DDF will apply brakes to shifting standards

There seems to be an almost universal strategy to either set standards that are already achieved and then claim the credit for achieving them or to withdraw from battlefields and make like there is no battle.

Three articles in the current M & G on-line edition bring both theses strategies into pretty clear focus. Africa is very much a homophobic continent and however liberal South Africa’s constitution is, support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans gendered people in the streets of our cities is lamentable. So also is the general support for victims of sexual violence and sexual and violent crimes against women and children proliferate. Sadly also, institutionalised violence seems to have been extended from the political arena to the more general criminal arena, and reports of police violence and indifference to criminal acts by their own members, proliferate. These are the three articles; Khayelitshe police incapable, Apartheid culture of violence and universal access.

All of this can be summed into an overriding indifference to the rule of law both by promulgators and administrators, and a general unwillingness to apply the rule of law.

It is denialism at its worst. Wikipedia defines it thus: In human behaviour, denialism is exhibited by individuals choosing to deny reality as a way to avoid dealing with an uncomfortable truth.

That is exactly what SAPS did when it removed specialist units dealing with sexual violence cases from its police stations. This was done in the name of cost rationalisation. What the government of the day did was to deny there existed the sorts of problems that demanded those costs be incurred, so as to ignore the uncomfortable truth of sexual violence That is exactly what successive departments of education have done by dumbing-down the nation’s matriculation examination standards. “We have no educational problems – look at the improved matriculation results” they crow. Then there is the question of acceptable standards of water delivery and broadband delivery. Yes-Siree – ‘look at how we have improved access to water and to the internet’, neglecting to point out that the only way they were able to report improved statistics on water and broadband delivery was by shifting the goalposts to levels that required no effort to achieve, indeed to levels that were largely already achieved. They did something very similar to the housing problem in South Africa, exacerbated by opening SA’s borders to everyone who could claim struggle credentials. Instead of responding by building more and adequate housing for the homeless they turned our suburbs into ghettos and the most appalling shanty towns have sprung up in every available corner of every major city in the land, without roads nor even the most basic service delivery.

All of this happens under the banner of a fiction that said of successive post apartheid governments – look at how we are addressing the needs of the nation. And what a fiction that is! 

A Direct Democracy Forum administration would set standards that were meaningful to constituents and would insist they be met. It would insist on the rule of law and would severely censure any officer of the state for not upholding the law. A DDF administration would deliver running water to every household in the land and that would be the standard. It would deliver communities which residents could live in in safety and comfort, that it’s children could go to school in, in safety, and be properly educated and that would be the standard. It would deliver meaningful education standards to the nation. It would return industry and agriculture to the land and create employment. It would restore food security to the land and it would restore South Africa to South Africans, and that would be the standard. We remember when South Africa worked and we will make it work again, with meaningful education, health care, transport, social and community development, only this time without gate-keepers, without racial, sexual or gender discrimination, without nepotism, or cronyism, or patrimony. Only merit will drive South Africa, and South Africa will flourish as never before, and that would be the standard.

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