Development …who is on the decks?

By Sibangani Dube
September 2012
Editors Note
The post-independence era after years of struggle brought new hope for a better life for all citizens.

Plans are set up, new leadership assumes office and all looks set to turn a country into a paradise. This reminds me of how the Animal Farm celebrated the departure of Mr Johns in George Orwell’s story.

All symbols of evil the animals hated so much were set on fire and more importantly animals reverberated in applause as the whips went up in smoke.

It did not take long before the pigs emerged as a powerful group of animals slowly but surely. The entire process took a gradual downward spiral; eventually, the envisaged liberty and promised land of milk and honey turned into a worse off scenario. The pigs had a knack for twisting and turning issues to best suit their interests at the end of the day.

The seven commandments were there to guide the new dispensation but alas, slowly but surely these were changed to suit the whims of the pigs so much in control of every facet of the running of the farms.

It makes one wonder why the oppressed often become more dangerous and vicious than the oppressors. Obviously one should have learned enough lessons to avoid repeating history.

At the time of writing, South Africa reeled from shock and dismay following the Marikana incident, which left 36 miners dead while leaving scores injured. Take a closer look and you could see the pig syndrome having taken ground.

Cyril Ramaphosa; once a union leader which left 11 people dead, is a shareholder in the London listed company.

Really, does one need to do research to understand the plight of miners especially the rock drillers? We sell our humanism, “Ubuntu”, to materialism and gain at the expense of the majority; we need to think and take a closer look at ourselves in the mirror.

We have developed a very bad tendency to always react to incidents, but where is the pro-activeness? One wonders where the central intelligence, obviously caught up in political power games, bugging telephones and looting of state coffers and more, disappear to!

The buzz word lately; “regression”, is defined as: to return to an earlier or less advanced form or way of behaving according to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary.

This definition obviously sends shivers down the spine, thus compelling all and sundry to do all they can to guard jealously the new dispensation.

The signs and symptoms are already showing; the cracks and fissures are showing. The most important thing to do is to act before things get out of hand.

Africa is known for conflicts, violence and civil wars, but how do we wash that label and keep a clean image characterized by sound governance built on participatory development.

Right now, we should be asking and taking each other to task on numerous declarations; the millennium development goals come to mind. What journey have we travelled towards achieving these goals our governments signed with much pomp and fan-fare?

It is good to have plans but if those plans are not being implemented, then we must know we are sitting with or are postponing a problem, as sooner or later, we will be found wanting.

It is time we took our people seriously, especially the poor and the marginalised for they are the ones who bear the brunt when things go wrong. They are the ones who feel the most pain when the public system does not function.

It is time that all efforts are harnessed and channeled to good intension based on our various national strategic plans as well as international agreements. The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology should live up to its mandate and facilitate development through communication. That NBC was off-air for six days should never be repeated ever again!

Happy reading always. PF