2023 was a tough year, but here’s to a good 2024
From load shedding woes to surging food prices, South Africans weathered a stormy 2023.
2023 was a tough year, but here’s to a good 2024. Picture: iStock
After a challenging year, it’s only fair that South Africans feel like they deserve a better 2024. South Africans are a resilient bunch, but even the toughest of the tough will be glad that 2023 is almost a thing of the past.
So what gave us headaches this year?
You can’t start a conversation without mentioning load shedding. It was by far our worse year of blackouts since the power crisis raised its ugly head over a decade ago.
It prompted President Cyril Ramaphosa to appoint Kgosientsho Ramokgopa as electricity minister and, despite all the fanfare and promises how continued maintenance would make a difference by the former Tshwane mayor, nothing has changed for the better for the average household who can’t afford alternative power solutions like solar, inverters and generators.
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Talking about generators, most people can’t afford to run them in the house or for the businesses due to the high-rising fuel prices, even though they have come down the last few months.
Due to the fuel hikes, the price of food went up and many of us had to be clever in planning any trips other than to work and back. Food prices hit ridiculous levels and many had to scale back just to afford to put food on the table. Bird flu rocked the prices of chicken and eggs, but that ship seemed to have been steadied.
All those implicated in corruption have still not been brought to book, former public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane became the first head of a Chapter 9 institution to be removed and former president Jacob Zuma made a different play by joining another party and turning his back on the ANC.
Potholes continue to plague our roads, our SOEs are all in ICU and we were introduced to water shifting due to the water crisis.
On the sporting front, Siya Kolisi’s Springboks were our saving grace in a miserable year. The men in green and gold went on to become only the second nation, after New Zealand, to win back-to-back World Cup titles and the first to lift the Webb Ellis trophy four times after beating the All Blacks in the final in Paris.
Siya and company certainly didn’t make it easy, as three one-point victories in all three knockout matches saw many a supporter have heart palpitations. But in Siya, Jacques Nienaber and Rassie Erasmus we trusted. And they delivered.
Our cricketers gave us hope, took it away and then restored it. In a bid to win the World Cup for the first time, they broke records, lost to the Dutch and continued the pain of having never won a World Cup knockout match when eventual winners Australia beat them in the semifinals in India. However, their victory over No 1 world Test team India this week in the first Test shows that we have the talent.
On the football front, our national women’s team stole the show as they reached the last-16 phase of the World Cup by beating Italy in their last group match. Should Banyana Banyana be looked after, who knows what they can achieve?
Sundowns dominated the men’s game, winning the Premiership for a sixth time in a row and it doesn’t look like anyone will stop them making it seven this season. Downs also won the inaugural Caf African Football League. Maybe, just maybe, Bafana Bafana surprises us and do well at the Africa Cup on Nations next month…
As tough as a year it has been, next year’s general elections gives each and every one of us the chance to choose wh0 we want to govern. We get to choose our path at the ballot box. That alone should give us hope.
Here’s to a good New Year.