We need an SA running like my thoroughly restored scooter

Most of all, we will need loyal people with the knowledge and abilities to rebuild our country.


When I bought a rather tired old scooter three weeks ago, my plan was to service it properly and knock the worst of the dents out. It wouldn’t be anyone’s pride and joy, but it would be the perfect little money- saving commuter. I bravely attempted a service, armed with the not-so-considerable mechanical knowledge of a writer. My huge bear claws couldn’t reach anything in the confined engine bay. After 10 minutes I was as dirty as the scooter without solving a single problem. I was in over my head. It was time to call my father-in-law. His idea of…

Subscribe to continue reading this article
and support trusted South African journalism

Access PREMIUM news, competitions
and exclusive benefits

SUBSCRIBE
Already a member? SIGN IN HERE

When I bought a rather tired old scooter three weeks ago, my plan was to service it properly and knock the worst of the dents out. It wouldn’t be anyone’s pride and joy, but it would be the perfect little money- saving commuter.

I bravely attempted a service, armed with the not-so-considerable mechanical knowledge of a writer. My huge bear claws couldn’t reach anything in the confined engine bay. After 10 minutes I was as dirty as the scooter without solving a single problem.

I was in over my head. It was time to call my father-in-law. His idea of what needed to be done differed from mine. A lot. “This is a rare piece of Italian engineering. Quick repairs won’t do the trick. This thing needs a full nuts and bolts restoration,” he decided and promptly started to disassemble the sad little motorcycle.

Tomorrow our restoration will reach the three-week mark.

We have stripped every fleck of paint from the body and painstakingly knocked every dent out of the steel body. We have refurbished the brakes and engine. And the scooter now boasts a beautiful avocado spray job.

If, by some miracle, I managed to repair the scooter like I wanted, I would have a serviceable little skedonk. Instead, I have a flawless masterpiece and a newfound admiration for my father-in-law’s precision. He was right. A full restoration was the only option.

Just as it will be with the post-corona South Africa. Of course we will need some creative quick fixes, because we don’t have the luxury to park the country in my leaky townhouse garage until it has shiny new chrome and glittering metallic paintwork.

Yes, we’ll need the dreamers who can see the strong, healthy workhorse that hides under the battle wounds of the social and economic wreck that will emerge from this pandemic. But most of all, we will need loyal people with the knowledge and abilities to rebuild our country.

You’ve got a huge job ahead of you, Uncle Cyril. You need the governmental version of my father-in-law to achieve it.

Because after the Zuma years, the crashing economy, crime, unemployment, limping healthcare, substandard education and corona, we all need a country that runs like my scooter.

Dirk Lotriet.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.

Read more on these topics

Columns Covid-19 Cyril Ramaphosa

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits