Eckart Schumann: “I have a dream for SA in 2017…”

By Eckart Schumann*

Here is my list of four dreams:

  1. A realisation that the term African refers to someone living in and owing allegiance to this continent. The people of Africa are just as diverse in their culture, ethnicity and language as anywhere else on our planet: North Africans have had a much closer association with Europe and the middle-East than with sub-Saharan Africa, while Arab nations – including slave-traders – have forged strong links with East Africa for more than a thousand years. Southern Africa also has evidence of links with Asian countries over many centuries. Whatever our background does not make us less of an African.
  2. A recognition that building a home on a piece of land offers no surety unless it comes with a title deed. Mr Malema, in the security of his multimillion Rand Sandton mansion knows this, but doesn’t tell it to those whom he commands to ‘occupy land’. People in the townships and in the tribal lands need to be given title deeds to enable them to move out of poverty.
  3. Empowerment of women. We live in a patriarchal society, and let’s face it, men have screwed it up. Many of the disadvantages that women have come from childbearing and rearing, and equality won’t be reached until men take joint responsibility for raising their kids. Women must have the choice whether to have children, and they need much more support in terms of family planning. Every child that is born must be wanted and cherished.
  4. A hope that somewhere in the energy sector there are people who understand what the future holds. That the future doesn’t lie in building monstrous coal or nuclear power stations which take years to build, over-run budgets, and will be obsolete when completed. That technology is changing energy options by the day, that intelligent grids will be developed, that smaller will be more economical, and that renewables will be more efficient and have a 24-hour base load.
  • Eckart Schumann is a physical oceanographer, and has spent his career investigating the dynamics of the oceans and atmosphere. He’s still a Research Associate at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, after retiring some years ago.