Voices

Patricia de Lille: Be good. Do good. Fix South Africa

2019-02-13 22:09

The world and South Africa have changed significantly since 1994. Our country is rapidly urbanising.

Already the majority of South Africans live in our towns and cities, but it is clear that government as usual is not working for most of our people.

It is time to fix South Africa. Not just to talk about fixing it, but to take the action needed to fix it, town by town, city by city.

The political failures of the past 25 years are not good enough. Unemployment increased from 22.8% in 2008 to 27.5% last year.

The dream of where we were going, and the reality of where we are are just too far apart.

Last week Good launched its Plan to Fix South Africa, which is a suite of proven solutions that can solve the problems that South Africa and other developing countries like ours face.

These solutions need to be implemented in all our towns and cities.

A Good government will fight for spatial justice for towns and cities.

Public land will be used for public good so that redress and restitution are accelerated.

How and where people live will matter.

Formal housing will be delivered faster and in better locations.

Title deeds will be given to residents living in informal settlements so that they can invest in their own homes.

Families who have been renting government homes for decades will be given title deeds to own their homes.

The railways will be fixed and e-tolls will be removed so that those displaced by apartheid to far-flung locations are not penalised for the distances they are forced to travel.

A Good government will fight for economic justice.

Government cannot create jobs. The role of government is to create the conditions in our towns and cities that are conducive to investment so that new businesses can bring new jobs. To do this, we need a clean, efficient Good government; stable and affordable electricity supply; Good infrastructure; clear Good government policy; high-speed, affordable data; and a skilled, employable workforce.

Corruption and cadre deployment will be stopped by prosecuting people and sending them to prison, not to Parliament.

The operating costs of government will be cut by reducing the size of Cabinet, linking MP salary increases to GDP growth and making state-owned enterprises (SOEs) financially independent so that bailout money is used to invest in our people.

State pensions and social grants will be increased in line with the annual inflation rate so that beneficiaries do not get poorer.

A Good government will fight for social justice.

Good will build a non-racist and non-sexist society by removing poverty and inequality.

Violence and crime will be socialised out of our society by linking more effective policing services with effective social support services.

Education is the key to prosperity. There is a mismatch between the skills required in the economy and what we currently produce. Improved standards and skills that the market needs from education will make graduates more employable.

The face of poverty in South Africa is mostly female. We must break the feminisation of poverty and enable women, and the nation, to rise.

A Good government will fight for environmental justice.

A Good government will implement our international commitment to reduce the impact of climate change.

Good will increase renewable energy in the grid and allow towns and cities to procure or generate their own power.

South Africa is a drought-stricken country and Good will ensure water security. We must change our relationship with water and we will continue to have water-saving programmes. 

Water security will be achieved through equitable sharing of benefits and augmenting our water resource so that we do not rely solely on rain water.

To deal with the scourge of corruption in our country, we must continue to prosecute the corrupt. I have reaffirmed my commitment to testify against former president Jacob Zuma in his court case related to the 783 charges which I raised in 1999.

Our Good position on land is that local, provincial and national government, as well as land owned by SOEs, must be used for public good. Government is the custodian of public land because it belongs to all South Africans.

This, based on proven solutions, is our Good Plan.

Now is a Good time to fix South Africa. Be Good. Do Good. Fix South Africa.

De Lille is the Good leader (forgood.org.za) and is an anti-corruption whistle-blower

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August 18 2019