Secondary

Wouldn’t it be nice if:

there were no suspicions or clouds around our President and he was seen as a totally honest, humble guy who lived in accommodation that most people found surprisingly modest;

South African drivers realised that the left hand lane is the slow lane and not the lane for overtaking;

the Springboks acknowledged that you only score if you have possession of the ball, the Proteas won one World Cup and Bafana Bafana recaptured the glory days of the mid-1990s;

people from government arrived on time at meetings and did not send junior substitutes to speak on their behalf at conferences because they had to attend to more important matters of state;

the government realised they are the servants of the people, not the other way around;
CEOs were actually seen by workers walking the job, gathering opinions and showing some sense of humour;

the Chinese discovered there was no medicinal value in rhino horns;

you could see into your neighbour’s garden as no wall hindered your view;

good schools were praised for their outstanding results as opposed to being lambasted for the size of their classes;

all our state hospitals were excellent enough for government ministers to use and all state schools were adequate enough for them to send their kids to;

politicians travelled economy and collected their luggage from the carousel;

if on one day all the robots in the entire nation were working at the same time;

never again did you see a blue light convoy;

never again did you have to tick a colour box when filling in an application for anything;

70 of the top 100 South African companies in 50 years time were not in existence today and were started by black and white entrepreneurs with ground-breaking ideas;

just a few of our city streets were named after heroes in other arenas besides politics;

a company announced that the income gap between its board and its workers had fallen as a result of a drive to share the pain of economic hard times;

a party manifesto was published without any Marxist terminology or hollow-sounding rhetoric and instead consisted of measurable outcomes to improve the quality of life of ordinary people;

the number of incidents of violent crime and murder in your suburb dropped so much that you took a bouquet of flowers around to the local police station;

real life inter-racial relations were as good as those depicted in beer adverts;

contracts were awarded to people who could actually do the job;

all judges and state prosecutors were appointed on merit;

those found guilty of corruption actually went to jail without medical parole;

the lottery board were consistent in their donations to the NGOs which really make a difference;

South Africa had its own Lula moment where it recognised its future rested on creating an all-inclusive, entrepreneurial economy;

the government and unions understood that money does not grow on trees and revenue has to exceed costs for business to survive;

every citizen was aware that South Africa has a fragile physical environment and a balance between it, economic development and human wellbeing is essential;

the taxpayer was seen as a sacred cow to be milked at a reasonable rate and not slaughtered by taxes, rates and tolls;

the general state of living here was attractive enough to keep talented young South Africans away from thoughts of emigration, and our country was perceived to be the first stop for young, ambitious global citizens with dreams of being part of Africa;

foreign companies and investors were welcomed warmly rather than treated with suspicion;

the ruling party were more than a club where internal politics among the members superseded everything else, and instead they actually looked outwards;

being South African, like being American, meant more to an individual than ethnic, racial or religious origin;

we developed a “pay forward” mentality where philanthropy became a driving force among the more prosperous members of our community;

we had an Economic Codesa which, in retrospect, was considered as the starting point for an economic democracy that became the envy of the world.

It would be nice, wouldn’t it. And don’t tell me to dream on!

– Clem Sunter

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