We all make mistakes, sadly some make more than their share of mistakes and then expect others to pay the account. As a society we must be cautious of such people. If they are not curtailed, then their destructive behavior will become a norm and an eternal growing financial, social and emotive cost to society.

Example, good looks and money matters. In my youth, girls generally did not care much about academics or if a suitor was genuine. Integrity and so on are usually not high priority for youth. At university it was the guys with trendy clothes flashy cars and smooth talkers that received attention. Since I did not have trendy clothes or a car and was concerned with issues of social justice, I was not measured “cool”.

After eons of advice on how to exist cordially some continue to follow their limited emotional intelligence in making vital decisions that will haunt them forever.

A generation ago even during Apartheid society had a built-in barometer that regulated societal conduct. Though kids were born out of wedlock and divorce did happen it was not as dismal as today. The decline in values has become a social and economic nightmare for the middle class as the wealthy insulate themselves.

 

Sadly, those who err, are often treated as if they are victims and helpless and thus little is done with those who repeatedly error while others carry the related cost.

 

Our situation is so bad that the Deputy President spends parliamentary time talking about fruit flavoured condoms. The irony is that the issue is not funny, as dead-beat dads and females who have kids willy-nilly threaten our social and financial stability.

Recently a divorced mother took a school to court for her non-payment of school fees. Subsequently, changes to the South African Schools Act. are now imminent.

For example: “(2A) Notwithstanding subsection (2), a parent may submit to the governing body documentary evidence in the form of an affidavit supported by a confirmatory affidavit from a social worker or another competent authority, or a court order, which constitutes sufficient proof that the other parent of the learner – (a) is untraceable; (b) is unwilling to provide the first-mentioned parent with particulars of his or her total annual gross income.

Sadly, the down spiral of our education system is on its way as parents and learners scramble for the best learning experience while many also simply refuse to pay. Is it now the duty of the School Governing Body to find the absconded father? If a parent cannot pay the school fees, why not apply at a school where the fees are less or no fees are applicable? Why must others who are not the child’s parents pay more?

While we could focus on government and corporate corruption and wasteful and fruitless expenditure, what about the role played by stupidity and reckless emotions. Some in leadership are fixated with managing the symptoms with legislation as they are unwilling to confront and manage the actual problem.

The answer is simple. Instead of extra law intended to ruin the paying parents, the state must utilize its resources to force-educate the reckless on how to behave.

Since we are all entitled to our privacy, why divorce ensures or what happened to the child’s father is not the schools concern. If school fees are due, then it must be paid.

In the words of the wise, practical intervention not punitive laws against the paying parents are required to regulate the conduct of those people who refuse to behave.

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress