Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
Azapo president Mosibudi Mangena, also South Africa's Science and Technology Minister, has a 12-point plan to make South Africa work.
"Our country is facing many difficulties. They range from threats against the judiciary, the undermining of the rule of law, the erosion of the integrity of other state institutions to poverty and poor delivery of services to the people.
This state of affairs calls on us, the citizens and owners of the country, to take the necessary steps to rescue ourselves and our beautiful country from this situation.
We propose this 12 point programme as a contribution to returning our country to good health and building a bright future for ourselves and our children.
Build a strong democracy
Democracy affords all of us freedom of speech, association, equality before the law and the right to be ruled by those we elect freely.
Only through a strong democracy can we harness the energy, talents and abilities of all our people to develop our country.
For that to succeed we all need to protect the organs and institutions of state, such as Parliament, the executive, the judiciary, the police, the army and so on.
None of us will be protected if these institutions and organs are undermined, weakened or corrupted. A strong and vibrant civil society must be built and maintained for a strong democracy.
Elect the state president directly
The president is the face and personification of a country. He or she belongs to all citizens once elected.
It is therefore important that the president be elected directly by the people so that he/she is accountable directly to the citizens.
The nine provinces are an unnecessary dimension to the system of government that absorbs a large portion of the budget without adding much value.
Abolishing the provinces will leave the country with only the national and the local spheres of government, allowing faster delivery of services, enabling the deployment of public servants in the provinces to local government and releasing more funds to projects on the ground.
Combat crime with vigour
There can be no true democracy and freedom without the safety of person and property.
The present high crime rate devalues our freedom and democracy. In particular, guns account for about 10000 murders each year. We propose that civilian gun ownership be abolished, leaving the police and army as the only legal gun bearers in the country.
At present there are about three million licensed guns in the country, of which about 70 are lost or stolen each day.
Make education prioritynumber one
For a country like ours, with a long history of oppression, education is the most effective redress mechanism.
Moreover, for the economy to grow and enrich the lives of all our people, we need an educated population with the requisite skills to power it forward.
Invest in productive sectors
The most sustainable way to invest public funds is in those areas that assist citizens to engage in productive economic activities and the creation of jobs.
It also gives citizens a sense of pride and dignity in that they are able to provide for their families through employment. Social support should be given to the weak, old, infirm and most vulnerable.
As many people as possible, especially in rural areas, need to be assisted to make a living from the soil. Through the provision of extension services, fertilizer, draft power and markets, our people would be able to produce food for themselves and both the local and international market.
Provide proper healthcare
To ensure an efficient, effective and trusted healthcare system, train and employ enough medical personnel and provide adequate equipment and medicines.
Give priority to the prevention and treatment of chronic and infectious diseases.
Modernise the economy
Technological innovation is the key to making our economy competitive and creating wealth and jobs for our citizens.
So determined efforts must be made to educate our people, especially the young, in technological matters and give them opportunities and resources to innovate.
Stretch your rand
Economically depressed areas such as townships and villages should band together with professionals and businesspeople to allow their rands to circulate as long as possible in their areas.
This they could do by buying as many of their goods and services as possible from one another. In turn, businesspeople and professionals should plough back into their communities through support of community services.
Establish state housing company
Shacks and other forms of sub-standard housing should be eradicated.
A state housing company should be formed to provide high, medium and low-cost housing for both purchase and renting stock.
Advance African solidarity
Africans were subjected to slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism. It is the only continent that was at the receiving end of all these forms of oppression.
The results are that Africans are the poorest in the world and are more prone to international exploitation and manipulation.
Only through African solidarity on the continent and diaspora, and the pursuance of our own agenda, will we be able to overcome our particular adversity.
Promote culture, moralityand respect
No nation has ever prospered on the back of the erosion of human traits such as culture, morality and respect.
These are the values that bind us together and provide agreed and understood modes of behaviour.
Development is not only physical but also psychological and cultural. Education, economic activity, healthcare, politics and others are simply not possible in an environment devoid of respect.
It is therefore imperative that we reinforce adherence to these in our country and among our citizens.