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SA is in a weird no-man’s land between the developed world and the rest of Africa. Twenty-three percent of our total population has been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, just over half the global average. Nigeria’s rate is under 2% and the rest of Africa is not much better.

We have two choices. We either continue to stagnate on our continent, or move up to the parameters of the developed world. It’s not an easy choice — choosing developed status means turning away from a static, redistributive culture. It means turning away from the our-turn-to-eat culture, from arrogant entitlement, from a grant culture — we expect grants from the West and in turn we give grants to our people.

It means turning away from our comfort zone. The dilemma here is that though moving up to the developed world will be difficult, that is the easier part. Deciding to abandon our static entitlement culture will be far harder. This would cost nothing in money but a great deal in political courage and the extreme pain of abandoning our comfort zone.

However, while comfort zones are addictive, they are often ultimately deadly.

Willem Cronje
Cape Town

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