Avatar photo

By Kyle Zeeman

Digital News Editor

For the sake of the children, politicians, please don’t be reckless at the wheel

Short-sightedness by those in positions of power has led us on the onramp to a failed state. As we try reverse this, let's remember our children who will follow.

Have you ever seen a taxi reverse down a highway onramp?

It may be quite common on the “life in South Africa” bingo card, but it is still scary to witness a minibus, held together by coat hanger wire and prayer, shooting backwards and jerking to face oncoming traffic.

A thrill that no doubt soon makes way for terror if not done with pinpoint precision and a bit of luck.

Newly licenced parties will compete alongside veteran drivers at the political wheel in next month’s elections.

81 of them in total.

70 driving trucks of political parties and 11 independent candidates riding the proverbial Bajaj Qute or motorbike.

ALSO READ: A VIEW OF THE WEEK: The Zuma ‘wonderland’ continues

All of them say they hope to reverse us off the highway to disaster that SA seems to be headed on, with us onlookers hoping that none will cause a calamity while trying to do so.

More concerning is the effect any reckless driving can have on those in the backseat: the next generation.

Being a child in South Africa is difficult, with ailing health care systems, poverty and overcrowded and unsafe schools.

Children murdered and raped

Just this week, we were reminded of the seven murders, 24 attempted murders and 252 cases of assault with intent of grievous bodily harm committed on school grounds between October and December last year.

During that same period, around 50 primary and high school pupils were raped, including six with special educational needs and some while attending aftercare services.

Social media is also no escape from this reality, with an outcry over the alleged grooming of a high school pupil from her early teens by an older man dominating feeds.

Children poisoned

41 children were also hospitalised this week mistakenly eating rat poison, adding to the growing list of cases of children eating poisoned food, often because of no supervision or food neglect.

Crisis in the classroom

Protecting our children should not only be a teacher‘s job. There are too few of them.

It was revealed this week that over 31 400 teaching posts are sitting empty while children, sometimes as much as 70, pack into classrooms.

READ MORE: A VIEW OF THE WEEK: Old enough for power but too old to be embarrassed?

This, as unemployed teachers sit at home and those at the blackboard struggle to maintain control in the classrooms.

Short-sightedness by those in positions of power has led us on the onramp to a failed state, as one analyst observed this week.

It can and must be reversed, let us just remember the children in the back while doing so.

ALSO READ:  We have politicians so bad they even fail at politics

Read more on these topics

Crime Elections government SA Schools teachers