During what is usually one of the busiest times of the year on the roads, the N2 highway between Cape Town and the Garden Route was dead quiet with only a handful of vehicles, mainly trucks, on the route. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)
During what is usually one of the busiest times of the year on the roads, the N2 highway between Cape Town and the Garden Route was dead quiet with only a handful of vehicles, mainly trucks, on the route. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)

Let's buckle up and make 2021 a good ride

By Opinion Time of article published Sep 21, 2020

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by Alex Tabisher

The year 2020 will go down as our annus mirabilis (a remarkable year) in spades.

The gods who make the flutter of moth wings in Argentina to cause avalanches in Switzerland must be rubbing this Covid-19.

Add to that the most recent circus of offence taken at copy written for an advert for a hair product, and the wrath of an aggrieved and recently liberated nation shut down several shops and cleared the shelves of the offending product.

Both the events are enough to sink a country, constitution, economics, the whole lot. In between we had the less spectacular publication of books that exposed theft on a national scale, the declawing of the judicial system, a god-awful compulsion to complete a curriculum when everything militated against it and a commission to address the issue of parliamentarian self-enrichment.

What we didn’t have is the dragging of Zuma to court for nine years of fiscal mayhem and the defrocking of the red-overalled MPs who act like hooligans one minute and raise points of order the next. What we didn’t have is closure on the arms deal, or the resolution to the scourge of tertiary students who demand free education.

I don’t want to waste my time, or yours, cataloguing the mayhem that has become the norm. Where does one start to unpack a society that is, potentially, an amalgam of rich cognitive resource, massive life experience and varied philosophical input that goes to waste? We did better than the world at many things, including the virus. We produce great food products, and at the same time threaten to kill the goose that lays that particular egg.

People have died in the fight for a fair life in our country. They are not lying peacefully in their graves to see what a pigsty the paradise dreamt of by Madiba, Biko, Tambo et al has become.

We need to change. Not the government or the buildings or the roads or the schools. They are mere agencies. We need a change in attitude. The problem belongs to all of us. We did it as one nation in 1994. We had the same mindset, the same goal. Why can’t we do it again next year, together?

Let’s ride out 2020 as best we can, preferably on our knees in prayer or pleading for participation.

Let’s make the change as 2020 winds down to 2021.

* Literally Yours is a weekly column from Cape Argus reader Alex Tabisher. He can be contacted on email by [email protected]

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.

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