I have long felt that we indeed live in an interesting political climate in South Africa and with the national provincial elections coming up this rings ever so true. Now, I need to state that I do not belong to any specific political party. By this I mean that I do not carry a membership card to any organisation other than banks and perhaps Clicks, Discovery Medical Aid, Ster Kinekor and… that’s about it. This means I have the freedom, excuse my poor diction, to sway my vote whichever way I please.
What was I saying? Oh yes. A game of political consequence.
I can’t say I’m on the fence with regards to the political game. I’m a quiet observer as presidents are called down before the end of their term, where I see youth leagues throwing parties to woo voters. I too have witnessed teachers going on national strike for half a x-amount in salary increases for weeks on the eve of matric examinations. I’ve come across countless examples of corruption. And, by countless I don’t mean 20. I mean – countless. Quite frankly, if SARS refunded all my tax money I would gladly watch you all squirm at the abuse – hehe! Unfortunately I am indeed a tax payer. I am in my fifth year doing of so and in all that time I have wished for one thing really – public sporting facilities. There are people who dislike Midrand because it apparently ‘has nothing’. No mall, no museum, no theatre… It is basically one big residential area. And it is such a pity because there are so many businesses and tax-paying individuals who reside in Midrand. People who truly deserve more than they’re ‘receiving’.
Now, in no way am I even suggesting that the current priority on eradicating poverty should be abandoned – oh no. I am saying – c’mon! Really? All the black middle class deserve is traffic? Toll fees? Car guards? Beggars on every corner? Potholes? Let’s not forget the very meaningful name changes which cost us millions. And, for what? What has changed? Exercises I think can be easily prioritized as ‘low-importance’ on the agenda? Surely? Anyway, let me drive my point home. A public swimming pool. Public tennis facilities. Public netball and basketball courts. There are children here too – not just in the streets of Soweto. We contribute so why are we given ‘a miss’? Is it that no one of significant political importance lives in my region? We then hear all this talk all over the media about initiatives to uplift the youth in terms of running a business and to that I have a few things to say – I am what we consider a member of the ‘youth’. I run a business and I have come across so many people such as myself with visions and solutions for many of our problems but we all have 2 main problems:
– We don’t have the right surnames.
– We don’t know the ‘right people’.
We can’t all run event companies to gain ‘contracts’ from ‘government gigs’. This is not sustainable. What is the game plan for the long-term around education and health? Tenders are not going to work because let’s be honest – the best company doesn’t really get the deals. The company which is willing to split with the most bottom-line profit before a project starts stand a better chance. We live in a time where getting finance for a five hundred thousand rand car can take 2 days to complete and you drive off in a flashy new set of wheels. Let’s try the same for a house of the same value and you see how very different the outcome and conditions become. All some people need is a chance. I’ll be honest – I’ve done a few gigs for government agencies. Design and print jobs. The strange thing is – events that are planned MONTHS in advance are all but ALWAYS rushed. Time lines are tighter than a bolt and nut. It is as though we were presented with a golden opportunity to fail. Once I did. I was less than pleased to hear how ‘black businesses should just give up because you all just can’t deliver’. Really? 2 days over a weekend to produce a miracle? What ever happened to good old planning? How about our attempt to register with the NYDA where upon reaching the reception area we were told: “Do you know anybody here at the NYDA? If you don’t then don’t even bother, but you can leave you forms with me.” This is a true story which genuinely had me wondering which international destination I could flee to.
Now, I don’t live in Hammanskraal any more, but I spent 18 years of my life there. I know poverty. I know what it’s like to have parents who can barely afford my school fees. We all have a story. I may not look or sound it, but I do. Why should I feel punished though? If the government is the captain of the ship then can we get some direction please? Election promises mean nothing to me. In fact, less said – the better. A public hospital in Midrand would be great. Oh no wait – I keep thinking this is Soweto.
As if things could not get any worse – we hear of under spending in 8/9 provinces to the tune of over R200m. Unbelievable.
Let’s consider this as an outcry. Not from any political party, but from an ordinary South African Citizen. If this is a game then it is clear who the winner and loser are and I’m on the wrong side of that fence.
*raises white flag*