Picture: Annalise Batista/Pixabay
Picture: Annalise Batista/Pixabay

20 wishes for 2020

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Dec 31, 2019

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As the sun sets on a decade that has seen South Africans achieve amazing feats in a number of arenas. We also saw crimes against women and children and government corruption reach unprecedented levels. The country's economic growth is sluggish at best and unemployment remains extremely high. Jacob Zuma stepped down as head of state and was replaced by President Cyril Ramaphosa and the country experienced a period of "Ramaphoria" as the new president set about trying to address some of the most pressing issues facing government. And then there was the near demise of SAA, load shedding and another Eskom bailout. 

We asked 20 columnists, politicians, business leaders and other influential individuals what their wishes are for the new year and the decade ahead.

Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, the founder of disaster relief organisation Gift of the Givers. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, founder of Gift of The Givers

The challenges facing our country are daunting but focused, selective intervention can make a meaningful, immediate impact. 
  • Drilling of boreholes that actually yield drinkable water, delivery of truckloads of fodder and installing odour free, safe, dignified toilets en masse at schools produce immediate results. 
  • Targeting the health system with practical deliverables can make a huge impact without waiting for NHI to kick in. These simple measures include employing medical professionals and nurses to fill all outstanding posts, (race should NOT be the determining criteria), fix all existing medical equipment, improve management at state hospitals and supply adequate quantities of medical consumables timeously. 
Corporate funding to augment government shortfalls would be the best CSI initiatives in our current situation.

Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies

As we continue in our quest to build a capable 4IR Army, my 2020 wish is for government, private sector and academia to concretise our vision and train 100 000 young people on data science and related skills; to have at least three smart, connected and fully digitised towns; data prices significantly reduced and 50% DTT migration realised.

Maps Maponyane. Picture: Dumisani Sibeko

Maps Maponyane, TV presenter, philanthropist and entrepreneur

I just hope to keep fulfilling my potential. I'm blessed to currently be working on numerous projects and if I can make a significant impact with each of them both in business, and community then I'll be happy.

David Monyae, director of Africa-China Studies at the University of Johannesburg

I wish Africa maintains peace and security. That President Cyril Ramaphosa champion youth development, upskilling of this generation in the identified new skills of the future, equipping them to deal with the 4IR impact, for South Africa and the rest of the continent. 

In addition, that we all take climate change and environmental matters seriously for ourselves and our children.

Independent Media's Executive Chairman Dr Iqbal Surve. Picture Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA)

Dr Iqbal Survé, chairman of Sekunjalo Holdings and executive chairman of Independent Media

My wish is for South Africans to overcome the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and racism. I wish that South Africans can stop  violence against women. 

I wish that South Africans respect each other in all spheres of life and allow people the opportunity to meet their aspirations as well as their  basic needs, which is important for us to have healthy and stable society. 

Mostly I wish all South Africans love and happiness in this new decade.

Siv Ngesi, actor and social commetator

2019 was not an easy one for many .... (but I killed it 😂!) May you all kick 2020’s ass and make sure you all bring others up with you! Succeeding alone is failure in my eyes! Love and respect"

Shannon Ebrahim, group foreign editor for Independent Media

My wish for 2020 is that as South Africans we will become a leading nation in environmental consciousness - that we will all play our part in recycling our waste, stop buying plastic bottles, bags, and straws, and spend time this year helping to pick up the rubbish on our beaches so that we dont keep finding beached whales with their stomachs full of plastic. 

Once we master this, as South Africans we can lead a global campaign in environmental awareness.

Ian Smit, Independent Media's Executive Editor for Sport 

My wish for 2020: That South African sports teams and individuals draw inspiration from Siya Kolisi and his brave band of Springboks. The Boks blazed like a comet across the sporting sky. They showed our sportsmen and women what could be achieved by passion, commitment and team work in the pure sense of the word.

Kojo Bentum-Williams, UNWTO Senior Expert for Communications in Africa

The African Tourism sector made some great gains especially with travel facilitation which is  one of the obstacles towards seamless travel in Africa. 

I am looking forward to even open boarders amongst African states and the continuation of the implementation of UNWTO’s Agenda for Africa-Tourism for Inclusive Growth which was adopted in St Petersburg Russia and seek to address key challenges bedevilling the sector. 

Let’s make Tourism that positive driver for change. 

Happy New Year! 

Kevin Ritchie Picture: Cara Viereckl/African News Agency (ANA)
Kevin Ritchie is a newspaper columnist for the Saturday Star. His new year’s wish is for an end to ‘whatabout-ism’ in 2020.

“Wouldn’t it be great if we could, for the first time in our history – both before and after 1994 – actually own up to our wrongdoings when we are caught out, rather than trying to deflect attention by asking ‘what about so-and-so’ and pointing fingers?' he asks

“As long as we are allowed to take the easy route, nobody will ever be held to account for what they’ve been caught doing, whether doping in sport, dropping a spanner into Koeberg, bribing a traffic cop – or simply stealing the country’s gogos blind through weapons-grade bank looting.

“We have to start taking responsibility, while we still can because we certainly don’t need the benefit of 2020 hindsight to see what will happen if we don’t.”

Ryland Fisher, chief executive of Ikusasa Lethu Media

My wish is for the government to begin to realise that, while we can blame apartheid for many of the wrongs in our society, that is no longer enough.

Government needs to commit to dealing with the problems we face, whether it is gender-based violence, the drug-dealing and gangsterism on the Cape Flats, the declining economy or the growing inequalities in our society. 

On a personal and more flippant note, I will be turning 60 in June next year, so my wish is to be able to celebrate my special birthday for the whole year, starting in January.

Dr Salomon de Jager, chief executive officer and president of Pilog Group

In our current rapid changing world where technologies tend to drive our next apparent future, humanity is largely in a state of fear and uncertainty. Known and established systems are about to change. Traditional jobs, infrastructure, banking and security systems to name a few will change and make way for a new world to come. 

It is my sincere wish that we as humans will grab this as an opportunity to redevelop our survival senses, to a new level of spiritual awareness so that we can radiate the vibration of love rather than fear. 

We as individuals or nations can choose to be slaves and victims of circumstances around us or we can raise our consciousness to a level of trust and collaboration with the bigger creative forces currently in motion. 

We should make 2020 as the year of crossing the chasm and harness new digital and other scientific technologies to our next dimension of human species and not allowed to be zombie and slaved into lower level controlled frameworks. 

I wish you all a prosperous 2020 with a sense of joyful hope and a sense of making a difference in our current society.

Phia van der Spuy, chief executive officer of Trust Eeze

When you ask most people to summarise their 2019 the general response is that it was chaotic, depressing, frustrating and stressful. Human beings are tenacious and will always strive to improve their situations. With renewed energy and focus South Africans can make 2020 a turnaround year if they focus on what is right and when all just do their best.

Steve Middleton. Head of Durban Metro Police
Steve Middleton, head of Durban Metro Police

My wish for 2020 is that levels of tolerance between people in all spheres and walks of life becomes a norm and not an exception, especially as we get closer to the local government elections of 2021, this thus allowing for increased peace and harmony.

Comedian Jem Atkins
Jem Atkins, comedian

I wish for all of our troubles to last as long as our New Years resolutions...  and dry coal for Eskom.

Lauren Gillis, founder of Relate

My wish for 2020 is for everyone who has the privilege of a job to always think about those who are unemployed and whose basic needs are not met. 

I pray for dignity for all, especially the elderly who are often forgotten. Relate bracelets allows humanity to connect by wearing the change it wants to see. 

May we all be blessed with 2020 vision.

Faiez Jacobs, ANC MP for greater Athlone

My new year wish for 2020 that both South Africans and those living in South Africa work hard together, stop complaining and focus on doing and giving. I'm hopeful that we can focus on service delivery especially for the poor, job creation, grow and share the economy and commit to clean and responsive governance especially in city of Cape Town and Western Cape Provincial Government.  

Those in goverment like the mayors and our Western Cape premier, must listen to the people. 

My wish is for communities to unite and empowered and hold all public representatives like Councillors, Members of Provincial Legislatures and us as Members of Parliament accountable.

Tshepi Vundla, brand influencer

My wish for 2020 is that women  and children may feel safer in our country. 

Comedian Richelieu Beaunoir
Richelieu Beaunoir, comedian

I wish that 2020 is the year that brings the changes that we need in our lives, as a species on this earth and in our individual lives.

Dr Prieur du Plessis, Business Report columnist and director of companies

My wish for 2020 is for a year of inspired political leadership – characterised by pro-growth and business policies and reduced bureaucracy, and a return to stability on the economic front. This will enable businesses to plan beyond the short term, invest, create employment and be responsible corporate citizens for the advancement of all stakeholders. 


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