By the time you read this, the President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, would have made his State of the Nation address and it would have been analysed, applauded, criticised and even ignored by some. So I thought this week, I should give my own version of the state of our nation. The first point I would like to address is that municipal service delivery has failed in most provinces. The recent floods that have been highlighted have shown how unprepared the municipalities were for that, even though they were warned previously by experts to get their act in order. As a result, people have lost their homes, farmers have lost their livelihoods and others have lost their lives while trying to save people who were trapped by the flood waters. For that, there are those who need to be held to account and be replaced if necessary. The people deserve better. The education system has also come under the spotlight recently, with thousands of matriculants qualifying to study at higher institutions. Yet the controversy surrounding the issuing of marks has highlighted a need to change our system of who manages the matric marks, as the current system is open to abuse. And as much as some students have been aided financially to study at some tertiary institutions, sustaining the free education policy will require considerable thought and financial input. By not working on this carefully, we run the risk of burdening future generations with a national debt that they cannot afford to have, or paying higher taxes, without their wages increasing at the same rate. We need to teach our nation’s children (and parents) that there are other ways of doing things even if one does not get into university, it does not mean they have failed in life – it just means they need to find another way to move forward. When it comes to the youth, we have failed in creating men and women of great leadership calibre. Someone like Andile Lungisa, the NYDA chairperson, is not a great example of responsible leadership. The Youth Festival that was hosted in SA recently was a gigantic waste of time and money, as it was completely disorganised and there is no credible justification for the amount of money spent to make it happen. R100 million rand is too much money to just sweep under the carpet as a clerical error – Andile needs to account for it and where necessary, pay back any money that was not justifiably used. And for him to claim that the youth festival “helped to free Egypt” is not only ludicrous, but also borders on idiotic lunacy. Yet he is pushed to be seen as a responsible young person, a future leader who will make this country great. South Africa deserves better. With that, I propose to the nation that we hold these political leaders to account, through showing them that the power to excise our right to vote, means we look at delivery and no longer just loyalty to a party. If a man in office does not deliver, then he has to be removed by the people’s votes, thereby costing the party concerned their power base. We need to be involved and not just sit passively by as these so called leaders plunder the country under the guise of transformation/progress/festival/tenders or salary increases, while people below them don’t get anything, but are expected to work harder than them. We, the South African, people deserve better. And finally, the government has no right to say they will create jobs. They have given people false hope of permanent employment, when they cannot guarantee that. Well done to Bafana for beating Kenya on Wednesday; the match was a treat to watch. I thank you.
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