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By Kyle Zeeman

Digital News Editor

A VIEW OF THE WEEK: We need a stage five government

Suddenly it all adds up, we're just not on the right level.

First it was lockdown, then load shedding, water restrictions, and now zama zamas. Like a shaky old lift, the government’s job seems to be taking us up and down levels.

Police minister Bheki Cele brought the lockdown PTSD right back this week when he revealed that cops have now categorised illegal miners into levels, with level one being the “dusty” and stereotypical shaft worker we have come to know.

And, in case you are wondering, he described the middle “class”/ level as having Lambos, fancy houses and Italian furniture.

ALSO READ: A VIEW OF THE WEEK: No country for young men and women

Levels seem to be the hottest and only trend in the Union Buildings’ “save the country” office.

It had existed before but came into vogue during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 when those in power wanted to outline how much of your life should resemble a caged animal.

Levels then got a new groove, makeover, changed its name to “stages” and moved into Megawatt Park. There its job was to tell us if the light switch will work later, and add “bloody load shedding” to our toddler’s limited vocabulary.

And while its presence often brings turbulent times, it may hold the solutions to our future.

Let’s forget the sticky fingers, dodgy deals, army terrorising citizens, and the hot chicken debacle; and look at some of the positive developments under the Covid lockdown and higher stages of load shedding.

Stage 5 crises showed a serious government, quicker to respond to the issues on the ground, and willing to offer tangible assistance to the poor.

ALSO READ: A VIEW OF THE WEEK: SA’s problems are being ‘solved’ by nursery school games – and here’s proof

As levels of lockdown and load shedding increased, so did the state’s willingness to get outside help.

Needs necessitated many of these, but they are still positive responses from the government.

We need a stage 5 government that constantly has SA on its mind and takes our current and future problems seriously.

Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi’s recent claim national government is holding up the scrapping of e-tolls highlights the need for the state to be quicker in execution.

Government’s slow and steady approach is not winning the race against poverty, and citizens are crying out for relief, whether it is through grants being paid on time, promises of jobs, or shielding them from the erratic petrol price rollercoaster to keep inflation down.

Some parts of the state do appear willing to get outside help. While the wheels appear to be wobbling off for Public Enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan, amid claims of meddling at SOEs and the ANC NEC rejecting his presentation, Kusile this week increased its capacity and there is something interesting brewing at Transnet.

ALSO READ: A VIEW OF THE WEEK: Government has mastered the illusion of being ‘too busy’ – and so have you

Government was quick to deny it was selling the rail company into private hands as part of a Roadmap for the Freight Logistics System rescue plan. It blamed the idea on a “leaked draft version” of the document, which may have been leaked by itself to float the ideas contained in it.

Among these is reportedly Mariana Mazzucato’s The Entrepreneurial State which calls for private help to bolster government.

As analysts warn government’s power and influence may drop in the next few years, it may need all the outside help it can get to keep it afloat.

Even the dust-filled eyes of a zama zama can see we need to move up a few stages as a country and have a level 5 government.

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Bheki Cele Cyril Ramaphosa Load Shedding Lockdown

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