Top 10 socio-economic problems in SA

Unemployed painters, plumbers and tilers wait outside Builder's Warehouse in Johannesburg, South Africa, for job opportunities on June 6, 2012.  Image: Gallo Images / City Press / Herman Verwey
Unemployed painters, plumbers and tilers wait outside Builder’s Warehouse in Johannesburg, South Africa, for job opportunities on June 6, 2012. Image: Gallo Images / City Press / Herman Verwey

1 ENDANGERED MARRIAGE LEGACY: South Africans appear to have departed from the state of being a loving, caring and committed society. Society seems to no longer consider marriage as a long-term project. Personally, I find it enormously difficult to envisage a nation of single-parent citizens. Statistics show a dramatic decline in the number of people getting married, coupled with a rise in divorces, and South Africa is now rated among the top five countries with the highest divorce rates in the world.

2 ABSENT FATHERHOOD: Absent fatherhood constitutes fatherlessness. It is increasingly becoming more common for children to grow up in an unbalanced family order. I myself was partly brought up in such a similar, adverse family situation.

3 TEENAGE PARENTHOOD: The number of teenagers falling pregnant has reached abnormal levels. Be it instinctively happening or state-social-grant motivated, the consequences are costly, including but not limited to school dropouts, immature parenthood, and a rise in child adoption.

4 CULTURAL DISTORTION: Any elements of culture (unintentionally) advocating the consumption of liquor enhance the possibility of addiction. Merely by endorsing liquor as the official substance that determines or governs any cultural initiation at any stage of human growth is tantamount to the approval of addiction. There seems to be a false idea that alcohol was part of our primitive society.

I want to correct the impression that this was the case across all South African tribal or social backgrounds. The unintended consequences of such cultural ignorance and commercialisation of culture continue to negatively impact generations across all races.

5 ALCOHOL ABUSE: Similarly to smoking tobacco or dagga, drinking alcohol is not a good habit, and alcohol intake precedes dependency on alcohol. Just like drinking and driving endangers lives, so alcohol abuse ruins a person’s future.The inevitable would be a class of unproductive citizens and an expensive healthcare system owing to the effects of alcoholism and other related addictive substances.

6 ANARCHY CULTURE: South Africans seem to have shifted from being a reasonable and peace-loving nation (where people obey rules and laws) to being a militant and brutal society. Evidently, SAPS statistics reveal that senseless crimes are committed on a daily basis along with unjustified violent acts against property (state and private). Constant murdering has become the new norm.

7 HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT AND LOW WAGES: An unemployment rate higher than 25% of the total population is considered very high. The gap between the haves and the have-nots is expanding at a rapid pace. Problems associated with that state of inequalities comprise a dissatisfied section of citizens who are getting angry and impatient, strikes, violence, etc.

8 CORRUPTION: This act of injustice creates an unfair economic situation whereby only the rich are likely to be the beneficiaries of state resources. Ordinary citizens are automatically captured in a modern caste system, SA version (with no prospects for economic or social betterment). Government officials tend to reserve the state’s lucrative contracts exclusively for politically aligned individuals or those who are already rich, and this alone has bred poor service delivery to the poor.

9 LACK OF LEADERSHIP: Leadership is a learnt skill just like any other field of study, and everyone has the potential to grow and develop in this precious life skill along with time. Leadership classes should be taught at all levels of society – household, family, cultural social, religious and professional – and, if possible, prior to the political party level.

10 HERITAGE ILLITERACY: There is a Lack of Knowledge Syndrome (LKS), where people tend to learn and adopt negative and uncultured social values and then begin to forge their own principles based on the same toxic social, philosophical and ideological backgrounds. And the outcome of this creates grave mistakes where an individual begins to think that right is wrong and that wrong is right; or good is bad and that bad is good. The byproduct of such ignorance is moral degeneration and character deterioration.

I would like to commend all single parents (especially women) for demonstrating leadership at the family level and parental care, as well as all the loving, caring and committed fathers and full-time parents. May you continue to be symbols of hope, agents of positive change, vessels of love, stewards of peace, components of nation-building and role models for this generation.

 

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