The “If you are not with us then you are against us” attitude still drives the way we conduct our discourse, whether in politics or other spheres of life. As leaders, whether in church, sport or politics, one has to have the maturity to differentiate between discourse about real issues and personal attacks.
A real leader cannot be driven by emotions as that tends to cloud their judgment . We have to learn as a society to deal with issues and principles without allowing our emotions and personal feelings to control our engagement. As a society we also have to stop having a binary view on things and understand that even your political enemy or someone you may personally dislike can do positive things and we must be prepared to acknowledge them and support them, when they do. Politics and alliances are temporary, but life is permanent. Everyone knows that the Enoch Mgijima Municipality has basically abandoned its constitutional mandate to provide services to its people.
I challenge anyone to disagree with me on this one. The town is filthy, the residential areas are overrun with rubbish and general filth. Most street lights have long stopped working and almost all robots are either down or partially working, leading to generally difficult driving conditions in the town of Komani, especially at night. The local municipality has long stopped even trying to pretend that these are their duties, in fact they seem to think that the general decay is ‘normal’. This then explains the very hostile attitude towards people like Sean Russell and other neighbourhood structures who are trying to brighten the surrounds we live in. Just read the many posts of these self-important ‘leaders’ on social media and you will see how dire our situation is.
Instead of being embarrassed into action, they have resorted to slander and hostility towards those who are getting up and doing something for the general good. Not even the impending local government election has shaken them from their slumber. I wonder what have we done to deserve such people. They only care about their salaries at the end of the month – as long as we pay for rates and services – which we never receive – they are satisfied. I think we need to seriously consider taking drastic action to wake them from their slumber. Maybe when there is no money at the end of the month to pay salaries, which many have not earned, will they take us seriously.
Maybe we should start paying for actual services that we receive and not pay for those that we do not. The water situation has been pathetic ever since the Chris Hani District Municipality took over. The water rationing and non-supply of water has been the norm and we are so resigned to it that we do not even complain about it any longer. We are only reminded about it when someone from outside complains when they have to stay here for a day or two. Surely we didn’t struggle to be forced to live miserable lives. These things are avoidable and can be fixed.
Why have a couple of individuals, with help from the wider community, managed to do what the Enoch Mgijima Municipality with their well-paid staff of hundreds, have failed to do? It is not about money, but a matter of attitude and indifference. They simply do not care. Perhaps we should force them to care or ship out. To Sean Russell and many others in our town who are doing the little they can – we salute you and wish you strength to withstand the nonsense coming your way from misguided and myopic people who do not care about the rest of us small people.