South Africa is in a political, economic, emotional, employment, educational and sporting recession. Mobilizing local communities is essential to make up for the lack of local government efforts. This will build the next generation of positive South African citizens to heal our divided past and bring forth a living purpose.
Political egos, a history of corruption, and an increasingly polarized divide by race, wealth, and location have left most of this country helpless, hopeless, and desperate. The nationalist and ANC governments have failed to address the nation as one people since I was born in 1948 – they have intentionally divided the nation, with the exception of Nelson Mandela.
The answer to the evolution of the next generation to transform SA is obvious. From the grass roots through the communities. Do not wait for those in power.
The Nic Spaull report shows the lack of our current development education system.
78 percent of SA class 4 readers cannot understand what they are reading. 69% of 6th grade students cannot add and subtract properly, have no understanding of single digit multiplication, and cannot solve simple word problems i.e. they cannot learn basic math and 79% of 6th grade math teachers cannot learn 60 % for a get math test of grade 6/7.
Adequate education is a constitutional right. This training must be comprehensive and combine academic learning with sports, arts and other activities. These activities allow learners to develop their full talents. It helps develop learners’ self-esteem.
I want to show the key role of sport. The power of sport is transforming schools, clubs, communities and individuals.
“The quality of physical education can have a positive impact on the health, social and economic environment of the country and its people, ”says Professor Hans de Ridder, Director of the Faculty of Biokinetics, Leisure and Sports Science at North-West University (NWU). .
“Physical education is an important health investment and can have a major long-term impact on children’s lives in this country. “
Sports at the grassroots level and in schools in the disadvantaged areas have been severely neglected. National sports administrations and government are characterized by inefficiency, self-interest, lack of cohesion and leadership. By and large, they are not interested in developing sport at the community and school level.
For example, the high cost of the promised “free” university education (for only 6% of those entering the school system) must be diverted to the education of those in the early stages and primary school. There will be a diversion of costs all The young learners are a real step towards a positive start for better decision making and a sense of hope and purpose.
The vast majority of SA school children do not have any extracurricular sport. The only avenue for sport development right now is for talented sport kids, seen in the minority of disadvantaged schools with extracurricular sport, to receive scholarships in Model C schools. Those lucky few who are seen. Many talented sports children remain invisible.
Unleashing the real sporting talent of this country is not done through quotas and “goals” (inevitable like these). With the development of facilities, physical education teachers and coaches, the next generation will grow and be a natural path to international sport. A sport like everything else cannot be politicized or controlled at the top. It is a basic movement and needs to be driven by the local communities in this currently barren environment. The national government will at some point provide some impetus.
Sport has an advantage; All learners can get fully involved and feel their power. Anyone can either run, catch, hit, shoot, attack, or kick, which brings instant joy and a brief sense of invincibility. It is the trigger to open the door to a whole new world; one of hope and fulfillment.
The government knows that sport is a source of national pride, and sport at the school and club level helps everyone overcome age-old fears and animosity and brings communities together. Regardless of the 1995 Rugby World Cup, watch an inter-school game somewhere in SA.
A school sports program encourages teachers to instill positive values and attitudes and promote wellbeing and self-image. healthy attitude towards competition, self-control and playing in a team and in the spirit of sport. Values for a good citizenship.
The pursuit of this full, holistic education is kept alive by NGOs, local sports organizations, volunteers, Rotarys, foundations, supporting companies and literally thousands and thousands of many amazing people in all communities who give hope and purpose to the disadvantaged. There are so many great people in and out of deprived environments who are doing this right now.
There are some regional governments and local authorities that work closely with the disadvantaged communities, thank God. The Western Cape Government’s After School Program and WC-MOD, which brings neighboring areas together, are good examples.
However, the vast majority of South Africans feel helpless, without hope, without work, without food and without money. Our history has torn us apart – we need to use the grassroots and the next generation to heal ourselves.
So what can be done – just a few ideas:
- Mobilize the growing older generation more fully. Get teachers and others from retirement homes and surrounding suburbs to help the existing NGOs with their reading and math programs. Minimal cost and purpose for older and younger generations.
- Instead of dreaming of futuristic cities, build cities / functional villages in densely populated rural areas. The local construction industry would employ people and provide a variety of skills, increase local purchasing power, national brands would invest, schools would thrive in the community, hospitals, etc. Give the desperate rural communities a real vision of a functioning environment.
- Stop criticizing these wealthy individuals and companies who provide financial and strategic aid just because they made their money under the previous regime or under the current BEE system. Better applaud them. Make the promise what it is – a wonderful and honorable act.
- The government needs to raise marginally the money raised by legitimate, well-run, vetted NGOs specializing in holistic education that provide food, health care, and essential services to the disadvantaged.
- National and regional government needs to establish scholarships for students to work in deprived areas and develop effective programs for adequate holistic education, vegetable gardens, and the like, harnessing local resources and community power.
- Neighboring communities should focus on activities that overcome the barriers of wealth, race, location and religion that separate us. A couple of ideas – battle of choirs, debates and spelling competitions between schools almost within walking distance.
- Government is to build a network of regional and local sports facilities that are shared by the larger communities. Some started with fantastic results; Football in Hout Bay is an example.
- Establish a coordinated strategy with local communities and like-minded groups (NGOs, sports clubs, rotaries, sports organizations, etc.) to drive the programs forward in their neighborhood. Bring it to the local grassroots led by the school principals, pastors / imams / rabbis, community leaders and champions from each area. This leads to local cohesion and faster decision-making by interested parties.
- Develop local cross-school sports competitions with less travel, more parental and community participation, and add games to the official school league competition. The local companies finance this.
- Train the local trainers – they are in abundance, as are mentors and volunteers.
- Use local artisans from our own communities for all buildings, developments and projects to build local capacity and demonstrate the power of integration.
Working together is a simple act of healing and we will see each of us as an integral part of our future together.
These ideas are just an offer. Others who are brighter than me will have better and much more concepts.
The MCC Masi 750 Club is committed to breaking down the barriers between the townships and suburbs of the South Peninsula Valley. It also advocates using sport as a means to transform youth, their families and the community – to produce better SA citizens who work together.
I run the MCC Masi Club, a collaborative mass sports program in Masiphumelele that works with the well-known NGO Masicorp. Much has been achieved in the past 20 months with the support of individuals in all local residential areas. The coordination of Rotaries, foundations, volunteers, NGOs and sports organizations such as Sporting Chance, Ubuntu Soccer, Coolplay, Goodsport, Atlas Foundation, BenBikes, CTCT and PedalPower, to name a few, has driven the program forward. The local communities and their schools in Masiphumelele, Noordhoek, Fish Hoek, Kommetjie and Simons Town work together, share resources and facilities, and bring the South Peninsula Valley together. It’s just a start.
Go to the link here and see what 20 months of collaboration have achieved.
A grassroots movement of the people of South Africa is the only way to develop a united South Africa – a nation that is finally fully developing. DM
Vince Van Der Bijl
Vince van der Bijl played 156 first-class games in England and South Africa. He later served as manager of the ICC umpires and umpires.