We cannot wait for the post-Covid-19 era to start thinking about what needs to be done. Now is the time to have each community claiming education as its own and taking responsibility to assess readiness, working alongside civil society professionals, labour unions and government. It is a necessary compact.
In a radio interview on SAfm on 29 May, Dr Pali Lehohla, former Statistician-General of South Africa, notes the existing layered challenges of inequality and unemployment currently gripping our country, and points out how Covid-19 affects the poor the most.
Lehohla contends that it is often during a moment of crisis, like this pandemic, that programmes to drive fundamental transformation of South Africa's known legacies of socioeconomic ills are necessary. He argues that "it is when the fear is with us that we begin to negotiate. If there is no reconstruction in the eye of the storm, the storm will go and nothing will be done".
History is replete with examples of this failure to drive change or plan for the change during a crisis, resulting in conditions getting worse. An example is the declining standard of living, and in access to basic services brought about by the 2008 global financial...