It’s time for us to take the wheel

Time of article published Mar 27, 2012

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Louise van Rhyn

SA IS at a crossroads. What we do during the next 12 months will be decisive for the future of our country. Our entire nation is being invited into a conversation about a plan that will bring alignment and coherence to the activities of millions of people.

We are all being asked to choose: to either become actively involved as citizens and co-owners of the country and to be co-creators of an SA that works for all, or to continue to sit back and wait while we complain that change is not happening fast enough and blame others for not delivering on our expectations. The beautiful new video released by ShoutSA reminded us that every one of us has a voice. It is time to use that voice.

After much consultation, the NPC has identified three critical enablers for the 2030 plan: active citizenry, leadership, and a capable state.

The reality is that the future of “my” children is inextricably linked to the future of all 14 million children whose dreams are being shattered because of a broken education system.

We simply can’t afford to remain disengaged and to wait for some mythical power to deal with the challenges facing our country. The challenges are too big – we now need to tap into the collective intelligence, skills and talents of all South Africans.

The 2030 plan asks of us to “walk together” in partnership across sectoral boundaries: the government, business and social sectors.

We have a long and difficult road to travel and our chances of reaching the destination are so much better if we walk together.

We are all being asked to choose: to continue to focus on my business, my children, my small little world that I have been crafting for myself – or to make a decision to pursue a larger vision: an SA that will make it possible for all of us to realise our dreams.

We may need to make decisions that will lead to social benefit, but it may cost us money to do so.

Can we afford to say no to this opportunity to participate? What are the risks of not being actively involved in crafting and implementing the plan that will radically influence the future of our country?

Are you happy to abdicate responsibility for the future of our country by remaining disengaged from this process? Isn’t it time for us to realise that this is our country and our future? The choices we make this year will shape the SA that our children and grandchildren will inherit.

Dr Louise van Rhyn is a social entrepreneur and the founder of Symphonia for SA. For more information, visit

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