Here’s cheers to ev­ery­thing bet­ter

The Citizen (KZN) - - Opinion -

At mid­night tonight, some peo­ple will mut­ter “good rid­dance” as they put 2019 be­hind them. It’s been a tough year – for the planet gen­er­ally, but for South Africa in par­tic­u­lar. It’s also the end of a decade which started with such prom­ise.

It’s al­most im­pos­si­ble to re­mem­ber those times when Ja­cob Zuma and his friends, the Gup­tas, were only just putting their state cap­ture project into gear … when SA hosted a fan­tas­tic Fifa World Cup tour­na­ment and when the “Rain­bow Na­tion” il­lu­sion still burned brightly.

Cor­rup­tion, crime and hate seem to take up more headspace these days. Some­times, it can seem that the only way is down.

But new years – and new decades – are the spring sea­sons of hu­man en­deav­our. They can be a chance to start anew, to erase or ig­nore the past and to look for­ward.

It must be said, though, that this sort of op­ti­mism is cur­rently in short sup­ply, given that Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa’s vaunted “new dawn” of clean, ef­fi­cient gov­ern­ment has yet to break over the hori­zon.

Yet, peo­ple should still dream – and hope for the things they would like to see:

Such as the ar­rests of high-pro­file fig­ures in the mas­sive loot­ing which has im­pov­er­ished the coun­try. And, even more im­por­tant, the tri­als and con­vic­tions – and jail sen­tences – for the guilty;

Such as a more ef­fi­cient power sup­plier, and na­tional air­line, pri­va­tised if nec­es­sary, with job ra­tio­nal­i­sa­tion in both en­ti­ties;

Such as a bet­ter ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem, with more at­ten­tion to ba­sic teach­ing and less to grand­stand­ing by the ANC gov­ern­ment;

Such as an im­proved na­tional health sys­tem with­out re­sort to the ruinous Na­tional Health In­sur­ance plan.

Mostly, though, South Africans need to just be bet­ter peo­ple – less self­ish, more ac­cept­ing. That’s an at­tain­able res­o­lu­tion.

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