Are we all ‘Chicken Little’ these days?

As we watch the unimaginable scenes of grand-scale looting and violence unfolding on our doorsteps, we can all be forgiven for thinking like Chicken Little these days… Is the sky going to fall on our heads?

It was only two days ago that President Ramaphosa appeared on our screens to extend lockdown Level 4 for a further fortnight, while parts of the country were already gripped by fear amidst rising tensions and violence.

Although it may only be a small consolation, South Africa is not alone in this. Scenes like we are witnessing in our beloved country have taken place across the globe. From the storming of the US Capitol in Washington in January and the widespread, racially-fueled looting that will haunt the US for years to come, to the assassination of the President of Haiti last week, and the unrest in Swaziland, Mozambique, northern Nigeria, Ethiopia. Even in England after Sunday night’s loss to Italy.  South Africa is part of a global story of pent-up anger, frustration and disquiet – albeit with our own, unique drivers and history.

Whether the rioting and looting is driven by anger at Jacob Zuma’s incarceration, a population who have grown tired of grand-scale theft by connected and elite cadres, or by ethnic disputes along tribal lines, the real source remains unclear. Regardless of the cause, the only solution to what we are seeing is some form of effective and lasting change.

Our leaders have (unfortunately!) failed to deliver a “better life for all” and, in the midst of Covid-fatigue and so many people’s loss of their livelihoods, a “better life for some” proved to be the flint in the proverbial tinder-box.

Sadly, these seismic shifts do not happen peacefully and, as we have seen many times before, it is the poorest who suffer the most.

We remain hopeful that what we are experiencing now will lead us all to a brighter future – one built together with all of the citizens of our beautiful country benefiting from the fruits of success.

If only one positive can be drawn from the viral videos and pictures from these past few days, it is that South Africans from all races, ethnicities and backgrounds can stand together, united in defense of what we hold dear!

Wishing you and your families safe days ahead, and we look forward to seeing you again in better times!