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13 May 2011

SA's to-do list

Anyone who has watched a sick child recover will know how precious the gift of life is. Why is it such a hard concept for South Africans to grasp? asks Joanne Hart.

Why is it so difficult for us, as a nation, to set down some simple guidelines?  Nothing difficult, nothing that affects anyone's pride or politics – just a few simple concepts that help a society to function on a slow, smooth upward trajectory towards some shared sunlight? 

I'm not thinking about thorny land issues, controversial economic policies or perilous cultural questions, just a few universal foundations that would save South Africa billions in healthcare Rands and relieve a lot of suffering. 

It isn't hard for me to think of the first one:  no sex without consent ever, and no sex with anyone under the age of 16 (even with consent) ever. 

I gave myself a spectacular headache thinking about this for hours:  how can we find a way through all the hurt and noise to reach an agreement on two fundamental issues that have the potential to sicken our whole nation?

 
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