Dear Mr President
I like to believe that patriotism is a trait that is naturally embedded in each individual at birth. Born, raised, and nurtured on South African land, I beam with pride each time I’m given the opportunity to disclose my nationality. How could I not? The South African flag has been soaring so high, and it’s only getting started.
Greetings, writing here is a young woman hailing from a small village in GA Sekhukhune, Limpopo. Having been afforded the privilege of traveling to other provinces and experiencing other people’s ways of life, the village in question remains my favourite. I come from a close-knit community that more often than not offers a helping hand to whoever is in need of it. It is a community that embodies serenity and Ubuntu.
In Sepedi, there’s a saying that “Mipipi kamoka e yana,” meaning that there’s no place that is free of problems. My community is not an exception. Children’s right to education is compromised on a daily basis as the environment for teaching and learning is not conducive. Seeing a large proportion of learners to one teacher in a small, dingy classroom is the norm. There are children who go as far as sharing a chair in the classroom. Lucky are those who even have classrooms, as some learners have to acquire education under the nice shade of a big tree. There is a lack of resources, which makes the teaching and learning process daunting, thus leading to subpar results. In 2021, it was revealed that 7 schools in Limpopo achieved a zero percent matric pass. Limpopo is one of the provinces that consistently achieves low pass rates year after year. This goes to show that there is something wrong with the education system in Limpopo.
The basic right to clean water is currently not being upheld in my village because we are close to going a month with no or very little supply of water. In my community, there is a clear system that each Tuesday morning, there will be a water supply to each household through the water pipes put in place. There was a Tuesday in my household when we harvested water that could not fill half the barrel we use to store water. There was an instance where brown water started coming out and polluting the water we harvested for the purpose of drinking. This has made life a little difficult, as we have to drink water sparingly in such hot conditions. Imagine limiting yourself to only one glass of water a day because you can’t afford to drink more.
I think the root of these problems boils down to poor service delivery and mismanagement of funds. I believe that each department in all provinces is given large sums of money to carry out their duties, but due to a lack of accountability and transparency, large sums of money disappear with little to no sufficient reasoning.
I think the government should hold the people in power in departments liable for all the funds that go in for the betterment of communities. I think that the government should invest in building more classrooms and hiring more teachers so that there can be a reasonable student-to-teacher ratio. I think that there should be a new system put in place to ensure that materials and resources for schools are indeed bought and delivered where they should go.
There should be a reliable supply of water because no one can survive without it, especially in these hot conditions. The building of the dam in the community should be continued, as it can aid in the struggles of not having water. Water can also be sourced from nearby communities that have a surplus.
Despite the issues we experience in South Africa, it’s still a beautiful country enriched with diversity and culture. It is one of the few African nations that is taking up space on an international stage. Whether it be having people like Zozibini Tunzi and Trevor Noah on international stages showing that Africans are more than capable of thriving or the addicting sound of Amapiano that is taking the world by storm, South Africa is definitely making its mark.