Friday, 14 November 2014

20 Years of Democracy-Still Confronting Challenges on Nation Building

By Aviwe S. Mtila

“I couldn’t help but think how a country with so much abundance still struggles to feed much of its population. I am not a politician and maybe things aren’t that simple, but clearly this isn’t the way it’s supposed to be”… These are the exact words used by UK magician, Dynamo, in describing South Africa on his recent visit to the country, words which, to me, would perfectly summarize the current situation in South Africa.

We might be in our twentieth year of democracy as a nation but the reality is that we are still living in the shadow of our past. With one of the highest unemployment rates in the world and more people living in squatter camps now than during the apartheid era, it is evident that apartheid has only ended racially rather than economically. In fact economically, the rand has weakened immensely when comparing it with the US dollar over the last twenty years, with the rand trading at R3.41 to the dollar in January 1994 and now currently trading at over R10.00 to the dollar.

What is really frightening is the neglect in the education system of the country over the last twenty years. The conditions of some of our schools’ infrastructures are despicable and the level of literacy amongst South Africans is appalling to say the least. Countries with far worse poverty rates than South Africa receive better education than South Africa. If South Africa boasts one of the worst education systems in Africa, what is that implying about the future of the country? If we pride ourselves in not educating our nation, what is in store for South Africa in the next twenty years of democracy?

Corruption in government structures has almost become acceptable in South African society with our leaders setting examples on how to go about it. When looking at the current situation in parliament, one tends to wonder if this is the cause struggle icons such as Steve Biko died for. Issues that are of national concern are far from the hearts of parliamentarians, instead parliament has become a joke in which the nation looks to for amusement. With examples of the Nkandla issue, the Madiba funeral scandal and others, South Africans need to realise that the only people government are benefiting are themselves.

In a recent Daily Dispatch Dialogue, editor of Business Day, Songezo Zibi, emphasized the need to “depoliticize politics,” stating that after twenty years of democracy “ we aren't the society we’re supposed to be,” and I couldn't agree with him more. 20 years is a long time to have not seen progress in our democratic country thus far. South Africans need to realise that government will only do the bare minimum, if anything, for South Africans. In facing facts, we've become a rather lazy nation over the last twenty years, the bulk of South Africans living off government grants and handouts. As we’ve experienced and are currently experiencing, that isn't helping the nation at all because the majority of the nation continues to live in poverty and is not progressing in life. In going forward, we need to eradicate the laziness out of our systems and have a proactive mindset.

Educating ourselves and the upcoming generation needs to be our number one priority in going forward. There is no bigger investment we can have for South Africa and its future than education. With an educated South Africa, the huge gap between the rich and the poor will be closed down largely. Besides being able to sustain ourselves, an educated society will be able to place worthy leadership in to power, leadership that will only advance the cause of the nation.

In curbing the high unemployment rate, South Africans first need to curb the “high-laziness” rate because the truth is, employment is available for those who truly want it. Many of our fellow Africans walk many kilometers from their various countries to South Africa knowing very well that they’ll make a living in South Africa, so it can’t be disputed that there is employment in South Africa. The difference between South Africans and foreigners is that the foreigners are willing to work hard in order to make a living. Self employment is also a form of employment. If employment is unavailable, we need to make our own employment by means of being entrepreneurs. Who knows, that could lead to greater things.

In writing this article I have tried to remain objective as much as I possibly can, but the truth is nothing immediately comes to mind when thinking of positive strides taken by South Africa in the last twenty years. I’m not saying the country hasn’t taken any positive strides over the years of democracy, but the realities of the situation in the country at the moment over cloud those strides. The endless strikes alone over the last twenty years paint a bleak picture of the country, costing South Africa billions (if not trillions) of rands economy wise. Not forgetting the Marikana strike which saw the death of 44 people, the majority of whom were striking mineworkers killed by the South African Police Service (SAPS), the very SAPS who are suppose to protect the country’s citizens.

I could write a book if I were to go into the incompetence of our police service in South Africa over the last twenty years, with endless references of cases and incidents of our ‘protectors’ proving to be incompetent. Just a week ago 9 policemen and a former employee of the SAPS were arrested in Parow, Cape Town, for allegedly taking bribes from suspects and stealing crime scene exhibits. If the majority of our policemen are they, themselves criminals, how are we suppose to curb the ridiculously high crime rate in our country? South Africa is rated amongst the top countries with a high murder and rape rate and those statistics will only get worse if something is not done about the corruption within our police force.

South Africans need to wake up and take pride in their country. We cannot reverse the twenty years that have passed, but we can do something about the future of the country, if not for ourselves, for our children and the generations to come. The lazy, laid back attitude of South Africans needs to be eradicated and we need to be proactive in shaping South Africa.

Friday, 7 November 2014


Picture: Eyewitness News
10 police officers in Parow, Cape Town, were arrested for allegedly taking bribes from suspects and stealing crime scene exhibits! This might not come as a shock to many South Africans because it has become a norm in our society.

We see corruption from our policing official and our traffic officials in almost a daily basis yet nothing is being done about it. We even interact with the corruption from our officials and society accepts it as a norm.

It is a known fact that a large number of drivers on our roads did not acquire their licences through the proper channels. Many of them were "bought" through our corrupt traffic officials. Further more, we all know that many South Africans opt to bribe our traffic officials rather than receive a ticket when they are suppose to be fined for one.

The level of police brutality, officials taking exhibits for themselves, police files and dockets missing, police favoring criminals  (and even alerting them before hand of police raids), policemen drinking alcohol while on duty, are all just a drop in the ocean in terms of flaws in our justice system.

If many policemen are they themselves criminals, who is suppose to curb the appallingly high level of crime in South Africa?

What is really scary is that these policemen would rather focus their attention on petty crimes than go after the real "hardcore" criminals.

Picture: Eyewitness News
We are also to blame as the South African community because it is our citizens who bribe these officials and contribute to these officials being criminals. "Turning a blind eye" is another huge mistake we, as the South African community, tend to do, because in truth, we are the ones who know the drug dealers in our community. We know and live among wanted criminals yet we fail to report them.

If we accept the situation as it is right now, we must know that we are building an even worse nation for the next generation in terms of crime and corruption.

If we don't do something about the appalling state our justice system is in, then complaining shouldn't be an option when crime affects our children and families or when they themselves become criminals.

Mzantsi Logic!

Thursday, 6 November 2014


Welcome to Mzantsi Logic! The aim and objective of this blog is simple, to make citizens of South Africa aware of what is going on in the country and to engage South Africans in conversations that will make us reason with Logic.

It is evident that many issues that affect  South Africans are "swept under the carpet" and at times, the media world chooses to make the nation focus on irrelevant issues rather than focusing on the real issues at hand.

A perfect example of this would be the murder of the late Senzo Meyiwa. As we all know, the media world chose to focus the country's attention on private affairs of the Meyiwa family and social media is currently abuzz with images imitating the father of Senzo, rather than focusing on the true issue at hand which is the shockingly high rate of crime and murder in South Africa.

These are the kind of issues that Mzantsi Logic! aims to make people aware of. Mzantsi Logic! aims to engage South Africans in conversations that will come up with viable solutions in paving a way forward for our beloved country.

No topic or issue is restricted in this blog. As long as it affects South Africans and it will make South Africans reason with logic, Mzantsi Logic! will talk about it.

Feel free to suggest topics or the manner the blog should be conducted in, and please do feel free to engage fully in the blog as this blog is yours, the South African citizen.