4 Powerful stories that show our democracy is still in check
By Trinisha Vandeyar
Not all news is bad news. Sometimes, we just need a little perspective to remember that even though we’re facing many challenges in the country right now, we are winning in some ways.
Last year, students across the country took to protest the annual university fee increase that would have made an already difficult journey for many, even harder. Despite it being a lengthy and tense battle, students, remnant of those in 1976, stood against unfairness, were heard and won. 2016 became a year without a fee increase and even though we still have a long way to go in terms of affordable access to education, this victory means that we live in a country where these kinds of victories are possible.
#PennySparrow and that other racist guy
Racism and social media proved a lethal combination when Penny Sparrow and Justin van Vuuren voiced their derogatory remarks on Facebook which resulted in some serious consequences for both of them. The aftermath of these incidents led to a much needed dialogue about whether or not we’ve come far enough in the way of racial transformation and also showed that more South Africans do not rather than do tolerate racism. We can be proud that as South Africans we showed that we now live in a country that is no longer afraid to hold people accountable for racism.
Parliament and the State of the Nation Address
Even though it’s sometimes disappointing to see that parliament now has entertainment value, we should be encouraged by the fact that we have a parliamentary structure that allows opposition and debate. A little look deeper into Africa and you’ll see that not everyone is as lucky. Visit democracyranking.org to see where we are considering, we’re only 20 years old.
This year, the constitutional court found that Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela’s report on Nkandla was binding and had to be adhered to. What a time to be alive! If anything, this should have taught us that even though it may take a while, it is always worth fighting for truth and justice and that as a country we have succeeded at showing that no one is above the law.
So while it may not all be jelly tots and rainbows, and while our problems are still our problems, we have to take into account that at least we still live in a country that upholds its constitution as a light especially amidst the darkness. These stories may be the exceptions, but if they give us nothing else, at least they give us hope.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his/her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Kaya FM.