What would YOU do if you were President of South Africa?
I have just finished writing and should be catching up on some zzzzz but need to relax the brain before I can do that…. Watching one of these interesting SA/Community programmes that are on at this ungodly hour on SABC2 called Growing Tomorrow ( Development issues, environmental, small business and financial matters that affect ordinary South Africans are discussed).
Some good news re land-restitution and also good to see that the government has eventually realised that most of the farms previously repatriated failed due to lack of knowledge so are now providing that training.
On the other hand, there was a section about fire and the dangers face by rural and shack dwellers, especially in winter. This once again got me thinking about the lack of housing, crime, poverty, unemployment etc. in South Africa. We all complain about the state of the country, but how many of us have offered a solution?
I learned from a young age to sort out my own problems, and once had a manager whose favourite saying was “don’t come to me with a problem; come to me with a solution” which was great ‘cos it fitted right in with logical mindset.
So, what would I do if I were President?
I would be the first to admit that I am no accountant, economist, whatever, but I am a logical thinker and my logic tells me….
1. We have an extremely high rate of alcoholism, drug abuse, gang membership, violence, rape and various other crimes in South Africa.
2. We have a very high rate of unemployment in South Africa
3. We have a failing system; just about every public system is either failed or failing (Police, Justice, Health, Education, etc.)
4. We have a high rate of shack fires and flood every year and a dire shortage of adequate housing.
5. We have a high rate of incompetency and corruption within virtually every sphere of government and throughout government institutions.
So, what would I do if I were President?
- Problem: People need to have something to keep their minds occupied or they go insane. With nothing to do and no hope of getting employment, most of our younger generation especially, are bored, depressed, and turning to crime and drugs or alcohol.
- Solution: Give them something to do so that they can a) keep themselves busy & stimulate their minds b) earn some money c) learn some responsibility
- Result: Less crime, less drugs and alcohol and safe streets for communities again.
- Problem: There is not enough housing, mainly because of the corruption in the system, and the houses being built cost too much for what is delivered; and then the work is sub-grade.
- Solution: Remove the source of the corruption! Instead of awarding contracts to dubious, unqualified and corrupt building companies, many of which pay for or get the contracts via nepotism, think smart! Employ older, qualified artisans in each region to train, mentor and oversee youth from the area, supply them with raw materials to build houses. Pay the youth for on-the-job training. Do this per region, according to demographics, not race, ethnicity etc.
- Result: 1) Houses will be built with care, as the people building them will be living in them. 2) There will be far less unemployed people roaming the streets getting up to no good. 3) More employed people will boost the economy. 4) Crime will come down. 5) Poverty will come down. 6) SA will have far more trained artisans and tradesmen to bolster the workforce and the economy. 7) With no more tenders to be fraudulently awarded, corruption will be down
Use this model throughout the government instead of bolstering big corrupt companies where locals can do the work.
- Problem: Poor and rural communities mainly rely on oil or paraffin stoves on which to cook and candlelight by which to see at night. This creates many opportunities for accidental fires, which destroy whole communities sometimes.
- Solution: Roll out solar lighting, cooking utensils and other green and solar means of heating etc where needed so that these dangerous items can become a thing of the past.
- Result: No more shack fires, no more people needlessly losing everything, including lives, in shack fires. A better quality of life for the poor.
- Problem: Shack residents losing everything in the winter due to flooding and storm damage.
- Solution: See solution 1! Decent houses will be built so that this will not happen.
- Result: No more floods; no more people needlessly losing everything including their lives due to bad weather. A better quality of life for the poor.
- Problem: Incompetency, overspending, corruption and failure of state departments.
- Solution: Employ decent recruitment and employment criteria: 1) Check qualifications; no nepotism; employ suitable qualified individuals 2) If an employee is not fulfilling their job requirements they must go 3) Ensure good management in all departments with annual reviews of all management and staff.
- Result: No incompetent government officials in jobs they cannot do, employing consultants at hugely inflated fees to do their jobs. Government departments that actually do what they are supposed to, which will increase public respect and co-operation.
Apart from the above, my biggest problem is that there is no respect left in SA but the looks of it, especially from the younger generation. This needs to be resolved and I think the best place for this is in school. Teachers need to be committed or find themselves another career! Schools need to foster an environment of learning, competition, support, respect and responsibility in learners.
SA is supposedly spending the most on education in the world if I remember correctly. REALLY? What is all this money being spent on, cos it really doesn’t show in the schools, the syllabus or the state of our public education. Once again, employ qualified individuals according to demographics, not to fill BBEEE quotas!
As I said, this may sound simplistic, but I have found that the best solution is often the simplest one. My logic tells me that if we can do away with corruption in government there will be a lot more money available to do what needs to be done in all spheres, so the problems with power, roads, health, education etc will also be solved by the above solutions.
Well these are the thoughts off the top of my head at 5am….
What would YOU do if you were president of South Africa?