Social cohesion is more than just summit talks: iLIVE
The much-talked-about summit to discuss and encourage social cohesion among South Africans requires an all encompassing perspective ("Call for African cohesion").
It is a fact that socio- economic issues play a significant role in building a cohesive society, especially in our young democracy.
It takes more than a mere dialogue to create a caring and proud society, as outlined in the theme of the summit.
I hope the decision to convene the social cohesion summit was not informed by the controversial artwork by Brett Murray.
It is deceptive to presume that social cohesion can only be achieved by bringing all racial groups together.
The gap between rich and poor black people has widened, thus exposing further disparities within a racial group.
While I concur that social cohesion calls for collective responsibility, leaders should take a lead in creating an enabling environment for it.
A top-down model of behaviour should cascade down and influence horizontal interactions among citizens.
Reports of politicians who embezzle public finances, engage in corrupt activities and partake in dodgy deals are indications of uncaring leaders and threats to society.
Politicians use racial remarks during election campaigns to castigate other contestants and influence our communities against other candidates.
In South Africa we have political parties that are seen to be targeted at white or black societies. Our political parties have a constructive role to play in nation-building.
On the other hand we have civil society groups that serve the interests of a particular racial group. Such activities are a reflection of a polarised society that is destined for disunity and a bleak future. Racial groupings feel threatened and compelled to fight for their survival.
Leaders should avoid harmful ideologies that are divisive and marginalise other races. Careless utterances in the public domainare a serious threat to social cohesion.