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From the Director’s Desk, July 2021

Despite the hard times we’re experiencing, there are still reasons to feel hopeful.

The past month has been a trial – some of the darkest times most South Africans have lived through since the advent of our democracy. 

That’s why you may feel like rolling your eyes when I tell you to think about the positives that have emerged from this situation – because, yes, even while warehouses were burning and citizens stayed up all night, forming barricades around their towns, there were good things happening. The most important of these is that while the attempted insurrection may have aimed to destabilise our government and country, it failed rather spectacularly. This shows the extent to which South Africans are determined to protect our Constitution and our democracy. It’s also worth noting that the insurrection revealed elements of the government that desperately needed attention – and, now that the superficial layer that made us believe everything was ‘alright’ has been pulled back, we can take action to correct those areas of weakness. Finally, what stands out most to me – and, I am sure, to many South Africans – is the fact that the unrest was intended to make South Africans feel more divided. Instead, we stood next to each other, literally and figuratively, and refused to be taken down. In so doing, we revealed our true national character to be one of strength, fortitude, and principles.

I hope that this knowledge keeps us motivated as we face the next chapter.

Take care and be safe.

Pieter Niemand,
MIWA National Director