When a group of farmers and taxi drivers come together in a small town in the Free State to jointly protest against service delivery and deteriorating road conditions, something encouraging is afoot. And when a number of civil society groups, prominent leaders representing labour, business, politics, religion and struggle veterans hold a picket in front of the Constitutional Court to defend South Africa’s democracy and the Constitution, there is reason to be excited and encouraged.
South Africans from all walks of life, are tired of our democracy being dragged through the mud by a relatively small group of people who are implicated in the grand-scale looting of the State. South Africans are standing together and pushing back.
The picket outside the Constitutional Court was particularly significant. Over 300 people, representing dozens of organisations under the banner Defend Our Democracy (DoD), gathered in response to former president Jacob Zuma’s defiance of a Constitutional Court order to appear before the state capture enquiry. But this was not just about Jacob Zuma. It is about the general RET cabal whose populist antics and agenda is receiving far too much airtime while their narrative is damaging our country.
The DoD initiative introduces another element of extremely positive energy. Organisations and leaders from all sectors of society are pledging support for a campaign that pushes back against those involved in the “unrestrained large-scale looting which has destabilised the state and brought the economy to the brink of collapse.”
This is an initiative that we believe every good South African should support, along with the rise of constructive organised civil society initiatives at municipal level, which are aimed at holding to account those who run roughshod over our constitution and democratic values.
As a nation, we have allowed too much airtime to be given to those with nefarious agendas. We allowed them to become disruptive and to divide us on issues of race, religion, gender, nationality and political affiliation. An initiative like DoD strengthens the reality of a common purpose for a prosperous South Africa and showcases how the vast majority of South Africans are united in their aspirations for the country.
All well-meaning South African’s want the same thing, including peace, prosperity for all, inclusivity of a vibrant economy and a government that is effective, accountable and committed to our constitutional democracy. While we still have a lot of work ahead to deal with the deep-rooted issues that do divide us, our journey of nation building is being unnecessarily disrupted by the likes of Zuma, Malema, Mkhwebane, Magashule, Niehaus and others in the RET cabal. The DoD has great potential to improve our plight.
The flurry of media activity in mid-March around Sanral insisting it will block your car licence renewals if you don’t pay e-tolls, was not a new development or announcement. It was simply an old statement that resurfaced in the media and created a stir. The current position is that a decision on e-tolls has still not been made, although we believe an announcement is imminent. It is time to pull the plug! Please know that as we speak, your vehicle license cannot be withheld as a result of not paying your e-toll bills. If this ever emerges as a real issue, OUTA will challenge it as vociferously as we did the e-toll matter.