Call for cool heads

Johan van Zyl, Gordon’s Bay

Of course it is true that people are fallible, and one should not expect your friends and relatives to be perfect.

We are human, after all, and failings in one way or another are bound to affect our relationships.

One should also guard against the notion that only you are in complete control of your faculties and that others should give you the acclaim you feel you deserve.

Having said that, I would like to extrapolate that thought and apply it to our government. Of course our government is fraught with failure.

Our president Cyril Ramaphosa, who has proclaimed a new dawn for our country, is like a willing but hobbled draught horse – and I say this with the utmost respect.

It is not as if our many eminent economists in the private sector are withholding their advice.

However, such is the situation today that the varied political groupings, responsible for making our country’s progress along the ‘road to a better life for all’ look more like that of a trundling oxcart down a dusty track, are being more regularly appeased than reprimanded.

Were it not for this, I feel quite convinced that our parliament would already have introduced many necessary, albeit drastic, measures to address our struggling economy.

Perhaps our leaders should discourage, in the most explicit of terms, the kind of protest marches that we are seeing on a daily basis, that deteriorate into orgies of destruct-ion, vandalism and looting.

What kind of logic declares that the burning of infrastructure will improve service delivery?

I’m sure if Martin Luther King were alive today and could witness a stone throwing mob descending on to a national highway in protest of a housing backlog, looting shops and burning busses en route, he would shake his head and cry: “No, no, not this way”.

What kind of sense is there in dragging schoolchildren out of class and compelling them to participate in a protest march, and what must be said about the use of intimidation and threats towards family and property to force unwilling bystanders to take part?

Perhaps our leaders should also declare war on strike action. This is much too harmful to the economy to be justifiable. I fervently want to believe there are better ways to right wrongs in the workplace: business owners and shop managers who appreciate their employees and encourage work well done; workers who hold their jobs in high regard and strive with honour to make themselves irreplaceable.

The impact of strike action on productivity is too great to be ignored and has a serious, demotivating effect on all concerned. It’s lose-lose all the way.

And then there’s this incessant bickering about equality and racism. Why do we allow politicians to constantly and aggressively divide and antagonise the groups in our rainbow nation?

I’m sure if this kind of rhetoric could be stopped and these topics taken out of the agenda of the loudmouths in politics, there would be opportunity for healing to take place.

And there will be more time and energy available to spend on programmes that could actually alleviate the suffering of so many of our people.