I am writing this in the aftermath of arguably the greatest unrest South Africa has faced in decades. In the midst of the third and most lethal wave of COVID-19 was not difficult enough we are also facing deadly riots in Kwa-Zulu Natal and Gauteng. Topping this all, and closer to home, we have taxi shootings putting drivers and passengers, including our staff, in danger. It is easy to lose hope in such difficult circumstances.
However, at the same time that shop owners are walking through their burnt-out shops in Kwa-Zulu Natal and Gauteng and we have had to lockdown to manage the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for our residents rays of hope are emerging. Volunteers are stepping up to clean up. Residents and taxi associations have rallied to protect their communities. Some residents have gone so far as to go door-to-door to recover looted items.
Closer to home the beauty and resilience of humanity was evident in how our staff dealt with the disruption of to the transport network in Cape Town. Our Head of Departments, employees, suppliers, contractors and many not even named here, have gone beyond the call of duty to ensure we are able to continue delivering services to our residents even though we had minimal staff to do so a time.
To all those who worked extra shifts, some going so far as to work 24-hours-straight. To all the answered calls for assistance. To those who drove our employees to work and back. To those who gave advice and listened. To every single person that helped even in the smallest of ways, we thank you. It is you that truly envisage the Madiba spirit which we are also celebrating (18 July) in the aftermath of all this trauma.
In the end I believe ubuntu will prevail over those trying to divide us.
Quote William Shakespeare, the Merchant of Venice:
“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.”