Wound of polarisation festers as we say 'bad things only happen to us'
We can defeat the demon of exceptionalism if we can unite
In 2017 I was invited to the Senwes Jongboerkongres, an annual gathering of farmers and related stakeholders, attended by about 300 to 400 young farmers from Free State and North West. I was a speaker on a panel that explored how to establish closer co-operation in rural and suburban communities between different stakeholder groups, including local government, the business sector, agricultural sector, township residents and town residents.
I was impressed by the positive framing of the topic. It was billed as a conversation designed to get stakeholders to identify areas of common interest. The hope was that each sector would focus on what they could contribute to the achievement of a better quality of life for all residents and communities. Before the start of the discussion, the organisers flighted a series of short videos...