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Make us shine at home!

I know we are all busy musing about a wide range of fascinating stuff - from the failed impeachment of the president to the JMPD/Clive Naidoo video that went viral to celebrating Durban (and by extension South Africa and the continent) for being named hosts for 2022 Commonwealth Games, to the welcome arrival of Spring, and so forth.

Make us shine at home!
maruping

Make us shine at home or better still, at your own backyard says, our Columnist Maruping Phepheng.

But right now I would love for us to take a minute and make a fuss about a simple supposition.

Suppose each local municipality made a call to all people, especially young people, who ply their trade elsewhere to come back home.

Suppose they asked these individuals to forward their CVs with a view of ultimately getting them to use the skills they acquired outside to advance their own communities of birth.

What purpose will that supposition serve? Is there a point to it?

Well, one thing this exercise will reveal – and this is the crux of this piece – is whether we have sufficiently equipped human capital straight from home to make our own communities work better.

Some of the community unrest’s we see have got to do with senior leaders like your municipal managers and directors being smuggled in from somewhere to come and serve communities. This in itself is not necessarily a bad thing. It must be encouraged especially if it stands to add value to the community.

But rightly or wrongly, these people are the first to be blamed when things don’t go right.

Sometimes it is felt that they are only there for the fat pay cheque, including at times to ‘eat’ away as much as they can from the drying coffers of the municipality before returning home.

Well, I say go out there and proactively find qualifying locals and give them the positions so that they become responsible for taking their own communities forward.

Just imagine how nice it would be for a team of professional ‘homeboys and girls’ coming together every day of their lives determined to taking their own community forward.

If the database discloses an absence of such human capital (as it will most certainly be the case in certain communities) then it automatically becomes a useful instrument because it reveals to the powers that be as to what areas requires special attention for development.

There is another benefit of bringing these ‘homies’ back.

The local economy is likely to grow more robustly because these people are unlikely to hesitate to invest long term in their own communities. I am talking here about property acquisition and increased support for local business, for instance.

Perhaps resultant will also be the establishment of more business enterprises by the very same returning locals. The positive spin-offs of this ‘home coming’ campaign could be substantial.

If these locals are, say, selling potatoes at a street corner somewhere in Witbank, or selling newspapers in Sandton, or flying planes in Jan Kemp, let us find a way to get them back home.

If it turns out that they are not attracted to their community of birth, don’t be deterred.

Rather, determine why? Could it be that there is no market for potatoes at home? None for newspapers? No airport? Find out why people at home don’t buy potatoes or read newspapers or fly. Find that out and fix what can be fixed and try enticing these locals back home again.

Once they are back home, we will also be able to motivate young people by giving them faces they know to look up to.

This is to suggest that if you have a medical doctor from next door operating his surgery somewhere in his community of birth, young ones aspiring to be doctors will have an example to look up to.

The database will also assist in identifying potential mentors, something which will come in handy for local schools and budding entrepreneurs.

The point this piece makes is simple:do not say ‘we have no capacity at home’ before you conduct a thorough analysis of who is plying what trade out there in some foreign town and why they would not do so at home.

Profile these people and start getting conditions conducive for them to come back. Let them come back and shine at home, WHY NOT?

NB. Our columnist writes in his personal capacity. Visit other social media platforms for his opinions.

Ed Note: In Setswana there’s a saying that goes: maruping go a bo elwa!

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