God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

State of the Nation Address

Yesterday was the big day – the state of the nation address was delivered by President Jacob Zuma – a colorful event and full benches – everybody seems to have the urge to show off their importance and what’s best in the wardrobe at home. Tastes and styles are indeed different, but important was what the President had to say about the state of the nation.
Experiencing service delivery protests all over the country, being plagued by mining strikes, a free-falling rand at times, scandals like Gupta, Nakandla and so much more, one would have expected a speech facing the realities and encouraging the people and politicians to tackle these obstacles and showing light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe too much expectations.
What I heard was a summary of 20 years one party rule  – only striving on some of the issues without addressing them proper or offering any solution. The repeated promised for millions of jobs sounded empty – to bring the service delivery protests in connection with success of the ruling party, so that only those not attended to are protesting was somehow genius and unbelievable at the same time.
HIV was mentioned – the words “resistance” and “cracking health system” I didn’t hear nor did I hear about the plight of TB especially in the Western part of the country.
I asked myself how a president perceived to be corrupt can talk about rooting out corruption. I hoped to hear that word “Wingfield” and housing to acknowledge that since years the government stalls efforts to give national land away for housing projects of the province.
I must say, I was disappointed about the performance, contents and tone was at no time encouraging – it sounded like the German slogan “weiter so” – just continuation of the situation as is as there is anyhow nobody else who could take over.
The state of the nation address is about a government set into a democratic onset – I would have expected some words about the working of parliament, how democracy can be developed further and that stones in the hand of protesters are no valid arguments to avoid other parties toi-toi.
So according to the President the last 20 years period of time was a success story – which is in part true as the country has not encountered civil war or similar. But maybe it was not because of the government but despite the government. I acknowledge that governing in our world coming from a liberation and struggle background may be tough and mistakes are made. But why did I not hear any meaningful reflection on what might be wrong, why not admitting that there are challenges ahead we only can solve if all spheres of government and all political players, be it the ruling party or the opposition plays its role.
As a president it is his task to encourage people of the country to go for more democracy and to explain that violence is not a political argument.
Let’s face it: the country is in turmoil in the moment – also attributed to election time – and it feels there are more challenges than achievements. Even if this is just a feeling, it would have been nice to be addressed. I had the feeling that we saw a President who will have to struggle to survive the next 5 years in office. The coming time will be full of surprises, but there is no doubt that on the 7th of May the ANC will win again the majority.

Working in the fields of HIV and AIDS, which has had its success stories in the last years without doubt, we need an environment where those stories can succeed and new ones added. For that we need a stable country, less corruption also in the health sector and an end to service deliver protests which stops people from attending clinics and taking their life saving medications. We need proper housing outside wetlands to prevent TB and proper sanitation to avoid Cholera, Typhus and other diseases. So politics plays a vital role for the health of its citizen and for an NGO, the rule of law and a proper partnership with the state authorities based on mutual understanding and not just “like and dislike depending on party affiliation” is needed.

Filed under: General, Politics and Society, Reflection, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Every struggle hero a good politician?

The ANC manifesto will tell South Africans exactly who to vote for, says President Jacob Zuma and I guess he means it. He means it differently as I or others will understand it. And I have to admit that elections in South Africa posses tough choices. The problem of the ANC is a problem also churches face: Glorifying the past and telling people how good one has been at times does not qualify for office in these times. Or to phrase it differently: Not every struggle veteran is a good politician – what wisdom could the ANC gain if they would acknowledge and honor those having been in the struggle but also being honest that most of them not qualify to run a country or a province. This assessment is does not lack respect – the opposite is the case: one respects the achievements while acknowledging the limitations. Every period of time needs people up to tasks of the specific time. It’s up to an organization to acknowledge that and up to the wisdom of people concerned to step aside as “honored elderly”. Because this is not happening in South Africa and only people in line with any statement made by the senior officials and struggle heroes can climb up the carer ladder we are in the predicament as it unfolds today. Exactly because of that, “Malemas” can rise and try to destroy even more the future of South Africa.
The ANC will rule forever says the president and shows very bluntly, that he has not understood what democracy means. It is not about a party – it is about honoring those who brought freedom and give this generation the chance to develop a country by democratic means and with the eduction and freedom attached which is needed to develop into a healed and healthy society.

The South African society needs healing more than anything else – and even for that we need people able to heal instead of singing struggle songs and showing clearly that they are not willing to see this as their proud history with no prominent role in our days. And no, I am not anti ANC at all – I really hope that this party, like also others by the way, can meet that transformation for the better good of the people. Because only then the state will function without corruption; only then health services and fundamental service deliveries will take place in a fashion suitable and acceptable for the masses. Only then politicians will understand that they serve the people and not themselves and their families – only then people in power don’t have the urge to compensate for lost gains in the times of struggle.

History comes in chapters – it’s time that we allow for a new chapter, memorizing the past without letting ourselves and our action been poised by the blame game. Only reconciliation and healing will bring the future. So once again: let’s honor the heroes of the struggle and let’s form a new generation of politicians able to overcome the divide plaguing our country years into democracy.

Filed under: General, Politics and Society, Reflection, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , ,

14th HOPE Gala Dresden

HOPE Gala Dresden - the event to be in DresdenNovember 16th, 2019
4 months to go.

Ball of HOPE 2020

Join us @ The Westin in Cape TownMay 23rd, 2020
11 months to go.
Follow God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE on WordPress.com

Blog Categories

Block Entries Calender

June 2019
S M T W T F S
« May    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  

HOPE Cape Town Twitter Account

You can share this blog in many ways..

Bookmark and Share

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,022 other followers

Translation – Deutsch? Française? Espanol? …

The translation button is located on each single blog page, Copy the text, click the button and paste it for instant translation:
Website Translation Widget

or for the translation of the front page:

* Click for Translation

Copyright

© Rev Fr Stefan Hippler and HIV, AIDS and HOPE.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Rev Fr Stefan Hippler and HIV, AIDS and HOPE with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

This not withstanding the following applies:
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

%d bloggers like this: