What if everything worked as should?

WHAT if everyone decided to rely on government handouts? Who would provide the "tax dollars"?

There is already such a demand on the "tax dollars" from the existing beneficiaries, the nepotism, the tenderpreneurs, bonuses, fraud, corruption, "official" trips, KFC and Nando's purchases, golden handshakes for the incompetent and just plain old theft.

With the new constitution, we are said to be equal, so why should some have to work and pay taxes, while others receive the benefit of handouts?

Am I not entitled to these handouts too? I also get a feeling of entitlement when I look at the way the politicians squander the taxes that I have paid for nearly 40 years.

That money is more mine than it is theirs, but they embark on some sort of self-enrichment frenzy. If only there was enough for all and only a few needed handouts.

What if everyone started rioting (known as protesting nowadays), burning tyres, stoning cars and blocking roads as a way of demanding service from our metro/government? Those of us who do pay for services would be within our rights to do so – after all, we are not getting full value for our money.

I am not just talking about the fixing of our roads, clearing of our open spaces or the cutting of our grass verges, but also of a return on the massive salaries that we pay to our incompetent leaders. If only the metro/government officials actually kept the campaign promises they made to their voters.

What if everyone could depend on the medical services provided by the state for our health requirements, without having to provide for costly medical aids or medical insurance to ensure that we are given the best medical treatment possible? If only the quality of the medical health services was of the same high standard it was prior to 1994 and made available to everyone.

What if all teachers took pride in what they were doing, pupils did not feel entitled and everyone was prepared to work hard to achieve good results? The teachers would have no need to strike, and pupils did not burn books and vandalise property to get what should have been available to both groups in the first place.

If only all the officials appointed to manage our education system were qualified and competent enough to ensure a higher standard of service than currently experienced by pupils and teachers alike.

What if our police force and the legal system were not hamstrung by politics and could operate independently from politicians, if court cases and prosecutions were not delayed unnecessarily and justice was seen to be swift, irrespective of political affiliation?

If only the recent media reports of corruption and police brutality, together with the proposed appointments of judges being made on the basis of political loyalties, did not increase the perceptions and fears of our nation.

What if everyone responsible for voting for the ruling party suddenly realised that the democratic vote that they fought so long and hard for is more powerful than street protests? Those who made the ultimate sacrifice to obtain this right could be proud to say they fought for all that has been achieved.

If only elections were won on past performance and not on promises, elected officials would be afraid they could be voted out for not delivering. The historical actions of the elected officials should be the only reason that they get a vote.

What if all voters made South Africa work, by voting with their minds, rather than their emotions? If only South Africa was not perceived to be the next Zimbabwe.

Peter Haupt, Beverley Grove, Port Elizabeth