The legacy of apartheid does not excuse the fact that so many people in government have set out to enrich themselves at the bottom of the social pyramid.
In the midst of so many stories about people suffering when they shouldn’t have to, the sad tale of children at a creche in an informal settlement outside Cosmo City, north of Joburg, is still one to make you shake your head in dismay.
At a time when these kids should be getting the best possible start in life, the carers and teachers have to struggle to get them the basic necessities, including water.
That’s because there is only one working municipal water tap in the community out of the 89 which have been installed.
Now, say the creche workers, they have to travel long distances so their young charges have the water needed to drink and keep clean. Keeping clean is not easy, either, because the community often has to get its water from tanks which, they claim, contain used condoms and dead rats.
And, in typical South African fashion, the community has been complaining for months … but nothing has been done.
Although this community and these children are a mere speck in the big picture of lack of service delivery around the country, their story is a reminder of the huge job facing President Cyril Ramaphosa after he made all his fine promises in his State of the Nation address.
It cannot be denied that the legacy of apartheid, in spatial planning, resource distribution and basic matters like education, can still be felt today.
However, that does not excuse the fact that so many people in government have set out to enrich themselves, their families and friends at the expense of the millions of people at the bottom of the social pyramid.
This “I got mine” attitude is increasingly taking hold across the country – and in the private sector, too. Unless people start thinking about others, SA will never achieve greatness as a country
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