DEDICATED: Alex Tabisher used the Cape Argus as learning material when he was a teacher. Picture: David Ritchie
Those who voted the ANC into place and continue to keep it there, albeit with dwindling percentages, are the ones who listen to young upstarts explain that the deputy president must not expect automatic succession, writes Alex Tabisher

Cape Town -   When I say we have failed our young country and ourselves miserably, I deliberately use the royal plural.

We are the ones who voted the ANC into place and continue to keep it there, albeit with dwindling percentages. We are the ones who listen to young upstarts explain that the deputy president must not expect automatic succession.

We are the ones who look on while much of what was good from the past is trashed as a knee-jerk reaction. We target individuals to effect token reprisal that doesn’t help the situation.

One of the most visionary structures, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, was put together to address inequities and construe a new dispensation based on mutual respect and trust. It was sadly abandoned long before it got remotely near to what was required.

Now a similar spectre of addressing massive denials is rearing its head. It is called decolonisation. It will require a massive effort of patience, forbearance, tolerance and a complete redefining of relevance and meanings. 

The danger exists that the cutting truths that will be revealed will cause it to implode under its own weight like its erstwhile predecessor. But it must happen, and happen at the highest level. However, there is something that we all can do. 

We do not have to wait for a government that assumed its own legitimacy and is now furiously defending its feeding-trough inefficiency. 

We can examine with honesty where we have gone wrong. Rejecting the past holus-bolus as a political ideal is plain stupid. It gave us OBE. We are now appropriating agricultural land that works to help a flagging housing project. We must see the MyCiTi bus service and the inefficient and lawless taxi industry for what it is. 

We must face the folly of race-ratios in crucial areas of productivity and good governance. We must mobilise those who have been retrenched as a dubious strategy of “rationalisation” and re-use and recycle the wasted expertise.

As for the lawlessness in streets and schools, parents must retake the initiative. Children cannot hold a country to ransom because the constitution says so. The laws of religion and morality should tell us that. Free condoms at primary school level is not the way to go. 

Parents must take back the duty of teaching children to be children. Gangs can be defused around the family meal. Votes should be for good governance, not reward for Struggle heroes. 

Those who have jobs could help lift the economy, but not through constant demands for wage-increases or torching trains that are late. In a word, we need to go to grass-roots level. 

The ANC is not an indispensable factor for success. A nation deserves the government it votes for, not the other way around.
 

* Literally Yours is a weekly column from Cape Argus reader Alex Tabisher.

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

Cape Argus