EMPOWERMENT ZONE: Covid-19 brought SA’s socioeconomic issues to the fore

Miranda Lusiba

The Covid-19 period has shown all of us how severe our country’s socioeconomic issues are. A lot of these are very close to my heart and include: child-headed households, teenage pregnancy, alcohol and drug abuse, the breakdown of nuclear families, mental and psychological issues, the state of our education system with youth unemployment, gender-based violence (GBV) as well as poverty and inequality topping the list.

It’s really sad to see how many people are suffering and how some politicians either don’t care enough or at all. With local elections coming up, my prayer for the country is that after all the dust has settled we will be able to see some real change in ordinary people’s lives. There’s nothing more depressing than watching the news every day and all you see is how many are suffering, how Covid keeps ravaging families, the crime levels and corruption scandals. These issues become trending topics on social media platforms and when reading the comments you will see how these are turned into jokes in the form of memes.

When I thought about this twisted humour, I came to the realisation that it is merely a coping mechanism for many South Africans. So, when people are tired of moaning about the challenges this country is facing, they choose to laugh about them instead. With everything going up – petrol and food prices have become one of the sore points – there’s another meme going around that most people, especially women do not want to socialise after shopping for groceries because it has become an emotionally and psychologically taxing exercise. Food prices have gone up so much that the thought of buying groceries has become depressing. With all of that negativity I still get excited and proud every time I see a positive news story because, as a country, we definitely need more of these

I am certain that we all have a vision in our heads of the country we were promised – a South Africa full of potential and possibilities. I know for a fact I’d like to live in the home town I knew, a Komani that was clean with beautiful trees and good roads – this place had people who were full of hope for the future. In the case of SA, we had a thriving economy that was full of promise. Even with all the issues we had, we were still hopeful. My wish for this country is for politicians to put their differences aside for the good of the people.

My fear, though, is that the state of the country right now, the angry and despondent society caused by lack of delivery on the promises made will lead to a lot of people not going out to vote because they are tired of empty promises and not sure if there’s really a viable alternative in the political scene. However, with all that doom and gloom I’m still going to do the right thing and exercise my vote because I still believe my vote is my voice.

As I’ve always said, as much as there’s so much despondency in the country I understand and appreciate what needed to happen for me to earn my right to vote. A lot of people had to take up arms and die for me to be able to vote; and that I do not take for granted. I’m also going to vote because I’m still hopeful that my vote will help in making a positive impact on the socio economic issues I mentioned before which have been exacerbated by the advent of Covid-19.

For more info, contact me on: C: +27 (0) 68 029 8760 (Voice-Calls); C:  +27 (0) 78 675 1297 (WhatsApp) E: miranda@strangeconsulting.co.za AND Ora4117@gmail.com

Miranda Lusiba is the founding director of Strangé Consulting – a boutique PR agency specialising in communications, freelance writing, media relations, reputation management and media training. #Womeninbusiness

**Disclaimer: Miranda Lusiba & STRANGÉ CONSULTING retain all title, ownership and intellectual property (IP) rights to these columns and trademarks contained in all other information and supporting documents as well. This is in accordance with the SA: Copyright Act 98 of 1978 (amended) Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Act 38 of 1997

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