FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SECTION27 COMMENT ON THE STATE OF OUR NATION
15 February 2018
JOHANNESBURG – Today, for a brief moment, our country can catch its breath, exhale and allow a deep sigh of relief to envelope us. This morning we woke up from a nine-year nightmare of corruption, hell, death, pain, violence and an erosion of our freedom.
There are many statements speaking to the details of this nightmare. At SECTION27 we wish to take a moment to reflect on the road ahead and the even bigger responsibility that rests on all our shoulders. We can take a moment to rest, but only for a moment.
We welcome the beginning of the end of the Zuma reign. We now need to roll our sleeves up. There is a long to-do list, but a few priorities in our experience include:
Fix the economy, and make it work for the majority of our people, not the privileged few.
Fix our health system, and turn it into a lifesaving, health promoting buoy for our people not the end of the road where suffering, lack of compassion and poor service is far too prevalent.
Fix our basic education system, so every child has all the tools and basic necessities at their disposal to reach their full potential and graduate from an education system that is not the end of the road, but a next step towards a future filled with potential, growth and a fulfilled life.
We congratulate currently Acting President Cyril Ramaphosa. We hope this is the beginning of a new era under your leadership. We would like to make one suggestion for your State of the Nation address tomorrow night:
Please make a clear statement about the importance of a vigorous, independent civil society in our constitutional democracy; that we are not the enemy, and that government officials should seek to listen to and work with civil society in the realisation of social justice.
Strength and vision to you in leading us in this new struggle for social justice and equality. We will support your good efforts, but will remain independent and critical when we do not agree.
Our country has walked a long road to freedom. We have tried not to falter; we have made (huge) missteps along the way. But have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. Today, we take a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds us, to look back on the distance we have come. But we can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and we dare not linger, for our long walk is not ended. (With deep respect, love and thanks to Madiba from whom we loaned these words).