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AZAPO Voice Volume 2 Issue Number 14

AV2i14

EQUIP THE NATION WITH A BC-INSPIRED EDUCATION FOR EFFICIENCY AND SELF-RELIANCE

A country’s most valuable asset is its people. If you want to change a country, you must educate the people and change their thinking. The people must first believe that they are worthy. They must believe in themselves. They must love themselves. They must embrace the truth that they are the masters of their own destiny.

The people should know that nobody owes them anything; and that for their lives to change, they are the ones that can effect the change. They must believe that they are on their own. In a nutshell, the people should know that they are their own liberators.

As the election hype is getting louder, one fundamental question that AZAPO, like all other parties, is often asked is: “What are you going to do that is different from the ruling party?” Various political analysts, including some in the ruling party, agree that the ruling party has failed to deliver on key issues such as land,   job creation, improving the quality of health and education and even to render basic services such as clean water.

But these commentators quickly add that there is no viable alternative; and because of this “reality”, the voters will return the ruling party to power, albeit with a reduced majority.

In other words, what the analysts are asking is: What is AZAPO’s USP (unique selling proposition)? We have repeatedly said that AZAPO is the only party that is offering the country an authentic remedy to all the maladies that continue to arrest our progress as a people. And that is Black Consciousness.

If we move from a point of view that accepts as fact the assertion that a country’s most valuable asset is its people, then we should invest in empowering the people with knowledge and education. For instance, Singapore is a small island country without any real natural resources to speak about. They do not even have drinking water; and they have to import water from neighbouring Malaysia and also make their own water from a process of desalination.

But they are rich because they have a skilled population that is able to use science, technology and innovation to address all their human needs. Contrast this with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The DRC is extremely rich in mineral resources. But its people are extremely poor, because the majority are without skills.

Back to semi-occupied Azania. Our country has a huge problem of unemployment. 4 out of 10 people who should be working are not working. Many of these people are unemployable because they do not have skills. AZAPO has rightly identified education as the most important thing that can help the country to attain its economic potential.

There are two aspects of education that an AZAPO government would focus on. The first is BC-inspired political education. The second is high-tech education that will use science, technology and innovation to address the needs of the population.

An AZAPO government will launch a massive political education campaign to explode the myth of projecting politicians as the only people who know it all;  and who will single-handedly solve the country’s problems.

Currently, people believe that the 400 politicians in the National Assembly and the few hundreds who are in the Provincial Legislatures are the ones who can stop corruption, transform the economy and render quality services. This is placing too much faith and power in too few people.

For any government to deliver quality services to its people, it would have to rely on its public servants. Granted, elected politicians have an important role of providing political leadership and policy guidance, but the actual delivery of service hinges on the quality of the public service. In other words, what AZAPO is saying, is that the Minister of Police can make all sorts of promises about a possible breakthrough in the arrest of killers of Orlando Pirates goalkeeper, Senzo Meyiwa. But it is only an effective police force that can actually arrest the murderers and ensure a successful prosecution.

The State can build state-of-the-art hospitals and clinics. But if the healthcare professionals do not do their work, the quality of healthcare in the country would not improve regardless of the commitments by the Minister of Health. But nurses who have been baptised in BC; who respect themselves and respect the lives of other people; would be well positioned to render quality service in public hospitals.

A Black Conscious public service, which is also patriotic, is crucial for delivery of quality service to the population.

The nation’s fate cannot be placed on elected politicians who give bribes to avoid traffic fines; not on elected politicians who take bribes to ensure the disappearance of case dockets, resulting in bungling of serious cases against criminals; not on elected politicians who botch operations in hospitals, resulting in the premature deaths of hundreds of people; not on elected politicians who take bribes to allow importers to under-declare their imports, resulting in the loss of billions of rands which should go to the national fiscus.

Yes, many current politicians are failing to provide ethical leadership because they too are corrupt. But the real challenge lies with the type and quality of public servants that we have. With the right BC-inspired political education and high levels of patriotism, it would be difficult for corrupt politicians to get their way, of conspiring with their business associates to commit treason, which we euphemistically refer to as “State capture”.

Appreciating the fact that people are a country’s most valuable asset, an AZAPO government will invest in the people, giving them high-tech skills so that they can actively participate as productive players in the economy.

Under an AZAPO government, education will be free and compulsory until matric. Tertiary education will be free but the education will be geared towards acquisition of practical skills, embracing the fourth industrial revolution.

Because an average Azanian would be highly skilled, we would not have to export our minerals such as gold, diamond and platinum in their raw form at ridiculously cheap prices, only to import expensive finished products. But we would have massive programs of beneficiating our commodities, thus creating more employment for our people and getting the best price for our minerals.

Ignore the sophisticated apologists of the ruling party who argue that you should vote for the ruling party with all its imperfections and corruption, apparently they are the devil you know. Vote AZAPO, the party that has the capacity and principle to unlock our country’s full potential.


AZAPO STANDS BY SAMKELO MASEKO

ENCA’s senior political journalist Samkelo Maseko came under severe abuse by the ruling party’s top 6 leader Jessie Duarte on Tuesday.  Maseko’s sin was to ask a question when Duarte had decreed that questions unrelated to the statement she read for the media conference would have to be directed to the ANC’s spokespersons at a later stage.

Duarte lost her cool and ranted about how the young Maseko thought he was “the lord of journalism”, when he was “just a journalist”.  That was naked bullying of a young and dedicated Black journalist by a leader who was supposed to be impressed by Maseko’s hard work and professionalism.  She should have been the one encouraging the young Maseko to grow, instead of shooting him down into an obscure corner of fear and invisibility.

To his credit, Maseko stood his ground and was never intimidated by the powerful politician who is connected to the ruling party.  He rationally defended himself without being rude to a woman who is old enough to be his grandmother.

Duarte’s tone was full of prejudice and political royalty.  How on earth can she attack Maseko of thinking he is “the lord of journalism”?  Is it not correct that Maseko should in fact aspire, like all other journalists, to be the “lord of journalism”?  By all means, he should.  That is, if that phrase represents what highest accomplishments that a journalist can reach in the profession.  People like Duarte are so used to mediocrity in their political circles that they sweep everyone under the carpet of mediocrity.

AZAPO supports Maseko.  He must continue to ask the difficult and embarrassing questions to the corrupt politicians.  He must never allow them to rest under the false security of their power.  Maseko should know that he is making an invaluable contribution to the deepening of democracy by being the conscience and voice of the voiceless.  The Duartes of this world complain that Maseko ambushes them and forces them to answer questions about which they were not warned beforehand.  Why should Maseko arm these spoiled politicians?

Prejudice seems to come naturally from Duarte.  She sees nothing wrong with chastising somebody doing his work and pointing him with her fingers.  She seems not to be aware of how undermining it is to the profession of journalism to tell a Young, Gifted and Black journalist that he is nothing but “just a journalist”.  That is patronising.  She seems to think that being an ANC Deputy Secretary General that she is, is more than being “just a journalist”.  She forgets how dedicated journalists like Maseko are somehow responsible for giving them the platform to be the arrogant political celebrities they have become.

To AZAPO, Maseko is more than “just a journalist”.  He is a Black journalist whose professional forebears were marginalised by virtue of their Blackness.  That was the reason why his professional forebears established the Union of Black Journalists as an organ of the Black Consciousness Movement., which fermented the ultimate June 16 Uprisings against white supremacy and landlessness.


 ALEXANDRA SHUTS DOWN AMID CALLS FOR SERVICE DELIVERY

Once again, Alexandra is on fire as residents protest against lack of service delivery.  Black people in South Africa have come to learn that the best way to get the elusive audience of the government is to engage in action.  No government will give you hearing if you are civil in your approach.

The second thing that the people have come to learn is to blackmail the government and politicians on the eve of elections.  The residents become kings and queens to the politicians during elections time.

The Alexandra residents have declared a total shutdown as a way of drawing attention to their service delivery backlog.  The shutdown involves blockades at the entrances and exits of the township such that nothing gets out or comes in.  The burning of tyres and rocks can be seen at every exit and entrance.  This means that workers are unable to go to work, while the learners have remained at home as the schools are temporarily closed as a result of the shutdown.

Among other things, the residents are complaining about the building of shacks at every available space by allegedly foreign nationals, and the lack of delivery of houses they were promised by politicians.  On being told by Power FM on Tuesday that the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) has said that the situation was beyond their control, Mayor Herman Mashaba conceded that it was difficult to deal with the situation because the City could not remove occupants of the shacks without relocating them to an alternative piece of land.  And he said that space was not available.

Mashaba went on to blame the ANC as the one that promised to build houses for the local people long before he and the DA assumed office in the Metro.  He accused the ANC of vanishing into thin air after such promises.  Mashaba could not answer claims that the EFF, which is the DA’s coalition partner, was the one that instigated the people to occupy land and build shacks.

What is clear is that the political parties and the politicians are playing a dangerous political game using the real plight of the people.  One political party plunges the people into a desperate situation and turn around to promise the people that they will address the situation if they are voted for.

The Alexandra protest started on Tuesday, following the one that was staged six weeks ago.  While the politicians reduce the plight of the people to a political game for votes, the Municipal IQ’s data recorded 144 service delivery protests in 2018 alone.  The worst affected province was the Eastern Cape, followed by Gauteng; while there was a slight increase in the Western Cape and Free State.

While AZAPO appreciates the political activism of the citizenry, we however resent the unfortunate fact that such protests tend to deliberately disrupt schooling.  The education of Black children, who have for generations been denied the right to learn, should never be a gambling factor.


To print and read the pdf version, please click here ⇒ AZAPO Voice Volume 2 Issue Number 14
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