tasked with sav­ing the coun­try be­ing im­me­di­ately pi­geon-holed ac­cord­ing to race, eth­nic­ity, gen­der, re­li­gion, sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion, so­cio-eco­nomic sta­tus or culi­nary pref­er­ences.

We should be look­ing for a cross be­tween Mr Miyagi but less ob­vi­ously Chi­nese, Gal­adriel but not so white, Morpheus with red pills only, Gan­dalf but more sprightly and Obi-Wan Kenobi with a light sabre that can charge it­self. And maybe a bit of Tyler Dur­den for those days when the gloves re­ally need to come off.

Our pres­i­dent has been against the ropes ever since he left his cor­ner. If he didn’t want to be a con­tender, he shouldn’t have stepped into the ring. By now he should be deep into it, boxing bare-knuck­led, but he is wear­ing soft puffy gloves and has al­lowed his hands to be tied by the con­straints of col­lec­tive re­spon­si­bil­ity. He keeps mak­ing the right noises but it’s too late.

Stop the fight. Bring in The Prac­ti­tioner.

The first thing he must do is get the po­lice and army chiefs into a room and force them to lis­ten to Steve Hofmeyr songs un­til they agree to pledge al­le­giance to The Prac­ti­tioner. The in­sur­rec­tion­ists in gov­ern­ment must be kept on a tight leash.

He will need to raze the civil ser­vice. Get rid of ev­ery last one of those in­do­lent par­a­sites who spend their wak­ing hours yawn­ing and bleat­ing and suck­ling on the ex­hausted tax­pay­ers’ be­lea­guered tit.

It will be done in tranches so as not to bring the coun­try to a com­plete stand­still. No­body wants to wake up to a Venezuela or a ... well, a South Africa, re­ally. But nor do we want a Ger­many or Aus­tralia, ei­ther. In our punch-drunk con­di­tion, I doubt we could cope with life in a coun­try where the trains aren’t on fire, ev­ery­thing works and no­body breaks the law. Some­thing that falls be­tween Por­tu­gal and Nige­ria might be nice. With­out the Nige­ri­ans, ob­vi­ously. Or the Por­tuguese, for that mat­ter.

The Prac­ti­tioner could take a leaf out of Eskom’s play­book. The evis­cer­at­ing of the civil ser­vice would be done in stages. The most use­less de­part­ments, like trans­port and arts and cul­ture, would be the first to go. The drones and ma­lin­ger­ers in each of our 40 de­part­ments would be in­vited to reap­ply for their po­si­tions, but this time they won’t get the job sim­ply be­cause they have a cute ass or a cousin in the pres­i­dency.

The Prac­ti­tioner will con­sti­tute a se­lec­tion panel made up of very clever, eth­i­cal and hon­est peo­ple from ... okay, maybe not peo­ple. Thanks to lead­ers like Don­ald Trump and Boris John­son, cre­tinism is the new cap­i­tal­ism and lies the new truth.

The Prac­ti­tioner would need to use ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence. Ro­bots who don’t take smoke breaks and are al­go­rithmed up to their shiny ob­sid­ian eye­balls. We will look to Ja­pan for this. Ev­ery­thing will be ar­ti­fi­cial one day. Es­pe­cially in­sem­i­na­tion. You don’t think women are go­ing to put up with this bump­ing uglies busi­ness for­ever, do you? The rapid ad­vance­ments be­ing made in the sex toy in­dus­try and a global swing to­wards les­bian­ism tells you all you need to know.

So any­way. Here’s a glimpse at the gov­ern­ment I would like to see once The Prac­ti­tioner has done his work and our coun­try is on the road to be­com­ing Africa’s first real suc­cess story.

Min­istries are re­lo­cated within their re­spec­tive ar­eas of re­spon­si­bil­ity. For in­stance, cor­rec­tional services will have their of­fices inside prison build­ings. Of­fi­cials will share mod­i­fied cells while the min­is­ter will be given a com­mu­nal cell to him­self. With a func­tional toi­let. I’m not sug­gest­ing we de­scend into sav­agery, here. If one’s work­ing day started and ended inside a prison, it might oc­cur to one over time that hon­esty could well be the best pol­icy.

The ed­u­ca­tion depart­ment will be lo­cated in pre­fabs on the grounds of ru­ral schools that are short of lux­u­ries like desks and books. Of­fi­cials will be re­quired to walk to work. They will also be ex­pected to phys­i­cally en­gage with pupils. Not, as is cur­rently the case, in a car­nal sense.

The depart­ment of hu­man set­tle­ments will have their of­fices in town­ships. Of­fi­cials will live on lo­ca­tion and in­ter­act with the un­der­class. This might prove a bridge too far for some and the depart­ment may have to re­cruit from so­ci­eties that have not yet de­vel­oped an im­mu­nity to hu­man suf­fer­ing.

The de­part­ments of de­fence, agri­cul­ture and women will merge. Sol­diers will be as­signed to guard the mar­i­juana plan­ta­tions of the Eastern Cape while Rooivalk he­li­copters pro­vide air cover for women who would like to go out at night with­out be­ing hit on. Or mur­dered.

The health depart­ment will be placed in the hands of some­one who left a state hospi­tal in an even worse con­di­tion than when they ar­rived. Only some­one with a mas­sive grudge against the rot­ten sys­tem can clean it up.

In­ter­na­tional re­la­tions will fo­cus pri­mar­ily on bar­ring peo­ple who, af­ter em­i­grat­ing from South Africa, now wish to re­turn be­cause Aus­tralia is on fire.

Em­ploy­ees of the na­tional in­tel­li­gence agency will be re­quired to un­dergo reg­u­lar IQ tests. Any­one who falls be­low 130 is trans­ferred to the depart­ment of sport.

Pub­lic Works. That would make a nice change.

The min­is­ter of pub­lic en­ter­prises and the CEO of Eskom will wear an­kle bracelets that emit elec­tri­cal shocks with in­creas­ing sever­ity ev­ery time there are rolling black­outs. Stage 6 will in­volve ad­mit­tance to the burns unit at a state hospi­tal. Stage 7 is ter­mi­nal.

Bring on The Prac­ti­tioner.

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