So my optimism from last week got completely slammed after last Thursday’s events. Along with many fellow South Africans I am down in the dumps because we truly expected more from an ANC leadership who claims to be for the people. The ANC as an organisation used to stand up for the right thing, the greater good, the people and now we’re facing a party who are about one main man, bits and pieces of their own skin and the main man’s buddies buddies and some weird power he yields. I really am astounded and I keep imagining what made the leadership do this. Some people know but they’re too scared to talk. I support I can’t blame them.
So what do you do when your leadership let you down? Well, in South Africa we march, and we sign and we stand united around a common goal. Telling the leadership that we are unhappy. #SaveSA has gained a lot of support and some people are marching in their thousands at organised rallies while some people are standing on street corners in their tens to make their voices heard. Today is a day for voices. Today is a day when you can stand united with someone from another colour, race, religion and even political party and know that differences mean nothing when you’ve essentially be cast out of the city which offered you protection.
Those protesting for Zuma do so because they think the ANC is under threat (not the case today) which is fair enough if it were even vaguely true but some also do it because they want to be assured of the protection of the leader who is clearly pulling all the strings. In a time of turmoil it’s often easier and potentially better in the short term to be with the leaders who control the money and power because for a moment they will have your back. Who wouldn’t want their back protected after all?
The good news though is that the answer today is “A lot of people do not want their backs protected by smoke and mirrors by a leadership which lies to it’s citizens”. Whether you voted for Zuma or not, as your president he has an obligation to look out for you. That is a president’s job first and foremost and South African’s today will make it known that what we are receiving is anything but protection.
He will protect a few, but we are not for the few, we are for the many.
I saw a tweet earlier that bemoaned the fact that we’ll protest united today but then go back to our very different lives tonight. And why this is technically true that doesn’t mean that we don’t acknowledge the disparity in our society and that we think it’s fair or right and than nothing should change. Unfortunately, and herein lies the crux, the only real way to help the disparity is for those who hold the biggest purse’s strings, the national budget, to spend it wisely and create jobs through investment and growth and education and upgrading facilities wherever possible.
The government has officially failed it’s people because the desperity is definitely still at a completely unnaccpetable level but whil eone many looks out for himself andhis inner circle and literally allows money to be stolen and wealth to be destroyed we will get no where.
Politics and economics are highly complicated issues and sometimes they are even counter to each other but today South Africans are at least saying that both state of affairs is not acceptable. We the people will not sit back quietly any longer.
I don’t know what’s going to happen after today in terms of momentum and real leadership and I actually want to walk up to Gordhan and simply ask “What now? What must we really do to make a change?”
I don’t know the answer but I am proud of my fellow South African’s for coming together and I’m hopeful that together we can make a difference. I suspect it’s going to be a long road and it’s not going to be pretty but it’s a fight worth fighting because South Africa is the poster child of a place where right can win and I’ll be damned if that imagine it replaced by a king with a shower for crown