No grown-ups at the 2010 SWC

2010-04-19 09:30
Dear Editor,

Growing up, whenever we had “important guests” visiting, my parents would give us kids a good talking to and explain the things we should and shouldn’t do while our “important visitors” were here.

We weren’t to fight and shout, had to remember our table manners, say “please” and “thank-you”, tidy our rooms, and generally make our parents proud by being on our best behaviour.

In less than 60 days time, our country is going to host thousands of “important guests” and there has not been one word from our “leaders” about everyone being on their best behaviour.  

After the nauseatingly obsessive and myopic build-up of the past three years, we need the folks in charge of our house to be encouraging and inspiring us all to be good hosts. During the build-up to the Beijing Olympics, the Chinese government managed to make every Chinese citizen feel as if the success of the Olympics was their personal responsibility.  In SA, the polar opposite seems to be the case.

Instead of daily messages encouraging everyone to tidy a street, plant a flower, fly a flag or wear their yellow t-shirt, we have a “governing”’ party that wants to keep singing racist songs; striking workers damaging property instead of peacefully marching; politicians justifying obscene profiteering and a president who seems without power or position to control his “youthful” party hellions.

I don’t give a damn about the SWC, but I do care about South Africa and I despair at the total lack of "good behaviour" leadership to prepare us to welcome diverse guests from around the world.

Because maybe, just maybe, if we can practise being well-mannered, polite and welcoming hosts during the SWC, we might all remember to carry on being nice people living in a country that anyone would want to visit, at any time.


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