Challenges of the new year

A NEW year brings with it new hope of fresh opportunities and new beginnings.
It is an inspiring period, one in which resolutions are made as human beings forge their way forward in tackling the daily demands of life.
A new year, unfortunately, also brings with it the challenges, disappointments and burdens of the past.
With the 2016 matric results still vivid in our memories, the fact remains that the Eastern Cape continues to be the poorest performer and a long, hard and possibly uncomfortable look will be needed by the Eastern Cape government and national government in turning the situation around.
The road death toll over the festive period – at a shocking 1714 and indicating a 5% increase on the corresponding period the previous year – should also spark action on this front. Too many South Africans are dying on our roads and it seems that the Arrive Alive campaign is not having the necessary impact.
In 2013, the International Transport Forum’s Road Safety Annual Report ranked SA the worst out of 36 countries when it came to the number of road fatalities. It is highly doubtful that this situation has improved as the road death toll continues to rise.
Closer to home, constant interruptions in the power and water supplies (while taking into consideration the ongoing drought in the area) continue to raise the ire of local residents and rightly so.
While some interventions have been made in terms of the provision of additional infrastructure to assist with the supply of electricity in Ezibeleni, all hopes of development are being curtailed by ongoing cuts.
In other areas, water and power supply disruptions are also common and the dissent is growing.
This year will have to be marked by improved focus on service delivery and communication with communities.
It will also have to be a year where emphasis is placed on the joint responsibility of all to work together for the benefit of the area while stakeholders will have to recognise the importance of building stronger, unified relationships aimed at pursuing the common good.
Together, we can achieve far more than we would be able to do individually.

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