The Citizen (KZN)

We have to fix things – now

- Richard Chemaly

One of the most brilliant things about our law is that it rarely has to grind at the pace of that Toyota Tazz you always find yourself behind on the highway. Thabo Bester got scared about this doccie coming out, went to court, lost and the doccie carries on to be released; quick, efficient and concise.

Why can’t it be like that in any other sphere of our state? Why do we have to wait until Joburg has no water until we wake up and do something about it? Why must we ring up a R600 million legal bill to deal with medical malpractic­e before we absolutely decimate public health through National Health Insurance? Can’t we just skip past all the pain and get to the agony straight away?

The anxiety about the breakdown is worse than accepting that the breakdown is coming; because we know it is. It’s difficult to ignore it with the evidence in front of us, so let’s just get there and start fixing.

Because patching leaks might be easy if they were just one or two and they were the size of an overfed minister. But there are just too many for even a bloated Cabinet to attempt to consider solutions. Notwithsta­nding that the problems are bigger than all the overpaid commission­s.

It’s nice to think that we can fix the problems, but in a country where it takes Thabo Mbeki three electoral cycles to wake up and produce his voice, it’s not like there’s much hope. That’s before considerin­g that the president actually lost his voice while in office.

To those of you who are holding out for a change at the top, come election day, good for you. I hope it is everything you hope for. That would be great for all of us.

What’s not great is coming to the realisatio­n that even with the most technicall­y efficient government or coalition at the helm, you can’t really expect a significan­t state turnaround in five years. It would be wonderful if you could, but find me a competent CEO that will last 24 months at any state entity. Find me any plan that shows profit in five years.

Even the national developmen­t plan still has six years on it and I doubt anybody will want to try and audit how well we’ve done with that.

It can’t be that there’s comfort in the never-realising hope of improvemen­t. Something needs to be done, even if it means breaking stuff before getting it right – but can we just do something? Have the balls to make some calls and if we get it wrong, we’ll still be in the same place we are now.

We have to fix things now. We’d have to fix things then anyway. So, what’s stopping us? Not knowing who to give the tender to? Not being able to admit that you can’t do it? Give up on the delay and let’s start demanding some action.

Bester is no worse off than when he started his case but he still put it through and still gets his process done. It was the right outcome but, unlike much else in the country, at least there was an outcome.

That’s what we need of late – some outcomes. Otherwise what was our outcomes-based education all about? You’d think that we’d want to learn something from the education we’ve been putting the kids through, now let’s offer them something substantia­l showing its value.

Give us outcomes. Give us results so we can hold you to them. Don’t just expect us to be satisfied with cowardly non-action.

It may be wishful thinking, but maybe the first step is a Showmax doccie about the decline of SA and to have the government try stop it in court. Would love to see what arguments they’d bring up. It’s probably the only case that could ever be weaker than Bester’s.

One can’t really expect a significan­t state turnaround in five years.

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa