Times of Change

This week presents us with the opportunity to listen to, read about and dissect everything that has to do with the ANC and the ANCYL as the party gathers in Durban for its midterm policy review. This presents the best opportunity for writers and (especially) cartoonists to go all out, as there will be plenty of events taking place which will provide many opportunities for criticism and ridicule. Worries over the Media Tribunal issue will be foremost on people’s minds and there will be accusations, counter-accusations and even lawsuits in the pursuit of all things to do with freedom. We are a nation of critics, who are quick to blame leaders for everything and point fingers, grumble and complain about everything that happens around us. There are many citizens of our great country who are content to sit on their laurels and complain loudly about how the government has not provided a job for them. In this case, a “job” really refers to anything that pays a minimum of R20 000(with benefits), plus bonuses that will allow one to enjoy the finer things in life. Government is the all sufficient “saviour” of the unemployed, who are not willing to take a job that pays enough for them to live on in the beginning, so as to allow them to grow into those high paying jobs that they are looking for. Foreign nationals, who are more than willing to work menial jobs which will help them put food on the table, are hounded and blamed for taking jobs away from those who deserve it, i.e. South Africans. Yet the very people who induce xenophobic attacks are the ones who will be waiting at home for handouts, who are not willing to change their mindsets on how one can attain a better life. As a writer, words are my way of expressing discontent or displeasure concerning what is happening around me. So I will watch, listen, read and think through what the ANC will say and do, in these few days that they have gathered and instead of just being an unrelenting critic, I will engage the political viewpoints that our governing party presents to us. Yet I have one request – if my leaders expect me to listen to them on decisions that affect our country, then they should give an ear to what I have to say concerning those decisions, because we are in this together. And if they choose not to, I will wait for the day to come that they will tell me to vote for them, “because they have done so much for me” – that will be the day when there will be consequences for the government’s neglect of my opinions and interests. So I am taking a step towards changing my outlook towards government – but will our government take a step towards listening to me?

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