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July 2008

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FROM THE PEN

The primary champion issue

I was reading an interesting article on the Mail and Guardian website a short while ago regarding the attacks in Alexandra, Diepsloot and other areas around the country. The article basically summed up the incidences as the “have nots” greed and envy of those that have. To say that I was shocked by the randomness and absolute idiocy of this elucidation is to put it mildly. Surely history teaches us that civil unrest is very seldom about greed and more about socio-political issues? And we all know that South Africa has an enormous surfeit of these.

Poverty is a reality, and very often breeds desperation, which inevitably escalates to chaos. What has been happening in our communities is without doubt criminal, but to label it with the silly blanket term of greed and envy belies the very truth with which we must shape our future.
Imagine for a second if you will please, that we considered transformation and projects such as Thuthuka, to be a by-product of the “have nots” “greed and envy”. Imagine further that, as suggested by the M&G online thought leadership article, to root out this social evil ‘the government should unleash the force of the police and the army; and the magistrates and judges must get the “have nots” to learn to behave like normal, obedient and conforming beings’.

So then, imagine that we told the thousands of young hopeful black learners across the country that they should not aspire to have more, do better or achieve the kind of success that they can with the CA(SA) qualification, but that they should instead learn to be normal, obedient and conforming beings. What would this say about those that are experiencing success in our profession? What would it say about the future of our profession? Indeed, what would it say about our profession?

At the onset of the Thuthuka project, SAICA experienced wide-ranging support and financial endorsement. A true testament to the commitment those involved had not to tell the “have nots” to be normal, obedient and conforming beings. In our special report this month on page 25, we write about the success Thuthuka has had and continues to enjoy. We highlight the innovative changes implemented via the CA Charter, and we talk to those that have directly benefited from this, without doubt, incredible project. But also we need to highlight that support for a cause is more than just acknowledging its importance, but it is actually endorsing it with real value, whether functionally or monetarily and living it.

For as with the civil unrest in the country, if we are to root it out and deal with it effectively, we need to be enormously happy with our have-nots not conforming and not being obedient, normal young people. We then need to pool all our resources – our knowledge, our voices and our money – to ensure that the “ have nots” do so much better and grow much, much more.

Please, please – let us truly champion this cause!

Raina

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