The Issues we Face

First of all, let us define the term "poverty" as including the sufficient finances to provide: a comfortable and safe place of residence; food that would constitute as a nutritious diet (for each member of the family; transport in order to move freely to places of work, trade, school, healthcare and so on; clothing suitable to the weather conditions that one is faced with; clean water supply; time to rest and relax; comprehensive health care.

In South Africa, poverty runs rampant across the country. The education that is provided by state-run schools is gradually becoming effectively useless - once a student leaves the schooling system (whether by graduation or dropping out) they quickly learn that the education that they received is woefully lacking in real world relevance. The pass mark has been lowered so much that a student does not even have to show knowledge of half of the subject matter in order to receive a passing grade. Using education as a tool to reverse poverty is absolutely necessary, but seeing how badly the South African education system is functioning, at this point in time it is doing more damage than good. This is only one example of one area of the societal issues that South Africa (and many other countries) faces. It is imperative that a functional solution is implemented - and soon - before matters get even worse.

It is well accepted that poverty is a leading cause of people turning to a life of crime in order to survive - it is a sad fact that if you are receiving no support from society or the government and you have no skills that would secure you a job that provides you with a sufficient living, your options for ways to survive are rather limited. Poverty stands at the centre of a massive, interconnected web of societal issues. Poverty is one of the largest factors that disempowers people from creating comfortable and dignified lives for themselves and their families.

It is safe to assume that no one will disagree that poverty is a major issue - what remains is developing solutions to poverty itself and all of the issues that stem from it. How does one support a nation of people to overcome the challenges that are so deeply ingrained in their lives? How does one support a child to overcome a substance addiction and develop critical reasoning well enough to become a functional and valued member of society?

Xenophobia, racism, discrimination, stereotyping

It is clear that an irrational fear has gripped many South African citizens surrounding foreigners seeking refuge within South Africa's borders. Not only this, but the discrimination found within the country towards fellow citizens is also abysmal. People hate each other based on hateful propaganda and stereotyping - all showing a clear lack of understanding and compassion between people.