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Category: Acumen News | Featured

#TreadingWater, a Resilient SA

Date: 04.14.2024

Written By

Tonya Khoury

Just look at it! Open your window and look at it, the weather, acting like it didn’t just try to kill us. Shining sweetly and stuff. Waves bigger than five meters here at the coast, poor holidaymakers trapped indoors as the water poured down and over the threshold of our continent. One billion to fix it, they say. “They” just gooi a number where they like it. A billion sounds good, so let’s go for that. #Floods of money for our washed away shores.

It’s Friday, and it’s time to #ScratchTheSurface of the news and social media:  A labour of love I do, so you don’t have to.

Did you have a good #HeritageDay or were your plans washed away? #TreadingWater.


Ok, where to start?  Altogether like those breaking waves, news flooded my desk, but what it forgot is that I’m a friend of deep water. I’ve got this. Let’s start with #LadyR, old #Brigety got jittery hey? Him and his bow-tie bound with that healthy American accent. The American Ambassador who told us there was a bomb threat in Sandton has certainly learnt how to move like a true South African, dodging media bullets like he was someone fresh out of the matrix. The #DA certainly have been busy and #LadyR is one among many of their electioneering punts. Our Prez, you remember him, #Cupcake, well he appointed the judge to oversee the very enquiry he is embroiled in. Are you noticing a trend yet? The DA are all aboard with #LadyR. Listen, between you and me, do we really care what was on that ship? Quite frankly, no, and to think ‘we’, who can’t even fix a pothole, can ship over precision weapons of mass destruction (potholes) to Mother Russia is nothing short of laughable. But stranger things have happened and either we’ve covered them up or stuffed them in a couch.

I’ll tell you who I did have a great deal of respect for: the tenacious and impactful Mama Winnie Mandela. I think I speak for most of the nation when I say that she is the one who stayed behind and never surrendered. So why oh why are we naming literally the worst road in the world after her. #WilliamNicol is now #WinnieMandelaDrive. Speak to anyone in Jozi and they will tell you they’d rather stick a fork in their eye than cross or drive #WilliamNicol. It is the golden gate to the north of Johannesburg, and there is always a  traffic light not working. The only redeeming factor about #WilliamNicol is that the hawkers are super fun to engage with. They’ll literally give you a hat and a box of tissues for a smile and your particular car is always their ‘favourite’ car and their broad smiles certainly tell you you’re in Jozi. But Mama Winnie guys? I thought they were going to name the N1 after her. You know the highway that stretches across the country, but no, we give her the snail pace, much hated William Nicol. Sorry Mama.


Talking about icons and testament to our leadership, #AzizPahad and #ZolekaMandela died this week. Both legends in their own right, one a freedom fighter from childhood and the other a cancer warrior. It’s a fait de accompli, death, yet, we are never ready. May their families find ease along this painful journey. #TreadingWater.

The #CrimeStats and other surveys were released this week. Did you know that 200 000 South Africans have been murdered in the past ten years? Guess how many people died during the entire war in Afghanistan, go on guess, I’ll wait? Seventy thousand. Almost three times more people died on our streets but we don’t call this a war. This is just another statistic in the seventh highest ranked corrupt and dangerous country in the world. Hey, at least we’ve made the top ten in something. I jest but that stat horrified me. #BhekiCele should be tried for war crimes. #Drowning.

And while we were treading water, while we were thirsty and in dire need of drinking water, Gauteng #WaterShortages filled social media and didn’t really catch the mainstream news’ bias. Are you noticing how we are only fed these critical stories long after social media has unearthed them? Rumours of #DayZero for Gauteng filled our conversation and eventually some jobsworth said, “Don’t panic, we’re absolutely fine, just keep buying the water on the shelves.” SMH #Drowning in the one commodity we are in dire need for.

There have been a lot of marches, protests and race related incidents, so just another ordinary week in SA. #NEHAWU took to the streets; the #EFF wouldn’t let white kids into #Tuks university; there was a racism story at the #UFS and the #ANCYL marched on #Capitec.

As privatisation is the new buzzword on the streets, our “resilient” private sector saw Anglo leave South Africa and almost half a million chickens got slaughtered because of avian flu. The cash in transit heist on the M1 made a movie that even John and Robbie couldn’t handle. With one fatality and two arrests, the perpetrators are locked up, that is, until they twist a #ThaboBester out of this. There was a #HostageDrama that would make Liam Neeson look like he was #Taken. They managed to save all the members of the family but the crooks legged it at the Mozambique border. That border has some stories to tell.

Naturally, there are stories that are swept under the rug, you know the ones they hope we’ll forget. Apparently, they found a person of interest in the AKA murder. A person of interest? Have they only just watched the video? Oh, come on. We still don’t know what killed our kids at the #EnyobeniTavern because we never got an official toxicology report. In April 2021 a large section of #CharlotteMaxeke hospital burnt down, some said arson, I said insurrection, regardless, to this day, that hospital has not been repaired. Can each one of us turn up with a trowel and a bag of cement. I mean seriously, is that not a war crime? Here’s another one you forgot about: #ShephardBushiri, the fake pastor, the guy who gapped it with a private plane from #Waterkloof to avoid our courts, well guess what? They’re apparently much closer to extraditing him. What? I’m sorry what? You chartered a jet to pick up Thabo and Nandi, but you can’t herd a shepherd. Please get out of my lifeboat. Oh, and another one, remember Uncle Paul #Mashatile’s VIP convoy who beat up some guys on the highway, apparently, we are still waiting for cellphone records and statements. So, the cops didn’t even take a statement. #DrownedOut.

I’ve got to speed up now as my words run dry. #Kunene said it was fine to call #Julius a cockroach. #Sodi, the guy who sullied our water by guzzling the money, is walking a tight line across what should be a bungee jump into the Vic Falls without a rope. #TreadingWater. #ChrisPappas, the new KZN Premier for the DA, was accused of fraud in a company that is not even remotely related to him. #Gordhan has tasked #Eskom to look for “ballies” as he gives a mandate to employ anyone who has blown out more than 60 candles on a cake. He may get to eat it too. #Zuma was in court for abusing the system, when is Zuma not in court? Oh ja, when he has to be arrested. #Eskom says they’re “capping” loadshedding at #Stage4 for summer. This is not a cellphone contract you idiots, don’t treat us like the muppets who pay more for internet than anywhere else in the world. Oh wait, that is us. Malema was in court for storming the stage in the President’s Q&A, surely that’s treason? Ag, you know what, stage antics aren’t top of our agenda, food, water and electricity is. Which is why it’s no surprise that #Cupcake was galivanting in Lesotho (who said donkey?). #TreadingWater.

Across the oceans, it’s just as bad but here’s one story to cheer you up, no, I’m not talking about Musk’s failed attempt at live streaming. I’m talking about #JoeieHenney, the guy who turned up to a baseball game with his “emotional support” animal, but they wouldn’t let him in, which is fair enough, pets in a stadium don’t make a lot of sense. But it was better than that, his pet Wally (apt name) is an alligator. I kid you not friends. Maybe those aliens in Mexico are real after all.

I’m Tonya Khoury, thank you for scratching and skimming the surface with me and Acumen Media.

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