Helicopter views help, especially if you’re the pilot!


Being a South African in London comes with its advantages. Even in winter. Based 9 000km away from the action provides a welcome “helicopter view”. This can be a very good thing. Especially when the national news flow is overflowing with fingering of the corrupt, exposures of the incompetent.

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve listened to visiting SA executives bemoaning the “never-ending excrement” oozing from the pores of a dysfunctional system. They fret that the Zuma era rot is so deep, the mess so endemic, that the country will never recover. There’s no point in trying to offer context. Because when you’re in a pit, it’s hard to imagine a world can exist outside that hole.

Remoteness offers the benefit of perspective. And it is easy to see SA’s challenges are manageable, and a lot easier to deal with than most. Especially, for instance, issues faced by the B, R and I of BRICS.

Fact: The lunatics have been ejected from SA’s asylum and their mess is starting to be cleaned up. Fact: A nation’s trajectory changed at the ANC’s elective conference in December. Conclusion: It’s time to exercise patience. And faith. For this challenging period, too, shall pass.

Alec Hogg