Mukoni Ratshitanga
5 minute read
20 Mar 2020
8:20 am

Covid-19 discourse reveals society’s imaginings

Mukoni Ratshitanga

The ANCYL Peter Mokaba region's statement betrays regression to a parochial provincialism and retreat from the civic spirit and humanism that informed the anti-colonial and apartheid struggles.

A customer is seen next to empty bread shelves as South Africans queue at a local supermarket to stock up on general products on March 16, 2020. - South African President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on March 15, 2020, following a special cabinet meeting on matters relating to the COVID-19 epidemic. Governments across the continent have banned public gatherings, shut schools and restricted travel from areas hit by the pandemic (Photo by FERNANDA PESCE BLAZQUEZ / AFP)

In the last fortnight when the coronavirus came to grip national and global attention, social and political discourse has, as always, revealed more than it concealed the political imaginings of multiple sectors of society. Locally, the most striking output came from the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) Peter Mokaba region in Limpopo 10 days ago. The league “gravely” lamented the government’s decision to utilise the bush-sandwiched Ranch Hotel outside Polokwane as the quarantine site for “the more than 100 people who would be repatriated from coronavirus borne Republic of China”. Of course, the ANCYL meant the People’s Republic of China and...