Another missed opportunity to create a better life for all?

14 November 2017 - 07:12 By The Times Editorial
Image: Alon Skuy

Thando is a child who is a kid president. He always has a smile on his face and will always be the first to offer help when it is needed."

"Lwazi is a soft-spoken, kind-hearted and extremely well-behaved pupil.He will never eat unless he is sure that everybody in the class has something to eat at break."

"Chris has gone out of his way to help staff and younger pupils. He has given up time with his friends to help out younger boys who desperately needed his support and guidance."

Thando Masina (Grade 4), Lwazi Bubu (Grade 5) and Chris Whitakker (Grade 7) are among dozens of South African children nominated by their teachers for a "Truper" award to recognise good deeds by children.

They are our future; they are the shining lights at the end of the very long and dark tunnel that South Africa is staggering through at the moment. In a few years' time Thando, Lwazi and Chris will be writing matric exams and planning their futures. This is why the Heher Commission's report on the feasibility of fee-free higher education finally released on Monday is so important. It will help decide their prospects in this country.

President Jacob Zuma has been sitting on the report since August 30 and has been scheming behind the scenes with his daughter's ex-boyfriend on a "better" plan for free education - because why would he take seriously an inquiry headed by a judge that took months to properly look into the complexities of the matter?

Even upon releasing the report, Zuma did not endorse it. He said he would make a pronouncement on it only once key ministers were done "processing" the report.

Spare a thought for Thando, Lwazi and Chris. Because a few years down the line they - with the rest of South Africa - will still be reeling from the latest missed opportunity to create a better life for all, as the ANC once, long, long ago in 1994, promised it would do.