Reader’s letter: South Africa and Africa


Fanie Cronje writes:

In 1994, it was especially the African continent that looked with great anticipation at the new democracy.

The aim to follow the South African example of democracy and cooperation in a country of conflict and which should then serve as an example. I myself also traveled in Africa at that time and the example of South Africa was certainly looked forward to. A country free from central government interference, free from corruption and the opportunity for the growth, economically and politically, of ordinary citizens and their right to demand a better life.

South Africa was therefore in the exalted position of getting Africa out of its misery. To set a worthy example to follow and finally succeed in dragging the whole of Africa, as the continent with immense natural resources, out of the “mud”. At first, with the euphoria surrounding the first president Nelson Mandela and then the African Renaissance initiatives by his successor president Thabo Mbeki, it seemed as if it was indeed possible.

Unfortunately, the “decline” had already begun with matters such as the whole Aids debacle and others. After that, the third president, Jacob Zuma, took over the reins and the era of statehood began in earnest.

That is to say, rather than becoming an example of excellence (with which Africa could identify), South Africa imitated precisely that example of what is happening in Africa and one can therefore say that South Africa has been dragged down to the “weaker” example .

However, South Africa has another opportunity to make the difference in Africa. With the advent of the period of coalitions (collaborative government) South Africa can once again make that difference by setting an example for Africa of how to achieve this.

Everyone who can should go vote first to ensure that there is no one-party rule again. Then, secondly, it will depend on politicians to ensure that the government will be in the interest of the greater good.

Not only for South Africa’s well-being, but also as an example for Africa, it is critically important that coalition government first brings stability and joint economic growth, but also serves the greater good.