Dear South Africans
During an interview I conducted with former President Kgalema Motlanthe recently he stated that we are a nation of activists and that “South Africans won’t roll over and die when there is an injustice meted out to them. They will rise against any form of injustice. And that’s our saving grace.” The recent Xenophobia crisis is testament to this and many of you rose up against it; the activist part in you took over.
As a nation we may very well be facing one of the biggest crises ever that somehow affects most if not all citizens – yes, the Eskom disaster! Frighteningly, we don’t even really know how serious this is. We sense it, so we complain privately around dinner tables, over lunch with colleagues, and perhaps more privately or silently as we close our eyes and hope it somehow gets resolved.
Almost more dangerously, as we shift into “adaptation gear” in order to keep going, we actually ‘slow down’ as a society because we sink into a state of accepting mediocrity, lowering the bar of what we expect from Eskom and probably most other services in South Africa. When this happens it is the beginning of the end of a great nation that needs to compete in a global arena that is highly competitive and picking up pace!
Former President Motlanthe also said: “This is our country, all of us…we must never ever lower the bar; we must always give our best effort, because cumulatively it will advance the country.”
Is it not time to tap into this “activist” part of our leadership heritage; of our collective personality?
So why am I writing this? If we unite in large numbers and march peacefully and with more determination on Eskom and demand clarity, to know what the hell is going on; to not be treated like idiots; and indeed to even offer assistance in some way, will we not be taken seriously? Shouldn’t we camp out in Megawatt Park parking until we are comfortable that they are honest with us; until we are clear about their simple “idiots” plan of how this is going to be addressed? Should we not demand clear deliverables and commitment from Eskom and government around how this is going to be solved? No secrecy!
Should we not make them feel accountable to us as citizens and not our politicians who are so busy on their own ego trips and power struggles that they just aren’t doing enough about what really matters?
Perhaps, if we don’t UNITE today we will REGRET tomorrow!
Surely the time to act is now! Let us mobilize via social media and do what our country needs desperately – uniting millions around a crisis that affects black and white, old and young, rich and poor.
I hope and pray this letter strikes a chord, because I – in fact no one – can do this on their own.