The previously oppressed South African people, specifically Blacks, expected to be delivered to the Promised Land by the ANC, where roses are red, violets are blue and everything is free.
Yes, free education and healthcare should be deemed a priority of the highest order even in the poorest third world economies, but what was expected from the Democratic Government by many is short of absurdity. Free water, free electricity, an immediate injection of free housing and other forms of infrastructure, and many other demands expected of the Democratic Government displayed a clear indication of the pervasive mentality of entitlement and a spirit of dependency upon the government by our people.
People’s demands sometimes absurd
Not to lift any responsibility off of the government’s shoulders, but I believe that we, as a people of a disadvantaged past, are extremely complacent in the belief that government is obliged to provide ‘economic freedom’ on a silver-platter. There is a fine line, between expecting what the government is supposed to provide and absurd demands and expectations from the citizenry.
To a very large extent, many people lack the self-motivation and initiative needed to evolve from the cocoon of oppression and to elevate up our contrasted economical ladder. We need to intensely cultivate within us a spirit of self-dependency and self-sufficiency; we need to create opportunities ourselves, for ourselves.
Corporates & Businesspeople have to play a role too
Our corporate organizations need to start playing a more visible role in terms of community development. Not only are poor people dependent upon government, but those on the opposite side of the economical contrast are too. Turning a blind eye to the economic crime pervasive in SA is as good as having a hand in it.
If our prominent business people were to help government in the war against poverty, a quicker positive result could be reached, for instance, if Patrice Motsepe was to give business talks and mentorship in his hometown’s community hall, it could go a long way in making the people conscious that financial success is a possibility and that it could be their reality as well.
A social contract with youth at its core
We don’t only need to roll out 500 000 jobs per year for the next however years, like that which was promised by President Zuma in 2010, but also we need programmes that would help us, especially the youth, to cultivate the spirit of self-efficacy. The ANCYL is creating an atavistic scenario within the youth, which is extremely backward as it prevents an open and free mindset to the accumulation of their much-preached about economic freedom, outside of government.
Electioneering promises to be reigned in
Part of the dependency-blame is surely to be laid upon government and unscrupulous politicians who blurt out seemingly half-thought-out promises during election rallies. Things politicians say when electioneering sticks to the minds of people longer than voting booths.
When the time comes for politicians to deliver on what they have promised the people, many are found wanting. I believe that a realistic approach to luring votes must be taken; politicians should not be left alone to take advantage of the down-and-out and desperate situations of the people seeking salvation and economical refuge by splurging upon them nothing but empty promises.
We need to purge out the mentality of entitlement, the lack of motivation, the spirit of dependency upon the government, and begin cultivating the spirit of doing it ourselves, for ourselves!