/ 26 August 2022

Editorial: We’ll have to save ourselves

The politicians won’t save us. We will save each other if we begin to engage and just try. (Photo by Gallo Images/Darren Stewart)

Through the noise, we must find each other. 

Are we not tired of all there is to be upset about in this country every single day? 

We are not only upset, we also live in fear, pay through the nose for basic food (if you can even afford the basics), are disrespected by public servants who are in positions because of our vote and public office bearers who steal and loot and feel so entitled to do so. 

Don’t drop off reading here; let’s reminisce about this week only. 

New crime statistics show that every few minutes a woman is raped in this country and three people are murdered every hour. 

In our struggling economy, close to 50% of South African women are economically inactive. 

In Limpopo, the MEC for health, Phophi Ramathuba, took her arrogance to another level by telling a patient in a hospital that the state can’t keep treating foreign nationals because the Zimbabwean president sends her no money. What’s most astounding is how she responds to the uproar. “I am not xenophobic. I celebrate Africa Day,” she says.

Then there is the suspended public protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, who has received her 10th order to pay the legal costs of the frivolous applications she has brought before the courts. 

Take this in context of the wild allegations of abuse of power that are being ventilated during her impeachment trial. 

On the economic front, inflation continues to rise. The petrol price is more than R25 a litre while the retail price of cooking oil has increased by 36% in 2022 alone. 

Don’t forget the looming water day zeros over parts of the Eastern Cape — don’t turn around in the shower — and the many flood victims in eThekwini who are still waiting for a roof over their heads.

We still don’t have the people who ordered the hit on Babita Deokaran. It’s been a year since she was gunned down for blowing the whistle on rampant corruption in the health sector. 

And tomorrow, it’s more than likely a scandal about yet another politician filling his overflowing mouth at the trough will take us by surprise and leave us upset and wagging our fingers at our country and the government — yet again.

But let’s take this moment to breathe. The majority of us are in the same boat and trying to figure this out together. In our silos or communities we should all be actively looking for ways to help rebuild what is broken. Each and every one of us should look at what our role is in this country and constantly stand up against these abuses of power and rampant inequality. 

The politicians won’t save us. We will save each other if we begin to engage and just try.