Picture: GCIS
Picture: GCIS

As we all look forward to the Mandela Day celebrations, it may be worthwhile to shift our focus and relook at what can be done by the government, business, organised labour and the public to fight the scourge of unemployment, poverty and inequality faced by Africans, particularly blacks in our country.

To concur with the Thuma Mina spirit, former president Kgalema Motlanthe was spot on when he called on all leaders to be bold and selfless, and to take time to serve their communities through volunteer programmes, without using public funds. Men and women in leadership positions are encouraged to follow in the footsteps of our political heroes and heroines who dedicated their lives to the betterment of our people. Volunteerism and mentorship programmes, especially in rural schools, would at the end of all result in imparting a sense of responsibility to the young, which will then free them from hunger and poverty.

At the centre of this is the initiative undertaken by the departments of agriculture, land reform & rural development officials in the Gauteng province to volunteer their time and services in the cleaning, painting project at Thuto Bokamoso Primary School on the outskirts of Randfontein. If all of us together with the government, business and organised labour could work together for the prosperity of our country by investing our time and resources to tackle SA’s challenges then we can have a good story to tell.

I challenge all government entities, the private sector and nongovernmental organisations to go around and identify crumbling and ill-equipped rural and township schools to start educational workshops or free classes on a monthly basis outside calendar events such as Mandela Day. This could have a symbiotic effect in emancipating our people as well as adding impetus to the government’s National Development Plan vision 2030.                                                

Rankepile Khomo