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Six stories of hope, plus five highlights from ‘Vrye Weekblad’

Here’s what’s hot in the latest edition of the Afrikaans digital weekly

04 June 2021 - 06:48 By TimesLIVE
Kroonstad mayor Mpho Chikane with community members who cleaned up a section of veld.
Kroonstad mayor Mpho Chikane with community members who cleaned up a section of veld.

All across SA, there are more and more communities who leave behind their political differences and take hands to stop the municipal rot in their towns. 

And in the process, they learn from each other and about each other. 

This breeze of change has the potential to become serious winds of change. 

Every story and every community is different, but each has one thing in common: a decision not to wait for politicians to take the lead but to jump in and make the change. 

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Sometimes this coming together creates a momentum that drags the local politicians with it. 

In Kroonstad mayor Mpho Chikane, SA's youngest mayor, was so inspired by what was happening in his town that residents now call him “Mr Energy”. Not only is he pushing wheelbarrows, but he is also driving the vision to make Kroonstad a town with possibilities to be proud of.  

Every story starts with residents who stand up and say no more. Then they build bridges and make plans together. 

Barend le Grange, the man behind South Africa Day, the organisation behind many of these initiatives, says: “Once people start talking to each other, they start seeing a shared future.”

Read more about this, and more news and analysis this week in Vrye Weekblad.

Must-read articles in this week’s Vrye Weekblad

WE NEED A DEMOCRACY TRANSFUSION | SA's crises involve more than corruption and poverty. The root of the problem is the ethos of the political elite, writes Max du Preez.

WEALTH TROUBLES | Piet Croucamp is angry with the ANC's economic attitude that discourages black entrepreneurs, limits development and could lead to a rotted state. A competent state should be sowing the seeds for development. 

MASKLESS XMAS? | Despite the rough start, we are not doing too badly after three weeks in uncharted vaccine waters. We just might have a mask-free Christmas after all. 

BAT VS LAB  | There is growing pressure to thoroughly investigate the theory that SARS-Cov-2, that led to this pandemic, escaped from a lab. How did this hypothesis, which was once spread by conspiracy theorists, end up in the mainstream? 

I AM YOUR MOTHER | Beat has a tendency to go fetch a story from far away. Her voice sounded light as always, but the message this time was different. It was in the broken sentences. She just wanted to come say ... that she is no longer a mother.