“Transformation” in South Africa will continually fail if race is the guiding principle – and it will be our coup de grace – in time!
Is it not ironical, if not tragic, that those who fought so valiantly in the “Struggle” for our liberation from the bondage of racial discrimination, many making the ultimate sacrifice or even being incarcerated, only so that South Africa could be a country free of racial bias and often misguidedly being referred to as a “non-racial society”?
We are a “non-racial society” only in name – not in practice.
What was once a noble cause of making good on the ills of the past has fast become a Sword of Democles under which the future of this country hangs.
Transformation was meant to be a tool to uplift the “previously disadvantaged” – and rightly so – more especially with regard to our “black” compatriots, who had suffered immensely under apartheid.
Sadly, transformation has become – and will become a weapon of destruction for South Africa – only because its very implementation is premised on the ideology of race and supplants merit, competence and capability, wherein people are being placed into positions of authority or power – but who lack the ability to perform the tasks necessary for such positions.
Our cabinet is a glaring example.
It will be argued that such a process requires time and effort.
Time we do not have any longer as the world is moving at a break-neck speed in terms of technology and development and effort – or the lack thereto – has become a favourite pastime of South Africans.
The longer we lag behind the modernization of an ever-changing world, the longer we give false hope to those who do not have the skills to hold a position but do and the longer we prevent people to start at ground zero and upskill themselves to levels of genuine competence, we are creating an ethos of entitlement that will be to the detriment of those generations yet unborn.
Transformation has given root to corruption, cadre deployment, nepotism, cronyism and the like and the majority of the very people for which it was designed for are languishing in poverty and hunger.
One only has to look at our bureaucracy to see the ill effects of transformation – and the real question then begs – when exactly will the concept of transformation end?
In ten years or twenty or fifty?
We truly need to transform the notion of transformation by realigning the manner in which such an ideology is currently implemented – only so that every South African, besides being given a fair and equal chance to realize their potential, will ensure that a productive nation is developed and grown to compete on the global theatre.
What our government and those who believe that they “know” what they are doing do not understand – or refuse to understand – is that the brain-drain that is occurring will come back to haunt us, only because those in power are so blinkered-visioned that they cannot see the consequences of this policy in the long term.
The current government is disinclined to relinquish power because they do not wish to sacrifice their comfort zones hence the downward spiral in every aspect of service delivery at all levels.
The solution is to, at the very least, start introducing merit as an option in the process of transformation, so that a South African society fifty years from now will resemble one that has competence, capability – and be a genuinely productive society.
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