IT IS now very clear that the culture of impunity in South Africa is ingrained, with gross irresponsibility being the norm.
This is in light of the recent campaign by the Tshwane Metro to raid establishments around the city to pay for their services in the process raising billions of rand.
Usually, when this issue of refusal to pay and wanting things for ‘free’, we are incessantly referred to townships and so-called squatter camp residents and other deprived communities. But the cat is out of the bag.
Large public institutions ranging from government departments, to universities, to private concerns are also on the bandwagon. No sooner had the campaign started and they realised that they were in its sights – and even shortly after they were cut off – did they suddenly pay.
What is disturbing is that when they had to suffer immediate consequences, suddenly the money was available. This simply means that they were just recalcitrant and did not want to pay.
If such public institutions which are supposed to play a part in setting an example to society in behaving responsibly are so arrogant, what future does the country have?
And a question must be asked of past Tshwane governments: Why did they not embark on this process which is only being done now? Why did they let these institutions get away with not paying for services and still called themselves ’leaders’ of the city?
Do we really need high-ranking officials such as city mayors being directly involved in these campaigns and accompanying officials to cut off services, that only then institutions will live up to their responsibilities?
DR THABISI HOEANE Pretoria